About Me

My photo
No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 60-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”. Likewise, 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, January 31, 2017

C is for Contribution Week - V - Poopertrooper! From Brian

Or to be exact "Silly Dilly Sky Diving Poopatrooper With Parachute Attached" as imported by Imperial in the early 1970's. Except that this chap looks to be a denser vinyl and larger than the Imperial (knock-off?) ones? He's close enough for the moniker though!

Knowing - only too well - my passion for paratroopers (I wonder how many of you followed that link the other day?), Brian sent this a couple of weeks ago; a near mint (but paint'less) 'Poopatrooper' with what looks to be an unused parachute;

Brian was rather taken by the worried countenance of the chap - all the Poopatroopers were in daft poses but without clear expressions due to their over-emphasised googles, this guy doesn't seem to be enjoying the sky-diving experience! Otherwise the pictures speak for themselves so . . .

As hinted above; this is unpainted, unlike the Poopatroopers in the '72 catalogue (and others) which are a soft silicone rubber with paint highlights like Imperial's Cuddly Wuddlys, dinosaurs or their Chinese dragons etc.

So Brian's is most likely another company's earlier import, but with that caveat left, I'll tag them Imperial anyway as he's as close-as for people searching for them on t'Internet!

Picture zz

Mine (which we've seen long-shots of here) is an Imperial type, daft pose but no real facial expression although from the back-pack; clearly a copy of Brian's.

Thanks again Brian, maybe someone can put a brand-name to this superior 'Poopatrooper'?

Monday, January 30, 2017

C is for Contribution Week - IV - Silvercorn from Brian the Different . . .

. . . Brian, being in fact Uncle Brian of A Fistful of Plastic! Helping us return to Silvercorn quicker than I anticipated.

Always happy to be proved wrong, especially when it gets more figures on the 'wants' list, you may remember the exchange of comments last time we looked at Silvercorn, well I got this from Brian a while later:

With the intriguing note "Please find attached a picture of the green and tan Silver Corn figures. I have found my set of the Silver Corn aircraft and will send you pictures of them soon." So, that puts my question-mark over the sandy chaps to bed - they do exist! But then: Aircraft?

Only for these to turn up a month or so after that . . .

. . . same little suitcase as already seen over at PSR, the contents . . .

. . . pretty-much as I predicted, but a little bigger perhaps, I was thinking of something more in line with the ships at three or four models to a frame - around 1:300; what you get is at least 8 different aircraft types somewhere between 1:144th scale or 1:200th (?) scale, packed as randomly as the ships or figures, with some doubled-up and some singlies.

I love those little Chinooks; I think I've said before - one of the few times in my life I was really shit-scared-frightened was in a Chinook with a Bedford 4-Ton'er as a slung load, and feeling the wagon pulling my seat away from my butt as the chopper banked, I really thought we were going to fall out of the sky! Or at least be pulled out of the sky by our load, 'Ginge' Hyatt - the MT driver I was 'guarding' looked as white as a sheet too; while the load-master just grinned at us - the fucker!

Construction is as simple as the vessels, basically necessitated by the getting of a maximum set of frames into each case rather than for constructional/hobby purposes; just laying the sticky-up bits flat!

Not that you'd know that from the packaging, reading it in the shop:


'Similar Injuries'? I think I'll take my chances in a Chinook, thanks!

And thanks indeed to Uncle Brian tor sending these to the blog.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

C is for Contribution Week - III - Tatra from Brian

These are a fascinating contribution from New York, having come all the way here, via there, from the UK! Brian says they are the last UK figures he collected before leaving these shores for pastures new.

A packet front from the Nabisco biscuits that contained the premiums, Brian thinks around 1972/3 (they were also issued with Kellogg's Ricicles, probably the year before - 1971), Brian reports that there was a mail-away offer-panel on the box for the whole set, which he did send-off for, intending to paint them, he's still to get round to it; maybe if he does he'll send the Blog those pictures too!

Close-up of Mr. McHenry; However, if this is the correct figure I'm afraid they're not the Tatra set Brian thinks they are!

These figurines were one of three sets of Magic Roundabout premiums around in the late 1960's and early 70's, and are the most common being the smaller-sized set given away by Wall's ice cream, the biscuits Brian found them in and in Europe by several people including Tito (?) and Ola (who were a Wall's subsidiary, or in some way connected? Similar logo and brand-marks).

In the above shot Dylan is damaged and one of the birds is missing from what is - fully - a 16-item, 14-figurine set, it was a hurried shot of what's come-in, in the last few years; all my premiums are in storage!

While all the figurines have the little holes in the base (probably made by mould release-pins), common on these 'Euro' premiums, Mr McHenry has a larger hole which is used to locate him on a pin sticking up from the floor of his tricycle.

