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.

Friday, February 14, 2020

News, Views Etc . . . Forthcoming Show Dates; Saturday 15th - Friday 21st February 2020

It's not that I've responded to my brain-dead, thoughtless, grey critics and halted the 'Friday Rant', it's just that one really doesn't know where to start . . .

Both Boris and Trump just get worse; Boris's reshuffle yesterday only proved that they still have no Brwreakshit plan and are just as riven within the party as they ever were. Which is doubly ironic as the right-wing press has highlighted the many shades of squabling on the Left for years while ignoring the multi-facetted Tories, who have - since 1979 - been slowly killing the 'great' in Britain even as they claim to be the party to revere it!

While Trump won a 'trial' where he was able to withhold both evidence and witnesses, while a senior judge from the Supreme Court sort of shrugged his shoulders and intimated it was "Nuffing to do wiv' me guv!" and half the senate ignored their oaths, intimating that their bible bashing is about as devote as equally tub-thumping paedophilic-priests'.

Meanwhile the now-dubbed Corvid-19 seems to be only killing Chinese (which must have those on the Right warming to it), and while it looks to have been over-hyped, has now killed many more than SARS and MURS put together and we have no idea what it's doing or going to do in Africa? Still, even if it gets out it'll only kill around 2% of the population (140-million), which is a lot of bodies to dispose in a year or two, but it isn't enough to save the planet!

More interesting is the likely economic harm, especially to both Trump and Boris's plans, which were/are reliant on some sort of status-quo, not a shutdown-meltdown in global travel and logistics!

As always; toys will sustain us with feelings that all's-well . . .

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Toy Fairs

Saturday 15th February 2020

Beconsfield - Toy & Train Fairs (Peter Levinson)
Beconsfield School, Wattleton Road, Buckinghamshire, HP9 1SJ
Internet presence unknown
Tel. - 01282 051 518 (Peter or Diane)
10:30 - 14:30hrs
Admission charge unknown

Oxford - Richard Atkins Fairs - Toy and Train Collectors Fair
Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxford, OX5 1AB
Tel. - 01869 347 489
10:30 - 15:00hrs
Admission unknown
Refreshments
Free Parking

Reigate - SRP Toyfairs
Rigate Collage, Rushworth Road, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 0QF
Tel. - 07739 998 012 (Paula or Gerry)
09:45 - 13:15hrs
Admission charge unknown
New Venue - New Show

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Sunday 16th February 2020

Buxton - Barry Potter / BP Fairs
The Octagon Hall, Pavillion gardens, St. Johns Road, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6XN
Tel. - 01604 846 688
Mob. - 07966 527 177
Fax. - 01604 771 070
10:30-15:00hrs
Admission £3.50 (early-bird £6, from 08:00hrs), OAP's £3, Children £1

Ditton - SRP Toyfairs
Ditton Community Centre, Kiln Barn Road, Ditton, Kent, ME20 6AH
Tel. - 07739 998 012 (Paula or Gerry)
10:00 - 14:00hrs
Admission charge unknown

Exeter - Bulldog Fairs - 'Westpoint'
Westpoint Arena, Clyst St. Mary, Exeter, EX5 1DJ
Tel. - 01373 452 857
Mob. - 07917 125 641
10:30 - 14:30hrs
Admission £4, each under-16 free with adult, 'Early Bird' £10 from 08:30hrs

St. Ives - J&J Fairs (J&J Webb)
'One Leisure' St. Ives, Burgess Hall Events & Conference Centre, Westwood Road, St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 6WU
Tel. - 01522 880 383
10:00 - 14:30hrs
Admission - Adult £3.00p, seniors £2.50, 1st child £2.00p
Where the cats and the sacks and the wives came from, not Cornwall!

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Auctions

Tuesday 18th February 2020

Stockton-on-Tees - Vectis Auctions (1st day of a four day auction)
Fleck Way, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, TS17 9JZ
Tel. - 01642 750 616
Sales commence at 10:30hrs
Specialist die-cast sale

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Wednesday 19th February 2020

Stockton-on-Tees - Vectis Auctions (2nd day of a four day auction)
Fleck Way, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, TS17 9JZ
Tel. - 01642 750 616
Sales commence at 10:30hrs
Specialist die-cast sale

Washington (W. Sussex) - Tooveys
Spring Gardens (Garden Centre), A24 Lay-by, Washington, West Sussex, RH20 3BS
Tel. - 01903 891 995
Catalogue online
General toy sale
Specialist die-cast sale

