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.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

L is for the Little Baby Jesus; It's a Baby!

Of all the Nativities, in all the scales, from all the makes, in all the world, in the last seventy-odd years, which may contain figures of interest to plastic-figure collectors, it is arguable whether this is not the most exquisite, nay; finest example of them all.

The Louis Marx Nativity set.

Archangel Gabriel; Christmas; Christmas Decorations; Christmas Figures; Crèche; Creche; Jesus Christ; Joseph The Carpenter; Krip; Krippen; Little baby Jesus; Louis Marx Toys; Made In Gt Britain; Marx Nativity; Marx Toys; Mary Mother of God; Nativity Set; Noel; Old Plastic Figures; Old Plastic Novelty; Old Plastic Toy; Old Plastic Toys; Presepi; Shepherds; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Three Kings; Three Wise Men; Trade Mark; Vintage Plastic Figures; Vintage Toy Figures; Vintage Toys; Watch Thier Flocks; Wise Men;
Quite a large set too, with 15 pieces, against the mean of 8'ish. We only get three kings (I blame the carols and hymns!), but five separate animals with a carried-sixth; a lamb, some sets give you a carried lamb or a separate sheep!

Archangel Gabriel; Christmas; Christmas Decorations; Christmas Figures; Crèche; Creche; Jesus Christ; Joseph The Carpenter; Krip; Krippen; Little baby Jesus; Louis Marx Toys; Made In Gt Britain; Marx Nativity; Marx Toys; Mary Mother of God; Nativity Set; Noel; Old Plastic Figures; Old Plastic Novelty; Old Plastic Toy; Old Plastic Toys; Presepi; Shepherds; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Three Kings; Three Wise Men; Trade Mark; Vintage Plastic Figures; Vintage Toy Figures; Vintage Toys; Watch Thier Flocks; Wise Men;
The post-natal familial-group along with the archangel Gabriel. That's like the top job in the whole of everything, ever, isn't it? Impregnating virgins, appearing in the sky above shepherds (and mangers), you don't mess with an archangel; they'll turn you to a pillar of salt or something!

The Little Baby Jesus is separate in this set, most sets have him moulded (or glued) into his manger; usually some kind of basket or shoe-box which never saw action as a manger, except perhaps as a mouse-manger . . . do mice have mangers?

Archangel Gabriel; Christmas; Christmas Decorations; Christmas Figures; Crèche; Creche; Jesus Christ; Joseph The Carpenter; Krip; Krippen; Little baby Jesus; Louis Marx Toys; Made In Gt Britain; Marx Nativity; Marx Toys; Mary Mother of God; Nativity Set; Noel; Old Plastic Figures; Old Plastic Novelty; Old Plastic Toy; Old Plastic Toys; Presepi; Shepherds; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Three Kings; Three Wise Men; Trade Mark; Vintage Plastic Figures; Vintage Toy Figures; Vintage Toys; Watch Thier Flocks; Wise Men;
Two wise men and an interloper! I didn't realise until I was sorting the images and I wasn't going to shoot them again - the kneeling guy is a pesky shepherd!

The camel is a nice sculpt (as is the whole set), but very unlikely to have been in the Holy Land in the months before Ano Dominie! Bactrian camels (Asia) have two humps, Arabian camels have one, while this is clearly a modern hybrid, a mistake a lot of Nativity sets make.

Archangel Gabriel; Christmas; Christmas Decorations; Christmas Figures; Crèche; Creche; Jesus Christ; Joseph The Carpenter; Krip; Krippen; Little baby Jesus; Louis Marx Toys; Made In Gt Britain; Marx Nativity; Marx Toys; Mary Mother of God; Nativity Set; Noel; Old Plastic Figures; Old Plastic Novelty; Old Plastic Toy; Old Plastic Toys; Presepi; Shepherds; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Three Kings; Three Wise Men; Trade Mark; Vintage Plastic Figures; Vintage Toy Figures; Vintage Toys; Watch Thier Flocks; Wise Men;
For some reason, this line-up wouldn't photograph without glare, so I've had to stop the contrast right-down and raise the shadows to the max to get them viewable, leaving them looking like they are floating in the firmament! I think it's because it was a longer line-up so I was holding the camera further away?

Anyway; the missing wise man with his present in front of his knees, joins the beasts and the other shepherd. The donkey had to have his front legs glued back on for the photographs, and I'm not sure if they are both the right way round!

