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.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A is for Army Men - RTM '17 - Part II - Newer or Smaller Crappytoys!

But maybe not as new, or not all as new as some of yesterdays so my note then, about the titles, holds-fast - they're bullshit!

The top row are quite decent figures as far as finish goes and would paint up well, the Rambo-Murphy with his linked belt is a pain, yet seems to be in most of these modern sets! 17 is a small sample of no consequence and very poor quality, but we'll be looking at worse in a minute, while the 18b's come - surprise, surprise, chooks - with those I have numbered 18A! But first . . .

. . . these are the same as the 18B's, but so far haven't come with A-equivalents; different contract: different mix! They are the figures that came with the two better-plastic Tiger-Sheriden-T62 hybrids we looked at the other day, but not the Rex take on Imperial where the AFV was from the same mould, but the tank, Jeep and figures different - different contract: different mix.

So the additional A's for 18 are a larger size, even to having some of the same, but bigger poses! Material type and colour is identical and they will have been added to give each set a better appearance/play-value; today's kids weren't raised on war comics or war films and don't critique rack-toys as we might have, back in the 1960's or 70's, but they do know when they are getting total shite as opposed to vaguely cheap shite!

To be honest, the size difference is down more to the bulk of the sculpting, the A's are better-fed!

The Hunson sets (nice tanks) are carrying 18B only while Jaru's carry the full range of both A's and B's.

Bases are the same but each marked differently to reflect the contract, whether the request was made by the shipper, importer or originating factory will be down to the vagaries and structure of each contract, while some importers will request a . . .

. . . personalised base-stamp! Here Jaru [Ja-Ru] making sure you don't forget who sold you the figures long after the packaging has gone, but they are the same figures that at least two other concerns have marketed in recent years . . . possibly through or via Jaru! And you may remember Brian burke sent us a shelfie of sandy ones with different cart art (#1658 Army Command) but the same base-mark, last year.

This base marking is a recent thing with China, and as I've mentioned several times recently is down to improvements in QA/QC, the clamping-down of health and safety and - coupled to both - the resultant need to have traceability in toys (or all consumer-goods).

In recent weeks I've seen several toys asking you to keep the packaging "for future reference" and "dispose of carefully" or "recycle packaging please", you can't make it up!

A few orphans, the painted ones may be earlier, this pick and silver, stab and hope paint-job was very 1970's, and if it wasn't for the inclusion of the Audie-Heston with his linked-belt you'd easily think these were earlier than they probably are?

24 and 25 may go together, but as lone samples looking slightly different I'm not making the connection - except conversationally; as I just did! The 26 figure carries the same New Ray note as 11/12 yesterday? 27 aren't; being yesterday's 7!

Huicheng are offering a set which looks familiar but the standing ready guy sets it apart as another set of clones, but with a thin thread of its own 'DNA', while I just can't make out any of the figures in the Zhorya set ("Millennium edition" so been around a while?), which means it may belong with yesterday's post, but they had 10 images and this post only had 9, so he got collaged with the Huicheng!

This set was missed in the first photosession, but they are so poor as to not be worthy of inclusion, but I'm not fussy here at Small Scale World, so, here they are; awful - aren’t they?!

They seem to have taken at least one pose from all the other sets we've looked at so far, yet were sold is such small mixes you wouldn't have got every pose - although that a fair criticism of lots of these sets.

They were so poor when I saw them 'on the hook' I shelfied them in rejection of the idea I might part with a quid - yet somehow have ended-up with a bag-full anyway, in three colours!

Yet; it's gets worse than Poundland's - much worse! Look at the backs of the figures in the left-hand pile and you'll see the best thing to do with these is paint them as mutant-zombies! While you can't see or judge the backs of the Ming Tong's, it's clear from the bases and pose-count they are the same as the Chengji figures, and probably from someone else!

But then these are probably sold so cheap, if you're a 5-year old kid from a low-income family in Samarkand, Ulan Bator, New Deli or from the slums of Lagos, Nairobi or Sao Paulo; you're not going to be fussy; indeed; you're probably not going to know any different.

