19 October 2012
We remember Edgar Rice Burroughs' jungle man with a look at the Corgi Gift Set. ...
This month sees 100 years since Tarzan first appeared in pulp magazine All-Story Magazine, written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The story of John Clayton, lost in the western coastal jungles of Africa to be brought up by apes, is one of the iconic characters of literature and went on to inspire a host of other books, famous films and, of course, collectables.
Over the years there have been numerous collectables featuring the 'ape man', including figures, movie posters and toys. However, perhaps our favourite is the fantastic Corgi Gift Set No. 36, which includes a complete Tarzan playset.
For starters the box is wonderfully creative and displays perfectly, thanks to the jungle theme - plants, trees and vines cover the edges of the yellow box, ensuring it really stands out from the usual Corgi Gift Sets. You can see the box in the picture below, along with some of the contents:
Even better, if you dare to take the items out of the box, it can be used as a "3-D Jungle panaroma", according to an excitable bright red flash on the exterior. That's because there are several cardboard pieces to create a jungle scene, either inside the box thanks to a wonderful lush green background of vines/thick trees, or outside with the box as a backdrop. In fact, if you've got one of these sets we would love to see some diaromas using the card pieces and figures.
Talking of figures, the set actually came with 22 different pieces. From a diecast point of view, you've got a jungle Land Rover complete with animal cage, which both have striking green camouflage along the side.
However, the set may also appeal to toy figure collectors too, thanks to the inclusion of various plastic human and animal figures. Of course, Tarzan is included (in two poses) along with Jane, White Hunter and 'boy' but it doesn't stop there and to represent Tarzan's animal friends (and foes), there's also a lion, elephant, snake, crocodile and Tarzan's loyal chimpanzee companion, Cheetah.
Also included is a plastic dinghy on a trailer, tree house and vines for Tarzan to swing through the imaginary jungle scene included on the box. Overall then, this is a wonderful set for discerning collectors and what better time to try and pick one of these items up at a swapmeet or auction, now that Tarzan is celebrating his centenary.
Also on a related note, while looking across the web for information on Tarzan, we came across this fantastic project to create a range of wargaming miniatures, based around the idea of a 'Tarzan Army'. If you enjoy wargaming or like creative toy figure concepts, then we strongly recommend taking a look.
* images from Vectis Auctions and the 'Tarzan Project'