About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 58-year-old Aspergic gardening 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, November 28, 2015

B is for Be the Bot

I don't really go on the Forums, I did when I first got on the Internet, but I find endless, repetitive sameness brings out the troll in me, and I then bring out other people's worst opinion of me, not something I'm too bothered about, if you want to make your mark on the world you have to accept some people won't like you!

But there are some forums you can only join - if you want to read/follow the content - as they are locked-down, silly I know, as what have they got to hide? The self-perceived shame of having a 'nerdy' hobby I suspect? Anyway, for those Forums that insist on a login to view content there is a very useful tool...Be the Bot


You place the URL you can't access in the box and the bot takes you to the page!

It's not foolproof, for instance today I tried to follow a back link to a thread (which seems to mention my blog) on 'The Guild'...tag-line: "If it didn't exist...we'd have to invent it!" and their login over-rode BTB, well...OK, I can't discover the context in which my blog has been referenced, no great shakes, but if BTB can't read the forum, Yahoo, Google and Bing can't either, which may be why I've never heard of The Guild, nor encountered them in Google searches.

This means that whatever nuggets of pure gold pontification the members may have arrived at on that blog, they are lost to humanity, and someone still needs to 'invent' the thing that was invented because it hadn't been, by being anti-search-bot-friendly it's lost in the 40-billion pages of that there inter-web thingy, and therefore has still to be invented, by someone other that those who claim to have invented it!

And what's really weird, is it seems to be a forum based on several commercial companies (Elhiem, Lancer, C-P miniatures etc...), with each having their own section, you'd think they'd want maximum availability, not a mole-hole on the edges of the web!

But for those that aren't so securely locked down, BTB's there, and worth a try...but even when or if you do 'get in' be prepared for disappointment! After patriotism, the next refuge of scoundrels seems to be Forums! Lots of 'What if...', a plethora of FYI and AFAIK's, endless "What's you favourite...", "What do you want 'x' to make next?", "Your top ten...?" and such like, along with self justification for using the wrong figures, rivet counting, the use of unexplained jargon to keep the 'newbie' out...it's all a bit tedious!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

U is for Uni-King! And other Unknown Unknowns....

Right back at the start of the blog I did a few 'U is for Unknown...' posts, one of which was on Space Figures/Robots (overdue for another one actually!),  some have since been ID'd and the other day another of the mysteries was solved by this Little Weirdos blog post as being cheapie-toy generics from Uni-King. I'm missing a figure and a space-ship...and two other sets!

Annoyingly I've ID'd a couple of the 'still unknowns', including the 12 small-scale figures in the bottom left corner of the first image, but lost the info. in the files somewhere, it was a play-set of some kind? Can anyone help with these figures as Wouter Wayland over at Benno's Forum is equally keen to get an ID on them? A full set seems to have all 12 figures in both colour schemes and they are a reasonable 1:72nd scale.

They seem to be Star Wars knock-offs, with a clear 'Darth' and several recognisable elements of Imperial and Rebel pilot's uniforms and a bit id storm-trooper thrown in for good measure!

[Now ID'd as Tombola (although Plastic Warrior 82 showed large-scale versions by Party Pig?)]

The three 30mm white/orange/yellow astronauts in the same image also were ID'd, err...but aren't! They were on evilBay about two years ago, a big set with a space-station; gantries, control towers, connecting tube-corridors, cranes and the like, again a generic? Argos or Target or something...maybe Mattel? Can anyone help with that? I know I've got it somewhere but that's no use if I can't find it! Note the visor sticker on one figure.

[Now ID's as MB (Milton Bradley) Star Bird figures]

From the same original image - these are now well documented, possibly manufactured by Jean [Höefler] or Manurba (Manfred Urban), but just as likely - an Italian or Austrian maker, they were issued by Jumbo in a Thunderbirds themed board game but not before they'd been issued in Linde coffee, apparently - a decade or so earlier. I believe they have also appeared in the German equivalent of Lucky Bags?

