Pound Store Plastic Warriors 5th Blogaversary

Another year of Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog posts have come and gone …

Nothing much new in the pound stores this year. Good to see these still around. Poundland – my Shelfie 2020/21

Thanks to my loyal regular blog readers and new followers who have found my blog over the last year. Your likes and comments are always welcome.

This marks the fifth Blogaversary or anniversary of the first post on my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, dedicated to affordable gaming or “Little Wars on a Budget”.

What’s happened since last September and our 4th Blogaversary in 2020?

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/09/13/pound-store-plastic-warriors-4th-blogaversary/

Nothing much new in the online Pound stores this year? 2020/21

What with ongoing Covid restrictions I have only been into pound stores a couple of times on the high street only for ‘target: toy section’ for a minute or two.

And visits to charity shops, jumble, steam fairs, junk markets? None.

This paucity and Covid drought of penny dreadfuls and plastic tat has been relieved partly by some kind donations from blog readers of old unwanted Airfix figures, some great samples of Hing Fat 54mm figures from Peter Evans and also from strategic reserves laid down in the past.

These strategic reserves are laid down according to my Pound Store Plastic Warrior wise hoarding maxims –

1. “Buy them when you see them, they’re sometimes only around for a short while”

2. “They’re only a pound”.

3. “You may not need them now, but in the future …”

2020/21 saw a couple of games using Pound Store plastics ranging from snowballing fights of Yukigassen in August …

To an RLS “Land of Counterpane” game in April on an old squared blanket …

Some mistakes – octagonal ‘hexes’ in this budget reconstruction of Games Workshop Lost Patrol for Pound Store space marines … the well known eight sided hexagon, that one …

Some curious Pound Store conversions, padding out the more expensive Chintoys plastics or old lead …

October 2020 onwards: My Arma-Dad’s Army Elizabethan muster or militia Home Guard 1588 1595 slowly builds using Pound Store knights

This of course having Spanish Fury Conquistadors and Armada troops means Aztec types are a natural match or extension (Peter Laing style ‘dual use figures’ )

With found cheap scenery from scrap … inscribed stones, temple steps, obelisks …

The Super Cheap Wargaming group on Facebook has been good for such affordable scrap terrain ideas as well.

Sometimes my Pound Store Plastic Warriors posts crossposted material or projects from my Man of TIN blog (main blog) or linked to these including:

Fembraury – The new BMC Plastic Army Women becoming Women’s Revolutionary Army of Parazuellia, part of the 1960s Morecambe and Wise comedy film The Magnificent Two whose other government and rebel troops will be padded out with Pound Store GI copies …

January 2021 – Scrap modelling Edwardian style with E Nesbit’s Wings and the Child on the building of Magic Cities

and January also involved archive history research to identify more about H.G. Wells’ connections, family and friends involved in playing his Floor Games and Little Wars c. 1911-13. Well our Pound Store Plastic Warriors strapline is “Little Wars on A Budget”.

Who knows where 2021 and 2022 will lead us?

Thanks for reading and following.

Blog posted on my Fifth Blogaversary 13 September 2021

Poundland Shelfie 100 soldiers packs May 2021

**** Delayed post from late May / early June 2021 ***** shelfie photo *****

I had to go into town for a medical appointment on a quiet day at the end of May 2021. With a few minutes to spare, feeling more Covid secure after two jabs, and masked up, I checked out my local poundstores for the first time in over a year.

In Wilko there were no Lego compatible blocks, block ‘pick and mix’ and no toys to be seen. Maybe nothing until Christmas …

However Poundland, wonderful Poundland, had these “penny dreadfuls” (as some unkindly call them) back on sale at a penny each in bags but tubs as before.

Check the shop label: 100PCS – £1 – 1.00p each

That is affordable gaming – and two colours / forces per bag!

I had a closer look at the packaging during March this year (Lockdown 3 Non essential retail closed) https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/03/22/new-battle-squadron-packaging-for-the-penny-tuppenny-dreadfuls-100-toy-soldiers/

Only two colours available in each pack (ready made opponents) green and silver grey, Union Jack versus German flag and flag mound. This, I suppose, is what makes it a ‘Soldiers playset‘?

The packaging had the same type of green and white star generic flag, which I rather like.

Unlike the packaging suggestions, there are no free helicopters, greenery or walls inside, just two colours of troops and two flags and two flag mounds.

Poundland, still the home of affordable budget wargaming!

Blog drafted by Mark, Man of TIN 30 May 2021, finally posted 2nd September 2021.

