About Me

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I’m a 56-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. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Sunday, 21 November 2021

'Wavymane' - The Original, Hong Kong Made, Hollow Horse?

So, I covered a couple of the easier horses at the start of this Blog, now it's time for one of the hardest, not as many variations as the Giant horses ('Smoothie' and 'Mexican'), but enough variants, and probably the original of all the hollow-horses, certainly the most numerous, by country-miles.

Britains Herald; Britains Swoppets; Crescent; Fort Apache; Fort Cheyenne; Frontier Set; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Horses; Giant Plastics Corp; Giant Wild West; Hollow Horse Types; Hong Kong Horses; Hong Kong Wavymane; Horses; Made in Hong Kong; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wavymane Horse; Wild West; YF Blister Pack;
This is it, the horse I dubbed Wavymane, because I'm a simple chap and it has a wave in its mane, a curl - if you like - or, with the lighting on this shot, a bit of a loop, clearly visible on the right-hand horse's mane, about half way down the neck.

I was going to highlight it with an arrow, but some of you may decide to use these close-ups to build a ready-reckoner guide, so I thought I'd keep them clean!

Britains Herald; Britains Swoppets; Crescent; Fort Apache; Fort Cheyenne; Frontier Set; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Horses; Giant Plastics Corp; Giant Wild West; Hollow Horse Types; Hong Kong Horses; Hong Kong Wavymane; Horses; Made in Hong Kong; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wavymane Horse; Wild West; YF Blister Pack;
My total sample, as of April 2016, there has been some growth, with a fair few in the TBS box, but I don't buy the quantities I used to when I was first trying to sort and annotate the 20+ main [named] types and 100+ variations, which is mostly now complete as an exercise.

We'll be visiting each sub-type in its own post here and we'll look at their marks when we do so. This is just a guide to what I have been working with/from, but there are a few points to note;

Type 1's are best quality, with a chalky (but not brittle) look, good musculature to the horses and subdued, but rich colours to the riders, with no accessories yet tied to them, they are definitely the oldest, may be the first HK horse of this HO/OO-compatible model, and - due to that age - are less numerous.

Type 2's introduce both new marks and a glossier plastic for both horses and riders, the carded set seen is 'theirs' as are some generic pocket-money bags. They are commoner than the 1's, but as clean 'Early' samples not much more numerous.

As Type 2 Late however, they are the commonest Hong Kong hollow-horse out there, there are thousands of horses in the box and the riders fill two large bags, with sets from A Pocket Money Toy (H - 502, a phantom brand?) and Larami (who also carried other Hong Kong hollow-horses, at other times, in the same packaging - so almost certainly bought-in, probably from third-party.

The Type 3 is the cake-decoration candle-holder version, and the numbering is purely arbitary, but was placed before the 4's, as it would have been an early application of the moulding, contiguous with the 2's if not originally the 1's, it depends on who had the idea first (decoration buyers, or horse seller) and how soon they arranged contracts, new tooling and deliveries of first orders!

While Type 4 covers all the late production which includes exceptions to rules, bought-in accessories, different riders or foot figures &etc. Some of these may still be in stores somewhere, but probably not.

Britains Herald; Britains Swoppets; Crescent; Fort Apache; Fort Cheyenne; Frontier Set; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Horses; Giant Plastics Corp; Giant Wild West; Hollow Horse Types; Hong Kong Horses; Hong Kong Wavymane; Horses; Made in Hong Kong; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wavymane Horse; Wild West; YF Blister Pack;
Large sets from the Type 2 ('Empire Made' left) and Type 4 (YF, right) eras; The 2 has both ex-Giant foot figures and an ex-Giant fort without the bunk-house, but the riders are all Wavymane, while the 4 has new riders (ex-Timpo poses) and new foot figures.

US readers should note that while I don't have an MPC set yet, I've seen enough on evilBay to know they are within the Type 4 oeuvre, and specifically are packaging-graphic variations of the Blue-Box lookie-likey YF blister-card seen here. The foot figures also being issued with truncated versions of the fort as seen in the previous image - all will be looked at properly in the Type 4 post/s.

