Friday 27 June 2014

Ankh Morpork (so good they called it Ankh Morpork)

In this entry I'm going to cover figurines loosely based around Ankh Morpork. Characters, buildings and artefacts. This is only for the pieces I havent covered so far or those pieces that don't fit into a specific set on their own eg wizards, watch.
DW21 The Tankard From The Mended Drum
The Tankard was introduced after Terry requested that some smaller items were made available at a lower price so more fans could afford them. It was introduced at the same time as the potion bottles (see Witches). This piece was modelled on a tankard borrowed from a pub called the Gardeners Arms, local to the factory.
This was sculpted by Bernard and introduced in February 1991. It was retired in August 2001 and 2362 were sold. The 1st RRP was £10.11 and on retirement it cost £14.95. Top price paid is a reasonable £30. It looks a very tactile piece to me (and I love tactile) but for some reason I never got round to owning one. These were available in pewter and bronze finishes but there are no records of any being sold in these finishes.
The quote is from The Colour of Magic
"No - this was still the interior of the Drum, its walls stained with smoke, its floor a compost of old rushes and nameless beetles, its sour beer not so much purchased as merely hired for a while."

DW31 Gaspode the Wonder Dog
Gaspode features in 3 figurines surprisingly. He is featured in a Collectors edition with Death (DWC134) and an Event piece with Laddie from Moving Pictures (DWE16). These have both been covered in their respective sections. The remaining piece is just Gaspode on his own. He is shown scratching himself. He is often to be found scratching due to the host of doggy (and sheep) diseases he harbours! Gaspode has had loose affiliations with various different characters but after a while he sort of defaults to the Beggars. He becomes Rons' thinking brain dog and often speaks for him.
This piece was introduced in 1992 and was available until closure. His RRP was a very reasonable £12.95. He tends to sell for around this figure. He was sculpted by Leigh. I do not own this figure so do not have the tent card quote.

DW32 Teppic the Assassin
There is a whole set of figurines based around the book Pyramids. I debated whether to include Teppic the Assassin in that section. But I decided against it as I feel the assassin character is more tied to the city and the others were all released as a set. This one was introduced singly and first. There is only one version of this piece, however, the layers of paint necessary to get the required finish mean that no two pieces look exactly alike.
I really like my Teppic piece. There was a time when they were quite sought after. He is very detailed, down to the knives in his boots and the buckles on his holsters. He has a little moustache which gives him an air of Errol Flynn.
It was sculpted by Leigh and introduced in late 1992. He was retired in May 1998 and 1859 were sold. His first RRP was £25.12 and he retired at £34.99. Top price paid is recorded as £89, as I say there was a time he was sought after, I'm not sure that figure is always achievable.
The quote is from Pyramids
"He examined himself critically. The outfit had cost him his last penny and was heavy on the black silk. ........He opened the black box and took out his rings and slipped them on. Another box held kives of Klatchian steel, their blades darkened with lamp black. Various cunning and intricate devices were taken from velvet bags and dropped into pockets."
I love this quote. Particularly as if you read on he loads himself up with an inordinate amount of stuff and then, after checking himself in his mirror. Falls over!!
DW35 C.M.O.T. Dibbler
There are 2 Dibbler figurines. Dibbler was originally sculpted with his dragon detectors however it was felt that he should really be shown in his sausage inna bun guise. Therefore he was resculpted and dragon detectors was saved as a special event piece (DW35S, covered in special event pieces section). DW35 is the general sale Dibbler and is shown with his tray. He was sculpted by Leigh and introduced in February 1994 and was available until closure. The RRP was £29.50.
The quote is from Guards! Guards!
"Get your pig sausages, five for two dollars! said Throat, who never let a conversation stand in the way of trade."

DW37 Lord Vetinari the Patrician
The Patrician of Ankh Morpork. Lord Havelock Vetinari. I do like this character, specifically his interactions with Vimes. Stephen Briggs played Vetinari in early amateur productions and it is his version that the Clarecraft Vetinari is based on. The initial piece sent to Terry for approval looked slightly too much like Stephen so he asked that the figure was made more austere, that a skull cap was added and that the hairline was made to recede.
There are 2 versions of this piece. Mark 1 is known as the Cloakless Vetinari. Vetinari is shown sitting in a chair with his dog Wuffles at his side. The back of the chair had an open back. This caused issues with mould life so in July 1995 the decision was made to add a cloak to the back of the chair, hiding the gap. About 300 of the originals were sold before it was changed. I'm not sure where my cloaked version is. Just imagine a black cloak slung over the back of the chair!!
The piece was sculpted by Leigh Pamment. It went on sale in February 1995 and retired in February 2002 (after one change in 1995). 2228 were sold with around 300 of these being the Mark 1 'Cloakless' versions.
The RRP remained at £29.95 throughout its availability, top price recorded for a Mark 1 is around £300. They do go for considerably less as it is one of those rarities that most collectors are unaware of or have forgotten about.
The quote on the card is from Guards! Guards!
"You need a special kind of mind to rule a city like Ankh Morpork and Lord Vetinari had it. But then, he was a special kind of person."

