About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Erwinwatch - Amscan on eBay!


Or P is for Pull the other one; it's got bells on and plays a c-sharp Colonel Bogey in double-time!

While it's heartening to see that [over] a year's-worth of occasional Bendy Toy posts here at Small Scale World has piqued the interest of the PSTSM; I suspect the fool has just been desperately Google'ing 'Amscan' for the last few days, and that indeed; Google is probably too far from his preferred source of not so empirical evidence - feebleBay!

This appeared the other day on that den of plagiarist-iniquity Forum de la whatsit (I would link - but it's locked).

Only; if you follow the link he's provided by way of 'evidence', it's clear that the figure isn't "...by Amscan" but: FOR Amscan! Too stupid for words . . .

. . . they (Amscan) were (and mostly still are) a workaday importer, like a hundred others, they carry paper plates, cake decorations, corn-cob irons, tooth picks, party hats whatever 'novelties' they can market, whenever they see them going cheap, and have done for years, decades even! Toys are a minor part of their oeuvre, and have always been - confined to the sorts of cake decorations, party picks and novelties you find being carried by a dozen other brands.

And while they do have production facilities (all in the US it seems), this was made in the - then - still British Colony - of Hong Kong (touchy subject this close to armed-insurrection day, I'm sure! It's a joke; you humourless gits!) at a time when Amscan probably didn't have production facilities anywhere? They certainly weren't advertising them 10 years ago when I first found them on-line.

Here's how it works - Erwin sees several and makes five . . . no; that was the other day's tedious lecture . . . this is how it works - the manufacturer is not necessarily the person who made the item; it is the person taking responsibility for the item - as a finished item.

In law, that person is called the 'Economic Operator', the economic operator might be Hasbro, 'he' takes responsibility for the Chunk of polymer shite 'he' has had manufactured for 'him' in a factory in Thailand which also makes polymer shite for Hornby Hobbies; another economic operator.

However; the above only applies to something that is marked Hasbro or Hornby despite coming from a Kader plant, or something marked Guiterman of London on the box when it comes from Lucky Toys (a much delayed post - still in the pipeline!), whereas, the bendy toy is marked 'for Amscan' and Bronco!

He's seen a four-looking-five and rushed-off to 'prove' his five right, without even reading the other foot! Because he's making it up as he goes along again (or - on this occasion - desperately trying to make the undersized hat fit), and the evidence of our own eyes tells us so.

But in his need to be believed rather than learn, he still ticks all the boxes

  • Makes five from two-plus-two . . . oh! The eBay seller says it's Amscan so it must be!
  • '...other stamped...' when did you last see an (or any) other Amscan bendy-toy? Future readers of his comment will think they're all over the place - the hobby's knee-deep in Amscan-marked bendy-toys, huh! Ironically with these Popeye and Olive Oyle's it does seem to be!
  • Soon-to-be-dead eBay link (the other bonus to using evilBay links for evidence is that in six months the link will be dead, but the post will always look like you must have known what you were talking about!)
  • The criticism of the other day was over ethylene rack-toys from Hing Fat (themselves; pirates of better figures) but he's smoke-&-mirrored it to 1970's vinyl!

Just because it says Amscan, that proves . . . nothing! Amscan weren't and aren't a dedicated or volume maker of figures, nor of toys in general . . . or even a maker of garden or household products (the bulk of their inventory), they are importers, jobbers, shippers, bottom-feeders; they are suppliers of cheap goods and novelties to the discount-store chains, supermarkets and' independents'; they are wholesalers, ordering/commissioning contract-manufactured goods and re-packing generic products from all over the Far East.

Probably also getting/supplying some stuff from/to others in the US or Europe quid-pro-quo; Jaru for instance supply (or claim to supply) a lot of the other wholesalers, I bet they've provided a few HK cheepies to or worked with Amscan over the years, splitting the shipping-costs; but it's still HK/China-made, generic production.

Yes it is Amscan for the purposes of listing in your files, but it's not made by Amscan, and especially not within the context of the Hing Fat / 'DGN' bollocks a he wants it to be, so it proves nothing.

The Bride & Groom fairy-cake spikes/tooth-pick which were around a few years ago were carried by Amscan, Halsall, Culpitt and probably others - SSCO? Grandmother Stovers? There are hundreds of these guys, big and small, they don't manufacture this crap, they order and ship.

There were two issues of both Popeye and Olive Oyle - with foot-sole marking differences - the first release seemingly separate in card holders, the second had both figures in a tin of spinach marked '© 1979 King Features Syndicate, Inc      Made in Hong Kong Exclusively for Amscan, Inc Harrison New York 10528     Item Number 44008'

The fact that Bronco have placed their name on the other foot suggests (yes Erwin - I'm using the empirical evidence you've provided to 'assume'!) that this is just such a case of 'Joint Venture' or joint endeavor, in which both companies are allowing themselves to be seen as economic operators ('partners' in the lingo of the era!).