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Thursday 20th February 2020

Sheffield - Shefield Auction Gallery
Windsor Road, Heeley, Sheffield, S8 8UB
Tel. - 0114 281 6161
14:00 - Finish

Stockton-on-Tees - Vectis Auctions (3rd day of a four day auction)
Fleck Way, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, TS17 9JZ
Tel. - 01642 750 616
Sales commence at 10:30hrs

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Friday 21st February 2020

Stockton-on-Tees - Vectis Auctions (last day of a four day auction)
Fleck Way, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, TS17 9JZ
Tel. - 01642 750 616
Sales commence at 10:30hrs
Toy & model railways & trains

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Other Events

It's half term this week so there's a whole lot of interactive stuff for kids going on, things related to our subjects (which you should be brainwashing the next-generation of collectors into at an early age!) include;

Beeston Castle - Crafts at the Castle - english-heritage.org.uk
Chesters Roman Fort - How to be a Roman Soldier - english-heritage.org.uk
Cutty Sark - Meet the crew, take the wheel, family trails - rmg.co.uk/cuttysark
Hampton Court Palace - Kids stuff - hrp.org.uk
Horniman Museum & Gardens - Permian Monsters - Life Before the Dinosaurs - horniman.co.uk
Jodrell Bank - Space Crafts - jodrellbank.net
RAF Museum - Interactive exhibition (7 years and over) - rafmuseum.org.uk/whatson
Tower of London - [Junior] Knight's School - hrp.org.uk
York - Jorvik Viking Festival - jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk

Most run from this Saturday (15th February) 'till at least Sunday the 23rd of February, but check websites for full details. And there will be loads of other things going on, check the local press, or what's left of it!

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From Thursday 13th February (yesterday) until Sunday 17th May 2020

Edinburgh - Royal Botanic Gardens - Think Plastic: Materials & Making
Royal Botanic Gardens, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, Scotland
Web. - rbge.org.uk
Art & Science of plastics, recycling and sustainability

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Sunday 16th February 2020

Basildon - Discover Dolls - Doll Show
Holiday Inn Basildon
Tel. - 07725 562416

Porthcawl - MGM Fairs - Dolls, Bears and Miniatures
Grand Pavilion, The Esplanade, Porthcawl, Wales, (it's not a marine mammal Mr. President), CF36 3YW (venue)
Linnet Lodge, The Village, Wembworthy, Devon, EX18 7RX (promoter)
Tel. - 07818 462448  
10:30-15:00hrs
Admission - adults/seniors: £2.50, children: 50p

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Overseas Events

Saturday 15th February 2020

Kissimmee (USA) - Regal Railways - Toy & Model Railroad Show
Colombian Club of Osceola County, 2000 Neptune Road, Kissimmee, FL 34474, Florida, USA
501 East Bay Drive, Apt. 1503, Largo, FL 33770, Florida, USA (promoter)
Web. - http://regalrailways.com/regal-railways-upcoming-toy-and-collectible-shows-sale/
Tel. - ++17 272 441 341
09:00-14:00hrs
Admission, $5.00 children under 12 free, 'early-bird' $7.00 (reserve between 08:00-09:00hrs)
Vendors and exhibition model train layouts, antiques and crafts
Lunch Available

Sunday 16th February 2020

Woodstock (Canada) - Collectors Shows - Ontario Toy Show

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Missed

The Model Engineer Exhibition which was apparently held at Alexandra Palace, London 18/19th January . . . nobody told me, so I didn't know, so I couldn't tell you! Lovely stuff on display though; I'll try to remember to look out for it for next year.

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Message

If you are an event promoter/show curator/auctioneer and you want your toy, model, collectable, military, historical or popular-/youth-culture type sale/exhibition/event listed here -  FOR FREE  - or linked to; please eMail me -

maverickatlarge[at]hotmail[dot]com

- stating the date/s of the event, address of event, contact details, opening/viewing times, admission pricing and any other relevant facts/details or features - parking, travel notes, disability access, availability of refreshments, event subject matter &etc. And a link; if the event or your organisation has a web-page.

And please mention any flyer-art or poster-/leaflet-scans but send by separate eMail, in case they go to the 'junk' folder, from where they can be recovered and marked safe, but only if I know they're there!

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Stadswatch

Let me see if I understand this right . . . last year I announced the show dates (on a Friday, in a show dates post) only for TJF to be 'reminded' by a third-party a few days later? Correct? Yeah, correct. This year I announced the show dates (on a Friday, in a show dates post) only for TJF to be 'reminded' by a third-party two days later? Correct? Yeah, correct.