Also it should be seen/noted that YF produced ex-Giant second version Knight sets (tool passing through to Archie McFee/Accoutrements and ultimately BuM), yet there is no ex-Giant content in this set - although everything above is described as Giant by unknowing or unethical sellers on that there interma'web thingy!

Britains Herald; Britains Swoppets; Crescent; Fort Apache; Fort Cheyenne; Frontier Set; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Horses; Giant Plastics Corp; Giant Wild West; Hollow Horse Types; Hong Kong Horses; Hong Kong Wavymane; Horses; Made in Hong Kong; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wavymane Horse; Wild West; YF Blister Pack;
Wavymane is basically a straight copy of the Crescent 54mm horse, down-scaled to a 1:76th/72nd or HO/OO-compatible size. The horse is technically galloping, although at full gallop the horse only ever has one hoof firmly on the ground at any given moment. However it's important to note that the sculptors at Crescent went with three hoofs grounded; one (front right) coming in, one (front left) lifting and one momentarily firm - rear right.

You can see I have highlighted the wave with arrows here, it is carried over from Crescent donor to Hong Kong piracy, along with all other details of mane, tail, saddlery and halter/harness, the location hole being raised to receive studs higher-up the scaled down legs of the small-scale riders.

Britains Herald; Britains Swoppets; Crescent; Fort Apache; Fort Cheyenne; Frontier Set; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Horses; Giant Plastics Corp; Giant Wild West; Hollow Horse Types; Hong Kong Horses; Hong Kong Wavymane; Horses; Made in Hong Kong; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wavymane Horse; Wild West; YF Blister Pack;
Britain's had gone with a two hoof down pose for less stability, but greater realism, the front going down, the rear lifting. To the right of the Britains is a recent (and still findable) larger scale version of the old small-scale Hong Kong hollow horse, with the tail from one ('Flicktail') and ex-Giant 'Smoothie' body, but fitted for a base.

Britains Herald; Britains Swoppets; Crescent; Fort Apache; Fort Cheyenne; Frontier Set; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Horses; Giant Plastics Corp; Giant Wild West; Hollow Horse Types; Hong Kong Horses; Hong Kong Wavymane; Horses; Made in Hong Kong; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wavymane Horse; Wild West; YF Blister Pack;
Timpo followed Britains with the two-hoofs-down gait, and when I sat 'followed' check out the sculpting of the tail or the ulna (shoulder) and carpus (knee) of the front left leg!

Britains Herald; Britains Swoppets; Crescent; Fort Apache; Fort Cheyenne; Frontier Set; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Horses; Giant Plastics Corp; Giant Wild West; Hollow Horse Types; Hong Kong Horses; Hong Kong Wavymane; Horses; Made in Hong Kong; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wavymane Horse; Wild West; YF Blister Pack;
So, to the contentious bit; the Giant horse is a copy of the Wavymane! It's smaller because whether pantograph or hand cut, it then got reduced as the fine musculature of the Crescent horse was smoothed-out! Hence 'Smoothie' but they retained enough of the saddlery details - specifically the funny little flaps of 'Front Skirt' and/or 'Fender' (yeah - I had to look all this stuff up!), for us to know the Wavymane came first, the Giant is second generation, but re-cut to quality . . . to begin with.

This is important for two reasons, one; it will annoy the Giant purists and if you are annoying a specific group of fan-people you are usually getting something right, and two; because all the subsequent horses can be either 2/3/4th generation from Wavymane, or 3/4/5th generation copies of Smoothie - which is why studying them is so hard. Add stand-alone's and other 1st generation copies and it's all very complicated, but it has to be got right . . . or ignored.

Britains Herald; Britains Swoppets; Crescent; Fort Apache; Fort Cheyenne; Frontier Set; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Horses; Giant Plastics Corp; Giant Wild West; Hollow Horse Types; Hong Kong Horses; Hong Kong Wavymane; Horses; Made in Hong Kong; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wavymane Horse; Wild West; YF Blister Pack;
A couple more large-scale offerings from Hong Kong, one which is clearly the Crescent horse, but now seemingly the donor for the small-scale horses I call Spiky-mane and Flicktail as it's had more work done on both features, to hide the Crescent origins? The other a Britains/Timpo hybrid with Britains take-off base.

