Monday, December 31, 2018

MPC Ringhands - MP115 Slot Butt & MP132 Peg Butt Seated Figure - Blue

For the next umpteen days we're gonna take a look at MPC's ubiquitous and iconic ringhand figures.

What can I say about MPC Ringhands? They were fun and they were frustrating as hell. All those little accessories that came with them meant that your toy soldiers weren't static mold shots but ever evolving play things. But all those little pieces were a damned nuisance to affix! It had been something like 50+ years since I had messed with these but all the good/bad memories came rushing back when I started to outfit these critters! Add to that the lack of dexterity which has crept into my old bones and you have a recipe for disaster LOL

The 'MP' numbering system I'm referencing here has it's origins back in the early '90s with the publication of "GEPPERT'S GUIDE For Non-Metallic Toy Soldiers of the US" by Timothy J. Geppert. This was a home grown effort done on mimeographed paper before PC's became prevalent in the hobby scene. Although there had been addendum's to the original, there was no attempt to integrate them into the guide and were simply add-on sheets. I have a copy of the guide somewhere out in The Cave but for the life of me can't find it, so instead, I've been relying on Kent Owen Sprecher's excellent website Toy Soldier HQ (see the link on the sidebar to the right) which utilizes Geppert's numbering system.

I've decided to post two sculpts with different numbers today. The series numbering kicks off with MP115 but it made sense to also cover MP132 because they don't really lend themselves well to my standard 12-pics per figure coverage so lumping them together in one post works better for me.  On Kent's site these two are actually covered in the section on American Civil War figures and accessories, and that's an indication of how MPC cross-utilized these figures for different eras and I have in fact shown these seated on one of MPC's Old West Covered Wagon (Prairie Schooner) Apparently there were three variations of the seated figure: slot butt, peg butt, and normal butt. I don't have any normal butt guys so will only cover the other two. While most toy maker's were content to just make regular figures, MPC probably figured kids would have more fun if the GI's didn't always fall out of their vehicles and so designed two variations of attachment. The Peg Butt is 2 1/4" (5.71cm) H and the slot butt is 2 3/8" (6.03cm) H. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

(L) MP132 Peg Butt (R) MP115 Slot Butt
In this picture the peg butt looks larger but when you're holding the two side-by-side IRL you can see the difference

You'll notice the small MPC Jeep has accommodations for two peg butt figures while the larger Jeep only has a tab on one seat to accommodate a slot butt. That being said, because the slot butt doesn't have any protrusions another like figure can easily sit in the other seat - but he better hold on for dear life LOL

Friday, December 28, 2018

MPC Sandbag Emplacement and Barbed Wire Fence

I s'pose military playsets wouldn't be complete without some kind of sandbag emplacement or berm or whatever to hide cannon and troops behind. MPC's version is a bit thin and weak design wise but serves the purpose well enough. The sandbag walls are designed to allow their shooting cannon to hide behind and of course will work well enough with any of their firing ring-hand figures. The sandbag emplacements measure 6 1/2" (16.51cm) L x 2" (5.08cm) H x 5/8" 91.58cm) D. As for the barbed wire fences, these are actually more substantial in size than Marx's and one could easily imagine a fenced compound using these. The barbed wire fences measure 5 1/8" (13.01cm) L x 2 1/4" (5.71cm) H. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

Monday, December 24, 2018

Feeling Hawkish

Bettina got a few good shots of that Hawk that's been calling this neck of the cactus home. I haven't seen it in person yet but she says it's quite large - way bigger than the Kestral's we've had hanging around here, about the size of the crows! Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

Sunday, December 23, 2018

MPC Army Tents

Because your Little Green Army Men need a place to huddle when it's raining, today we're featuring two Army tents which were a fairly common inclusion in MPC's range of Little Green Army Man playsets. Both of them consist of a tent top with simulated rolled up sides, and four ribbed poles (which are often times missing). In point of fact, MPC made a third tent, a First Aid tent, that is not as common as the other two and won't be presented here for a while (there's a method to my madness in this most recent series of MPC Army toys so bear with me). One of the tents is plain while the other is marked "HQ 351st INFANTRY" on one roof panel. These also came in other colors and markings for inclusion in MPC American Civil War playsets, but right now we're featuring modern era military toys. The tents measure 5 1/2" (13.97cm) L x 4 5/8" (11.74cm) W x 3 1/2" (8.89cm) H. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

Thursday, December 20, 2018

MPC Shooting Cannon

No grouping of Little Green Army men is complete without a cannon. MPC essentially made two versions for their playsets both utilizing the same barrel and breach casting. Their spoked wheel version was normally reserved for American Civil War and Western playsets, while the heavy tired version was reserved for the modern military sets. But not always. I have an MPC set from, I believe, the early '80s which shows the spiked wheel cannon in a mix of modern military on the box top photo and the spoked wheel cannon is included in the set. Light blue, dark blue, metallic blue, and olive drab are known colors for the piece but there may be more out there I'm not familiar with. On the hobby forums there was some discussion as to what type of ammo came with these. Some guys recalled ball shot, while I remembered shells. Turns out both are correct. Over the years we had all forgotten that both types of shot were included on the same sprue as shown in the photo. The cannon was a breech loader and the breech could be locked in the open position. By lifting up a tad on the rear of the breech, the shells were fired through the use of a spring under neath the mechanism which connected the breech to a bar assembly which sits just below the breech (last photo). The cannon measures 6" 15.24cm) L x 3 1/2" (8.89cm) W x 1 7/8" (4.76cm) H. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

Breech closed

Breech locked in open position

The spring which connects the breech and bar assembly