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.


Issues / Release / Type Nomenclature

Early Starts

Prototype - For most toys and models the pre-production models, moulds and other examples will - through changes producing new prototypes - become the Pattern upon which all subsequent commercial production is based. For model railway collectors use of 'prototype' see notes below
Test Shots - limited number of products/mouldings produced to test/iron-out problems with the production or packaging systems, manufacture, detail, material needed &etc. Sometimes in a cheaper material, sometime undecorated or in different colours from the full production run and sometimes very different from final production (making them a Prototype), particularly if the test finds problems. Test shots sometimes 'find' their way to the public, sometimes they will get a limited distribution to fans in order to 'test-market' their reception, playability or in the case of games and kits; their usability and to gain feedback, and can become a collectable in their own right as a Variation.
Original - The first commercially available version of a toy or figure, the version upon which all the subsequent labels will rely
Common - often the Original, this is the easiest version to obtain, OR; the Basic version (with regard to more complicated modern toys), another terms is Vanilla

New Looks

Re-cast - (1) A bit of a misnomer this one; foundries will recast a bronze cannon-barrel or church-bell when they have failed (cracked or broken-up), using the original material after re-melting it, having taken a mould from the cracked original. The re-casting of the gun or bell can be considered related to its predecessor or 'the same'. This term is usually used by toy collectors where re-issue/re-run or remould would be the correct term. (2) However, individual hobbyists do 'recast' old or damaged figures as a cheap source of lead or white metal for home-casting, along with bits of roofing lead, tyre (tire) weights, split fishing weights &etc!
Reissue / Re-release / Re-run - The use by a given company - of its own moulds or unaltered moulds it has begged, stolen or borrowed from another company, to produce a second or subsequent batch of product usually after a period of some time has elapsed since the items were last issued. The toys may be easy to differentiate, they may not - Airfix reissues were often in the same colour of undecorated plastic, Britains reissues were usually in new paint schemes. In both cases the packaging is an easier marker - if present
Remould - As above but more specifically; the use by another company of - often long unused - moulds obtained from elsewhere
Repaint - When a Reissue or Remould is distinguished by a new scheme of decoration
Redeco / Redecoration - More specific to the world of Action Figure collecting, this means more than a Repaint, the figure may have new accessories or a body moulding may be being used to produce a different character all together, for instance; using the moulding of an X-Wing pilot from Star Wars previously used for one character to produce another character with a new helmet, or gloves where there weren't any previously. A Redeco might mean the original mould is 'lost', while the new mould can be reused
Rehash - Covers both Repaints and Redecorations above
New Moulding/s - The replacement of a pose or poses with a new figure/s which are in a similar or near identical pose to that/those being replaced, or; to make new products which resemble the old ones, but are - commonly - improved or altered
Early / Late Moulding - Alternative terms by which ‘New Mouldings’ are differentiated from old ones
1st / 2nd Type - When an item or whole set/range is replaced by new items/poses, depicting the same item/s as the 1st set
1st / 2nd Set - When a new set of items/poses joins the old existing set, most common with modern metal production
1st / 2nd Version / Variant / Variation [Abbreviated to Ver.1 / Var.1] - (1) Denotes when an item/mould has during the history of its production had an irreversible change or adjustment, to say; its head position, or some re-cutting to detail by the engraver. The two slightly different items/figures are thus differentiated. (2) Also used to differentiate between and older and newer moulding which might share the same stock code number or place in the range, when the second replaced the first completely (3) Can also be used to differentiate between paint versions, e.g.; Original versus Repaint (4) Can also mean an accidental difference caused by mishap, mould shrinkage being a classic cause, foreign bodies in the moulding process another, or paint / marking / transfer (decal) errors &etc...
New Issue / New Release - A brand new item, set or range, having no particular or specific relation with any existing set, other than compatibility with existing line/s/ranges