The sad fact is; here in 'The West' . . . that is the 'developed' West . . . our own kids (not to mention their younger parents) are becoming so distanced from the military and so oblivious to the tradition of 'toy soldiers' as a staple of the toy-box - they'll accept this shite to keep quiet for a hour, too, because they don't know any different.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A is for Army Men - RTM '17 - Part I - Older or Bigger Crappytoys!

This is one of four posts for which I've run out of Rack Toy Month to squeeze them into, so we'll go-over into September slightly!

Trying to sort them into any sort of order was impossible, so the titles, particularly of the first two posts are for the sake of having a title rather than any reflection on the contents of the post

Likewise; the numbering of the figures has NO significance whatsoever and imparts nothing other than that I needed to keep track of them as I photographed them, edited them and pushed them around the - eventually - four posts.

While the text will reveal some things are separately numbered when they turned-out not needing to be, while a 28 was added when in preparing the above shot and the correction shots I found a set which had missed being photographed in the main session!

This post will take us up to number 12 in the above shot, although 14 is here, we'll be looking at them again in part 3.

So 'New Type' 'Chinatroops'!

Number 1 are the dancing loons of today's post, and as will be seen below, as I was sorting them out and putting them away it became obvious 3 and 13 were the same lot, some are quite good but overall a really poor set, taken from various others (the chap on the far right is loosely based on an old New Ray/Toy Major German!).

While 2 are pretty standard fair, but I'd like to know who made 4 as they are quite good for this type of rack-toy shite - the helmets let them down but almost tie-them into the vintage and rare Kentoys Space Commandos! However a few head-swaps would give you a nice bunch of Rambo-style 'Vets'! I wondered if they might be clones of someone like Mars or TSSD, but they seem to be pretty unique?

So this is the full lot, I've crossed 3 and 13 off on the subsequent images. Conspiracy theorists may have something to say about the coincidence of 1 and 3 going with 13 but I can assure you it was only coincidence!

Two of the common current types (6 and 7) rather dwarfed by the 5's who are around 60mm and quite blobby in the detail department! As with all these modern, generic Army Men, there's always one or two which will paint-up OK, but that's always tempered by the poses you wouldn't (ahem . . . shouldn't!) give house-room to! 

In this case it's the SF-looking, Vietnam-era chap in a beret although of course the ex-Matchbox poses will paint-up better than the rest by dint of having better donors! Which reminds me - some of these sets (in all four (?) posts) are missing their ex-Matchbox figures as they have previously been sorted into elsewhere!

We've seen the type 6 several times already here on the blog I think, these are both from Brian Berke and show the Bely take on them with dark green and red-brown versions, together with the little keep/watch-tower.

Meanwhile, JPW are shipping them in grey and green. Brian also sent these and we can see his Crescent 'berserker' giving us a scale guide, they're not bad for 54mm, but pretty bad for usefulness!

The 27 lot from Post II turned out to be early versions of those I'd numbered 7, they are definitely better finished, but going on all the other variables - base shape, release-pin marks, blemishes in the mouldings they are the same figures from the same tool.

If you look carefully at the guy waving a Browning Auto and M16, you can see how the one at the bottom is well moulded, the one at the top is starting to lose the tip of the rifle, while the two between have truncated pop-guns, that's mould-degradation; right there!

Also; that bottom row, which are the ones from tomorrow's 27 shot, are in a less chalky material which will have helped. Conspiracy theorists can go ape over the 7/27 coming so soon after a 1/3/13, but that's life! I can't remember which of the sets were attributed to Funtastic, but they are elsewhere on the Blog.

A Dio Toys 'Trade' Co. (on Alibaba so a good chance it's just a marketing vehicle) are offering a set which looks to be somewhere between 6 and 7, having the useful chap with beret from 6 and the skeletal standing firer from 7, but a slightly different grenade thrower from either of them!

