Here is a review of two Tim Mee products:
Bucket of Army men
By 1970, I made the transition from bags of toy soldiers to hobby figures. Bags of Tim Mee and Lido figures gave way to the boxes of Airfix and plastic and metal kit figures. I only got to plastic bag soldiers as a hobby at the end of the 1990s. That started as a joke over the venerable Tim Mee M16 army men, which led to a website. From there, I had a new hobby. That is why many later sets of toy figures went unnoticed by me. This "Soldier Bucket" is one of them. I had the soldiers and tanks in bags, but never had them by the bucket with a mountain and jets.
I had also missed the Tim Mee Galaxy Laser Team and later Western figures, among others. I was only acquainted with them recently.
The Tim Mee Soldier Bucket was originally offered in the early 1990s. There were two versions. One had two tanks, soldiers and two jets. The other had soldiers, two jets and a plastic mountain.
Jeff at Victory Buy has reissued the Tim Mee Toy Soldier Bucket. The current set has 48 of the Tim Mee M16 figures, two jets (F14 and F15), the classic Tim Mee M48 tank, a mountain and flags and stickers. As I understand it, Jeff consulted with Kent Sprecherko of Toy Soldier HQ on some details of this reissued set. He also needed three manufacturers to get all the elements of the set.
The Toy Story movies based their Army Men on the original Tim Mee soldier buckets and the M16 type troops. In fact, the Toy Story franchise offered its own Bucket O Soldiers. The first included figures that were crude attempts to copy the Tim Mee troops. The latest one has all new figures, though most are based on the Tim Mee originals. Neither has the realism and crisp detail of Tim Mee.’s M16 Army Men. Tim Mee is still the better product.
The Tim Mee Bucket of Army Men includes enough different elements to keep the kids happy. This would make a nice gift for the little toy soldier fans.
When I was a boy, I was used to buying soldiers by the bag, with an occasional play set as a gift. The Tim Mee Bucket Of Army Men brings elements of a playset in a delightful way.
For more information on these great Tim Mee soldiers, check out an earlier review: http://thortrains.blogspot.com/2015/07/review-tim-mee-brand-m16-vietnam-army.html
Shadow Ops Black Helicopter StrikeForce by Tim Mee
What with legends of the black helicopters and shadow operations in the war against terrorists, the Tim Mee Shadow Ops Black Helicopter StrikeForce is a toy whose time has come. Molded in black plastic, it is an exciting little set for the black ops buff. The set comes with two good-sized plastic helicopters. One looks like the Ranger chopper the Army had. The other is probably inspired by the Apache attack `copter. The fuselage is almost 10 inches long. They are big. That’s good because they go well with the handful of figures included in the set.
The figures are a set of men with various police-type weapons in the old style police motorcycle helmets. There are two with pistol, one with a launcher, one with rifle, a man in police hat with a megaphone, and a standing radioman holding a shotgun. Detail is good and the figures are robust, about 60mm scale. As I understand it, these were a SWAT set Tim Mee made in limited numbers in the 1970s. For those too young to remember, SWAT was a new phenomenon in the 1970s. They looked different than the armored, helmeted, assault-rifle teams of today. For this reason, the Tim Mee figures are perfect as Shadow Ops types. They could be used as special agents, spies or police special units.
One of those anomalies is the weaponry. Three officers are holding revolvers. The rifleman has a sniper rifle that looks like a hunting rifle rather than a modern weapon. One holds a pump shotgun; one is firing what looks like a grenade launcher. This is the old tear gas launcher. The motorcycle type helmets were also used as tactical helmets until the 1990s. Police departments used revolvers well into the 1980s, replacing them with automatics because of the increasing firepower wielded by criminals. At one time, ti was rare for a policeman to use an automatic pistol. A revolver was considered more reliable and had adequate firepower for facing criminals of the time.
Tim Mee’s longevity and place in the toy market was due to its ability to make great figures and accessories. Their vehicles were always good and kept getting better, as did their figures. These helicopters are a good example. they are sturdy, sized right and look good. Like their M16 soldiers, the SWAT figures are well-detailed and sculpted in animated poses.
The Tim Mee Helicopters would make nice flat car loads for O scale, with a little modification. The Tim Mee M48 also makes a nice flat car load. A little paint work and a few minor details makes a realistic and light load.
You can get all of these toys here: