Dolls?

Mythopoeika

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MorningAngel,

..Like humanoid robots are rather scary. Is it because they are like us but not?..

The uncanny valley effect.

Every time I see Jared Kushner on the tv I get this strange question. 'Is he really a human, or an android ?'.

Of course he is human, and probably a very nice guy. But he just has a strange unworldly look about him. His mannerisms also support this.

'Oh God, they're amongst us'
Where is my copy of Blade Runner, I need to bone up on this.

INT21
Yes!
He's straight out of the cast of Gattaca.
 

Lb8535

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MorningAngel,

..Like humanoid robots are rather scary. Is it because they are like us but not?..

The uncanny valley effect.

Every time I see Jared Kushner on the tv I get this strange question. 'Is he really a human, or an android ?'.

Of course he is human, and probably a very nice guy. But he just has a strange unworldly look about him. His mannerisms also support this.

'Oh God, they're amongst us'
Where is my copy of Blade Runner, I need to bone up on this.

INT21
Um, no, real estate operator and lousy landlord, demonstrably not a nice guy. But not a robot.
 

INT21

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Mythopoeika,

..He's straight out of the cast of Gattaca...

Great film. but it was months before it suddenly clicked why GATTACA was so named.

INT21
 

AgProv

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AgProv, I'm a military model fan myself.
Haven't done much in recent years, but I do occasionally visit the Figure World fair that is on every July in Oundle.
Most of my figures I did when I was a teenager, and my parents have them.
I did think of buying that fairy model a couple of years ago. I like anything that's fantasy or SF.
I know and sympathise. it's addictive. Forty-odd years on I'm still doing it. I'm also sure there's a Fortean angle in this - how military modelling relates to this thread. "Toy soldier" collecting being the male manifestation of doll-collecting - it doesn't seem so "girly" if serious weaponry is involved and you can dress them up, symbolically speaking, in attractive military uniforms. (Action Man/GI Joe as a doll for boys). Also the whole MM thing of striving for uncannily life-like representations in small scale. There has to be an "Uncanny Valley" aspect to all this, especially when it doesn't quite work. And while I know it's perfectly possible for a modeller/collector to be obsessive about all things Third Reich - (there's a whole sub-industry out there dealing with all things panzer and Waffen-SS, preferably together) - I've hardly ever met modellers who incline towards the Nazi end of the political spectrum. Well - one South African who was, shall we say, "socially unreformed" even after the end of apartheid. Which is pretty much it.

But within the hobby, one which prizes the skill and talent to create lifelike representations of real people, there seems to be an unspoken taboo. Just about everyone you can think of who was prominent in history, especially in WW2, has his (or her) small-scale representations in commercially available figures and busts. You can get Patton, Montgomery, Rommel, a clutch of German generals, Zhukov, Churchill, Roosevelt, even Joe Stalin. You can get relatively obscure Italian and Japanese generals, admirals and political figures. But. Can you think, off-hand, of a model sculptor or manufacturer who markets a figiure of Adolf Hitler? Or a character bust of Heinrich Himmler? People in the hobby get distinctly uneasy about this, as if a line is being crossed somewhere. Okay, part of it is maybe down to Germany being a big market and that country having strict laws about what aspects of the Nazi era you can and can't represent commercially. But what if... the thing about your toys coming alive at night, the uneasy suspicion we all had as kids and cannot shake off as adults, applies. And that the more accurate a representation is, the more likely it is that the "mana" that went into creating it will imbue it with a soul and give it life and vitality. And as form follows function, what sort of life would a model of Adolf Hitler develop... (This comes from the same place as the idea of the voodoo doll? The more lifellike your doll is, the more likely the person it represents will feel the pins as they go in..)

And i've got a big wargames army of WW2 Germans. if I stop and think about it, adding a character figure of Adolf Hitler would be asking for trouble, on the "what if your toys came to life at night" superstition.... and could anyone who collects military models sleep at night with a character bust of Adolf in the display cabinet?

I helped write this article for tvtropes: it touches on the "being interested in WW2 German stuff does not make you a Nazi" theme of military modelling.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NoSwastikas
 
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EnolaGaia

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I never thought of that. No, I've never seen an Adolf Hitler model. ...
Would it suffice to get one of these?

Ta6BXIf.jpg

This Hitler pincushion is an actual WW2-era American novelty. Though long out of production, vintage specimens surface now and again on eBay, etc.
 

