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

PIOT is for Peace In Our Time

Happy Easter everyone, I thought we'd look at one of the least known corners of our hobby today as I happened to pick these up for less than a tenner in a charity shop the other day (I know, but those old dears have all the reference works out the back you know , and it was less than a tenner, so I did OK), and they are very hard to track down.

Neville Chamberlin's ill-fated trip to Germany in 1938 was rather brushed-over at the time, and all but forgotten in the heady chaos of 1940, and the shoe-in of Churchill to lead us in our 'finest hour' which became the prase-de-jour however, once Hitler had been dealt with and the threat from the East become more obvious, Chamberlain's ringing endorsement of dealing with strongmen was remembered for the first-class naivety it was.

By the early 1950's parents were regularly chiding their unruly children to bed with the threat of "Peace In Our Time with Mr. Hitler's ghost if you don't behave and settle-down quickly", Squaddie's going off to fight Communism in Korea scrawled PIOT on their helmet covers when the QM wasn't looking and then blamed each-other to get off RP's, while on Humberside striking Dockers even had rubber-stamps made-up in the tool-sheds to leave oxide-red PIOT's on mounted policemen's' horse's rumps during the less than peaceful ruckuses' that accompanied their Industrial Action!

So it's unsurprising to find that the nascent plastics industry soon adopted this cultural meme for the production of novelty figures of Mr Chamberlain with the offending letter he had waved all those years ago tucked into his headband.

The above figure (counting out the 'peace'es') has been credited to both Rafael Lipkin and Chad Valley, although - with its resemblance to Britains 'Twizzle Town' circus - I wonder if it was an early, undocumented experiment in polymer from the - then still - hollow-cast experts? The unpainted one (with body on backwards) could be a later issue but is more likely to be an out-painters cast-off, as unpainted he has no distinctive moustache?

Chamberlin was always depicted as a slightly lunatic character with his hair all over the place and the look of a childish simpleton in these novelties and by the time I was born (1964) the phrase was one every school-boy knew, but the cultural overtones had all but disappeared - along with the novelties - and it was just more 'boring' history!

This 'booble head' figure of Chamberlain (looking fruitlessly in the dirt for the lost peace) is in a phenolic or early styrene resin and could be Kleeware, early Airfix or whoever did the crazy-clown circus?

Nice to finally track them down and at less than a tenner - Bargain! Have you ever seen any readers?

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