Bulette & Rust Monster plastic toys
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Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:35 pm 
 

Wondering if anyone cares to speculate on the value of these minis.  Pictures are of the actual minis that I have, so you can take that into account for condition.

Rust Monster:
Image

Plastic Bulette:
Image

Rubber Bulette:
Image


The bulettes are mine. The rust monster belongs to a co-worker who is interested in selling it to me, but I've got NO idea what to offer...

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:41 pm 
 

I like the rubber one :lol:


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:05 pm 
 

It bounces. A cool stress ball.


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:15 pm 
 

Wasn't Frank looking for a Bulette for himself?

  

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:22 pm 
 

I don't imagine they are worth a whole lot. At least, I would not pay much for them.


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:32 pm 
 

serleran wrote:I don't imagine they are worth a whole lot. At least, I would not pay much for them.


They were available for years (well into the '80s, if not well into the '90s), so I can't imagine they're worth much either.


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:01 pm 
 

g026r wrote:

They were available for years (well into the '80s, if not well into the '90s), so I can't imagine they're worth much either.




Available, She-male able.  I know I dont' see them often, if at all. Most were probably well played with then tossed.  I think you might be surprised what they would bring in a properly advertised and hyped auction on ebay.



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Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:18 pm 
 

The bulettes at least are still available from school supplies catalogs/suppliers; I haven't checked into the rust monsters (nor the owlbears, which I've read @ http://www.thiel-a-vision.com/?p=327 were also part of the same sets/available in the same time periods:  is anyone able to confirm/deny??).


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:03 pm 
 

I remember getting a bag of these plastic animals for Xmas in '82-I would LOVE to get my hands on a sealed bag of these again...They would go perfect with my Pac-man Blanket and stuffed Pac-man doll (which I still have!)


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:11 pm 
 

grodog wrote:The bulettes at least are still available from school supplies catalogs/suppliers; I haven't checked into the rust monsters (nor the owlbears, which I've read @ http://www.thiel-a-vision.com/?p=327 were also part of the same sets/available in the same time periods:  is anyone able to confirm/deny??).


I had the bulette (colored gray, though, and maybe a slightly different sculpt than those pictured above) and the rust monster (identical), but do not recall an owlbear at all. I used to keep these mixed in with my Britains plastic animals, which I've since passed on to my boys, but they're not there anymore... I'm going to have to do a thorough search of my 'rents' house when I go there next.

When I got them originally (around '81 I guess) I was annoyed with the Chinese toy company for ripping off TSR's monster ideas. LOL! Just goes to show how D&D-centric my worldview was at the time :).

  

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:45 pm 
 

grodog wrote:The bulettes at least are still available from school supplies catalogs/suppliers.


Really? Anybody know which suppliers? I would totally buy one just to show my players!

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:26 pm 
 

I used to know someone who had the bulette and rust monster before I even heard of D&D (this would be about '78 or before). Don't recall seeing an owlbear, though.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:56 pm 
 

The owlbear hasn't rung a bell with anyone else I've asked about it either; I'm guessing at this point that the site I linked to was simply wrong.

re: school supplies supplier:  I'm looking into it.


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:59 pm 
 

I'm guessing if it's true that this supplier will be getting a few orders shortly...


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:10 pm 
 

TheMilford wrote:I'm guessing if it's true that this supplier will be getting a few orders shortly...


yeah.........and wondering "WTF?!" :D


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:09 am 
 

These plastic figures are very common. Back in the 70s they came in a drugstore set that was a mix of weird creatures plus a few standard yet tiny dinosaurs (brontosaurus, dimetrodon, stegosaurus, IIRC). I still have a few original creatures from these sets, paint-stripped from years in the sand. Later I occasionally spotted them at thrift stores & there is almost always an Ebay auction to be found with one of them. Paint color and even sculpt quality/excess plastic flashing seems to vary quite a bit.



I found this auction with a few minutes of searching. It has the rust monster (upper left). Min bid is too high, though.


** expired eBay auction **




IIRC, the green-yellow dimetrodon and the oddity below him (which we used to call "hammerhead" due to his squashed appearance) came in the same set. The key is to search large lots of mixed plastic dinosaurs. People selling these on Ebay have no clue what they are, and since they came with a few regular dinosaurs, they get lumped together with them. They differ from a lot of earlier/contemporary dinosaurs in that they are painted (albeit sloppily). I think at least one that I have is stamped Hong Kong on the bottom.



What's unfortunate is that the other cool weird creatures from the same set never made it into D&D. I'll try to post some pics of these when I get a chance.

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:38 am 
 

BTW: maybe I messed something... How did this happen?


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:47 am 
 

I've been collecting these (and other "Fantasy Toy Soldiers" and knights of various lines) for many years.

