Vintage Pound Store Matchbox German Infantry copies

One of those presents put away on the Christmas presents shelf for this Christmas … and well worth the wait!

I like old toy shop packaging and this Battle Ground Military Series pack caught my eye online on EBay a few months back for £5, one pack opened and one still in the pack.

I can’t put a date on this box of Matchbox 1:76 German Infantry copies but it’s obviously post 1976 when these Matchbox figures came out. I only have a few surviving original ones from the time, so they inexpensively fill a gap.

They have a CE mark on the lower right hand corner as well as on the importer label, the CE mark about origin or toy safety is more modern than the 1970s /80s and standard in the EU area from 1993 onwards. So probably 1990s …

There is a maker’s or packager’s company logo of an H? in the top left corner which I don’t recognise. The figures themselves have no Hong Kong or China base markings.

The vibrant flaming orange packaging reminds me a little of today’s ‘Combat Force’ type pound store figure packaging.

In the cheerfully bizarre way of cheap copies and playsets, the packaging images showing vaguely WW2 to Vietnam era American soldiers but this is not matched by the content of German WW2 figures in dark green plastic but oddly does match an American flag!

Oddly included in the pack are some tiny walk-in talkie radiomen.

Accompanying this unopened blister pack was the contents of an opened pack, mixed in with a handful some Airfix American Infantry copies (copies of which still around today).

These look like they have got jumbled in from elsewhere, as I can see no such American figures inside the unopened pack.

Adding to the impression that this is someone’s jumble of figures, a much older stray metal diecast anti-aircraft gun (on a circular vehicle mounting?) with nice elevation gearing is mixed in with the bundle.

Anyway some cheap and cheerful recruits for the toy soldier box …

Blog post by Mark Man of TIN, 27 December 2021

Author: 26soldiersoftin

Hello I'm Mark Mr MIN, Man of TIN. Based in S.W. Britain, I'm a lifelong collector of "tiny men" and old toy soldiers, whether tin, lead or childhood vintage 1960s and 1970s plastic figures. I randomly collect all scales and periods and "imagi-nations" as well as lead civilians, farm and zoo animals. I enjoy the paint possibilities of cheap poundstore plastic figures as much as the patina of vintage metal figures. Befuddled by the maths of complex boardgames and wargames, I prefer the small scale skirmish simplicity of very early Donald Featherstone rules. To relax, I usually play solo games, often using hex boards. Gaming takes second place to making or convert my own gaming figures from polymer clay (Fimo), home-cast metal figures of many scales or plastic paint conversions. I also collect and game with vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures, wishing like many others that I had bought more in the 1980s ...

7 thoughts on “Vintage Pound Store Matchbox German Infantry copies”

  1. Mark… The gun looks like a Dinky , I seem to recall having such a beast in the dim distant past. It was mounted on a four wheel carriage a bit like a German 88, Regards.

    Like

  2. Thanks Tony. The gun Has that quality vintage feel of Dinky with that dark green paintwork and very smooth gearing, underneath just a mounting pin to fit on a vehicle or carriage. I’m sure it will find its place in a game or Airfix gun emplacement somewhere.

    Like

  3. I think it is Dinky too. My father had something very similar as @ boy. It was mounted on a vehicle with drop down sides that made a circle as a firing platform.
    Fascinating figures too. I do like the way that they evolve or mutate from the original through time and space..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love you imaginative use of cheap figures.

    You may like to look for these on Amazon UK –
    “Sharplace 200/Set Plastic Ancient Roman Soldiers Warriors Sword and Shield Battle Scene Archaic Soldiers Army Men Swordman” – not ordered any yet but they seem to be fairly decent for approx 1/72 scale. They look like 12/13th Century & 14/15th century. Some possibility for conversion or improvement perhaps!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for flagging these up – not Roman but versatile conversion figures for fantasy or medieval (25-30mm?) I like the product description “You can play these model on sand beach and on grass ground to exert the imagination to simulate various of famous battle.”

      Liked by 1 person

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