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

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.

 

 

 

Pound Store Undefended? Pound Store Plastic Warriors further defence cuts 2018 2019

 

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70? 80? My First “Shelfie” – Poundland,  Blog Reconnaissance photo,  February 2018

Further Defence Cuts Threatened – Official – the pound now buys fewer and fewer troops.

October 2017 – a UK pound (old or new) bought 100 soldiers of the Battle Squadron and its Epic Battles.

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

January 2018 – a UK pound bought only 80 soldiers.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/01/26/20-less-pound-store-plastic-warriors-for-your-pound/

Mid February 2018 – the same UK pound bought you only 70 troops.

The Epic Battles are now slightly smaller. Watch this space for Further Defence Cuts. (February 2018) 

Poundland Defence Forces Update late 2018 

Mid to late 2018 – The Epic Battles tubs of 100, sorry 80, sorry 70 figures are now none!  Now is the time to invade Poundland … other than a few jointed 6 inch action figures, which don’t really count.

Pound Land is now defenceless. They have no troops left.

Do not be alarmed – these penny dreadful figures can be found in various packs online if you search.

The only Pound Store figures in Pound Land (UK) were these chunky blind bag / box Awesome Little Green Men – I bought three £1 boxes ‘on spec’ (December 2018) to see what these were. Going going gone January 2019 … now series 1 is ‘unavailable’ these collectibles are worth £5 to £6.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/01/05/awesome-little-green-men-1-boxes/

https://awesomelittlegreenmen.mgae.com

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What each £1 box might contain … the expensive future of collectible toy soldiers?

 Awesome Little Green Men Series 2 features the inevitable Zombies … but only available in the USA.

The moral of this story about Pound Store Plastic Warriors: Buy ’em when you see ’em! They may not be there next time.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/where-on-earth-do-i-find-this-stuff/

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, drafted 19 February 2018, posted January 2019. 

RIP Stan Lee and Farewell from the Pound Store Superheroes

 

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Oh no! We’re immobilised in plastic! Will our cut-price super powers save us now?

The same scene cartooned in Clip2Comic app as a tribute to comic artist Stan Lee 2018 RIP.

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As my belated tribute to the late cartoon superhero creator and artist Stan Lee, I’m pleased to have finally tracked down a couple of sets of Poundland’s finest Superheroes.

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Oh no! We’re trapped inside a box now. Is there no escape?
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Free at last! Free at last!

I missed buying these figures a year or so back and have kept an eye out in Poundland ever since. Today they were back in store at £1 a box so I bought a couple of packs as an investment.

To escape paying franchise fees to DC Marvel and Avengers, Poundland have invented some new cut-price super hero figures of their own.

They come in four different main colours – red, blue, yellow and green.

Red Rage – all Red muscly bodysuit and face mask

Arrowhead – in Blue and red with and an arrow design on his face mask

Centrum – in Yellow bodysuit with worrying target on his front for villains to aim at.

Green Force – Green and red body suit and green face mask.

Thankfully although the Poundland Superheroes (designed by the Anker Group KFIG-PL)  are nominally named, they leave their individual superpowers to your imagination.

Centrum sounds like he should be part of some disappointing and dull global or privatised utility company who fails to turn up on time and doesn’t complete the job to your satisfaction. His secret base has no answerphone service or point of contact.

Maybe Green Force is a gardening or lawn repair service superhero, able to restore your patchy lawn in return for cash?

The Incredibles cartoon movies 1 and 2 have a list of short lived, aspiring or underperforming List of Known Superheroes or Supers killed off or briefly glimpsed in the movie https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_Incredibles_characters

Failing that, you can use a fantasy name generator on its superhero or super villain setting https://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/hero_names.php

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What are the Poundland superhero figures like?

I quite like the range of expression from smiley face to angry or aghast. You can of course swop heads, legs and bodies around.

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Quick conversion ideas. A few quick head swaps with female hair, a Lego cloak and Lego head and hat. Name these yourself.

Good to see some multiracial block figures as well. A couple of female figures might have been good – unless Red Arrowhead with the painted cinched in narrow waist Is supposed to be female?

Some female block hair might do a conversion job but they do have very odd block heads, unlike the Lego stud attached hair.

Lego heads swap onto the Poundland neck stud quite well and the hands carry Lego style accessories, tools or weapons well. They also stand up on Lego studs well enough.

Other cut price Superheroes are available …

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I would have loved this varied set of figures as a 70s child … almost worth box framing. Lego hardly had any mini figures then  and all were bright Simpsons smiley yellow.

