About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play.

Friday, October 21, 2016

C is for Classification

Before I go any further with the Preiser season, it's worth going back a ways and looking at what little I know of the development of the range (with a look at the rivals) as it will help explain (but not clear-up) a few question marks going forwards with the subsequent posts.

Both Preiser and Merten produced a large number of sets in various scales, both companies copied sculpts or reduced the masters to the various sizes, both also had/have unique items in some sizes, where they differ is that while Merten continued adding numbers inexorably (or at least until their demise!) from nought to infinity, Preiser have attempted to renumber at least twice, making things far more complicated!

To be honest, I have a softer spot for Merten. They have a sculptural quality that evokes the 'toy' figure, Preiser are lovely figures, but they are almost a bit sterile, they are modern models, not old toys . . . sadly; I'm in a minority, and the fact that Merten retained their toy'ness probably contributed to their demise!

Also, while Merten stuck with their nominated scale/ratio from day one, Preiser have (like Airfix) decided from time to time that what was one thing is now another! So HO was 1:90 in the 1970's, but became the current 1:87, without changing size at all! Yet, some production is clearly 1:90, while other nominally 1:72 production is barely bigger than the HO production - now 1:87 but previously itself 1:90 . . . feel that headache coming?

To be honest it's only really a problem for the real rivet-counters, as - and I've said it before - people are different sizes! The advent of 3D imaging/scanning has newer sets from Preiser CAD/CAM'ed from life models, with men typically taller than women, and the difference between overweight or slim individuals (something Preiser have always aimed at anyway) being as realistic as the people modelling.

And there's a lot about it on the Preiser site, including video-clips of the models and artists I think?

Some examples of the numbering changes and what they've meant for researching the subject; The zoo (technically 'Circus') animals were 6xx, became 06xx at around the time the 'basic paint' range got some total renumbering (which has made them very problematical!), before they were renumbered to 203xx.

They are almost the exception which proves the rule, in that while the original 1-250 sets are still with us as 10001-10250, the animals (like some of the basic paint range) got numbers that bore no connection to the old number (but they did retain their order in relation to each other).

The 10xxx range has been greatly expanded over the years and now stands in the 106xx's (10690 was the last issued), from around 10250, they don't pertain to the old sets. However some sets have been issued more than once under both different numbers in the standard range, and new numbers in the basic range, while others have been dropped, seemingly forever, others pop-up again, occasionally, on mould-bank rotation, and still more are retained only in the basic-paint range with a number which may pertain to the old 1-250 standard number, or not!

The packaging has also been changed several times while the ACW guys also got a brief renumbering for sale in the same blister-cards as early 4xx series wagons, but have otherwise been given ever longer numbers with the same 'last three'.

A few years ago I got this lot off Jan Yarzembowski and while I have a vague memory of them appearing somewhere in a catalogue or trade add., I suspect that's a wishful-thinking [false] memory rather than an actual event memory, and suspect that they are a bit of a one-off.

Probably contracted to someone like EMA (or whoever they are), the architectural model suppliers, or even for a specific job with an architect's practice? I don't know, if you do - tell the rest of us!

But, they proved very useful in showing that while most of the standard sets are produced, as a set of six, together on one runner, sometimes, some are split between runners, sometime a runner will have a couple of 'extra' figures who never appear in the standard set, but do appear in the unpainted bulk sets, suggesting a lot of spares kicking around somewhere - possibly thrown back in the granule hopper?

In the examples above for instance, the sets 'Hotel' (now 'Front of House'; red plastic) and 'Teenagers' (yellow) are both complete sets on their own runner, the grey runner on the other hand has no set-title and provides a variety of sets with a changeable compliment, namely several of the coaches and wedding carriages.

The pink set 'Women at Washline' or 'Laundry Day', the small componants are all on the runner, but a separate washing-line is sourced from an un-named and 'in-house' accessory runner. The white runner to the right though shows that actually the teenagers have a couple of attached passengers from another set of 'passengers'!

The green runner which is I think 'At the Ticket Barrier' (or something similar) also comes with spare luggage, this would be painted and put in bulk sets such as 556 (below) or added to trolley sets. The child gets left out of the budget sets and probably went back in the hopper . . . polymer death-sentance!