Britains Herald; Britains Swoppets; Crescent; Fort Apache; Fort Cheyenne; Frontier Set; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Horses; Giant Plastics Corp; Giant Wild West; Hollow Horse Types; Hong Kong Horses; Hong Kong Wavymane; Horses; Made in Hong Kong; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wavymane Horse; Wild West; YF Blister Pack;
Three of the previous images scaled-together in Picasa for a full comparison. The Timpo looks bigger, but that's because A) it has a rider and B) I've lifted the image to fit it in the corner to match the bottom-left corner, for graphical purity!

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But is it Giant?

Obviously the two used in the comparisons are, but the Wavymane specifically and all the large scale ones in general; no. However, you will find Wavymane's with Giant product as bought-in 'mix-and-match' sets, they are post- or ex-Giant.

Sunday, 3 October 2021

'Face' Bunkers and Barbed Wire - Giant and Others

This is not a perfect post, both the Dragons' Teeth and the third sub-piracy are absent, but by the end you will at least be able to pair-up most of your Giant and sub-Giant bunkers and barbed-wire, if you currently have them all in one tub/box/place!

Anti-Tank Obstacles; Atlantic Wall; Barbed Wire Entanglements; Bunkers; Defence Line; Defence Works; Dragons' Teeth; Fortified Position; Giant; Giant Barbed Wire; Giant Bunkers; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Plastics Corporation; HO - OO Barbed Wire; HO - OO Bunkers; HO - OO Dragons' Teeth; Home Guard; Marx Bunkers; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wire Entanglements;
But we start with the granddaddy which is Marx, specifically the Miniature Masterpieces accessory which was, itself, probably pantographed-down from the larger item found in the 54 and 60mm play sets.

And odd design; more knights helm than pill-box, but having something in common with some of the cheap iron or concrete 'sniper' posts used by various armies/nations since the end of the 19th Century, except they are usually small one- or two-man things.

Hard polystyrene plastic and marked clearly with the full stamp, this one 'Hong Kong' but there may be 'Taiwan' versions out there?

Anti-Tank Obstacles; Atlantic Wall; Barbed Wire Entanglements; Bunkers; Defence Line; Defence Works; Dragons' Teeth; Fortified Position; Giant; Giant Barbed Wire; Giant Bunkers; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Plastics Corporation; HO - OO Barbed Wire; HO - OO Bunkers; HO - OO Dragons' Teeth; Home Guard; Marx Bunkers; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wire Entanglements;
Giant got a copy of the Marx unit out for their WWII sets, it's soft polyethylene plastic, a little smaller, a little less sharply finished, and there was barbed-wire (illustrated) and dragons' teeth (see below) to build a formidable defence-line from multiple sets.

A reminder that the that the P-in-a-circle mark; , is internationally recognised as the symbol for phonographic recordings, not 'patent', 'protected', 'perfect' or even 'plastic'!

Anti-Tank Obstacles; Atlantic Wall; Barbed Wire Entanglements; Bunkers; Defence Line; Defence Works; Dragons' Teeth; Fortified Position; Giant; Giant Barbed Wire; Giant Bunkers; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Plastics Corporation; HO - OO Barbed Wire; HO - OO Bunkers; HO - OO Dragons' Teeth; Home Guard; Marx Bunkers; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wire Entanglements;
These would seem to be sub-piracies, and I have titled them C1 for 'copy, type one' (for the purpose of this post, you can title them whatever you like!) although it may be that the next lot ('C2') came first, but these are closer to the Giant version, just a poorer copy, less well-finished.

The arrows are pointing to large pin-release marks, which are more-like channels, filled with resin which has then been cut away with tin-snips or side-cutters, leaving still quite-pronounced protrusions.

Anti-Tank Obstacles; Atlantic Wall; Barbed Wire Entanglements; Bunkers; Defence Line; Defence Works; Dragons' Teeth; Fortified Position; Giant; Giant Barbed Wire; Giant Bunkers; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Plastics Corporation; HO - OO Barbed Wire; HO - OO Bunkers; HO - OO Dragons' Teeth; Home Guard; Marx Bunkers; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wire Entanglements;
These (C2) are poorer again, but differences in the overall design suggest parallel copying rather than liner, so they may predate the C1, but it will only be by a few months as the sets carrying them both are pretty contemporary - approximately 1966-68.