All guesswork, but as a scenario; in the mid-late 70's bendy toys are doing well; lots of rack toy generics and bigger names like Marx (Disney) and Mego (Planet of the Apes) have them, Amscan wants a piece of the action at the lower-end of the price scale, Bronco can deliver, Amscan takes the financial hit on a licence in the US (King Features), Bronco make them - taking the materials/production-costs upfront - and they both 'go halves' on a shipping agent?

Because it's 'made exclusively for...', no one else can buy them, so there are no unmarked generics, or other marked examples, as is often the case with Amscan's novelties -the contract for manufacture disallowing that.

As to Bronco? Long gone I fear, they seem to have manufactured pop-up puppets for Kohner Brothers, East Patterson, New Jersey with similar "Made in Hong Kong for..." marking and may have been involved with a farm-sales premium for Kernel Renk's seed corn?

While the jibe about colonialism above has a point; the reason Amscan have a strong presence here in the UK may well have to do with the fact that at the time all the intellectual property registrations in HK, were held in London (as Louis Marx found out during the whole Bild Lilly / Gina / Barbie saga) and no, I'm not saying it was because of the Popeye, nor even intellectual properties for certain - but it's a possibility.

Alternately - and because I can offer up no suggestions for the 'CD', there was also the phenomena of 'pseudo manufacturers' - where US marketing (jobbing) outfits would contract-out the manufacture of a toy they (in this case it would be Amscan) had developed (by getting the licence! Bendy toys were a reality already) to a made-up name 'brand' factory (in this case it would be Bronco) which was - in reality - an other-named factory.

There was one called Creative Designs International (with a Marvin Greenberg behind it) which would fit nicely, but they were sold to Jakks Pacific in 2006 for 115-million American squids (which are about .7 of a normal squid - it was .65 of a squid a year ago which is worrying!), so they aren't it, but with 1000 toy makers in HK in 1970, there may be one to fit the CD-bill

But I stress I'm stretching-it as a footnote here, an idea for the CD, not a serious theory - no evidence! The CD could be a production code or mould-tool number . . . 'contract developer'? Developed? And there was Chan Dong-song of Herald Holdings . . . it's another CD!

Co-incidentally there will be an Amscan post kicking-off 'Rack Toy Month' shortly, held-over from last year - detail light / image heavy!

Clever try, but rush-job, very poor. Still I'm sure 'The Rock' will appreciate this latest piece of making-it-up-as-you-go-along and 'Limp Dick' can add Amscan to 'The' lists!

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Now, first - that's a tedious post with little for the majority of you visiting today - sorry about that, not even I like a post of this type; all the corporate stuff is meant to go on the A-Z Blogs.

Secondly, one reads his little two-liner as its pleading 'they did . . . look?' and are tempted to feel sorry for him; that horrid Hugh constantly banging-on, being nasty to Erwin.

But one has to remember that it's only a couple of weeks since him and his puppet-master were ripping into my Fontanini posts twice, complaining that I hadn't researched Elastolin properly - in a Fontanini post! Getting excited about Marx sculptors (Marx was known in Hong Kong as the 'supreme knock-off artist' and Mr. Lemmon's figures are 'after' Simonetti, not the other way round) then talking bollocks about Airfix and hiding the evidence.

The real reason for having a .com I guess; I know I can't edit comments once they're posted! I can't even edit my own, let alone a visitor's, but no such problems at Stad's Stuff Dot Com! Have you read his Commonwealth bit this weekend? He keeps denying his shadowing of me, even as he makes it obvious - risible!

The fact is; they will get away with what they can, when they can, and like a drunk who starts a fight with a couple of sober guys, they don't know when to stay down, despite the fact that they keeps getting hit. eBay is Erwin's primary research-tool for fucks sake!

As no one else is 'having a word' I will continue to, whether it takes another six months or another six years (I'm quietly betting on somewhat less than five!), because of the December 17th nonsense and the crap that led up to it. More coming.

And because this post is a bit shit, here's some small scale on the HK Blog, and a 'rush-job' or 'page-holder' on theA-Z Blog (no company history!).

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From the 'web; I won't bore you with links; it's all European Union stuff with no pictures!

An Own Brand Labeller (OBL) purchases a finished (or component parts of a) Toy from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), which he then places on the market under his own name or trade mark (brand label).

This Own Brand Labeller may not be the person who actually designs, manufactures, packages or labels the Toy.


This economic operator, the Own Brand Labeller, meets the definition of manufacturer as set out in the CE-marking Directives. Own Brand Labeller or Private Labeller are therefore considered as the legal Manufacturer.

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