A further case in point on the left here, we have four figures from the same set; originally just 'Assortment 22' it became 'Set 22 - Passers-by' (now 10022); who were joined by two heavier-set men from another runner, while the cowboy looking dude, smoking a corn-cob pipe is from set 32 'Standing Workers', long out of the catalogue as a standard and budget-paint set, but found unpainted in set 326 'Various Professions' where that group is clearly 7 figures?

Did they rotate the extra? The fact that I have so many loose examples, including another green one from a different coloured batch would suggest he was swilling-about somewhere as unpainted stock, but where?

The sixth guy remains a mystery, and will I suspect be found in a low-numbered set in 1970's catalogues which has not been listed for a while?

On the right is another numbering variation, supposedly the 4xxx was the basic-paint series, but I can assure you these are the standard 'exclusive' paint and I haven't switched them! A very problematical set as it is still in the catalogues as '14149 Professions' (totally new 'last three' numbers), as five figures and a wheel-barrow for the road-sweeper. The dropped figure being the diminutive 'lab-technician' looking figure, while the two females stay, even though it's impossible to tell which 'profession' either has subscribed to or trained in - the red one now grey (?), the white one now blue (nurse?)!

Originally it was 'Set 60 Verschiedene Berufe' (various trades), which would have become 060 (once the 100 was reached), then 0060 and the budget 4060 (as here), is no longer listed as 10060, nor 14060 but has popped-up as 14149, yet remains blank at 4149 in my master list? Aaaaaaaah! AND it was included in the big unpainted, coloured-plastic lot, as well as being in various painted and unpainted bulk-sets, some also involved in renumbering over the years. It's enough to drive you mad; maybe it would be easier to make it up as I go along!

Below is a shot showing an exclusive-paint set above and a basic-paint set below (part set anyway); not much difference huh? It's more complicated, it's always more complicated with Preiser! Although the numbering with this one is simple - exclusive 20, 020, 0020, 10020, and budget 4020 and 14020, the 'last three' retained in/through the life of both series.

Technically there are the two paint styles, plus unpainted sets in various 'bulk' sizes, with what they now call "Die preisgünstige Standardserie. Handbemalt"; "The 'value for money' standard series. Hand painted" being the simple paint scheme range, less colours, blocked-in for a cheaper price, the original 'standard' paint was actually known as exclusive, now: "Exklusivserie. Aus Kunststoff. Sorgfältig handbemalt" (Exclusive series. Made of plastic. Carefully hand painted.).

But the vagaries of some sets (or individual figures) needing more colours, the variation between out-painters and the fact that for a long time (possibly still happening) a lot of the painting was outsourced to the Maldives (where some of the best paint finishes come from), after years of mediocre painting locally means all standards of paint finish can be found, and don't always point to which set they come from!

In recent years a truly 'exclusive' (in the English meaning) series of individual figures and the odd set (VIP coach) have been painted to a very high standard. If you follow the painted draft-cattle through the wagon posts you will see what I mean, they are all old 'standard' (now exclusive), yet one is poor, a pair are OK and the other pair are very good.

On the left a set of six made-up from two runners, on the right a lifetime's collecting of the second set issued (or numbered? Numbering started with 10, 1-9 were paperwork inserts and such-like), Set 11 Bahnpersonel DB (Railroad Personnel - Deusches Bundesbahn), there are two extra figures on the runner, but they are both duplicates of the platform guard/dispatcher?

And while I don't know where they went to while the other six were getting their paint-jobs, I seem to have ended-up with more of them loose and unpainted, so they were kicking around somewhere.

Main picture - It's not easy to make sense of, but I will in the end! Both these sets also have an extra pair of figures, common sets from the early days, both 33 (or 033) and 105 retaining their last three in both ranges 'till today, I don't know which order the two were in on the runner, so I've photographed them the other way up!

Painted figures from both sets seem to be either 'budget' or home-enhanced? Also; while the two dark blue guys are clearly 'other sculpts' by the sculptor, for the set, the two sky-blue 'extras' have wandered-over from central casting via farming-today!

