About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-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.

Monday, April 24, 2017

F is for Follow-up, to Lucky Toys; Flat-screen Beetle - Fire Chief!



We're going to look at a few of the vehicles I photographed at Sandown Park last month which may (or may not!) be from the Lucky Toy (or LP!) stable/s over the next few days, and we’re starting with a little peach!

It's a VW Beetle (raaayy!), flat screen (double-raaayy!) but not split (boooooh!), it's a fire vehicle (raaayy!), with push-and-go motor (raaayy!) and blue windows (cool!) hiding a lack of figures (boooooh!) and it's fitted with racing-slicks . . . on a Fire Chief !!!?

I used to be a big fan of VW Beetles and some of my friends still are, but I saw the light . . . here's the news; all vehicles even back in the 1950's have/had a built-in obsolescence, and while a 15 or even 20 year-old vehicle can be a cool conversation piece, a 30 or 40 year old bubble-car with a propensity to catch-fire on the motorway, is just an old piece of shit - isn't it?!

Same with old-series Land Rovers (aluminium rot), 1950's Harley Davidson's (noisy, gas-guzzling, rust-buckets), any pretty Citroens (hydraulic nightmare), Morris Traveller's and Mini-traveller's; they get woodworm in their bodywork FFS! Old vehicles look best (and last longer) in museums, period.

Clear base mark with the full Lucky horseshoe. Points to note are that the motor housing has bend-down tin flaps, and while there are two screw stations, only one is being used, suggesting other variations, probably for other/different customers with different wheel or bodywork arrangements or even different motor-types/configurations?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

F is for Follow-up, to Lucky Toys; Miscellaneous Figures



Not so much 'loose-ends' as just a few figures to be added to last month's posts; there's plenty more to be added to the subject before we get to loose-ends, I'm sure!

I suggested in the past posts that I had another Marx made-in-HK road worker here, in fact I seem to have two, but not the one I was thinking of! I do have a full set in storage ('so we will return . . . ' etc...etc...), but for now here's another two!

I was originally told these (the set, not the two) were prototypes which never went into production, but actually both the figures and the dump truck they are known to have come with (among others) are quite common, I think the speaker was talking of the particular boxing he had, which may have been among the tranche of unique Swansea-factory design/art-shop stuff which came-up at auction about 20 years ago?

While they may be common, the detailing is fine and because they are hard, brittle styrene, they are often damaged, particularly the chap on the left who is usually missing his hammer and a similar pick-axe armed guy.

Speaking of Marx, I've used their Disney dog to scale this addition to the 'probably' Blue Box 50/52mm road workers we also looked at the other day. He looks as if he's been designed to hold something, and may well be a stand-alone figure, possibly a delivery driver for a larger sized Blue Box vehicle? But - he's from the same family as the road workers and in the same pink-plastic, with the same base mark as the ACW and Wild West.

Clifford Fire Engine crew, these are the larger size of HK push-and-go vehicle at around 1:24th scale, with the driver (not a terribly clear shot - sorry) having his arms up at the wheel, the other crewman being a more static pose.

Of a similar size to the firemen is this chap on the left, possibly from a towed boat? There are several towed boats in the HK push-and-go vehicle universe as anyone who followed the links to Planet Die-cast last time, will know. Equally; he could be an ambulance or police vehicle driver?

Next to him is the Blue Box copy of the Dinky farm tractor/combined-harvester driver in hard plastic, while the right-hand shot shows him again with a soft plastic copy of Corgi's similar tractor driver. There are many verstions of the Corgi guy, in hard, soft and vinyl plastic, several from Corgi themselves who were sourcing in Hong Kong, we may have looked at them a while ago, we will return to them one day!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

R is for Radical Sky!



Continuing to check-up on perennial favourites, we're back with pooper-troopers today, or their close-cousins!

I can't remember if we've seen these before or not, I think we did, but Brian Berke sent me these shelfies in two batches, to show variations in colour and card; the 'A' card having a pyramid of Radical Sky Divers, the 'B' card having the opposite arrangement with two over one. These cartoonish, caricature-types are quite similar to those old, vinyl-rubber 'Poopertroopers' of our childhood.

The Ja-Ru instructions (left) on the reverse of both cards (which also share the #2304 code) show a more common (and sober) design of paratrooper, so have probably been reused from a previous import!

In the middle, I've bought another of The Work's chaps (So I think we've seen him before as well!); previously they only had green or blue ones but I though a red 'Red Devil' was a must, when I saw it!

And - I'm afraid - we've seen these chaps previously here, several times and in MTC branding I think, but this is new card-art (also a Brian shelfie), so if - like me - you're a pooper-trooper hound, you need to know/see this stuff! Mostly Airfix cloning (after a fashion), but the officer in shirt-sleeve order seems more original in design, or is he based on an old Tamiya British AFV crewman?