But basically they were issued all over the place! Based on Plasticraft originals, once you start searching for them you find them in every colour and type of plastic, all over the world, like a lot of those early 1950's mouldings.

Jumbo set now known to have been manufactured by DS Plastics also of Holland.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

B is for Boxed-set of Bullfighters

Lindsay sent me this as a thank-you for the help he/she got in identifying them from my old bullfighters post, as it's not that clear, I'm not sure how much 'help' they actually got!

I think it's a Comansi set, and for those interested in these: I believe it will be appearing on FeeBay soon; if it's not already there?

Friday, November 20, 2015

K is for Kultbyttovarov, Odessa

To wit: the Recreational (or 'cultural'?) Goods Factory, Odessa, or at least it may be! My understanding of the language being poor, and there apparently being some confusion among the Russian/Former Soviet State's collectors as to how many factories this mark might refer to or be linked to or - indeed - what their official title was under the collective system. Probably pronounced kuult-beer-tov-arov.

The mark is clear at least...sort of...

...I think it's meant to be a big cat of some kind, but again there is wriggle-room when you ask around...a bear maybe? The mouth and eyes being formed from what appears to be open scissors, but they could be tin-snips as one of the other possible ID's for this company is the Odessa Metallurgical Works.

My total sample! I may have  a few more in storage, but I don't think so, the 'amphijeep' is gameable and around HO/OO, albeit with an in-line seating arrangement! The Frog (FROG 2?) is likewise, maybe a bit smaller; 1:90'ish?

While the two ships and the missile-armed Black Sea/River Navy patrol craft are not accurate enough/too crude to warrant awarding set size ratios!

Thanks to Nazar Marchenko for pointing me in the right direction on this one.

101 is for Dalmatians! or; C is for Coat, Fur Coat...

I'd only just taken the photo's for these when someone posted them elsewhere so I've held them back for a year, but having uploaded them in August it's time to hit 'Publish' and get them out there and ticked off!

Difficult one to research as there is no real consensus as to the number of puppies modelled/issued, with one website I found having two different totals...on the same page!

As well as larger sets there were the little boxes of the 'Tinykin' type, each of which had this flyer - it doesn't help with the total and confuses by suggesting there might be more inanimate accessories than there actually are! [it's a hi-res image, scanned as a .jpg file for download/printing...right-click 'open link in new tab' then left click the plus sign and right-click 'save as']

The Baddies...Gurrrrr! Crewella de'Vil with her comedic side-kicks skinny Jasper and Fat Horace (were the roles written with Laurel & Hardy in mind?!! No, I don't think so!), these are unusual for Tinykins in being large 60/70mm figures, so as to be in-scale with the puppies.

The Goodies...yeay! Roger and Anita (who own the two adult dogs and get together as a result of them, was he actually Roger Goode?), the Preacher and the house-maid.

Of the 35/36/37+ puppies, I've got about 18 so far, complete or near complete, they turn up in little groups with a few OK and a few damaged and it'll be a while before I'm confident I've found them all! It's the tails, it's always the tails...

...top left are Mum & Dad: Perdita and Pongo.

Colonel and Sgt, Tibbs (the cat), with a couple of the accessories and my broken examples of puppies not seen in the previous shots with my favourite, (yo-yo?) who always looks like he's broken until you study him and realise he's scratching himself!

A few examples of paint/marking variations from the duplicates, there doesn't seem to have been much of a standardisation, except where a patch or blob is a recognisable character trait. They are apparently commoner in Europe and the UK so possibly a Marx Swansea thing/connection, as a result I've tagged the maker as both British and US!

Here's a link to a useful site for more on these, including the various sets:

M is for...err...have you guessed yet? Mali!

Mali....yeeeesss....did I say Mali on Wednesday? I think I said Mali.