Here they all are, along with corn-cob guy, making-up the numbers in one of the most useful sets Preiser make, but that doesn't explain all the spare that must have been generated producing the six-figure painted sets. The two spare track-workers may have ended-up in other - now deleted - sets, there were a lot of 'labourer' type sets, the two rural types were stood in wagons sometimes and corn-cob guy just turns-up loose - in numbers!

The original plan/aim seems to have been a nice little range of railway modelling sets around 150-200 sets, so the original unpainted budget sets started their numbering at 300. They weren't the large bulk lots of today; just approximately two-and-a-half sets worth of figures, taken from 2, 3 or 4 of the six-figure line-ups.

They came with a two-fold, six 'page', pamphlet format insert which explained how to convert the figures - if you look at the last image on page 5 (bottom left) there is a Cowboy, an Indian, a cricketer (in a German language sheet!), a golfer, a caveman and what looks to me like a character from Planet of the Apes?

However with the [now] 10xxx series going to 600 items and the constant cross-fertilisation with the 14xxx budget series the presence of this little series in the 300's has lead to some of the renumbering which makes Preiser so much harder to nail-down than Merten!

There's another small number of anomalies around 550, including various accessories, which is where we find some of the luggage tacked-on to runners as we saw above, this useful set has been replaced with larger bulk lots in today's catalogue. The white ones seem to be parts of a dedicated set, however they also provide for attaching to various other sets, the basket is held by people in several sets, the backpacks went to three or four sets etc...

While we're looking at the 'back-story', some of the wagons we have yet to look at were copied (?) by at least one Hong Kong producer, and I know we've looked at these before on the blog somewhere, but here are a couple of old photographs scanned-in and needing clearing from Picasa.

Shallower wheel-hubs and a HONG KONG mark on the base of the body are the only obvious difference between the pirate and the original, so there's the twin possibilities that either they were produced by Prieser dipping a toe in the whole HK 'thing' to see if it worked for them, or that they might have been licensed to somebody else, who then sent the moulds to their contract manufacturer, Bachmann maybe, Marx, someone like that? I favour copies, but good ones?

There seems to be a Wild West angle to them and I wonder if they also ran/copied the covered wagon or stage coach, both of which are among a very few real Preiser 'rarities' now, having been deleted from the catalogues in the 4xx-numbered days and never re-issued.

The horse that came with these HK versions was a poorer copy of the old Roskopf nag we saw the other day; a very toy-like thing, but without the sculptural charm of Merten! And as you can see there is a second version - closer to 1:72nd scale - which only muddies the water further!

The smaller inset shows how they have a similar system of plug-in to all the ethylene war-gaming draft-teams on their flanks, but with a collar between the horses which slips (loosely) over the main-pole/draw-bar.

From the current catalogues, but spliced together and overlaid with more info, I know the mm sizes are open to debate, but it's only a guide which may be a useful download for some, and there much contention over the whole 15mm/1:120th area! I am - slowly - working on a scale page to go at the top of the Blog; it will be about 40 pages-worth and will upset everyone, especially 'purists'!

If you're the sort of person who makes things up as you go along, while bitching about small scale blogging, you're actually telling your fellow collectors you're only interested in half the story. Given that with Prieser the large scale came late and was licensed from (then based on the inherited moulds of:) Elastolin, it's easy to document that part of the story, the interesting stuff is the stuff from the late 1940's through to the late 1970's which is to be found in some of the small scale oddities above.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

T is for Turds; Liqui-turds!

Sorry - but while a few of these are for water or wine, the majority of them are liquid manure, sewage or slurry tankers, and I felt 'T is for Tankers' appearing in people's feeds might get war-gamers thinking I was about to look at the AFV crew sets (ably dealt-with on PSR) . . . I'm not; today I'are be mostley looking at . . . mookey-poo tankers!

I believe the upper shot shows a Roskopf wagon, while the lower two are clearly Preiser, but as we shall see in a day or two, it's not that simple, and they are probably the same wagon, one by Roskopf over-painted crudely by the owner (milk? Or snow!) and equipped with simpler sculpts of horse a very 1950's 'kit figure' riding the wagon; the other given better draft animals and a hand-brake leaver after Preiser obtained it (?), along with a more realistically-sculpted walking handler.