DW47 & DW47W The Mended Drum
The Mended Drum and Bridge Over The Ankh are 2 buildings related to the city. Grannys Cottage was another similar flat back piece that came in two finishes. This is covered in the Witches section. The Drum is the smaller of the two pieces. It was sculpted by Bernard Pearson and introduced in February 1995. There were two versions of this piece. One in a painted finish and one in a wood finish. As ever the wood finish was intended to make the piece more affordable as the detailed painting made them quite expensive. The painted version was available till closure but the wooden version was retired in February 2002 due to lack of sales. 239 wooden effect pieces were sold. There are no numbers sold for the painted pieces. The RRP of the wooden one was £24.95 throughout its availability. The RRP for the painted version was £59.95.
The quote for the piece is from Sourcery
"The Drum jealously guarded its reputation as the most stylishly disreputable tavern in Ankh Morpork..."

DW48 & DW48W Bridge Over The Ankh
DW48 is not a building but a collection of buildings. In keeping with AnkhMorpork being almost medieval the bridges in the city have houses on them. The bridge is a large and heavy piece and was again offered in a painted and wooden finish. The painted ones were available until closure and the wooden ones were again retired early due to low sales.
This was sculpted by Bernard and introduced in February 1995. The wooden finish was retired in February 2002 and 229 wooden finishes were sold. The RRP was £29.99 from start to finish. The RRP of the painted piece was £79.99, a huge difference from the wooden version. There was no quote on the tent card of this piece.
Wooden version
Painted version

I am covering the beggars here. They are a discrete group so in theory I could cover them as a whole entry but again I feel they are of the city.
DW74 Foul Ole Ron
Foul Ole Ron is the head of our little gang of reprobates. He was the first beggar that Clarecraft made. He was introduced in early 1997. He was retired in February 2003. Ron was losing Clarecraft 7% on each figure sold. The RRP was £29.95. He was sculpted by Joe Pattison. I do have this figure, I must admit it was a gift and I'm really not keen at all. I'm having a clearout soon. I have never sold a figurine but I think Ron and the Duck Man will be rehomed. I will never buy the other beggars so there seems no point in keeping them. The retirement of the beggars was announced in August 2002. At the end of that month 648 Rons had been sold. All the beggars finally retired in February 2003 so there was plenty of warning and shops did stock up so the final number maybe much higher. Sadly I have no final numbers sold.
The quote is from Hogfather
"You posh, Ron?"
"Yep. Sounds posh to me."
The final three beggars were all released together in February 2000 as it was felt Ron was getting lonely. All four beggars including Ron were retired in February 2003. Lots of notice was given and lots of shops stocked up. I have no final numbers sold but I do have figures for how many had been sold up until the end of August 2002.
DW112 Coffin Henry
The RRP for this piece was £27.50. Numbers sold by end of August 2002 was 356. I do not have the quote for this piece.
DW113 The Duck Man
The RRP for this piece was £27.50. Numbers sold by end of August 2002 was 390. He was sculpted by Joe pattison.
The quote is from hogfather.
"'The Goose was good,' said the Duck Man, picking his teeth.
'I'm surprised you et it, what with that duck on your head,' said Coffin Henry, picking his nose.
'What duck?' said the Duck Man

DW114 Arnold Sideways
The RRP of this piece was £27.50. Numbers sold by end of August 2002 was a very low 221. I do not have the quote for this piece.

This is a picture of all four beggars taken from the newsletter. Coffin Henry is the one in blue and Arnold Sideways is the one sat down.

DW164 The Golden Statue
This is the statue from the Ankh Morpork Post Office in Going Postal. This was another of the last pieces produced before closure. It was only available from May 2005 until October 2005. There are no numbers sold but again it is likely to be low. This rarely comes up for sale. It is possible that people preferred to spend their money on characters they liked that were made at the same time (the Monstrous Regiment trio, Ponder Stibbons or Vetinari for example). The statue is shown complete with all his wings. I do not know the quote for the piece. It was sculpted by Joe Pattison.