Looking forward to the outpouring of grief, the proliferation of semi-transparent Mali flags as Facebook icons, a veritable plethora of Malian vexillology over the next 48 hours? No? Why not? Are we back to 'brown people' again?

There are calls in France for an end to public discussion of 'conspiracy theories'; all of them, however they might be defined, while the Chief Constable of Surrey has just been on the Radio apparently demanding machine guns! While our excreble excuse for a leader, the inadequate cockwomble Camaron is desperate to be allowed to play brum-brum's with the grown-ups in Syria.

Not because there is any tactical or strategic need for a half-dozen of our remaining aircraft to join the vast armadas of Russain and US 'planes (already backed-up by the French and others with their half-flights), but because targeted strikes in Iraq isn't carrying enough 'prestige' for him...

I hate to say I'm right, but if you think all this is anything other than the chickens of money-based, oil-fueled, Western-centric, capitalism coming home to roost, you're wrong!

Now - Lets see those Mali flags please...

This has just gone round the free-thinking internet so fast I don't know who to credit, but they are a credit to humanity and they know who they are!

L is for Li-Lo

Five years ago I posted this Unknown Figures post, Peter Evans kindly identified the Li-Lo within days - if not hours - and I finally got a bead on the lower set on evilBay the other day, and I was right about it being a shooting game, Hong Kong, generic. The three poses seem to be 'it' but I can't now find it in the Unknown HK folder which means it was 'brand' named, but I can't remember where I filed it...it wasn't Gordy, Larami, Laurie, LP or Lucky - I just looked!

Anyway, back to Li-Lo...this turned-up a while ago. From the warping it's either a very unstable polystyrene or some earlier cellulose or phenolic resin? Actually marked Lilo. It's missing a draw-bar/handle thing.

In the UK Li-Lo were best know in my childhood for being the manufacturers of a vast range of polyvinyl (PVC) inflatable beds or mattresses, 'floatation devices', balls, rings and other beach/camping toys, to the point that they became synonymous with them, we had 'lilos' not inflatables! I don't know if/what they may have made/sold elsewhere....did you have Li-Lo where you are?

I'm willing to bet that the 'oversized' figure in the original post was sold with this as a beach toy, either a few together in a larger polythene bag, probably with a card header, or in a mesh-net attached to this. Pure conjecture, so don't add it to any wants lists, but that is exactly the sort of combination you'd see hanging in bunches at seaside kiosks, or further inland at the back of cycle or sporting-goods shops. There may have been a set of paper flags glued onto cocktail sticks or little wooden spills as well.

Ten minutes after publishing...there was an Australian arm, the UK parent-company had another name and Lilo is still a generic term for inflatable beds! I've also tracked down a few catalogues/adverts so will do their - now three - entries for the A-Z in a day or two...maybe!

C is for Combat Soldiers

I can't remember if this has been on the Blog or not? I took the shot back in '07 or '08, so if it hasn't it's high time it did! Rather crappy photograph I'm afraid, I was still getting to grips with flash and the macro settings, but rather crappy figures, so: ...

...the earlier 60-mils from Marx, two gunner/loaders but no gun and two guys doing PT with a grenade, but I always quite liked the squatting/sitting firer, a very decent bit of sculpting - the chap with a rifle that is; the bazooka-man's going over backwards any second now!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

M is for More toys tomorrow...

...Libya, Nigeria, Mali, Tunisia, Egypt...Crimea, Ukraine, Georgia, Transdniestria, Moldova...Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Burma...Peru, Mexico, Columbia...

Religious zealots, drug cartels, Marxist/Leninist ideologues, 'genuine' revolutionaries...we're all one species and we better find a way of getting along together soon, or there'll be no planet left worth living on.

With thanks to the artist Lee Marej for letting me use his image:

Deviant Art

Sunday, November 15, 2015

S is for Sickened

Funny how 129 French deaths get the entire Internet going red, white and blue, but 224 Russian deaths went unmorned by the same keyboard warriors a couple of weeks ago!