The Top Toys (both types) were here - on the Blog -  a couple of years ago, these Army Force 'Toob' figures being much nicer that the bagged Army Troop set, the Jumbo Trading I saw on feebleBay the other day but will have been carried by others, the New Ray though, I'm not so sure about.

I've seen them credited to New Ray but mine (in storage) are better finished and factory-painted, although I have a catalogue somewhere which I think has unpainted figures in the tub/bucket play-sets, so a bit of a question-mark.

For safeties-sake (or accuracies' sake) I'd think of them as 'probably' copies of New Ray (as 10 are), and I think 11, 12 and 26 in the top picture are all of a likeness, just different colours/materials and all three; too-small sample's to arbitrarily put together . . . yet!

Current sales image from an outfit called Ever Glory shows what appear to be I suspect may be PVC figures, size wasn't given but they have pulled poses from several of the previous sets and there are a couple which look to be more unique, although only cut'n'shut's or moved limbs.

Thanks
Peter Evans must be thanked for maybe half the above figures and in numbers, many more, and Brain Berke's contributions have been helping keep the Blog afloat for well-over a year now, equally some of the above will have come from Brian Carrick or Gareth Morgan so many thanks to all four, for their help or contributions (all of it volunteered) to this and the next three posts.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

C is for Chinatanks!

Except a fair few of these are Hongkongatanks, but I think they all qualify for the one moniker! Similar procedure as yesterday, but more examples, yet not enough to be more than a gentle mosey through the oeuvre!

What I found to shoot without digging too deep in the attic, and allowing for the fact we've looked at the bubble-gum ones and the mini-tanks recently and that a lot of the smaller ones are still in storage.

Going from the Imperial Patton at around a large 1:48th or small 1:35 at number 1 to whatever-size at number 8 (small), these are mostly classic 'Chinatanks' being simple polyethylene mouldings with (or without!) revolving one piece turrets and the odd-pair of carpet wheels hidden behind integrally-moulded track-units/running-gear.

The exception being number three; which is (was!) a battery-operated toy, albeit with hidden wheels and a single-mould hull and chassis.

We've looked at 1, so moving swiftly on . . . a Space Tank! Looking like (or having several of the features of-) a few things on the drawing-boards of the Third Reich in 1945, this beast is too cool for automated, fire-control gunnery-school and would look quite at home supporting Dick Dastardly's space marines is some far flung, rim-world colony of some farfetched Star Chamber's 'Imperium' vs. Aliens parody; being ideally sized for 28/30mm figures.

Picture 3; tank number 3, exploration of the battery-compartment lead to three exploded watch-batteries and severely corroded contacts. As I can't find any on-off switch anyway, it's SOP's remain a mystery although there's clearly a hidden-speaker for sound effects and a light in the end of the barrel.

Interestingly the wheels are all free-wheeling, so it may be that deliberate movement, by hand application, produced default sound and light? Anyway, a vague M46/47 in vaguely WWII Japanese camouflage is all VERY Chinatank!

These were quite common in the 1980's and I'm afraid when I wasn't collecting the larger sizes I sent a lot of these to charity! I've kept all six for now but intend to hang on to the asterisked-three, after moving one of the Union flags to the Centurion, so I'll have one of each colour-way/flag/turret-type . . . you'll have noticed the hulls are all identical M48's!

They're crude, but again - very useful for carpet wars, or garden gaming, quick spray and wash/dry-brush and you've a large unit - cheap! If the German's had had Chieftains in 1945 - we'd all still be talking German - and if that thought is a bit beyond the pale; think - no Putin and no Trump - bargain!

Classic Chinatank layout of four pieces, two hidden wheels, body and turret.

We looked at 5/6's the other day so; on to 7 . .

. . . .and this is only two parts screwed together! But another pretty cool 'Space Tank', clearly based on the M2/M3 Bradley/A-Cav.-thingy, it nevertheless has a futuristic look to it.

