About Me

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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.

Friday, March 31, 2023

F is for Follow-up; the Mailman Called!

So, further to the previous two posts, the other sucker-toy spaceships turned-up, as did another larger lot of mixed erasers, pencil tops and fridge magnets, so a quick follow-up here, a return to rubber robots later and then something else, because you can have too many multicoloured infant toys in any given period!
Three new ones and a duplicate of the evil-looking crab-like, bomb-shaped, claw-armed one! I have no idea how many there are, or how many colours they come in, but I think I have seen them in the background of other fleaBay searches over the years, and there are a few more to find . . . or one or two maybe?

I shot them twice as it'll be a while before we see them again, I don't doubt! And as I said the other day; they are made out of a polymer which doesn't seem to be aiming at erasing anything! So potentially capsule toys, sold as 'sucker' novelties rather than erasers?

They still stick to windows, but the sky was less interesting today! The act of photographing them against glass with the background at infinity (photographically speaking) makes them looks slightly fake, Photoshoped or an animation cell!

The other set which came in, contains various themes, some of which I've been aware of (spaceships and robots) some I wasn't, while the two 'mineral samples' (or asteroids?) came with a different lot a while ago, but clearly match the rest.
Spaceships on the top row, the fighters may be re-issued, I know I've seen the F14 Tomcat in other colours (Diener?) but they may be bigger, likewise, the vehicles in the bottom row have 'vintage' counterparts. Another clue to their being re-issues is that markings differ between them, while the quality of the mouldings is good, due to their being from Japan rather than Hong Kong or China.

There's also some robots, here compared with a previously mentioned Diener chap ('Gill Face'), nicely compatible, and again I don't know how many there are, do they go with the spaceships, or are we looking at several part-lines here? I suspect various part lines, re-issued in gold/silver elastomer and sold out of shop-stock grab-trays? Certainly I do know the robots had a vintage issue, in primary colours, and there are several more to find in either iteration - a lop-sided 'duckting' one and a couple of Diener-alikes!

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

UFO is for Utterly Frivolous Objects!

Following-on from last night's post, I sort of went off down a quick flying saucer/eraser rabbit-hole, and here's the results, nothing too exciting, but it's all fun!
The Imperial saucers again, along with those polyethylene ones we looked at here, and the red one in the middle which is a newbie! Not sure if it's meant to be an eraser, or just a novelty, but it has a sucker-pad and is manufactured in more of a PVC-alike, than a pencil rubber material type?

On the left here are two combined erasers (outer, white portion) and pencil sharpeners; hidden within the coloured transparencies. They are still wrapped in a crisp film, but I can't decide which one to open!

Adding the two rounder ones from the previously blogged lot (and I forgot the Silvercorn saucer in that post, but I don't know where it is right now, to compare anyway!), and a mini UFO Frisbee, branded to Dick Turtle, who was the mascot/brandmark for one of the lucky-bags available in the late 1990's. He WAS a 'space' turtle, more normally depicted riding a rocket, than a UFO though!

Three more of the sucker set (there's a few in the post, so we should soon be returning to them briefly?), they are more generic in their sci-fi'edness, but shades of Star Wars and Star Trek I think? Even Alien, with that chunky, funky-green 'factory ship'!

They stick to windows!

F is for Follow-up - Buck Rogers on a 20th Century Pencil

Returning to last August now, with a follow-up to the post on Buck Rogers silicon pencil-tops from Imperial, following a rather lucky purchase the other day. Highlighted by Brian Heiler on Facebook, in his long-running '5 Awsome Things On eBay This Week' trope (he finds these things, so we don't have to!) and a small bidding war, I was the successful winner of two whole boxes of them!
Buck Rogers; Buck Rogers In The 25th Century; Imperial Buck Rogers; Imperial Pencil Toppers; Imperial Toys; Novelties; Novelty Erasers; Novelty Figurines; Novelty Pencil Toppers; Pencil Earsers; Pencil Rubbers; Pencil Toppers; Robot Erasers; Robot Twiki; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Ships; Starships; Stormtrooper Toy; Thunderfighter; Twiki; Wilma Deering;
Although the seller gave a good description of the lot and how he'd sorted them into actual Buck Rogers and the more generic knock-off stuff with a Star Wars vibe, he didn't say there was one of each piece in each main colour with three extra colour-variants! Had he, I might have been out-bid; equally, if I'd spent more time looking at the images accompanying the lot, I might have worked that out for myself! And compared to other boxed sets/part-sets which have come-up (several now) it was a fair win I think!