But then...Slavs? Not much better than brown people huh?

The false wailing and gnashing of teeth, the metaphorical wearing of sackcloth and ashes, the mawkish sentimentality, the idea that millions of people were taken by surprise...again! Fuck Off! Middle-class, middle-aged, pro-establishment (the real problem), uneducated, fakery.

Grow up and educate yourselves, before it's too late. Read 1984 and watch the rush to push through draconian law-enforcement legislation with open eyes, read Catch 22 and listen to the politico's speeches through open ears...I'll be standing over here in despair!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

N is for Not Suprised

Who are we at war with? Eastasia or Eurasia?

Image - Wkipedia

It's the white bit we need to worry about as it's entirely a construct of Western intervention, colonialism, slavery, empire building and corporate land- and resource-grabs.

The only thing that surprises me about the last 16 hours is that people are still surprised! Orwell and Huxley warned us this was our future, how can we be surprised? Kafka and Heller patiently explained the madness we operate in and tolerate, how can we be surprised?

The answer - of course - is that the average citizen is a selfish, stupid, frightened creature with an abysmal knowledge of world affairs, his own country's political situation or the effects of capital on himself, those around him and the ecology of the entire planet.

It is a fact that in the next few days the sales of private body-armour (never to be worn) will go up, in countries that allow them (America) the sale of guns will peak this afternoon, and yet, tomorrow, the world will only have become slightly less safe!

If you are feeling surprised today; worried, confused, maybe a little frightened...my advise is go out and purchase another movie channel, subscribe to the new Games Workshop mechanism, buy a new iFone, get a scarf. you can never have too many scarves in the scarf drawer. Order a pizza with ALL the extras. It's what the rulers want you to do, carry on as normal, ignoring the fact that normal is the root of the problem. The root of all the problems.

Oh, and you could get CCTV throughout the house as you'll be doing a future government a favour if you prepare in advance of legislation!

To quote (misquote?) Private Baldrick -

Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupiddidy stupid.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

T is for Toy Story

Following-up on one of my 'general' posts from last year, this is what the Disney/Mattel pull-train Toy Story figures looked like when their bases were smoothed-off.

Not too shabby...

T is for "Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape!"

Except that of course the message of the early films in an ultimately arse-ripped franchise (and the truth) is that we are the damn, dirty, filth. Apes are trying to live their lives as we eat them, plough-up their lands and burn their forests...oh yeah...AND try to beat them to death when they run from the flames...

Japanese company AHI's Doctor Zaius (pronounced Zeus) on a wind-up, clicky-clacky 'running' horse, he's missing his rifle which should be slung over his shoulder.

He knew we were the 'damn dirty' apes, and twisted his science and his religion in order to preserve the status quo...a very Human trait.

Monday, November 9, 2015

L is for Le Drapeau Tricolore de Starlux

From Starlux, a tri-coloured Flag!

French Paratrooper standard bearer, older moulding on the left in each shot, newer on the right, points to note, older version has rounded base, blanco gaiters painted on, painted belt and gold highlights on beret and flag. It also has the 'Starlux' recessed in the base, the later one has the mark standing proud and has been repaired.

Thanks to Samwise Gamgee for one if not both of these?

E is for Even I play with them occasionally!

Galoob Micro-machine Paratroopers and jump instructors practice exit drills on the gymnasium floor!

C is for Clone, Copy, Counterfeit, 'Chinese Copy' and Carbon Copy


...the US Infantry figures from Matchbox in 1:32 scale (top two ranks) with some of the many, larger copies. That's it, file clear of Picasa! Oh yeah...for some reason they did a limited run in 'German' grey-blue plastic?

N is for Not as Rare as Unicorn Shit

Another one from 99p stores...heay, if you're on a tight budget and you've got a Blog to feed...My Little Mystical Ponies!

