About Me

My photo
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.

Friday, 22 April 2022

Giant Mongol Cannon

A quick look at one of the rarer items in the Giant ouvre, but it is finadable and the odd one turns up on evilBay from time to time, often with a silly price-tag but some will pay, mine came from the James Chase collection's sale at SAS Auctions in Newbury (2006?) and its unit price was almost zero . . . phew!

Although I was lucky, a thief went over the lots during viewing and took a few pieces (EKO paratroopers and a very rude 'Stag' novelty of a Hula girl), despite being reported at the time; it was several years before SAS finally got rid of him! The Paratroopers turned-up a few weeks later - via his weasel 'fence' hawking the ill-gotten gains from a Tesco's bag - at the evening toy fair in Odiham, but I'm still looking for the Hula girl!

Artillery Cannon; Artillery Gun; Artillery Piece; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Mongols; Giant of Hong Kong; Giant Of New York; Giant Or What; Giant Plastics Corp; Mongol Artillery; Mongol Cannon; Mongol Hordes; Mongol Invasions; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
The parts; you get four small-diameter wheel/axle combinations, rather following the pattern of the earlier (1958) Airfix railway platform baggage/mail trucks, which clip into the gun-carriage, four shells (removed on mine) attached at the hook end (left, above) and an unmarked gun-barrel which also clips onto the marked carriage.

Artillery Cannon; Artillery Gun; Artillery Piece; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Mongols; Giant of Hong Kong; Giant Of New York; Giant Or What; Giant Plastics Corp; Mongol Artillery; Mongol Cannon; Mongol Hordes; Mongol Invasions; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
One author waxed lyrical about the jigget on his gun, but he had it upside-down, the dragons (etched/moulded down each side of the barrel) feet point toward the ground, and the jigget is a crude elevation stop.

It's actually toothed to suggest staged elevation, but doesn't actually connect with the side-edge of the box below the trunions, which it would need to for that to work! However - at a certain point in the arc of depression - it does stop the gun pointing at the carpet, by butting against the side-face of the box!

Artillery Cannon; Artillery Gun; Artillery Piece; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Mongols; Giant of Hong Kong; Giant Of New York; Giant Or What; Giant Plastics Corp; Mongol Artillery; Mongol Cannon; Mongol Hordes; Mongol Invasions; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
The barrel contains a spring and piston, finger-pull firing-rod, with which you fire the cannon-balls about until you lose them all! The previously mentioned stop mechanism of the jigget/'elevation/depression ratchet' leaves the barrel firing at, err . . . Giant Mongol or Knight figure-height . . . splat!

Artillery Cannon; Artillery Gun; Artillery Piece; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Mongols; Giant of Hong Kong; Giant Of New York; Giant Or What; Giant Plastics Corp; Mongol Artillery; Mongol Cannon; Mongol Hordes; Mongol Invasions; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
A paler-gold one on Worthpoint, illustrating the position of the cannon-balls on a mint one. I face my barrel the other way, so the longer 'deck' can take a couple of crew, standing on it.

===============================================================

But is it Giant?

Yeah . . . it's marked, init!

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Giant Set No.982 Chariot Race 59¢ 1963

So to the third of my contiguously numbered 1962/3 Giant Roman sets, purchased from Mr. Opie about 16-years ago, with this one we ditch the 'Legion' for some extreme sports - vegan crown to the winner, hoofy-death with tyre-marks to the loser!

1963; 59¢; Chariot Race; Blister Pack; Blister Pack Toy Soldiers; Britains Trojans; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Carded Rack Toy; Chariot Race 59¢; Circa 1963; Giant; Giant Blister Pack; Giant Or What; Giant Romans; Giant Set No.982; Giant Trojans; Made in 1963; Marx Romans; No.982 Chariot Race; Set No.982; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
Dotted-line guy had the day off! Otherwise it's clearly part of the same line. As the Marx 'influencer' was the Ben Hur sets, it's fitting that we have a teeny-tiny clone/take on it here, with three standard Giant chariots (four horse, non-articulated chassis) and the three figures needed.

