About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
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.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

1966; [Civil] Zoo Animals Set No.1, S24 / 01724 / 01724-2 - HO/OO

These two sets (issued together Set II follows this post) are among yet more of my favourites, I don't know why, I was an 'Army Brat' and should have had an early interest in military toys, but we had Britains farm and zoo in the larger scale from before I can remember, and when I got old enough (about 1970/71?) to choose my Birthday present, Mum took me to Webb's Newsagent in Hartley Wintney (long gone now) and asked me to take my pick - within a budget!

I chose the Zoo play-set? Big pile of Pontoon Bridge Assault Sets, Gun Emplacements and a Robin Hood fort..."are you sure" says mum, knowing what we had at home (Action Man and bags of 54mm stuff, along with Airfix HO-OO Napoleonics - from Gran - and Japanese Infantry bought in a hurry at Kings Cross station and split - helmets and caps - between my brother and I), "Yes, I'm sure"..."OK then" said mum and the Zoo was mine, although I had to wait a few more days to unwrap it!

Rear of a standard 'blue box', with the window and the contents obscured by the complain form/advertising slip which was surprisingly common, stuffed in after the figures it often went in the wrong side and covered the window so you couldn't see what you were buying.

Front of the same box, a couple of jolly 1960's children who don't know how heavy or bad-tempered a rhinoceros can be, skip gaily past the 6-inch high bar keeping them from death! While the ostrich - presumably - doubles-up as an emu?

1975 catalogue image, there is a problem with the captions on that page which I have highlighted in a separate entry - click on Zoo in the tag list to get all the relevant posts stacked-up together.

I loved these painted sets in the catalogues, although this one is getting a bit tatty, with obvious paint-loss on the alligators and the baby elephant, the tiger and the kangaroos feet. I also like the way the baby deer are both looking over at their parents while a lion strolls nonchalantly by.

Complete set's contents on breakfast parade. it's clear that both sets were designed at the same time, as the zoo-keepers are carrying fish, which are more suitable for animals in the other set, although you could bribe the alligator to like you with a bucket of fish?

The problem of trying to please everybody; sometimes you please no one! An Airfix HO/OO figure is dwarfed by the US HO farm figures of Marx (1:64th scale) while dwarfing the street-sweepers of Merten's European HO (1:87th scale), he is neither fish nor foul, and only really compatible for British OO-gauge layouts, themselves struggling with the 1:76th/1:72nd debate!

Note that the Marx figures on the left are stolen from Britains, the fact that Marx had their figures made in Hong Kong meant that these figures lead to a 100 clones, some of which we will look at on the main blog one day, others will probably appear here sometime.

Parents and children; These are the 'identical' families, the baby elephant being not a scale down like these kids while the adult kangaroo was in Set II, again suggesting the two sets were designed together...

...obviously they were designed together, they are issued adjunct to each other, but what I mean is they were designed as a 'whole' probably with the play-set in mind, and then lined-up on the mould runners in the best way possible for convenience, the science of plastic shots and such like, so sometimes the parents and children are in the same box, sometimes not.

One each painted, some other bugger's efforts. I will get some up here painted properly one day, but time waits for no man, and the scrap-book nature of this blog means 'as and when' is the order of the day, and I have lots of pages still to start!

The Arab camel with the same pose as the zoo camel, the zoo camel is a new mould with a nicer face and no base.

A pride of lions; There are the two lions from this set, the two lions from Set II and the two lions from the Tarzan set - one being a duplicate of this set's, the other a leaping 'new sculpt'. The 'Lion House' is from the Zoo play-set I got 40-odd years ago, for many years it served as a bunker for my two ready-made Pak.37's on the far side on the Pontoon Bridge I did get - a Birthday or two later!

Comparison between the alligator from this set and the African crocodile in the Tarzan set, given that they could have done a duplicate - and the Tarzan set had a few - it's nice they made the effort to differentiate for the two types.

Full set on the runners ('sprues'), there is a bit of judicial posing involved in this shot (the camera often lies!), as the larger animals either fell-off in transit, or where removed in the packing area at Airfix to make packing easier, because they are usually lose in the box, even with the most mint, still sealed in cellophane, late sets.

There are a few copies around, I have more in storage to put-up here eventually, I'm not sure if they are someone like Baravelli, Montaplex/Hobbyplast or Hong Kong as I have yet to find a set with the packaging, anybody know?

Another shot with an added crock' that came in!

 Preiser on the left, Merten to the right


Probably home-cast piracy, see Zoo Set II for another one.

A nicely painted OBE set that came in, missing a few poses.

1:72nd Zoo Animals; 1:76th - 1:72nd Zoo; 1:76th Scale Zoo; 1:76th Wild Animals; Airfix 1:72nd Scale; Airfix Zoo 1; Airfix Zoo Sets; HO - OO Animals; Ice Cream Premiums; Mini Animals; Olà Ice Cream Premiums; Olà Wild Animals; Olà Zoo Animals; OO-Gauge Wild Animals; OO-Gauge Zoo Animals; Portuguese Premiums; Premium Animals; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Zoo Animals Set 1; Zoo Set 1;
Comparing the Airfix set with some of the Portuguese ice-cream premium set from Olà, while the lion is far too big the other big cats (of debateable parentage vis-à-vis species) are quite compatible, the rhino's a bit small, the ostrich is almost spot-on and the two alligator/crocodile types will fill the watering hole with sudden-death!

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