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accessory set - Buccaneer Captain Disguise Pack
  • Buccaneer Captain Disguise Pack
    Lesney Products & Co Ltd
  • Enlarge image

Buccaneer Captain Disguise Pack

  • Object:

    accessory set

  • Place of origin:

    Hong Kong (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1975 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Lesney Products & Co Ltd (manufacturers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed card; plastic; polyester; PVC

  • Museum number:

    B.638-2016

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

‘Fighting Furies’ were produced by Lesney under their Matchbox brand during the mid-1970s. Originally pirate toys, they later included American Wild West accessories and characters. The toys are very much in the tradition of the adventure stories that were popular with young people since the 19th century, although ‘Fighting Furies’ are particularly reminiscent of 1930s and 1950s ‘swashbuckler’ films.

The pirates, Captain Peg-Leg and Hook, bear many standard characteristics associated with fictional pirates: prostheses, cutlasses, tattoos and romantic outfits. Their characters were originally supposed to have been rivals who later joined forces, embarking on a range of themed exploits described by the Adventure, Disguise and Action Pack accessory sets which were available for them.

Physical description

Accessory set for Fighting Furies action figures, consisting of a number of accessories attached to a printed card back with a transparent plastic blister. The accessories consist of: a white polyester cravat; a blue polyester coat with silver trim; a black PVC tricorn hat with yellow painted piping; a pair of white breeches; a pair of black PVC boots.

Place of Origin

Hong Kong (manufactured)

Date

1975 (manufactured)

Artist/maker

Lesney Products & Co Ltd (manufacturers)

Materials and Techniques

Printed card; plastic; polyester; PVC

Dimensions

Length: 26.7 cm, Width: 21.6 cm

Object history note

Purchased in 2016 [2017/168].

Historical context note

Romantic, exciting and frightening stories about pirates and buccaneers have been told for centuries, with pirates alternately filling the role of dashing heroes, ambiguous anti-heroes and outright villains. The general twentieth century depiction of pirates and their activities was primarily descended from two fictional characters: the cunning, likeable and morally suspect Long John Silver from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (1882); and the highly-strung and flamboyant Captain James Hook from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan (1904). Silver’s appearance and personality was based on accounts of historic pirates from the historic ‘Golden Age’, formidable, charismatic and driven; Hook was a more comedic confection, concerned more with looking the part of a pirate than with committing actual piracies. From these we were given the caricatures of buried treasure on remote islands, prosthetic limbs and talking parrots, among other things. Pirates remained consistently popular throughout the century, peaking particularly in the 1930s and 1950s.

Lesney Products & Co Ltd are best known for their range of die-cast toy vehicles marketed under the ‘Matchbox’ trade name. It was founded in 1947 as an industrial die-casting company by Leslie Smith (1918-2005) and Rodney Smith (1917-2013), the company’s name was derived from their given names. Lesney’s first toy car was made from 1948, and their first toys produced under the ‘Matchbox’ brand were available from 1953. As well as toy cars, action figures, slot cars and scale model soldiers were also produced by Lesney as ‘Matchbox’ toys.

Descriptive line

Carded accessory set, 'Fighting Furies' (Buccaneer Captain), Matchbox/Lesney Products, 1975

Materials

Paper; PVC; Polyester

Techniques

Printing

Subjects depicted

Coats; Cravats; Hats; Breeches

Categories

Dolls & Toys; Plastic

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Museum of Childhood

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