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.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

C is for Chinacars!

There's no real point to this post other than things are hardly ever what they appear to be or claim to be when dealing with modern contract-manufactured rack toys, as while some of these are technically 'shelf-sale' items they are all priced at the pocket-money budget!

So we'll just ramble through them in no particular order, looking at the odd detail on the way...

I bought these a couple of years ago (in The Works), can't remember if I Blogged them at the time, but I suspect not as they became the kernel for this post, the folder for which I've been adding -to ever since. Both branded to High & Drive, you may recognise them as being otherwise the same as the previously Blogged Funtastic for Poundland vehicles.

Is it me or are there shades of the 'Stalone's Dredd' Land Rover in that Police SWAT vehicle? The other is VAB'ish, SAM-equipped and seems the commonest of these, being added to most of the 'ranges' below.

The aforementioned Funtastic in two packagings, same vehicle range though! When I say the same vehicle 'range', the 6x6 is probably an exception proving the rule, as it is in the same packaging as the little die-casts but A) we will see further down the page they have their 'own' 6x6 truck and B) this model is a larger scale, mostly plastic and of more complicated, multi-part construction.

Originally appearing on a blister card as part of a small line of three larger scale vehicles; we looked at the M48 Patton tank and the hovercraft at the time, but again see further down for how these are all part of the same 'whole'.

Here they are claimed by Little Angel on the left with some more shots of the Poundland's on the right, Little Angel use the star option for vehicle graphics, Funtastic take a winged logo and throw a few out-of-scale accessories into the box for added play-value.

Little Angel clearly makes sports equipment or peripherals too!

Another publicity shot from Little Angel, a Jeep from The Works with different wheels (also a pound), the old Zylmex half-track now owned by Tai Sang's subsidiary; Red Box, and an Israeli Merkava tank I photographed in the shop as it is too small to get excited about, especially at two quid to everyone else's pound!

It's not that I don't have smaller tanks/vehicles (I have every size and material) but just that it will turn-up at a pound sometime, or in a mixed lot from a car boot sale or charity-shop's 20p rummage bin! And I was purchasing two other vehicles for this post as I took the photographs, but was too tight to go over the fiver!

Kids Car and Avitalk (probably both made-up-brands) are both on Alibaba claiming the same vehicles as their 'own'! The Kids Car image is particularly useful, as it extends the extent of the line or range and ties three (or four?) wheel-designs into the same set. It also claims 1:87 as the given scale, patently nonsense as the jeeps are bigger than the lorries!

The tank is an M1-looking thing; the Hummers are a different rivet-detailed design form the common one while the VAB'ish vehicle with a full turret would seem to be a copy of a 1990's Majorette model.

Both Red Box but the upper one still has Zylmex on the base-plate, although the original Hong Kong has been replaced with a heavily pronounced 'China', recent examples are now Zylmex-free!

Tucked away at the back is a random incomer, from some half-forgotten charity-shop purchase, it is another VAB-ish design but four-wheeled and is equipped with a water-cannon! In storage I have several of these with different markings and/or different plug-ins, we may have looked at them here - before I got a grip on tagging - or was it the Hummers?

A rather fuzzy shot from an old .pdf catalogue from the recently deceased Marshall's; importers into and suppliers to the West Country and wider holiday/sea-side novelty trade (prior to their demise), with several of the vehicles seen above, although unlike the Kids Car set, these mostly have the same wheels as the Poundland/Funtastic versions.

Also, although unclear, it's obvious that more civilian vehicles have been militarised with khaki/green and camouflage.

To the right is a publicity shot from XY / Xin Yu, who might actually be the source for some of these given that they are claiming to be an 'alloy toys factory', but I suspect not for several reasons, the first that they are calling themselves an 'alloy toys factory' rather than the more obvious die-caster's. Second they aren't showing much of the range/s-line/s and third they have included the mostly plastic hovercraft from that 8-9-year-old Poundland set.

Spare photo's from the folder!                          

Another probably made-up name for wholesale purposes on Alibaba; Wellye advertising four of the commoner casts in the upper shot, with a colour-change for the tank and a few 'lesser' casts in the lower shot, note two different Jeeps - not just the plastic accessories but the whole design - one a chunky-Willy's, the other more a sort of Wrangler.

