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, June 30, 2018

F is for Follow-up - Vitacup

You may remember that Colin Penn kindly send some images of his Vitacup animals to the Blog a while ago now, with some I hadn't posted, one of which I called - at the time - a "gazelle/deer (with curved horns)", well I now know it was issued as an Impala . . .

Vitacup Farm and Zoo Plastic Figurines Novelty Premium Animals Freebies Giveaways Impala, Small Scale World, smallscaleworld.blogspot.com
. . . and Chris Smith sent me one the other day! Both horns intact which is the trick with several of these 'Ivorene' polystyrene animals, who are both quite robust and brittle at the same time! And - in my defence, I did call it an Impala in the first post, so why I was so vague the next time I don't know!

Vitacup Farm and Zoo Plastic Figurines Novelty Premium Animals Freebies Plastic Toy Deer Doe Fawn, Small Scale World, smallscaleworld.blogspot.com
I have also said - in the ever-lengthening number of Vitacup posts here at Small Scale World - that I believed there was a painted set, or painted versions, and a damaged one of them was also in the lot Chris sent.

Now, it has 'Foreign' on the base which is usually a sign of it being German or Japanese from the 1950's/60's, Hong Kong stuff tended to bang-on about 'Crown Colony' back in the early days. While the temptation is to think Japan (due to its similarity to HK) I wonder if it wasn't actually German.

We had several similar pieces as kids, which we got in 1960 from some hill on the Rhine in Germany (I've mentioned before here), the home of the gnomes? Anyway, they were gold-chromium plated with little plinths and plastic-jewel lanterns etc . . . long-gone now, sadly.

I further stated in one of the early posts on Vitacup that "There are two distinct sculpting styles; a realistic look, which is most of them, and a stylised 'carved' effect..." This deer and several of the other animals are in that style.

Vitacup Farm and Zoo Plastic Figurines Novelty Premium Animals Freebies Plastic Toy Deer Doe Fawn, Small Scale World, smallscaleworld.blogspot.com
Another one on the right, cropped-out from the feebleBay, it has no white spots on it's rump, while mine is compared to the bare one on-screen. I now don't believe the painted ones are Vitacup, but that Vitacup sourced some of their range from the moulds previously used for tourist novelties . . . and possibly German (or Eastern European; Czech?) moulds at that?

That was going to be the full extent of this post, but I was on a roll!

Vitacup Farm and Zoo Plastic Figurines Novelty Premium Animals Freebies Plastic Toy Deer Doe Fawn, Small Scale World, smallscaleworld.blogspot.com
There are in fact six deer, the three above which are quite common, in the carved style and bough-in or otherwise outsourced, and the three below, far less common and possibly from the last set (see below) Vitacup issued, they are - obviously - more realistic sculpts.

We have looked at the horn-addition phenomena before, but it's interesting to see on the [later] three others a male (reverse pose) a female and a smaller fawn, with the common ones they are all the same size and two are the same sculpt, but they fill the same roles?

Suggesting the source of the previous [tourist novelty] poses had dried-up?

Vitacup Farm and Zoo Plastic Figurines Novelty Premium Animals Freebies Sheep Lambs, Small Scale World, smallscaleworld.blogspot.com
That's enough deer dear; trying to get a definitive 'head-count' from the evilBay lot these pale blue ones are cropped out of, led to question marks of what is actually a Vitacup sheep and what isn't? The lamb with inner-flat legs is very Vitacup (the baby elephant is very similar) but seems to need  a base, yet; not to have had one, while the sheep (bottom left) may be a soft-plastic infiltrator to another eBay auction lot.

Vitacup Farm and Zoo Plastic Figurines Novelty Premium Animals Plastic Toy Freebies Goats Kids, Small Scale World, smallscaleworld.blogspot.com
The common goat seems to have been replaced - like the deer - by a similar species (is it a Chamois? Cheviot?) in a new leaping-pose, along with a little kid, fitted with a small bell on a collar.