DW165 Lord Vetinari Standing
This was one of the last pieces produced by Clarecraft, introduced after May 2005 and retired on closure later that year. This is another of the last batch of pieces that I bought, its a very simple and elegant piece. It was sculpted by Joe Pattison. The piece was inspired by a photo taken of Stephen Briggs at the Discworld 21st birthday party. I have included this photo taken from the newsletter for comparison. I have no numbers sold for this as it was retired on closure however, as it was available for such a short time it is safe to say that it will be limited. It has made significant sums since however the last one sold on ebay went for £92. That's the first time I have seen it go for below £100.
The quote for this piece is from Going Postal
"With his hands steepled reflectively in front of his pursed lips, was Havelock, Lord Vetinari, under whose idiosyncratically despotic rule Ankh Morpork had become the city where, for some reason, everyone wanted to live."

DW170 Wax Seal of Ankh Morpork
This is another Going Postal related item. It is a lovely piece styled to look like a wooden stamp. It has Property of AMPO written around the handle. On the bottom is the Ankh Morpork crest in pewter. I really like this little piece, it is another tactile one. It was one of the last pieces released and retailed for the bargain price of £13.49. It was sculpted by Joe Pattison and there is no quote for this piece. Shortly after the factory closed this little piece became greatly sought after and reached £127!! It has been a while since appeared but it is probably unlikely to make that kind of money again.

Sunday 22 June 2014

Musicians and Soldiers!!


I have had this entry sitting in Blogsy for almost a year. I kept meaning to get the pieces out to photograph and it never happened. In my defence in the last 12 months I have got married and had a baby so I have been busy!
I got the figurines out to photograph. I found my Band with Rocks In easily enough as they live at the top of the stairs. I knew Jade would be a challenge as I put her safely in her box and into the cupboard when I put my figurines away. I have since changed my bedroom furniture and have found that for the time being Jade is completely inaccessible. Rather than delay this entry any longer I decided to just leave photos out until I can get them. I found Polly in the cupboard but Igorina was nowhere to be seen. Igorina came in several parts so I must have boxed her up and put her away so I didn't lose any. I will endeavour to get them photographed and added on though.
This entry was going to be all about the Troll characters that have made it into figurines. As I was noting the various Troll characters I realised that I have already covered most of them. Detritus in Armour was covered in the Watch section and the Ruby and Detritus bookends were covered in…. Bookends and Event Pieces. This left me with Lias Bluestone and Jade from Monstrous Regiment. Therefore I decided to make this section about the Band with Rocks in and the Monstrous Regiment trio instead!

The Band with Rocks in

These guys feature in the first Discworld book I ever read, Soul Music. They do not feature in any other books. They are 3 broke musicians who meet when they try to join the Musicians Guild. Imp finds a strange instrument in a strange music shop and finds that he is able to play it instantly, he seems possessed by the instrument. The instrument bears more than a passing resemblance to a roundworld guitar and so Imp becomes the front man. He was previously a harpist in his native Llamedos. Lias is good at banging stones together and so obviously morphs into the drummer. Glod can play the horn and makes up the final member of the band who freely admits to being in it for the money!
The book is fun as due to its obvious parallels with the roundworld there are lots and lots of references to popular culture. I won't list any of these save to say that my favourite relates to the new boy in the fish shop being ‘elvish’.

Imp Y Celyn DW81
Imp is from Llamedos, the rainy land which is more welsh than Wales! Populated by druids, it is a place where music is important. Llamedos is Sodemall backwards. A trick inspired by Dylan Thomas Under Milk Wood which is set in the fictional Llareggub. I have welsh roots and my house has a name plate with Llamedos on. Chiefly because when I bought my house it was the first house I had ever owned and my feeling when I shut the door was Sodemall!! Most people think it is something to do with my Welsh roots which suits me!

Imp’s full name is translated from Welsh roughly as Bud of Holly. So naturally he gets called Buddy. In the piece he has a distinctly 50’s rock and roll look with his dark hair in a quiff leaning back playing his guitar.

The RRP for Imp was £24.95.
The quote for Imp is from Soul Music
"Buddy’s eyes snapped open suddenly. ‘Let’s rock,’ he whispered."

Lias Bluestone DW82
Lias is the rhythm section of the band. He initially starts out just banging rocks together but later he develops an actual drum kit. Lias also changes his name, choosing to be known as Cliff, despite being told by others that noone by that name would last in the music business!!

The piece of Lias comes in 2 parts. Lias himself with his hands up, clearly mid drum and the drum set itself. He is wearing dark glasses. The RRP for Lias was £44.95.

The quote for Lias is from Soul Music
"’Let’s give ‘em "The Wizard’s Staff", then,’ said Glod.’ That always breaks the ice.’ ‘OK,’ said the troll. He counted on his fingers. ‘One, two…one, two, many, lots.’"

