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.

Saturday, June 10, 2023

B is for Best Show on Earth! 7. Animals

Not a dinosaur this year, not a one, but it's not the show for dinosaurs, so that's hardly surprising, and a lot of these were in the donations, but there were some nice purchases too, so without further ado;

Mold-a-Rama Elephant, I like Elephants as those of you who've been here for a while will know, and I've known about Mold-a-Rama for years, but never had an example, as it's quite an American-specific thing, although it's also touristy, so a few should make their way over here from time to time? Mine came from Milwaukie County Zoo as you can see!
Having now found one, the first thing is how big they are (that's two of my fingers poking through in the bottom-right shot), and, because I'd always thought they were smaller, I'd always assumed they were solids and possibly some kind of wax (of the glue-gun type), to be able to be produced 'while you wait' (these are made in coin-operated machines at various sights and venues all across the US), and when you read about them, it usually just says "plastic", with no technical details!

The fact is, they are heavy blow-moulds, probably from a 'slug' or 'plug' of polyethylene which will look something like a 2" mortar round, Sodastream gas-bottle or extreme sex-toy . . . a round-bottomed bottle, they look like a round-bottomed bottle! This needs to be sized/weighted to whichever mould is in the machine.
The machines are changed from time to time, for instance; the silver Seahorse has been swapped for a pink Flamingo today (yesterday now), in the same Milwaukee County Zoo! And each mould, or whole machine (sometimes they change-out the whole unit) will require a different plug to rapidly produce the model (from a kept-hot tool?) while the punter waits, without filling the machine with flash or other waste.
So not exactly rare (although they were getting so before their recent renaissance I think?), but it's nice to have one at last, and there will be a greater rarity of those marked from now-defunct venues, one-off issues or long-gone events/exhibitions . . . I believe some of the dinosaurs are particularly sought-after. All the remaining machines however do date from the 1960's, so there is a finite life left to them, they won't last forever!
Inanimate objects are also featured, along with seasonal (Halloween and Christmas) items, there's plenty more here; they have a website!

Various birds came in, both purchases and donations, with a nice gull (or poor pelican sculpt) which might be Spanish or Portuguese, a Japanese novelty rocker in blow-moulded celluloid, it has a set-in weight to keep it upright, and predates Weebles by at least a decade-and-a-half!

A similar floating duck and one of the Marx Miniature Bird Model-Kits I think; the green one with separate wings - another post which has been in the queue since . . . well, September 2017! So I'll try to pull them out as a follow-up

I can't remember if I need the Vitacup reindeer still, I know I've had a broken one for ages, but I may have alleviated that problem some time ago, and I fear this one might be 'good one number 3' now! They all came together and mostly need a clean!
What can I say . . . board-game pieces at the infant level? I'll keep one for the 'sample'!
Two nice groups, on the left we have Tudor Rose in polystyrene, I have a decent sample, but these were clean, and I'm trying to get all colour variants of each animal, and don't carry wants lists at shows, so just grab them if they are affordable.
On the right a small group of composition animals, who seem to be all babies - calf and foals, and seem to be too good to be Brent (and we have looked at them in the past), so I'm at a loss, but they may be French?

A mixed bunch of horses from across the day's acquisitions include an early British (far left, Gemodels?), a flocked Cherilea (?) behind the probably New Ray foal pair, we've seen the white version before here. The kicking foal is Cherilea, I used to think it was Hilco, but the two are related so . . . and the Crescent foal on the far right. The red-and-gold one is probably a Hong Kong/China knock-off from a fantasy set (?), while the hard plastic foal with airbrushed tan is a mystery too.
A whale-tail pencil top! A third of a camel (Italeri or Heller WWII Western Desert kit, or Historex?) and a polar bear which - from the feet - looks like he goes with a construction-brick set. The two prehistoric mammals are Safari, and big-cats are big cats! The bags behind are all those smallies from Blue Box et al., with the odd Corgi and Bachman.

The polar bear from another angle, he's not Lego, as far as I'm aware, theirs is hard plastic and graphically simplified, but I don't think it can be Mega Bloks either as we've seen theirs here in the past, and it was different, or was that a yeti? Might be Mega Bloks then? But there's a lot of these improved Hestair-Kiddybrick issuers out there, and he could just be kinder with construction-toy stud-sized holes in his feet!
Odds; the rubber dog in grey on the right needs a brand, the Airfix pointer/greyhound/lurcher means I now have colour variants/duplicates of all six of the dogs, a Marx Miniature Masterpiece farm calf is mentionable, with a couple of Hong Kong's behind.
This is a bit of fun, in need of both sorting and - eventually - some ruthless recycling, but as an image, there's a story here I think. They all came in one of the donation bags, and are clearly someone's attempt to build a set of ammunition pack-mules for a wargames army or diorama, after the old Britains Hollow-cast set of British/Colonial mountain artillery!

Thanks to all for everything last month; Adrian Little., Andreas Dittmann, Gareth Morgan, Michael Mordant-Smith, Peter Evans, Brian Carrick and Trevor Rudkin.

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