Buck Rogers; Buck Rogers In The 25th Century; Imperial Buck Rogers; Imperial Pencil Toppers; Imperial Toys; Novelties; Novelty Erasers; Novelty Figurines; Novelty Pencil Toppers; Pencil Earsers; Pencil Rubbers; Pencil Toppers; Robot Erasers; Robot Twiki; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Ships; Starships; Stormtrooper Toy; Thunderfighter; Twiki; Wilma Deering;
Wilma and Buck flanking an Imperial Stormtrooper type in the upper shot, and Cee-D2 and Artoo-3PO to the right of the execrable Twitty-Tweet the Twelek Twiki in the lower image - god I hate that fatuous character!

Buck Rogers; Buck Rogers In The 25th Century; Imperial Buck Rogers; Imperial Pencil Toppers; Imperial Toys; Novelties; Novelty Erasers; Novelty Figurines; Novelty Pencil Toppers; Pencil Earsers; Pencil Rubbers; Pencil Toppers; Robot Erasers; Robot Twiki; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Ships; Starships; Stormtrooper Toy; Thunderfighter; Twiki; Wilma Deering;
In red; Buck's Defense Directorate starfighter, a Maruder from the bad-guys, led by Princess Ardarla (stangely humanoid, but whose back-story is never fully filled-out if I recall correctly?) and an A/B/Y-Wing! In yellow; the Back Rogers space station, a horse tranquilliser dart and one which is equally unplaceable! That last one is the only sculpt with full symmetry in two planes.

Buck Rogers; Buck Rogers In The 25th Century; Imperial Buck Rogers; Imperial Pencil Toppers; Imperial Toys; Novelties; Novelty Erasers; Novelty Figurines; Novelty Pencil Toppers; Pencil Earsers; Pencil Rubbers; Pencil Toppers; Robot Erasers; Robot Twiki; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Ships; Starships; Stormtrooper Toy; Thunderfighter; Twiki; Wilma Deering;
Buck's ship again from various angles. It's much closer to the one seen on big and little screens than the risible Corgi ones, with their squashed wings, elongated noses and 'elf-und-safty' crossbars!

Buck Rogers; Buck Rogers In The 25th Century; Imperial Buck Rogers; Imperial Pencil Toppers; Imperial Toys; Novelties; Novelty Erasers; Novelty Figurines; Novelty Pencil Toppers; Pencil Earsers; Pencil Rubbers; Pencil Toppers; Robot Erasers; Robot Twiki; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Ships; Starships; Stormtrooper Toy; Thunderfighter; Twiki; Wilma Deering;
I've already added another colour variant to these and a third blue of Wilma, and I only had four here, so when I get the storage lot added-in it might be quite the sample!

Buck Rogers; Buck Rogers In The 25th Century; Imperial Buck Rogers; Imperial Pencil Toppers; Imperial Toys; Novelties; Novelty Erasers; Novelty Figurines; Novelty Pencil Toppers; Pencil Earsers; Pencil Rubbers; Pencil Toppers; Robot Erasers; Robot Twiki; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Ships; Starships; Stormtrooper Toy; Thunderfighter; Twiki; Wilma Deering;
The box with side and back, the scanner is at the new flat, while I couldn't wait to shoot these here, so full high-res images can wait for the A-Z entry in a year or so . . . wasn't I saying that over a year ago? You don't want to know!
Shout out to the seller too, Corey (swankcat on evilBay), as there was a real problem with the parcel, and when you've invested a chunk of dough, the last thing you want is for the tracking to keep saying "Delieverd on the 17th" when it was only delivered to the tosser-station at Erlanger, Kentucky!
Thankfully, Hermes (who are still Hermes on the tracker, despite changing their name to Evri here (to hide their piss-poor reputation?) picked it up and ran with it, even though feeBay had lost all interest in it, on the wrong continent!

The Global shipping programme is such a profiteering scam it's untrue, how can it be better for fleaBay, Pitney Bowes (last heard-of selling typewriter paper in the 1970's) and Hermes-call-us-Evri, to all take themselves a percentage, and spend an extra week or two doing so, when parcels sent direct from Canada or through USPost can be here in three days for less money . . . fussa-bloody-russa!

