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.

Monday, November 6, 2017

News, Views Etc . . . More Stuff!

MPC Mini Ships

Donald D. Hood got in touch from the US of A with loads of fascinating minutiae on the MPC mini-ships, he has real life stuff going-on at the moment, but I'm hopeful that at some point he will flesh out his revelations for the Blog.

In the meantime; it appears many of the MPC vessels are in fact copies of models from other manufacturers, for instance - the Varicella was previously issued as a die-cast by Tri-Ang Minic (along with one of the tugs), several of the battleships seem to be copies of earlier Renwal mini's and the tramp steamer may be from a Lindberg (Pyro) set, along with both ACW 'Ironclad' vessels?

Anyway - hopefully more to come on this one. He also confirmed that there was a retail issue, but of smaller-quantity sets than the comic offers.

Other Ships . . . and cats!
While we're on ships, I found these decorating pedestrian underpasses in Basingrad the other day.

 I don't know the connection (I'll Google it)** between square-rigged, three-decked warships and landlocked Basingstoke, but I'm guessing that if the floods allow either of these to hove into view, you'll be beyond the help of the flooding-helpline!

**Nothing on Google, but it seems one of them is looking like HMS Victory?

The cat is a running gag in Basingrad between one or more graffiti artists and the local authority; which seems to tolerate the understated and artistic stencils! I photographed the other three in a separate set of underpasses some distance from the mosaic ship murals, a couple of years ago for my - then more-active - Faceplant page.

Bible Stories
This chap has been sat in Brain Berke's Folder for too long, he sent it soon after I Blogged the others, shelfie of David (of Goliath fame) from Beverly Hills Teddy Bear (via Greenbriar/DTSC)

Maxxi Toys
Peter Evans has sent another Apache Clan Collection set to the Blog, this one with the 'trotting' cowboy horse, and two new figures, there was the same bag of candy drops, along with another two pieces of fence (so I can now make a four-sided mini-corral) and palm.

While the figures are a bit semi-flat or demi-ronde both would look very acceptable with a re-paint and the cowboy has a plug-in bag of swag, which would make a useful piece of Stagecoach luggage!

I should also point out the cowboy has suffered the same pants-failure as Mr. I. Wraite's Indian and further; that Stuart Asquith had found the same figures in Funtastic branded packaging in Poundland stores; as reported in Plastic Warrior magazine No. 159 a few years ago (20 months odd?), a full report in that issue's letters (back issues available) shows four different foot figures and six foot Indians not seen here - yet!

Artwork's apparently stolen for DVD's or Game packaging!

29-05-2018 - Now known to be being carried by Aliki on the continent and Liberty Imports in the 'States.

Smyths Christmas Stock
I was over in Farnborough checking out the almost empty aircraft-hanger that is Smyths new superstore, looking for Halloween stuff (they had none!) the other day, and picked up a catalogue, I also took the above shelfie of the only thing on their half-mile+ of shelves which caught my eye. It's the same Street machine stuff we saw back in Rack Toy Month (and a recent News, Views . . . it's the bottom-row which really interests), but without the Pioneer branding, nor the Pro Engine Series stuff.

Of more interest are these four sets in the Christmas catalogue; I'm sure there's more around if you Google them, but while some 3D printing stuff is taking a while to get fully off the ground, it is interesting to see really quite cheap aids to modelling (as these are) in the kids stores. I might try 6 or 7? And if you've got kids, you've got an excuse for buying!

They seem to be UV light-activation systems with a reactive polymer-gel or paste, rather than liquid-deposition or powder-based laser-sintering systems, but I can see applications there for war gamers and modellers?

Building armatures, or building onto wire-armatures for instance, scenic efforts, trees, barb-wire entanglements maybe? And with the moulds on the magic maker looking to be flimsy styrene vac-forms, you could develop your own moulds for repeat items, small bunkers, sand-bag emplacements, conversion turrets, wheel/tyre halves etc...

Several records/near-records have been broken in the last few days, with most posts in a year, 2nd best month ever and definitely still on track for the 3-millionth hit inside 11 months - ten to go! And I will post the 2,000th (visible) post here, any day now, if indeed this isn't it, I've been busy away from the Blog this last week and got behind with 'housekeeping'!

Not much since the last News, Views . . . ; all the quarterly results (which generate the toy-related headlines) have been posted and caught by the previous few posts. I think there was another Lego plug in the 'i' and there was more on the Toysaurus (US-side) but I haven't done the cuttings this week yet.

One story which did grab me, although not really affecting the hobby directly was the one about evilBay, Amazon and Co. profiteering from overseas sellers not charging VAT, this is not about second-hand toys or cack like that, but rather new goods, electronics and higher-end consumer-stuff, which are offered at below high street prices by sellers over the Channel or Irish Sea, and which should include VAT, to be taken by the platform and handed to HMRC.

It's not an immediate threat to us, but - as a bit of a scam - it'll become a stick for governments to beat the silicon-valley people with, especially when old-media, establishment paper's like the Daily Wail decide to crusade on the issue.


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