Apologies for the mega-post!
I have been chewing over the whole legs stance and arm stance issue created by the new Red Shadow Variant viewtopic.php?f=5&t=14266
and in particular the possible variant repercussions for we collectors.
Ignore the arms for a second, I’ll get to them.
There are open legs and there are closed legs, and it seems that many figures come in both types. This has been discussed elsewhere viewtopic.php?f=5&t=14151&start=10
Specifically, the legs that have open and closed legs versions seem to be:
A) Those with side packs and short boots
B) The Red Shadow type with Jackboots.
So, then, the figures potentially or actually affected are:
2 Para; British Marine; Commando; SAS Commando; SAS Stakeout; Z Force Captain; Z Force Infantryman; Z Force Minesweeper (Type 2); Z Force Radio Operator; Z Force Sapper; Z Force Wheels
German Stormtrooper; Baron Ironblood (Types 1 & 2); Red Shadow; Red Vulture; Space Force Commander; Space Force Moondancer; Space Force Pilot
There are examples of most of these figures in both Open and Closed leg versions – pictures will follow.
The logical explanation for this is there are at least two moulds creating the legs, either within the same factory or at different factories.
I have done my best to look and see if there are any other features that may go hand in hand with either open or closed legs, but cannot identify any at all. I honestly think that the leg issue is the luck of the draw.
Quickfire raises a really good point in that there must have been some kind of ‘batch’ approach in order that figures ended up with either open or closed legs, and not a combination of both. Or, it may simply be a case of 2 factories producing the figures – Factory A produces open legs, Factory B produces closed legs. It would be nice if there were some other features that go with them that we can say belong to either factory, but no luck so far.
Now, do we consider an open leg Series 1 Marine different from a closed leg Series 1 Marine?
Are they variants?
Does anyone care except me?
These are questions that each of you must ask yourselves.
For my own part I would consider them different, as they are the product of different moulds, and therefore I would consider them to be variants.
Now, the arms…
The Red Shadow is the only figure I can confidently identify as having both a 70 degree and a 90 degree version of their arm. Other figures, such as those above, vary a little, but this seems to be a product more of body shape and gluing technique than different arm moulds as such.
Frustrated, I took a closer look.
The Red Shadow arm is unique… almost. It is shared with only the German Stormtrooper. Although they all look the same, all the others have a cuff – the Red Shadow/Stormtrooper doesn’t.
This is why it is difficult to identify other 90/70 degree arms – there are no 70/90 degree arms in other figure, and they are all more or less 90 degrees, because they are different arm types from the Red Shadow/Stormtrooper type.
And so far, I have not identified any Stormtroopers with 70 degree arms, they are all (as far as I can tell) 90 degree.
This is important, as it allows us to put in another Phase in the history of Palitoy production.
Tentative chronology then (until proven wrong!)
1) Type 1 - The 3 O’Clock (90 Degree) Shadow (Phase 2A)
2) Type 2 - The 2 O’Clock (70 Degree) Shadow (Phase 2A)
3) Type 3 - The Doofus Shadow (Phase 2B)
Obviously, by the time the Doofus Shadow comes into production, it is likely that all three are being manufactured, as all three moulds, or copies thereof, are being employed.
Of course, this means that there may be Open and Closed leg versions of Types 1 and 2 Shadows, or it may hold that the Open and Closed legs are exclusive to the Types 1 and 2 arms respectively.
Apologies once again for the long post, and I realise this is of limited interest to most of you…
Action Force, Red Shadows, SAS, Z Force, Q Force, Space Force... we love them all!
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