Turns out that while the shit's hard to find the animals can be picked-up by the bagful! Now the merger deal between 99p Stores and Poundstretcher (or Poundland? I did go into it a while ago!) has been given the green light some of these in-house brands may disappear, whether PMS goes with the Unicorns or stays perhaps re-'branded' to Funtastic is anyone's guess.

Now to get 16 new posts out quick to push this off the bottom of the page, before someone who knows me sees this shit! They're out there if you want them...

Sunday, November 8, 2015

O is for Ospedale

Slowly clearing Picasa, these get their 15 minutes in the limelight, carded and definitely paying 'homage' to Marx...Dulcop's figures - in this case - being around 50mm.

I've seen a set of these on evilBay recently with all combat figures, but this set is 'enhanced' (in the loosest sense of the word) with some dolls-house type accessories and a dressing-up/joke syringe!

If you find these lose, you're going to think they are Hong Kong piracies, but they are Italian product as far as I know, just poor quality 'infant' toys.

I is for Ittsy-bittsy, Teeny-weeny, Khaki Over All Tankeenis!

Owh! I shouldn't be allowed! But they are very small...and khaki....

Compared to a 1:76th'ish figure (Quaker Gladiator...not Kellogg's!) who was to hand, the main subject here is a Cracker-toy/Gum-ball novelty, closest to a Churchill and around N-gauge scale if it's any specific size!

While the one in the bag is a scale-down to about 1:144th, probably of/based on the UPC copies of the Roco-Minitanks M44/53/55 family of SPG's but with elements of a Stüg to the front glacis and having a revolving turret! I'm pretty sure I have a made-up one in storage with an equally small British-looking armoured car, so they were probably sold as both kits and complete [capsule] toys, but don't quote me until I've shown them here!

C is for Cartoon Card Craft

Two years ago I found this rather neat download, I think I flagged it up at the time in a 'News, Views...', anyway I had a stab at it, took some photographs and it's been languishing in Picasa ever since! Watching Ed Berg re-design his fire house reminded me this was sitting there...

I think it was three sheets of cut-outs, with lots of white between the pieces - for littler fingers? Or for those impossibly blunt, plastic-handled 'craft' scissors they always issue in primary/junior school!

Disney's Babes in Toyland marching toy soldier, about 6-inches high! How cool is that? here...make your own. Quite a festive thing too and I'm no fan of Disney, but it's out there, it's a Toy Soldier and the kids love this stuff at Christmas!

If I were to have another stab at it, I'd print it off and sit it on a radiator, or in the sun and give it five to ten thin coats of hairspray first; I found that the bits which required the most work (arms and legs which needed rolling round a pencil) started to wear-off, I think because I used the studio printer which was a big machine using powder cartridges or something?

Another download here (Century 21 JR21) brought to my attention by the boys at Moonbase proved less successful however...

...the TV21 Snow Train: Started OK, but I glued the back on the cab thinking I was being clever and getting the shape to hold while I wrestled with the windscreen, but of course I needed to flatten the tabs down with tweezers or a long sticky thing (like...a stick?) from the end I'd just sealed-up...Doh!

All the remaining cut-out bits and the cab are now in a Douwe Egbert's coffee jar waiting for a new plan...it'll be a long wait - I fear. There was a really nice one on Moonbase, made properly by someone proper, but I can't find it, can anyone from there give us a link?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

R is for Roswell!

I saw a UFO once. I'm not a great fan of UFOlogy and don't often tell the tale, there were about 60 of us, on our final 25-miler in basic training, we'd not been long dropped-off from the transport so about 2/2.30 AM, when we noticed a light which seemed to be in the cloud base, which was very low.

The light would move out to the horizon and back, then go off to the horizon again in another direction. It never seemed to change speed, even when turning 90º ('on a sixpence'), it never lost focus (never getting larger toward the horizon or smaller toward the apex - ruling-out a searchlight of some kind), it never seemed to brake the clouds it was enveloped in (never appearing brighter or dimmer) and it never disappeared (ruling-out a headlight climbing into and out-of the Welsh valleys).

