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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.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

K is for Kamley, Kositoy and KS . . .

. . . I had hoped it might also be for Kamco but they seem to pre-date Kamley's existence by a few years (it's not clear) so even if the '...co' is for Company, it looks like it's a different 'Kam... '!

Famous last words! Not only have I watched a fair amount of paint dry since writing that (I painted the gable-end this time last year!), but here I am doing a "...substantial blog-post...' on some of those figures!

Bought these the other day (from the Swagman's Daughter - same source of the PVC fish we looked at the other day), I knew I already had one, and I had downloaded images of the other card from old evilBay lots, but I wanted them while they were cheap, so I now have three of four possible cards . . . except there are other cards and other contents so I don't really!

In the meantime I had two shots from Brian Berke sitting in his folder waiting - ostensibly - for use in future posts on the Hong Kong/small scale 'But is it Giant' Blog. Checking the 'KS' folder for the other images, and seeing the Kositoy folder I was reminded that there were Kositoy versions of the trucks in Brian's image.

Long story short, within minutes I had realised that the contents of three 'K' folders were all the same company, and 'probably' a forth (Kamco) as it's another HK firm of the same era, and Kamco looked likely to be an abbreviated or short-form brand logo of Kamley [Industrial] Company .

The Kamley folder having a larger carded set also found in the Kositoy folder and Kositoy being usually the KS generic cards with an overprinted logo, the relationship between the three is beyond doubt, but the likelihood of a Kamco (producers of robots and train sets) connection became less hopeful the more I looked into it and I now doubt a connection - however I don't have the address for Kamco here, so who knows what may turn-up?

'Technicals' in the artwork; before the term was coined! Other sets contain a Jeep, or up to 12 figures (the Attack Force Emergency sets) while later sets were carded with shaped blisters for a more standardised display of contents. These are the generic cards, with only the KS stock-code as the clue to their origin.

In the research of the last couple of weeks I've also ID'd other large-scale figures from the K's and ten minutes on Google will enable you to too, you will also find the connecting sets that confirm the news in this post.

These probably date from the mid-1970's at the earliest, and the company was wound-up in 2003 so they are (as I said on the Khaki page some time ago) still quite common - if you dig about a bit!

These are the figures from all the early sets whether generic or Kositoy, of the various versions on the Khaki Infantry page, these are the only ones so far seen in these 'K' sets, and with the exception below are all copies of those Britains Herald Khaki Infantry on the page where they first appeared here as unknowns.

Close-ups of the bases; these are most easily identified by the numeral 3 on the base underside, otherwise you start obsessing over the size and font of the HONG KONG mark - and in the past I have! There being several other versions of these figures . . .

. . . as there are of this chap, who was in another tub in another corner of the collection. Now ID'd from those mint sets on Goggle, and then found in their tub by way of confirmation of guesswork (call it assumption if you like!), only this pose is found with the matching base-mark.

I've shot him with two sub-pirates, you can see the dropping-off of quality and these are two of four different batches of Britains Swoppet copy; what I haven't done yet is compare them (the other swoppet copies) all with the other Herald copies to see if there are any other 'go together' matches.

So, having sorted three brands or 'unknowns' into one 'company', let's look at some of the other pieces seen in Brian's shot as most of mine are in storage. I have collected enough or happened to have a few shots around in Picasa for a decent overview of the whole, but we will definitely return to the trucks one day as I have a whole tray of them in storage!

The gun first as it represents one of the main or obvious factors about this range from Kamley - different generations of production/moulding. Guns issued with the larger figures don't always have crew, however if you do the Google search you will find some do, and they come in two versions, early crew-men are basically astronauts! Later figures are the GI's shown here.

The other obvious difference is in the wheels; early sets have domed wheels like they've got old chromed hub-caps, while later sets have more military wheels with six wheel-nuts and a small central grease-hub. This wheel 'rule' extends to the trucks and helicopters.

However, there is another variance; the two guns are not quite the same . . . the differences are subtle, wider seats, smooth underside to the trail-legs; little things but the gun was re-tooled, as was the helicopter (but it got at least three generations!), while the trucks just got added-to; new cab designs and more body plug-ins.

