More Retro packaging for the ‘Penny Dreadful’ pound store plastic warriors

The Super Cheap Wargaming Facebook group featured a post by Ron Lumbis about the current 30mm-32mm (ish) pound store figures.

I like the retro style of the packaging from Schyllyng with on the back of the box the pen outline of the figures inside, a little like the early 1960s Airfix boxes.

I also like the slight overselling – “INCLUDES TWO ARMIES” – obviously serious defence cuts have happened. What they mean is includes two different colours of figures, in this case the traditional green and tan of some plastic army men figures sets.

I see echoes of the famous Russ Heath Lucky Toys page adverts in US comic books for disappointingly flat mail order figures. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/10/classic-close-wars-and-comic-book-soldiers-back-to-the-forest/

You can also see similarly stylish packaging (short lived packaging and sold out) from 2017, the “WW2 Soldiers” tag a little misleading with the Russian Army looking troops.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/10/26/retro-packaging/

Either box would make a good attractive mail order gift, one that I would happily have played with as a child, then have somewhere to put them back in the box afterwards.

The alternative packaging I have found for these figures over the last few years ranges from a flimsy plastic bag and header card of two different colours per bag …

… to the useful storage tubs of single colour figures occasionally found in Poundland UK.

Same figures, different colours, varying prices per figure, different packaging.

To me these are the modern cheap small plastic equivalent to the Airfix figures of our youth.

They are surprisingly versatile and at a penny or two each (prices are steadily creeping up) these anonymous and widely available ‘Made in China’ plastic figures can be cheaply and easily converted to a range of periods past and present – and future.

Several fantasy or sci fi gaming bloggers have used these same figures such as the Wargaming Pastor for his Death Zap future games.

Ross Macfarlane of the long-established Battle Game of the Month blog paid these figures and conversions a sort of dubious tribute when he described them as:

Hence my nickname for them of the “Penny Dreadfuls“, as this is what I once paid for each 100 figures for £1.

I have used them for many things from my Boy Scout rough conversions …

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/05/19/pound-store-plastic-boy-scout-32mm-conversions/

to Flash Gordon style space marines and little green men aliens.

The alien ‘cape’ is a card paper hole punch strengthener from cheap old luggage labels.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/little-green-men-pound-store-plastic-space-warriors/

These figures adapt to modern as well as 19th Century colonial figures

Various theatres of War and historic periods suggested by paint conversions here

Simple cardboard hat brims (again from hole punch paper strengtheners or card circles)

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/pound-store-plastic-colonial-infantry-on-the-painting-table/

Colonial highlanders from Carry on Up the Khyber … tissue paper and PVA kilts added

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/pound-store-plastic-carry-on-up-the-khyber-colonial-highlanders/

Simple desert or native warriors created by scalpel and PVA / tissue paper conversions

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/06/pound-store-desert-warrior-unit-completed/

Cheap enough to risk losing figures if taken as a travel battle on holiday – simple melee rules.

As you can see these are very versatile figures, with a little imagination, they can become many different types of ImagiNations figures.

Transport easily requisitioned from charity shop cheap finds …

Arguably Airfix figures have or had the advantage of scale model kits and buildings to complement their figures (although both often in and out of availability or production).

However, with a little imagination, suitable Pound Store playset or charity shop vehicles, terrain and buildings can be found.

A full blown pound store colonial skirmish for under a pound …

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/pound-store-colonial-skirmish-part-1/

Suitable sized gaming accessories add variety to conversions – here an old Prince August homecast gun.

Or light railway battery ‘train in a tin’ style …

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/deconstructing-trains-train-in-a-tin-vs-train-in-a-box/

This paint conversion or scalpel and PVA approach works with any size or scale of cheap plastic Pound Store type figures as you can see from meandering through my blog.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on his Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 21 December 2020

Defence cuts affect Poundland’s XTA Alien Defence Force now 50 figures for £1

TXA Total Extreme Action? Cyber Combat soldiers Alien Defence Force – UK contingent of 4 nations

The Space Marine figure was missing from my box’s random assortment of poses.

The usual mostly useful poses for conversion
Figures of all three nations USA Germany UK – UK formerly green figures.

Defence Cuts from 100 figures for £1 down to 50 for £1 – still good value!

This slow dropping of figure numbers per £1 has been going down steadily over two years, reported here:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/26/off-to-poundland-on-a-mission/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/30-percent-less-troops-at-poundland/

Funtastic now become TXA Cyber Combat. What a great HQ address & PO Box number to have.

It’s like the Third Doctor Who’s UNIT friends have moved to Willenhall.

Formerly ‘Epic Battles’ – increasingly tiny EpicBattles … Batallas epicas!

Epics – getting smaller with austerity cuts all the time.

Historians of Plastic Tat packaging will value this visual record.

I have noticed that the plastic is slightly harder or tougher, more game token and less flexible than before.

