Hi Woodsy, I'm not sure if you remember my last post, but I continue to get the most absurd joy from your blog!
As a model-maker inspired by Gerry Anderson, I've had the good fortune in my life to work on miniature effects for films like "Dark City" and props maker on Star Wars Episodes 2 and 3.
Now approaching the twilight of my professional career, I'm turning my increasing spare time and talents towards satisfying myself instead of rabid Art directors!
I hope you like the following, I couldn't wait to share this with you and hopefully your worldwide followers...
I had an acquaintance who a fanatical props collector. He had an original space helmet and laser gun from the 1965 "Lost in Space" TV series.
He would tantalise me with stories of a wooden box marked "For Mr. Kubrick" which he said contained a rubber miniature spaceman used in the Pod accident scene. I doubted the veracity of his claims, but even so, I wanted to believe it was really was real.
Somewhere out there, just beyond our sight, lurk the objects of our desire. They are real and tangible -even if only as figments of our imagination...
This brings me in a roundabout way to the secretive Arthur Bigge-Oakes, toy collector extraordinaire. Arthur's health is not good at the moment and maybe because of this, he has started to show me actual examples from his fabled "black collection".
He has hinted mysteriously for a while about a supposed tin toy Yellow Submarine, but until recently no concrete evidence of its existence has come to light. The following is a page from an obscure Gokken Publishing guide book "Nostalgia of Toys" which features the previously mythical toy from two angles.
Soon after Arthur spent a not inconsiderable sum on this book, an actual example turned up on the same Japanese Auction website.
Spending over $7,500 on a rusty toy that doesn't even work would seem insane to most people, but Arthur was insanely happy with that result. (being a retired Banking Industry super-annuant allows him a certain financial latitude!)
He also displayed a photo of the toy's actual discovery, in the dusty cellar of a house in Futei-no Prefecture where it had lain for almost fifty years.
When I asked him about the other toy boxes in the photo, he switched on his annoyingly familiar Bigge-Oakes ignorance. In fact, I suspect he may also either already have those toys too, or knows how to get them...
Here are pics of the actual toy. Sad that it is in such poor condition, but then I suspect it may have been played with in the bath!
I love the fact that whoever sculpted the Fab Four, it is obvious they were more used to working in the Japanese anime/chibi style...John is especially a hoot!
Anyway, keep producing your blog, it has a special place in my heart as I was a SpaceX boy!
I have more photos coming soon, which may amuse those tin-toy James Bond fans out there!
Lewis P Morley