About Me

My photo
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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

H is for How They Come In - Yesterday!

A bit of a Brucie Bonus; even as I was posting the last two How They Come In's yesterday, I was carrying these four in my pocket, a quid each for the Mermaid (The Works) and the -  over muscled (has he had a makeover?) - Goblin from Marvel (Newsagent) and 50p for the two kittens (Charity shop), which I assume are from one of the pocket-pet series'? Ten minutes in/up the High Street!

1 The Works PU Resin Mermaid Kisses And Seashell Wishes Fantasy Figures; Fantasy Models; Plastic Figurines; Plastic Toys; Pocket Money Toy; PU Resin; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
Poured resin, and glitter, it's not got a lot of redeeming features, but it's a figure! Although I notice there's a design-matched sticker hiding a printers typo ....made, ....miad, ....mayd?

2 Zuru Spiderman 1 Blind Bag; Fantasy Figures; Fantasy Models; Pocket Money Toy; PVC Vinyl Rubber; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Super Hero; Superheroes;
Seen 'em before, Zuru, six new designs, this is my second, and . . . err . . . that's it.

3 The Works PU Resin Mermaid Kisses And Seashell Wishes Zuru Spiderman Kittens DSCN8604 Blind Bag; Fantasy Figures; Fantasy Models; In My Pocket; Kittens; Pets; Plastic Figurines; Plastic Toys; Pocket Money Toy; PU Resin; PVC Vinyl Animals; PVC Vinyl Rubber; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Super Hero; Superheroes;
It's a never ending stream of figural stuff, some of it really good, or really cool, or really rare, some of it so-so, some of it is utterly pointless shite! But it's 'horses for courses' and all in the eye of the beholder (or self-deceiver!) and I only hope everyone finds something for them in the Small Scale World saloon!

News, Views Etc . . . Pound's, -World, -Land and '+Plus!

Poundland

I'll start with Poundland, who after their often featuring in these News' posts in the past as they took-over 99p Stores and then suffered a hiccup or two of their own, have been pretty quiet recently, while Poundworld have been filling the column-inches with their own woes.

Last December (I know, I haven't done a decent 'News, Views . . .' since October - too much other, better stuff to publish . . . and some fun shite!) shares in Poundland plunged by 63% in a day following the sudden departure of Markus Jooste, CEO of Steinhoff amid news of financial irregularities. Christo Weise (head of Brait - the biggest shareholder) took over and the keel evened. PwC are investigating, so nothing to report there; huh?

More bad news - for the Poundland management - followed at the beginning of February when the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) pulled all the online adverts 'staring' the Elf on a Shelf' for gratuitous sexuality.

The elf was posed playing strip-poker with three dolls; naked in a sink with two dolls taking selfies (or were they elfies?); getting a little too-close to a donkey for most jurisdictions (I think it's legal in Alabama, and 'blind-eye' acceptable in some parts of Central Asia!); and errr . . . 'riding' a [Santa's] toothbrush. As I fucking hate the [recently imported, nothing to do with Christmas traditions] little shelf-elf fucker, this was - in my opinion - bloody good news!

In May the original founder (Steven Smith, he sold the store-chain in 2002) of Poundland's house came on the market for a cool £3.9-million pounds, apparently priced to sell because they wanted a quick sale! Best described as 'plantation-style' porn-palace pile in pink-brick, it was originally offered at £6.5-mil'!

Finally and taking-us neatly on to Poundworld; Mr smith announced earlier this month (July) that he was interested in buying some of the ailing Poundworld empire to try to save it.

₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪

Poundworld / Poundworld+Plus
Easier to do this one as a diary, I have been chatting to the guys in Poundworl+Plus here in Fleet as the whole thing unravelled, as there are few new jobs for lesser-skilled or younger job-seekers in a middle-class dormitory-town like this, and they were happy to get the positions when the store opened not that long ago. What they were being told by head-office varied greatly from either that which was in the press and what tended to be announced to the 'City', the day after they (the staff) had been told something else!

April 27th
It is announced that up to 1,500 jobs are at risk as Poundworld pursues a restructuring plan that could shut about a third of its stores. It is looking at a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) to enable rent-reduction and the closing of up to 100 unprofitable stores - so far, so Toys 'Я' Us! TPG capital (the owner) is reported ready to inject £40m into the business, they also being owners of the Prezzo restaurant chain - also seeking a CVA and closing sites!

June 7th
It is rumoured that Poundworld could collapse within days putting all 355 stores (and 5,300+ jobs) at risk. Between the April and June headlines TGP had trousered the £40m and put the chain up for sale, potential buyers Alteri Group were by the beginning of June having second thoughts - presumably having seen 'the books' - so far, so Toys 'Я' Us!

June 11th
Administrators appointed - so far, so Toys 'Я' Us!

June 19th
100+ redundancies are announced at head office - so far, so Toys 'Я' Us!

June 21st
Closing-down sale begins with consultants Hilco called in to organise clearance of stock, administrators Deloitte taking over from what's left of management  - so far, so Toys 'Я' Us!

June 22nd
Someone [unnamed by the 'i'] blames the Government for denying a rate-cut to Poundworld which would have unlocked £4.1m of funding (your/our 'tax-payers' money), from a fund of £3.4Bn earmarked for ailing companies, it relies on the rate cuts that should have come with the CVA - but was probably also reliant on the owner's forking-up of the £40m?