AgProv

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Maybe Napoleon is far enough in the past to have been "sanitised" by distance. He was thought of, in his day, as the same sort of monster and dangerous megalomaniac - plenty of contemporary propaganda is still available and people near to the destruction and havoc his form of megalomania aroused had very strong views. I find myself wondering, just as today there is nobody left alive with direct personal experience of WW1 and it recedes into history, and we are in a position where the WW2 generation is leaving the world - as a situation inevitably rises where nobody is left with direct personal experience of that war, will Hitler become as remote and faded as Napoleon is today?

I also think - the classic cliché is of mental hospitals being full of people convinced they are Napoleon. If the go-to position for mental illness is of a ward full of people believing they embody a physically short unimposing dictator who very nearly conquered Europe, failed to invade Britain and who came unstuck in the icy steppes of Russia - why hasn't the cliché been updated to populate mental wards with Hitler wannabees? Too Soon, perhaps? Hitler (and what he brought about) is still within living memory for many and therefore something to have a taboo about?

In perhaps thirty or forty years, will we see Hitler images being permitted in a way they (formally or informally) are not now?

And here's a synchronicity. I just picked up a back number of Fortean Times at random (no 303, July 2013). I opened it at random to page 36. What did I see there... a feature-length article on the "Uncanny Valley" phenomenon and how it pertains to dolls and human representations. Is somebody trying to tell me something?
 
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AgProv

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Would it suffice to get one of these?

View attachment 4795

This Hitler pincushion is an actual WW2-era American novelty. Though long out of production, vintage specimens surface now and again on eBay, etc.
I did see a Margaret Thatcher voodoo doll advertised in "Private Eye". Strangely enough, a month or two later, she was hospitalised for some sort of problem with her hand, but that seemed to be the only possible result of so many people sticking pins in it. (something to do with a tendon problem thar made her fingers clench, or something). FT may have noted this at the time - very late 1980's, as I recall.
 

Mythopoeika

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...she was hospitalised for some sort of problem with her hand, but that seemed to be the only possible result. (something to do with a tendon problem thatr made her fingers clench, or something).
That was her grasping hand - the one used for snatching milk from a child. Overused tendons and muscles.
 

smokehead

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My Action Man is called Dirty Reg. Currently down to a head and a pair of hands after a mission perhaps didn't go as well as it might. Mercenary, accused of links to the C.I.A and suspected hit man, he's a wrong 'un.
Amazing so many Palitoy Action Men survive after what we did to them as kids, although I have seen anniversary reproductions online.
I'm not entirely sure Nazi figures are for those who miss the Third Reich, collectors are notorious completists, and I've seen Winston Churchill somewhere, it's an adult hobby after all rather than me having Reg fight the T.Rex off of Jurassic Park (get the Humbrol red out!)
They are probably wanted as a representation of a particular period in history which is of particular interest to someone. Like I say, I'm not sure it's especially sinister.
 

INT21

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Napoleon, apart from his liking for conquering countries, was a very farsighted and clever man. Just look at some of the things he did.

INt21
 

AgProv

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Napoleon, apart from his liking for conquering countries, was a very farsighted and clever man. Just look at some of the things he did.

INt21
As I recall, he standardised the metric system and did more than anyone else to ensure Europe, or the bits of it that he could reach, had a uniform system of weights and measures that became a lasting legacy of his time. (The only bit he didn't reach - Britain - remains a confusing morass of conflicting systems and didn't even decimalise its currency until 1971: and of course anywhere in the British sphere of influence scorns metrication as something foreign and in one case, Un-American. Metrication is a Fortean study in itself.. having its roots in French Revolutionary reform that decided to scrap everything and start counting EVERYTHING in multiples of ten - months of the year, days of the week, hours and minutes in a day... there's a clock on Folkestone seafront that counts according to French revolutionary time. That fascinated me.)

Oddly enough, the only real lasting legacy in Germany of the Nazi era is a standardised form of German that set out to create a unified language, orthography, grammar, et c that would be universal in the German-speaking world and codify something over and above all the loclaised dialectical forms - not so much The King's English as the Fuhrer's German? In 1944 it was generally considered the country had more pressing worries, and language reform stayed largely on the shelf - but the post-war West German government grudgingly conceded it was, in fact, a good idea and went ahead with it. So Hitler's Minister of Education, Dr Rust, is the only lasting relic of the Nazi era... you could, in fact, literally call him a Grammar Nazi....
 

