Jul 16th, 2011, 02:29 PM
The Granddaddy WTFbus of Them All (WTFbus installment #5)
After the disappointing escapade with mild-mannered WTFbus #4, I feel as if the universe has somehow righted itself once more.
When this whole thing started, I was a bit naive. The proximity of Santa Claus to a rocket-powered pig pulling a dog in a straitjacket was overwhelming, I guess. I've learned since that if you are a manufacturer in Asia and you're making toy buses you're duty-bound, by god, to come up with the most bizarre and nonsensical assortment you possibly can. You know...for kids.
So here it is, the venerable granddaddy of them all. I got this from an antique tin toy dealer; it's made by Manohar Toys, the same Indian company as the original WTF Bus, but a great deal older. This is an actual, honest-to-jeebus Valuable Antique. Meet WTFbus #5: Guys and Dolls edition.
This is more like it! Nothing exemplifies an "International Coach" like a rocket, a castle, a train riding a gravel path through water, and a chimp on a tricycle. Note that it does actually match the box. Manohar was less capricious in days of yore.
Many things about our intrepid driver give me cause for concern. Not only is he sequestered into his own compartment for the supposed safety of others, but he also seems to manipulate the very structure of the bus at will. If you'll look closely, the windshield is behind him. He wears a spiffy suit (business up front, bizarre fuckery in back) and his maniacal grin is the sort of thing you'd see just before the whole thing goes careening off a cliff. Beneath him is something you'd see if Kubrick rose from the dead and reshot A Clockwork Orange with dolls he found in the drugstore crappy-toys aisle.
Note also how completely freaking huge this guy is in proportion to the bus. He and the two ladies behind him on the other bus would be around 8 feet tall, with heads the size of watermelons.
As you can see, the driver is in a separate compartment. I've seen buses that had two sections tethered together, but never quite like this. If you look closely at the back, it's not clear whether this was a planned thing or not...the rear "bus" has its own drivers, headlights, the whole deal. It was almost like one of those car-chase movies where the villain, here shown driving a short bus, reverses without warning and gets the unsuspecting larger bus caught on his hitch. I don't know. If you have a better explanation, I'm all ears.
I'm not really clear on whether this is supposed to be the same driver, who miraculously changed ethnicities and sprouted a Chairman Mao hat, or what.
There is also a woman in the isolated front compartment. I'm still not sure what the situation is. But the back is completely filled with Caucasian kids (International Coach, remember?) and, apparently, their dolls. Are we supposed to believe the girls brought the dolls on the bus and gave them their own seats? Do you know how fucking unlikely that is in India?
Also, there is a door in the back that dispenses either passengers or soft drinks. I can't tell.
The other side isn't much different...more kids, more weird random dolls, two male figures this time.
I'm not sure, but I think this might be an ancestor of one of the creepy boys on the original WTFbus.
This WTFbus wraps it up as only a true WTFbus can: with three disproportionate kids done in various illustration styles, an Afghan hound, and what may or may not be Lake Tahoe.
It joins my Fleet of the Damned, but it will rest in genteel retirement on a shelf. Partly because it's proof that this madness goes back decades, and partly because the box has about disintegrated into powder.
I wonder what other buses there are out there?
Last edited by Kitsa : Jul 17th, 2011 at 09:00 AM.
I noticed a couple things. For one, there's clearly some sort of extra-dimensional space thing going on in this bus, the passengers in the windows are clearly showing that this is a double-decker bus, yet based on the placement of the heads in windows, there is no possible way the asses of the people from the upper deck are not in the faces of the people in the lower deck, yet the pictures say differently.
Then there's the creepy child's face painted on the front of the bus. Forget reshooting a Kubrick movie, the need to reshoot Maximum Overdrive with that girl replacing the clown face on the truck
Wow, an orange WTF uh, coach. This one actually hurts my head a little.
The doll's head in the front gets cut off, but then still comes to a point. And the dolls obviously are getting equal sitting rights as the human passengers.
Good find, Kitsa. Here I never knew these things even existed and you've found 5 of them already.
That WTF submarine is gotta be out there somewhere.
I forgot the best thing about this WTF bus...instead of the "rrrrr" of the traction sound that's common with these, this one combines it with a bell. So you have a background rrrrrrr, but when you push it, it emits a muted *thump* DING *thump* DING *thump* DING.