Archangel Gabriel; Christmas; Christmas Decorations; Christmas Figures; Crèche; Creche; Jesus Christ; Joseph The Carpenter; Krip; Krippen; Little baby Jesus; Louis Marx Toys; Made In Gt Britain; Marx Nativity; Marx Toys; Mary Mother of God; Nativity Set; Noel; Old Plastic Figures; Old Plastic Novelty; Old Plastic Toy; Old Plastic Toys; Presepi; Shepherds; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Three Kings; Three Wise Men; Trade Mark; Vintage Plastic Figures; Vintage Toy Figures; Vintage Toys; Watch Thier Flocks; Wise Men;
Examples of both the base markings and the exquisite detailing on this set. Kent Sprecher's site reports that there was a US re-issue in a colour similar to this (bottom of page), but these are the original 'early' British Marx issue from Swansea in a very-chalky plastic which is quite brittle now, but holds (or displays?) the fine etched detailing superbly, and gives them a cool but heavy or solid feel that makes them a joy to handle.

Archangel Gabriel; Christmas; Christmas Decorations; Christmas Figures; Crèche; Creche; Jesus Christ; Joseph The Carpenter; Krip; Krippen; Little baby Jesus; Louis Marx Toys; Made In Gt Britain; Marx Nativity; Marx Toys; Mary Mother of God; Nativity Set; Noel; Old Plastic Figures; Old Plastic Novelty; Old Plastic Toy; Old Plastic Toys; Presepi; Shepherds; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Three Kings; Three Wise Men; Trade Mark; Vintage Plastic Figures; Vintage Toy Figures; Vintage Toys; Watch Thier Flocks; Wise Men;
The 'stamp' lookalike or 'wax-seal' base mark on this early Marx stuff is getting hard to read with my eyes, so I knocked-up this; in case you're in the same boat!

Obviously; the inset graphic (bottom right corner) is a simplification of the central cipher.

Archangel Gabriel; Christmas; Christmas Decorations; Christmas Figures; Crèche; Creche; Jesus Christ; Joseph The Carpenter; Krip; Krippen; Little baby Jesus; Louis Marx Toys; Made In Gt Britain; Marx Nativity; Marx Toys; Mary Mother of God; Nativity Set; Noel; Old Plastic Figures; Old Plastic Novelty; Old Plastic Toy; Old Plastic Toys; Presepi; Shepherds; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Three Kings; Three Wise Men; Trade Mark; Vintage Plastic Figures; Vintage Toy Figures; Vintage Toys; Watch Thier Flocks; Wise Men;
Thought I'd better add a bit of colour! From the left Marx's Mary; an unknown Italian rubber Mary, apparently made specifically for the UK market (I'll look at it in another post); a Hong Kong copy of a (probably larger) Italian original; Jean Hoeffler from Germany; a modern mail-order set's Mary and Joseph; Art Plastic's larger scale Joseph (we've seen the smaller one link . . .  er . . . no we haven't, I thought we had, I'll sort that out; but it may be next year now!) and Marx again.

Archangel Gabriel; Christmas; Christmas Decorations; Christmas Figures; Crèche; Creche; Jesus Christ; Joseph The Carpenter; Krip; Krippen; Little baby Jesus; Louis Marx Toys; Made In Gt Britain; Marx Nativity; Marx Toys; Mary Mother of God; Nativity Set; Noel; Old Plastic Figures; Old Plastic Novelty; Old Plastic Toy; Old Plastic Toys; Presepi; Shepherds; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Three Kings; Three Wise Men; Trade Mark; Vintage Plastic Figures; Vintage Toy Figures; Vintage Toys; Watch Thier Flocks; Wise Men;
Too-bright, but as good as I could get them without further intervention? The shepherd is missing the top of his crook, and finding one intact is about as likely as finding Lone Star musketeers!

2 comments:

Mark, Man of TIN said...

That's interesting, Hugh, I have been given a white plastic brittle set of these clearly marked GERMANY in a circle / round under the base marking. These will feature on my 24th December Advent Calendar blog post on the Man of TIN blog. Mark, Man of TIN

Hugh Walter said...

Tin Man -Off the top of my head - Charmore, or Heimo? Although if they are this plastic maybe Swansea shot them with a 'Germany' base plug? Unlikely, but Marx was an 'Empire' at the time, and a convoluted one at that!

H