The other two I bought when photographing the Merkava, imported by Kandytoys the truck having the same wheels as other vehicles seen here, the MLRS been seen as a blur in the Marshall's shot. The truck is - I think - a reasonable copy of a Chinese copy of the late/post-Cold War Russian Ural truck?

However; I'm trying not to get bogged-down in vehicle types here (hence VAB'ish!) as they are all cheap, simplified or fictional pocket-money toys, and as far as war-gamers might be concerned, are what you say they are or paint them to be!

Comparison between a High & Drive from Poundland, a Works 'Metal Car' and the Pioneer Pro-Engine (previous shot - Pioneer toys manufactory Ltd) boxes, it's pretty clear to me they all come from the same place, they even take the same Pantone red for their graphic-design's starting-point!

Now we have Sunny Kids (sounding a bit like Kids Car) claiming them as their own and adding a bus which looks like it's been stolen from a Brio set! They go with a Micro Machines style folding play set and more realistic street-furniture than the Funatastic 'big boxes'.

To the right - more spare images!

Halsall's HTI have the Merkava and the two-axle VAB'ish in better paint (still with a water-cannon!), on a nice if civilian-looking tank transporter in their Teamsterz range (we looked at the firemen and policemen at the start of RTM). I did go back to buy this but they were sold-out!

Which is a good point to place a quick link to Uncle Brian's post the other day, a brace of lovely all-plastic transporters, which although modern Chinese designs, could be painted to look like Faun's rushing your Roco-minitanks Leopard's up to the Fulda gap from Putlos!

Following the link Brian provided - in the comments - leads to mention of Maisto in the product details but a quick Google for "Maisto Tank Transporter" fails to deliver the goods, so I think it's more of a click-bait thing?

To the right - another spare image!

The Army version from 8/10 years ago with the more recent (3 or 4 years back) boxed police one. The blister-carded vehicle has generic artwork front and rear with a consumer information sticker for Funtastic on the back - however if I recall correctly, the Patton and Hovercraft didn't, I bought them a year or two earlier and from a  different Poundland, so obviously the sticker came in with tighter legislation following the big lead-in-paint scandal of . . . err . . . 2010/2011 . . . later?

Although both trucks were a pound of your Earth-money the earlier blister-packed trio all had pull-back motors fitted while the later window-box truck is a free-wheeler, this is reflected in different wheel-hubs and tyres.

I guess, if there is to be a point to the post it is that while a dozen (or more - I haven’t looked that hard) or so brands can be associated with these vehicles, which seem to be from three main sub-sets, the fact is: that they all come from the same place (or three places?). There are fourteen lines/brands/issues above (ignoring the Zee Toys/Zyl half-track).

Whether you are a chain-store, an importer (jobber), an Alibaba-platform wholesaler, a shipper/marketer from Hong Kong or Shanghai or a middle-man running around the big toy-fairs in a shiny suit with a shiny brochure, you can 'pick & mix' your line/range/set/'offer', mix or match your packaging to previous efforts or rival's orders and the often faceless, usually nameless contract-manufacturers will do what they can to help you.

You can choose markings, colours, wheels, whether or not to have window-boxes or blister cards, white or clear trays. you can buy in a few accessories for the 'value added' factor, they can be cheap and nasty (Funtastic boxes) or more realistic (Sunny Kids), you can take the decoration from an off-the-shelf menu or stipulate something better (HTI's matt camouflage) and when the profit margin's been hit you will dump the remainder as clearance and move on to something else!

Or, you may wait a few months and come at them again from a different angle, Funtastic have tried three packagings/assortments in less than ten years now, The Works; two boxings, in five years.

Ghosts in the machine...



[tags have been heavily curtailed by the imposed limits on this post - so if this is 'your thing' bookmark it before it disappears down the page!]

Saturday, August 19, 2017

D is for Dispatches

Just as I suggested the other day it wouldn't be Rack Toy Month without some paratroopers, so I think it's fair to claim it's not a full RTM without some motorcycles!

Brain Berke coming to the rescue again; although he actually sent this some time ago as confirmation of the third colour when I blogged his previous contribution back near the start of the year.

