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, January 8, 2018

S is for Shackman's Sonsco Soldier Set

A nice set of American dime-store 'pod-foot' knock-offs from Sonsco in Japan, imported into the US via New York jobbing-firm Shackman who have imported just about every kind of toy and plaything over the years.

While British firms were developing Hong Kong's toy trade (with Lois Marx's help!), most of the US import firms, Cragstan, Azrak Hamway International (AHI) Shackman (along with Marx) et.al., were taking advantage of the cheap labour, broken economy and Marshall Plan's need for a resurgent Japan to buttress the West against bolshevism and the Chinese Communists by using Japan for the same thing Britain, the Europeans and Marx were using Hong Kong for - a good supply of cheap toys, but tending to lead, tin-plate and composition rather than the colony's polymers.

Japanese firm Sonsco are known to have supplied Shackman and this set's internal divider seems to have a section of Sonsco logo on, so I've called-it for Sonsco, I wanted the iteration anyway! TJF will - I'm sure - indicate if he disagrees in his usual dulcet fashion!

Although the quality was often poorer than the Western firms whose custom they were taking, they knew how to market and this colourful label beats the boring monochrome labelling of 1950's Britains or Comet into a cocked-hat - there might be a tank or charging cavalry in the box! The fact that these figures are a good as any Barclay (or the other lot . . . Manoil Manufacturing) to the eye, only seals the deal.

The code's probably 2450 or something similar, one of the hollow-cast sites used to have a set of Anti Aircraft figures with the same code (listed as 2450), containing 3xAA guns, 1 radioman and 1 charging soldier; it sounds like it was half the size of this set, so maybe the missing bit of the label is a ..51 or ..60, or even 2470, is that the tail of a seven coming down in the corner?


Terranova47 said...

It used to be great fun to go into their Manhattan store and browse available clockwork toys. Sadly now gone they exist on line with similar items to Paperchase in the UK

Hugh Walter said...

Ahhh! I thought they'd gone altogether, so it's nice to know they're still importing something . . . there may be useful stuff among it, erasers, etc...