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 Britains plastic crocodile colour variants

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DaveScriv



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PostSubject: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:42 pm

None seen for over 50 years, and then two turn up in a week!

Apparently these two colour variants of the Britains plastic 'young crocodile' I've recently bought are mega rare. I've told Barney Brown (author of reference book on Britains plastic zoo), and he's told Peter Cole (another uber Britains expert and reference book author), and neither of them have encountered these before.
Photos show normal olive green plastic version for comparison, first buff plastic one painted brown I found at a toy fair in a box of assorted plastic zoo, for £1, second, a brown plastic one, which cost rather more on eBay. Brown croc photos are from eBay page, as this one hasn't arrived yet - only posted today as seller had to attend to a death in his family. 2nd photo of each shows engraved Britains Ltd underneath.

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Roger
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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:03 pm

Surely very rare, when experts that studied the collection in its every single detail were not able of encountering it, everything is explained. Very Happy
It also shows that we should never loose our hope of finding something rare. Very Happy
Thanks for pictures, they can serve as reference to other collectors and I love crocodiles anyway. Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:17 pm

Interesting :)

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DaveScriv



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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:45 pm

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It also  shows that we should never loose our hope of finding something rare. Very Happy

Exactly so. When I first saw the buff croc in the box of assorted animals at the toy fair I thought it was a Hong Kong copy, but quickly decided to check it anyway, and saw it was Britains. Luckily for me I did! There were two other Britains collectors at the stall at the time, one of which I've got to know quite well as we nearly always meet up at the many toy fairs, antique fairs and flea markets held on the local agricultural showground. Needless to say, I didn't tell him silent how rare it was until after I'd bought it. Laughing
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Kikimalou
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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:00 pm

Cruel you Laughing Laughing Laughing

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smallscaleworld

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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:54 pm

Barney should have the buff/cream one? I've seen one, only one...and I know Barney had a day looking through the collection that contained it! Never seen the brown one, they must be 'Friday Afternoon' jobs!

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DaveScriv



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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:18 pm

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Barney should have the buff/cream one? I've seen one, only one...and I know Barney had a day looking through the collection that contained it! Never seen the brown one, they must be 'Friday Afternoon' jobs!

I wondered if they were either (1) early test batches, before Britains settled on olive green as the one to go for, or (2) made for another brand, promotion, or something, or (3), as you suggest, a 'Friday afternoon job', when they needed to make some crocs, but had run out of olive green plastic.

Barney seems to have forgotten about seeing the one you both saw in the collection you saw.
Do you remember what, if anything, the owner of that collection said about it?
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Roger
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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:06 am

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Cruel you Laughing Laughing Laughing

Laughing Laughing Laughing Wink

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smallscaleworld

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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:26 am

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I wondered if they were either (1) early test batches, before Britains settled on olive green as the one to go for, or (2) made for another brand, promotion, or something, or (3), as you suggest, a 'Friday afternoon job', when they needed to make some crocs, but had run out of olive green plastic.

Barney seems to have forgotten about seeing the one you both saw in the collection you saw.
Do you remember what, if anything, the owner of that collection said about it?  

I have that Brown Khaki Infantryman on the KI page remember, not 'Enemy' but a standard paint job on cowboy brown!

Nothing was said about the croc, it was in a half a shed-full of stock, which Barney went through box by box, while I rushed around digging out the other bits...but there were two other collectors there over the weekend so maybe one of them had already spotted it!

H

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DaveScriv



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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:21 pm

Just arrived, an eBay mixed (cheap Very Happy ) lot of mostly plastic zoo.
It included another buff/cream plastic croc, this time the partial painting over its top was dark olive green, instead of the brown of the previous one above.

There was also a group of 4 unusual unpainted Britains/Herald plastic zoo animals, the adult Bactrian camel, baby Bactrian camel, baby rhino (this never had much paint anyway, but even very play worn examples have some of the light grey paint on its hooves surviving), and lastly a mega rare item, the walking polar bear in WHITE plastic, instead of the usual cream. I'm wondering if they were special batch for a promotion, and went out unpainted because they went into packets of something. scratch

Photos will follow.....eventually.

As before, I've sent an email to Barney Brown for his opinion, and am still awaiting his reply.

Some of the animals in this lot have gone into my sales/swaps box, so my stock of spare various UK vintage plastic zoo is replenished a bit if anyone is interested.
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Kikimalou
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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:28 pm

I'm curious to see some pics Dave Very Happy

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DaveScriv



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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:32 pm

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I'm curious to see some pics Dave Very Happy

I've taken them, but only have an old fashioned film camera, and still quite a lot to go on the film, so you'll have to wait.

And no, I don't have a mobile phone either. I had one many years ago, and hardly ever used it. I'm even less likely to ever use one now.
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DaveScriv



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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:31 am

I received an email reply from Barney Brown this morning, who says he "was not aware" of the Britains/Herald polar bear in white plastic, and guesses that it was either for a promo for another company or they simply ran out of the normal cream plastic one day, so did some in white plastic. So once again, we can assume that if Barney hadn't known about white bears, it must be a very rare item indeed. cheers

I'm a bit sceptical about this 2nd suggestion because (1) it is unpainted - and if a simple substitution for cream plastic shortage reasons I would expect it to be painted on eyes, nose and mouth as usual, and (2) in 1960, when this would have been made, I'm told Britains usually had big stocks of everything, and the zoo range was a big seller, so I doubt they would have had plastic shortage problems at that time, and (3) because this bear came with the unpainted camels and baby rhino, this suggests to me the promo theory is more likely. Other unpainted Britains/Herald items are known in farm, soldiers, wild west, etc.
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Roger
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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:32 am