1963; 59¢; Chariot Race; Blister Pack; Blister Pack Toy Soldiers; Britains Trojans; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Carded Rack Toy; Chariot Race 59¢; Circa 1963; Giant; Giant Blister Pack; Giant Or What; Giant Romans; Giant Set No.982; Giant Trojans; Made in 1963; Marx Romans; No.982 Chariot Race; Set No.982; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;

"S'mine-now, s'all mine!"

Two red's and a yellow chariot body, with contrasting coloured overlay frets with the fancy, decorative stuff. We know they are/were based on the Marx set because of that fret (which varies between clones and is the best way to ID different sources) and the weird spiky stuff on the front of the cross-bar - which is more of a stabby-spear/de-heading blade arrangement on the originals.

1963; 59¢; Chariot Race; Blister Pack; Blister Pack Toy Soldiers; Britains Trojans; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Carded Rack Toy; Chariot Race 59¢; Circa 1963; Giant; Giant Blister Pack; Giant Or What; Giant Romans; Giant Set No.982; Giant Trojans; Made in 1963; Marx Romans; No.982 Chariot Race; Set No.982; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
Horses are all the same brown batch, and marking are almost impossible to work out, but they will be genuine Giant 'Smoothies' of one sub-type or another. And we get the Marx knock-off spearman and two of Britains finest (Ulysses) as crew. Both the ex-Marx figure and the chariot wheels are the same brown as the horses - when trying to sort all these HK small-scales, exact shade is as important as markings sometimes for tying things in together!

===============================================================

But is it Giant?

Sure as the other two, but I think it might be Boysie-Boy's now!

Giant Set No.981 Roman Legion Assault Group 59¢ 1963

The Romans weren't strong on cavalry, they did use them for scouting and patrolling the boarders of empire, sending signals and such like, and the books tell they were recruited from or tended to be the Aristocracy, but in fact they would have used horse-riding peoples from around the Empire for serious mounted work.

But clearly a few 'Toffs were allowed to ponce about on the edge of the battlefield, picking off stragglers or retreating enemy while staying relatively safe? Anyway - this set 'Assault group' is half and half cavalry and Infantry, and both disappoint to one degree or another!

1963; 59¢; Assault Group; Blister Pack; Blister Pack Toy Soldiers; Britains Trojans; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Carded Rack Toy; Assault Group; Assault Group 59¢; Circa 1963; Giant; Giant Blister Pack; Giant Or What; Giant Romans; Giant Set No.981; Giant Trojans; Made in 1963; Marx Romans; No.981 Roman Legion; Roman Legion; Roman Legion Assault Group; Set No.981; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
Packaging follows the rules laid-down by set 980 (previous/older post), with the two-colour, screen-printed card folded-under and stapled to trap the rim of the blister in a sandwich of card, and the dotted line (which most developed humans in the 1960's knew to mean 'cut-here') indicating where to dig!

1963; 59¢; Assault Group; Blister Pack; Blister Pack Toy Soldiers; Britains Trojans; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Carded Rack Toy; Assault Group; Assault Group 59¢; Circa 1963; Giant; Giant Blister Pack; Giant Or What; Giant Romans; Giant Set No.981; Giant Trojans; Made in 1963; Marx Romans; No.981 Roman Legion; Roman Legion; Roman Legion Assault Group; Set No.981; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
Blisters are the same size, which means more Infantry (about 40) that cavalry (10) as those hollow, 'Hong Kong' horses are room-occupiers with all those arms and legs and tails and stuff!

But . . . the mounted element consists of nine standard-bearers (meant to be Agamemnon in the Britains Herald universe) and one bloke with a shield so big it would shelter a family!

1963; 59¢; Assault Group; Blister Pack; Blister Pack Toy Soldiers; Britains Trojans; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Carded Rack Toy; Assault Group; Assault Group 59¢; Circa 1963; Giant; Giant Blister Pack; Giant Or What; Giant Romans; Giant Set No.981; Giant Trojans; Made in 1963; Marx Romans; No.981 Roman Legion; Roman Legion; Roman Legion Assault Group; Set No.981; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
So to the disappointment with the foot-arms; it is that at least six are not ancient Romans (or Greco-Trojans!) but Giant medievals, and while it may be a case of making-up the numbers, that they are mixed together quite well, would suggest a deliberate act, probably applied to the/a whole batch, which, by modern terms would be a fraud, not that they worry about such things in rack-toys, then or now, but still a bit of a swizz!

