Posted by:on July 29th, 2014
GEM models was a toy company in England that made plastic figures of may varieties, soldiers, cowboys, indians, and sports figures. There is no definitive source of information on GEM, but the consensus is that they were around during the 50’s and 60’s. Most of these models were sculpted by a man name George Musgrave, a man who had his museum for a while, but again there’s very little information about (this specific) George Musgrave on the web, other than some audio tracks of him reading poetry on the youtube. His home town of Eastbourne has a 45 minute documentary on him (that might have appeared on the BBC) but amazingly, you have to download it. Why do we care about George Musgrave? Because in addition to the hundreds of action figures he sculpted, he also made these creepy little skateboarders. They aren’t inherently creepy, it’s just that if you take close up photos of any 40mm (1.6 inch) model and blow it up larger than life it will tend to look creepy, even if it isn’t a half a century old. While GEModels existed in the 50-60’s, George continued to sculpt for various other toy company and cake topper manufacturers up through the late 80’s. So it’s hard to tell exactly when these were made. The seller says it may be 30 years old, which seems about right. The safety gear and board design point to the late 70’s or any time during the 80’s because skateboard themed caricatures seem to lag a good decade or more behind the times. In this particular photograph the skaters look like Eastern Bloc astronauts. While hovering my mouse between front and back views I became entranced, so I created a weird little animated gif. The only thing missing is a techno soundtrack, or maybe a little dubstep. And now you know,
Boots and Cuts version.
Video capture showing the skateboard figure being modeled on a pole.
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