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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Archer - Toy Soldiers

Archer Plastics was a firm based out of New York which produced figures in the 50s. According to O'Brien's 'Collecting American-Made Toy Soldiers' book, they were better known for their line of spacemen and futuristic vehicles of which they sold millions. Apparently, they also released a few other space-unrelated sets, such as the WWII GIs that I recently ran into. I don't really know what became of the firm. One very interesting fact is that Plasticraft, another firm out of New Jersey which was around from the 50's up to at least the the 70's, also released the same set of GIs. So one possibility is that Archer folded or sold its molds to Plasticraft. Another is that they licensed them, although I suspect the former as more likely since Archer's run in the business appears to have been shorter than Plasticraft's. Today, the spacemen figures and vehicles fetch very handsome prices, with individual figures selling for 20-40 dollars and the vehicles for quite a bit more.

Archer 60 mm US Infantry - Part I
There were 10 poses originally in the set. A marching figure and an officer standing and holding a pistol are missing. Similarly to other figures of the 50's and 60's, they lack a base to stand on, which makes it a bit tricky to balance them. The only figure which was made with a base was the second guy from the left, but unfortunately, it broke off from this figure. I will have to make one for him. The poses and the detail are acceptable for their time, but seem a bit coarse by today's standards.

Archer 60 mm US Infantry - Part II
The poses in this picture are a bit nicer in my opinion. I particularly like the man standing with the bazooka. The man advancing with the sub machine gun is also displaying a nice mix of caution and forward movement. The other two are just standard poses, reasonably well done.

Archer 60 mm US Infantry - Part III
Here is another Archer guy. I got him by chance on a large batch of figures. He seems to be a pretty unique guy in the sense that he is wearing the gas mask. At the same time, that is the thing that I don't quite like about him. But it does make him a good figure to have from the collectible standpoint. 

Click here to see a post about other GIs
Click here to see a post about more GIs
Click here to see a post about even more GIs
Click here to see a post about GIs in action
Click here to see a post about US Armor

2 comments:

  1. Sentimental favorites of mine. I spent some time in an oxygen tent when I was a little boy and my parents brought me a set of these big ol' chunky guys to play with - Indeed, I've often wondered if my love of toy soldiers stems from this moment. Acquiring a nice lot of them was a collecting goal that was very satisfying. They also made bags of them in bright red, of all things - which match up well with the bright blue Hamilton's Invaders defenders. As usual, nice job with the photos!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your story. I think we all have some special figures from a special time in our lives (often our childhood). Good to hear that you were able to get your hands on a good batch! and thanks for the extra info re the other color.

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