Last year I got my overview out in (and after waiting for-) a Friday 'News, Views . . . ' before TJF, despite then being accused by Stadinger of 'dragging it out' (while my father died). Correct? Yeah! Correct! This year, after waiting for a suitable Friday 'News, Views . . . ' I got the overview out two-and-a-half weeks before the JF! ALL correct!

AND; after his grandiose announcement of forthcoming full coverage of all three Western shows (for the second year running), and his pompous justification of his criticism of me . . . what did we get - in a less than 'timely manner'? For the second year running . . . well "a damp squib" doesn't do it justice!

A damp squib has form, can be held aloft, and dried or re-lit from another match, what we got was the remains of a dropped-blancmange, after it has been scrapped out of a door-matt, no more than a dirty, wet stain. Pertaining to only the one show, it contained a few catalogue images and not much else!

Currently I'm on my way to 20+ Toy fair tags with many more to come and - as I think you will agree - from what you've seen; it could all have waited! That Papo guardsman, for instance; was announced last year, I never got round to doing the Papo posts (for reasons we all now are familiar with) so I have 80-something-odd, year-old images (including the guardsman) still to use, or add to this year's (only took 13), and the guardsman's only just appeared in the catalogue? And wasn't on show on the day - either year, so . . . NO urgency!

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Corrections & Clarifications

Meanwhile I also pointed out three weeks ago that he was copying me or reacting to what's happening here at Small Scale World more than ever, and his response has been three weeks of intermittent posts, most of which seem to refer to recent activities here!

I also suggested he '...had nothing' and most of his output this month has been not shitestuff, but otherpeoplesstuff! You can't keep denying you're a dealer not a collector and then fail to produce more of your own stuff.

1986, 2001, 2006 and current ranges + feebleBay scrappings

In the cause of which derivative, reactionary, dust-sitting there have been three very questionable attributions of stated Chinese-produced stuff. The Tak Shing from Dittmann was the most likely to be accurate, but it's a name like Smith. there are dozens of Tak Shing's in both Hong Kong and China of which several work/ed in toys, one trading as Millifield International Ltd., another as Wellegant Development Ltd, yet, with no empirical evidence given for the attribution, we don't know which Tak Shing he's referring to, thus it wasn't terribly helpful.

The second attribution was so vague (Dildobreath I think? or was it Sell? I wasn't paying much attention) and equally lacking in sources as to be useless and they've both made-stuff-up in the past, while TJF's own post on Hing Fat contained material which had never seen the inside (or outside; in passing) of a Hing Fat factory, and he knows it . . . but - like the other two - it didn't contain any empirical evidence for the attribution anyway!

They are making it up as they go along, so my criticism in the autumn which caused TJF such anguish stands; they are now damaging the hobby . . . and one of them is a University Professor?

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Toy News

Hasbro

Totally contrary to what you might have read on Shitestuff recently, Hasbro have published their figures for the Christmas quarter and they are good, profits were up on the back of Star Wars merchandise and Elsa-dolls, while revenue was kept healthier by spending less on Advertising, which is an interesting, counter-intuitive development - advertise less; make more!

Coincidently; one of the outcomes of the Corvid-19 outbreak has been a questioning of the future-use of conferences and trade shows!

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Dinky
A Dinky truck (pre-war Pickford's) is due for auction on the 5th March at Charterhouse Auctions (no, me neither, I'll try to find it all in time) and is expected to fetch £2,000, after being purchased for four-quid! Dated to between 1934 and 1936, and having white-rubber tyres in pretty good nick, it was found in a charity shop!

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Mattel
The toy-giant is launching a set of construction blocks made from 'renewably sourced' and 'sustainable' plastic, interesting monikers as they mean it's neither recycled, nor - necessarily - recyclable? It isn't bio-degradable either? They will be branded under the recent Mega Bloks purchase. They are 'bio' and will be in the Sainsbury's/Argos group's stores, first in Europe. Definitely one to watch?

Further to the previous Barbie stories (recent SSW's passim), Ken-doll is getting red-hair.

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Lego
Always in the news, this time it was a puff-piece in the Metro showing-off an International Space Station model with 864 pieces which actually looked very good. How stable it is I don't know but I'm guessing much use is made of Lego-technical nylon rods to stiffen everything? It's the best-part of £70, mind!

Far more interesting is the number of votes for a Starbug model from Red Dwarf on the Lego Ideas website, it needs 10,000-votes to be considered and has 3,000 already with 600-days of voting still to go.