Glod Gloddson DW83

Glod seems to be less bothered by fame, stating clearly he is in it for the money and trying to direct the others to achieve this. I love that when they play a gig and are expected to be pelted with veg, Glod brings a string bag so as not to waste anything! A lovely detail on the Glod and Imp pieces are the pieces of fruit on the ground around them.
The pieces do not seem to be completely in proportion with each other but they do make a nice set. I have them arranged on a shelf with Lias at the back and the other 2 arranged either side of the drum kit. The RRP for Glod was £24.95.

The quote for Glod is from Soul Music
"He was small, even for a dwarf. A large bronze horn lay across his knees…’I can blow anything,’ said Glod."

Value wise Glod and Imp are fairly standard small figures. Prices between £30-£50. Obviously Lias is a larger piece and can make up to £80.
I do have numbers sold but my paperwork has been put away. Will update shortly!
All three pieces were retired in February 2005 and were introduced in around 1999.

Monstrous Regiment

Monstrous Regiment is another book that features characters that don’t resurface in later books. It follows a group of recruits who turn out to be females disguised as boys. I do like this book. The characters are generally appealing and the story goes along nicely.

This was one of the last books that Clarecraft was able to draw inspiration from. I do wish that more could have been made from the book. I really like the character of Jackrum, the rotund Sgt in charge of the recruits. ‘You are my little lads and I will look after you’. Various characters from Ankh Morpork appear including Vimes, Wililam De Worde and Otto Chriek. Each of them brings something to the story, reminding the reader that a war does not just affect the countries and armies involved, but has repercussions in the wider world. Especially a world that has been made smaller by the introduction of the clacks.
These pieces were among the final ones produced by Clarecraft. They were introduced after May 2005 and retired in October 2005 when Clarecraft closed.
I didn’t buy all of the final pieces but I did buy these three because I really liked them. All of these pieces were introduced in 2005 and retired later that year when the factory shut. I have no idea of numbers sold and there are no variations of these pieces.

Polly DW167
Polly is the first character we meet in the book. She cuts off her hair and is disappointed that that is all she really needs to do to look like a boy! She has however practised and prepared to pass as a boy and is very successful initially.
Polly is a relatively small figure resplendent in her red uniform with her shako and sword and pack on her back. She had an RRP of £45.00 and has made in excess of £100. The 2 most recent sold on ebay however have reached more modest prices of £66 and £77.50. There are no numbers sold available for these pieces but anecdotally Polly is the figurine that most often appears on ebay. Polly was sculpted by Mark Ayling.
The quote is
"No, sir. I was a – I am a girl, and I cut my hair and pretended I was a boy and took the Duchess’s Shilling, sir."

Jade DW168
Jade is my favourite of the three. Jade (AKA Carborundum) is the troll in the group. This is a large piece and was an expensive piece to buy new. The detail on her is just amazing and she is a lovely piece. She was sculpted by Joe Pattison.
The quote is
"It looked like a boulder that had spent centuries in the damp pine forests. Lichen covered it. Stringy grey moss hung in curtains from its head and its chin. It had a bird’s nest in one ear."
This piece was expensive due to her sheer size, this also made her the rarest of the three as people had to make hard choices about which of the final pieces they wanted to spend their money on. I recall that she was about £80, she has obviously made far in excess of this however. She has appeared on ebay infrequently but I haven’t seen one for a little while. Pollys and Igorinas do pop up from time to time and are subject to the same vagaries of value as the other pieces. Sometimes they go for silly money, sometimes they are more affordable.

Igorina DW169
Igorinas are the female version of Igors. Apparently they lisp less and tend to be more attractive than average. Igorinas motivation seems to be that Igorinas are not allowed to be as ‘hands on’ in helping people as Igors. She has a wish to become a surgeon and feels that battlefield experience will help her persuade her father to support her.
Igorina is a piece in proportion with Polly. She has her shako and pack too however they are separate add ons to the piece. The shako being separate allows the stitiches around her hairline to become visible. Rather than cut her hair like Polly did Igorina simply transplanted her scalp, replacing her long hair with a shorter one. She keeps her own scalp in a jar. The separate pieces may make her value rise in future as various parts get lost and misplaced. Her RRP was the same as Pollys at £45.00 and she has made in excess of £100. She tends to appear less frequently than Polly but more than Jade but there hasn’t been one on ebay in recent months.
The quote is
"’ What’re female Igors called, Igor?’.
Igor stumbled and kept moving. He was silent for a while, and then said: ‘All right, what did I do wrong?’"