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.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

T is for Toy Fair 2018 Reports - Action Man

A weird thing happened at the Toy Fair; there was a display of the Action Man retro re-boot up on the mezzanine walkway round the main hall, lovely stuff, but lots of DO NOT TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS signs liberally spread about the smallish stand, so while Peter chatted to them I took the rather poor video that kicked-off this side-season of fair reports.

But then - when we went down onto the floor of the main hall - there was another outfit, also displaying them! "Can we take photo's?" I said, "Of course" came the reply! So I don't know what the first lot thought they were protecting . . . at a trade show? Promoting stuff?

Anyway I shot off a few, they're not the best, but then 12-inch action figures aren't really what Small Scale World is all about, nevertheless, I loved my Action Man back in the day and actually sold my childhood collection to the man behind these figures, back in around 1995/6! And they are Toy Soldiers!


Also, these have been around for a few years now? I can't remember when the 50th was but Allan Hall from Modellers Loft down there in Dorset (to whom I sold mine, and who is responsible for the three volume work on them) obtained the licence from Hasbro for these many years ago now, and took them to the odd PW show or two and Harfield's  a while back, the 50's have been out for a while now and there were 40th's over a decade ago? It [the license] now seems to reside with an outfit called Art + Science International.

I never liked the 'tiger suit' of the paratrooper, but the latter British Para' was quite outstanding. The box is based loosely on latter boxes from the 1970's, the original was smaller and windowless if I recall correctly?

They are not part of the revamped Hasbro range of all-singing, all-dancing, action-movie types with all the fluorescent idiot-sticks, interactive-whistles and flashing-bells from the owner of the Action Man rights, these are a UK-specific, limited-run, retro 'thing'.

The chap on the left was originally the first tranche / first figure released and came straight from Hasbro's GI Joe, where he is close to the US Army/Marine Corps recruit/basic training uniform of the 1960's, we used the cap with our desert set-up for a Free French FFL type.

I once really upset a Bundeswehr paratrooper-officer 'Fritz' who was staying with my parents by setting-up my Cherilea/Sharna Ware desert half-track under the cherry tree with a face-veil 'camo-net' on sticks as an OP for my three Afrika Korps-dressed Action Mans, went and got Fritz to come and have a look and found him to be rather appalled by what was (looking back) probably anathema to him - a war toy, depicting Nazi-era Germans! He - having been raised in a climate without many such toys - clearly thought I was taking the piss, but I - as a kid - just wanted to impress him!

On the right is the classic British Tommy with Battle Dress and Sten gun, albeit a rather odd stocked French resistance looking type.

I don't know if they've been cleverly matched to the originals or if the/some of the original Hong Kong-based tools were tracked-down but the resemblance to the various outfits of my youth are uncanny.

The footballers were quite problematical back in the day, both the socks and the shirt/jersey sleeves showing a tendency to ladder and unravel into long stings of fluffy fluff! So I hope these are better made.

Likewise; I only hope the wet-suit has been made out of something more modern and hard-wearing that the melty-crumbly suits we had as kids, I well remember the sleeves of our action-man's orange suit slowly getting stickier and stickier as small fragments meandered-off  and stuck to the carpets like little mandarin amoeba!

Again; the skis, ski-sticks and snow-shoes all look to be accurate representations of the ones we had when we were young, and the M1 Garand (in white, there was a brown one as well) looks equally authentic?

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