Lego have also lost one of its executives, Jean-Jacques Van Oosten (previously Lego's Chief Digital Director) has left to return to his former employer's B&Q (Kingfisher) - he clearly has more faith in Brwreakshit than I do!

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Hornby
Joining Hasbro in poo-poo'ing Stadinger's pronouncements of gloom (twice in the last month), the Margate-based group of companies including Airifx have posted better than expected returns for the Christmas quarter, with higher sales and profit margins! They also announced that their chief-investor is extending their credit limit.

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Numismatics
Dinosaur 50p pieces are to be issued to celebrate British paleontology, they will not be put into general circulation  but will be available to collectors from the usual outlets and anodised coloured ones are also on offer - Iguanodon, Hylaeosaurus (kind of spiky kerthunkersaur) and a megalosaurus are the stars.

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Hawkins Bazaar
Had stated their stores would stay open while the wind-up was processed and they looked for a buyer, but I can confirm that local shops have all been closed (and empty) for over two weeks now.

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Model Village
Wimborne Model Town & Gardens a 1:10 scale model village you will not be surprised to learn can be found in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, has had a make-over for the summer, with a gang of volunteers turning out on the 28th January to replace doors and windows, mend roofs and spires, spring-clean and paint, if you're passing this summer it might be a worthwhile detour and a nice break in a long journey, can't be far off the dreaded A30 'caravan-park'

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H is for How They Come In

A busy week on the 'H is for . . . ' front, with all sorts purloined from various charitable emporiums in Fleet during the course of the week, but with a wet Saturday it was a longer buying-week, and I suspect I've been missing out on stuff on Saturday's when I tend to avoid the town?

He's from the standard 6" range, but I couldn't resist a new-colour R2D2, even if he's probably got a different number-title? He has two fold-out tools at the front for connecting with Death Stars and opening-garbage compactors or mending reading-glasses, and a hook-grapple-rope which comes out of his back, brilliant!

Poured-resins from The Works, the mermaid is different to the one we've seen previously I think, while the sloth is a different colour to one I already had which may not have been on the Blog yet? The others are all-new and are being cleared at £0.50p.

Two bags of 'ings, some Moshlings, some I don't know, the right hand lot are like the Disney ones which came in a year or so ago, the left hand bag is a mix of actual Moshlings, sucker-based things I still haven't got a name for despite the fact they've been coming-in for some time now and late Gogo Crazy-bones with the strange triangular plate on the bottom? there's tons of this stuff out there and I will do a few over-views one day: Zings, 'kins, 'lings and 'mings etc . . .

A third bag had some Phidal stuff (older I think; around 54mm), four standard mid-line Gogo's and two other small collectables!

The dinosaur seems to be a solid leg variation of the hollow-ones we looked at the other day, while the Gau (?) is a CHINA-marked variation of the old Blue Box model, usually in gray, the Blue Box MADE IN remains, with the china over-printed where the Hong Kong used to be, so probably still Tai Sang, for a rack-toy contract.

The kerthunkersaurus has a pointed tail?

I found this on the floor in the main shopping-precinct and thought it was a fancy-fairy caterpillar to begin with, then I realised it's a fancy-fairy unicorn! Very soft, almost-foamy, silicone-rubber.

Three AFV's at 20p each, the truck is brand-new, the tank may have a bit of age, but is China-marked while the semi-deform, pull-back motor Elephant/Ferdinand SPG seems to be a variation of an old Chun Shing toy (image to the right dated 1986 - that's empirical evidence PSTSM!), the running gear is the same, the barrel might be (both the plastic components) but the superstructure (die-cast) is different/has been changed.

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Other Stuff

Interstellar
I recently watched this movie and can't understand why it's not better known, I know it deals with complex theories and philosophical consepts so you have to follow every word, but it's a fantastic movie, like 2001 A Space Odyssey, but for the dying-planet generation, everyone should watch it.

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Posting
I've got nothing ready for Sunday and/so Monday will be a late PM post, with probably a rushed 'News, Views . . . ' on the forthcoming Vectis four-day'er, which I've not received from them yet.

If these storms pass and we get some nice weather, I'll have a few days off to sort the garden out, so be ready for radio-silence at some point in the next few weeks!

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This Week I Are Been Mostly Sorting . . .

. . . China-marked vinyl smallimals! And that's the second box in three-weeks Girly-girl hasn't jumped in and this one was small enough to force the corners, so she may be sickening for something . . . or lulling me into a false sense of security?

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