Saturday, March 14, 2015

Toy Soldier Saturday: The Return of the Pirates of the MPC

Am I brain dead after day two of Left Coast Crime? You bet your ass I am. So here's another recycled post. It's a pretty good one, though.

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 MPC ringhands HERE.


Oscar Case said...

These figures and accessories have a lot of details besides being very colorful.

Cap'n Bob said...

If it's the guy I'm looking at he has a belaying pin. I'm not a fan of the ringhands but the pirates were onew of the better sets, as you say.

Evan Lewis said...

You are most assuredly correct, Cap'n, sir. That is a belaying pin. Looks like someone suffered a brain fart.

Cap'n Bob said...

Now if I could only spell one without a w at the end.

Anonymous said...

The cat-o-nine tails was also the source of the saying, "room to sling (or swing) a cat."