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.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

D es para Dos - T es para Tarzans Argentinos!

Bit of a fun post this evening, and quite a few years in the gestation, as the first image (last shot below) was taken back in 2016, with the elephant migrating to the stash a year later, only for me to find the leery one on feebleBay a while back and for it to take so long to get here, there were barely any records of its ordering left in my account profile by the time it turned-up!
Here he is, a Tarzan from Argentina, riding Bagheera, whom he doesn't fit-on too well, but as we'll see, he's meant to go on an elephant, and I'm not sure this Bagheera even goes with this set, he's a slughtly better quality in both plastic (can't really go wrong with black!) and painting?
Close up's of the eponymous panther, it also shows how Tarzan's knife is joined to his waist for the moulding process. You can also get an idea of the difference in finish quality between the two, if you didn't in the first collage, but I'm looking for filler blurb here!
I suspect he actually belongs with the blow-moulded elephant here and/or the Tarzan that came riding it, the left-hand figure in the lower shot, who when I first saw him WAS still on the elephant! Sadly, they got separated, and when I was having a 'look-out for elephants'*, it came home with me, only for the Tarzan to go elsewhere!

However, I had managed to shoot the Ape Man? . . . the Man of the Apes, in a thematic shot with a couple of the Wundertüte figures normally ascribed to Jean, Manurba, Dom or Heinerle, but which I suspect, going on both their material and the paint, are from a still to be identified supplier - as far as I know, no empirical evidence of them being any of the former has ever been shown?
But, it (the image) lead to the fortuitous coincidence that I had a shot of the missing Tarzan who goes on the blow-moulded elephant, still in the archive, and he is not the same as the leery one in the upper pictures, indeed I think the heliotrope pink one is a sub-piracy, but the Panther may well belong to the set including this lower Tarzan & elephant, he's just as likely to be from a Disney knock-off set though!?

There's no sign of the missing weapon/equipment (another knife?) being attached to the [probably] earlier figure in the same way / same position, nor are the hands the same, but sculpting of the main folds on the loin-cloth are the same, so copying was involved one way or the other!

OTSN auction shot from the Pielin Brothers' collection, showing the - also Argentinian-made - lead figure, upon which both the above are clearly modelled, along with a snake who's probably a solid, in fact I suspect both might be, rather than hollow-casts?
* I often have a mental list of things to look out for at a show, as a default against not finding anything in particular, in the past it has been Romans, anything/everything Fontanini or it might be straw-bales, it's been water-wells, or, as in this case elephants!

S is for Sandown Park - May 2023 - Composition Artillery

This wasn't a find, I'd ordered it in advance to collect on the day, and it's a mixed bag with several items of interest and while the figures are composition, the guns are both a die-cast / tin-plate mix with real rubber wheels.

The groups as bought, I have always wanted a decent sample of the 40mm figures, these are Lineol, and while I have managed a couple of musicians, one or two marching troops and a Tank Commander we saw here a few years ago, I didn't have any 'fighters'.

The mounted figures and standard-bearer can go with my existing paraders, while I'll look for a second gun for these chaps to crew (you will have noticed the further piece here is a US equipment). And I'm very happy to have my first explosion, having admired them in the past!

Adrian had a 70-mil artilleryman in his cheapie tray, so I bought him to A) compare with the smaller ones, and B) have a sample! Both figures are a clearly grey colour rather than Feldgrau or field grey, so a Luftwaffe unit?
I think the 3.7cm PaK-36 infantry AT-Gun is by Hausser-Elastolin (who had their own limited 40mm range), and it's a lovely piece, I love the pre-war ones with their three-colour schemes, but this is equally 'dinky' and fires individual, round, paper 'amorces' from an anvil-type firing plate off a finger-trigger, to the right of the breech.
The other gun in the lot is proving hard to ID, I mean it's obviously a US 155mm M1 Howitzer (a confusing gun to look at as it's layout is similar to the commoner, smaller, 105mm, and it shares a calibre with the more famous in the public eye Long Tom), and it's clearly marked JAG's Copyrights. The elevating mechanism is partially damaged.
But I can't find anything about JAG in the die-cast reference library, or on-line? Although, anyone who's tried using the old black and white French tome, will know it's almost impossible to follow, but my go-to cheat - Schiffer's Emergency Vehicles - doesn't list a JAG either, (and that has everything!) so if you can help with anything on the firm I'd be grateful.
There was a JAG's Trophies of London, a few years ago, could this be from a presentation plinth? An unusual piece for a UK company to make as a promotional, as it was neither an item of service equipment here, nor, as far as I know, licence built here for anyone else? It has the look of French Dinky about it, but isn't? It could be German or American in manufacture?
It's also in a smaller scale, so goes better with a few Airfix odds I had to hand, the image on the right is from Korea and you can see the model's wheels are a bit smaller than the service item. I'll look out for a 40mm compatible Pak-40 or '88 FlaK in tin-plate, for my artillerymen, but not for a year or two!

