|T.V. Pal Plastic Ukulele|
Once again, I want to pay a special thanks to +Mike Simpson for his unwavering patience and enthusiasm. A number of the photos shown in this post are mashups of photos you can find in Mike's albums. Please go and check them out and drop Mike a comment or two... I know that he'd appreciate it.
|The first plastic uke that I'm going to call out is this handsome T.V. Pal.|
This might actually be my favourite of Mike's plastic ukes. The headstock
says "Mastro" rather than "Maccaferri", but don't be fooled; I've learnt that
Mastro was the name of Maccaferri's plastic injection molding company.
It does look more toy-like than the Islander, but you can see the
'trademark' wood effect in the plastic. Maccaferri's production
techniques were to try and achieve a wood-like grain (though he didn't
always use wood-like colours). The patterns you see are unique to
each instrument and I think this adds to the charm of his instruments.
The Pal in the picture above this one doesn't have Mastro on the head
and is an older model.
|Maccaferri is famous for inventing the Selmer guitar|
that was loved so much by Django Reinhardt. Look what I
found! I've pinched these pictures from Blue Dog Guitars.
The Moodyville Ukulele Company produces this uke
in the style of the guitar that Maccaferri invented.
See the distinctive soundhole. These ukes are made
by Shelley Park and look to be quality instruments. I love
the tidy look to the body. Note to self... I
probably need to return here in the future.
|Sorry, I couldn't resist this little diversion. To me the Selmer|
sound-hole looks a lot like a giant eye. Here's a fantastic
photo from Robert Armstrong's photo album of a one-eyed
|One of my blogging buddies +Lisa Thoms attended the Virginia Uke Fest|
at the tail end of last year. She came back with some wonderful pictures.
She's been kind enough to let me share this one of a Carnival plastic uke
that dates from the 50s. I'd recommend checking out all of her photos.
The important thing about the Carnival uke for this story is that it was
manufactured by the Carnival Novelty Factory. When Maccaferri retired
in 1969, he sold most of his manufacturing molds to Carnival!
Carnival are still around today, but I don't know if they're making plastic
|Having shown you a lot of vintage plastic ukes, I think it only right to also|
show you some more modern ones. Here's a range of carbon fibre ukes
manufactured by Karadoo. I haven't found their main website, but I'm
suspicious that I might have found a blog being run by the Karadoo company.
The ukes have a very distinctive look to them from the front, but the magic
really starts when you turn them over to reveal a moulded back. See the finish
too with its textured dots. I get the impression that these high-end ukes can
be customised to your exacting specifications. I wonder if anyone would
send me one to review... ;-)
|Finally, here are some pictures that I've pinched from Uke Cafe of a|
range of plastic ukes being sold in Japan. Yep... the "Amaze" is
a modern copy of the Maccaferri! I like the translucent plastic being used
for the body and the price doesn't seem too extortionate.
Okay.... I need to stop writing this post and do other things. There was a whole piece I wanted to do on strings... but due to lack of information and time, this will have to wait for another day.
Once again. Thanks to +Mike Simpson and everyone else mentioned in this post... I've really enjoyed putting it together for you.