Despite its simplicity I like it so much I shot it twice! Hollow, fixed-turret, no redeeming features but damn, it is cool! I even love the air-rifle's iron fore-sight! Stick your head out of the turret and get a bead on the enemy . . . left a bit, left a bit . . . oh dear! Love it.

Looking at the plethora of photo's it appears something may have broken-off the back of the cupola-ring? Machinegun or aerial of some kind? If it's a space tank it probably needs a sonic-beam, killerdegrator-dish!

We've looked at these before (Poundland or 99p Stores in the tag list), but there were a couple of new mouldings in the Big Bag from Peter Evans, so here's a few comparison shots with the two rocket-launchers again, left out of the Chinatank group-photo.

This is also classic CAD-CAM, the hull and running-gear is identical for all the models but can be seen here in five or six sizes.

You 'CAD it up' as a solid, then shell it (hollow it out) and then take copies to add whatever secondary details (turrets/superstructures) or hidden constructs (screw-channels/release-pin points) you want, scaling up or down in cyber-space (or on cyber-paper; accurately - 'paper-space') and sending each finished variant to a CNC-milling machine to produce the tool.

No, I don't know why I took so many either! Especially as we did give them a good look last time . . .doh!

Ri-Toys take on the old Blue Box polystyrene blob, itself a copy of a larger battery-operated . . . oooohhh - déjà vu! We had this entire blurb the other day with the LB sets in the Jeep post didn't we! Ri-toys; home-painted, period.

I was meaning to take a few shots for a collage of tank 9, the diminutive Centurion, but I never got round to it. It's a common inclusion in rack-toys from the late 1970's through to the mid/late '80's and beyond and I've more in storage so we'll come back to it, some time.

Smallies - we looked at the apple-green one with it's Matchbox piracy figures last year, the other two could be taken from the Imperial one, which has been around for years in one form or another, or the Airfix 'poly'[ethylene] one?

They are quite common and have been around for a while now in various colours/qualities for several sources. I think I have a whole bunch in storage so we'll have a better look another day.

The dark green one went with yesterday's dark green truck, while the other two came with matching figure; we are due to look at in RTM, but I'm running out of month so I think Rack Toy Month may over-run!

The apple-green one is a vague AMX-30 Napoleon; "A what"? I hear you ask . . . exactly!

Copied from the set of mini-tanks we've looked at here - a while-back - and behind them both is a funny little hard-styrene tank in two plastic-colours with a die-cast metal turret from really cheap - usually window-boxed - play-sets.


Late Additions
So not in the numbered line-up at the top.

Two teenies - the one (hex-turret) seen here before, the other (Tiger I with a turret covered in gas-alert paint!) probably from a board game.

These are all from the old, defunct, imageshack.com account and consist of some of the more unusual examples from the collection otherwise in storage - from top right clockwise:

A rather too narrow and/or too tall M48 with push-and-go action motor which I'm hoping; when they are together, will prove to be a maker-match for the lorry we saw yesterday? It’s certainly got some age and like the bigger - and more realistic - Jimson (and for Fairylite) version, carries a soft plastic polyethylene turret on a colour-matched hard plastic polystyrene hull.

These two (bottom) are - I suspect - copied from Galoob stuff, I think there was a larger 'Action Fleet'-sized Indiana Jones line, from which the WWI'ish tank has been taken, while the Marine Landing carrier will be from the Battle Squads/Defenders lines (with the rocket-firer removed), but it's only a suspicion and other, similar toys are around to be pirated! However; they are both unusual which makes then pretty neat for Chinatanks!

Finally, this little chap (top left) who does have an on-off switch somewhere, is from those track-puzzle toys where you join the plates-up to make a course and then set the tank/London taxi/cartoon jumbo-jet to go round and round the channels until you get board and switch it off!

It came with some nice, slightly cartoony GI figures we'll look at when I get them out of storage! If we haven't already? I'll check, we may have looked at them a long time ago? Link below if we did.

