About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 56-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.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

TM is for Tactical Missile, Technical Manual, Threat Manager, Trade Mark, Trench Mortar . . .

. . . or Toy Major! In this case it's also for Ackerman, Hornby Hobbies and Dollar Tree, among others, I'm sure!

Bit of a toe-treading on this one, as EY posted these the other day (Mini Carry Case Playsets), but in my defence I had already photographed the six (or five-and-a-half; one's been opened) sealed sets as I sorted them out to storage, but was waiting for the lose stuff to turn-up and a couple of Hornby AFV's I knew I had in the TBS pile to tell the whole story.

Ackerman Group Plc.; Ackerman Mini Sets; Battle Zone; Carded Mini Playsets; Carry Cases; Cary case Play Sets; Cavemen; Cold War Era Troops; Dino Safari; Dinosaurs; Dollar Tree Distribution; Dragons; Hornby Hobbies; Hornby Railways; Hummer; Knights; M1 Abrams; M1 MBT; Medieval Toy Figures; Mini Army Carry Case; Mini Dinosaur Carry Case; Mini Dragon Carry Case; Prehistoric Men; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tim Mee; Toy Major; Toy Master; Train Sets;
Agency on these was the aforementioned Toy Major, with further branding to end user Ackerman here in the UK, in the US the packaging remained generic but the sets were an exclusively Dollar Tree thing? Modern combat, medieval-fantasy and a prehistoric mash-up - Homo's and Dino's together - were the three choices.

The US sets also have limited quantities per case in a little bag, the UK sets (retailing at two-quid in the late-nineties/early-noughties) got a larger sample in separate blister with more play value, which still fit easily-enough in the case; the crinkly-bag was the logistical constraint with the US issues!

Ackerman Group Plc.; Ackerman Mini Sets; Battle Zone; Carded Mini Playsets; Carry Cases; Cary case Play Sets; Cavemen; Cold War Era Troops; Dino Safari; Dinosaurs; Dollar Tree Distribution; Dragons; Hornby Hobbies; Hornby Railways; Hummer; Knights; M1 Abrams; M1 MBT; Medieval Toy Figures; Mini Army Carry Case; Mini Dinosaur Carry Case; Mini Dragon Carry Case; Prehistoric Men; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tim Mee; Toy Major; Toy Master; Train Sets;
Artwork is shared, but photoshopped about a bit to fit the different packaging options, so it was all a question of which format you ordered back in Hong Kong from the TM agents!

Ackerman Group Plc.; Ackerman Mini Sets; Battle Zone; Carded Mini Playsets; Carry Cases; Cary case Play Sets; Cavemen; Cold War Era Troops; Dino Safari; Dinosaurs; Dollar Tree Distribution; Dragons; Hornby Hobbies; Hornby Railways; Hummer; Knights; M1 Abrams; M1 MBT; Medieval Toy Figures; Mini Army Carry Case; Mini Dinosaur Carry Case; Mini Dragon Carry Case; Prehistoric Men; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tim Mee; Toy Major; Toy Master; Train Sets;
Some of the lose stuff, they don't seem too uncommon here, with the odd few in several of the donations from Chris, Peter and Trevor over the years, while I suspect the palm-trees (included in every set) also got a cake-decorating/crafting issue, possibly still extant on Alibaba or something similar, in bulk?

They are quite small, but fill out a war game's scenic jungle well enough and can make good thick secondary jungle in the larger scales.

Ackerman Group Plc.; Ackerman Mini Sets; Battle Zone; Carded Mini Playsets; Carry Cases; Cary case Play Sets; Cavemen; Cold War Era Troops; Dino Safari; Dinosaurs; Dollar Tree Distribution; Dragons; Hornby Hobbies; Hornby Railways; Hummer; Knights; M1 Abrams; M1 MBT; Medieval Toy Figures; Mini Army Carry Case; Mini Dinosaur Carry Case; Mini Dragon Carry Case; Prehistoric Men; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tim Mee; Toy Major; Toy Master; Train Sets;
You can see the constraint placed on content-count by the little bag very well here, with only six monsters ('Dragons') and six figures, each split equally between two colours, you aren't going to get everything in a set, with the British issue that is less of a lottery, although you may still drop one or two poses in one or the other colour-way?

Ackerman Group Plc.; Ackerman Mini Sets; Battle Zone; Carded Mini Playsets; Carry Cases; Cary case Play Sets; Cavemen; Cold War Era Troops; Dino Safari; Dinosaurs; Dollar Tree Distribution; Dragons; Hornby Hobbies; Hornby Railways; Hummer; Knights; M1 Abrams; M1 MBT; Medieval Toy Figures; Mini Army Carry Case; Mini Dinosaur Carry Case; Mini Dragon Carry Case; Prehistoric Men; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tim Mee; Toy Major; Toy Master; Train Sets;
The 'cave men' are copies of late Tim Mee/Processed Plastic's larger figures, although the stone-axe man has been converted to a dagger-man!, the prehistoric hominids are also the exception proving the rule of the others in having only one colour iteration.

The knights are copied from the Supreme 2nd (of three) types, as seen here at Small Scale World before, from several brands and in several sizes, and - this time - you get six poses in silver or black. They fight each other and/or a bunch of whacky creatures which are barely dragons, and not that monstrous, indeed; the unicorn is more of a unicornet and a bit of a sweetie!

Dinosaurs have a five count; relatively crude Dimetrodon, Diplodocus, Stegasaurus, T-Rex'y meat-eater and Triceratops, although its bi-cera's are so small it almost qualifies as a proto-cera'! You can see that despite a tub-full, I've yet to get a loose 'Dipy' in yellow, so all set-contents are clearly random.