Issue Nomenclature

Brand - A set of toys within the catalogue of a manufacturer, for instance; Micromachines were a Brand of Galoob Toys; Bobkit was a Brand of Heller
Line - Another word for Brand, the entire range of toys or 'family' of action figures, &etc., encompasses both Series and Waves
Range - A larger sub-section of a Line/Brand, might consist of separate Series; Airfix connoisseur figure kits had a Range of 54mm and a Range of larger figures. 
Series - A smaller subsection of the Brand/Line, a series can be made of any number of sub-series or waves (Micromachines was a line with military, civilian and movie related Series' with annual Waves), sometimes a subsection or series may have its own branding, incorporating some features of the Lines brand-mark
Wave - The regular issues of new or Rehashed products that come to be looked-out for by collectors, Waves may be yearly or quarterly, and may include repaints or remoulds of previous Waves
Generation 1, 2, 3, 4 & etc... [Abbreviated to G1, G2 etc...] - Usually referrers to generations of a long running toy, when the toy has gone through transformations in detail, style, material or technological application which has made each generation distinct or - even - easy to differentiate with the 'naked eye'. Examples are the Transformer toys now on Generation 2, My Little Pony; (Generation 4) had a Generation 3.5 and GI Joe (the small 'action figures' now on Generation 3


Limited Edition [Abbreviated to LE] - A specific numbered production run, after which the moulds should be destroyed. If the Limiting Feature is a colour run, no more of that colour should ever be issued, often for anniversaries. This term has become much abused in recent years with 'Limited Editions' in the tens of thousands or more, or worse; subsequent reissues!
Special Edition [Abbreviated to SE] - Really this should have a place on the 'Fakes' page...A marketing gimmick dressed-up as something even MORE exclusive than a Limited Edition, but really just a way of selling shite to the gullible. Reissues of a previous LE might well find themselves wearing the SE moniker!
Limited Run / Limited Shot Production - Garage industries and after-market producers will often produce a small number of each item to supply their mates, club or readers, or because the mould  is of poor quality or the jig is temporary or because larger runs would be prohibitively expensive
Exclusive [Abbreviated to Ex.] - A toy, variant, or set sold through a single store, or chain, or limited number of specific or pre-advertised retail or trade outlets. The contents of the set being different to any general release set, but sometimes found to contain items available elsewhere in other sets. Sometimes an 'exclusive' moniker will be used to shift in one country unsold stock from another! There are four types of Exclusive;
  •  Promotional - Usually at a toy fair, on the door as part of the entry, or in the case of Sports Action Figures at the Stadium - dealers won't be able to partake - unless there are some left at packing-up time! Or on a convention trade stand [Abbreviated to Con.Ex.], anyone who wants one or qualifies (by ordering say) can obtain one. Specifically with Sports Action Figures there is a sub-type of Event exclusive, which differs from a promotional (which may go to several shows or fairs) by being tied to the specific event at which it is issued
  •  Retail / Regional - Covers both Store Exclusives (Hamleys or Argos in the UK or Macy's / Sears in the US for instance) and national variations in catalogue; Micromachines and Italy is the example here with Carabineri sets issued there only
  • Collectors Clubs or Magazines - Will issue exclusive figures to help promote and maintain membership or subscriber numbers
  • Commissions - These might be commissioned by a collector, or by a corporation for a presentation or display, or for a museum exhibit or diorama

Out of Production [Abbreviated to OOP] - The mould is no longer in production, but could be reissued, the item has been withdrawn from the catalogues or website, tends to be used when the product hasn't been seen for some time, having already been Retired
Retired - As per Out of Production above, tend to be used first, soon after the product disappears for the lists


People - including me will write some of the above as Re-issue, Re-Issue and/or Reissue, often on the same page (in my case!), this list is not an exercise in grammar, so my view is so long as you're not using 'text-speak' (Reisu?), people can type it how they want!

Prototype - Model railway people refer to 'running UK prototype' or 'modelling Southern Region prototype', they are talking about actual not prototype, they mean they are running typical (not 'Prototypical) UK rolling stock or locomotives or typical Southern Region railway trains - not prototypical...I don't really know why they do this and it annoys me, but I may have missed something? However in both real life and in the world of toy manufacture; prototypes are the stages leading up to production / service variants. Likewise with dinosaurs...Protoceratops is like a Ceratops, but he isn't one!! he came before them and led to them

Test Shots - In the toy soldier world these used to be very collectable, but nowadays there are so many around, so badly archived / recorded that their desirability is waning, sometimes it's hard to tell what is a test-shot and what is a coloured resin home-cast or conversion

As with all these pages if their is anything you'd like to add or feel should be corrected; eMail me at maverickatlarge@hotmail.com and I'll sort it out, all contributions acknowledged.