Friday, July 28, 2023

F is for Follow-up - GLJ is for Get Looking in your Junk pile!

Weekend Job! Just a quickie, but quite important as it's a new name which will enable all sorts to be ID'd, and, while the images here are a bit shite, you can look at the original post to get a better idea of the contents.

You may remember when we looked at these a while back; Original Generic Primogenitor, well, they weren't generics, they were fully marked underneath you just couldn't read it the way they were tied-in at the back of the card, in actual fact they are claimed by the G.L.J. Toy Co., Inc., of Syosset, New York.
The toys are dated 1978, GLJ applied for trademarks in 1979 and 1980, so must have flourished then, with various infant toys, rubber gorilla's (KK) and other stuff coming-up on serch results, but that's the brand for those Toyway astronauts, and the various other mechanics, firefighters, GI's and farmers shown in the previous post, so you can dig them out of the shite pile this weekend, isolate them and give them title!

S is for Sandown Park - May 2023 - Civilian Vehicles

The civilian vehicles I picked-up at Sandown back in May are probably more interesting than the military stuff, but it's a question of personal taste, and it's not like you're going round a show trying to work out what's cool or not for a future Blog post! Although you do sometimes buy things for a blog post, mostly it's filling-gaps, ticking boxes or grabbing interesting, or unusual curiosities or novelties!
A couple of bagged Hong Kong rack toy vehicles, seperate purchases I think, but shot together for this post. The Surry wagon is my second, and with the first in storage, I'll wait until I can compare them before I open and construct one. The tractor I may have loose somewhere, but I thought I'd better get this one to tie-in the Thomas-Poplar looking driver.
A pair from Tudor Rose, A London Taxi and Bedford / Morris (?) type minivan, the Taxi will be off to New York soon in exchange for the Marx one we looked at the other day, and it has slightly more realistic wheels/tyres than the van!
A few shots of the van, with the Taxi's belly-mark inset, bottom right. The marking on the van was quite poor, due to play I think. Garden/beach toys, the van has working rear doors and a sliding side-door. Those wheels though - "Purest Grreeeen, Blackadder!"
This was lovely, an Archer steam road-roller, I don't know if they were imported from the US at the time, I suspect not, but rather imported more recently by a collector, I will try to get a Tudor Rose (or Kleeware) one, and a Lipkin one, so we can compare with the Merit one! The red button on the nose is the knob of a pull-cord wind-in motor, not that common a motive system, but there were a few back then. I also have the Pyro (and Banner?) in 'army' khaki!
Not sure about this at all, the card looks fake, home-printed on a PC, but a small company may well have done something like that back in the early years of computing and desk-top publishing, yet the contents are genuine enough, and maybe it was last-minute clearance or something of a 'Friday Afternoon' or 'Monday Morning' project? Also despite the busy graphics, there's no real branding, but it's hardly a typical generic either?
Poplar Plastics; this looks to be an early and not wholly stable plastic, but only the v-point of the blue moulding seems to have distorted slightly? A nice model anyway, and I'm a bit of a sucker for plastic racing cars!
Airfix - another! I put a Hillco cowboy on it in the absence of a motorcycle rider. I've picked up a few of these now, and that page on the Airfix blog will get an update with new images. Blue body with red wheels seems to be the commonest combination, I have several now, different shades of both though.

