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I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Highlander Toy And Miniature Military Hobbies Incorporated

4766 North West 2nd Court,
Boca Raton,
Florida 33431,
USA

Agent
Reynolds & Marchbanks, 301 West Canino Gardens Boulevard, Boca Raton, Florida 33432, USA

Company Identification Number: 404322
FEI/EIN Number: 501510721

W (Willard). A. Cook - Company President/Director, Harry A. Sorenson - Vice President/Director, William J. Little - Vice President/Director, Meier William - Director/Secretary, Anthony Nordone - Director. Little and Sorenson were also involved in another company with a similar name; Highlander Enterprises of Broward, Incorporated, which is probably connected, there is nothing else on this company or its products at present.

Timeline
1972 - Domestic 'for profit business' incorporated on Wednesday, 5th July
1976 - Name change amendment filed 23rd August
1976 - Toy production started in North Carolina
1978 - Re-incorporated
1979 - Last report filed: 27th September
1980 - Involuntarily dissolved 8th December

1" to 50" scale (approximately 1:48th scale) polystyrene kits, assembled vehicles and figures, set in/based on Vietnam and the green berets, probably launched at completely the wrong time, anti-Vietnam sentiment and the Star Wars phenomenon killing the range/idea at birth.

The agents appear to have become the Highlander company with the name change in '76 but this is not clear, they (the agents) are still - apparently - extant, as a law firm; eMail's from the author generated no replies.

The range seems to have remained a small 'market-entry' line, with up to six items available as finished ready-to-play toys and as undecorated kits (for a catalogue listing of 12), but as one of them was a combination of two others, and excluding the individual figures there may only have been four items: a US tank and SPG, a WWII German A/T gun and the .50Cal machine-gun vignette.

A forum comment somewhere else on the 'web talks of sets of 10 unpainted British soldiers of WWII being cleared with the painted Pak-40 cards at a flea-market somewhere in Florida, I suspect this is just mistaking the green berets for something more British-looking, the beret being a - relatively - new style of headgear for the Americans when the Special Forces started using it in South-East Asia?


1 Highlander Toy and Military Miniatures Inc., Made In USA, Plastic Toy Soldiers, Green Berets, Vietnam War, Boca Raton Florida ToysAug-015 AFV's, Boca Raton Florida, Green Berets, Highlander Toy and Military Miniatures Inc., Made In USA, Modern Infantry, Plastic Toy Soldiers, Plastic Toy AFV, Small Scale World, smallscaleworld.blogspot.com, SPG Model, SPG Toy, US Plastic Soldiers, US Special Forces, Vietnam War, Press Cutting, Sun-Sentinel, Newspaper Clipping, Thursday, September 23rd, 1976

From the Sun-Sentinel newspaper, Thursday, September 23rd, 1976 edition, we have an interesting editorial 'puff-piece' (with a bloody-odd title!) on what is clearly still a new company with big ideas; very big ideas if they thought they were going to sell a million units in six months!

Text reads;-

" Within six months there will be a million more guns, soldiers and tanks in America.

A cause for rejoicing? It is for Willard Cook of Boca Raton, president of Highlander Toy and Miniature Military Hobbies Inc., a new toy manufacturing company which specializes in military miniatures.

The Highlander line, currently in production in South Carolina, includes such items for 5 to 12 year olds as U.S. Main Order of Battle Tank M60-AZ, the U.S. 50-Cal. heavy machine gun and crew, green beret soldiers, foxhole machine gunners and self-propelled artillery. A
similar line featuring Russian equipment is on the
drawing board.

"War has been a plaything of mankind ever since cavemen started banding together. Acts of aggression and defense “are innate parts of humanity. They’re basic to all members of the animal kingdom" observed Cook.

"As long as we have military establishments we're going to have little boys playing with soldiers and as long as we do, we’re going to give them the best quality toys to play with."

For the 49-year-old marketing consultant and son of a professional naval officer and Navy nurse, the company is the fulfillment of a lifelong ambition.

His miniatures, he claims, are realistically scaled and are the result of working closely with the United States Army and talking with thousands of children in an extensive and expensive market analysis.

