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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

U is for Unknown Russian Kids Fantasy Figures?

These are fun, and if any of the Russian or Russian-speaking loyal readers from the former Soviet Bloc can fill us in on them, even a decent link to a Wikipedia page or something, I would dearly like to know more.

Big Nose; Cartoon Characters; Cheburashka; Eastern Bloc Toys; Fantastical Creatures; Fantasy Figures; Kid's Fantasy Toys; Kid's TV Characters; Russian Plastic Toys; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Soviet Cartoon Characters; Soviet Plastic Toy; Soviet Russian Kid's Characters; Spanner Man; Tin Man;
I can only assume they are from some Kids TV thing like The Magic Roundabout or Fabulandia, even Sesame Street, or the current In the Night Garden . . . with a fantastical setting and things which look half recognisable, and others which are wholly surreal?

We used to get some kid's stuff, from Czechoslovakia or East Germany I think, often quite scary puppet stuff (I wasn't too keen on) but also cartoons or stop-motion animations similar to The Magic Roundabout, but I don't recognise these figures.

The spanner-man (top left) even has features in common with one of Mattel's MUSCLE men, while the next is clearly an onion, followed by a figure bearing a passing resemblance to the Tin Man of Oz, and a Micky take-off completes the top row.

The bottom row has someone in a large sun-hat or halo, or is it the actual sun? The next is a wooden doll maybe (she (he?) reminds me a bit of Zeberdee), a normal'ish/human-looking fat lady with a huge nose and the most human of all, who looks a bit like Vicky the Viking.

And I use the comparisons not to suggest plagiarism, but because they are my closest cultural references - I'm sure these were all unique designs with full back-stories, fitting their Russian heritage? I believe this eight sculpts is a full set, although I may have seen some of the characters as larger blow-moulded toys, PVC figurines or soft toys, while searching for other stuff on feebleBay?

Big Nose; Cartoon Characters; Cheburashka; Eastern Bloc Toys; Fantastical Creatures; Fantasy Figures; Kid's Fantasy Toys; Kid's TV Characters; Russian Plastic Toys; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Soviet Cartoon Characters; Soviet Plastic Toy; Soviet Russian Kid's Characters; Spanner Man; Tin Man;
I have one set in plain scarlet and another in multiple subdued/pastel colours, again a set of eight, I didn't shoot all of them and noticed that while some have a fully-round disposition, some are semi-flat / demi-ronde, but don't know if it reflects the actual TV characters (if it's even a TV thing!), or more of a production/sculptor thing?

Big Nose; Cartoon Characters; Cheburashka; Eastern Bloc Toys; Fantastical Creatures; Fantasy Figures; Kid's Fantasy Toys; Kid's TV Characters; Russian Plastic Toys; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Soviet Cartoon Characters; Soviet Plastic Toy; Soviet Russian Kid's Characters; Spanner Man; Tin Man;
A few close-ups to show the subtle surface detailing, the odd noses on the 'tin man' and fat girl (her's looks like it might be a pencil-stub?), 'Mickey's' big ears (similar to the better-known Russian cartoon charcter Cheburashka but also very different) and the hat/sun/halo thing!

Like I say - they're fun, around 45/50mm and a softish soapy polyethylene, similar to the mono-block AFV's we've seen here at Small Scale World. Do you know more about them . . . character names, production name, era, even the toy-maker? Odessa's Kultbyttovarov used the same colours on their small scale ships, 'planes and AFV's?

*  **   ***    ****     *****      ******     *****    ****   ***  ** *

Later the same day - not in pink 'cos there's too much! Chris Smith got on the case before work this morning and nailed it!

". . . had sneaky look at your blog and finished down a google worm hole! This must be the onion headed one, not sure if the others are characters from the film or other popular children’s stories?"

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2474800/

". . . looked further. More interesting than work! Your hunch on Cheburashka was right after all. Your description in red."

Петрушка (Parsley) Vicky the Viking (a clown puppet a bit like a Russian Punch)
Буратино (Pinocchio/Buratino) Tinman
Незнайка (Neznaika/Dunno) Sun Hat/Halo
Чебурашка (Cheburashka) Ditto*
Дюймовочка (Thumbelina) Wooden Doll
Самоделкин (Samodelkin) Spanner-Man
Карандаш (Pencil) Fat Lady Big Nose (If you look her nose is hexagonal and pointed)**
Чиполлино (Cipollino) Onion Boy

* This character is currently in talks with Disney, but now - in poplar culture -  looks more like a monkey than the above toy, which is probably why I saw a similarity with the ears, but not the body!

** I was closing-in!

So it's a Russian take on old folk/fairy-tales, mashed together under the central Cipollino (who IS an onion!), some of the characters also having been covered by Disney in different guises, it was also apparently popular in Italy and so successful behind 'the curtain' that we got a set of toys and, later, a full ballet production! And the 'Tin Man' is actually a wooden boy. It also explains why I thought I'd seen them in other sizes and materials, because I must have!

Cheers Chris! Magic!

*****************

Later still - It is originally an Italian story; Chris sent me another link I hadn't seen . . . 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cipollino

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chipollino_(film)

*****************

Even later!

I don't think most of the above characters are from the movie (the apparent absence of king/mayor 'Tomato' was bugging me), I think they are from the Russian kid's books 'Expanded Universe? And it looks like Pencil is a boy!

https://flomaster.club/18407-karandash-i-samodelkin-illjustracii-ivana-semenova.html

2 comments:

Jan Ferris said...

They are different, like things made of nightmares. Nice find.

Hugh Walter said...

Cheers Jan, from the links; I suspect quite harmless!

H