Another Poplar product, this shares the baseplate/chassis with the Easter Bunny egg-cart we looked at a few years ago, albeit with slightly different mountings. The wheels and chassis are polystyrene, the horse and cart-box, polyethylene.
The cart doesn't seem to come with or be fitted for hay-racks, but has seating, presumably from it days as a Thomas Toy when it would have come with a set of those seated PVC rubber kids?

Thursday, July 27, 2023

U is for Up The Pole!

I had an interesting 2020-2021 with one eBay seller, he had a shit lot (not a shitload, different meaning altogether!) of clearly brittle Cherilea Wild West with some Hong Kong copies of Jean thrown-in for good measure with a couple of other bits and he wanted something extreme like 48-quid BIN. I offered him £25 I think and he turned it down, about six months later I offerd him £20 and didn't get a response, then, at some point Chris Smith spotted it and I told him the tale, I don't know if he made an offer or not, I don't think he does Wild West, but then, about eighteen months after I'd first seen it, I tried again at £20.
He turned it down the same day and offered me something like £32 again, so I made another offer of £15, and that generated an eMail! "But you offered . . . " etc. So I explained it was mostly shite, but I was happy to pay 15-squids for the Totem pole and in the end I think we settled on £18+£2p&p? or the original offer from the best part of two years earlier!
Some of the amounts may not be wholly accurate it was a while-ago now, but you get the picture, hard work from someone who really hasn't a clue, but has been 'taught' by scripted day-time telly-shit that everything in his attic is worth a bloody fortune.
There was a bit more than in the image, and a pile of broken bits below the crop, but you can see it's only the Totem Pole which is interesting, and it's very interesting!

How it arrived! One of the reasons I wasn't willing to shovel money at the guy, everything else went in the bin as even though I tried to save some of the heads, belts etc . . . they crumbled like biscuits! Well, the HK went to charity, I think!
However, I managed to get it all glued-back together and it's still in one piece, although I do treat it with extra reverence, and it has its own little plastic box to live in. Not to be found in the PW Special Publication on Cherilea, I can't see who else it could be, and I don't think I've ever seen another, until Bill 'Wotan' emailed a while back . . .

. . . with the news, he'd found one too! And his is a base-varient with an integrally moulded base? And, arguably nicer colours! On his Blog, the sepia wash he uses has made it even nicer! Cherilea Toy Totem Pole with a subdued orange/grey thing going on.
There are signs of it being glued to a baseboard; the original window-box maybe? The three upper sections are exactly the same as mine, but the lower section is obviously quite different. Cheer to Bill for the images, have you got one of these, what base has it got? If the plug-in came second, some might have the later, heavier base with flat/right-angled sides/edges?

S is for Sandown Park - May 2023 - Military Vehicles

So to all those vehicles, in point of fact I was more restrained than I thought at the last Sandown, I just took lots of shots and split them into five posts, but there's still a fair bit to look at!
I think I've managed to find a Sunderland already, probably posted here, but this one was quite clean, not too distorted and relatively cheap so I grabbed it, Palitoy, but now I'm looking for the clockwork version, and any other undocumented ones like the previous posting on the subject.
While the US dime store/slush cast Armoured Car from Barclay was also going for a song, and was also quite clean, a few paint-chips and some grubby wheels, which would turn the purists off, but I'm not so fussed!

This ends-up dominating the post, even though it's a piece of modern crap, but that's how the cookie crumbles sometimes! I have trays of this stuff, Altaya, Matchbox, Eaglemoss, DeAgostini etc . . .  and most of it is pretty, but also pretty run-of-the-mill, a lot duplicated, however I was quite taken with this.

It's a long-wheelbase, GS Truck, Unimax 85061 German Büssing-NAG Type 4500A (also available in a desert/yellow-brown scheme), with a half tilt and two passengers, and was just a bit different, and going for pocket-money, as without the packaging this modern stuff isn't worth a bean! Again - more-fool the purists!

A dodgy photograph, but it looks like it's whizzing past the viewer!