July 3rd
Original founder of Poundworld (Chris Edwards - 1974) blames the administrators for preventing his rescue bid of 180 stores. Creditors are fingered by Deloitte as being a 'priority' while Mr Edwards claims that with every day of fire sale the stores become harder to save as stock isn't being replenished, bankers Santander finally wake-up, too late!

July 10th
As mentioned above, rival founder of Poundland (Steven Smith - 1990) throws his hat in the ring; at this - late - stage, he's presumably looking for a bargain to offset against his cut-price house sale!

July 11th
Deloitte announce 25 branches will close on Sunday (15th), with the rest of the chain continuing to trade while a buyer is sought, despite all buyers pulling out, and neither Chris Edwards or Steven Smith apparently being considered? Clare Boardman of Deloitte explains that it would be nice to sell part of the business while banging-on about failing to sell the whole business! Number of stores is now being reported to be only 335 - typo there somewhere!

July 13th
Fleet store puts "Last 10 days" signage up, despite not being on initial published list.

July 14th
Announcement of another 80 stores to close, bringing total redundancies to 1,266; Deloitte 'still trying to find a buyer' but clearly not the two guys trying to buy it?

July 18th
Another 40 stores join the growing list - back to the Toys 'Я' Us model of doing things!

July 20th
Head office closes, warehouse operations cease (meaning all outstanding stock is in stores), and an unspecified number of extra store join the list. The Times reports all stores will close 'early next month'.

July 22nd
Fleet closed - so far, so Toys 'Я' Us!

Deloitte (one of the 'big four' global's) will get their money, Santander (Spanish) will get their money, TPG Capital (US) will be registered as creditors and probably get their money, redundancies will be marked-down by the level of collapse and the staff will only get some of their money! Suppliers and Landlords will have to fight for theirs!

That's Thatcherite-Raganomic free-market capitalism folks and you keep voting for it.

50,000 jobs lost in the last 12 months - on the high-street.

Toys 'Я' Us, Maplin, and Poundworld are the tip of an iceberg which TGP's restaurant chain Prezzo will join!

And Brweaksit won't help, it will make it easier for US companies to dump UK assets and harder for Spanish banks to save them! But then - if you still believe in Brwreaksit, now; you're a fuckwit.

H is for How They Come In - One Day in July . . . 2014!

Another day's purchases, this from a trip to Basingrad in July 2014, and we've had articles here on most of it, but I'm clearing Picasa with these posts you know!

1 Mixed Plastic Toy And Model Figures DSCN6624 5200; Bar Scene; BJ Toys; Blue Sky; Lego Bricks; Lego Simpsons; Merit; Model Scene; Noch; Pullbay Pencil Racers; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Team GB; The Hobbit; The Simpsons; TV Characters; TV Related; Unpainted Passengers & Station Staff;
The Noch bar set and the Model Scene came from the Church Street model shop, the skydivers and the pencil/eraser/sharpener set both came from The Works I think, not sure about the Team GB Olympic clearance thing (the now defunct 99p Stores?), while the blind-bag dino's and Hobbit stuff was also The Works I suspect.

The Bart Simpson was a blind-bag from WHSmith's or someone similar - it may have been reduced in Tesco, but it was a while ago!

2 The Hobbit Desolation Of Smaug TV Movie Plastic Toy Figures Blind Bag DSCN5829 Lucky Dip; Movie Promotional; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; TV Character; TV Related; TV Tie Ins; TV Toys;
Can't remember if we looked at these here, or another pair, also I think these and the dino's may have been bought in another Works a week earlier and just hung-around to end-up in the same collective shot?

Much covered elsewhere, so I won't bore you with the minutiae, there were differences between the first and second series' plastic colours I seem to recall, and these are 2nd series I think?

3 5200 Unpainted Rail Staff And Passenger Set Modelscene Merit Toy Model Plastic Railway Sceneoic Accessory Set DSCN6964-001 Models; Railway Scenics; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Unpainted Passengers & Station Staff;
The naming of the parts! This has been sat in Picasa waiting for god-knows-what post, but I thought the way the bare runner was arranged in the blister made it ideal for labelling-up, if only to illustrate the difference between the 'Sprue' (missing in most kits/figure packs) and the 'Runners' which a lot of people refer-to as sprue, and a few idiots lesser mortals [I must stop insulting everyone] call sprew, sproo or spru!

Some kits, in the past, have had sprue left on; early Aurora, Pyro and Revell-Monogram type model-kits often included them while some of the late-production, unpainted Starlux 40mm in the 'figure set' boxes were packed with the sprue intact, in both cases (old kits and later figures) the sprue had a tendency to damage the box/box-art over time by wearing a hole/working through the card.

The reason the actual sprue ends-up cone-shaped is because it stretches as it's pulled away from the still-hot injector head during the removal of the runners/product from the mould-tool.

Monday, July 30, 2018

New, Views Etc . . . Toys Я Going...Going...Still Going!

Kerching!
Despite the end coming some time ago, news stories continue to surface about TRU, not lest the recent spate of articles - in the major press - on the sale of six former Toy 'R' Us sites for £30.5m squids, one of the purchasers being Cardiff City Council? Plymouth Council has bought another (and funnily enough Plymouth is one I've been to!), I guess they are looking at conversion to sports facilities or maybe those multi-store craft/antiques markets?

Three have gone to an unnamed retail chain, so will remain shops of some type while the sixth is to be converted into housing it seems?

