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.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

News, Views Etc . . . Mattel (and Arcotoys)

Last year's rumour of a merger/buyout/takeover between Mattel and Hasbro seems to have been a will'o-the-wisp, with nothing else heard since, but there have been a few Mattel stories over the last few months and in the meantime I came across another of the Arcotoys sets, which being almost a 'Rack Toy' (except in original pricing) can illustrate the boring bits!

70mm Figures; Arco Toys; Disney; Disney Film; Disney Movie; Movie Promotional; PVC Figurines; PVC Vinyl Rubber; Quasimodo; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; The Hunchback Of Notre Dame; 1 Disney's Hunchback Of Notre Dame Clopin Esmeralda Frollo Quasimodo Phoebus Gargoyles Acrco Arcotoys Mattel DSCN8558
Charity Shop - Arcotoys Inc - A Mattel Company
No date

Back to October last, and a clue as to why the merger talks fittered-out (yes; I could Google it all - but that would spoil the fun of saving cuttings and spinning a post out of them!) with Mattel announcing a freeze in quarterly shares dividends (no money!) after a 13% decline in sales. Shares 'plunged' 16% after the announced a $603.3m (£459m) loss . . .and of course the point-three is most important!

70mm Figures; Arco Toys; Disney; Disney Film; Disney Movie; Movie Promotional; PVC Figurines; PVC Vinyl Rubber; Quasimodo; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; The Hunchback Of Notre Dame; 2 Disney's Hunchback Of Notre Dame Clopin Esmeralda Frollo Quasimodo Phoebus Gargoyles Acrco Arcotoys Mattel-030
I have two or three toys of Phoebus now -
it must have been a popular movie at the time (1996)?

November saw Mattell's Barbie arm announce a new addition to the Shero line; it's first hijab-wearing Muslim doll, issued in honor of the US Olympic fencing competitor Ibtihaj Muhammad (bronze, 2016/Rio games), it was due to be released this summer. The Shero's (She-Heros, see!) also includes Misty Copland a US Ballet Dancer and first African-American principle at the American Ballet Theatre.

Another proposed Shero had been Malaala Yousafzai (the now UK based Pakistani schoolgirl who survived a Talib' assassination attempt . . . for being a schoolgirl!) and female scientists were being mooted (obviously saw what Lego was doing!), by March of this year there's also an Amelia Earhert -aviatrix, Sara Gama - Italian footballer, Nicola Adams - UK boxer, and Patty Jenkins - movie director.

70mm Figures; Arco Toys; Disney; Disney Film; Disney Movie; Movie Promotional; PVC Figurines; PVC Vinyl Rubber; Quasimodo; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; The Hunchback Of Notre Dame; 3 Disney's Hunchback Of Notre Dame Clopin Esmeralda Frollo Quasimodo Phoebus Gargoyles Acrco Arcotoys Mattel
Baddies on the left?
Goodies on the right?

However, in late march there was a bit of controversy surrounding the line when the family of Frida Kahlo - Mexican Artist; objected to the design of a doll depicting their famous relative, issued as part of the series, now renamed (for the UK market?) Inspiring Women.

Reading between the lines (well - reading conflicting press-releases), it seems some of the family had OK'd the design (which IS unarguably 'glammed-up') and others hadn't, so what was dressed-up as an attack on Mattel was actually internecine squabbling between the various descendents?

70mm Figures; Arco Toys; Disney; Disney Film; Disney Movie; Movie Promotional; PVC Figurines; PVC Vinyl Rubber; Quasimodo; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; The Hunchback Of Notre Dame; 4 Disney's Hunchback Of Notre Dame Clopin Esmeralda Frollo Quasimodo Phoebus Gargoyles Acrco Arcotoys Mattel 1
Crap - little pigeon
Crap on the gargoyles
Kill - little Pigeon
Kill the Berserker!

Later in March there was a story about the female leads of movie 'Wrinkle in Time' having their own Barbie dolls (Mattel press is always either Barbie, Hotwheels or share price!) but it wasn't clear if they were one-off's or part of a Barbie line? In the course of the movie-release 'puff-piece', Reese Witherspoon let slip that she is working on a project about Ruth Handler, founder of Mattel and Barbie!

At the end April (six months after the first of today's post's stories) their shares rose 4.4%, despite more poor results, as a new CEO took-post and the losses were blamed on the death of the Toysaurus and . . . you guessed-it . . . previous management!

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