Of course, 'Evri' left it in full view of the road all day while I was at the London Toy Soldier show, despite my having a huge wooden trunk in the porch with 'Parcels Please' written on it, which both beat-postie and Parcelfarce guy seem to find regularly? Our civilisation IS coming to an end, I mean . . . it just is!

Sunday, March 26, 2023

F is for Follow-up - G is for Giant . . . Not!

It's a funny old game, this toy soldier & model figure collecting, just when you think you've cracked something, something-else comes along to fuck you up! Exactly a year ago I posted the various Giant and copy astronauts/spacemen over on the Giant blog, I don't seem to have done an announcement here on the home blog though, but they went in here;
And I was pretty pleased with the result, it cleared-up a lot of the confusion over the various types and I tracked down examples of most types of packaging, compared and contrasted, and illustrated the various different marks. It wasn't definitive; these things never are, but the articles did the job! Until now . . . 

. . . when first, Gareth showed this at the last Sandown Park toy fair (where I shot the above), only to let me have the example today at the London Toy Solder Show. He's about 45mm and has some age, but is probably a scale-up of the Giant mini's rather than the other way round, and only points to more to be found!

So, large scale copies of Giant smallies - the search goes on!

Friday, March 24, 2023

F is for Follow-up - Elephants!

We like an elephant or two here, and further to the decorative china ones we saw the other day, Brian Berke remembered some sets he got from Sri Lanka, which I think is a new tag, and it's not often we add a new country to the tag-list, so a definite feather in the cap there Brian!
Small wooden elephants, carved by hand and painted in bright colours, you see them around, and they are obviously a touristy thing, but the little designs on them are scaled-down representations of the actual decorative elements painted on real elephants when they are to participate in a parade or wedding ceremony.

Both sets from both sides, one wonders how many colours you need to find to have a 'full' sample!

Scaled with a Crescent figure, we can see they are about 25/30mm, but they do come in various sizes, I have vague memories of very large 15"+ ones artfully arranged in old fireplaces (as mug coasters/small coffee-tables), or smaller 6"-10" ones on mantelpieces or bookshelves.

And it just so happened that I had three teeny-tiny ones come-in recently in a mixed lot from somewhere, which we may or may not have seen already, everything's gone - if not full pear-shaped - at lets a bit 'sixes & nines', and I've lost track of where everything was in the grand plan! Note; one has a red underside instead of the black on all the others?

Seen here, you can see they are little more than about 10mm, and I've shot them with another - more realistically painted - glazed china elephant and a bisque one in a similar, but matt, finish. The bisque being solid, the shiny one, hollow, like a mini-fairing, which he probably was, part of another family of minis!
This is the TBS box (to be sorted) of elephants which have come in over the last four or five months, it's almost endless! We should have seen the biggie ('soft play' is, I believe, the term for these huge rubberised animals or dinosaurs) before, a few years ago. But he turned-up again when I was clearing the attic, his plastic bag having slipped down the back of something. A bag which was reminding me he came from Tiger Stores (now Flying Tiger), the bag is beginning to crumble, so must be a biodegradable one!

Little & Large . . . "Hay-heh Syd, Climb-up!"

News, Views Etc . . . Events

Show News
As mentioned the other day, it's the London Toy Soldier Show tomorrow;
Haverstock School
24 Haverstock Hill
Chalk Farm
London NW3 2BQ

09:30-16:00hrs for buyers,

Auction News

Lot 4266

Thornaby Head Office
Vectis Ltd
Fleck Way
TS17 9JZ

01642 750 616

Thursday, March 23, 2023

T is for Tallon't

Hey, everyone's allowed a bad pun occasionally! Picked these up at a recent show (I haven't done show reports for the last couple - London's new 'combined' show this Saturday!), but I thought we could use a bit of novelty, rack-toy tat!

