The YouTube and internet phenomenon that is the unboxingvideo is still a bit of a puzzle to me.
Different from a finished, made-up kit review or playset review, this is watching someone unpack their latest present or purchase. Unless you want to see what is in a particular box set, it could be pretty dull.
However unpacking a bits box or job lot of Broken Britain’s figures (not just Britain’s but of all makers and scales) is a genuine rummage into the unknown. In the words of Forrest Gump about Life as a box of chocolates, “you never know what you gonna get.”
I received as presents from the family four shoeboxes of toy soldier odds and ends that I had stowed away for Christmas, some old, some new, some red, white and blue (two packs of the BMC Yorktown 54mm figures).
Box number 4? I took a bit of a gamble bidding £30 or so on this small child’s suitcase of mixed toy figures, having glimpsed one or two interesting figures.
What treasures can you see?
I spotted a Wendal aluminium Toytown soldier figure or two – including the hobbyhorse for the Toytown Officer but was the Officer included and unbroken?
This could have been a box of brittle decaying plastic tat.
I was pleasantly surprised – this box of surprises formed box number 4 of my Christmas toy soldier presents.
Share with me this owl pellet of figures and toy bits, as I unpack this scrappy bits and bobs and scrapings of someone else’s toy box.
I was a bit worried that I had bought an expensive box of broken and brittle plastic tat but this unbroken little red phone box seems to be worth more (based on other ebay listings) than the suitcase worth.
I still find it exciting and interesting to find new figures that I don’t have or have never seen for real.
Before job lots or individual figure sales online, it was difficult to affordably find such figures, locked up in a slightly older generation’s toy boxes and biscuit tins in the loft.
This fascination probably dates back to the mid 1960s when my late Dad bought a box of odds and ends random plastic figures from the family next door for our family toy box, their boys having outgrown them. Some of these were always at odds with our staple Airfix 54mm figures. Many were mysterious because they were no longer in the toy shops. Some of the larger 60mm cowboys and Beton WW2 were an oversized oddity, less used. However the different handfuls of a few 54mm figures by Crescent and a handful (literally) by other manufacturers such as Lone Star Harvey became some of my elite troops and command figures.
The two Toytown figures again, if bought separately online, are worth more than I bid for the suitcase of figures. The child’s small suitcase that it all came in is useful for storage.
I hope you enjoyed sharing with me the joy of discovery. There are some useful figures and bits and bobs for the gaming table along with some more interesting figures for rotating into my few wall mounted display cabinets. Figures off such ‘parade’ duty go back into those stout plastic Really Useful boxes for a rest.
Hope you enjoyed this Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog unboxing blogpost.
Posted by Mark Man of TIN blog on Pound Store Plastic Warriors, March 2019.
Over the last few weeks I have been spending a bit of Christmas money on eBay, picking up the kind of cheap plastic figures you don’t normally see in UK toy stores. A few pounds here and there.
Being either new-ish secondhand or sometimes a whole chocolate tin of mixed figures, the scrapings of someone else’s toy box with some tantalising glimpses of unusual figures, they all need a good wash before painting. It should remove any grime and mould release chemicals.
With so many figures, the sink wasn’t an option so the bath tub stood in this time.
Here was the washing up bowl ‘spa treatment’ I did last time, back in June 2016:
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.
Late last weekend my Colonial pound store plastic desert warrior conversions went into action against my Redcoats.
I have been working on these figures for many weeks and finally it was a chance to use them on my 192 Hexes of Joy game board, complete with extra added pink deserty Hexes.
Somewhere in the foothills of Generica, a patrol is overdue.
The initial dispositions are shown below, a Redcoat column marching up the valley to rescue the missing Patrol of the 3rd (Foot and Mouth) Highlanders, who were camped at the old gatehouse in the Pass.
Either side on the high ground of the valley are amassed Generican desert Warriors with rifles (bottom left) or long spears and shields (top right).
A heliograph operator flashes back information, summoning reinforcements. The Redcoats look to be outnumbered!
Generican desert riflemen with their long jezails or muskets line the rocky valley walls.
Will any reinforcements arrive in time? A slouch hatted company of local Militia are in Reserve nearby.
Will Private Widdle and the other 3rd Foot and Mouth Highlanders be rescued and the Pass held?
Being bunched up by the terrain, the first few volleys from the Redcoats were ineffectual before the Generican spearmen charged down the right hand Valley slopes into melee. With no savings throws, the initial casualties were high for both sides. Fixed bayonets met sword and shield. The Redcoat officer, leading from the front sword in hand, was soon downed.
Luckily, the d6 was rolled for when the Redcoat reinforcements of rifle militia would arrive in game turns. They rolled a two, so soon more rifles and boots on the ground will be stomping up the valley.
The following blogpost part 2 shows the conclusion of the skirmish:
Rules are my hexed up Close Little Wars, some of the simplest Donald Featherstone rules designed for natives and troops in cluttered terrain, originally in North American forests but here used in rocky desert. The cluttered terrain is made up of Heroscape hex tiles, now many percent extra deserty with the help of some painted Hexes!
Previous posts illustrate the conversions of cheap Pound Store 32-36mm plastic modern infantry into colonial figures.
Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on Pound Store Plastic Warriors, 3 February 2018