Update: the Germans are now blue, not silver. The space pilot figure does exist!

Other sources and suppliers

At a recent seaside store I found the ‘older’ Combat Force 100 figures in handy two colour pack of traditional green and tan 32mm-ish figures for £2.

Just noticed the MISSION ‘red ink stamp / dripping blood’ crossover font …

All still good 32mm figures, ripe for paint or scalpel conversion, as shown on some of my previous posts, for example:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/03/15/thinking-outside-the-postmodern-paintbox/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/pound-store-plastic-colonial-infantry-on-the-painting-table/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/06/pound-store-desert-warrior-unit-completed/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/little-green-men-pound-store-plastic-space-warriors/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/25/pound-store-skirmish-part-2/

Posted by Mark, the (easily pleased despite being 50% less) Man of TIN on 15 / 16 November 2019

30 percent less troops at Poundland?

E1A446EB-F653-4646-B8D9-9F67E618FA9E.jpegWhilst picking up The Unincredibles ‘bootlego’ superheroes in Poundland this weekend, I spotted a sight for sore eyes.

A lone tub of the 32mm-ish Penny Dreadful figures (as I call them after Ross Macfarlane said about them).

Ross MacFarlane of Battle Game of The Month blog described these cheerfully as “some of the crudest cheap plastic toy soldiers that I’ve ever seen but you have managed to rescue them and transform them into brave warriors!” 

As you can see converted here  https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/pound-store-plastic-colonial-infantry-on-the-painting-table/

I had not seen these tubs in the pound store for months.

Forlornly, it was one stray tub of these Soldiers that must have been lurking at the back of a shelf, and sadly with a quarter less contents. When I first bought these it was 100 soldiers for £1. Now it is 70 soldiers for £1.

As somebody wisely commented on my blog, these are now not quite so Epic Battles. 30% less Epic.

I bought the tub anyway, for old times sake, as they will always come in useful.

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Some of the more immediately useful figures …

The proportions of figures in each tub seems to vary quite widely too  – this one seemed to have a high proportion of bazookas and machine gunners.

They could become great little figures with a bit of work.

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Blogposted by Mark, easily pleased  Man of TIN, on Pound Store Plastic Warriors, 12 February 2019.

 

 

 

Colour Schemes for Imagi Nations Uniforms

 

 

 

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Modern toy soldiers don’t have to be dull colours in my Imagi-Nations world …

2018 started with the disappearance of the old UK pound coin,  traded in at Poundland for more ‘penny dreadful’ toy soldier tubs. These steadily decreased from 100 figures (32mm-ish) for £1 to 80 figures, 70 figures and then gone in my local stores for now… Poundland Defence Cuts!

First rule of Pound Store Plastic Warriors: Buy ’em when you see ’em! They won’t be there next week / month / year / visit.

Above top  – from early 2018 – an unfinished blog post photo of  a rare mismould amongst these cheap Poundland penny-ish figures, destined for elite sub machine gun and Commando beret use. No mismould left behind!

Over on my other Man of TIN blog, sister to this Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, I have been reviewing my past gaming year https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2019

December was an Advent Calendar of tiny blogposts using up unfinished drafts and 12ish days of Twixmas into the New Year. Time for some …

Housekeeping!

Pound Store Plastic Warriors has a few of its own unfinished blog posts including this one about my uniform sketches for a retro toy soldier look for cheap plastic modern figures. A kind of Postmodern Jukebox approach for plastic tat?

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Army Grey, Army Green
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Army Yellow, Army White
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Air Force Red, Air Force Blue but  as yet no Navy, Blue or other colour wise.

One of the challenges of painting up Imagi-Nations from a motley combination of pound store plastic warriors, homecast  and repaired hollowcast metal figures is a coherent uniform scheme that can unify the diverse figures into different armies or groups.

Occasionally as an Airfix child I dream of the restrictive but comforting safe joys of real historical uniforms and their painting guides – and then do my own thing anyway!

In the spirit of H.G. Wells in Little Wars, I started with Army Red and Army Blue.

Reference note: I drew these sketches in 2017/18 before discovering the much more ‘official status’ of the Funny Little Wars army lists and colours.

http://www.thevirtualarmchairgeneral.com/800-Funny-Little-Wars-Product-Page.htm

Pound Store Plastic Warriors Plans for 2019? 

Keep collecting more seaside soldier  plastic tat. It stops it getting into the oceans. Maybe we should rename the blog Pound Store Plastic Eco-Warriors?

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One of the small joys of Christmas 2018 …

I have some more ideas for (42mm) FIMO polymer clay figures to fill some figure gaps.

The rest of my 2019 plans are those Irresolutions of the Man of TIN blog.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2019

I look forward to hearing about your undone 2018 plans and your 2019 Irresolutions via the comments and reply section.

Happy New Year! Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 3rd January 2019.