BMC Plastic Army Women Female Toy Soldiers Project Update 2019

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BMC Plastic Army Women logo – Screenshot from the BMC Toys website 31/08/2019
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How it Started … the story so far

Jeff Imel at BMC Toys USA recently sent out an email to those interested in his plastic 54mm Army Women Project:
“I’ve got some exciting news about the BMC Toys Plastic Army Women Project. The story about young Vivian’s “Why aren’t there Plastic Army Women?” letter has been circulated widely over the past month. The CBS Evening News will feature Vivian in an ‘On the Road’ segment at the end of the program tomorrow (Friday, August 30th). Steve Hartman (host of On the Road) even took some time to ask me about the project.

“The interest in Vivian’s letter has already helped increase subscribers to this newsletter from about 200 to nearly 500 (my goal is 2000). The extra attention and support has prompted me to get this project in gear, so I’ve had a bunch of new art created and will have a full update this weekend. In the meantime, I’ve created a handy link to share the blog posts. Thanks for your support, Jeff Imel at BMC Toys”

PlasticArmyWomen.com

https://bmctoys.com/blogs/news/tagged/plastic-army-women

Concept drawings and prototype figures (images copyright of BMC Toys) :

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Concept sketches

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If you want to support this 54mm BMC Plastic Army Women project or know more, visit the PlasticArmyWomen.com web page, sign up for the newsletter or look at https://bmctoys.com/blogs/news/tagged/plastic-army-women

Should add some interesting figures for modern mixed and female units as well as Amazonian style ImagiNations troops.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 31 August 2019

B.P.S. Blog Post Script
Having seen the BMC website, I now recognise the originals of pound store figures as https://bmctoys.com/products/bmc-iwo-jima-marines, which sometimes turn up as clone or pirate figures in cheap plastic figure sets. Hence putting this post out on my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog. https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2016/09/21/pound-store-us-marines/
Also seen here: https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/07/21/milk-carton-creation-no-1-cheap-landing-craft/

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Steam Fair Haul 2019

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Part of a £5 bag of plastic, a mixture of Hong Kong / China and the odd Britain’s Farm or Zoo Animal like the Eagle – very Wild West.

I like a nice steam fair, not just for the shiny, steamy and clanky vintage transport, but also for the stalls and auto jumble.

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This year at long last I saw a steam waggon amongst the usual and commoner traction engines and steam rollers. This was of great personal interest as my Great Uncle, killed in France as an 18 year old in the last months of the Great War, was in civilian life back in Home Front Britain a steam waggon stoker. Now at last I have seen up close the sort of conditions where he would have worked.

This machine was a 1921 Foden steam lorry – 25 mile range, one and a half hours to steam up, top speed 14mph. Loads of many tons could be carried by this wonder

Several times over the last few years  I have taken a gamble over a tightly packed bag of vintage plastic glimpsed amid the jumble of a steam fair stall that you couldn’t quite make out what was inside. Another vintage plastic owl pellet …

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These 30 – 40 mm policemen were part of what sold me the £5 bag. A similar scale but portly road construction figure.

I spotted amongst the plastic farm animals some interesting 30 to 40mm old policemen. These were made by Lledo for their ‘Days Gone By’ vintage vehicle Range. http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/ShowFeature.aspx?id=5Plastic 

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Plastic Soldier Review Lledo Page: How “The Usual Suspects” line up for size.

There were some useful Hong Kong made plastic civilian farm worker copies of Herald (or tiny Lilliput) figures.

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Farmers and farm workers big (40 – 45mm) and small (20 – 25mm) in  the £5 bag.

Amongst a jumble of bashed toy cars in a bucket on a charity stall, I spotted the plump form of Sir Topham Hatt The Fat Controller (70mm) from Thomas the Tank Engine – Mine for one pound. He will make a suitable civic dignitary to rescue. He has a slightly Churchill look or a mini Mussolini.

Later on in a craft tent I spotted this new large 95mm Guards Officer made by GG. I think he might be painted resin – only £2. Other similar ceremonial figures were for sale.

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A resident VIP Sir Topham Hatt The Fat Controller and his GG Guard Of Honour

The first thing I spotted was a tiny selection of not so common Britain’s  Deetail figures. Afrika Korps. French Foreign Legion. Waterloo French. Complete ones were £1.50, armless ones for repair 50p. I did not have either of these two Afrika Korps figures which are well animated.

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Broken Rifles can be repaired …

Oddly the French Foreign Legion, Sons Of the Desert, get grass green bases. The Afrika Korps get sandy ones – why?

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Two broken Deetail French infantry only 50p each. I’m sure I have some spare arms around.

The very last thing I bought was a £1 bag of 50 figures of flimsy and thin plastic.

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Henbrandt plastic skeletal thin copies of the Matchbox 54mm Americans shown. Airfix 54mm Russian Officer for comparison.
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Cheap Modern American and Matchbox copies of British 8th Army, again very thin and distorted compared to the 54mm fully round Airfix and Matchbox figures.
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Unusual thin and fragile plastic lying down firing figures. Should be more rugged mounted on card.

These Henbrandt figures (£1 a bag for 50 figures) are generally pretty poor quality. They are remarkably thin, almost semi-flat. I did not examine them well on the stall, buying them at the end of my steam fair trip. If I had, I would probably have bought the other few bags as there were a few interesting poses amongst them. These standing guardsmen for one, shown next to 54mm Airfix and Matchbox originals.