After about 40 minutes or so of muttering and passing of the news up the line the Platoon Commander sent the NCO's back to tell us, "Yes, it's a UFO, no one will believe us, keep it to yourselves" and within the hour we'd all grown bored of watching it and tucked-in for the march, so never noticed if is disappeared of its own volition, or with the coming of the dawn?

Needless to say, I was telling the tale a few years later in Tea Break at a warehouse I was working in, when Reg James said "I believe you", I said "Thanks Reg" in a slightly patronising tone, as you would if you thought someone was patronising you! "No!" he said; "I really do believe you, I've heard the exact same story from one of your NCO's in the mess at Lichfield years ago!" We already knew we'd been in the same Division.

Turned out that after telling us all to keep schtüm, the NCO's had gone straight to their mess, had a couple of beers and blabbed the whole thing! Don'cha just hate middle-managers!

I don't think it was aliens, indeed the fact that it occurred over a busy MOD training area - Sennybridge (SENTA) - makes me sure that while it WAS an 'unidentified' object (in the sky), it contained no little green men, or 'Greys and Browns' as the UFOlogists call the types below.

Equally, as far as I know nothing has entered military service since (this occurred in November 1984) that might reproduce the effect, so it is either 'still in development' or something we are - to date - not permitted to know about...oooh! Conspiracy!...no, just realism and attempted explanation of the unexplainable.

I have a feeling the upper row (vinyl) of cartoony ones were a cereal give-away at some point in the mid-1990's early 2000's? The two to the bottom left (polyethylene) were larger capsule (gum-ball) novelties while the six greenies are current 'party favours' and while these are a complete set of all board-sports (from left to right, top to bottom: Roller Skates, Ice Skates, Snowboard? Surf Board, Skateboard and Skis), I have seen other sets of  six footballers, other ball-gamers and 'occupations', and in other colours - all in a soft polyvinyl 'jelly'.

OK guys, message passed, come and get me, I'm fed up with this stinky ball and its god-forsaken prime species anyway!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

D is for Dunby...Dunby-Combex-Marx

When I began collecting seriously (1980/81'ish) the first thing I realised was that information (accurate information) was key, hard to find and often misleading! At the time I was a specifically small-scale collector, and turned to Garratt's encyclopedia (available in public Libraries back in the day) which I read from cover to cover, taking notes on every mention of small scale and learning some of the 'trade shorthand' to find small scale that wasn't specifically mentioned as such by the author.

As a work, it leave a lot to be desired now, but then it was the only work of it's kind (in breadth it still is!), and while the historical/ metal entries were reasonably accurate, his own dislike of plastic and failure to keep on top of new production (something I'm guilty of...) meant the major errors were all in the new/plastic entries!

One of the entries was: Dunby Combex Marx Group. See Marx Miniatures. Turning to that cross-referenced entry brought you to one of his biggest mistakes, the MPC link one! It also suggested that the Swansea factory was the DCM connection and latterly (when he was writing) it was, but there had been a bumpy ride to get there. No matter, the point was I had added a page to my 'master list' along the lines of Dunby Combex Marx...may have made small scale figures, or copies of Miniature Masterpieces?

I then spent 35 years looking out for anything with Dunby Combex Marx on it! Earlier this year that wait was ended, but Dunby and Marx had nothing to do with it...the find was Combex only!

The box was pretty destroyed, so I've cropped out the usable bits, but basically it was a shop counter display box with a push-back lid with cut-out to make a half-oval backing display behind the open box's lose contents, and the contents were vinyl Disney figurines, probably shipped in from Heimo or one of the other European Marx concerns - despite stating the 'Manufactured in the Crown Colony of Hong Kong'.

The grubbier ones above have been added by me to show colour variation of the figures over time, and because now I have the box, all the similar figures can go in the one place!