Vitacup Farm and Zoo Plastic Figurines Novelty Premium Animals Freebies Horses Ponies Foals Plastic Toys, Small Scale World, smallscaleworld.blogspot.com
The horses also suffer from redundancy in what I think was the last issue, with a new halter'less adult (2) replacing the older one (1) and an almost identical foal (4) replacing the earlier sculpt (3), but while the early one was the same size as the horse almost, the new one is smaller, yet there is a smaller one still (5) in the common sets, a copy of 3 but with a bent leg?

Vitacup Farm and Zoo Plastic Figurines Novelty Premium Animals Freebies Fox Wolf Alsatian Pig Hog Wild Boar Plastic Toy, Small Scale World, smallscaleworld.blogspot.com
Is it (top left) a wolf, a vixen or just a replacement 'fox'? For a while I thought it might be a corgi-type, but with a big tail! It might be an Alsatian hound? The wild boar also seems to have had a late update.

Vitacup Farm and Zoo Plastic Figurines Novelty Premium Animals Freebies Plastic Toy Dogs Poodle Greyhound Boxer Bulldog Airdale Scottie Lurcher, Small Scale World, smallscaleworld.blogspot.com
Speaking of dogs, they have risen to five (six if the foxy-wolf is an Alsatian!), with the addition of a racing-dog and a boxer (Dobberman? Rotweiler?), note also that the Internet bulldog doesn't have the painted collar he is often found with.

Studying them on the internet can lead to a belief or suspicion of two alternate rhinoceros sculpts, but I think there is only the one, it's just that it can lose a lot of fine detail in low-resolution images and appear quite different.

I suspect we are looking for a total of 52, broken down into 3 issues of 12 animals per issue being - each time - a mix of farm, woodland, wild/'zoo', birds and domestic pets (including the common sculpts and both versions of the ['bough-in'] deer), and one late issue of 16 less common animals, all pets, farm or woodland.

My current totals are a minimum of 53, or a maximum of 55, if we lose both of the two question-mark sheep and one horse, it adds up? But I bet more turn-up! We will - clearly - return to Vitacup here again; before it's all told.

Known Listing [updated]
(headings are mine)

Domestic (6)
Cat
Poodle
Airedale/Scottie type
Bulldog
Greyhound/Lurcher type
Boxer (Dobberman?)

Farm (14 to/or 16)
Horse (bridle and halter, one leg bent)
Horse (bare head, standing)
Pony/foal (larger, tail longer and pointing up)
Foal (smaller, tail short and pointing down)
Foal (smallest, bent front left leg, copy of pony)
Donkey
Pig
Cow
Calf
Goat (standing)
Kid (bell)
Ram
Lamb (standing head turned)
Lamb walking
Lamb (semi-flat, might not be Vitacup?)
Sheep - Prone (might not be Vitacup?)

European Wildlife/Woodland Animals (14 from 13 sculpts)
Wild Boar 1 (common)
Wild Boar 2 (rarer)
Deer - Doe/Fawn - head to left (no horns, stylised - bought-in moulding)
Deer - Young Stag - head to left (small horns added, stylised - bought-in moulding)
Deer - Young Stag - head to left (small horns, realistic)
Deer/Fawn - looking forwards (no horns, realistic)
Deer - Doe - feeding (no horns stylised - bought-in moulding)
Deer - Fawn (realistic)
Deer - Large Stag (reindeer?)
Mountain Goat/Chamois (leaping off hind legs)
Squirrel
Fox (common, looking to right)
Fox/Vixen or Wolf (rarer, looking forwards, might be Alsatian shepherd-dog)
Rabbit (Hare?)

Wildlife (11)
Rhinoceros
Elephant - adult trumpeting
Elephant - baby
Polar Bear
Bison (Wisent?)
Camel - Bactrian two humped
Lion
Lioness (or Jaguar?)
Giraffe
Kangaroo
Impala

Birds (7)
Pheasant
Duck
Stork/Crane
Pelican
Penguin
Ostrich
Eagle (sea eagle?)



Other (1)
Three Wise Monkeys [left to right-]
·         Hear No Evil
·         See No Evil
·         Speak No Evil

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