Gone Under - Down Under
Back in June it was announced that the 44 Australian stores were all to close through July, the whole group including the US parentage is going to be wound-up in the fullness of time, with a few US stores continuing as clearance depots.

As I've said before, not something I'll actually morn, they created the industry-model which destroyed them.

Still Trading!
However there was a good news story (for those who persistently and without reason, cling to a vague 'faith in humanity'); in Cheltenham one autistic lad was so bereft at the closure of his local store, and unable to fully comprehend it (it was his favorite store from infanthood) having fixed-it in his mind, as a constant in his life (as autistic's can), that his mother wrote to TRU explaining the worrying predicament.

Gloucester store invited him down, showed him the 'dead' Toysaurus, gave him a tour so he could finalise its demise - mentally - and presented him with logo boards (including Lego!), point-of sale display boards, an opening-times entrance sign, a large Geoffrey Giraffe and etcetera; allowing him to re-create a permanent TRU in his bedroom - which he has now done!

H is for How They Come In - Sunday Surprise!

The 'phone went last Sunday, not too early, but I was veging on my bed in the extraordinary heat we had last week, Adrian was passing and had a 'few bits' for me, he's be about five minutes . . . so I flung some flip-flops on and wandered down to the road . . .

1 Bata Toy Soldiers Hong Kong Model Figures Aeroplane Aircraft totem Pole DSCN8370 Aircraft; Bata Rubber; Bata Toy Soldiers; Cave Man; Cavemen; Hong Kong Plastic Toy; Khaki Infantry; Made in Hong Kong; Prehistoric; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Totem Pole; Wild West; Swoppets Cow Boys Indians WWI French Czechoslovakian Plastic Soldiers
. . . to take delivery of these! I'd mentioned to him that I was after some more Bata (pronounced Barter, not Batter - I know because they had an interview with one of the UK Work's foremen on the World Service the other day (try 'Eye-Witness History')) and he kindly found these within the month! There are four OK and four with minor damage (missing extremities) which is pretty par-for-the-course with these early rubber figures now.

Technically they are Czech (or Czechoslovakian) figure production, but there's every possibility the moulds did the rounds of each Bata factory, so British ones may be British-made? One of the things I learnt from the recently broadcast interview was that in some parts of Africa bata has become the generic term for shoes, so common was the brand locally in the mid-20th Century!

To the Bata Adrian had added a bunch of mini/micro aeroplanes, a couple of mounted Rocco guardsmen and a few Hong Kong bits. We will return to the small pile of mounted Wild West in RTM in a week or two, well; few days now!

2 Prehistoric Made In Hong Kong Swoppet Cave Man Cavemen Plastic Toy Figures-001 Cave Man; Cavemen; Made in Hong Kong; Prehistoric; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; gum-ball machine, capsule-prizes Swoppets, Plastic Figures
However the caveman joined his mates for a quick photo-shoot, I suspect these are by/from LP/Lucky Toys as they have similar codes to the other figures from the range (excepting the spacemen) and in a similar format to their 'Funimals', but I haven't - as yet - identified the dinosaurs I [also] suspect they should be accompanied by?

They may - of course - be gum-ball machine or capsule-prizes though; due to their small size (50mm), which would make them stand-alone 'novelties'.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

H is for How They Come In - One Day in April

Shot's dated the 18th April, so I guess it was of stuff which 'came in' a day or so before if not the same day, and like yesterday's post, was a trip up Fleet high-street, popping into the charity shops.

We've looked at the bears recently, and the mini-vehicles nearly got posted this week but they'll wait a while now - it's a growing post! The ceramic cockerel might be a French Feves (but the assumption is open to a charge of nationalism!) and the dogs look a bit Disney?  The fancy/fantasy King and Queen also look 'a bit' Disney, but are in fact ELC (Early Learning Centre) and as generic as can be - in so far as they aren't TV or movie character related or anything like that - with ELC stamped on them!
We've looked at the bears recently, and the mini-vehicles nearly got posted this week but they'll wait a while now - it's a growing post! The ceramic cockerel might be a French Feves (but the assumption is open to a charge of nationalism!) and the dogs look a bit Disney?

The fancy/fantasy King and Queen also look 'a bit' Disney, but are in fact ELC (Early Learning Centre) and as generic as can be - in so far as they aren't TV or movie character related or anything like that - with ELC stamped on them!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

H is for How They Come In - Wednesday's Purchases

Posting will be intermittent and bitty for the next couple of weeks as I've got this 'getting everything out of storage' thing going on, with little plan for it and no time! But I sometimes work better under pressure!

And so to the teeming metropolis of Farnborough for a month's supply of vapeing ancillaries, and a swift visit to a couple of charity shops they have there . . .

1 Carrara Marble Fontanini WHSmith Dinosaurs Plastic Toy Soldier Figures Fairies Ravensburger DSCN8527 Vintage Old Plastic Figures Board Game Pieces
This lot owes me the grand total of £4.50p! and the most expensive item was the board-game from Ravensburger with the four fairies at two-quid! The Carrara/Fontanini (Italianate Fusilier?) from the other shop was a pound-and-a-half which even I'll concede is a bargain; I usually have to pay 4-7-quid each for them, while the Supreme Indian was thrown in with the two dinosaurs for a quid; back in Fleet later the same day.

The Fontanini was in the window along with about 9 ceramic ones of similar size, from two sources, one having better paint, the other thinner bases. I didn't look at the prices as I know I would have bought them all if they were a similar price to the plastic one, and while it may be a bargain, I can't buy everything!