So far so predictable, but the box also contained hard plastic (polystyrene) figures which were mercifully saved from the usual vinyl-to-styrene melting by dint of most items having full paint coverage. But it is an odd mix, with the duplicates I've not photographed there was about 50% Minnie, Daisy and nephews (all vinyl), 25% King John's (styrene) and 25% all other movie and short-film characters (mix of vinyl and styrene), with no Mickey figure as you might be expecting (sold first?).

As always with Marx, it further muddies the water rather than leaving it clearer. Were all the contents from HK, or maybe only the styrene polymer ones, were Marx (UK) shipping vinyl from HK while Heimo produced it over the channel?

The King John is a HK piece, he has 'Hong Kong  No 510' for a mark, but the Pecos Bill is a Charmore/Heimo piece - or known to be? Maybe the HK refers only to the box, rather than it's contents, or were the contents topped-up in-store by bags of similar figures - which were from Heimo? All the vinyl figures have the pin-release holes but no marks (Daisy, Minnie and Nephews) or only the 'Disney Productions'?

Anyway, they're all in one place now with 'some' packaging and I'm not looking for a DCM piece any more! Below are a couple of comparisons we've seen before here, but re-shot, to make the post more worthwhile!

Pecos Bill, old chalky Swansea-produced, UK ethylene on the left, HK styrene Disneykin in the middle and a vinyl (Heimo?) on the right.

Again the UK version is on the top, the two Disneykins showing how some had stickers with the Marx mark, some didn't and the new polystyrene large size, previous versions of this in my collection are vinyl.

News, Views, Etc...Pages

So, after yesterdays suggestion I have put all the Jig Toy / Puzzle Key Ring posts together on one page (see above for all pages), and will add to it from time to time. I've edited it to make it flow smoother and excised both a few duplications of my monosyllabic blurb and some errors/contradictions. I won't edit the originals which remain as a product of the time they were published. I also moved a few things around a bit and included the CIJ tractor and the - possibly - Fairylite battleship.

A few weeks ago I did the same thing with the Hong Kong Small Scale Khaki Infantry posts I rather lost interest in, and while some of you have found it, most haven't because I didn't announce it...creatures of habit - Humans! Again it's been edited, I've added the next section (it's still only about a 1/4 or a 1/3 complete) and I've added some bagged/carded sets and additions to the previously published sections.

S is for Something...


How lovely are these? Red Indians on a horn? Although; one of them's a Green Indian and all of them are First Nation Native Americans! They seem to be - in part - based on an old Elastolin composition prone pose, with the rock (he's resting against in the originals) and base removed and the rifle truncated for packing and shipping as carded items. 40-mil give or take, Hong Kong, polyethylene.

...Something New...

Nasty, a kind of pre-formed synthetic/silicon-rubber case or shell [skin!], filled with beads in a gel, so that rather than flopping about like a bean-bag toy, they are stretchy, yet firm. If you have ever gutted and dressed well-fed game-birds, handling this is like handling a pheasants full crop...nasty!

God knows who thought this up, but to be fair, the actual sculpt is very good, a Northern White rhino, I think, and it came from either The Works or Tiger - I can't remember, but is was 50p or a pound? And there were other animals. About 1:24/25th scale? And it does hold its shape, or - at least - return to it.

...Something Borrowed...

Apropos an eMail conversation on the small scale Roman's page, Tim Peterson sent me this scan of the Marx Romans from the old 60mm polystyrene Warriors of the World series, but a later re-issue (Marksmen?) version unpainted in black ethylene plastic. Good job he did too, I only have three of these (standard, waving sword and whip-man) and they are in storage (and two of them are leary-coloured re-issues), so it would have been a few years before this box was ticked!

...Something Blue...

Believed to be Argentinian, this large, polyethylene, 6 to 7-inch (I forgot to measure it) figure of the Lone Ranger has articulation at the waist and shoulders.