The other shot shows one of the more interesting colours available from Ola's Portuguese Ice Cream premiums (among others) on the right.

A larger sized set (probably* made by and -) looking like the Crescent Thunderbirds figures, was a Kellogg's Ricicles premium (1969), being issued with only 6 sculpts, most having bases - left hand figure in both shots. The Tatra set (also Kellogg's - 1970) were eight figures a little smaller that the [probably*] Crescent set - second from left in both shots, while Iron-on Magic Roundabout transfers were also issued by Kellogg's around '72.

The figure far right seems to be a piracy of the Nabisco and others commercial set, bearing all the hallmarks of the Lucky Luke piracy we looked at a while ago, those LL premiums also being widely issued by several of the same sources and having the little holes in the bases/feet.

Getting back to Tatra-produced stuff, Brian also sent a shot of his Kellogg's Soldiers - most [shock horror] still in their sanitised packs! These - of course - are Tatra! He remembers them as being in Sugar Smacks, also around '72. Of course I'm joking with the 'shock horror'; these premiums carry a 'Premium' if they are still unopened!

Again - thank you for the contribution Brian.

* Similar colours, similar bases and six poses; I rest my [probable] case until someone proves me wrong! But it further raises the possibility of Tom Smith having carried them as well?

Kellogg's on the Cereal premium website

Saturday, January 28, 2017

C is for Contribution Week - II - Solpa from Kostas

So Contribution week may be longer than a week as so much is sat in waiting, some for a while now, like this one which Kostas sent to the Smallcscaleworld back in 2013! Only the one as the others have either gone on the Airfix Blog, or been included in an/other mixed post/s.

But being neither Airfix sculpts nor mixed stuff, it was left in Picasa waiting for a Matchbox 1:32nd post which may never come, so here, today, for your pleasure, are the Solpa piracies of Matchbox's Afrika Korps, from Greece; thanks Kostas!

Friday, January 27, 2017

C is for Contribution Week - I - Circus from Brian

The recent news that the world renowned Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus will soon close its ticket booth for the last time was a timely reminder that these were sat in Picasa from the Autumn waiting for me to do something with! I slightly cropped a couple and err . . . posted them here, now!

Brian said "Last weekend my wife and I went to Florida for a wedding. The town was Sarasota which contains a group of museums called The Ringling founded by the founder of the Ringling Brothers Circus. One part of the museum is called The Tibbals Learning Center which contains the massive model of a travelling circus at 1” to 18” scale. My photos do not do credit to the model so go to the website."

1 & 2 "...show figures on the workbench. They are based on plastic German made dolls house figures that were obtained in bulk when SEARS stores discontinued the range. I mention all this in case you can identify the brand? As you can see working from a photo they are making a diorama of workers standings outside a railcar."

A fascinating shot of a professional's workbench, not that a lot of you don't also have tools, paints, reference materials, lights, magnifiers and several works in progress scattered around or piled about! Although one feels this table's been tidied somewhat for the public who are allowed to look.

"Original figures were carved in wood . . . [...] . . . Presently a Mr. McGarvey and his wife are on site building figures to fill the gaps . . ."

These look to be commercial Italian nativity figures, possibly Composition (from the strange angle of the tails) but could be plastic? I can also see a novel use for kids pink, fluorescent, craft pipe-cleaners. The camels have also been enhanced with various items of craft and 'carding' materials, trims and baubles!

These are wonderful, I suspect a latex (?) wrap-around moulding to convert - again commercial - horses into 'sea-horses'; the mirror crates an army of them!

This is wonderful; I believe the balding gent showing the kids how a sea-lion is handled was once a novelty pencil-sharpener, possibly sold by Archee McFee/Accoutrements, about ten years ago?

Note also how the pinking-sheered edge of the model marquee almost matches the real one visible in the background and the top of the shot. I vaguely recognise the girls, are they an old, [failed?] line of 'pink' Lego?

Many more people along with a fleet of scratch-built animal wagons with what looks like one of the rings, in the background, but closer inspection reveals it's the elephants enclosure.

It would be nice to see a few comments on this one - can you ID any of the commercial figures origins, what interests you on the worktop, what do you like best, I love the sea-horse army!

Thanks to Brian Berke for sending us something a little out of the ordinary.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

News, Views etc...Shelfies

A bit of synergy had Brian Berke and I both taking shelfies of the same things on opposite sides of the Atlantic at roughly the same time! And while I ought to hold them 'till next year, my Picasa albums are full of postponed 'seasonal' stuff which then doesn't seem to get published because as the holiday approaches I take other stuff!

Pretty standard central European nutcrackers (yeah - I try to avoid the Erz...word!), but with a twist in that some have had a costume change, and are to be found wearing 'digital camo', which appears to be actual DoD approved material, glued over the standard form.

Meanwhile I shot this rather blurry image through a charity-shop's window of another take on the traditional nutcracker, this one being a Rock&Roll star!