Also the Fontanini has a shop-sticker on his base saying Rotated - Week 18, which means he's moved shop [unsold] at least three times - stock tends to get four weeks in one store? As is own sticker is off-centre and there's a chip to the other side of the plinth, I may remove him from the marble and have him as a stand-alone 160mm figure - with plinth and headdress plume he's currently 190-mil' in total.

The fairies - from the game Disney Fairies Magical Flower Garden Game - all look similar but are different poses and I've already christened them 'Hot Pants' (white), 'Miniskirt' (pink), 'Twin Set' (yellow) and 'Grecian Wrap' (blue), although they are almost impossible to photograph in that semi-transparent/translucent 'jelly-baby' vinyl!

The Protoceratops was interesting as he/she seems to be a pre-WHSmith version of the ones I was buying from the same store a couple of years ago . . . last year? Anyway, the previously purchased one is the left of each shot, and you can see the new addition has better definition in the moulding, different eye treatments and marginally better (or 'less lazy') paint.

I was buying them on-offer, occasionally, in a three-for-a-fiver deal - I think - but can't remember if I posted them all? I only got the nine, leaving a pterodactyl and plesiosaur that I remember - probably a couple of others that didn't leap out at me - and which will come in over time anyway, like the most recent recruit to the 'herd'!

Friday, July 27, 2018

News, Views Etc . . . Forthcoming Events

Toy Fairs

Saturday 28th July 2018

Horsted Keynes  -  - Joe Lock Fairs (Bluebell Railway toy fair)
Horsted Keynes Station, Station Approach, Horsted Keynes , East Sussex, RH17 7BB
Mob. - 07866 641 215
10:00-16:00hrs
Admission included A) with a train ticket or B) production of Bluebell Line membership card or C) by purchasing a platform ticket (remember them) if you don't want a trip down the line!

Sunday 29th July 2018

Aston Clinton - Brian Chamberlain Fairs
Green Park Activities & Training Centre, Stablebridge Road, Aston Clinton, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP22 5NE
Mob. - 07864 641 215
10am - 2.30pm
Early bird from 8.30am
(poorly advertised, no website?)

Boreham - SRP Toy Fairs
New Hall School, Whit Heart Lane (via General's Lane), Boreham, Essex, CM3 3HS
Tel. - 07739 998 012
10.00 - 14.00hrs

Minehead - Chris Dyer Fairs
Minehead Eye, Mart Road, Minehead, TA24 5BJ
Tel. - 01643 702 757
Mob. - 07966 694 579
10.30 - 15.00hrs
Admission £2

Wilton - Steven Clements
Michael Herbert Hall, South Street, Wilton, Wiltshire SP2 0JS 
Tel. - 01380 725 322
Mob. - 07958 101 891


Tuesday 31st July 2018

Garstang - Janet Pearson (evening fair)
Kirkland & Catterall Memorial Hall, PR3 0HR
Tel. - 01282 439 009
18:00 - Finnish
(another one which thinks it needn't advertise?)

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Other Events

Friday 27th (today) - Sunday 29th July 2018


London (Olympia) - London Film & Comic Convention
Exhibitions, trade stalls, show exclusives, over 100 guest stars booked.
Note - you need to double check on tube times as I seem to recall is a funny service there weekdays v. weekends?



Saturday 28th July 2018

For those whose other-halves' might posses a collection of battery-operated silicon toys, the above event may be just the ticket? If you're feeling horny, get down to Margate this Saturday - 'Fun Day' indeed - all those camp-sites; it's bound to be a hotbed of swinging!

Horsted - Bluebell Line Events Day - see; Toy Fairs (above)

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Auctions

Sunday 29th July 2018

Hanham - East Bristol Auctions
Tel. - 011 79 671 000

Tuesday 31st July

Newbury - Special Auction Services (SAS - Express Toys auction)
81 Greenham Business Park, Newbury, West Berkshire, RG19 6HW
Tel - 01635 580595
Fax - 0871 714 6905

F is for Follow-up - X-200

Brain Sent this as a follow-up to the previous post, it's s cracker! Games Workshop Cybermen I believe, in the classic (to me) layout/physiognomy! They work well!

Pyro Kleeware Tudor Rose X-200 Space Ranger X-100 Spaceship Plastic Dime Store Toy Model  Dimestore Dreams; Kleeman; Made in England; Made in USA; Polystyrene Toys; Pyro Toys; Sci Fi Toys; Science Fiction Toys; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Patrol;
And a nice side-shot of the ship which was absent from the post the other day!! Silver overalls and giant ear-muffs, they're the Cybermen I hid from behind the sofa! Cheers Brian.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

X-200 is for Space Ranger

We have looked at this machine before, but I've ferreted away a few shots of a silver one with the hanging stud (courtesy of Steve Vickers), and shot a bi-coloured one on Adrian's table some time ago, so we might as well have another look at the X-200 Space Ranger from Pyro originally, mould lent to Tudor Rose and probably also issued by Kleeman/Kleeware at some point.

1 Pyro Kleeware Tudor Rose X-200 Space Ranger X-100 Spaceship Plastic Dime Store Toy Model Dimestore Dreams; Kleeman; Made in England; Made in USA; Polystyrene Toys; Pyro Toys; Sci Fi Toys; Science Fiction Toys; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Patrol;
Where the X-100 Space Scout was a simple, slightly flimsy 'dime store' one-piece moulding with clip-in wheels, the next one up - as it were - is a far more substantial piece, made of two heavier mouldings, glued together, with carpet wheels half-hidden in chunky, fluted fairings, either side of the fuselage and in the tail.

