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.

Friday, January 4, 2019

F is for Feeble Flats in Fancy Foot-locker . . . Not!

There's a tendency to think these were all from the same outfit, believed to be Cossman & Levine Co. (later Uncle Milton), but it's clear there are two or three sets of tools (USA and Hong Kong) and several issues/issuers.

100 Toy Soldiers; 21 Piece Task-Force; Beetle Bailey; Broadway; Comic Book Flats; Cossman & Levine Co.; DC Comics; Each with its Own Base; Fighting Force; Flat Figures; Flats; Flats; GI Flats; Homer House Products; Long Island; Lucky Products; Lucky Products Inc.; Made of Durable Plastic; Marvel Comics; New York; Nosco; Packed in this Footlocker; Plastic Flats; PT Boats; PT-boat; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Uncle Milton;
Packed in this Footlocker! Said the advertising, with a smaller 'pasteboard' toy storage box underneath, variations of the wording exist, but the snake-oil seller's intention is clear, you think you're getting a footlocker (large kit-trunk at the end of your bed in basic training) and what turns-up is a small cardboard box!

Made of Durable Plastic. Each with its Own Base . . . said the advertising, the snake oil seller couldn't stop with the foot-locker, he further disguises the fact that that the figures are anatomically cartoonish flats with stirring-artwork and waffle about bases!

However, that was then and many a disappointed child received their 'footlocker' full of polymer shite with agast in the early 1950's, by the 1970's ) when they were still being advertised in Marvel and DC), we know from the grapevine that it was a shit rip-off ad, but come the 1990's and as adult collectors we were desperate to find some!

My sample above - branded to Lucky Products Inc., of Long Island, contains a conglomeration of several sets, which fit in the one box, but mostly don't belong in it!

100 Toy Soldiers; 21 Piece Task-Force; Beetle Bailey; Broadway; Comic Book Flats; Cossman & Levine Co.; DC Comics; Each with its Own Base; Fighting Force; Flat Figures; Flats; Flats; GI Flats; Homer House Products; Long Island; Lucky Products; Lucky Products Inc.; Made of Durable Plastic; Marvel Comics; New York; Nosco; Packed in this Footlocker; Plastic Flats; PT Boats; PT-boat; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Uncle Milton;
We'll start with the 'senior service' (although how that happened - when the navy always comes after an army - is anyone's guess?), they get a battleship and a PT Boat, or four of each to be accurate!

They are both Hong Kong copies of the - probably (and hereafter;) Nosco - originals and the PT boats are all so poor I don't know what they looked like, but there are good shots on the Internet of the US-made originals. The battleship is more of a frigate with added turrets!

100 Toy Soldiers; 21 Piece Task-Force; Beetle Bailey; Broadway; Comic Book Flats; Cossman & Levine Co.; DC Comics; Each with its Own Base; Fighting Force; Flat Figures; Flats; Flats; GI Flats; Homer House Products; Long Island; Lucky Products; Lucky Products Inc.; Made of Durable Plastic; Marvel Comics; New York; Nosco; Packed in this Footlocker; Plastic Flats; PT Boats; PT-boat; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Uncle Milton;
The Infantry; Again all HK copies it's impossible to tell which the 'rifleman' is and which is the 'infantryman' but they are both in the bottom-right corner with darker variants. The kneeling firer is probably the 'marksmen', while the 'sharpshooter' is the prone firer, the other two are obvious, a full set should have . . .

4 Battleships
4 Bazookamen
4 Bombers
4 Cruisers (PT Boats)
4 Infantryman
4 Jeeps
4 Marksmen
4 Riflemen
4 Sailors
4 Tanks
4 Trucks
8 Cannon
8 Jet Planes
8 Machinegunners
8 Officers
8 Wacs (Women's Army Corps, US Army, WWII)
8 Waves (Women Accepted [for] Voluntary Emergency Service, USN, WWII)
8 Sharpshooters

To which was sometimes added other items instead of the mythical footlocker, but it lead to a reduction in the contents; 'Fighting Force' of Broadway, New York sent out 50 items with a 51st cardboard gun which fired (rubber-band mechanism?) while Homer House Products issued something in their 21 Piece Task-Force, which looked a bit like the Pyro space-gun and fired plastic BB's.

