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.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

P is for Papo - 5 - Forts

Well I said we'd return to Papo to look at the Medieval Knight and similar Fantasy sections and that's what that is, this is! We're starting with the forts.

There were three rather nice forts on display at the Toy Fair, in wood and/or card as per the Pirate ships we looked at last time, along with a new one in the catalogue which is a bit differnet and something for smaller scale collectors.

The three together, it's pretty obvious but I'll suspect, assume and presume (to wind the usual suspects up) that they are in separate price brackets, but the differences between the two left-hand ones re- both playability and number of components/size probably mean they are similarly priced at the higher end, the smaller, predominantly grey one to the right having simpler components will be the true 'budget' one.

So let's look at it first; Mon Premier Château - My First Castle (code: 60006), ignore the two little bags, we'll be coming back to them in a day or two. All three forts were displayed with a mixture of both the knights and fantasy figures from the full-height ranges so you could get an idea of size versus scale and as you can see; even the larger monsters have plenty of room to occupy the nooks and crannies of the castle and to move around the battlements.

This keep'less 'mile-fort' has a simple slot-together construction, which leaves those little protrusions at the junctions of walls and tower sections. You will also notice that both the height of the battlements and the depth of the crenellations leave the fort equally ideal for play with- or display of- smaller 60 or 54mm figures. And is that a sticker sheet I see through the portcullis? I think it is!

The main difference between the other two is that the one in the centre of the line up (60002- Le Château du Maître des Armes - The Castle of the Men at Arms) had two of the larger towers at the front corners and a third as a keep, the other (60004 - Le Château des Chevailiers - The Knight's Castle) has only one as a keep, with four more crusader-looking corner-towers.

However, you will have noticed the positioning of the firing slits matches the slots for the connections between the walls and tower/gate-house sections? I knew you had! The whole line is a modular system and additional pieces can be purchased to build a complex as large as your house or budget will allow;

60020 - Large Tower
60021 - Small Tower
60022 - Gate House/Portcullis with Drawbridge
60023 - Pair of Long Walls with Tower Connectors
60024 - Pair of Medium-length Walls with Tower Connectors
60025 - Pair of Short Walls with Tower Connectors

The men-at-arms' castle is also available in a more playful dark gray paint-scheme with red highlights as 60052 - Le Château des Mutants - The Mutants' Castle, within the fantasy range.

Penultimately (as far as this post goes) there is this, described as PVC, I suspect that's shorthand/jargon; companies like Papo have long-since phased out true PVC for safer alternatives, but as I too use PVC for tagging modern non-PVC's I get where they are coming from. It's scaled to fit with the Mini range and looks to be a neat little thing? There's also a rather nice French farmhouse and double barn/outbuilding in the same series (33100)

There is one other fort in the catalogue, new for 2018 and part of the tie-in with Isiploy, called Le Château du Prince Philippe (60007) it is manufactured - like the pirate ships and arctic play-set we looked at in February- in a heavy-duty card/craft-board. And it's about time he got one of his own, that Lizzie-bet, she's got several!

While 60027 is a folding, ridged 'tray' (wooden play-mat), over printed with a cobbled court-yard effect, this is 73x45cm and large enough for any of the forts, with some expansions.

I should finally add - the My First Castle is not part of the modular system; having lower walls, its slots don't line-up with the 'system forts', likewise; Phillip's Palace is not compatible with any of the others . . . and - from a health and safety of knights and men-at-arms point of view - seems to have a few inherent trip-hazards in it's walkway-construction!

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