1963; 59¢; Assault Group; Blister Pack; Blister Pack Toy Soldiers; Britains Trojans; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Carded Rack Toy; Assault Group; Assault Group 59¢; Circa 1963; Giant; Giant Blister Pack; Giant Or What; Giant Romans; Giant Set No.981; Giant Trojans; Made in 1963; Marx Romans; No.981 Roman Legion; Roman Legion; Roman Legion Assault Group; Set No.981; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
We'll look at the Medievals in detail another day, but it's interesting to get them together like this as we can see two marking's running side-by-side, quite early in the short history of Giant's output, later Medievals (the smaller black & silver versions) would get the full 'P' nonsense, but here they have a cleaner GIANT over HONG KONG in a DIN font. The true Romans get a more scrappy mark , which I've previously looked at a possible history-of, on the Home Blog, here.

===============================================================

But is it Giant?

Yeap! As sure as shit's found in a midden!

Giant Set No.980 Roman Legion Chariot Attack 59¢ 1963

As I've mentioned before elsewhere, this set (and two others) was (were) purchased by the inimitable James Opie exactly one month short of one-year (to the day) before I was born, which - today of all days - makes them at least 59-years old!

1963; 59¢; Ben Hur; Blister Pack; Blister Pack Toy Soldiers; Britains Trojans; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Carded Rack Toy; Chariot Attack; Chariot Attack 59¢; Circa 1963; Giant; Giant Blister Pack; Giant Or What; Giant Romans; Giant Set No.980; Giant Trojans; Made in 1963; Marx Romans; No.980 Roman Legion; Roman Legion; Roman Legion Chariot Attack; Set No.980; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
I've explained elsewhere why I believe these sets put Giant at forming around 1961/62 and not the '59 or earlier, of some sources, and the two-colour screen-print card is evocative of that age, whatever the date! Folding back on itself to fully enclose the rim of the blister between a card 'sandwich'.

There are dotted lines on the reverse indicating where you should go digging with knife or scissors to obtain the contents . . . now of course, I would just cut carefully round the base of the blister with a scalpel, but then I'm a vaguely intelligent adult! However, back then the 'blister pack' was a newish concept, especially in this sealed form, even Giant used staples only, through the blister, on some of their simpler/unfolded sets, while heat sealing the blister to the card was still a year or two away - requiring the added expense of blister-contoured hot-iron stamps.

Seven mounted Romans and two four-horsed, non-articulated chariots make up those contents, with two 'foot figures' as chariot crews; these plug to the floor of the chariot.

1963; 59¢; Ben Hur; Blister Pack; Blister Pack Toy Soldiers; Britains Trojans; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Carded Rack Toy; Chariot Attack; Chariot Attack 59¢; Circa 1963; Giant; Giant Blister Pack; Giant Or What; Giant Romans; Giant Set No.980; Giant Trojans; Made in 1963; Marx Romans; No.980 Roman Legion; Roman Legion; Roman Legion Chariot Attack; Set No.980; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
The chariots; the plug (chariot floor) and hole (figure base) attachment is clearly visible on the archer (ex-Britains pose), and the other vehicle has an ex-Marx sentry pose as it's 'rider/driver'. The chariot is based on the Marx Ben Hur Playset design, but reduced in size and greatly simplified.

Note that each chariot has matching horses, which are standard Giant 'Smoothies' (as I call them) and 99-times out of a hundred get a contrasting coloured wrap-around detailing fret, you do occasionally see them with same colour frets, but they don't look 'right'! When you find the on feebleBay they are usually hideously overpriced for what are quite common, both as Giant and as any one of several clones, to which (the clones) you can add two-horse-team sets, and articulated versions which pivot at the back of the drawbar/centre pole.

