Saturday, July 25, 2015

Tim Mee 'People at Play' plastic family figures (2015 Reissue)

In the 1970s, Tim Mee / Processed Plastic released a set of "People at Play" figures made up of a "typical" suburban family--a mom, dad, a big brother and sister, and a little brother and sister, all engaged in leisurely activities straight out of 1950s stereotypes (mom holding a flower pot, junior tossing a football, big sis doing cheerleading moves, etc.). Basically, a plastic Pleasantville in a bag. Now, this slightly unsettling, too-perfect miniature family is back in the form of another reissue in the growing list of Tim Mee re-releases from over the past few years.

Of course, this site normally focus on monsters, aliens, robots and stuff like that. But let me tell you, these family figures have a place in any collection of little weirdos--they make great victims or innocent bystanders for any zombie, outer space invader, or dinosaur attack!

Here are some basics about the figures:
  • They're sold in sets of 24 that come in a clear plastic bag with a header card, for a little under $12 on Amazon. The header art is done in a fun vintage style, with one side depicting the "Atomic Family" and the other side showing the "Post-Atomic Family."
  • Each bag includes 12 green figures and 12 pale flesh-colored figures. You get two of each of the six sculpts in both colors.
  • The figures are made of a stiff-yet-sturdy plastic (comparable to other Tim Mee releases such as Galaxy Laser Team), and are very crisp with almost no flashing. They measure up to 2.5 inches tall.
  • As with other Tim Mee / Processed Plastic releases, the sculpting is very nicely-done, with plenty of texture and detail.

Now, a bit about each of the six sculpts:

  • Mother: The matriarch of the family has changed into her slacks to do a little Sunday-afternoon gardening. With flower pot in hand and hand on hip, she means business.
  • Father: Pops comes complete with pipe and hammer, because that's what any good retro daddy does--puff away and fix stuff with tools. If this figure had a talking feature, it'd probably tell Mom to put down the flower pot and go fix him a sandwich. 
  • Big Sister: The older children of this family are obviously among the popular kids in high school. Big Sis is totally a retro "mean girl." You can tell she thinks she's hot stuff, waving those pom-poms in the air.
  • Big Brother: Junior is surely Dad's pride and joy, tossing around the football and looking all preppy in his sweater and collared shirt. He's probably captain of the team.
  • Little Sister: Just jump-ropin' up a storm as kitty sits nearby. Probably while watching Big Sis and praying that she too can be a cheerleader someday.
  • Little Brother: Li'l bro here is hanging around playing catch with the family dog. Clearly, iPads and Xbox hadn't been invented yet.

I'm not sure how they were meant to be taken in the '70s, but in today's world these "People at Play" definitely have a fun kitsch factor, and are actually really well made in terms of design, sculpting and production. As mentioned above, they're perfect for filling out dioramas and play scenes. Want to see what I mean? Let's take a look at this perfect plastic family after the big one hits. I'm not talking Atomic attack, I'm talking ZOMBIE ATTACK!

They'll need more than Dad's hammer to get out of this one
Mom and Dad find more than they bargained for on their trip to the mailbox
They want to get in with the popular kids...or get the popular kids in them
Little Susie's surprise new friend loves jump-rope...and brains!
Timmy's just dying to get on the team

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