He then sent this the other week and I'd love to have a go, who remembers the Corgi Pink Panther car which had the same mechanism? Indeed - some diminutive Kinder toys also have a pull-through powered kinetic-motor, while the Evel Knievel toys were more popular than either of the aforementioned!

Also branded to FunTastic, it now looks as though both the US FunTastic and the UK Funtastic are the same company, but it doesn't explain the logo differences, the Poundland exclusivity or where that will go now Poundland have been bought, but as we will see with the die-casts in a day or two, it's all as clear as mud and of little or no significance!

Rack Toy Month has room for smaller novelties and these Christmas Cracker/Gum Ball types are another recent purchase from the Swagman's Daughter and while the charms to the right (hard polystyrene) will be of limited interest to most, the figures on the left (soft polyethylene) should be of interest to any war-gamers exploring WWII.

Especially anyone using the plethora of Italian figure-set issues in the last ten or twelve years and the parallel AFV releases to build Italian armies; as they are almost perfect for North African dispatch riders - sculpted as if wearing shorts and with a leather side-flapped helmet and at a pretty good 1:76; you'd be daft not to get a set while they are still available.

A comparison with some of my existing sample, the blue ethylene one is the same as the Swagman's one, but the two styrene ones are variations of the recent acquisition - the brown one having a larger charm loop, the green one slightly better (??!!) sculpting and [apparent] factory paint on a loop-less helmet.

Friday, August 18, 2017

G is for German Rack Toys

We looked at bigger than HO/OO railway figures from Leyla right back at the start of the Blog; just shy of nine-years ago, now we're going to look at smaller than HO/OO from the same maker! I can only presume they are aimed at TT-gauge layouts, which were always more popular on the continent than here in the UK, and particularly so on the other side of the wire.

Sharing poses with the larger set we looked at back when, the newspaper-seller is also harking back to Leyla's 45mm pre-war O-gauge composition range
 
Heavily copied (I have three or four types of these as piracies in storage) by Hong Kong and - possibly - somewhere like Spain; there are good quality copies with neater bases, here we see some HK copies along with a set of three full flats (the Leyla are semi-flat) heading toward N-gauge, which look like margarine premiums but are I expect from a set of railway accessories or even a kit, given the plain white styrene?
The railway staffer/postal worker with trolley also looks like the sort of thing you find in some margarine, laundry-powder or coffee-premium sets, but again seems not to be; having a factory-looking paint-job, but him and the three white ones are still in the unknown 'pile'.
 
With the older (to the collection and judging by the packaging) set in storage I had to do this by eye/memory, so it's an approximation only, but it's about right! An Airfix platform figure would come between the two, but that only gives me a reason to return to them for better comparisons one day, we will return to them!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

T is for Two Toy Tanks

As a follow-up to this morning's which while not as lame as yesterday morning's post was nonetheless a tad 'lean'!



No detailed text needed, it's a comparison between the Imperial Toys Patton and the Shamber's Patton we looked at a couple of few years ago, both based on the Tim-Mee version and similar to the Fairylight/Jimson we looked at here, ages ago; if I get the latter out of storage and obtain a Tim-Mee original we can have a four-way comparison another day!

T is for Two - Hong Kong Rack Toy Jeeps

Bought these from Adrian at the Plastic Warrior show in May expressly for Rack Toy Month and nearly forgot to post them!

Haven't attributed them to any sets or maker yet, although I think the gun is similar to a bunch I have in storage which came with armoured cars, but I liked the pinky-red one! The hole in the seats look like they might take the Kamley astronaut but that's not why I posted them and I suspect they may have taken the Monogram/Revell 1:48th scale crew copies; with the officer in peaked-cap leaning his elbow on the seat back?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

F is for French Rack Toys

Just a quickie as I know this morning's was a bit lame!

Féral's copies of Hugonnet's Indians, although as Hugonnet appears - jointly - on a fair whack of Féral packaging; it's not as clear as it looks. I'm told they represent Iroquois Indians and I rather like them, the Indian with feathered lance looks to be missing a spear-tip but all the examples I've seen are the same, so? Thanks toSamwise for most of these, a couple may have come from somewhere else and I have a painted Hugonnet somewhere but couldn't find him to post.