As Zenopus76 says, they were sold in bagged and boxed Dinosaur sets from Hong Kong starting in the early 70s through the mid 1980s (most marked MADE IN HONG KONG, some not marked).  Many of the figures were available in "dime store" format at toy stores during that time as well (e.g. you could buy them individually).  Later (late 1980s to late 1990s), the figures (obviously from the same dies) were being produced by Chinese toy companies (marked CHINA or unmarked).  One Company was selling a "Dinosaurs and Monsters" set with some of the "monsters" and dinosaurs from the older sets, as well as knock-offs of MPC cavemen, as recently as the early 2000s - I've seen them in drugstores in boxed sets produced by ToyMajor (http://www.toymajor.net/).  Sometimes you can find them in Chinese-made sets sold in "Dollar" type stores.

As others have stated, there are variations to the quality of the paint jobs.  Earlier Hong Kong versions are usually well painted (for Hong Kong plastic toys!!), later Hong Kong and most of the China versions have poorer paint jobs (eyes overpainted, missing paint, etc . . ).

The earlier models are hard plastic.  The softer plastic ones and rubberized ones are usually later (Chinese) models.

The actual dinosaurs in the sets were Hong Kong knock-offs of older Marx and MPC plastic dinosaurs.

There must have been several dies as each of the dinosaurs and "monsters" came in various sizes - I have Bulettes that are not much larger than an inch and a half, and some that are almost 2.5" - some of the actual dinosaurs in the sets had even larger size ranges - the Allosaur comes in a 2.5" size and I have seen them as large as 4".

The "Monsters" in the sets seem to be knock-offs of other Asian toys - many of them somewhat resembling Japanese Kaiju figures (the Bulette itself is very evocative of some Kaiju designs).

I've created a web page with some pictures of some of the figures from my collection.  Along with the Bulette and the Rust Monster, there are figures that resemble the AD&D Salamander, Owlbear, Su-Monster, and Umber Hulk.  Others that are slightly like the Troglodyte and maybe some of the dragons/dragonne.  And there is one Oriental Dragon design that is identical to a dragon from a large, hard-rubber toy line later (or at the same time) released by Imperial Toys.  

http://www.bhkwt.com/open/acaeum

For sale value - if they are in lots with other Fantasy Toy Soldier figures
(Arco, Marx, MPC, DFC, Multi-Toy, etc . . . ) or auctioned/sold individually (and "search-ably" identified for what they are), they sell for more than other dinosaur figures of the same period.  But usually they are found in mixed lots of older and modern dinosaur figures (or in bulk with other toy soldiers/toys) and then they don't sell for a lot.  Many of them (the Rust Monster and Umber Hulk especially) have antennae and parts that are prone to breaking - so you often see very beat up ones for sale.

Grodog - Thanks for that link - I'd seen it before but had lost the link, and
have been looking for it ever since!  It backs up what I've always thought: Given the fact that the designs we are discussing were being produced as plastic figures in the early 1970s, and would seem to pre-date many of the fantasy role playing publications in which they appear, I have always assumed that the concept for the Rust Monster and Bulette (and maybe some of the others) came FROM the figures and was used BY early role players and then TSR, and not the other way around (I think many assume the Hong Kong figures were "borrowed" from the
pictures in the Monster Manual, et al, and not the other way around).  But there are definitely others here who may know more about that, or can shed further light . . .

[Note - there were Hong Kong made figures, specifically made by DFC (later Multi-Toy), that were EXACT copies of drawings of AD&D Orcs and Nagas - and later models produced had no faces - many Fantasy Toy Soldier collectors assume this was because of a threat of a copyright lawsuit by TSR - but I've never seen proof of that (other than that DFC/Multi-Toy altered the figures to make them less identifiable as knock-offs of the drawings from the Monster Manual).  There were also ARCO knock-offs of older Heritage miniature designs.  I have pictures of
some of these items as well if anyone is interested].

I've learned a lot from members here over the years - I hope this post helps pass on some of my own knowledge!


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:00 am 
 

b-36 wrote: It backs up what I've always thought: Given the fact that the designs we are discussing were being produced as plastic figures in the early 1970s, and would seem to pre-date many of the fantasy role playing publications in which they appear, I have always assumed that the concept for the Rust Monster and Bulette (and maybe some of the others) came FROM the figures and was used BY early role players and then TSR, and not the other way around (I think many assume the Hong Kong figures were "borrowed" from the
pictures in the Monster Manual, et al, and not the other way around).  But there are definitely others here who may know more about that, or can shed further light . . .


I'll ping Tim Kask....these would appear to be the "inspiration" for many a classic MM beastie, and Tim has been desperately looking for one of these Bulette figures for awhile. Tim has told the story many times about being given these figures (by Gary?) and making them into D&D monsters...

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:14 pm 
 

I updated the page at the link above (http://www.bhkwt.com/open/acaeum) to add some pictures and information on later Hong Kong and China plastic Fantasy Toy Soldiers that were DIRECTLY taken from TSR/AD&D monsters (drawings in the Monster Manual type hardcovers or taken from older Heritage/TSR/Grenadier lead mini designs).

I'm mailing two plastic bulettes (one small, one larger) to Tim Kask tomorrow - and I'm searching for the thread/threads where he may have discussed basing monsters on these figures.  Good stuff!!


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