We did . . . first week of the Blog! First - but not first figures and by some coincidence this is the 1900th existing post, including stuff in edit, excluding stuff deleted in the past and stuff on other Blogs!

Monday, August 28, 2017

L is for Logistic Lorry Laager (or 'Leaguer'?)

Back to B-echelon for today's [late!] post; I thought that after Jeeps we might as well go up a class, vehicle-wise and these are mostly of a size that would be ideal for garden or carpet war-gamers.

These are mostly from Peter's Big Bag of Rack Toy loveliness, exceptions being the dark green one (which also came from Peter I think but a year or two ago) and the hard-styrene, vintage push-and-go which was - I think - a Sandown Park purchase at some point.

The six similar ones are the same as the truck sent to the blog by Martin a while ago, and as I think I mused at the time seem to be from the interregnum between 'Hong Kong' marks and the modern 'China' marks, but it may just be that someone forgot to stamp the tool!

The three with loads are ultra-modern mouldings; cheap, but well engineered/finished.

The vehicle park, from the other side and the three new vehicles, there is at least one other body-type (which clip to the load-bed with four ear-flap clips) as I saw a bunch in a mixed lot on evilBay about a week ago, but the shots weren't clear enough to discern, however it looked like a stack of gas-canisters, like an old barrage-balloon lorry.

Close-ups of the truck we looked at last time, passing itself off as a Ford but not looking like one I know (is it a recognisable US Ford-type?), it has features in common with some of the smaller Chinatrucks you find.

Close-ups of the interim boxed-front design, the dark green one has appeared on the Blog with very different accompanying stuff to the stuff the yellow one came with. The two holes in the load-bed suggest plug-ins for these as well as the clip-on bodies.

As the yellow one came in the 'Big Bag' I can't draw conclusions from what may (or may not) have gone with it, but the fact that the green one come with very different stuff (mini-tank; Patton, and jet fighter) suggests that the middle-man was not only ordering different configurations of contents for different sets, but either had possession of all the moulds, or was working with the same factory for all sets, who had a wide range of mould tools to work with.

This lorry also represents something different for Hong Kong/China; the exception that proves the rule! Usually, the quality of these rack-toys drops off as they go through the generations of copies of copies of copies . . .

. . . but in this case the original (smaller, yellow; 1970/80's) is the worst generation and the modern, third-generation (mid-green, printed bonnet; current) is the best with an interim design (sand and jade; 1990's-2000's).

The original looks like an old 70's chromed-up Studebaker or Chevrolet pick-up truck but with a stretched body, the first clean-up makes it look more 'Army Lorry'-like and the recent re-design (blocking the windows, something which happened with later copies of the 1-ton Humber mini-trucks - makes for a simpler tool) has turned it into something more 'future medium-lift replacement logistics vehicle programme' looking!

The Ford and the two same-sized Box-fronts. The new one has decent wheels and a return to the metal axles of the '50/60's toys, rather than the [tend to break, or miss-mould] all-plastic things which came-in in the 1970/80's as a cost reducer; as we saw with the jeep variations yesterday.

A couple of slightly different ones - the larger push-and-go is a copy of a Triang-Mettoy-Minic-Playcraft type (I think?) and hard styrene except for the wheels.

The smaller one is the old 1-ton Humber but in HO-OO gauge compatible size rather than the mini-trucks we looked at back in 2011. Now . . . I've never seen this size of the vehicle in Pyro-Kleeware guise (their bigger scale lorry's cab was more like the push-and-go), so this must be a copy from Dinky (or one of the other copies) or a scale-up from the mini-trucks (it has the same components as the mini-Kleeware's) and is clearly the donor for the lesser NFIC versions. Marx also pirated it but as a cleaned-up and slightly distorted, flatter, almost 'squashed' moulding.

This is clearly off the back of a recent toy, probably from a larger tub/bucket play set, until I've ID'd its carrying-vehicle it remains a UN storage hanger! Can anyone help ID the set or vehicle?

Rocket launchers, for completion really - we've seen two of them on the Blog already and the third is above!