S is for Sahara . . . no . . . Stephanie . . . no . . . Serendipity!

I knew it was a girl's name! Turned out I had the Kositoy version all along! In fact I had another four trucks but all the same cab we looked at the other day . . .hey-ho!

Also turns out I had positioned it near-right in the mock-up, but it was smaller and higher with a new KH code underneath! These both have the early wheels as you would expect, but the card is a copy of the earlier (?) non- Kositoy, KS artwork, with heavier lines and a yellow background.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

ABC is for Agricultural Blister Cards!

Nothing exciting and not even much of a box-ticker as two of the sets are generics and the third an import piece, but there's a couple of points of interest in them and any event; in Rack Toy Month you're gonna get the odd dud!

I picked these up on eBay a while ago (so some of you may have those photos in your files!) mainly because they were going for a realistic sum; otherwise I only download the photos!

A mix of ex-Britains and other makes farm stuff in generic packaging and it looks a bit like Blue Box but it's not; it's of poorer quality to start with, although it wants you to think it is - with the blue/white/yellow thing going on.

But first point of interest is that there is a mix of items decorated with hand-paint, spray-paint or unpainted in unrealistic-coloured plastic.

An ex-Corgi calve also copied by the aforementioned Blue Box in this set, same artwork but the pictures changed to match the blisters, each shaped for specific contents. Again a mix of contents; the unpainted poultry in primary colours were also issued with some of the small scale sub-piracies figures we looked at here a year ago.

The second point of interest, this card shares 'thumbnail' background pictures with the other two, and carries the same artwork, but is over-printed with a Linda branded header. Linda did carry some Blue Box but they also carried lesser stuff so that's no surprise, but it's nice to get the Branded version of a generic.

Indeed the main reason for purchasing them is that while downloading the images of sets like these is useful, it's only when you can inspect them up close and personal that you can use them to ID lose stuff in the HK animals box/tub, especially when you get different markings in the same set, or the painted/unpainted joint-thing!

Monday, August 14, 2017

News, Views Etc . . . Kamley

I always fuck-up when I try to tie posts into other posts, and it turned out that the Kamley entry in the A-Z was on Pacific Standard time or some shit, so it was sat in 'edit'! And I had forgotten to give the Wild West header-card's post a title!

All sorted now and the hot-links have been added to the bottom of yesterday's post - 2nd article below.

J is for Jazzy 'Jamas for Jaru's Jumpers

Although it's only the second Rack Toy month and there's no guarantee of a third, I think it's a truism that you can't have a Rack Toy Month without some parachute toys and as I haven't found any to post recently it's lucky these came in from New York via Brian Berke the other day.

We've seen this chap before in a green Jim-Jam jump-suit so this is only a box-ticker but I spent most of last week getting yesterday's 10 posts together (I also updated Jaru and Amscan's A-Z entries to reflect recent post's items) and rather ran out of time to schedule something for  this morning.

I think I also noted last time we looked at them that I'm loving the packaging, if I get time I will try to get over to the new Smyth's toy-store in Farnborough before the end of RTM and see if they have anything like this in their cheapie section, there's nothing in the Entertainer, Wilko or The Works at the moment, and I can drop into the big Asda at the same time, they sometimes carry Jaru.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

K is for Kamley, Kositoy and KS . . .

. . . I had hoped it might also be for Kamco but they seem to pre-date Kamley's existence by a few years (it's not clear) so even if the '...co' is for Company, it looks like it's a different 'Kam... '!

Famous last words! Not only have I watched a fair amount of paint dry since writing that (I painted the gable-end this time last year!), but here I am doing a "...substantial blog-post...' on some of those figures!

Bought these the other day (from the Swagman's Daughter - same source of the PVC fish we looked at the other day), I knew I already had one, and I had downloaded images of the other card from old evilBay lots, but I wanted them while they were cheap, so I now have three of four possible cards . . . except there are other cards and other contents so I don't really!

In the meantime I had two shots from Brian Berke sitting in his folder waiting - ostensibly - for use in future posts on the Hong Kong/small scale 'But is it Giant' Blog. Checking the 'KS' folder for the other images, and seeing the Kositoy folder I was reminded that there were Kositoy versions of the trucks in Brian's image.