As a kid I saw these all over Europe (and I presume there are still a fair few around?), water carts which can be taken-out to the field and used to fill the stand-alone troughs there. The painter was probably correct to assume milk could be collected in similar vessels?

From the current catalogue - the grape-tubs are just sat in a standard tractor trailer (not tractor/trailer which is a different thing altogether, although 'Rubber-duck' would probably appreciate a few hundred gallons of wine in his cab "10-4 cum'mon, hic!") while the other three are for liqi-turd!

I like that Preiser have moved the tractor-towed tanker to the back of the wagon to make it look a little different from the horse-drawn one -in case you have them both on the same layout? While the modern one looks a little too like a milk/water tanker, not a mistake you'd want to make if you were thirsty!

I once worked for a company dealing in slurry tankers, and people used to send the pumps back when they got blocked (usually a bent or jammed vane, or a stone fallen in the slurry) which had to be unblocked from a floor-bolt mounted cradle pointing out of a side -door of the warehouse, as when they were freed, they shot out the last thing they'd been pumping, a few days older, with force . . . euwww!

I got so sick of always photographing this one with the attendant upside-down, walking the wrong way or under the horses hooves, I prised a staple open carefully and shot it for this post - all back together now!

It's basically the cradle for the box-wagon we'll look at in another post, with a [plastic] steel tank dropped between the uprights. From the pre-Mauritian paint-shop days, it's not up to later standards and the glue has been rather thrown around under the barrel. Also it's one of a few with a twin-species draft-team!

Perhaps I was a little sensationalist in my titling of the thread as we look at four more non-sewage carriers from the catalogue, but like mose men; I'm only a taller, older child and getting 'turd' into the title was too tempting an opportunity to resist!

The grape tubs are just dropped into the recent re-sculpt of the old ladder-sided wagon (rack-wagon), the rest of the fire appliances will be looked at in a later post, as will the modern, pneumatic-tyred, plastic-tank, which probably can be used for liquid poop as well as water.

That last one is actually exactly the sort of equipment modern armies take to war to get water to troops hidden in woods, up mountains or out in the desert, so for war gaming, a quick military paint job could make it a useful addition to the logistics inventory.

On the right is a Picasa-clearing scan of the tanker seen above, while to the left is a catalogue 'suggestion for arrangement' of the grape harvest trailer.

On the farm I would use a very similar machine to that being used by the chap on the left, known to me as a cider-chopper or apple chopper, it will cut most things and is a simple, hand-turned, bladed shaft or roller at the bottom of a wooden hopper, which chops/crushes or mashes-up the grapes so that you can get the maximum into the barrel, if you tipped the grapes straight into the barrel, a few at the bottom would get a bit squished by the weight of those above, but there would be a lot of air in there, like a ball-pit at a kids restaurant!

An unpainted version of the poop-mobile (see what I did there - hey, I'm an atheist, it's just funny!*) is available in Set 16345, while the guy walking next to my blister-carded version is from the lower set, removed from the catalogue now, I think one of the Tyrolean sets around the numbers 190-230, but I can't be sure with the catalogues in storage, the alpine-horn guy also came in a set of three at the same place in the catalogue I think?

* For foreign visitors to the blog: The British tabloids dubbed the Pope's various open-topped bullet-proof carriers 'Pope-mobiles' around the early 1980's - didn't stop one getting shot though, did it? Message from his God - no doubt! If you don't put blind faith in a deity to be responsible for you being shot or being not-shot, any subsequent shooting of the self is down to the actions (or inactions) of the self . . . what's known as self-determination!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

CC is for Christopher Columbus . . . C is for Colonising Couple of Continents, Cruelly Crushing Centuries-old Civilisations!

Back in 1992 Preiser produced a set designed to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Europeans wreaking two whole continents with their little flags, and; forgiving Preiser (but not Columbus); it is a sublime set which represents the highest peak of Preiser's output, both in terms of design skills and production techniques.

Each of the three main runners contains a number of 'multi-pose' (home-assembly) figures with a few accessories, while another runner contains more bits and bobs. Above we see the 'character' runner with both Europeans and Amerindians, and the extra runner with an assortment of shields and weapons.
The other runners were a matching pair with the 'background soldiery', again for both sides of what would become a cultural cataclysm, for one side at least.