Also - or again; soft polyethylene plastic like the C1's and Giant's original copy.

Anti-Tank Obstacles; Atlantic Wall; Barbed Wire Entanglements; Bunkers; Defence Line; Defence Works; Dragons' Teeth; Fortified Position; Giant; Giant Barbed Wire; Giant Bunkers; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Plastics Corporation; HO - OO Barbed Wire; HO - OO Bunkers; HO - OO Dragons' Teeth; Home Guard; Marx Bunkers; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wire Entanglements;
The barbed-wire which accompanies the Marx-copy/Giant-clones; they are both copies of the giant version - which we looked at here - and a much finer piece than all the clones. It should be noted that while I am 100% on the tie-in between the C1's, with the C2 I have such a small sample of wire it cannot - yet - be taken as empirical, although checking with the Beach Head sets will sort them all out, more accurately, another day.

Anti-Tank Obstacles; Atlantic Wall; Barbed Wire Entanglements; Bunkers; Defence Line; Defence Works; Dragons' Teeth; Fortified Position; Giant; Giant Barbed Wire; Giant Bunkers; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Plastics Corporation; HO - OO Barbed Wire; HO - OO Bunkers; HO - OO Dragons' Teeth; Home Guard; Marx Bunkers; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wire Entanglements;
The four together, you can see that with the C2, there is a different profile to the soil the pill-box is set into, and while the surface is smoother (suggesting another pantographing) it is also a cleaner bunker sculpt than the lumpy C1, so one suspects that the C2 is a separate copy, independent of a evolution-line of cloning of the Marx/Giant donors.

There is another bunker design, which could be C3, or, a C2 if the brown ones are a stand-alone line/design, as it seems to be copied from the Marx-Giant-C1 evolutionary line, but the 'mouth' has been dropped and a 'side-door' arrangement added to the [defenders] left side (right side as we're looking at them here), they can be seen in the above links, but I can't find them, despite last shooting it in 2015, so they must be here somewhere!

Anti-Tank Obstacles; Atlantic Wall; Barbed Wire Entanglements; Bunkers; Defence Line; Defence Works; Dragons' Teeth; Fortified Position; Giant; Giant Barbed Wire; Giant Bunkers; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Plastics Corporation; HO - OO Barbed Wire; HO - OO Bunkers; HO - OO Dragons' Teeth; Home Guard; Marx Bunkers; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wire Entanglements;
Comparing the barbed-wire entanglements/fences, in the link to the Beach Head and other sets above, I noted that one of them ('D-Day Invasion') had Giant-marked barbed-wire, I'd better check to see if it has Giant bunkers as well, I suspect it did have?

While the additional strand (at the bottom of this shot) may go with the missing 'doorway' (C3) bunker, something else I'll have to check against those sealed sets! Note: double barbs on C1 and smaller barbs on C2 with the question-mark being closer to the Marx original but with four spans against the three of everyone else's.

Anti-Tank Obstacles; Atlantic Wall; Barbed Wire Entanglements; Bunkers; Defence Line; Defence Works; Dragons' Teeth; Fortified Position; Giant; Giant Barbed Wire; Giant Bunkers; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Plastics Corporation; HO - OO Barbed Wire; HO - OO Bunkers; HO - OO Dragons' Teeth; Home Guard; Marx Bunkers; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wire Entanglements;
A close-up of that forth type.

Anti-Tank Obstacles; Atlantic Wall; Barbed Wire Entanglements; Bunkers; Defence Line; Defence Works; Dragons' Teeth; Fortified Position; Giant; Giant Barbed Wire; Giant Bunkers; Giant Hong Kong; Giant Plastics Corporation; HO - OO Barbed Wire; HO - OO Bunkers; HO - OO Dragons' Teeth; Home Guard; Marx Bunkers; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wire Entanglements;
When I check the other question marks remaining above, I will return with a fuller article, and get these properly sorted. I have a shed-load somewhere as I was literally the only bloke in the UK hoovering them up at shows for years, where they were always in the junk trays, although kind people like Trevor Rudkin and John Begg saved lots for me over the years as well, so the above is just a taste, of what I had to hand, and is no guide to anything!