The rod sticking-up from the silver version above is for the attachment of a spring-clip or plastic tube, which - in some larger boxed play-sets - allowed it (with a liberal dose of imagination) to fly! Basically it went round and round a central pole or handle.

Dimestore Dreams; Kleeman; Made in England; Made in USA; Polystyrene Toys; Pyro Toys; Sci Fi Toys; Science Fiction Toys; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Patrol; 2 Pyro Kleeware Tudor Rose X-200 Space Ranger X-100 Spaceship Plastic Dime Store Toy Model
The underside and more views; I don't know if there is any significance (price-wise) between single-colour mouldings or bi-coloured one's, or if it was an entirely random thing? If you're old enough to remember boxes or glass-shelf displays of them in retailers; may I ask - can you remember if they were sold alongside each-other or at separate times/in separate price brackets?

3 Pyro Kleeware Tudor Rose X-200 Space Ranger X-100 Spaceship Plastic Dime Store Toy Model 2 Dimestore Dreams; Kleeman; Made in England; Made in USA; Polystyrene Toys; Pyro Toys; Sci Fi Toys; Science Fiction Toys; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Patrol;
Pictured before an auction lot was 'divvied-up' a decade ago; I think it ended-up in my collection, but it may not have! The marking 'discs' were interchangeable tool-inserts and can read any one of . . .

Pyro (the Pyro in a pennant cartouch)
USA
Made in USA
Made in Pyro USA (the Pyro in a pennant cartouch)
Pyro USA
Kleeware
Kleeware England
Made in Kleeware England
Tudor Rose
Tudor * Rose
Tudor * Rose Made In England (separate marking along bodies)
Made in England

. . . the last being the one seen here on a tail fin, there are sometimes two of the discs (larger than release-pin marks) on the models, particularly the bigger ships (but this only has the one) and they can also be blanked-off, as it is on the silver one.

Dimestore Dreams; Kleeman; Made in England; Made in USA; Polystyrene Toys; Pyro Toys; Sci Fi Toys; Science Fiction Toys; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Patrol; 4 Pyro Kleeware Tudor Rose X-200 Space Ranger X-100 Spaceship Plastic Dime Store Toy Model DSCF9004
The model got a new lease of life with an almost identical clone in Bill Hanlon's Binary Arts Corp./Dimestore Dreams range back in the 2000's ('Rhayyy!) but also the indignity of a marque-downgrade to X-100; the old number of the simple Space Scout (Boooo!), it also got a simpler (yet more accurate?) 'Spaceship' re-moniker.

It didn't get its christenings moulded on its nose which gives it cleaner lines and while it is a very good reproduction of the original, there are a couple of differences, for instance; its having slightly heavier widow frames, there are also slightly less-pronounced 'cuffs' circling the tips of the rocket-engines and the ship's nose, giving it a more streamlined look.


Pure 'pulp' and one of my favourite toys, as while technically I'm too young to be in the generation who had these as 'every-day' toys, there were plenty of old Kleeware or Tudor Rose ones kicking-around when I was a kid, either as hand-me-downs or as corner-shop/beach-toy kiosk old-stock!

Because it's here! Some of you may have spotted this in the surprise parcel from Chris Smith the other day, well; it's very timely! Another of the Dimstore Dreams range, these were more of a homage - I think - than an actual 1950's model, but I stand to be corrected?

There were about 7 military vehicles/versions I think, including telecom's, pick-up truck and wrecker versions of this vehicle and a rather nice 'throwback' motorcycle, I have the military ones in storage from the press-release stuff reviewed in One Inch Warrior magazine (back in 2000/1?) so we will return to them here at some point!

And speaking of 'Dime Store' - Rodney's Dimestore has added tones of info/data since I last visited it and is well worth a hour or two's surfing if you're at a fag-end in this heat!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

L is for Latecomers!

I was sorting the 'my pictures' folder the other day and found several folders which weren't registering in Picasa, they can drop-off for various reasons (renaming all the images [in the folder] will cause it to disappear [from the screen] in Picasa!), although it's usually if the containing-folder is moved, which occasionally happens by accident.

One of the folders was from the Guards mini-season back in 2012/2013? And it's that one we'll look at now, it's odd that A) I didn't notice they weren't Blogged at the time and B) has three random images of other figures, in with what are mostly the Timpo/Toyway variants?

54mm Figures; 54mm Swoppets; 54mm Toy Soldiers; Ceremonial Guards; Ceremonial Troops; Guards Division; Plastic Toy Soldiers; Polyethylene Toy Soldiers; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Swoppet Guards; Swoppet Heads; Swoppets; Timpo Ceremonials; Timpo Guards; Timpo Toys;
Timpo/Toyway; oldest at the top, question marks at the bottom. And from the top, they are; first version better paint, a pair of simpler paint and the SLR Shoulder-Arms pose from the second version, the officer placed mid-way as his paint, being different is harder to place.

Then the rest of the second type with two officers, one having gold collar and epaulettes, the other black. Below them are four first version, re-issued in PVC and fine-painted as a third version by Toyway, and below them are some cruder ethylene or polypropylene 'bits' which I assume are Toyway, but whether they came before or after the PVC ones I don't know, they may be test-shots, especially the blue officer? French Guards . . . unthinkable!