Long story short, within minutes I had realised that the contents of three 'K' folders were all the same company, and 'probably' a forth (Kamco) as it's another HK firm of the same era, and Kamco looked likely to be an abbreviated or short-form brand logo of Kamley [Industrial] Company .

The Kamley folder having a larger carded set also found in the Kositoy folder and Kositoy being usually the KS generic cards with an overprinted logo, the relationship between the three is beyond doubt, but the likelihood of a Kamco (producers of robots and train sets) connection became less hopeful the more I looked into it and I now doubt a connection - however I don't have the address for Kamco here, so who knows what may turn-up?

'Technicals' in the artwork; before the term was coined! Other sets contain a Jeep, or up to 12 figures (the Attack Force Emergency sets) while later sets were carded with shaped blisters for a more standardised display of contents. These are the generic cards, with only the KS stock-code as the clue to their origin.

In the research of the last couple of weeks I've also ID'd other large-scale figures from the K's and ten minutes on Google will enable you to too, you will also find the connecting sets that confirm the news in this post.

These probably date from the mid-1970's at the earliest, and the company was wound-up in 2003 so they are (as I said on the Khaki page some time ago) still quite common - if you dig about a bit!

These are the figures from all the early sets whether generic or Kositoy, of the various versions on the Khaki Infantry page, these are the only ones so far seen in these 'K' sets, and with the exception below are all copies of those Britains Herald Khaki Infantry on the page where they first appeared here as unknowns.

Close-ups of the bases; these are most easily identified by the numeral 3 on the base underside, otherwise you start obsessing over the size and font of the HONG KONG mark - and in the past I have! There being several other versions of these figures . . .

. . . as there are of this chap, who was in another tub in another corner of the collection. Now ID'd from those mint sets on Goggle, and then found in their tub by way of confirmation of guesswork (call it assumption if you like!), only this pose is found with the matching base-mark.

I've shot him with two sub-pirates, you can see the dropping-off of quality and these are two of four different batches of Britains Swoppet copy; what I haven't done yet is compare them (the other swoppet copies) all with the other Herald copies to see if there are any other 'go together' matches.

So, having sorted three brands or 'unknowns' into one 'company', let's look at some of the other pieces seen in Brian's shot as most of mine are in storage. I have collected enough or happened to have a few shots around in Picasa for a decent overview of the whole, but we will definitely return to the trucks one day as I have a whole tray of them in storage!

The gun first as it represents one of the main or obvious factors about this range from Kamley - different generations of production/moulding. Guns issued with the larger figures don't always have crew, however if you do the Google search you will find some do, and they come in two versions, early crew-men are basically astronauts! Later figures are the GI's shown here.

The other obvious difference is in the wheels; early sets have domed wheels like they've got old chromed hub-caps, while later sets have more military wheels with six wheel-nuts and a small central grease-hub. This wheel 'rule' extends to the trucks and helicopters.

However, there is another variance; the two guns are not quite the same . . . the differences are subtle, wider seats, smooth underside to the trail-legs; little things but the gun was re-tooled, as was the helicopter (but it got at least three generations!), while the trucks just got added-to; new cab designs and more body plug-ins.

I don't know if the finding of a brown figure suggests a whole brown run, but there are certainly a fair few grey vehicles and while I haven't found them yet, I suspect grey figures will turn-up, either of the Herald infantry or some of the many unattributed Airfix 1:32nd scale German Infantry copies?

The early 'astronauts' and later GI's. In the image two up, the third gunner - in the towing-eye -  although put there by me, is mirroring examples in storage who came-in like that, whether they were sometimes issued like that or placed there by their human is currently anyone's guess.

The truck or lorry . . . in the card artwork for the Combat Set they are depicted as pick-up trucks, but the models are more like small lorries; 3/4-ton or 30kwt types. We will need to return to these as not only are mine in storage (for all the body types and later trailer), but between what I have here and Brain's shot we only really have one type to show of the three designs Kamley used.

The three to the left are early Kositoy trucks with the card insert which was dropped from later issues; I call this the generic Ford-GMC type. To the right is a 'CHINA' marked copy in green of what I call the generic Volvo type, and then there is a third intermediate design with three small lights on the cab-roof which I call the generic Mercedes . . .