As you may have noticed the animals come in/as two paired colourways - green-yellow (which appears commoner) and a mauve'ish purple-orange combo'.

Less than an hour later - there is a fourth caveman pose with club, I thought he was an artwork/pre-publicity thing, but there is one in my sealed set, you can just make out his back! So EY's right and I just don't have  a lose one.

Ackerman Group Plc.; Ackerman Mini Sets; Battle Zone; Carded Mini Playsets; Carry Cases; Cary case Play Sets; Cavemen; Cold War Era Troops; Dino Safari; Dinosaurs; Dollar Tree Distribution; Dragons; Hornby Hobbies; Hornby Railways; Hummer; Knights; M1 Abrams; M1 MBT; Medieval Toy Figures; Mini Army Carry Case; Mini Dinosaur Carry Case; Mini Dragon Carry Case; Prehistoric Men; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tim Mee; Toy Major; Toy Master; Train Sets;
The combat infantry are rather nice, six poses in tan or olive-drab fatigues, reminiscent of similar figures from Revell, Silvercorn/LP or Galoob's 'Micro machines', and original sculpts of some quality. Also reminiscent of Tim Mee/PP's GI's in colour offering, but unsurprising as they - Toy Major - are responsible for a set of Tim Mee knock-offs in the 54mm range.

They are clearly in that time period between the current era and the back-end of the Cold War (sort of 1971-91'ish), vague 'fritz' helmets on a couple can be painted-out, so they will still go well in a Vietnam setting.

None of the sets are currently listed on Toy Major's site, but they are still carrying the larger GI's and one of the many 50mm iterations of Supreme's knights.

Ackerman Group Plc.; Ackerman Mini Sets; Battle Zone; Carded Mini Playsets; Carry Cases; Cary case Play Sets; Cavemen; Cold War Era Troops; Dino Safari; Dinosaurs; Dollar Tree Distribution; Dragons; Hornby Hobbies; Hornby Railways; Hummer; Knights; M1 Abrams; M1 MBT; Medieval Toy Figures; Mini Army Carry Case; Mini Dinosaur Carry Case; Mini Dragon Carry Case; Prehistoric Men; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tim Mee; Toy Major; Toy Master; Train Sets;
The combat figures were also issued in a theHornby train set 'Battle Zone' back in the noughties, and while I thought the cave-men might have been in its sister set; the Jurrassic Park knock-off 'Dino Safari', they weren't . . . the set got a handful of PVC Chinasaurs, but is linked through the AFV's.

Ackerman Group Plc.; Ackerman Mini Sets; Battle Zone; Carded Mini Playsets; Carry Cases; Cary case Play Sets; Cavemen; Cold War Era Troops; Dino Safari; Dinosaurs; Dollar Tree Distribution; Dragons; Hornby Hobbies; Hornby Railways; Hummer; Knights; M1 Abrams; M1 MBT; Medieval Toy Figures; Mini Army Carry Case; Mini Dinosaur Carry Case; Mini Dragon Carry Case; Prehistoric Men; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tim Mee; Toy Major; Toy Master; Train Sets;
Probably a Hornby Hobbies thing, rather than Toy Major, so a tenuous link, but it ties all the loose-ends together, we have seen them before here I think, more than once, but that's how the cookie crumbles sometime.

An M1 Abrams tank lookie-likey with running-gear and hull shape closer to the variable geometry of the predeceased MBT70 program's prototypes (they could drop their noses to enhance the 'hull-down' low-profile aspect) and a rather nice Hummer, which can be found in both sand and drab to match the troops. The Hummer has a removable tilt with very delicate locating-studs which tend to be found snapped-off.

And that heading . . . it also means or has meant in the past - Tape Mark, Target Material, Tasking Memorandum, Task Memory, TeaM (as Tm. or tm), Team Materials, Team Member, Technical Maintenance, Technical Management, TeleMetering, TeleMetry, Temperature Meter, Temperature Monitor, Terrain Masking, Test Manager, "Thanks Man" (or "Mate"), Theater Missile, ['Landsat'] Thematic Mapper, Tone Modulation, [to receive] TeleMetry, TradeMark, Training Manual, Transmission Matrix, Transverse Magnetic [field], 'TROPO' Modem, Type Model, and Too Many [bloody abbreviations!].

4 comments:

EY said...

Great article Hugh, I didn't realize these sets dated from the late 90s. That's probably why I never encountered them in Dollar Tree
The dinos seem to be modeled after TimMee dinos as well.

Hugh Walter said...

Yeah! They're so small they could be anyone's! I think they were around 2001/2, something like that, I'll have the UK date in the files and I can't remember when they catalogued with Hornby, but I do remember previewing them in Plastic Warrior magazine, so that would have been the 2001 or 2005 (?) shows? As far as I can remember they were from a petrol station or corner-shop over here. but that's par for the course as far as Amscan goes!

H

Ian. said...

Hi. I have recently purchased the combat figures. I have been searching, trying to get some info on them. Thank you for providing ID on them.
They are good figures, and quite useful as generic moderns.
Ian

Hugh Walter said...

Pleased to have helped Ian! They were pt on the Blog back at the start somewhere, under Hornby I think, but there's so much now it is getting harder to find commoner titled things! And they are very useful figures, they go well with the Esci/Italeri Vietnam set, and if you can locate the Silvercorn figures (a bit soft) or the later (high base-numbers) Micromachines . . . and Matchbox did some similar figures in small quantities a few years ago in the resurrected Battle Kings range, but a lot of them are a bit silly!

H