Basically they all follow the Airfix pattern of a 'hand' of five, linked to make a double row 2-3 ( ,',', ) and I think the Giant are the taller, with the clones getting smaller ones, which - like the barbed-wire - will probably be found to run to four obvious variants? However, all the clones are without the pyramid on the cap, which the Airfix ones wear.

In addition to the links above, this post covered the other examples in my 'master collection', and both posts linked-to owe a debt to James Opie, from who's collection several of them came.

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But is it Giant?

I set a rod for my own back with this footer-feature didn't I!

Yes, if it says so in the text, no if it doesn't and almost certainly no if it's product added to a generic set with a bunch of non-Giant product also present! Another way . . . everything in the second image is Giant, except when it's been supplied to someone else; everything else isn't Giant except where the Giant stuff is being compared with it - in images 6 and 7! There might be some Giant in the last image!

It'll be clearer when we return to them to clear-up the remaining question-marks.

Monday, 13 September 2021

Novelty Headquarters Inc., and Others - Space Alien Clones

We've already seen these as I only have the three examples and they have all been used in comparison-shots on the previous two posts! However, to get the boxes ticked, we'll have another look at them with a bit more info' and some theorising.

Alien Novelties; Alien Novelty Toy; Aliens; Bug-Eyed Aliens; Cake Decorations; Christmas Crackers; Giant Aliens; Giant Martians; Giant Moon Men; Giant New York; Giant NYNY; Giant Of Hong Kong; Giant Outer Space Men; Giant Plastics Corp.; Goodies; Gum Ball Capsule Toys; Gum-ball Prizes; Hong Kong; Made in Hong Kong; Novelty Headquarters Inc.; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Aliens;
So these are they; it has taken all of my 40+ years collecting to get the three, which equates to one every fourteen-odd years! I fact they've all come in, in the last 30 years, so about once a decade, although, technically they aren't [or 'weren't'] rare once, as we'll see in a minute.

But the slow drip of them here in Albion points to them having been either the very cheap gum-ball machine capsule prizes (1p or 2p machines back in the day) or the budget Christmas cracker's - 1 per cracker, 1 cracker to every few boxes?

Mark is, as you can see, a small, crude 'HONG KONG', in semi-readable condition.

Alien Novelties; Alien Novelty Toy; Aliens; Bug-Eyed Aliens; Cake Decorations; Christmas Crackers; Giant Aliens; Giant Martians; Giant Moon Men; Giant New York; Giant NYNY; Giant Of Hong Kong; Giant Outer Space Men; Giant Plastics Corp.; Goodies; Gum Ball Capsule Toys; Gum-ball Prizes; Hong Kong; Made in Hong Kong; Novelty Headquarters Inc.; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Aliens;
And they are copies, probably from crude re-moulding, hand-finished, rather than with a pantograph, simplification of the blue-guy's rifle, and the missing butt of the pink guy's, coupled with a marked reduction on size over the originals and loss of fine detail, suggest a crude method of copying? Especialy as they've then been given the same size bases as the Giant donors, something which would have been equally reduced by an off-set pantograph.

Alien Novelties; Alien Novelty Toy; Aliens; Bug-Eyed Aliens; Cake Decorations; Christmas Crackers; Giant Aliens; Giant Martians; Giant Moon Men; Giant New York; Giant NYNY; Giant Of Hong Kong; Giant Outer Space Men; Giant Plastics Corp.; Goodies; Gum Ball Capsule Toys; Gum-ball Prizes; Hong Kong; Made in Hong Kong; Novelty Headquarters Inc.; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Aliens;
This has been on the PC since I got the one before the one before this, and I think it came from a defunct Blog or website, it may be off eBay (some early images were very poor) but it illustrates the point that in the 'States you could get a bag of 100+! For what, .25/35¢? And say 5-20 bags per outlet, 500 or 5,000 outlets . . . somewhere; a mountain of these has disappeared into thin air! As have the Giant originals!

