By Ryan Buehler
Today I wanted to share with you all some differences between the Austria, Yugoslavia, USA and Hong Kong Fireman Pals. These are the most common and if you have one or 2 (or 23 like me, ha), chances are it is from one of these 4 countries of origin. I know what you guys are thinking; there is only a hat and moustache, how can they be different? That’s what I thought too, but there are actually many differences! Check it out:
Moustache: These moustaches look similar for the most part are actually quite different. The Yugoslavia moustache is significantly thinner than the rest and lack significant detail. Hong Kong, Austria and USA moustaches are all the same, right? Not quite! The Hong Kong moustaches has a glossy finish while the Austria/USA moustaches have a flatter/duller finish. Also, it appears that the Hong Kong moustache may have an additional line of detail on one side (see pic) where the Austria/USA moustache is smooth. The Austria and USA moustaches do not appear to have any differences.
Helmet Badge: There are basically 3 badges. The Austria and Hong Kong badges are dark gray and have a semi metallic finish. The USA badge is a medium gray with a flat/matte finish; it does not appear semi metallic like the Austria/Hong Kong badges. The Yugoslavia badges are a very light gray, also with a flat/matte finish.
Helmet: There are many differences between the helmets of the different Fireman Pals. First is a noticeable difference in the color of the Hong Kong helmets and the rest of the helmets. Sure, there can be many different shades of red on the helmets (this is due to age, exposure to sunlight/smoke/etc.) but generally they are approximately the same color with the exception of the Hong Kong helmets being quite a few shades darker than the rest. Second is the finish of the helmets. All the helmets have a fairly glossy finish but the USA helmet has a textured/rough finish. Additionally, the USA helmet is much thicker than the rest of the helmets. The pegs are also different between the helmets, even different between the 3.4 patent Hong Kong and 3.9 patent Hong Kong helmets! The 3.4 patent Hong Kong helmet peg is thinner and shorter than the 3.9 patent Hong Kong helmet. Both Hong Kong helmet pegs have a pointed tip. The Yugoslavia peg has a flat tip and the peg is very long and slightly tapered. The Peg on the USA and Austria helmets are similar; both have a rounded tip but the USA peg has a much thicker base than the Austria helmet.
Once again, if you see anything I have missed or if anything is totally wrong, PLEASE bring it up! Aaaand as usual, I hope you learned something and go check your Fireman Pals to see if you have all the correct parts! Till next time…