Friday, March 30, 2012
I have to admit I liked The Beverly Hillbillies, more now then when it first ran. The interplay between Jethro and Granny was always good for a laugh, and Donna Douglas made for some nice eye candy. Uncle Jed was the hub that held all the spokes in place. And how about that great theme song? I was saddened to learn that the singer and banjo player on "The Ballad of Jed Clampett," Earl Scruggs, just passed away.
But what better a subject for a model kit than the old Grapes of Wrath-style truck the Clampetts drove through their ritzy neighborhood? I believe in one show the 1921 truck was tricked out as a mean-ass hot rod, so this kit allows you to build either version. I imagine when you're done with one there will be enough spare parts for half of another vee-hickle.
The kit was issued in 1968 by MPC, a company that also made toy soldiers--the famous ring hand figures, among others. I have built MPC kits and they were often cheap and poorly engineered. That didn't diminish the value of this item on the collector market, however, because one of these kits recently sold for $249 + $13.60 shipping.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Comic artist Rube Goldberg created a lot of crazy contraptions on paper that would make the simplest jobs long and complicated via a string of interconnecting gadgets, animals, and tools. These gimmicks seemed like a natural for a model kit, someone must have reasoned, and a series of kits were issued that copied the Goldberg genius. If properly built they would perform the task at hand. In the one I'm showing it's a way to scrub grandpa's back. I've never had one of these kits, or even seen one, but it looks like it would be fun to build one.
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
March 6, 1836. After 13 days of siege the Alamo was overrun by the forces of General Santa Anna, general and dictator of Mexico. The heroic stand made by the Alamo's defenders has been the subject of books, movies, TV shows, comic books, and several Marx playsets. It has spawned wonder and controversy. The Alamo today--the little that's left of it--is a major tourist attraction. Some of the most famous men of their day died at the Alamo, notably Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie. Today is indeed a good day to remember the Alamo.
Sunday, March 04, 2012
Bond, James Bond, fighting it out with Odd Job in a scene from GOLDFINGER. Note how the precise sculpting captures the dynamic action and breathtaking excitement.
Like fudge it does. I can't imagine why the company allowed this cheap-looking, stilted kit to reach the market, but it did. Fortunately, better kits from the Bond movies, including a very nice Odd Job pose, are available.
Airfix is a British firm that produced toy soldiers as well as model kits, and most of their output is very good. My guess is they either rushed this one out or couldn't find anyone skilled enough at figure sculpting to produce a convincing diorama.