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.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Z is for Zip-it-up; You Animal!

It's funny, I thought I'd posted this minor HK maker when the blog first started - I coudln't remember if it was the first 'Z' or the second, I had a feeling the first was Zizzle pirate ships and Zip were on the rebound after we'd climbed back down the alphabet - with a paltry pig (there may have been a sheep too?), but it turns out I never blogged it at all!

In the meantime I discovered Ludo's old website page on them - as premiums for Colonil - which added three more animals to the list, I had by then picked-up a turkey (in storage), while a few years later the Vichy started a thread and added another animal, and so it goes . . . Ludo's new Forum has added a Jersey cow and chicken family for instance. I had only done a listing on the defunckt a-z blog, and that not until 2011!

Today we'll add some more to the listing.

I had decided on the title and taken the shots before the rest turned-up, so I'm carrying-on for the moment as if the other four images aren't there!

A horse; here posed with the Timpo horse, to which it is similar, but by no means a direct copy; there are only so many ways to sculpt a bog-standard thoroughbred standing still, and the musculature on the two is very different. Zip copied several Timpo's though, but they also cloned Britains and others?

But what struck-me and led to the title, is that while the Timpo example has an anatomically-correct tuft of hair, strategically placed to hide the gelding-work of the veterinary surgeon, the Zip horse is rather Priapically advertising the fact that he's definitely a sire, and about to do some sire'ing!

I was so happy to have a 'new' animal, I had taken the shots before the foal turned-up, I shot him then thought I'd better check the rest, and well . . . quite a menagerie, and that's not the end of it, but I've now got another eepie-deep, other piggy-wigggy and the horse & foal for starters!

Anyway they are all marked - so there's no question as to their provenance! The foal is - of course - a Britains pose, but the sheep taken is from Friedel (probably via Italian nativity figures) so they cast their net wide at Zip Towers! But all of them are - if you ignore the marks for a second -  pretty generic Hong Kong fare.

As I mentioned above, I'm sure I'd got a turkey before everything went into storage, but this one came in a while back in another of these mixed charity-shop lots (most of this post is last Tuesday's purchase), he's marked on the underside of his base with the ZIP-mark and as pointed out elsewhere is taken from the Timpo original.

Now, this is where it gets complicated; both the right-hand animals are unmarked, but I would bet a shed-load of money on them being Zip, however, there were in the same lot many others which could have been too, but I'm not showing them to you as they have to remain question-marks, these two pairs are plastic-colour matched and - in the case of the foals - paint-matched.

If things this big are unmarked (the piglet actually has the remains of an entirely spurious MADE IN.... on his base), while things as small as the turkey have a clear ZIP, it's obvious that the marking wasn't consistent.

Likewise, because they are all poses copied dozens of times by dozens of HK manufacturers over several decades, in thousands of colours or slightly different shades of plastic (including Zip) it's clear that everyone collecting and adding to the listing of these over the last ten years (including me?) have probably sorted some genuine Zip out of their sample; Doh!

For instance, the lot I picked up the other day from which all these (bar the turkey) come, had a variety of old British, HK, modern 'CHINA' marked, some Safari vinyl and 'all else', some mint/near-mint, some clean, some aged and playworn . . . among which were some bog-standard 'generic' copies of Britains poultry; the duck family, hen family, separate hens, cockerel, goose and ducks, the old Blue Box versions probably providing the donors.

They were all unmarked, and the plastic/paint - condition was as good as the four Zip's, does this mean they are also Zip? Probably, but without a marked one to match them too - as I was luckily able to do with the other two (and a marked chicken family has turned-up elsewhere), or a carded/bagged set to turn-to for direct comparison; I can't say they are, and certainly can't present them as such - so a note's added to their bag, and if the 'coincidence' occurs again - I'll run with it!

I should add that I don't actively collect farm and zoo animals, I just 'encounter' and 'accrue' them! These mixed lots leave more questions than they solve, but that's a piglet, two foals and a horse added to the Zip/Colonil oeuvre, with second pig and sheep to join the turkey.

Although - as far as the Colonil connection goes - I think the link is less firm these days (?) and I also suppose they must have been sold in the UK as toys; carded or in bags, but were they marked or generic? Or were they in one of the many 'Home Farm' sets? If only the horse would 'put it away' and tell us!

Animal - Donor
- Pig - Timpo
- Piglet - Blue Box?
- Jersey Cow (Britains?)*
- Horse Standing - ?
- Foal Scratching - Britains
- Foal Standing - Britains
- Turkey - Timpo
- Sheep - Friedel (or Italian Precepi?)
- Chicken Family - Britains
- Giraffe - Timpo
- Zebra - Timpo

* Other sandy-orange/brown cow breeds are (or were) available, including Guernsey and [the probably extinct] Alderney, which we once tried to track down in Texas and . . . Nebraska I think, a bit of a goose-chase in the end, and most picture show red-white colouring; all three - Guernsey, Jersey and Alderney being linked to the French Normand (a white with red or black splotching) can be other colours or have white bits.

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