As these latter sets had no footlocker, and the more ephemeral pices have long since bitten the dust, it's hard to know if you're looking at them, but I suspect they are here in the post somewhere!

100 Toy Soldiers; 21 Piece Task-Force; Beetle Bailey; Broadway; Comic Book Flats; Cossman & Levine Co.; DC Comics; Each with its Own Base; Fighting Force; Flat Figures; Flats; Flats; GI Flats; Homer House Products; Long Island; Lucky Products; Lucky Products Inc.; Made of Durable Plastic; Marvel Comics; New York; Nosco; Packed in this Footlocker; Plastic Flats; PT Boats; PT-boat; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Uncle Milton;
Artillery; three clear variations here, with the larger Nosco having a heavier appearance/calibre and a higher firing-elevation, a Hong Kong version in the darker olive-drab and a less-detailed clone with smaller base and more tapered barrel.

100 Toy Soldiers; 21 Piece Task-Force; Beetle Bailey; Broadway; Comic Book Flats; Cossman & Levine Co.; DC Comics; Each with its Own Base; Fighting Force; Flat Figures; Flats; Flats; GI Flats; Homer House Products; Long Island; Lucky Products; Lucky Products Inc.; Made of Durable Plastic; Marvel Comics; New York; Nosco; Packed in this Footlocker; Plastic Flats; PT Boats; PT-boat; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Uncle Milton;
Two tanks in my armoury, again a heavier Nosco and the poorer Hong Kong-manufactured pretender, looking a bit like an M22 Locust air-portable it probably wants to be a M24 Chaffee!

100 Toy Soldiers; 21 Piece Task-Force; Beetle Bailey; Broadway; Comic Book Flats; Cossman & Levine Co.; DC Comics; Each with its Own Base; Fighting Force; Flat Figures; Flats; Flats; GI Flats; Homer House Products; Long Island; Lucky Products; Lucky Products Inc.; Made of Durable Plastic; Marvel Comics; New York; Nosco; Packed in this Footlocker; Plastic Flats; PT Boats; PT-boat; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Uncle Milton;
Transport is provided by a generic 6x6 'deuce and a half' which has clearly been made from a half-track's cab and some milk-crates, no winch, no bumper (fender) and no un-ditching roller! Looks more like an einheits / ersatz Mercedes!

100 Toy Soldiers; 21 Piece Task-Force; Beetle Bailey; Broadway; Comic Book Flats; Cossman & Levine Co.; DC Comics; Each with its Own Base; Fighting Force; Flat Figures; Flats; Flats; GI Flats; Homer House Products; Long Island; Lucky Products; Lucky Products Inc.; Made of Durable Plastic; Marvel Comics; New York; Nosco; Packed in this Footlocker; Plastic Flats; PT Boats; PT-boat; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Uncle Milton;
The Jeep! Best bit of any set, Nosco on the left of both pairs with the fine-edged base and HK on the right; a particularly crude copy.

100 Toy Soldiers; 21 Piece Task-Force; Beetle Bailey; Broadway; Comic Book Flats; Cossman & Levine Co.; DC Comics; Each with its Own Base; Fighting Force; Flat Figures; Flats; Flats; GI Flats; Homer House Products; Long Island; Lucky Products; Lucky Products Inc.; Made of Durable Plastic; Marvel Comics; New York; Nosco; Packed in this Footlocker; Plastic Flats; PT Boats; PT-boat; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Uncle Milton;
The officer, there seem to be various versions of this sculpt, even the Nosco (centre pair) come in thick and/or thin legged/bodied, while the HK clones have two clear versions, with a reversed chamber on the bases, and the right-hand ones having a little mould-release, pin-hole

