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Low-Grade Clones

A hallmark of modern plastic soldiers is the cheap clone. We have gotten used to cheap clones of Airfix and Matchbox figures.  However, some clones make us wonder just how cheap is cheap.  An example is a big bagged set of soldiers in four colors, all in various degrees of crudeness.  Apparently, they were cast of leftover plastic and in molds that were about to be retired.  The current trend in Chinese molds have a very short life, unlike the older molds made in the USA.  You can see that figure quality deteriorates as the mold literally wears out.  Our example is a bunch of cloned Paratroopers that is crude and brittle.  (For comparison ,we placed them alongside decent 65mm and 6" figures.)

In this hobby, there are clones and clones of clones, copies and recasts galore.  Most are mediocre, a few remarkably nice, and some are just plain poor.  Clones are common because new figures are scarce.  The few companies who design new figures tend to sell only to the hobby market.  You will not find them on the shelves of toy, department or discount stores. Average copies and clones of better-known figures account for most of the things found on store shelves.  Here we see the below-average types.

Samples of all the figures included in the set.

For size comparison ,we have placed good 6" and 65mm figures alongside.

These troops are clones of British paratroopers, about 50mm tall

These are clones of Airfix German infantry, about 40 to 45mm tall

Grayish clones of Paratroopers

Olive drab clones - these were brittle and some of the firing riflemen were broke or mis-molded.

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