The World of Toy Soldiers
For the peoples of the first nations, summer was the season for the Great Buffalo Hunts. During those ceremonial hunts, the whole village was participating either by killing the beasts or butchering their meat for transportation. In the popular imagery, the bison became so much associated with the Plains Indians that King and Country integrated some in its The Real West collection!
We recently talked of the USO show from the movie Apocalypse Now in a previous blog entry about Suzy-Q. But it’s already time to talk again of that scene as King and Country just released a set inspired by the three playmates from that scene! Behold the VN147 - The Apocalypse Playmates Set.
Five hundred years prior to the Spanish conquest of America, Vikings were already exploring the New World. Viking Sagas mention encounters with local peoples called the Skrælings. Those enigmatic folks are now appearing in the Conquest of America collection by John Jenkins. With the release of the JJ-SK-01 - Beothuk Warrior and beginning of a new sub-collection, it might be nice to look at who those mysterious Skrælings were.
Being able to sculpt a figure’s head at 1/30 scale is quite a challenge. Trying to reproduce a real person adds an extra layer of difficulty. Luckily, some people have facial features who make this job a bit easier. Such is the case with the new CW139 - Brigadier General Strong Vincent by King and Country. With his epic mutton chops, Grecian nose and piercing eyes, it is quite easy to recognize this historical figure… as long as you know the real person!
When I do have the chance, I like to ask my fellow collectors which piece is their favorite in their collection. After all, most of the collectors, if not all of them, have a favorite piece. The reasons why this piece is the favorite one vary a lot from one person to the other, but are always fun to hear and are also a good way to learn more about your friends. In my case, my favorite piece is the now retired JJ-MADCAM-01 - Beja Warrior Charging on Camel. Here is why I like it so much as a bit of details of how I started collecting pieces from the Mahdist War.
For Hong Kong, June is an important month. It was on June 9th 1898 that the Hong Kong territory was leased to the British for 99 years. As agreed,it was later given back to China on June 30th 1997. During those years, many toy soldier makers installed themselves on this territory. Such was the case for King and Country and, although it was not the plan at first, this eventually had an impact on the collections produced as we will see here..
Most of the toy soldiers have a name. This is usually a very descriptive name combined with a unique code like “ROM015 - Fighting w/Sword” or “NAP0250 - General Dorsenne”. Like the purpose of the name is only to help collectors, manufacturers and dealers to trade, there is no need to be over creative. But in some cases, there is a name that is going beyond that purely functional naming and it’s good when this happens. This month, King and Country released the very poetic HK304 - Watching The World Go By #2.
John Jenkins Designs' planes are certainly amongst the best toy soldiers vehicles produced. They are rich in details and exceptionally well painted. The planes from the Knights Of The Skies collection are my favorite as they often have surprising color schemes and beautiful nose arts. One of the best looking pieces released so far is probably the JJ-ACE-37 - FOKKER DVII (Degelow); a plane flown by a very interesting pilot.
Messalina is probably one of the most famous historical figures of Ancient Rome. Her scandalous behaviors and her participation in a plot against her husband gave her quite a bad reputation. Today, she is seen as the incarnation of the Roman vices and this is what this new RnB042 - Messalina figure is all about.
The Continental Army, raised on June 14 1775 for the Revolutionary War, led to the formations of several regiments within the Thirteen Colonies. In most of the cases, those regiments were sharing the same sewing pattern for their uniforms, only changing the colors of the fabrics. In the world of toy soldiers, this means that creating a new regiment is quite easy as the same figure can be painted in many versions. John Jenkins seems to have understood this and keeps covering new regiments by adding new recruits to his Drums Along the Mohawk collection. The latest addition being the JJ-SNY3-01 - 3rd New York Rgt Infantry Officer.