100 Toy Soldiers; 21 Piece Task-Force; Beetle Bailey; Broadway; Comic Book Flats; Cossman & Levine Co.; DC Comics; Each with its Own Base; Fighting Force; Flat Figures; Flats; Flats; GI Flats; Homer House Products; Long Island; Lucky Products; Lucky Products Inc.; Made of Durable Plastic; Marvel Comics; New York; Nosco; Packed in this Footlocker; Plastic Flats; PT Boats; PT-boat; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Uncle Milton;
Junior service ("With good reason . . . crab air . . . fussa-russa . . . "), a sort of generic 1950's jet, more pointy from HK; a bit Sabre-like (but not really a Sabre) from the US maker. The HK ones also have much smaller tail-plains and fin . . . they would paint-up as nice additions to a Trigan Empire air-fleet!

100 Toy Soldiers; 21 Piece Task-Force; Beetle Bailey; Broadway; Comic Book Flats; Cossman & Levine Co.; DC Comics; Each with its Own Base; Fighting Force; Flat Figures; Flats; Flats; GI Flats; Homer House Products; Long Island; Lucky Products; Lucky Products Inc.; Made of Durable Plastic; Marvel Comics; New York; Nosco; Packed in this Footlocker; Plastic Flats; PT Boats; PT-boat; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Uncle Milton;
Ah! Yes! The B46½! The most schizophrenic bomber in history, not sure if it's a B36 Peacemaker or a B52 Stratofortress, it exhibits features of both! It also has a hollow-body to keep material costs down.

100 Toy Soldiers; 21 Piece Task-Force; Beetle Bailey; Broadway; Comic Book Flats; Cossman & Levine Co.; DC Comics; Each with its Own Base; Fighting Force; Flat Figures; Flats; Flats; GI Flats; Homer House Products; Long Island; Lucky Products; Lucky Products Inc.; Made of Durable Plastic; Marvel Comics; New York; Nosco; Packed in this Footlocker; Plastic Flats; PT Boats; PT-boat; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Uncle Milton;
Duff, duff, duff! After the disappointments of a footlocker being not a footlocker, and the whole set being less than accurate flats, little 'Buddy' (he always seems to be Buddy in the movies) had to contend with the fact that over a quarter of the contents were shit poses! In addition to the 8 officers we have all these, eight-each of the two women and four matelotes!

The simplicity of the poses helps to identify at least three variations again, the Nosco (left pairs) being well-fed, the two Hong Kong versions much slimmer. I think the WAVES are the ones with a Sunday church-hat, the WACS have the pill-box headdress?

The sailor looks like Beetle Bailey!

100 Toy Soldiers; 21 Piece Task-Force; Beetle Bailey; Broadway; Comic Book Flats; Cossman & Levine Co.; DC Comics; Each with its Own Base; Fighting Force; Flat Figures; Flats; Flats; GI Flats; Homer House Products; Long Island; Lucky Products; Lucky Products Inc.; Made of Durable Plastic; Marvel Comics; New York; Nosco; Packed in this Footlocker; Plastic Flats; PT Boats; PT-boat; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Uncle Milton;
Brain Berke sent these shots from New York over Christmas (triggering the post's photo-session!)*, and aren't they lovely; if you collect plastics for the material (as I think I do?), you can't not be impressed by an aqua/jade/turquoise marbling, as of these!

There is a hint of this colour in the tail of one of my Bombers, while another has the signs of black marbling embedded in the wings, so these were probably run at around the same time as my green ones.

I'm also pleased to see that the Lucky/Nosco 6x6 truck has a much better front-end, although it has the same high-sides, so a cargo-specific wagon, not a troop-carrier, and now wearing a White's scout-car cab!

*Which is how everything-else in the queue (400+ articles) gets pushed-back one place!

No comments: