Midwest Toy Soldier Show 2018 Review


About a month ago, I decided that I was going to the Midwest Toy Soldier Show. I am glad I did. The show was in Lafayette, Indiana. It is about 11 hours away from my house. Me and my girlfriend made this a weekend get a way. Besides going to the show, we visited some antique shows in Indiana and along the way.

The main reason I went was because I wanted to meet Ron Barzso and get some of his sets. I was looking for the new old stock figures that are cast in a new material. I am a big collector of Barzso Playsets and I have  purchased 6 of his playsets & 100’s of figures over the years. The good news is that I found the sets I was looking for. The bad news is Ron will soon retire.

He and Ken from LOD are releasing “Yorktown Playset”. “Battle of Yorktown, Attack on the Redoubt # 10”. This will be Ron’s last playset and it is limited to 100 sets being made. I am glad that I went to the show, I was the first to pre-order a set. They will be taking 50 pre-orders of the set and then selling the rest at the show. Also Ken is having a Great Promotion with a chance to win a “Yorktown Playset”. If you pre-order 4 of the new Revolutionary sets, you get a 5th set free and an entry into a drawing for a free Barzso Yorktown Playset to be released this fall. Sounds like a Great deal to me!!! You can read more about the promotion over here at LOD Revolutionary War Pre-Sale (Buy 4 Sets Get 1 Free)



I purchased a bunch of the new old Barzso sets, some old Airfix bagged sets and boxed sets, bagged Conte sets, Marx German Motorcycle figures and a mix of different loose figures.



The show was smaller than most of the other shows that I have been too, but it was a quality show. It was a plastic toy soldiers dream come true. There were a few small children that were amazed by all the marvels to be found. I had a great time. I spent about an hour shopping and another 3 hours talking to different people. There were a bunch of dealers that just sell at the shows. There were plenty of boxes to rumble through to search for that missing figure that you have been looking for. Loads of vintage plastic figures, plus new plastic sets being sold. 


The first dealer I saw was Rick Eber with his Vintage Marx figures and playsets. He always has plenty of vintage toys. Visit Rick’s website for more information Rick Eber’s Marx Playsets.

Todd Nace had a nice setup of vintage plastic figures, vintage painted metal figures and some playsets.



Me and my girlfriend(Carolyn) spent some time talking to Gary & Susan Wendeln. Very nice people and helpful. They had a lot of vintage plastic figures and playset too. I purchased some bagged sets of Airfix from them.


Another vendor that was there was Doug Whelen. I spent some time talking to him, he is a really nice guy. Doug is a Veteran and a retired Police Officer. Right now he is unemployed and was selling off some of his collection. Some of his offerings were Marx Ben Hur Playset, Marx Ben Hur figures, 6 inch Marx figures, CTS Alamo set, Heritage Alamo set and a Marx Zorro set. Plus some other toys. You can reach him at 276-920-2899. 


Kole Sterling was another nice guy that had vintage plastic playsets and figures for sale. 


If you are looking for Barzso figures you have to come to one of the shows that Ron attends. At the show he was selling some of the older sets for $25.00 and the new old sets for $22.00. He also had some of his foam pieces too. Loose figures were $2.00 a piece. Plus some character figures at different prices. I got Long John Silver for $10.00. I revisited his table a few times, adding  a few  more sets each time I stopped by to talk. Me and my girlfriend had a good time talking to Ron and his wife Mary Ann. 


Jim Clouse of BattleBoards USA was another person that I had looked forward to meeting and talking too. He creates the foam pieces for Barzso playsets and now LOD. Besides that, his custom made terrain pieces are great. I will have to get some for a few of the playsets that I have. His work is a piece of art to me, it’s really amazing to see.



While I am talking about amazing work, Ed Borris custom figures are Great. He takes existing figures and then through different techniques he changes the poses. Sometimes by he heats up the arms and legs to change the pose. Other times he cuts figures up and then attaches them to new bodies, heads, arms, legs or different weapons to create a new custom figure. He uses metal pins to ensure that you figure is solid. Fantastic quality in each figure. Mike Kutnick was with Ed and they had some vintage sets and figures for sale too.


Paul & Donna Amody had some highly detailed painted metal figures for sale. Truly their figures are a piece of art. You can email them at handheldwarriors@gmail.com. 

Battleguard Ready1

I was glad to meet and talk to the new owners of the New Hope Design metal casted 54mm metal kits toy soldiers. Frank & Ellen Nefzger of Battleguard Ready! had sale on the sets at the show for $15.00. These castings are really nice. I am glad that they are making the figures here in the USA now. 

Battleguard Ready! Facebook page


Bill Richardson had a nice display of vintage toys.



Besides the toys, there was some nice artwork by Doug Dearth. 

Joe Hail2

Joe Hail had some nicely painted figures for sale. He also has a painting service. If you can’t or don’t have the time to paint you own figures.


Rick Berry of Michigan Toy Soldier was there too. I didn’t get a good picture of his table. I am using one of his pictures from the show. He was selling a lot of new plastic figures like Plastic Platoon Vietnam figures and X-Force toy soldiers.




John Stengel Jr also known as the Marx-Man and owner of Action Castings had plenty of vintage plastic figures too. I picked up some loose Conte, Barzso and TSSD figures from him. I talked to him for a while about what is going on with his figures. He said that there are some delays and he should have American Civil War marching figures and WWII German paratroopers for September at the Chicago show.



Daniel McLean of Toymiester had some nice vintage plastic figures and Tin buildings. 


Robert Way of Trains and Toy Soldiers had plenty of Conte figures at great prices. He also had some exclusive display items too. I purchased 2 Conte German sets and 1 Viking Set from them. He was very helpful.  Check out their website they have plenty of items for sale.

“Trains and Toys Soldiers is a family owned and operated business in the heart of the USA.  What started as a model railroading hobby has turned into a fast growing online business specializing in model trains, toy soldiers, and die-cast collectibles.  We have also added a line of children’s wooden railway toys, model kits and tools.  Our mission is to provide our customers with quality items at a reasonable price and great customer service.”



Francis Turner of Marx Toy Connection had his vintage Marx figures and toys at the show. I got two of the German Motorcycle figures from him. He is offering a chance to “Pick” his Marx Museum.


William Britain was one of the only vendors selling painted metal figures at the show. I joined the Collectors Club again, they are the only company of painted metal figures that I do collect at the moment. I wonder who won the prize?

Well that’s it folks. It was a wonderful show and at the end of the day I left happy. It was nice to talk to fellow collectors. I also visited some antique stores and found a few things. My girlfriend was happy to find some nice Pyrex bowls to add to her collection. I crossed one thing off my bucket list by meeting Ron Barzso. Next will be going to the Chicago Toy Soldier Show.


The next show that I am planning to go to is the Gettysburg Toy Soldier Show. You can read more on that in a blog article that I did a few weeks ago, Gettysburg Toy Soldier Show 2018.


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