I thought this (left-hand image) was from my old imageshack.com account, but I think it's a scanned photograph, so may have been seen here before, but again, it's 'ere because it's 'ere because it's 'ere! I particularly like the Vostok type rocketry, as both are militarised (with paint) versions of civil 'big rigs' it probably also exists as a very incongruous NASA type in an alternative play set! Small scale.

On the right is a bit of fun; have you seen the Movie Brazil? My dream-house!

News, Views etc . . . couple of bits . . .

. . . as I failed to get today's post texted-up for Saturday so couldn't load it, it should appear here later today.

There is a proper 'News Views' in prep. for September, but these both came out of the blue the other day and are already 'old news'!

Stamps
Royal Fail have issued a set of toy-related stamps, one of which has two Britains Herald Trojan figures on it! They are also available as postcards. They could have used nice, well-painted, early ones, not these shiny-PVC shitters from Hong Kong! The first version archer is one of my favourite figures.

Bricks
Lego continue with their intention to take over the world with a TV show which first aired on Thursday last. I can't tell you how much Lego publicity there is around at the moment, too much, anyone would think Christmas was coming and there's no news coming out of the real world . . . day-by-day account of David Beckham taking three days to build a fort that should have taken an afternoon anyone?!!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

J is for Jeep

Having passed-off two of these as a 'whole post' earlier in Rack Toy Month, I feel a bit of a fraud having them again so soon, but A) I did follow them up the same day with something else due to the frugality of that post and B) one of the features of this year's RTM has been the leading of things into each other, and this is a case in point.

I hadn't put the other two away when I blogged them and in doing so realised there were others among the bagged ones, which led to this comparison shot, however by the time I'd taken yesterday's shots for the Saracen Saladin hybrid follow-up it all grew a bit, so we'll have a bit of an inconclusive ramble here, now.

So, these are all very similar although there are differences, given the fact that those differences are found with the same cards, while similar Jeeps are found with different cards, it would appear that those differences are probably no more that either generations of the same moulds, different mould-tool cavities or shippers/packers using several suppliers and going through different generations of header-card . . . whatever the truth, let's have a closer look . . .

... or as close as can be with 50-odd years old polyethylene bags in the way!

The red one we looked at the other day is the better of the two; marginally, having a smoother pinch in the bodywork, forward of the seats, as found on the real-life originals while the orange one has the pinch sharper and further back.

Likewise where the body meets the radiator grill is simplified on the orange version and going back to the previous shot; you will also notice that the trailer is smaller with both the examples in the Army Vehicle carded bags.

Here is the other of the Army Vehicle carded pair with my loose green one; another telling difference is that the two loose ones have matching length axles, while the two bagged examples have too-long yet inconsistent axle lengths, something that you may recall differentiated types of the 1-ton Humber mini-trucks.

At some point in the future it may/should be possible to tie the one in with the other using these markers, the three letter code on the loose Jeep being another parallel with mini-trucks, swoppet Wild West copies, beach-toys and etcetera! Plastic colour in another signature, card art or the fonts or stamps employed to mark the toys are more ways of sorting, but you need the stuff preserved for such study to have any effect. And - of course - the other things in a set or bag, such as any accompanying figures; are also good markers.

However; . . . with over 600 makers, in plastics, in Hong Kong,  in the late 60's (he says from memory?) feeding maybe a couple of hundred shippers/agents and a few dozens of major importers/wholesalers/jobbers, the most we will ever be able to do with any certainty on a lot of this stuff is link them to the same factory gate, but we may never know the name of that factory!

Here we see the two in the Army Jeep header-carded bags to the left in the second image above; the gun-tractor is identical to my loose two, but the other is a third design with all plastic running-gear and a simplified body-work boundary.

Was it later (the card is glossier), or a deliberate copy by a third-party? We may . . . hell; 'will' . . . probably never know, it could have been an emergency purchase, to fulfil an order after another tool got damaged? I would imagine simply a later version/replacement moulding, designed [re-designed!] to reduce costs and make assembly simpler, but whether it came from the same source is a different matter?