The figures in the set are beautiful, and while modern 3D CAD/CAM processes can take some of the credit for all Presier's modern developments, it's true also that somewhere in the organisation you need people with flair, vision and a sense of imagination - I'm sounding very poncy suddenly, but there's not a lot to add to a few 'sprues' of unpainted figures!
We can however add the box-art - showing both the unpainted figures 'made up' (which allows me to keep mine on the runner!) and some of Presier's wonderful 'suggestions for arrangement'.

While the reverse has the same figures, fully painted and photographed from both sides as a painting and positioning guide for the various parts.

Although there is also a full instruction sheet included in the set for those who need words and arrows and numbers and things!

It also carries more views of the landing scene, and a rather nicely posed 'plug' for Revell's 1:90th scale Santa Maria model-kit.

Not the first time Preiser and Revell have worked together; soon after taking over the Elastolin archive, Preiser licensed the Romans & Celts, Normans and Saxons of the later, to the former, suitably reduced in size for their 1:72nd scale polyethylene figure set range.

They have also worked together to get Prieser's excellent FH18 field howitzer, crew, limber and team simplified for production in the same soft-plastic figure range.

Due to its release being tied into the anniversary year, although it was never marketed as a limited edition - to my knowledge - the Columbus set was nevertheless swiftly withdrawn from the catalogue and became considered a rarity (despite everyone I know who wanted one, getting one) carrying the evilBay price premium that such a status comes-with these days. [frown-ani, angry emoticon!]

However, the bulk of the useful figures from the set are now available in a large unpainted set (16359 - the best way to purchase Preiser, who can be considered very dear as painted sets), along with all sorts of other useful items for medieval war-gamers and dioramists.

Of interest are the re-enactor market traders and serving wenches in costume or the shop-dummies; which with feet added (or longer skirts) and heads (of which there is a supply attached to the 'serving wenches') will make lovely additions to the Italieri Tournament sets - as will everything in these new releases.

Also - at this scale - you can't tell if the dealers stalls have been kit-built with s coach-bolts, or lovingly hand-built with blacksmiths nails, so all the various structures can go straight into a medieval diorama or onto a medieval war-game table, while the Saxons (returning from their loan to Revell?) are equally useful, if tiresomely 'old hat' now! Set 17216 also seems to have the accessory-runner from the Columbus set, but the Amerindians are notable by their absence.

The best bits above are the transparent green bottles (Rothenburger I'm sure!), I can see them appearing in the hands of diminutive Panzer-crews or GI's at modelling shows!

A high-res image scan of the flag carried by the colonists (Castile?) which is printed on the boxes heavy card end-flaps, it may be of use to someone as a download, re-size it to about 1x2cm; it's only meant as a little standard or guidon, for a lance or pole-arm.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

B is for Brewers-dray, Beer-wagon or Brauereiwagen

So getting stuck into the Preiser season with the most important wagon type, ever, the beer-deliverers!

This is one of the wagons Gary Worsfold sent us, and it's lovely, look at all that beer! The transfer had lifted slightly on one side of the name board, so I've had to play with 'touch-up' to fix it (top right image), but otherwise near mint.

This is a more modern design with pneumatic tyres and you can still find them in some towns where local pubs are supplied straight from the brewery, not necessarily out of practicality, but rather the advertising return of running vintage delivery-gear in public, along with the 'building/maintaining brand-loyalty' factor of supplying local hostelries with fresh beer at a factory-door/cost price!

From the catalogue we see (top left) the current version of the above wagon, it has a full-length name-board, and other than the barrels and the wheels: a completely new paint/decoration job. The logo is the same 'Rothenburger' (Rothenburg is Preiser's home-town), but they seem to be different brands? Or maybe it's a passage-of-time thing - one 1940's the other more current?

The other wagon: I think Lowenbrau is/was the local tipple of Munich and environs; now an International brand, although more popular a few years ago?

This is a proper 'Dray', and the reason a real gentleman walks nearer the curb when escorting women or children, there's umpteen tons of beer, wagon and horse-flesh there; should it loose control of itself for any reason - the bloke gets it first/worst!

