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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Unknown - Toy Soldiers

This is a small group of soldiers that I purchased on eBay advertised as Speedwell. I've spent several weeks trying to verify their identity, but I have not been able to do so. In fact, based on the sculpting, at this point I have serious doubts that they were actually made by Speedwell. They depict a lot more movement than other Speedwell sets that I have come across. Also, from the searches I've made online, Speedwell seems to have made few original sets, as opposed to recasting figures made by other vendors. BTW, as you can tell from their weapons, they are post WWII figures and based on their uniforms I'd guess that they are British. In any case, if you happen to know who made them please leave a comment and help solve the mystery! It will be very much appreciated!
UPDATE: Brian Carrick from http://toysoldiercollecting.blogspot.com/ has solved the mystery. It looks like they are Modern British Infantry by Cherilea.

Cherilea Modern British Infantry
I really like the level of action and intensity depicted by these guys. And by that, I don't just mean that they have for instance, a guy who is charging, because some other manufacturers also have such a pose, but still, the movements of those other figures are sometimes not as fluid. They really captured well all the subtle angles of the joints and leaning of the body to give them a very genuine look. There is at least one more guy in the set, as I've seen a picture with 4 poses (a grenade thrower is missing).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Plasticos Garcia - Toy Soldiers

These guys are neither the right scale nor the right time period, but when I saw them I could not resist buying them, hence they have ended up on this blog. Plasticos Garcia was a Mexican manufacturer of 60-70mm plastic toy soldiers. O'Briens Collecting Foreign-Made Toy Soldiers only has a brief reference to them, so I don't know much about the history behind them, but from what I can gather, they produced the bulk of their figures in the 70's-80's. The figures seem to represent Mexican soldiers, as the standard bearers usually carried a Mexican flag. We know however, that Mexico did not contribute any infantry units during WWII, so maybe they represent the peace time army in between wars. In any case, the army figures are generic enough that you could make them pass for figures of other nationalities. Most of the poses are in parade style, and some of them are cavalry units. In addition to the army figures, they also produced sailors and cadets from the Mexican military academy. The figures came factory painted and as you can see, some of them hold their color relatively well to this day. A knowledgeable reader has pointed out that the marching soldiers seem to be copies of Elastolin figures -with some modifications, such as the helmets, and the cavalry figures seem to be clones of Lineol figures.

Plasticos Garcia Mexican Infantry - Part I
In addition to the parade guys, there seem to be a couple of combat poses. An interesting fact is that the two combat poses come with detachable heads. Their footwear also seems different. 

 Plasticos Garcia Mexican Infantry - Part II
Here are a few more poses. These other poses apparently came with a trench and bunker command post. Interesting how the guy on the phone has the table fused to his legs. Note also how the manufacturer solve the casting challenge with the machine gunner figure.

 Plasticos Garcia Mexican Infantry - Part III
A good set of poses to depict a nice medical team scene. Even though you don't see it well from this angle, the guy pouring water out of his canteen is actualy a medic, and has a red cross band on his left arm.

 Plasticos Garcia Mexican Infantry - Part IV
Another fighting pose to go along with the guys from the first picture.

Plasticos Garcia Mexican Cavalry
These cavalry men are wearing helmets that look a bit German. Seems like they could be painted and added to a column of horse drawn artillery. As you can see, the horses come in a couple different colors.

Plasticos Garcia Mexican Cadets
A more elegant looking troop. I believe that these guys also had drummers and buglers in their ranks. The flag is missing the eagle though, so I guess they could be mistaken for Italians.

 Plasticos Garcia German Infantry
These guys are not much different from those representing the Mexican Infantry, except that they were cast in a lighter green. I suppose they were made to give the Mexican army a ficticious opponent.