1963; 59¢; Ben Hur; Blister Pack; Blister Pack Toy Soldiers; Britains Trojans; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Carded Rack Toy; Chariot Attack; Chariot Attack 59¢; Circa 1963; Giant; Giant Blister Pack; Giant Or What; Giant Romans; Giant Set No.980; Giant Trojans; Made in 1963; Marx Romans; No.980 Roman Legion; Roman Legion; Roman Legion Chariot Attack; Set No.980; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
The cavalry; A very disappointing figure/pose mix here with five of the diminutive blobs which pass for a spearman, and one each of the other two figures, however the horse selection is quite good with a fair mix of black, white and two shades of brown, so swings and roundabouts I feel! Again they are pretty standard Smoothies, but which sub-variant remains unclear . . . but then I haven't listen them all yet! Looking at the brown one on the middle, they are the ['GIANT' to the left of a smaller 'HONG' over 'KONG' with no idiot 'R'-mark] type! Crew and Chariot marks can't be determined.

But they may have additional marks along the sides of the cavity? So I can't be 100% - things in blisters are harder to investigate than loose examples, but we will look at the Smoothie properly one day, with a view to boring you to death!

===============================================================

But is it Giant?

Yes! Yes-yes-yes, without a shadow of a doubt, absolutely, assuredly, positively and only Giant! But - bought in the UK, in 1963, not in the US - God forgive the carbon-footprint* on these cheap, ephemeral rack-toys!

*1961? Coal or oil-fired tramp-steamer from Hong Kong to the West Coast, diesel locomotive (or Kenworth/Peterbuilt!) across the breadth of the US to New York, then another steamer to the UK, with more vehicle movements from Ipswich, Tilbury, Bristol or Liverpool? It's staggering really!

Friday, 25 March 2022

Giant and Giant-like Astronaut Spacemen - Part V - Copy Type 'C3'

But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Giant Astronauts; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Or What; Giant Spacemen; Hong Kong Astronauts; Hong Kong Cosmonauts; Hong Kong Spacemen; Marx Space Tank; NO.T703; Rocket Firing Space Vehicles; Scale Size Miniatures; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Brigade; Space tanker; Take-A-Part; Unbreakable Polyethylene;
So to the hardest to pin-down, they seem to have gone head-to-head with Giant, or appearing shortly after Giant, so could be earliest, but I suspect they are contemporary with but copied-from and a few months later than C1, with the C2's also copied from C1? But anyway, this post is on the C3's which are the poorest in quality really?
 
But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Giant Astronauts; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Or What; Giant Spacemen; Hong Kong Astronauts; Hong Kong Cosmonauts; Hong Kong Spacemen; Marx Space Tank; NO.T703; Rocket Firing Space Vehicles; Scale Size Miniatures; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Brigade; Space tanker; Take-A-Part; Unbreakable Polyethylene;
Binoculars are reduced to different sized blobs, but the 'bazooka' keeps it's shape quite well, so 'swings & roundabouts ' there! Flash is greater, and pieces of runner have been left on some of the figures. the weapon of the radio-operator ending-up looking like a fancy aerial!

I believe the paint here is 'factory', and they may have been painted to compete with the later, 1970's, bi-coloured packs of Woolbro's Space Explorer Set's? I have had more than one sample come in with the paint, same shade, and it's painted over the runner-stubs (forth from left) which you feel a modeller/war-gamer - even a young one - might have trimmed-off first?

But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Giant Astronauts; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Or What; Giant Spacemen; Hong Kong Astronauts; Hong Kong Cosmonauts; Hong Kong Spacemen; Marx Space Tank; NO.T703; Rocket Firing Space Vehicles; Scale Size Miniatures; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Brigade; Space tanker; Take-A-Part; Unbreakable Polyethylene;
Marking is a circular 'MADE IN HONG KONG', often double-stamped, or over-stamped, not always clear and in a more condensed font, while the bases are the largest of the four types (C2 are the smallest).

The same mark appears on at least one of many generations of Monogram GI copy, and a small-scale Blue Box piracy cow I have, so whoever this company was, they seem to have been quite busy churning out generic clones for unprincipled Western buyers, or unethical Western contractors!

But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Giant Astronauts; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Or What; Giant Spacemen; Hong Kong Astronauts; Hong Kong Cosmonauts; Hong Kong Spacemen; Marx Space Tank; NO.T703; Rocket Firing Space Vehicles; Scale Size Miniatures; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Brigade; Space tanker; Take-A-Part; Unbreakable Polyethylene;
While I have similar quantities of both, that could be down to coincidence, as the next image would suggest unpainted should be more numerous, but later-produced figures survive better (that's the law of attrition), so if painting came later there would be proportionally-more still around.