Except we know they are in landfill! Ephemeral rack-toys, from the budget-end of a budget-genre, they were discarded, hoovered/vacuumed, lost in the garden or playground, down drains (there'll be a bunch of 'em in the Sargasso garbage patch!) and whatever was left, eventually went in the bin.

Alien Novelties; Alien Novelty Toy; Aliens; Bug-Eyed Aliens; Cake Decorations; Christmas Crackers; Giant Aliens; Giant Martians; Giant Moon Men; Giant New York; Giant NYNY; Giant Of Hong Kong; Giant Outer Space Men; Giant Plastics Corp.; Goodies; Gum Ball Capsule Toys; Gum-ball Prizes; Hong Kong; Made in Hong Kong; Novelty Headquarters Inc.; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Aliens;
Another old crap image with some LB (Lik Be) robots rounding up the Novelty Headquarters Inc's invasion force!

Now, these are the same colours as those in the bag, not the same as mine, which may point to mine being a 2nd generation piracy, 3rd generation if you count the Giant ones. The US ones also seem to have retained a bit more of their stature, although the red one on the left has a poor weapon, so it's probably down to the base-mark, which I don't know, however I suspect two runs of the same tool.

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But is it Giant?

Neoooow! Not in a million-billion-squillion-gazillion-years Pal! Yer 'avin' a larf, in't 'cha!

The Toy House's Strange Men from Mars . . . with Space Ship!

Some say Giant did supply these some say Giant had folded, some say Toy House used Giant, some say used they copies, and while I don't have a vast selection of Toy House mint/carded, so can't come off the fence on all points, I do have this, and can confirm the contents are Giant-marked with the full enchilada!

S-562-3921-1N; Alien Novelties; Alien Novelty Toy; Alien Spaceship; Aliens; Bug-Eyed Aliens; Flying Saucer Toy; Flying Wheel; Giant Aliens; Giant Flying Saucer; Giant Martians; Giant Moon Men; Giant New York; Giant NYNY; Giant Of Hong Kong; Giant Outer Space Men; Giant Plastics Corp.; Giant Spaceships; Giant UFO's; Hong Kong; Jack & Jill; Jack and Jill; Made in Hong Kong; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Aliens; Space Station; Spaceship; Strange Men From Mars; The Toy House; Toy House;
A handful of Giant aliens and a yellow space ship in a blister-card; the blister is heat-sealed (where early Giant blisters were sandwiched between card), which could point to a later-dated issue, or just a heat-sealer at the Toy House works, so while a clue, is only circumstantial, and of no help as Giant's later blisters were also heat-sealed!

Jack & Jill was an American kids periodical (1938-present day), confusing as we had one in the UK (1954-1985), whether there was any link/license between the two I don't know, while the reference to Life is because Toy House advertised in it, back in the day.

Also I mentioned on the 'Home' Blog the other day that there is a 'The' prefix to Toy House, but even they use the shorter form and you can see that in the blurb on the card reverse!

Toy House were a bit like Child Guidance, Early Learning or Hestair Kiddycraft, in that they dressed their toys up in a bit of science and cod child-psychology, and maintained that all their toys were tested on kids before going to market, but ultimately, being harsh - this is cheap, Hong Kong, rack-toy, polymer shite!

But . . . "Play Tested & Approved" . . . goddamned right; it's aliens with feckin' ray-guns!

S-562-3921-1N; Alien Novelties; Alien Novelty Toy; Alien Spaceship; Aliens; Bug-Eyed Aliens; Flying Saucer Toy; Flying Wheel; Giant Aliens; Giant Flying Saucer; Giant Martians; Giant Moon Men; Giant New York; Giant NYNY; Giant Of Hong Kong; Giant Outer Space Men; Giant Plastics Corp.; Giant Spaceships; Giant UFO's; Hong Kong; Jack & Jill; Jack and Jill; Made in Hong Kong; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Aliens; Space Station; Spaceship; Strange Men From Mars; The Toy House; Toy House;
Close-ups of the blister's contents, I struggle to come to a single total, but I think it's 26, so either one over 25, or short on a 30-target, as far as the figures go, all fully marked-up as per the previous post's figures; 'GIANT HONG KONG', and mostly a matching purple plastic, with three dark brown and one bighter green.