He adds that statistics show an average of $80 per year is spent on each American child for toys.

Noting that the Vietnam War caused some disenchantment with military toys and other "toys of violence," Cook, the father of two, belives [sic] that most parents underestimate their children.

"Most parents have no idea what their kids play with. If parents won`t buy guns then little boys will go out and pick up sticks and pretend they’re guns. Or; else they’ll play with their friends guns." "

It's also interesting to find that there were plans for a Russian range to combat what seems to have ended-up as a one sided, all-American range with a distinct Vietnam-war feel? I may have the missing section (page 4C) somewhere, but don't recall it turning up.

2 Highlander Toy and Military Miniatures Inc., Made In USA, Plastic Toy Soldiers, Green Berets, Vietnam War, Boca Raton Florida ToysAug-016 AFV's, Boca Raton Florida, Green Berets, Highlander Toy and Military Miniatures Inc., Made In USA, Modern Infantry, Plastic Toy Soldiers, Plastic Toy AFV, Small Scale World, smallscaleworld.blogspot.com, SPG Model, SPG Toy, US Plastic Soldiers, US Special Forces, Vietnam War, Press Cutting, Sun-Sentinel, Newspaper Clipping, Thursday, September 23rd, 1976
Obviously the example in my collection (follow link to Home Blog articles; below) is an 8" howitzer (200mm), but they seem to have produced (or had plans to produce) a version with an extension-piece to provide a self-propelled 155mm 'Long Tom'?

Listing
Known
(painted)
HT-104 - US M110 8" Self Propelled Howitzer
HT-105 - German Pak-40 Anti-tank Gun
HT-106 - US 50 Calibre Heavy Machine Gun & Crew
HT-107A - ?
HT-107B - Advancing-Machinegunners (1 ethnically black soldier, 3 white)
HT-107C - Standing Firing M16(1 ethnically black soldier, 3 white)
HT-107D - ?
HT-107E - Prone-Machinegunners (1 ethnically black soldier, 3 white)
HT-107F - ?
HT-108 - ?
HT-109 - Tank Combo Pack (M60A2 'Satrship' Patton tank, 9 standing, 3 kneeling, 2 prone soldiers, painted;  non-white ethnicity; 5 out of 14)
HT-? - Pak-40 and 50-cal. + figure

Known (unpainted)
HT-206 - US 50 Calibre Heavy Machine Gun & Crew (as a kit)

Other
? - Commercial Catalogue (3 pages, 1978)

Assumed / Suspected
HT-204 - US M110 8" Self Propelled Howitzer (unpainted kit?)
HT-205 - German Pak-40 Anti-tank Gun (unpainted kit?)
HT-? - US Figures (10 per pack? Painted?)
HT-? - US Figures (10 per pack? Unpainted?)
HT-? - Patton Tank (unpainted kit?)
HT-? - Pak-40 and 50-cal. + figure (unpainted kit?)
Unlikely to Have Existed
HT-? - WWII British Figures (? 10 per pack, painted? probably the US figures, definitely 10 per pack)
HT-? - WWII British Figures (? 10 per pack, unpainted? probably the US figures, definitely 10 per pack)

They Say
"Build Profits While Your Customers "build Battlefields" with Highlander" - The tag-line on the trade catalogue.

Other People Say
Quite nice, if a slightly quirky group of very playable toys, suffering only from uncommon scale and subject matter - This author.

Links
Highlander on the Home Blog

Thanks To / Contributors:
Anthony C Dollard (additions to figure list)
Bobbi Kukal (HT-109)

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for your interesting and informative blog. I have enjoyed reading it and appreciate the work you have put into it. Here is some relevant information for you to review .
    Toy Machine Guns

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have a fairly large collection of these toys including that long gun 155 howitzer and an M60 Tank NOT the one found HT-109

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sorry I meant the M107 175 mm

    ReplyDelete
  4. Email me the details jason (and a shot?) and I'll stick it up here, there are still numbers missing and lots of question marks!

    H
    (maveickatlarge[at-sign]hotmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sorry - should have been Jason with a capital!

    H

    ReplyDelete