But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Giant Astronauts; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Or What; Giant Spacemen; Hong Kong Astronauts; Hong Kong Cosmonauts; Hong Kong Spacemen; Marx Space Tank; NO.T703; Rocket Firing Space Vehicles; Scale Size Miniatures; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Brigade; Space tanker; Take-A-Part; Unbreakable Polyethylene;
Old internet shot - a direct take of Giant's own set, but un-branded and in full colour, with no apparent accessories - despite the artwork - the code number would tie this in with the direct-copies of Giant Wild West sets I have in the pile.

No paint on the figures and the Giant rip-offery, would point to this effort being earlier, with later sets put-up against the Woolbro set, with paint, or 50/50 paint? This set also suggests that there are non-Giant 'Giant' space-tanks out there?

But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Giant Astronauts; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Or What; Giant Spacemen; Hong Kong Astronauts; Hong Kong Cosmonauts; Hong Kong Spacemen; Marx Space Tank; NO.T703; Rocket Firing Space Vehicles; Scale Size Miniatures; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Brigade; Space tanker; Take-A-Part; Unbreakable Polyethylene;

Here's another space tank . . . er! Posed with Marx's tracked Chlorine/Hydrogen/Oxygen rocket-fuel tanker, this is a re-issue I think in a white plastic which could be a dense 'ethylene polymer or a polypropylene? The figures are - of course - and like the other four sets - all softer polyethylene plastic.

===============================================================

But is it Giant

These like the C1 and C2's are copies, clones, piracies . . . there's nothing Giant here, but this type is trying hardest to be Giant with the total copy of card-art and accompanying text . . . including the probably non-existent rocket-firing tanks!

Giant and Giant-like Astronaut Spacemen - Part IV - Copy Type 'C2' - Woolbro ++

1964 Ad; 49 Piece Set; Astronauts; Blast Off; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Commack; Cosmonauts; Five Star Toys; Generic Rack Toys; Giant Astronauts; Giant Clones; Giant Copies; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Or What; Helen Of Toy; Metallic Spacemen; N. Y.; Rack Toy Spacemen; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Explorer Set; Space-Men; Spacemen; The Complete Space Game; Woolbro Rack Toy; Woolbro Space Explorer Set; Woolbro Toys;
So to the commonest version/variant of Giant clone, while now priced as (and usually described as-) Giant on evilBay, these used to be easy to find in under-table rummage boxes at shows and over the years I've picked up a reasonable number of them in the four main colours shown here, with silver outnumbering the other considerably - I've probably got more silver than all the others put together?

1964 Ad; 49 Piece Set; Astronauts; Blast Off; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Commack; Cosmonauts; Five Star Toys; Generic Rack Toys; Giant Astronauts; Giant Clones; Giant Copies; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Or What; Helen Of Toy; Metallic Spacemen; N. Y.; Rack Toy Spacemen; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Explorer Set; Space-Men; Spacemen; The Complete Space Game; Woolbro Rack Toy; Woolbro Space Explorer Set; Woolbro Toys;
The same ten poses as the previous C1's, but smaller and less detailed, the 'bazooka' man can - again - suffer from distortion, but not always and not as consistently as the C1 fellow, this might point at the same factory for both, but is more likely down to the thickness of the sculpt at that point in both sets?

1964 Ad; 49 Piece Set; Astronauts; Blast Off; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Commack; Cosmonauts; Five Star Toys; Generic Rack Toys; Giant Astronauts; Giant Clones; Giant Copies; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Or What; Helen Of Toy; Metallic Spacemen; N. Y.; Rack Toy Spacemen; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Explorer Set; Space-Men; Spacemen; The Complete Space Game; Woolbro Rack Toy; Woolbro Space Explorer Set; Woolbro Toys;
A comparison between the first-aider and the O/C, you can see they are separate poses, with the officer having a questing little-old-lady stance, while the medic is reaching more forcefully. His chest detailing is also better as he's been recut from new, rather than pantographed, same for his head/helmet.

C2's are probably copies of one of the other two sets (C1 or - less likely - C3) and show it, he doesn't though, he's altogether a fresher sculpt.

