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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Remco - Toy Soldiers

Remco was an American Toy firm active in the 40's to 60's. They were apparently based out of New Jersey. They specialized in electronic and remote controlled toys and vehicles, hence the name Remco. They also liked to release toys associated with popular TV shows and music groups. Today that seems common, but I suspect that back then that was quite unique. In 1971 they went bankrupt and were taken over by a firm called Azrak Hamway. In terms of toy soldiers, they are known for one set, which was incidental to their line of electric toys. They are from a 1960's toy series called the Hamilton Invaders, which was inspired by TV shows of the time in which giant bugs invade earth. These soldiers were mankind's defenders against the giant insect invaders, not unlike the guys from 'Starship Troopers' in the 90's.

Remco 'Hamilton Invaders' GIs aka Blue Defenders - Part I
These guys are on the larger side of 60mm. The scuplting is fairly good in terms of the level of detail. The poses are also good for most of them. For instance, of the three in this picture, the two on the right are just fine, but there is something about the officer that feels just a bit off. Maybe it is the position of the left elbow...or maybe I am just too picky.

Remco 'Hamilton Invaders' GIs aka Blue Defenders - Part II
Here are the other 3 poses. Again, some of the poses are better than the others. The grenade man in the middle seems a bit awkward. I do like the detail on the weapons though. At any rate, these guys seem to be something of a collectible because not so many of them were made - they were only released along with those insect playsets. And those bugs are even more of a priced rarity. I recently saw one listed for about 3,000 usd... That's a bit outrageous if you ask me!

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

14 comments:

  1. Not related to this post, but I heard you mention somewhere that you'd like some partisans from Engineer Bassevich- you're in luck... http://plasticsoldiers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/set-7.jpg
    Steve Weston said he'd have some around early March.

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  2. Funny coincidence. I just ordered them today! You can actually get them on eBay already.

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    1. Thanks for the heads up though!

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    2. Ah, no problem. Did you order them from Russia? They look great, but I'm not sure I can justify paying £3 per figure! You could use them as Yugoslavs too.

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    3. I know! They are horribly expensive. Honestly, if I did not have this blog and cared about having new content for it, I would probably have skipped them. If you find them available anywhere else for a better price please let me know.

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    4. Hm- well Steve Weston for the UK is probably about the same cost. The Partisan set seems really quite nice though- I like the figure with the stiletto knife!

      I rather like their early war Red Army figures because they'd make good conversions into Danish soldiers. Early war is my thing, especially Operation Sealion, so I'd love some English-style partisans or resistance troops. Also I'm quite a fan of Russian Civil War stuff and their figures are unparalelled for that!

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  3. Good idea to use the early red army guys as Danish troops. I had thought about using some of the Russian revolution guys as partisans also, but had not considered that they could be British partisans following a ficticious invasion... Nice 'what if' scenario :-)... so who wins in your 'simulations'?

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    1. Well, looking at battlefield realities, the Kriegmarine would have been incapable of landing more than three divisions of men. They didn't have nearly enough ships to screen the entire invasion fleet and nobody in German high command had any idea of how to stage an attack across the sea.

      Whereas Blitzkreig in France- when you could just smash across borders with your tanks- worked well, in Britain you'd have to unload your tanks at the staging area and set up supply bases and the like. It would have been too cumbersome for words. The Luftwaffe didn't have adequate weapons to sink RN capital ships, and within a day the Home Fleet could have left Scapa Flow and blocked the Channel completely. Not to mention the unseaworthiness of the German landing barges...

      That leaves you with a nice equal scenario, though- under-equipped regular British troops having left a lot of kit at Dunkirk, the Home Guard and partisans (and the mysterious 'Auxiliary Units'), versus well-trained but potentially cut-off enemy infantry and paratroops.

      Quite often the Germans end up surrendering, although not without holding out for quite a while!

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    2. (Wow, what a text wall! Just to say, this is what made think of the Danish troops, the helmet and kit being so similar.: http://dieselpunksencyclopedia.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/uniforms-4-denmark.jpg
      They could also serve as Swiss border guards for any escaped pilot scenarios :D)

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  4. Makes sense. The points that you make are probably also the reason why the German high command called it off... aside from the fact that they also had their eyes set on the east. I think your scenario plays our realistically. The Germans would not have been able to keep up the supply line and the British would have had home court advantage re men and supplies.
    About the Swiss border guards, that recalls to mind a couple of movies... they could certainly pass as those as well.

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  5. Hamilton's Invaders are one of my all-time favorite toys. I was lucky to get three of the sets from a fella that got them from the warehouses of a bankrupt drug store chain in the early 1980's, but foolish enough not to buy all that he had. Only made for a single year (1964) and clearly modeled after the "giant insect" films of the fifties (THEM!, THE DEADLY MANTIS, and so forth). I agree wholly with you about the poses - I always think of them as looking like "Hollywood soldiers" like extras in a film more than any nationality.

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    1. That was some really good luck. I think we all have some sets that have passed on buying and that we later regret we should have done so. Buy hey, at least you got three of them which is much more than most collectors have!

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  6. The figures were also sold separately from the insect and vehicle sets. Unlike most figures of the time which were sold in plastic bags, these were sold in a flat box.

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    1. Thanks for sharing that interesting bit of info!

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