54mm Figures; 54mm Swoppets; 54mm Toy Soldiers; Ceremonial Guards; Ceremonial Troops; Guards Division; Plastic Toy Soldiers; Polyethylene Toy Soldiers; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Swoppet Guards; Swoppet Heads; Swoppets; Timpo Ceremonials; Timpo Guards; Timpo Toys;
The paint difference between the first versions is limited to gold paint on the collar/epaulettes of those with the earlier bases.

The other comparison is between the second versions SLR's, now I genuinely don't know if Timpo did a brown and black version, or if the brown ones are only from Replicants, who I believe did produce some. As Replicants use a grade of polyethylene very similar in properties to that used by Timpo, would you even know the difference? Ours were black when we were kids, but I've seen more brown ones in recent years!

54mm Figures; 54mm Swoppets; 54mm Toy Soldiers; Ceremonial Guards; Ceremonial Troops; Guards Division; Plastic Toy Soldiers; Polyethylene Toy Soldiers; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Swoppet Guards; Swoppet Heads; Swoppets; Timpo Ceremonials; Timpo Guards; Timpo Toys;
A Toyway blister-card of these came-up on evil-feeble-feeBay a while ago and they went for a pretty penny to a bit of a bidding 'war', and why wouldn't they; they are arguably the best version, faces are a bit pale, but more realistic for being so, the PVC is hard-wearing, and they are painted to a high-standard with proper PVC-paint which takes a lot to remove.

The Attention pose's legs though are wrong for a Royal Salute, the twos being in-line, either they are the officers Attention legs, or Toyway had a new pair knocked-up? In fact - looking at the boots; they have used the second version legs with first version bodies for the whole set!

And second version bearskins with first-version heads? Bases are the mid-era one with a Timpo Toys cartouche in the centre. But the three 'odds' at the bottom of the big line-up shot shows first-version legs, so Toyway had them both?

54mm Figures; 54mm Toy Soldiers; 60mm Toy Soldiers; Brass Section; Ceremonial Guards; Ceremonial Troops; Cherilea 60mm Soldiers; Cherilea Plastic Bandsman; Cherilea Plastic Musician; Cherilea Toy Soldiers; Guards Division; Guards Drummer; Lone Star 54mm Guards; Lone Star Guardsman; Plastic Toy Soldiers; Polyethylene Toy Soldiers; Polystyrene Toy Soldiers; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
These three shots were also in the folder, and yet I'm sure we saw most of them in the thematic posts at the time, so I don't know what I was playing at, but it may be a clue as to why the folder disappeared, moving stuff around?

On the left is a Charbens drummer, sans-drum! As the drum was missing from PW's in their recent excellent tome on the subject of Charbens; I'm guessing I'll have more luck looking for rocking-horse shit? Thinks . . . I might have a khaki-green drum with two studs close-together somewhere, could that be it? Or am I thinking about something I saw in someone else's stock - blue and white painted edge and red rope-work VɅVɅV's painted over, if the memory has any merit? But those studs were square . . . I'm thinking of the Herald Hong Kong one aren't I? Or even a copy . . . Doh!

Then we have a 'Brass Section' shot which avoided the Brass Section post back then, the two Reisler's (one with the gurt-big sousaphone!) were probably PW purchases the previous year? While I'm sure we saw the Cherilea 60mm and Lone Star trumpeter at the time?

That's it for today and probably a late post tomorrow.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

"Walmart Exclusive" is for Smyths!

Back at Christmas we had some shelfies of this set sent in by Terranova, to which I muttered 'Lucky buggers across the pond, Walmart Exclsive, fussa-russa....&etc.' and vowed to look out for them at Asda, then, still Walmart's subsidiary over here (I believe they've announced plans to off-load it?), but then the week before May's show (for which I should have been saving my pennies) I found this on clearance in Smyths for a tenner - it hadn't been there at all a few weeks earlier?

So not an 'Walmart Exclusive' at all, and while I thank Brian again for the earlier shelfies, we can now tick the close-up box!

1 Galoob X-panders Lanard The Corps Elite Fantasy G.I's Plastic Toy Soldiers - Lid Cap Base Sniper 104 Pieces; 3 Armies; Attack Helicopter; Attack Walker; Challenger I; Challenger II; Fantasy Figures; Galoob GI's; Giant Sets; Helicopter; Lanard Toys; M1 Abrams; Made in China; Plastic Figurines; Sci Fi Figurines; Science Fiction Figures; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Smyths Toys; Vehicles; Walker Bot; Walmart;
The "Bonus" base is also the lid, so if there was no 'bonus' the contents would presumably fly everywhere, thus we see the 'fake-news' hype of highfalutin' sales-talk in action! I also said at Christmas that I liked the sniper, cable-tied to the lid, but not enough to hang-on to him [with the lid], so the lid went to charity with the tub, half-full of the duplicate poses.

2 Galoob X-panders Lanard The Corps Elite Fantasy G.I's Plastic Toy Soldiers - Toob Tub Container 1 104 Pieces; 3 Armies; Attack Helicopter; Attack Walker; Challenger I; Challenger II; Fantasy Figures; Galoob GI's; Giant Sets; Helicopter; Lanard Toys; M1 Abrams; Made in China; Plastic Figurines; Sci Fi Figurines; Science Fiction Figures; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Smyths Toys; Vehicles; Walker Bot; Walmart;
Before sorting; the box has a tall wedge of card running-up inside, through the centre, but it's not that wide at the bottom, and to be fair to Lanard, seems to have less to do with 'padding-out' falsely and more to do with ensuring that the numerous contents are displayed in a tall, slim container, by keeping them pressed against the sides.