I don't know if the finding of a brown figure suggests a whole brown run, but there are certainly a fair few grey vehicles and while I haven't found them yet, I suspect grey figures will turn-up, either of the Herald infantry or some of the many unattributed Airfix 1:32nd scale German Infantry copies?

The early 'astronauts' and later GI's. In the image two up, the third gunner - in the towing-eye -  although put there by me, is mirroring examples in storage who came-in like that, whether they were sometimes issued like that or placed there by their human is currently anyone's guess.

The truck or lorry . . . in the card artwork for the Combat Set they are depicted as pick-up trucks, but the models are more like small lorries; 3/4-ton or 30kwt types. We will need to return to these as not only are mine in storage (for all the body types and later trailer), but between what I have here and Brain's shot we only really have one type to show of the three designs Kamley used.

The three to the left are early Kositoy trucks with the card insert which was dropped from later issues; I call this the generic Ford-GMC type. To the right is a 'CHINA' marked copy in green of what I call the generic Volvo type, and then there is a third intermediate design with three small lights on the cab-roof which I call the generic Mercedes . . .

. . . and yes I know giving a 'branded-title' to a 'generic' is a bit oxymoronic but you have to start somewhere with the naming-of-the-parts when it's all make-believe toy stuff!

The blue vehicle is earlier than the China marked copy; a poorer Hong Kong copy which has been stretched and given an additional front bumper-bar (fender).

From the left: Kositoy early version with card-insert, Kamley issue, China-truck and the HK-marked clone, note the reinforcing a-frame on the underside to prevent the longer (but as thin, or thinner - I didn't check) load-bed from warping

Another reason for needing to return to the trucks is that the card inserts shown here are from the very early KS generic sets, Kositoy sets had Kositoy over-printed inserts which I can't show you. However I have knocked one up in Picasa but can't remember where the Kositoy logo is placed.

I have a feeling it may be over the engine-block (upper white box) with the 'Made in Hong Kong' left in the normal spot, but it may be further back (lower white box) or approximately where I've placed it, maybe just above the 'made in...' mark? As I say; we will return to these one day! If anyone can send us a genuine Kositoy insert (scan or photo) in the meantime; I'll add it at the bottom of this post for completion.

Also showing how the insert is folded and stuffed into the bed of the truck to show the two crew through the windows - card flats, in service caps, too cool for staff-collage!

Finally - for now - to the helicopters, I'm not sure about the order of these, but it seems to go:-

  • Blocked-up cockpit-windows, six portholes (front left above)

  • Open cockpit-windows, six portholes (blistered Combat Set)

  •  Open cockpit-windows, five portholes, rear wheel arch (Brian's; top of post)

  • Open cockpit-windows, five portholes, rear wheel arch, crude rotor-blades (back right above)

With the later wheels being phased-in at some point, followed toward the end by the crude rotor-blades of my newer example, but that doesn't explain the fact that my 'early' one has late wheels (which is why I'm not sure about them!).

It may be that the blocked-windows moulding was just another mould or another cavity running alongside one of the other two, or - given that my new one has no wheels and the unrelated vintage yellow one is missing a pair - that there is just a failure in the wheel department of my heavy-lift helicopter tub!!

I will see how Rack Toy Month pans-out, but we may yet return to miniature heavy-lift helicopters?

To cement this post you will find that four posts on the companies/company's small scale output published at the same time as this one, over on the Hong Kong blog (don't get excited, two of them are the gunners, one has no figures and all-four are brief!), while what I know of the companies has published on the relevant A-Z Blog - six posts for the price of none!

Because I can't do the links for what will actually be 8 posts (with another 'kosi' and a disambiguation) until they are all published, I'll sort all the direct links out on Monday afternoon . . . or whenever!

Monday 14th - Links Added

Kamley's A-Z Entry
Small Scale Type 1 Gunners
Small Scale Type 2 Gunners
Small Scale 8th Army 'Combat Troops'
Small Scale Wild West Header Card

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