AgProv

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This could end up like a skewed take on the "What have the Romans ever done for us, anyway?" dialogue in Life of Brian!

"So what have the Nazis ever done for us, anyway?"
"Standardised German spelling and grammar..."
"Oh, and the VW Beetle. Don't forget the Beetle!"
"And I heard the current American Army helmet is styled on the classic German Stahlhelm, as nobody's ever been able to come up with a better design..."
"And half the armies in the world still use a machine-gun based on a 1942 German design..."
"Alright! So apart from standardising grammar and spelling in modern German and doing away with the old Gothic alphabet, apart from the VW beetle, the US Army helmet and the MG42 machine gun that was seventy years ahead of its time and doing all the research work that eventually got men into space, what did Nazi Gemany ever do for us?"
 

Mythopoeika

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This could end up like a skewed take on the "What have the Romans ever done for us, anyway?" dialogue in Life of Brian!

"So what have the Nazis ever done for us, anyway?"
"Standardised German spelling and grammar..."
"Oh, and the VW Beetle. Don't forget the Beetle!"
"And I heard the current American Army helmet is styled on the classic German Stahlhelm, as nobody's ever been able to come up with a better design..."
"And half the armies in the world still use a machine-gun based on a 1942 German design..."
"Alright! So apart from standardising grammar and spelling in modern German and doing away with the old Gothic alphabet, apart from the VW beetle, the US Army helmet and the MG42 machine gun that was seventy years ahead of its time and doing all the research work that eventually got men into space, what did Nazi Gemany ever do for us?"
Rocket technology that took humans into space.
 

AgProv

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I love the satisfied user quotes:


"The Bust is beautiful, and will make a close friend of mine very happy. - Joe"

what this says about the buyers...

point taken, but looking at the sites, these places appear to be selling reproductions of the sort of public and private art that was really popular in Germany after 1933, but which unaccountably fell out of favour after May 1945. (to "collectors" who want to be "historically objective" about Germany's part in WW2...) I was thinking about commercially available busts and models of Hitler designed specifically for military modellers and artists - I can't remember ever havng seen any in competition anywhere.
 
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AgProv

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Been digging. this is as near as I can find to commercially available models featuring an (alleged) Hitler figure. The larger scale 1:35 kit is hard to find and may be obtainable in the remoter recesses of EBay and similar. A scaled-down kit to the smaller 1;72 is on the left: this was originally marketed as "Hitler's Staff Car" but after it would have been banned in Germany under anti-Nazi legislation, the description on the box was altered to reflect that this was a generic staff car issued to high-ranking Generals: whilst the cover art shows a suspiciously similar occupant, the figure inside the box has been remodelled to show any old generic saluting dignitary. The figure would only be an inch tall in this scale, anyway - so it would need to be a really good sculpt. It isn't. Hasegawa did nice models but couldn't really sculpt people as anything other than wooden lumps. As you can see from the photo of the figure in the 1:35 kit - it's a bit blobby, badly-cast and with ill-defined features. I wonder if this is deliberate too...

upload_2017-6-18_22-9-31.png
 

AgProv

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Ye Gods... discovered this. Do your toys really come alive at night with an agenda of their own? There's a whole computer game about this. You build and collect Airfix models. These are avatars of real weapons used in real wars. Do you really think they'll just sit there as static models, given what they represent and the love and care you put into making them? What if they spontaneously divide into factions and re-enact the war they are representations of. with consequent collateral damage to your house. (Think of that 1:72 Lancaster. In perfect and consistent 1:72, its potential for damage will be the max bomb load of the prototype plane divided by 72. That's possibly 8,000 pounds of bombs over 72. That's 111 pounds of high explosive, or equivalent of. And the 88mm high-velocity round of a King Tiger Tank would hit like, for instance, a full powered rifle bullet...)

Damn, I want to play this game. it looks like fun.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/AirfixDogfighter
 

AgProv

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Most of the figures available with Japanese kits seem to be poor, apart from Tamiya's efforts.
They're very good at mechanical stuff.
Some of the new generation Chinese kits, like Dragon models, are very good indeed when it comes to figures. This is one of mine: the Maus tank of 1945. Note the realistically posed and presented tank crew figures. A revelation.

upload_2017-6-19_0-22-52.jpeg
 
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I came across this absurdly detailed collection of dolls a while ago, which features no less than four Hitlers (though one of them is just a head)... and a Joseph Goebbels furniture set!

I can't tell whether they're genuine products or some sort of weird art project.
Any pics?
 
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