Worth pointing out for pound store balance that UK high street budget retailer Wilko or Wilkinsoalso does their own “bootleggo” range called Blox with some attractive bulk packs of civilian and  military figures, compatible with but a fraction of the price of Lego figures. There is a fun superhero girl or superhero fan with a Boom! t-shirt in the Wilko Blox set.

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Some attractive Blox figures from the 50 figure set including a golden knight / robot  and superhero (fan) or Cosplay girl.

Compatible with other leading brick brands, these Poundland figures are four superheroes for a £1, compared to £2 to £3 for the average Lego superhero mini figure blind bag.

At 25p each, there are no accessories, but you can easily  make your own superhero capes out of paper from a Lego template using fabric or paper and a hole punch for the head hole.

25p Man anyone?

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN (no comment on his cut-price super powers either a softer metal version of the Man of Steel) on 17 November 2018.

And finally here is an interesting YouTube compilation of the many graphic novel picture  tributes drawn as farewells to the much missed Stan Lee (1922-2018)

Little Green Men Pound Store Plastic Space Warriors

I wanted to create a race of opponents for the Space Marines that I had previously made. I also wanted to capture that highly colourful 1950s Space look of Dan Dare or the 1930s Flash Gordon serials that survived into the 1980 Flash Gordon movie. To make these figures different from my blue and silver Space Marines I have painted them orange and gold, the joy of gloss Revell acrylics.

I also added a golden mantle or shoulder armour section using simple card label or hole reinforcers glued on and held in place with clothes pegs whilst they dried. When these ran out, I cut out the patterns in stiff drawing paper.

You can see their opponents the blue Space Marines here

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/poundland-space-marines-platoon-on-parade/

This is an attractive original figure, one of the ones that first attracted me to these penny figures in their £1 Poundland tubs.

The Space Commander figure is one of the most badly moulded and distorted of all the 12 pound store plastic warriors in the Poundland tubs. They make a possible space officer figure with a machine or Space pistol, along with a possible Desert Warrior with robes, shield and sword scabbard.

I look forward to getting these into action soon, using scaled down hex gameboard versions of my Close Little Star Wars rules.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/close-little-space-wars/

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on his Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 28/29 January 2018.

Pound Store Plastic Warrior Conversions and Comparisons

In this post I am going to compare different figure conversions from the same few Poundland 36mm pound store plastic figures, available for £1 for 100 (now 80).

Above are 19th Century / Victorian style Colonial infantry variations converted from a modern infantryman.

These Boer / Confederate type figure conversions are made from some of the odder Poundland figures.

A heliographer figure is made from a modern machine gunner.

This marching figure has many possible uses from desert warriors, to Colonials and Boers or Confederates.

These figures have been shown on a previous blogpost during conversion, including the bush or slouch hat using a label reinforcer.

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

Next to come – little green men!

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Pound Store Plastic Warriors, 28 January 2018.

Pound Store Plastic Carry on Up the Khyber Colonial Highlanders

The original pound store plastic 36mm figures are shown alongside the conversions. These kilted colonial figures have been made and painted from modern figures using kilts from PVA glue and tissue paper.

These are inspired by rewatching Carry on Up The Khyber and represent the 3rd (Foot and Mouth) Highland Infantry, those ‘Devils in Skirts’. This isolated guard patrol of three Highlanders form part of the focus or rescue part of my latest Colonial skirmish game.

You can see more of these pound store conversions and of Carry on Up The Khyber film stills that inspired the painting scheme:

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

More 36mm pound store figure conversions on the next blog.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, on 28 January 2018.

Pound Store Desert Warrior Spearmen Conversions # 2

A new set of Desert or Ancient Warriors to add to the Desert Warrior Riflemen previously shown here on the blog:

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

The “penny dreadful” Pound Store figures £1 for 100 (now 80) plastic 36mm figures from Poundland offer great conversion potential.

These spearman are converted from a Rambo-esque machine gunner. Desert robes are added with PVA, tissue paper and paint.

The patterned shields are upholstery pins ordered online from China.

The hands are drilled to take a garden wire pin or shield and ridiculously long spears seemed to work best.

As well as white desert robes, I tried a black robed warrior as well. The modern water bottle becomes a mysterious bottle or dagger and sword hilt

Officer type figures with swords were made from different figures.

More conversions rolling off the painting table on the gaming hex boards in blogposts this week.

Desert spearmen on the heights – A glimpse of my current colonial game on my portable 192 hex game board.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 28 January 2018.