1964 Ad; 49 Piece Set; Astronauts; Blast Off; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Commack; Cosmonauts; Five Star Toys; Generic Rack Toys; Giant Astronauts; Giant Clones; Giant Copies; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Or What; Helen Of Toy; Metallic Spacemen; N. Y.; Rack Toy Spacemen; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Explorer Set; Space-Men; Spacemen; The Complete Space Game; Woolbro Rack Toy; Woolbro Space Explorer Set; Woolbro Toys;
My favourites dukeing asteroid e asteroid, not the commonest, but I've found them two or three times over the years and seen them a few other times on feebleBay, so they were quite numerous sometime (probably in the Woolbro sets - see below)?

1964 Ad; 49 Piece Set; Astronauts; Blast Off; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Commack; Cosmonauts; Five Star Toys; Generic Rack Toys; Giant Astronauts; Giant Clones; Giant Copies; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Or What; Helen Of Toy; Metallic Spacemen; N. Y.; Rack Toy Spacemen; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Explorer Set; Space-Men; Spacemen; The Complete Space Game; Woolbro Rack Toy; Woolbro Space Explorer Set; Woolbro Toys;
Gold turn-up in about the same quantities, while the red-chap is the only one I've got! Possibility he's a Gum-ball machine capsule prize/Christmas cracker type thing, but I suspect he's from the US 'comic offer' sets (see below), where half the contents were this colour, the other half the common silver?

I have someone to thank for the silver-troop shot - Theo van der Werden, I think? Cheers Theo - it all gets used eventually! And the gold patrol are advancing up a Cane trench!

1964 Ad; 49 Piece Set; Astronauts; Blast Off; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Commack; Cosmonauts; Five Star Toys; Generic Rack Toys; Giant Astronauts; Giant Clones; Giant Copies; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Or What; Helen Of Toy; Metallic Spacemen; N. Y.; Rack Toy Spacemen; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Explorer Set; Space-Men; Spacemen; The Complete Space Game; Woolbro Rack Toy; Woolbro Space Explorer Set; Woolbro Toys;
Base mark is similar to the C1's, but much fainter and a bit smaller (still a DIN font; 'HONGKONG') than the C1's, with no dimples, holes or double-stampings, the sepia image is me trying to show you that a gloss-red figure inches from the camera-flash has the same marking! There is a gap between the two words, but it's so thin I've given them the one-word mark.

1964 Ad; 49 Piece Set; Astronauts; Blast Off; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Commack; Cosmonauts; Five Star Toys; Generic Rack Toys; Giant Astronauts; Giant Clones; Giant Copies; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Or What; Helen Of Toy; Metallic Spacemen; N. Y.; Rack Toy Spacemen; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Explorer Set; Space-Men; Spacemen; The Complete Space Game; Woolbro Rack Toy; Woolbro Space Explorer Set; Woolbro Toys;
Their numerousness is down to the fact that they were carried by various people in various sets, mostly generics in independent corner stores and newsagents, but at least one branded supplier Woolbro (left), where they carried the same '445' code as the other sets in the line (Fort Cheyenne, Mobile Task Force and Roman Fortress). Age-wise they are probably newest on the left (Woolbro mid-1970's) and oldest on the right; a generic from the late 1960's.

1964 Ad; 49 Piece Set; Astronauts; Blast Off; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Commack; Cosmonauts; Five Star Toys; Generic Rack Toys; Giant Astronauts; Giant Clones; Giant Copies; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Or What; Helen Of Toy; Metallic Spacemen; N. Y.; Rack Toy Spacemen; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Explorer Set; Space-Men; Spacemen; The Complete Space Game; Woolbro Rack Toy; Woolbro Space Explorer Set; Woolbro Toys;
The two later sets both come with a copy ofMattel's Major Matt Mason space walker (also nicked by Eldon's Billy Blastoff) and a rocket which I think is taken from MPC (? Someone like that!), but which has had a safety 'bulb' added to save eyes . . . it was carnage in the earlier 1960's blinded kids as far as the still-sighted could see!