3 Galoob X-panders Lanard The Corps Elite Fantasy G.I's Plastic Toy Soldiers - Figures 3x8 Poses Red Sand Green 001 104 Pieces; 3 Armies; Attack Helicopter; Attack Walker; Challenger I; Challenger II; Fantasy Figures; Galoob GI's; Giant Sets; Helicopter; Lanard Toys; M1 Abrams; Made in China; Plastic Figurines; Sci Fi Figurines; Science Fiction Figures; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Smyths Toys; Vehicles; Walker Bot; Walmart;
The figures, mostly based on the old Galoob X-panders figures as previously stated. The prone figure has a soft jungle-hat and would seem to be a more recent addition, and all of them have been 'de-spaced' and brought back to planet earth with a 'Fritz' helmet and an urban-warfare, light belt-order make-over! Weapons are still quite spacey though.

4 Galoob X-panders Lanard The Corps Elite Fantasy G.I's Plastic Toy Soldiers - Accessories Bunkers Sangers MG Posts 2 104 Pieces; 3 Armies; Attack Helicopter; Attack Walker; Challenger I; Challenger II; Fantasy Figures; Galoob GI's; Giant Sets; Helicopter; Lanard Toys; M1 Abrams; Made in China; Plastic Figurines; Sci Fi Figurines; Science Fiction Figures; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Smyths Toys; Vehicles; Walker Bot; Walmart;
Two machine-guns are supplied loose (you need four!) in the set, they fit into two holes on the lid, and both a sandbag position and a small stand found among the contents, the latter is supposed to sit behind a rather lame 'sanger' made of three pieces, these are the colour-matched accessories 'sand' force get!

5 Galoob X-panders Lanard The Corps Elite Fantasy G.I's Plastic Toy Soldiers - Instructions Ephemera Paperwork Art Work 104 Pieces; 3 Armies; Attack Helicopter; Attack Walker; Challenger I; Challenger II; Fantasy Figures; Galoob GI's; Giant Sets; Helicopter; Lanard Toys; M1 Abrams; Made in China; Plastic Figurines; Sci Fi Figurines; Science Fiction Figures; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Smyths Toys; Vehicles; Walker Bot; Walmart;
Bit's of artwork you may be interested-in; the figures in the artwork are a sort of fantasy/post-apocalyptic mix of cyber-punk ner'do wells bearing no relationship with the figures included whatsoever!

6 Galoob X-panders Lanard The Corps Elite Fantasy G.I's Plastic Toy Soldiers - AFV Tank Jet Fighter Accessories 4 104 Pieces; 3 Armies; Attack Helicopter; Attack Walker; Challenger I; Challenger II; Fantasy Figures; Galoob GI's; Giant Sets; Helicopter; Lanard Toys; M1 Abrams; Made in China; Plastic Figurines; Sci Fi Figurines; Science Fiction Figures; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Smyths Toys; Vehicles; Walker Bot; Walmart;
The other contents, the barbed-wire 'entanglements' went to charity along with the two sandbag barricades, but I kept the security fences, they are quite useful, as are the angle-iron beach obstacles/tank traps.

The tank supplied to red-force is a generic M1-Abrahms/Challenger-I type thing and was kept for it's similarity to other simple 'readymades', from the green-force armory; the plane went, but I hung-on to the helicopter.
 
Again - while a lot of this is typical 'padding' it hasn't been enhanced with a bunch of crappy farm fence, trees, cactuses or palms, which is another point in Lanard's favour? It's war you want - it's war you get!

7 Galoob X-panders Lanard The Corps Elite Fantasy G.I's Plastic Toy Soldiers - Attack Walker Bot Autobot 3 104 Pieces; 3 Armies; Attack Helicopter; Challenger I; Challenger II; Fantasy Figures; Galoob GI's; Giant Sets; Helicopter; Lanard Toys; M1 Abrams; Made in China; Plastic Figurines; Sci Fi Figurines; Science Fiction Figures; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Smyths Toys; Vehicles; Walmart;
The 'walker' is lovely - from the front! But from the back reveals it's cheapness, as a hollowed-out single moulding, likewise the revolving 'head' looks fine from above, but at least it's hollow is hidden while in situ. One day I will fill it in with two-part epoxy, add a few greeblies and paint it, before posing it with 28mm fig's!

8 Galoob X-panders Lanard The Corps Elite Fantasy G.I's Plastic Toy Soldiers - Tank Jet Fighter Helicopter AFV's 5 104 Pieces; 3 Armies; Attack Helicopter; Attack Walker; Challenger I; Challenger II; Fantasy Figures; Galoob GI's; Giant Sets; Lanard Toys; M1 Abrams; Made in China; Plastic Figurines; Sci Fi Figurines; Science Fiction Figures; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Smyths Toys; Vehicles; Walker Bot; Walmart;
The three part helicopter is a bit sci-fi but equally, similar machines are coming into service or are under development, so it's gone in the Heli-zone, the 'plane went - for obvious reasons - and you can see that the tank is simpler that Airfix's venerable old mouldings.

