I'm very pleased to welcome Kent Sprecher as a guest on the TimMeeUSA.com blog. Kent is the owner and proprietor of Toy Soldier HQ, and one of the most knowledgeable people around when it comes to plastic toy figures. Kent's written articles for Playset Magazine, and even visited the Processed Plastic factory and its' archives before it closed. His site is a mix of information along with vintage and current production available for purchase. - Jeff at VictoryBuy Inc. & TimMeeUSA.com
FROM PAST TO PRESENT - THE CASE OF THE AWOL AIRMEN
Tim-Mee Toys was started about 1948 by the Anchor Brush company to utilize the manufacturing equipment when not needed to make brushes and combs. Figures from the American Wild West and WW II were very popular and Tim-Mee Toys made a number of molds for both themes including a mold that made United States Air Force personnel in 12 poses. They were made in Tim-Mee’s standard 3 Inch size molded in an aqua blue color. In 1964 Processed Plastic who made mainly toy cars planes and other vehicles took over Tim-Mee and continued to use the Tim-mee Toys name. In 1965 they made the Air Force figures in tan as US Marines in a special Army, Navy & Marines large header card set. Later in the 1970s they made brief runs of the Air Force figures in bright red and light gray. For years I dealt with frustrated customers who were trying to complete collections of all the poses in all the colors but could never find the man looking up with the binoculars or the man holding the rocket/bomb in any of the later colors.
Coming to the present, VictoryBuy is now selling reissue header card bags of the Air Force figures and has solved the case of the AWOL airmen. It turns out that when Processed Plastic took over Tim-Mee they made a new mold of the Air force figures. The new figures are slightly thinner with smaller bases which would use less plastic in the manufacturing process.
For collectors the important detail is that although the new mold has 13 cavities only ten of the original twelve poses were copied omitting both the binocular and holding rocket poses. It is interesting that this was done as the mold contains two each of the two pilots and man with fire extinguisher. This means you will never find the two omitted poses in 1960s/70s tan, red or gray colors.
The original Tim-Mee Air Force mold was probably shipped to Mexico and is likely gone forever. Fortunately for collectors VictoryBuy is running the later mold and ten poses is certainly better than none. Made in the USA, Toy Soldier HQ recommends you add these figures to your collection. They are now available in new colors of light tan and olive green.
- Kent Sprecher, Toy Soldier HQ