Space Toys! Technically Manurba I think, but seen here in their UK iteration of Tallon, they were also copied in Hong Kong at some point, or maybe the moulds ended-up there? I've never compared side-by-side to know definitively, but they are a perfect scale for the Airfix astronauts or Giant and copy spacemen and googlie-eyed aliens.
Image seen elsewhere the other day; I have a similar trio of loose ones which I thought I'd put on the Blog years ago, but I can't find them, so . . . well, these'll stay in the pack as I know the loose ones are there . . . and they weren't that cheap! I'm not sure if there were the three sculpts or maybe a selection of 5 or six, but when the loose ones turn-up we'll have another look.
I think the HK ones have blue canopies, but they may be clear, whereas all my W. Germany marked ones are yellow, equally the clones are pastel colours, while these are always primaries/secondaries. Bodies are soft polyethylene, canopies, hard polystyrene. Going back to the future as we'll never have cars like these, which ooze 1950's Pulp-styling!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

News, Views Etc . . . Herald Toys & Models

Apologies to Barney, this actually came through on Friday, but my Internet has been a bit intermittent and I'd neglected Hotmail!

"....this week we have an eclectic collection of British plastics from the 1950's, including Cherilea, Crescent, Herald, Lone Star, Trojan, Timpo and VP. Themes include Wild West, Khaki Infantry, Knights in armour, Arabs & Foreign Legion. In all there are three pages of New Products for you to review...."

And Barney's landing page is here Herald Toys & Models, click on 'Items for sale' then click on 'What's New' to get the full results.

I also found some lovely stuff for Easter in Hotmail!

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

H is for How They Come In - Charity Shops

Just a quickie, there is a ton of Charity Shop posts going back to Lockdown somewhere in the heap of half-lost stuff in the 'User' folder, which isn't a user folder! But these are some of this year's more recent purchases!

The fourth of January, I ventured out to get essentials between Christmas and the New Year, only to find M&S were selling-off their mini Christmas puddings for 50p, so I filled my boots (I still have one, which is pencilled-in for my birthday treat!). At the same time I picked-up the three figures on the left, I think they are all from the current Fortnight craze, two key-rings and a stamper, all about 54mm.

To their right are the following Wednesday's ( the best day for toys in one of the charity shops) finds.

Which consisted of four apes in three sculpts, one is branded I think, but in the chaos of the moment I didn't note it at the time and they are away for now, but one day we'll look at them all again!
Not sure if these are more Fortnight, Laura Croft or some Barbie thing, but three TV/Movie (or gaming!) type babes in a vinyl-like soft polymer, looks like they should have separate weapons/accessories? Anyone recognise them?
Normally with these ceramics/fairings, I'll buy cats or the odd dog, elephants (see below!), and some branded stuff like Wade, but this caught my eye as it looks like Peter Rabbit. However, there was no branding and the colours are a bit off, so I suspect an unlicensed knock-off.
Nice PVC or similar bear, keyring, some age maybe, 1970's? Not much else I can add, if it was marked the above note about a lack of note-taking applies!
Small china elephants, probably from China! Consisting of a family group with matching graphics, in incrementally smaller size. They can be arranged to touch the tail of the one in front, with the tip of their trunks, along with one outlier who has different graphics and may have lost a similarly incrementally-sized family? He looks sad with his trunk down . . .

Sunday, March 12, 2023

F is for Follow-up to the Follow-up and Interim Non Follow-up! Kain Etc . . .

It's funny, when I posted the Greek carded rack toy set recently (no link, I've re-tagged them all and will put is at the end) I managed to find the original trio, but not the identifier, likewise when I posted the single red one with the Kain mark, I also linked it to the unmarked trio, but forgot it when I posted the carded set.
So, this additional group really is as described in the title! So, if you scroll to the bottom of this article and click on the link, you'll get what was a single Kain tag and is now four articles including this one, the other three below this.

This new sample actually came from Cyprus, but the free part which only underlines the Greek connection to these, and among some duplicates are both new poses and new colours against that which has gone before. Here we see the shooters, with a Marx pose, several Crescent poses and what I think might be a French chap, standing firing.
Abe' Lincoln and his long-lost identical twin, horsewippin' a bank-robber, all courtesy of Crescent, the green one has the Kain mark, semi-removed; see note below. Numbering has also changed relative to my earlier guesswork, but I've adjusted the original list, another reason to read all four in sequence!
Two foot Indians, where the numbering guesswork fell-down as they have high numbers, both are marked, one clearly, the other with the sign of attempted removal. Of course, they are the second and third found, as I had found one previously! One ex-Crescent, the other also French-looking in origin?
And the numbers reveal that actually the foot cowboys occupy the low spot where I'd pencilled-in the foot Indians (with a question mark, I always try to cover my arse), while some of the new numbers go way-up, hinting at 30+ figures, but mostly cowboys, so far?
And so to the Kain/non-Kain thing. Obviously the 'finger mark' I mentioned on the previous find was actually a strike-through, seen here on the blue one, while the tan/fawn one has a full mark; unfortunately hard to make out, as it was a short shot already, before the last owner clipped two ears off the base!
So unpainted Kain premiums, and [then?] a generic rack-toy issue/s, sometimes painted. The Kain mark not always removed properly, but what Kain was or is, I don't know; there is apparently a chain of Kain cafés (in the Athens area?); might they have issued premiums in the past, maybe as kids treats/shut-me-ups?
While the numbering may break-down with further finds, as it may be that a few foot Indians and maybe one or two mounted figures were on each tool, with up to four or five tools? Plus the wagon set. In which case, I'll re-do the list with 'known' individuals in numerical order!

