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. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

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.


Jan Ferris said...

It simply amazes me how much play the simple little green soldiers get. They are one the greatest toys of all time.

Hugh Walter said...

You can't beat them for a nostalgia hit Jan!