S-562-3921-1N; Alien Novelties; Alien Novelty Toy; Alien Spaceship; Aliens; Bug-Eyed Aliens; Flying Saucer Toy; Flying Wheel; Giant Aliens; Giant Flying Saucer; Giant Martians; Giant Moon Men; Giant New York; Giant NYNY; Giant Of Hong Kong; Giant Outer Space Men; Giant Plastics Corp.; Giant Spaceships; Giant UFO's; Hong Kong; Jack & Jill; Jack and Jill; Made in Hong Kong; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Aliens; Space Station; Spaceship; Strange Men From Mars; The Toy House; Toy House;
Another comparison with a cheapo-copy/clone (pink one!) in the upper shot, and more Giant base-mark close-up's are seen in the lower image. Note - the lighter brown Giant figure.

S-562-3921-1N; Alien Novelties; Alien Novelty Toy; Alien Spaceship; Aliens; Bug-Eyed Aliens; Flying Saucer Toy; Flying Wheel; Giant Aliens; Giant Flying Saucer; Giant Martians; Giant Moon Men; Giant New York; Giant NYNY; Giant Of Hong Kong; Giant Outer Space Men; Giant Plastics Corp.; Giant Spaceships; Giant UFO's; Hong Kong; Jack & Jill; Jack and Jill; Made in Hong Kong; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Aliens; Space Station; Spaceship; Strange Men From Mars; The Toy House; Toy House;
Boysie-Boy (Cassius) is not as interested in this stuff as his much-missed mother was, but he does like an exploratory bite, not to be encouraged and no damage was done to rare packaging in the making of these images!

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But is it Giant?

Yes . . . and No! Yes, because it is (or contains) all Giant 'product', but, No, as it's A) branded to Toy House and B) we don't know - for certain - if Giant provided the product (I suspect they did) or if the originating factory/a shipper/agent in Hong Kong did. However . . . found loose - all Giant!

Giant Outer-Space Alien Bug-Eyed Martian Moon-Men From Mercury!

Flagged-up as forthcoming on the 'Home Blog' the other day, except this isn't the referred-to post on the Toy House blister set, but rather the lose Giant originals, the post on the Toy House set will be the next of two following this post.

Alien Novelties; Alien Novelty Toy; Alien Spaceship; Aliens; Bug-Eyed Aliens; Flying Saucer Toy; Flying Wheel; Giant Aliens; Giant Flying Saucer; Giant Martians; Giant Moon Men; Giant New York; Giant NYNY; Giant Of Hong Kong; Giant Outer Space Men; Giant Plastics Corp.; Giant Spaceships; Giant UFO's; Hong Kong; Made in Hong Kong; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Aliens; Space Station; Spaceship;
Giant's space aliens; six poses, manufactured in a nicely tight palette of chocolate browns, jade-greens (here toward the darker hues) and a pink toward purple or is it purple toward pink (?) range. Note - the forth figure from the left (second green) is a left-hander, nice to know other worlds have the same variable DNA!

Alien Novelties; Alien Novelty Toy; Alien Spaceship; Aliens; Bug-Eyed Aliens; Flying Saucer Toy; Flying Wheel; Giant Aliens; Giant Flying Saucer; Giant Martians; Giant Moon Men; Giant New York; Giant NYNY; Giant Of Hong Kong; Giant Outer Space Men; Giant Plastics Corp.; Giant Spaceships; Giant UFO's; Hong Kong; Made in Hong Kong; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Space Aliens; Space Station; Spaceship;
How they came here; despite what you might read - here, or elsewhere - they arrived in small, blow-moulded staring wheels (yeah, there's an attempt at a joke in there somewhere!). Seen in yellow and red (as here), I'd like to think there may be green or blue ones out there, but everyone else seems to only have, or found, red or yellow, so far?

They are soft polyethylene ('polythene') with a clear-plastic dome manufactured in harder polystyrene, which clips into three slots, found at the upper-roots of the ship's arms. The compartment will take two or three at a squeeze, but is probably designed for one figure.

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Top - A comparison between the two similar 'advancing' poses, the figure on the left is almost stationary 'at the ready', while the figure on the right has a more horizontal weapon-hold and a bent right leg, he's clearly getting a shift-on!