24th April - In point of fact, apart from  previous views of the MTC guys in different cards (and brands), all the above are new to the blog!

Friday, April 21, 2017

R is for Roaring, Roaming, Regulars



There are some folders I could leave permanently in some corner on the desktop; Daleks, motorcycles and 'poopertroopers' are three obvious candidates, but increasingly insects and dinosaurs are appearing on a regular - if casual - rotation here, and today we're back to 'Dinos', all these having come in since the last lot we looked at - less the couple of specifics that appeared over Christmas!

I can't remember when I showed the first three of these (looked it up), but they were cheap for what they are and I've been back for two more 'sets' of three, although I think that's enough, I'm not sure I can get another three out of the choice remaining (actually I don't think I've seen them the last couple of visits) as I tend to avoid the pterodactyls and plesiosaurs - all that flapping of wings and fins might be fine in the sea or the air, but it looks dumb on a shelf or table!

Brian Berke sent these from Big Lots Stores Inc., a while ago; of similar size to the WH Smith (Keycraft) lot above, I quite like the look of them, they have an old-school paint style, blocks of brighter colours, yet the set includes some less common types and seems to be modeled in scale, where most dinosaur sets are same-size or 'box scale' - there's a particularly small one, half-hidden by the flash in the centre of the upper deck. I love the hedgehogosaurus, top left and the little green 'land-plesiosaur' to the bottom-right.

We looked at the cats before Christmas I think, and there are dogs or puppies, but today it's the day of the dinosaurs, courtesy of Wilkinson's (Wilco) and their non-blind 'make sure you've got all three different four's before you pay' bags!

These ARE box-scale and also roughly the same size as various other mini-saurs we've seen here, so; when I get the old ones out of storage we'll have a dino-fest comparing all the similar mini-saurs!

I had more shots than needed so you get more shots than needed . . . hey; it's Google's servers not mine!

The two main shots are also from Brian, but he actually donated them to the blog! I haven't got them out yet as they are leaching that PVC-residue stuff the mini lizard capsule toy is, and until I find a better storage solution for such items I thought it best to leave them in their blister-cave, with the backing-card soaking up the unknown solvent.

They have a finger-tip sized hollow under the throat and can be fired with force at your enemies by pulling the tail back (I haven't the finger-strength to get them as far as Pennsylvania, but I'm happy to try alternative power sources!), indeed; while there is a 'choking hazard' warning on the dual-language (Greenbrier/DTSC - US/Canada) packs, there isn't one warning of little-brother's likely eye-damage!

The other set appeared on Moonbase Central [link] the day after I photographed them, but in Wilco packaging (I think?), I shot a shelfie in The Works as they really weren't worth a pound, being copies of piracies of copies of piracies of copies of old US sculpts from the 1950's or 1960's, and they will turn-up in mixed junk lots a few years hence!

These shelfies are from Brain again, and although the colours appear brighter in the right-hand lot, I think that's down to light-levels and they are the same products, on the left badged to Bely and on the right unbranded and imported into the 'States by JPW.

I also can't tell if they are new sculpts or older moldings, they have the look of vintage dinosaurs about them, also the language on the packaging suggests the same factory - in need of a better translator!

'Animal series design for the children all are fangled and in the high quality welcome you use our products'

'Collect all the style - be more fun' and 'The best welcome gifts for the children'

Another shelfie; I wish I'd bought it now - as I have a thing for Dimetrodons , but I think I was feeling particularly skint that day, they are nice-looking models, and the already relative cheapness of the magazine makes them freer than 'free'!

All the D's - A couple of recent charity shop buys (50p each) meet on the bedcover! The dastardly Dalek has appeared here before I think, but I can't remember the brand - Bluw? While the Dimetrodon dinosaur reinforces the paragraph above! Another nice sculpt from an otherwise anonymous chinasaur manufacturer, anyone recognise the set/brand he's from?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

T is for Two from Timpo


Right; because I forced horrid, boring, real life on you this morning - before it disappears under a mountain of plastic bottles, spat-gum and crisp wrappers, all choked in exhaust-fumes - here's some toys for the addicts!

I think we've seen these before, but I shot them again and we have been slowly working through the duplicate shots in posts like this!

These were real 'behave yourself' treats when we were kids; sold from counter displays (so not Christmas-or-Birthday 'boxed sets'), but priced above the single figures (so not pocket-money 'choose one's), they were guaranteed to keep us quite in the car for . . . oohh . . . whole minutes!

Nothing unusual about this chap, the brown head is common with this pose I think, and the mauve caparison doesn't get the evilBay Germany guys terribly excited, he probably needs a shield, but otherwise a nice enough stand-alone figure.