Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hand Crafted RIAF Toy figures - Shamus Wade

Normally I would go after any curio sold on ebay that has some connection to the Indian Air Force. Imagine my surprise when an item was listed - titled "Nostalgia / Ookjah Privy by Shamus Wade - Indian Air Force" was listed by an ebay seller hobo2150.

Description given as follows:

INDIAN AIR FORCE PERSONNEL - from the companion range "Oojah cum Pivy"
5 Figures beautifully hand painted
2 x Pilots
3 x Ground crew
A great set for your collection very unusual subject and very scarce dating from 1984/5
A set of figures modelled from a photograph of Indian Airforce personnel and intended to be grouped around an aircraft which some of the figures are posed leaning against. Comes with an explanatory biography sheet of each of the figure represensted and is still in Shamus Wade's original packing box (these sets came without a presentation/disply box. Some figures have very minor paint chips from storage, but have never ben displayed so their colours are still bright and

The five "Indian Air Force" figurines , it turns out were based on a famous Second World War photograph of a Vengeance Crew from No.7 Squadron No.8 Squadron. The photograph (reproduced below from "The Eagle Strikes" shows Flt Lt Haveli Shah Chopra (one of the RAF 24) and his Gunner Fg Offr P J Chandran leaning against a Vengeance. They are flanked by three airmen/ground crew Zahir-ud-din, Mathews and Veliram. Shamus Wade took this photograph and modelled their figurines .

Anyways - If I had any thoughts of grabbing this set, I may well have not bothered. When bidding ended on 17th October 2010, the figurines sold for US $125! - five toy figurines - for 125 bucks!..four bidders got into a bidding war ... I must have missed the memo somewhere.

Turns out that Shamus Wade (Company?) was quite famous for its toy soldier figures. Focussing on obscure and exotic subjects - the range of figurines have a strong following. There was no way that I get it as to why they went for such an astronomical figure. With passionate collectors out there I dont think I will even bother the next time.

Update:2 Jan 2011: Towards the last week of December, another set came up on sale on Ebay. The Seller from UK was rather too smart - he broke up the set and sold them individually - piece by piece.. and the bidding went upto 83.12 GBP for the five figures (plus postage)!. Thats $129.80.. beating the previous auction by $4!