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.

Friday, August 25, 2017

M is for Mini Armoured-Cars

Well, this year's Rack Toy Month seems to have degenerated into a perusal of all the odd vehicles I have kicking around, but it might as well be that as anything else, they're only rack toys; whichever way you cut'em. Today it's a quick look at some mini armoured cars.

This one appears to be a header card-less Christmas cracker insert or it's possibly from a crane-machine or similar - those hoop throwing stalls at fairs sometimes had stuff like this on the easy blocks lower down the pyramid, nearer the throwers, After dark with multicoloured fairy-lights and a crinkly-bag you didn't always know what you were trying to win . . . unless it was a Gonk!

For younger viewers: a Gonk was what a Furby was called before some marketing-fuck got hold of it, registered it as 'new' and changed its name to 'Furby'! Ending the Traveller community's faux-fur-wrapping-round-loo-rolls industry at a stroke.

It's a hybrid (the AFV; not the Gonk) between a Saracen (wheels), Ferret (hull/engine doors) and M46/47 (turret; or is it a T34?), to which has been added a space-war, sonic-disintegrator cannon and two sparrow-missiles on a pintle-mount! It doesn't get any better in the world of Rack Toy tat than this . . . or any worse! There's an empty hole for something else (radar? Greek flag? Britains rake!) and a copy of the old Airfix HO/OO US Marine throwing a grenade, clearly modelled from wet mud . . . I love it.

Both called Fighting Set, one is generic and dated 1968, the other branded to an SF which could be a made-up-brand, or a clue to the producer. One of the hulls is a reasonable copy of the old Matchbox 1-75 series Saracen and with the correct turret looks the part, however the other hull is as bad as the previous one (but different) and with a choice of plug-ins it's only odds of about 35/65 that you get the full Saracen in any pack!

The 25lbr is a reasonable model, possibly a scale-down from the Dinky version which was the better of the ones I remember as a kid; Lone Star's were a bit odd, Crescent and Britains went with more chunky models. Coming with the commonest type of Airfix '1st Version' Germans and/or 8th Army randomly packed in twos (and gun) or fours (with no gun), sometimes the armoured car is replaced . . .

 . . . with an 'action figure' sized copy of the Marx 'dress your own swoppet' GI's machine-gun (See Peter Evan's article in Plastic Warrior magazine No. 140, pp2/3), I don't know if Marx issued it in a larger size, or if it was just the piracy-elves in Hong Kong were responsible? We have looked at the Indian here, I think; or the cowboy, but not the GI [moveable combat soldier with accessories], although I do have him somewhere . . . maybe in September?

A scan of the undated card to the left (it will be no more than a year or two either side of the other card's recorded 1968) and because I had a poor shot, I played with it in Picasa 'till it looked like an illustration from an old 1970's war-gaming book!

Mercifully looking like a Saracen - we've seen this set before (studying paratroopers!), so included here for completion only, artwork is the same as the undated SF-branded cards, itself dated 1969 but unbranded and with the accompanying figures including a Britains Lilliput figure pose - being shot.

Later the same day - all mentions of Saracen in this and tomorrow's post should of course read 'Saladin'! Cheers Andy!


Andy B said...

tch, tch- Hugh-

That was a Saladin armoured car, not a Saracen, the latter was the APC!

Hugh Walter said...

You're right! All the way through . . . anyone would think I'm making it up as I go along . . . again :-)


Technically. . . .they have the same hull and running gear . . .just a Saracen has more reverse gears and less 'forward' ones!!!!