There is a second version of the big dray in the current line-up, also Munich-based and also dolled-up in its best public-day finery - I see a pattern here . . . "Bierfest"!!!! Hic!

Preiser also carry a nice, smaller, crate/bottle delivery-wagon, more like a rag-and-bone cart which is back to Rothenburger on the graphics front (with a third colour scheme?), and just what your war-game troops need to see coming down the road - stuff a bridge-layer or some FlaK; send a beer-supply up the table - moral, it's everything!

Mmmmmmmmmm, Beerrrrrrrr! Minor point, but 'attention to detail', each keg has a different number stamped on it.

Monday, October 17, 2016

P is for Preiser's Plastic Population and 'Pology!

There is - in 'Edit' - from January an article on the Preiser Columbus set, which never got published (it will be in the next few days!) and I found it there the other day and thought "Why did I take poor photographs of the instruction sheet and box when I could've scanned them?", so I dragged the box out of the attic to retake the images, only to be reminded that all the wagons were there. I had photographed them ages ago . . .

Family 'snap'

. . . July, 2012 to be exact; intending to blog them at the time, but the shot never got added-to, and wound-up in Picasa with everything else!

Now - most of the wagons in the above image are from one source: Gary Worsfold, who not only donated them to the Blog, but went to incredible efforts to send them to me twice, at his expense, after Royal Fail and Parcel Farce had conspired to send them back to him . . . in New Zealand!

Late 1970's-1980's packaging

I had thanked him privately at the time (2011! Where does five years just bugger-off to?), but with the fighting of a court case and moving house only to then go off to college (where the shot was taken on the flocked, rubberised 'carpet-burn' floor-covering!), I never got round to posting them by way of providing a more public thanks, rather gloating on them in private like some selfish horse-drawn, transport-Gollum!

More modern boxes

So, in the last few weeks I have been photographing the living-hell out of all of them, and will be having a Preiser (with a bit of Merten, Airfix etc...) season, not a month, not a week, just until I get bored with them - a week or two?

And not just wagons, I've updated the Columbus, we'll look at nudes, properly (the only way TO look at them!) and a few other bits and bobs, even some military, but not much, and all of it small scale, so those winging about people Blogging small-scale the other day (he makes it up as he goes along), can go and look at something else for a week or two!

N-gauge versions

Some of the wagons have also been pantographed-down for the TT and N gauge ranges, and these are the current N gauge offerings, I would imagine a few more have been so reduced and are retailed on a rotation, but these may be it? Of particular interest is the shortened log-trailer to the right which currently isn't available in any other size.

Above - Preiser's own 'Suggestion for Arrangement'
Below - Unpainted draft-horses

As you can see - I'll also be mining the current (on-line, downloadable) catalogue with screen-caps, along with bits of my own paperwork, but mostly the season will be by way of much-thanks to Gary Worsfold for the donation of the wagons (and other items), as I am a big fan of wagons, didn't have many Preiser examples and had blogged what I did have back at the start of the blog.

The lower shot shows a complete set of six heavy-horses from the big drays we'll be looking at, along with two of the common wagon pairs and a horse also used singly with a U-shaped draw-bar, all from set 327's but as we'll see soon: I'm not that sure if they all belong. There are other draft horses and they are useful for other jobs, while the plumes can be removed form the ponies, for less salubrious work-a-day jobs, as taxi-pullers etc!

Cheers Gary, and many thanks; I hope I do them - albeit late - justice. Sorry for taking so long to get a proper grip of them!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

F is for Fur-coat - in a box!

And a box-ticker; we looked at the 101 Dalmatians here almost a year ago, but I got the chance to photograph these on Adrian's table the other day, not a complete set, but about half? I think!

The point to note is the scenic flats in the background of each scene, I think I have some in the unknown flats section, so they will have to be recovered when they come out of storage and moved to the Marx box.

I also think one or two of the scenic pieces have been seen in 'Snow Globes', suggesting that Marx or their contract manufacturer/s were also responsible for making snow globes, or supplied plastic components to someone who was?

Thanks to Mercator Trading for the photographs.