Saturday, June 18, 2011
PIRATES of the M.P.C.!
In the late 50s and early 60s, the Multiple Plastics Corporation (known as MPC) produced 60mm soft plastic figures known as "ringhands" because their hands had holes to accommodate a variety of accessories. Each guy was about 2 5/8 inches tall. There were cowboys, Indians, frontiersmen, Civil War and Revolutionary War soldiers, African warriors, G.I.s, cops, firemen, space explorers, and probably others that are slipping my mind. My favorites were the pirates.
Each figure also had a hole in the base, to slip over a peg on certain larger accessories. For cowboys, these pegs were in wagons, for Indians they were in canoes. The pirates had ships!
Some of the accessories pictured here are the row boat and oars, shovel, anchor, sword and hat.
At the bow of the blue ship there's a plank, in case anyone needs to walk it, and a red lantern. (At the upper right is a Skyler Hobbs accessory. This is the actual Superman-blue PT Cruiser driven by Jason Wilder in the Hobbs stories.)
This peg-legged guy, no doubt inspired by Long John Silver, has a parrot on his shoulder. Near his right leg is a treasure chest.
I know it's hard to see, but the guy steering the red ship has a cat-o-nine tails. Nautical trivia: The cat, a short whip tipped with nine knotted strips of leather, was normally kept in a bag when not in use. When the time came to flay some unlucky transgressor, the cat came out. This was the origin of the saying - yep, you guessed it - "the cat's out of the bag."
This dangerous looking dude has a pick in his left fist. The yellow guy visible behind him is preparing to bop somebody with a boarding pike.
More ringhands coming soon!