Friday, March 10, 2023

F is for Follow-up - C is for Carrier Convoy!

Well, computer problems seem ongoing; “Unexpected black-screen in the new laptop area”! Hotmail is kicking-off with a data limit they made no previous mention of and which seems connected to my rejecting and uninstalling of 'Teams', '365' and other online/cloud stuff, which will be another battle. A quick notification of a change in the terms and conditions actual or implied with some penalty charges usually results in a change of corporate mind!

But, suffice to say the mojo is well off-track and the Blog is probably the last/least of my worries. However I have cobbled this together, although it's mostly appeared briefly elsewhere in the last month or two - easier to post minimal text stuff on a Faceplant group!

I had the luck to receive 'first dibs' on this from a mate the other week, we have seen the TAT Bren-gun carrier before, but now I have one with box, which is nice! And it's a clean one with the RAF-roundel sticker still in place.

Just a quick reminder of the light-tank version which turned-up under EM branding and which we also looked at last time;


In the meantime I had grabbed this in passing, larger and the later 'Universal Carrier' mark with full amour-plate down both sides, it is a Marx battery-operated toy with more similarities to the Timpo or Dinky 'boxes', both in size and - with the former - unrealistic wheel arrangement!
The Marx Hong Kong mark, I haven't seen the packaging, but presumably it was a late addition to the B/O Patton Tank which ran for years under Marx and other brand-marks, and as various copies.
Various views; the battery has actually been disabled and the gear-box removed, allowing full carpet-wheel, hand-action! It doesn't seem to have had a Bren-gun, but I'm pretty sure I have a spare of the Bren which clips to the frame of the old Britains long-wheel-base Land Rover, which will fit nicely on the lip of this carrier's firing -hole?
And then, my life was forced to accept an on-going theme situation, when this came in last week, a French composition Renault UE Chenilette carrier, although when I say 'composition' it seems to be a bisque like china/porcelain.
Above are before and after cleaning . . .
. . . which from the yellowish shade of brown was a few decades of Gitanes or Gauloises!
I use clean, cold water and wipes, with a gentle action on something like this, no rubbing or scrubbing. And no, I haven't been buying plastic-shafted Q-tips for several years, but there are a few kicking about and I happened upon some the other day; so thought I'd better get them off to landfill before someone else flushed them illegally - well; you never know!

Maker is unknown, but could be Domage et Cie (who became Aludo (aluminium) or Acedo (plastic)), or SFJB who are known for Bisque items includeing dolls heads? But Elie Tarroux is also known as an issuer of 'general figures and novelties' in composition, from around 1900 to the 1930's (A connection with Starlux is fleshed out in the Thomas/Guillot books); could he/they have survived the war and knocked this out with its Free French flag?
Boysie-Boy has no interest in this junk, unlike his late mother, but is looking very pleased with himself for having baggsied my fleece-jacket in the seconds it took to fetch the camera! While I'm very pleased to have picked this up.
All three recent additions, off to search for fanatical Hitler-Youth stragglers in the Tory Front Bench! First you demonize them as migrants, when most are subsequently found to be genuine asylum seekers, or refugees, then you call them names (“illegalls”, when they aren't, until they've been found to be, which over 70% aren't), then you switch to calling them “Boats” rather than people, then you deport them (or those who haven't drowned) without judicial process . . . sounds like fascism to me? Go Gary Liniker!

Returning to the TAT's as a final point, I remembered this post, which has a whole TAT gunner who can replace the broken one which I seem to recall one of my (three now I think?) Bren-gun carriers has.