While I shot these a week ago, they are the 'new season' stock in Poundland who have cleared most of the Xmas stuff and are gearing up for the quiet season with standards like 'the tub of generic army men'! I didn't see if they were branded to Funtastic, but last time we looked at them (also Poundland) they were.

The inset figure in a fetching silver plastic is one of the Germans, which my brother found on a walk the other day and sent round to me via my Mother - They all know my eccentricities! The Brits are a bog-standard Army Man green while the Americans come in a colour I shall dub trumputterance-brown - if you know what I mean!

Of course they are all the same poses - if you know what I mean; One life. One people. One planet...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

News, Views Etc...Odds and Sods

This 'News, Veiws...' has been put off a couple of times in recent weeks for one reason or another, so this first link is a bit dated now, but if I keep it till next Christmas it may well be a dead page, not everything lives forever on the Internet.

Krampus Birthing Event

While those of you who've followed the Blog for a while will know I like a bit of elephant action and this link has some fantastic imagery (indeed - I may have posted the link before, but it's worth a second look!)

"Get off your horse - and eat your fruit-shortie!"

This author (left) with his brother about 40 years ago! You can just see the floor of our tree-house in the hawthorns at the top-edge of the garden (which was also the edge of the heath); it waved a bit in the breeze! Funny how big the fruit shortcake's look, have they got smaller or have our hands grown that much? There's another one somewhere of us dressed as Indians, I'll try to find a copy - it was taken on a sunnier day!

Also from my childhood; this turned-up over the recent break, my archer's err...whatever an archer calls it! I seem to recall several fingers used to go in those holes, now I struggle to get one in each hole!

We got free archery lessons in school because a local club used the school-grounds and the deal was - anyone who wanted to could turn-up and fling a few sticks down the range! Mum ended-up buying us a second-hand, laminated, long-bow at a local auction (the sort of thing that came with sucker-arrows (from Chad Valley or Tri-Ang or Wembley?)), and we bought some proper arrows with steel tips and went hunting, we usually only bagged a Coke can (hard target) or rusty oil-drum (easy!) though!

Remember when Coke cans were heavy ferrous tin with rolled, crimped-ends and a separate ring-pull that was sharp enough to open-up an artery?

Sticking with the past holiday season I shot these figural scent bottles at my sister-in-law's over Christmas, ignore the dust on the rim of the snow-shaker, not that it's actually a snow-shaker, rather a fine red glitter-shaker! And I think it's filled with perfume, although I couldn't see any way of getting it out so just an odd novelty with a semi-flat HO/OO sized figure within!

The others are by/from that French bloke who used to appear on Eurotrash I think? Jean Claude? Rue Paul Galtieri, St. Paul of Isuzu . . . someone? All Breton stripy-jumper and pink beret? Eurotrash was the program that taught me in other countries collectors amass figurines of people taking a crap - amongst other things! There's a poo-museum in Belgium you know, or is it Holland? With a stuffed rhinoceros' bottom and other such luminary artifacts!

And having lowered the tone suitably, another link . . . I must stress however, that on no account should you click on the link if you are easily upset by alternative lifestyles, 'decadent' art, pornography (including Black & White photography) or anything that the pastor told you was "...Bad, very bad...", as the picture at the other end of the link is all those things and more, seriously: no point in complaining after the event!

So, so, so very, very Not Safe for Work, or the PSTSM! Definitely not for them, it'll have them throwing-up in the same coco-pops they were so recently blubbing into!

Those who trusted the broadness of their minds to click anyway will know exactly why and how I found it - Side Collection! Go!...Go!...Go! . . . They get everywhere! And yes, I think the string is . . . Yeah, well; I did warn ya! . . .

. . . but then - I do live in Fleet!
(one of Ken Reid's Creepy Creations)

Couple more links - First-up; an ideas factory for all the junk in the 'whatever' pile!...
And this which I found the other day, was flagged-up by one of it's targets in PW magazine a while ago...

Dullest men in Britain

Back to plastic toys and the Schleich squirrel got his annual outing in the last few weeks, he starts in the middle of the log, migrates to one side and ends-up perched on the 'sawn' end when it's tipped-up to stop the cut end drying-out!

Some years it's soft cream icing and he gets progressively muckier as the week progresses, but this year he kept slipping-off what was really just a thin layer of milk-chocolate!

Cat path!

Well . . . that was the winter, that was - in all: a day-and-half of slush! Now the gorse is flowering, out on the heath, and the snow-drops are up; it'll soon be summer!

I was amused by this typo in a search term - for if anyone should be found to be munted it's the bloody cavalry with their water boilers and stowage-bins and endless supply of bungee-cords courtesy of the QM and all that poncy bollocks! Minging, munting, gopping, hummers - the lot of them!