And if you're wondering what a rhyme about wedding dresses has to do with a toy blog...I won the ring in the Barmbrack on Saturday night, so I've got 11 months and 27 days to get married! Applications on a postcard; must love tolerate piles of old toys, my PA will be doing the initial interog...er...interviews!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

F is for Follow-up...to R is for Return...to Jig Toys!

While putting away the new bits I blogged earlier, I though "Didn't I get a little bagged one the other day? What did I do with that?"...well..., I'd put it in with the HK carded stuff, not with the other Jig Toys! And, I'd failed to blog the damaged yellow one a while ago with the others, so...there's enough for another post!

I think we did look at this way back when, but that one is quite pink - if memory serves - and in storage, I've since obtained a redder one and the dun-yellow beast behind it (missing a rear axle), only to pick up a bagged one the other day in a lot of mixed sets.

I once saw a monotone carded one at the big toy fair in the NEC, Birmingham, but the dealer wanted silly money for it so I passed. These are hideously over-hyped, over-valued and over-priced, there are literally millions of them out there, and if you wait, they turn-up in mixed lots for no money at all, or you can $26+post for a BIN on feeBay?

Reverse of the pocket-money carded one with instructions. They also come in gum-ball machines, fairground grab-machines, Christmas crackers and any other source of small, inexpensive, plastic tat!

Just as in the UK the 'originals' are credited to Bell/Merit (J then J&L Randall), so in the States Lionel seem to get the credit for the better quality samples. I think that while these are all HK, the yellow one may be based on a Lionel original, while the red ones are lesser quality copies of copies.

The ladder is the wrong way round on the dusty yellow one giving it even greater visual difference from the red one, but it is taller with a bigger cab, better details and has cleaner lines.

R is for Return....to Montaplex

I've been after this for ages, and finally got one off Steve Vickers table at one of the last two Sandown's, but I can't remember which one; September's - I think, the photo's are meta-tagged September anyway!

Montaplex's Churchhill Tank. They made a small range of tanks around 1:87/1:72, some fair, some poor, this is among the better efforts, and I've seen them on the Montaplex forum, but never managed to track one down.

Single runner with 16 pieces for what looks like a Mk. IV. The model has carpet wheels hidden in the running gear and a movable-elevation gun in a revolving turret.

It also has two teeny-tiny little men who couldn't possibly handle the 16-inch naval gun shells stowed behind them! Clearly it's a Q-tank secretly being used as an ammo-carrier for the USS New Jersey...or maybe it's just a toy! Plush seats or what?

Fully made-up it holds its own against the 1960's Airfix Kit or Matchbox die-cast of the 1990's, apart from the windows (why it needed two itty-bitty little men!) and is every bit the equal of the Tudor Rose version. Really pleased to finally have one, I'm looking for a couple more now - in different colours!

R is for Return...to H. Grossman's 'Deadstone Valley'

You know that shite I said I wouldn't be buying more of, only to buy more when it got reduced to silly money? Well, they (The Works again!) got another set in and reduced it to two quid! That's JUST two 'squids people!

A pirate and a colonial explorer type...Hrrummmphh! How could you say no, and I had to buy a set for someone else, so buying two was easy, same queue, same till, same card, same bag, same journey home!

These had a different grave, which although less durable that the vac-forms we looked at last time, are nevertheless a more successful attempt, being a printed, pre-formed card box with a press-out panel for the sarcophagus and memorial stone to sit in.

There were a bunch of flyers in the containing carton.

The display carton and a look at the various ways these figures are attached to the end wall. Some have a stud-and-hole system, others have a dove-tailed, double groove while the explorer has a tip-and-slide (into a rectangular space with a chamfered undercut) base, although he has the holes for non-existent studs, so there must have been a change of plan with him!

On one level they really are rubbish, but as I keep finding them they are growing on me - as a side collection!