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Three thin guards

My favourite figures were these thin spacemarine type figures and their officer figure, that you may recognise big and small from my other pound store purchases. This set have the head turned to the side.

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Airfix 54mm fully rounded Russian Officer next to these curious flat figures.
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Seen in black and white, these thin cheap  plastic figures could  be good quality metal flats.
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The header card for those who like this sort of thing. Henbrandt UK 2012 Made in China.

I’m sure that they were there last year, so they may be there at next year’s steam fair!

So another successful haul of cheap convertible plastic and some happy stall holders.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 22 August 2019

Previous Posts

Back in 2018 my steam fair haul was just skeletons https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/09/08/pound-bag-skeleton-warriors-1-a-bag/

Black Cowboys on the Old Town Road

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A posse of Black cowboys from seaside Pound Store copies of Airfix (painted by me c. 1993/4)

About 25 years ago I painted these cheap Pound Store copies of Airfix 54mm Cowboys and Indians into a home-made DIY western play set. It was made as a jokey present for a western movie enthusiast daughter of a work colleague. This was recently passed back to me 25 years later for safekeeping.

I was reminded of this DIY Wild West Vintage playset box by a recent American chart topping song. I also thought of this box whilst researching my recent scouting related blogpost on segregation and the idealised, romantic Native American cultural influences on early Boy Scouts Of America as part of my Scouting Wide Games tabletop project. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/10/more-original-scouting-handbooks-boy-scouts-and-girl-scouts-of-america/

The Wild West. Independence. The Frontier. These are the seductive and selective histories and stories that countries tell about themselves, to their young and to others. The pioneers, the frontiersman, the noble savage …

A familiar cast of stock Western characters – and then someone comes along and subverts this all with a jokey pop music video

https://youtu.be/w2Ov5jzm3j8

American music charts for the last three to four months have been dominated by a country / hip-hop crossover track called Old Town Road by young hip-hop artist Lil Nas X and Country and Western star Billy Ray Cyrus.

Warning – It is the perfect earworm and in crossing two distinct genres of music has caused controversy and divided musical opinion. Is it Country and Western? Is it hip hop or rap?

Controversy? “Cyrus sent a tweet to Lil Nas X after Billboard decided that the rapper’s song, Old Town Road, was “not country enough” to be on its Hot Country chart. Billboard said the song “does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version” despite its twanging banjo. The removal of the song sparked a fierce debate — white country artists like Florida Georgia Line use hip hop beats in their songs, why can’t a black artist embrace country beats?“

 

So Billy Ray Cyrus stepped into the remix and the music video ‘movie’ to make it a little more country.

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I like the tongue-in-cheek western movie pastiche that was made as the music video. It features black cowboys in 1889 falling through time into the blingy 2019 modern equivalent of fast cars in place of horses, line dancing, designer label cowboy hat and boots.

Time tunnel? Interesting gaming scenario, pure pulp fiction and “Connecticut Yankee at the Court of King Arthur” in reverse?

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What it suggests about the reality of cowboy life is quite interesting – many cowboys were in fact Black or Hispanic. Not quite the rugged Hollywood 1950s myth making.

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Classic and much pirated / copied Airfix figures, still around today in clone form.

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Jokey DIY play set  elements …

I packed inside this all into an old decorated shoebox with their favourite cowboy novel and a simple set of rules for gunfights (roll a dice or split a card deck – highest value wins) or decided via using scissors / paper / stone. Each cowboy and Indian (Native American / first people) had a name on the base of famous historical or western movie characters. (Subrule – Clint always wins). I wonder if the gunfight rules were ever used quietly when no one else was looking?

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I must have made this box c. 1993/4 when this film came out.

I wonder – Where have all the cowboy movies gone?

Various cowboy film and dime store novel images were decoupaged onto the box, wrapped in Western wrapping paper.

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The Old Town Road song has inspired some curious and destructive tourism in the USA:
https://www.standard.co.uk/insider/living/lil-nas-xs-old-town-road-sees-street-signs-for-the-real-place-hacksawed-and-stolen-by-fans-a4212286.html

Billy Ray Cyrus mentioned in interviews – “I’ve never had a writing/recording session like this,” 57-year old Cyrus said in a video. “I used to play as a kid in this town called Argillite, Kentucky and there was an old, covered bridge outside Argillite called Old Town and there was the road that led to the covered bridge was Old Town Road. I heard this song and I go my gosh I just love what this is saying, plus I can relate to this.”
https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/music/billy-ray-cyrus-new-song-with-lil-nas-x-old-town-road-goes-viral/news-story/378b541ba26900aacac78a0ba278d197

For more about this song and its controversy https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Town_Road

For more about this covered bridge (I do love a nice covered bridge): https://www.kentuckytourism.com/oldtown-covered-bridge/

Part memory or part myth, maybe lots of people have their own Old Town Road in their heads. It all makes me want to to go look up my favourite photo blog of vanishing Americana, Forgotten Georgia https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/dutchy-and-dade-the-confederate-history-of-forgotten-georgia/

Back to the earworm …

https://youtu.be/w2Ov5jzm3j8

Posted by Mark Man of TIN on his Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 14 August 2019. Boogety! Boogety! Boogety!