A pair of real box-tickers here; Britains 1263 Royal Artillery Gun, a gap in the collection filled, it was just a clean one and again, reasonable on the money-front, I don't think it's rare, but it was needed, was it the budget/entry-level gun, there's lots of them! And a Timpo siege catapult, which - mercifully - was complete!

Really pleased to find this, it needs the speaker/siren on the mudguard, but I've had the khaki one for years, very distorted now (probably on the Airfix Jeep page?), while this is manufactured a while later, and is a stable polystyrene, the red's a bit leery, but airfield-airside, it's good for fire/accident investigations!

I suspect this was a comic-cover giveaway or Hong Kong knock-off, of those we saw in a couple of posts a while back (lockdown?), the launcher, apart from being candy-pink, is quite a light/flimsy moulding compared to some of the branded ones, and the rocket is marbled from scraps by the look of it (not clear in the photo'), so a nice addition to that side-collection/sample!

LB is for Lanky Bods

Back to spacemen and a whole bunch of Lik Be's lanky chaps have come it recently, along with a few other items of interest, indeed, all these posts were going to be one follow-up until I started editing them and realised it was going to be 30 or more images, even with maximum collaging!
Having inherited a lot of Woolbro stuff in the purchase from Jame Opie many years ago now (and many thanks to him), these were a must as soon as I saw them, and so that's what happened! They are the slightly smaller copies in bright colours, unpainted with flat/smooth bases,.
Price suggests 1976-78, as a box of Airfix HO=OO figures was going through 18, 19, 20, and I remember; 21p, around the same time? And dare I say seem to be aimed directly at competing with the Nasta Industries sets we saw the other day, both in the artwork and with the contents count/style?

Two of them are seen here in blue and yellow, between the older copy to the left and what I believe are my first two of the iteration carried by Solpa in Greece, they are smoother-etched than the other clones we've seen here (except the really small blobs), but I've only seen them online, so I'm not 100% on that.

More of the Woolbro type here, gunmetal, orange and green join the blue, an online image I didn't bid on as I didn't really need anything in the lot, although the robots were interesting, they look modern and will turn-up on their own for a lower price!

And another evilBay image here.
They look unloved.

While this set has the hollow-based copies, which from the painted forms (far left in the five figure line-up above) go right back to LB's own origins (late 1960's), but here seem to date from the late 1990's, with unpainted figures in a colour I haven't encountered these clones in before, and a CHINA mark?

Obviously more of a summer beach/lawn toy, with the figures not the central theme, but mere targets for the gun, which fires space-rockets . . . Fluorescent, Barbie-pink, space-rockets; what a bargain!

I've also picked up some originals over the last 9-months, and while the white ones will be checked against the master collection with the rejects offered as a complete set for swaps, the chrome ones will contribute to two sets, the very shiny-silver (most of the far rank) and the darker 'antiqued' (near command group), with any duplicates paint-stripped to add to the neutral granual sample we've looked at some before.

The idea being to end-up with four sub-lots; all eight marked as bright & antiqued, an unmarked set of eight cake decorations from the 1990's, and a larger lot of the plain, stripped plastic ones.

Again, no reason to bid on this lot, although I have gaps in the unpainted samples, there was too much other junk in the lot, and one or two of the green and red ones (which I still need some of (painted and unpainted)) looked a bit tatty?

Better known as a Naval artist for the USN, Fred Freeman was also a prolific magazine illustrator through the middle of the 20th Century and his sci-fi stuff often used the X Craft-Mercury-Gemini suits worn by our LB breadrin'. Here he has them in something akin to a B29 cockpit, with 'vidscreens', in orbit over the moon! It won't surprise you he's well-known for his submarine art, either!

Then this big, bad, burgundy, blow-moulded, beautiful, blooming, bastard turned-up! Obviously a parachute toy (I may have one or two and not previously noticed the connection?), he's been shot separately for that page, about 120mm, but it seems there’s still no end in sight to additions to the LB for Lik Be output and clones!

Just replace LP with Lik Be, it's only three more letters and a gap, you don't NEED to use LB at all, if you really don't want to!

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

S is for Sandown Park - May 2023 - Civilian Etc . . .

Still playing catchup on the show reports, although the London Show may be one post, I was quite reserved! So, for now, we're back to May for the Sandown Park plunder reports - can you believe July's nearly over?

