This was a welcome recent gift from a family member, a £1 gift bag picked up from a British Heart Foundation charity shop.
Let’s look at the figures and bits in more detail:
There were some interesting 50mm cowboys that I don’t recognise (top row) , alongside China copies of Airfix cowboys. It was thought by the gift giver that they might possibly convert into Boy Scouts?
I would be curious to know which maker made the two top row cowboy poses.
The Indians or Native Americans appear mostly 50mm versions, possibly based on Airfix or Britain’s Deetail Indian poses.
They make fairly good generic tribesmen with swords, rifles, spears and shields. These weapons could be removed or converted as needed.
A small amount of repair is required in places as these figures are a bit bashed and well playworn.
Interesting as the figures were, the best parts of this pound were the accessories.
These are versatile accessories such as a cooking pot on a tripod over a log fire, an animal leather skin stretched out and the slightly more Native American weapons and shield tripod or wooden frame.
Mixed in were a few common plastic bushes and some interesting plastic trees that look like copies of older metal or lead trees.
The log fires are handy, they could be used in any age (or scout camp).
The third pole with a hole near the top is a bit flimsy or easily breakable but works for the weapons stand or pot hanger. A long thin dowel or cocktail stick could stand in for this flimsy pole to make up the spare accessory tripods.
A good find as buying these accessories new or vintage in metal would be reasonably expensive.
Many of the trees, figures and accessories have flimsy or minimal basing, so could do with a suitable mdf sort of base.
As befits the scraps from someone else’s toybox, there is also a stray fence or gate panel and steering part of a wagon. All useful for the bits box!
So there you are, a pound donated to a worthwhile charity, a welcome gift and some helpful recycling of vintage non-SUP (single use plastic).
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
Classic and much pirated / copied Airfix figures, still around today in clone form.
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?
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.
A good toy slogan to have “More Fun for Less.” These funexpress.com Made In China Cowboys and Indians have a couple of interesting poses, some of which echo the familiar Airfix and Britain’s Deetail Cowboys and Indians.
They were ordered online from a UK “party favors” shop, an interesting but sometimes expensive place to find plastic figures.
They are marked MARIES 0415 funexpress.com on the base. They were £3.60 including postage, so 36p each.
The plastic figures are slightly larger than the usual 54mm figures but close enough, the last picture gives a size comparison with similar Britain’s 54mm lead hollowcast figures.
I look forward at some point to painting these in Gloss toy soldier style.
This year some other shops were smaller or semi-closed for retirement. A few less suppliers of plastic tat …
No doubt when the current crop of pound store figures disappear from the shops I will regret not stockpiling more of them on the pound store plastic mountain.
I was surprised to see Cowboys and Indians (or Native Americans) retitled “Western Adventure” but these were (similar to) sets that I already have stockpiled for a rainy day from several years back.
I bought several sets about 5 or 6 years ago more for the useful slightly below scale waggon and useful Britain’s lead style plastic palm trees than the pirate ‘China made’ clones of the Airfix Cowboy and Indian figures.
What was inside was well worth the £2 it cost a few years ago. A good starter pack for an imaginative child of any age!
Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN blog, 8 September 2017