. . . and yes I know giving a 'branded-title' to a 'generic' is a bit oxymoronic but you have to start somewhere with the naming-of-the-parts when it's all make-believe toy stuff!

The blue vehicle is earlier than the China marked copy; a poorer Hong Kong copy which has been stretched and given an additional front bumper-bar (fender).

From the left: Kositoy early version with card-insert, Kamley issue, China-truck and the HK-marked clone, note the reinforcing a-frame on the underside to prevent the longer (but as thin, or thinner - I didn't check) load-bed from warping

Another reason for needing to return to the trucks is that the card inserts shown here are from the very early KS generic sets, Kositoy sets had Kositoy over-printed inserts which I can't show you. However I have knocked one up in Picasa but can't remember where the Kositoy logo is placed.

I have a feeling it may be over the engine-block (upper white box) with the 'Made in Hong Kong' left in the normal spot, but it may be further back (lower white box) or approximately where I've placed it, maybe just above the 'made in...' mark? As I say; we will return to these one day! If anyone can send us a genuine Kositoy insert (scan or photo) in the meantime; I'll add it at the bottom of this post for completion.

Also showing how the insert is folded and stuffed into the bed of the truck to show the two crew through the windows - card flats, in service caps, too cool for staff-collage!

Finally - for now - to the helicopters, I'm not sure about the order of these, but it seems to go:-

  • Blocked-up cockpit-windows, six portholes (front left above)

  • Open cockpit-windows, six portholes (blistered Combat Set)

  •  Open cockpit-windows, five portholes, rear wheel arch (Brian's; top of post)

  • Open cockpit-windows, five portholes, rear wheel arch, crude rotor-blades (back right above)

With the later wheels being phased-in at some point, followed toward the end by the crude rotor-blades of my newer example, but that doesn't explain the fact that my 'early' one has late wheels (which is why I'm not sure about them!).

It may be that the blocked-windows moulding was just another mould or another cavity running alongside one of the other two, or - given that my new one has no wheels and the unrelated vintage yellow one is missing a pair - that there is just a failure in the wheel department of my heavy-lift helicopter tub!!

I will see how Rack Toy Month pans-out, but we may yet return to miniature heavy-lift helicopters?

To cement this post you will find that four posts on the companies/company's small scale output published at the same time as this one, over on the Hong Kong blog (don't get excited, two of them are the gunners, one has no figures and all-four are brief!), while what I know of the companies has published on the relevant A-Z Blog - six posts for the price of none!

Because I can't do the links for what will actually be 8 posts (with another 'kosi' and a disambiguation) until they are all published, I'll sort all the direct links out on Monday afternoon . . . or whenever!

Monday 14th - Links Added

Kamley's A-Z Entry
Small Scale Type 1 Gunners
Small Scale Type 2 Gunners
Small Scale 8th Army 'Combat Troops'
Small Scale Wild West Header Card

Saturday, August 12, 2017

J is for Ja-Ru - A is for Another Follow-up

Also sent by Brain Berke the other day (so today is Brian's Rack Toy Day!), these shelfies confirm my assumption vis-à-vis Jaru being behind the sets the other day, and it may well be that Brian told me as much when he sent those images last year? Those of you responsible have some idea how many eMails I get, and stuff does get lost or forgotten!

The Explore Planet Earth Horse Country sets again but clearly marked-up as Jaru, I'm not sure of the intended size, but figure modellers might want to seek this set out for mounted subjects as there is a range of sizes in the bag and they are mostly in peaceful (or on-parade) poses?

Alternate/new (?) artwork for the previous set.

The same artwork on a dinosaur card, did we look at the green-carded version of this last year? I seem to remember pointing out that they look like old 1970/80's stock, there must be a warehouse or shed-full somewhere!

Like the Gulliver Confederate ACW cavalry - some dealers were (are) listing them for a small fortune as 'really rare', but the whole point of the fraud was that a vast number were ordered and manufactured on a FOB/COD contract (in order for the accountant to run off with the [a meaningful amount of-] cash-dosh), so there was (is) a mountain of them and honest dealers still let them go for a fiver or so 'cos there's a warehouse-full of them somewhere, or there was, but they're still not rare!