Middle - Camera-flash rendered this a less than successful shot, but is supposed to be showing the range of the pinky-purple, with a darker purple on the left and a paler pinky on the right. Brighter and darker exist; see below.

Bottom - A Giant original on the left against a poorer clone on the right, the copies come in a wider range of often wackier colours (again; more below) but can be quite distorted or misshapen, and are all-over more 'blobby'.

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There is little-to-no evidence that these large blow-moulds were ever branded to Giant, despite them being often so-described by some online (there's an hideously overpriced 2-pack on evilBay as I publish this, describing them as Giant), nor any evidence they were ever carried by Giant, PMC or the later Arcotoys? Every example I've seen/encountered (we looked at them here, a while ago) is an unmarked 'generic' rack toy.

Equally, there's nothing definitive to say whether they came first or second. My own feelings are that they are later copies, for a number of reasons, not least is that they only copied three of the six poses, a forth, less common pose (waving space-rifle) being not taken from Giant.

Additionally Giant's early bi-colour graphic blister-carded sets date from the early sixties while the larger bagged blow-moulds with full-colour header-cards are more late 1960's/1970's, so these days I suspect the blow-mould'er copied Giant's diminutive figures.

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Comparison between Giant and non-Giant bases, the clones having a simple and often half-readable 'HONG KONG', the Giant's having the full 'GIANT HONG KONG' mark.

Now, I have been quite derogatory toward the Giant -mark . . . in the original series of articles in One Inch Warrior magazine (back issues may still be available of the later numbers), earlier on the home blog and most recently - I think - on the Roman page of the same Blog.

However someone then thought to add a rather long winded addition to his site - which hadn't worried about the -mark until I did that Roman page - muttering about patents. There are several internationally recognised abbreviations pertaining to patents, all of which have been on the home Blog for a decade;

  • Pat. - Patented
  • Pat. App. - Patent Applied-for
  • Pat. No. - Patent Number; followed by a numeral

In 1961 it was agreed internationally that the P in a circle mark; , would represent phonograms (phonographic recordings), referred to as "...the sound recording, phonorecords, phonogram or phonographic copyright symbol" by the Rome Convention on such matters.

So, while some date Giant from 1959 (without empirical evidence), Tawser gives "common belief", which is pretty safe, Garratt gives 1962-, which is a bit later but would have come from one [or more] of his US correspondents (Pestano?) back in the day, nearer to when it all happened, I myself prefer a wider 1961/2, which gives a couple of years for production contracts to be settled and for New York to organise licences with the Hong Kong office and/or shippers, UK importers et al., to enable James Opie to be buying the early bicolour blister-card sets, in the UK, in 1964.

Even if Giant dates earlier (and the correct date for their move into the colony may be in the HK book), the -mark is lacking from some of the earlier stuff, and fully-associated with the later-issued black/silver knights, as blister-cards gave-way to header-carded bags.

Ergo, Giant were pulling a fast-one with their -mark, hoping people might THINK it meant patented or protected or some other equal nonsense, and as such I will continue to take the piss out of their - yes; another attempt at a joke of some sort!

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The aforementioned archive shots, I believe the trio in the bottom-left hand shot are now in my sample! The upper shot seems to have been worked-on in a picture-editor; the brown and green darkened as the pink has been enhanced to a probably false shade? While a more turquoise green is to be seen bottom right, in a more colour-true image.

The only remaining question is, are they aliens, aliens in space-suits or riveted android/robot types?

Elite interdiction-squad the 'Puce Panteras' of the 4th Astrovasion Wing (LRRP) receive the day's orders from their spore-parent, prior to launching their invasion of Earth, little did they know that their reconnaissance drones, lacking scale on the camera's, had sent back terribly inaccurate data, the Terran's were over a thousand height-units, and the gravity so heavy, the moon-men couldn't move, few survived, and decades later it was a rare thing to see them alive or dead, usually on the evilBay . . . for many credits; fate is a cruel mistress.
 

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But is it Giant?

Yes! except the obvious copies and the blow-mould comparison, this is all Giant product, unless it's Toy House, but I'm getting ahead of myself . . . see next post/'Newer Post'!