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

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