1964 Ad; 49 Piece Set; Astronauts; Blast Off; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Commack; Cosmonauts; Five Star Toys; Generic Rack Toys; Giant Astronauts; Giant Clones; Giant Copies; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Or What; Helen Of Toy; Metallic Spacemen; N. Y.; Rack Toy Spacemen; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Explorer Set; Space-Men; Spacemen; The Complete Space Game; Woolbro Rack Toy; Woolbro Space Explorer Set; Woolbro Toys;
On the subject of Blast Off (at least two board-games, a play-set and a book, the book titled in homage to all the other 'Blast Off's!), Five Star, Helen of Toy and others carried a set (in two sizes - 117 and 196 pieces) under the same Blast Off moniker, which I suspect probably contained these C2 figures (in the absence of other better candidates) which would have included my red figure - on one side - with yet more silver figures, but this is still conjecture? The two brands here are clearly the same outfit working from the same address.

Some sources claim Giant figures were in the sets, but without empirical evidence, and while the sets are very rare, so is my red example! As the Blast Off sets were red and silver, and given some will claim everything Hong Kong and small scale is "original Giant", I suspect the truth is that these common figures were the ones used. Many thanks to Peter Evan's for one of the comic pages.

===============================================================

But is it Giant

No! The truth is that four sets of astronaut/spaceman tools were being used, probably all within months of Giant's product appearing, at around the same time (1961/2) through to about 1974 (for these C2's), although these may have been issued a little later than both the C1 and C3 clones. There is however no Giant stuff in this post.

Thursday, 24 March 2022

Giant and Giant-like Astronaut Spacemen - Part III - Copy Type 'C1'

Astronauts; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Cosmonauts; Giant Astronauts; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Hong Kong; Giant New York; Giant NY; Giant of Hong Kong; Giant or What; Giant Or What?; Giant Plastics Corp; Giant Spacemen; Hong Kong Astronauts; Hong Kong Cosmonauts; Hong Kong Space Men; Hong Kong Spacemen; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Men; Space-Men; Spacemen;

I'm not 100% convinced these were the first copies, but they might be, however they are the closes to the Giant figures so they get the nominal preeminent title in the copy-numbering, while the C2 (next post, almost certainly came from these) but I stress - as always - this is my numbering system, and means nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Astronauts; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Cosmonauts; Giant Astronauts; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Hong Kong; Giant New York; Giant NY; Giant of Hong Kong; Giant or What; Giant Or What?; Giant Plastics Corp; Giant Spacemen; Hong Kong Astronauts; Hong Kong Cosmonauts; Hong Kong Space Men; Hong Kong Spacemen; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Men; Space-Men; Spacemen;
They are closest to Giant's in sculpting/detail as well as size, although there is a drop-off in etched surface-detail and the main difference is the addition of a tenth figure, who is not a conversion of the officer/pistol chap, but is clearly based on him, having a straighter back though and different arms/legs, he's the unit Medic with a first-aid kit - early exploits by Giant's own Space Men troops clearly threw-up a high rate of light casualties! We will look more closely at him in the next post.

Astronauts; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Cosmonauts; Giant Astronauts; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Hong Kong; Giant New York; Giant NY; Giant of Hong Kong; Giant or What; Giant Or What?; Giant Plastics Corp; Giant Spacemen; Hong Kong Astronauts; Hong Kong Cosmonauts; Hong Kong Space Men; Hong Kong Spacemen; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Men; Space-Men; Spacemen;
The marking is a large HONG KONG, with two of the figures further possessing a distinct mould release-pin mark/dimple near the center of the base. The 'bazooka' guy is usually seriously deformed like this example, too-rapid removal from the tool is the likely cause?

Astronauts; But Is It Giant; But Is It Giant?; butisitgiant.blogspot.com; Cosmonauts; Giant Astronauts; Giant Cosmonauts; Giant Hong Kong; Giant New York; Giant NY; Giant of Hong Kong; Giant or What; Giant Or What?; Giant Plastics Corp; Giant Spacemen; Hong Kong Astronauts; Hong Kong Cosmonauts; Hong Kong Space Men; Hong Kong Spacemen; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Men; Space-Men; Spacemen;
This is a full-colour image! I posed them with a selection of monochromatic accessories/background sheet-materials! I have yet to identify these as having any sets/packaging, but they must have (unless they were in small unmarked bags included in Christmas crackers, crane-machines, capsules etc...?), so they should turn-up one day . . . I hope!

===============================================================

But is it Giant?

No, nothing here is Giant production, nor was it issued by or branded to Giant, or produced for Giant.