Finally; to the two smaller bags on the right-hand end of the comparison-shot's row. The one in the newer-looking, glossy-carded bag is the same as the better quality loose pair, but with all-plastic wheel/axle arrangements, while the one in the much older-looking card is the simplified version, so as far as clues to research go - no bloody help at all!

However, both contain figures and there is a difference, the set on the left above; Larami's 'US Combat Tank and Jeep', contains the same little Airfix '1st version' and Britains 'being shot' copies we saw with the SF sets two days ago (I shook them out of the way for the shot - they're on the Airfix Blog somewhere!), while the set to the right 'Army Jeep'; has the same copies of Blue Box Germans carried by Nadel & Sons in little bags, so actually the clues to future research are sitting there after-all!

Moving away from the bagged/earlier Jeeps, we find these two which are interesting as the better of the two (the herb-green one with bigger wheels) is almost certainly the copy, while the rough-looking moulding is almost certainly the original!

I say 'almost' in both cases as there is a lack of packaged examples, but the olive-green one with little wheels is a late-1970's/80's one, which came-in with a bunch of contemporaneous stuff, while the later one (actually the four inset, with red backgrounds) came in Peter Evan's 'Big Bag' of recent/current rack toys.

They may come from the same place, may even come from the same tool, but the newer one has been cleaned up, release-pins have been moved and it's got better wheels, but from the currently common chalky-feel polymer.

The big boy on the left is the Imperial/Rex one from the post a week or two ago and lined up in front of him in the top-right shot are my loose green one form Adrian and three others; the earlier one from the previous image and two littlies, one a common 80/90's moulding and the other an unmarked copy of the Giant Jeep.

Below them . . . the state of play today - pretty poor really! The grey one (apparently missing a plug-in) is hideous, all tall and squished; it looks like something you might find on a coin-operated roundabout in a shopping-precinct or whizzing around a regional mail-logistics depot . . . when not plugged into a charger!

The other two are sort of OK for what they are and while both would benefit from a re-paint, the Willy's looks like a Mahindra copy and the Wrangler looks like it was requisitioned from Barbie!

That common 1980-90's one in two sets, both shipped and sold by LB Ltd (Levy Brothers), later than the Mini Army sets we've previously looked at, these contain very poor, crumbly figures, a third or fourth-generation copy of Blue Box's Patton tank (itself a copy of a larger battery toy by someone like Marx) and the worst copy of Kamley's little truck - look closely and you can see how it was cut straight into the tool-steel with a router and a drill; CAD-CAM at its most basic, if they were even involved - it may have been done by hand!

I have a shed-load of later Jeeps and/or smaller Jeeps along with a few larger vintage types and lots of Land Rovers, in storage; so inevitably we will return to them here!

The other day I mentioned the missing crew . . . well these (red and yellow sample) are the figures I was referring to and they are in two sizes, I think we've seen a carded set here with them (I can't find it so that may be a post to come?), but it may be on the Airfix Blog? Not only have none of the Jeeps in today's post got their figures; they are nearly all equipped for figures with ether male spigots or female receivers evident on most.

The provision of spare tyres and Jerry-cans with the vehicles is also a bit hit and miss with some having both and some having neither! And I was guessing the kit responsible (UPC - but who made the original? Renwal, Hawk, Adams?) for the figures also provided the material for the various HK Jeep trailers, even the Blue Box one, but it might be taken from MPC's Korean War CJ-5 kit?

To the right are the originals at around 40mm. The guy looking straight-forward has two levers between his legs and another in his right-hand and may be operating plant or a weapons system? He may be the rear-unit steerer/driver for the old atomic cannon model-kit?

Below the whoever (UPC et al.) poses are a few of the others you will find in cheap, mixed lots, all orphans until you see them in the correct vehicle in a carded, boxed or bagged set, after which you can pair them up or at least label them!