Tim Mee Toys Battle Mountain Playset Tim Mee Toys, 2012
Day #645: April 24, 2013
Battle Mountain The Base
Tim Mee Toys Playsets
Item No.: No. 70295 Manufacturer:Tim Mee Toys Includes:n/a Action Feature:Does nothing, includes nothing Retail:$20ish Availability: August 2012 Other: J. Lloyd International / Processed Plastic
The phrase "Made in the USA" is incredibly rare in toys today, particularly when it comes to the items covered here. Plastic things are usually made in China, so this Battle Mountain being "made in the USA" is something of a surprise. Tim Mee Toys is the brand name on this large, injection-molded mountain face which is itself a reissue of a very old toy from roughly 50 years ago. The mountain mold has been used for many releases over the years, and frequently shows up on eBay in red after having come in a big box with cheap plastic dinosaurs in the not-too-distant past. A few people tell me this is a Marx mold, which it may well be, but I'm not finding the original toy online from my hunting so far. (There are a lot of similar, but different, Marx mountains though.) This frequently turns up in a boxed "Battle Mountain" playset or a "Dinosaur Mountain" playset, so check eBay for those boxes. The funny thing is the sets with the dinosaurs are roughly the same price (after shipping) as this newer release on Amazon which, by itself, has been moving from $22-$25 since I started keeping an eye on the pricing. When it hit $21.80 a few weeks ago, I pulled the trigger. It's neat, but not for the asking price - a similarly sized rock formation came with the Playmobil Dragon Rock set (4147) which was sold at Kmart, Target, and elsewhere for a while before spiraling down the clearance drain. Before it did, though, it was $20 for a dragon, 2 men, a big rock, and a catapult so there's a real question of "value" here.
It's a sizable toy, clearly originally meant for 2-3-inch figures. Plastic army men and similarly sized dinosaurs will be right at home, and it's also a generally good size for those little rubber guy figures like MUSCLE, OMFG, SLUG Zombies, Battle Beasts, and even figures as large as Onell Design's Glyos. 3 3/4-inch scale figures look a little big, but they also start to fill up the mountain rather quickly. Were these mountains slightly cheaper, buying a few of them would be ideal. I'd like to see a few other colors as well, but at the current price I don't think I'd buy more than maybe one more of these, if that.
This chunk of plastic measures about 15-inches high by about 14-inches wide with no paint or parts to speak of - the "packaging" is a sticker on the interior of the back of the mountain. I'm trying to figure out why this is $22, and while I won't say it isn't useful, it is pretty "cheap." As plastics and manufacturing get more expensive this might be a fair market price, but the thing is nobody seems to stock Tim Mee products in my neck of the woods that I can find so it's Amazon or bust. I assume at Toys R Us this would have come with some animals for roughly the same price, but I digress.
It feels durable but doesn't do much, so it fits in with a lot of older toys if you happen to collect unpainted figures or pre-1983 3 3/4-inch stuff. The flip side of the set is hollow and lacking useful flat surfaces, which could have been a great extra place to play and store toys on little shelves. I could cram about a dozen action figures on here and I think I would have absolutely loved this as a companion piece to the early Kenner Star Wars figures. I have a feeling a lot of people are going to have a retro fascination with this item, but I never paid attention to it until a couple of months ago. It's neat, it's a decent size, and it probably is selling mostly to adults that had a similar toy growing up or collectors curious to see just what the heck this thing is. It looks great with the Outer Space Men and I'd say if you collect anything in the Axis of Onell Design (Glyos, OMFG, Mordles, whatever) this is probably something you should go ahead and snag for them.
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