Trying to photograph - one-handed - a tank-hunter on a thread creeping-up on a robot killing-machine (when the thread is in the other hand) proved a bit of a tall order, so it's a tad fuzzy!

Friday, July 20, 2018

T is for Traitor in Chief

Donald Trump, Golden Shower Video, Helsinki 2018, Kinky President, Lesbians Pissing, Pissing Lesbians, Putin Vladimir, Trump Donald, Trumpundbrexit, Two Lesbians, Vladimir Putin, Water Sports Film, Watersports Video, WP Kink, US President Looking Uncomfortable With Russian President, Sitting with a small table between them

Quiz Time!

Look carefully at the following random picture, and then answer the questions as honestly as you can, ticking one box each time, with your answer -

Donald Trump, Golden Shower Video, Helsinki 2018, Kinky President, Lesbians Pissing, Pissing Lesbians, Putin Vladimir, Trump Donald, Trumpundbrexit, Two Lesbians, Vladimir Putin, Water Sports Film, Watersports Video, WP Kink, US President Looking Uncomfortable With Russian President, Standing at Podium, Giving Sound Bites to Media
Using only the men's* body language;

1 - Try to work out which of the two men in this image is in charge of the situation?
A. The man on the left
B. The man on the right

2 - Which of these two men might have compromising video-footage of the other man?
A. The man on the left
B. The man on the right

3 - Which of these two men is confident of the validity of the vote that last got him elected/re-elected to high-office?
A. The man on the left
B. The man on the right

Results

Mostly; A's - Thanks for trying, I think we all know which way you voted in 2016. You can go back to cleaning your guns in front of your wall-mounted entertainment centre while supping that weak, gassy, beer.

Mostly B's - You knows it! You fuckin' know - the shit we're in!

* The use of 'man' or 'men' in this quiz is for ease of identifying either one or both of two narcissistic, right-wing, fascist bully-boys, happy to sacrifice their people's hopes or nation's identities on the global stage in the search for personal aggrandisement in a dying world.

M is for Miscellaneous Metal Marvels

This is the whole sheet from which the 'bikes we saw earlier were cropped-out of. I have a small collection of mostly accidentally acquired metal flats, and I store them on these A4 sheets of foam-core craft material, white for painted or 'odds', black to better display bare-metal castings.

They can then be stacked in a 9-litre Really Useful Box (I'm not being paid for this, they're just brilliant boxes), without damage, and bent or damaged flats can be carefully straitened by being pushed onto the sheet with a block of hard-wood, safe in the knowledge they won't get bent again.

Obviously, if I get a whole set, they get their own sheet, if I have a bunch of similar small samples (semi-flat red-coats in 20-30mm; camp scenes and marching, seem common 'odds') they go together on one sheet, which leaves a couple of sheets for everything else . . .

Archers Shield, Bicycles, Cattle, Children, Demi Ronde, Dog, Fences, Hedges, Lead Flats, Lead Model, Lead Toy Animals, Lead Toy Figures, Motorbike, Motorcycle, Owl, Petrol Cans, Racing Cars, Semi Flat, Small Scale World, smallscaleworld.blogspot.com, Trees, Whitemetal Figurines,
. . . of which this is the non-military 'Bits & Bobs' sheet!

And it's a real mixed bag; I have meandered over it - conversationally - planning the blurb in my head, but it'll be easier for you if I work left-to-right, top-to-bottom -

The shrub-line and hedge are actually just as likely to be from larger scale toy soldier boxed sets as they are from sets of flats, while the archer's pavise between them is not technically a 'flat', being a 25mm war-games accessory for fully round figures (Gisby - recognise it?), but it fits as a flat!

Two obvious game-playing pieces, then one of the most interesting things in my whole collection, it is in point of fact actually nearly fully-round, but the nature of the sculpt and the base means this is the best place to store it. It appears to be two sheets of brass, beaten into shape (against a steel former, or pair of steel formers?), which have then been braised together to create a hollow 'tin' model . . . but it's not clear. If it wasn't for the razor-sharp base I'd assume an old penny-priced bracelet-charm?

The next three (which came from Adrian Little I think?) are semi-flat and - in part - 'spirit-painted' (a kind of ink which shines metallic from the bare-metal showing through) in the fashion of old penny-toys, so I guess some kind of penny-toy group, incomplete, possibly characters from a German folk-tale? But they could be early model-railway figures; one seems to be holding a dipping-net . . . tadpole hunters!

The two cows we've seen here at Small Scale World, they came in a mucked-about with Heinrichsen box (I think) with an odd mix of Napoleonic casualty and colonial types.

Almost certainly board-game playing-pieces for the whole row, and probably both incomplete sets, with the three larger cars (also thanks Adrian!) being from a probable four, the smaller ones could have more missing brothers? They (the small pair) are also die-cast mazac.

The petrol cans (cooking oil?) will be from an early slush-cast vehicle (or dolls house accessory) set I suspect, while the tatty fence-line could be from a larger-scale, boxed, farm set? The owl is a more-modern casting, semi-professionally painted and seen here before - I think.

Doing the last two rows together - we've seen the tree from the same Heinrichsen set and the 'bikes this morning, which leaves another relatively modern animal - the deer, a dog of unknown orphanage and three pieces of railing.

The round-tipped piece is lead and from an unknown flat set, the two on the bottom row are a long-run and fragment of rigid die-cast mazac, railway-station railing from Wardie - Mastermodels and therefore - again - not technically 'flats', but flat enough!