Dave, thanks for sharing Barney Brown considerations and for telling your points of view. Very Happy
I see that in a short time you acquired some very misterious pieces and probably very rare. Very Happy

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DaveScriv



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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:41 am

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I see that in a short time you acquired some very misterious pieces and probably very rare. Very Happy

Yes, with all these zoo animals + the white plastic goat, I have done rather well over the past few months.
In addition to these, I've found a few rare old Herald Life Guards and Horse Guards soldiers too:
Some on the very rare and early standing (made of cellulose acetate plastic) horses.
Some Life Guards made of white plastic instead of the usual red.
Some Horse Guards made of a brighter blue than the usual very dark blue plastic.
All of these horses and guards date from about 1953-55, so 60 years old now, and from when Herald was an independent company owned by Myer Zang, before being bought by Britains ltd.

I put these successes down to two reasons:
(1) Luck.
(2) Positively keeping an eye out for unusual items - and checking them out closely. I suspect I may have encountered rarities before and missed them because I wasn't really looking properly, or if I did notice them at all, I may have dismissed them as HK copies.
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Roger
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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:35 am

Yes, with age we surely know much better what to search and what a figure is when we find it. All collectors of vintage plastic figures have the Hong Kong problem, they copied so much that sometimes only a trained eye can distinguish a variation or different release from a HK copy. I think your perseverance is a lesson to all of us. Collecting is a hobby for all of our life and it is never late to have good surprises. Congratulations! cheers

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WILLYBACOMAN

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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:58 am

So a rare gem then!
Strangely enough i can remember this brown one more or less from somewhere.
OMG, i have to check my own collection.
I know i have some colour-variations in this model, but most likely in the greens...
Strange that Britains called this model a young crocodile, or was that after they brought out the later model with moveable mouth?

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DaveScriv



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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:03 am

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So are rare gem then!
Strangely enough i can remember this brown one more or less from somewhere.
OMG, i have to check my own collection.
I know i have some colour-variations in this model, but most likely in the greens...
Strange that Britains called this model a young crocodile, or was that after they brought out the later model with moveable mouth?

Not really strange that they called it a 'young crocodile', because it was simply a plastic version of their previous lead young crocodile.
They never got round to producing the previous lead adult crocodile in plastic in the first few years of plastic zoo, 1960-63.
By the time they did do a plastic adult crocodile, they had clearly decided they could do something better than a simple plastic version of the old lead adult croc, sharper mould details and more play value (they were toys!), so did the new model with the opening mouth instead.
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WILLYBACOMAN

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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:56 am

Ah i forgot the old lead adult indeed...

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DaveScriv



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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:10 pm

I now have the photos:

First top view of the 2 cream plastic young crocs I now have, 1st I bought with brown paint, the new one with olive-green paint:

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and undersides of both:

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DaveScriv



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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:16 pm

Now on to the white plastic Polar bear, and unpainted others:

The bear with normal cream (several to show range of shades existing) walking PBs in various versions. 2 photos, in different lights, to be sure:

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And a close up of the white plastic PB with its nearest 1st plastic version equivalent:

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DaveScriv



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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:24 pm

Now the whole group of 4 unpainted Britains plastic zoo animals I bought:

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A close up of the unpainted adult camel with the normal painted version.
Even on badly play worn examples, there's always some paint surviving, so this one really must have been issued unpainted.

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And finally, comparison photo of the unpainted baby camel and the normal painted baby camel:

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I didn't bother to do a comparison photo of the baby rhino with a normal painted version, as they don't have much paint anyway, but even play worn examples have some mid grey paint surviving on their hooves.

That's all folks.
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WILLYBACOMAN

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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:21 am

Very interesting again.
I know that the so called one coloured models have several colour-variations.
I have at least 8 different ones from the adult brown bear, because the plastic mass in the moulds was different everytime, and sometimes a rest of the old mass was still in it, so that gave mixtures of both colours like "flamed" and so on.

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smallscaleworld

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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:30 am

Got your PM, was waiting for the photographs! If not premiums, I would suggest one of the many zoo's and wildlife parks that used to exist (a lot of which seem to have disappeared over the years?), as gift shop point-of-sale stuff, but why unpainted? Nice - mysterious - find!

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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:33 am

Thanks Dave for updating the topic with all these useful photographs! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:36 am

Thank you for the pics Dave. Very Happy

I saw several unpainted Starlux which was "escaped from the factory before painting" models in France. Couldn't it be the same thing here? Of course the white bear is really white scratch

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WILLYBACOMAN

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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:49 pm

I do not want to break into this tread, but i wanted to show my variation on the Britains brown bear that i have, model 1336.
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DaveScriv



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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:31 pm

The difference is, varying shades of brown are well known in #1336 (I have 5 distinctive variations in my collection, more in my swaps boxes), as are various shades of cream in Britains polar bears, but a white polar bear is very unusual indeed.

There are several other farm and zoo animals which are regularly found in common shades, the farm Suffolk mare to give an example, but some shades are extreme and unusual.
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WILLYBACOMAN

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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:00 am

Did you ment the 2108 model?

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DaveScriv



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PostSubject: Re: Britains plastic crocodile colour variants   Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:29 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Did you ment the 2108 model?

Yes.
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