Some of the most fun reissued toys coming out these days are made by Tim Mee Toys. This long-lived toy company, part of Processed Plastics Co. of Montgomery, Illinois, teetered on the edge of oblivion until they were rescued by J. Lloyd International a few years ago.
In recent years, with a little creative guidance from Victory Buy, Tim Mee has had a major resurgence, producing reissues of their classic toys from the original molds with clever packaging and in new colors, and most amazingly of all–made right here in the USA. That’s a pretty major selling point considering the holiday we’re observing this coming weekend. We first wrote about Tim Mee Toys‘ reissue program last Christmas.
Tim Mee has three cool new products just released and you can find them for sale in their Amazon store. We were lucky enough to get our hands on some review samples.
First up is the set with packaging that warms the cockles of my Subgenius little heart. People at Play is a set with six different figures depicting a classic All-American Whitebread family in various modes of recreation. Mom is gardening, Dad is smoking a pipe and carrying a hammer, Jr is tossing a football, Sis is cheerleading, Little Brother is playing fetch with the dog, and Little Sister is jumping rope while her cat looks on.
The set itself dates back to the 1970s, and may have been an attempt to cash in on the popularity of wholesome TV sitcoms like The Brady Bunch. The figures are in scale with Green Army Men and have a multitude of uses ranging from traditional dollhouse or toy train figures to post-apocalyptic zombie survivors or prisoners of alien warlords. The play value is high with these. You can pretend that Little Brother is playing a game with Dad, where he throws the ball to Dad, who then tries to smack it with his hammer.
The sculpting is terrific and the molds, which weren’t used as much as other figure molds, are in remarkably good shape. There’s an amazing amount of detail for this type of figure, from the stem on Dad’s pipe to the fringe on Sis’s Pom Poms.
What really makes the set special is the header card art. Inspired by a Facebook comment that said the Dad looks like J.R. “Bob” Dobbs, the iconic and enduring symbol of The Church of the Subgenius, the folks designing the packaging resorted to a 1950s clip-art look, very evocative of SubGenius imagery. The front of the header card depicts “People at Play: Atomic Family Figures.” However, flip it over and the back of the header depicts the family with green skin and a nuclear wasteland behind them as the “Post-Atomic Family.” The header art is copyright by FerretBee enterprises, and transforms this set from a curious, well-made hobby collectible into a terrific hipster gag gift.
Each bag of People at Play figures comes with 24 pieces, two complete sets of the family figures in two colors, putty and green. The green figres are perfect for customizers who want to zombify the family. As Tim Mee tells us, “These are real plastic toys, meant to be set up, knocked down, picked up and played with for years to come. Recommended for ages 5 and up.”
Next up we have The Tim Mee COMBAT PATROL set. Produced for the first time in years, this set includes two Willys Jeeps and two anti-tank guns. The vehicles have smooth-rolling wheels with metal axles and measure nearly ten inches when hitched together. The standout feature with these vehicles is that they are realistically scaled to work with Green Army Men. As anyone who had Green Army Men growing up can probably remember, the vehicles were rarely in scale with the figures. Not so with these guys.
The molding and detail is sharp. The jeeps are made in an olive green color and will look great with your Army Men, or simply as a cool desktop toy for your office.
A little history from the Tim Mee Toys Facebook page: “Modeled after the Willys MB Army vehicle and the M3 37mm Anti-Tank Gun, Tim Mee first produced this toy in the 1950’s and modified the tooling several times over the decades until the final version seen here. We’re extra pleased with this reissue to reintroduce the classic stars and serial number stickers that were discontinued more than 20 years ago. As an extra bonus stickers include new mini-stars and a Tim Mee logo that can be used to identify your favorite hero vehicle. The stickers are supplied on a sheet and placement instructions are included on the back of the package. This set has been out of production since the 1990’s, so in honor of its’ triumphant return the manufacturer has restored and updated vintage header card art based on the iconic USMC Bantam Jeep test photo.”
Finally we have The Tim Mee DESERT COMMAND Tank Division. Remember what I wrote about vehicles not always being in scale with the figures? Well, this set is an example of that, but it’s still a great toy. Actually, it’s three great toys. You get three M48A2 Patton tanks, molded in desert tan, complete with a set of stickers. The tanks are about 1/48 scale, which makes them a bit small to do combat with the Combat Patrol Jeeps, unless you decide to throw such thoughts out the window and just have fun.
The detail on these tanks is pretty intense and the molds have been kept in great shape. These were first made in 1964, and were first made in this color in 1991.Speculation is that this toytank may have been produced in larger numbers than any other toy tank in the world.
You get three tanks in each package. The turrets rotate. The treads are not working treads, so these don’t roll freely, but that’s not going to bother any kids you give these to. Also, as with the Combat Patrol set and People at Play, these are 100% made in the USA.
All of the Tim Mee reissues, including sets not reviewed here, can be found at their Amazon store. As they’ve been taking inventory of their molds, the company has continued to find some amazing gems from the past. We can’t wait to see what they spring on us next.