First a shot of the vehicles, they actually occupy two posts and half another, it was a very vehicular day, but then it is a general toy fair, which started life as 90-odd% die-cast and railway . . . nowadays it's almost half modern shite and Lego! But this is an idea of what's coming, previously posted elsewhere.
I already have most of these, but I couldn't remember which ones I still needed, when you're on the spot and all that, so I bought them all to compare, and the spares will make good swaps!
After some thought, I'm pretty sure it's the cowboy and maybe the bear I need, I have copies of the bear (or donors?) from UK, Hong Kong and France I think, including a Polar one, but still needed the Lone Star one, and it may be I needed the western girl, not the boy?
Anyhoos, these are how they are supposed / intended to be paired-up I think, with the backwoodsman also used for a tussle with an Indian (which is how I have him in storage I suspect), and they make a nice group here!

I'm asking about this elsewhere and would love any info' you have on it? It's Britains/54mm size, and very similar to the Jim one from France, sculpturally, but it's not exactly the same pose, it seems to be an infant's rattle with a ferrous plug in its nether regions (ooh missus!) and the material is some hardened polymer which may have been vulcanised rubber once.
Markings are MADE IN [unreadable], in English above and what appearers to be [?]ORTE DE[s?] TCH[?]K below . . . a Czech for German market maybe? A Bata toy?

I love this, when I worked for JB years ago (now!) I handled a fair few Snake Oil wagons and Thaddeus Tripps, not to mention a few train-guard variants, and have tracked down several now (it's all in the neck-ties I think, and/or hair colour? . . . They have gone to storage), but I have never seen the box full of bottles!

I had to have it, and you can hide the bottles inside to stand on the box and deliver your spiel! Best from show! And when I say I've never seen it, I mean I've never noticed it, because it must be in the Maughan and / or Plath books?

I have a few of these, nothing old or rare, but they were going cheap with the lot below, and I knew I didn't have the cardinal, or the chap in black, so home with me, they came, Nestle premiums for the Disney Hunchback movie.
101 Dalmatians, also Disney, along with the Marx 'Minikins' I think there are three sets of these, and I have various components of various sets, we've seen some here before (cereal premiums?), so I keep adding them, until I can sort them all out!
The rest! Another President, Jefferson (as mentioned in passing yesterday), this one painted in the Warriors of the World (WoW) style, a Dr. Sheen from Trash Bag Bunch, by Galoob I think, he's one of the common poses as he was also a cereal premium I believe? A Spot-On nurse and small Indian from Crescent finish of this post!

LB is for Licky Bottoms!

Continuing the series of follow-ups to the output of Lik Be and/or their imitators, and we're looking at mostly feebleBay stuff on the sucker-toys which are probably all knock-offs, both silicon 'jigglers' and the rubber erasers.
More of the erasers we looked at here, and with the 'Wotan' bot turning up we can assume the other two 'Vichy' and 'Rocket' are out there to be found, we also get another version of the Bike Cop, with two cup/suckers and more segmented arms.

These are obviously by the same source as the Lik Be copies below, but consist entirely of Deiner Industries eraser knock-offs, in this case as silicon-rubber sucker-toys. Taken from the robot/alien set and the horror set, there's possibly twelve or more sculpts to track down?
And you may find them with the LB piracies! These are - I think - the third generation of sucker knock-offs (the ones above might be a fourth, or end of mould, they're very poor quality), we looked at the better ones here, and consist of the poorer sculpts with a single spot of leery paint to add colour to the counter-display box?
Here's a bunch more, no Deiner sculpts, but a decent idea of the range of polymer colours and the range of over sprayed spot colours! Along with confirmation, they did the robots as well as the spacemen. All six robots seem to have been copied in all 3/4 sets/lines of sucker toys, I'm not so sure about all 8 spacemen yet, it may only be four or six sculpts stolen?

Comparison with LB originals

Seen one of these before, the fact that I've encountered several now suggests they aren't that rare and it's just a question of waiting until one without a silly-price turns up! These are the better quality sculpts with several colours, both brushed and sprayed-on.