We are about one week away from the 12th Annual Gettysburg Toy Soldier Show. I am not just attending the show, but this year I will also be selling off some of my collection.
Besides selling toys I will have a display of the Prikaz Toy Soldiers for you to see first hand. Alexey’s figures are full of character and are a great addition to any collection. My favorite Prikaz miniatures are the Medieval ones.
I have been coming to the Gettysburg Toy Soldier Show for years now. The show has mixture of both plastic and painted metal miniatures for sale. Both new and old. You will find quality dealers and local collectors (like me) selling off some of their collections of toys, books and other historical items. You can read about some of the reviews I did the past couple of years in the links below.
I will get to Gettysburg on Saturday and stay at the Eisenhower Hotel. I am going to visit the different shops that are around Lincoln Square, then down Baltimore Street. My favorite street to shop is on Steinwehr Ave. They have a few shops that sell toy soldiers and one that only sells toy soldiers. After shopping I will visit the Historic 1776 Dobbin House Tavern to get something to eat. There are a bunch of other places to visit through the town and surrounding area. To enjoy the battlefield you should spend a few days to study it. If you only have a day or two then visit the park center. You can read more in the links below about the town and battlefield.
I received some Information about Publius’s two new sets from a fellow collector Антон Гориченко. He told me that the new sets are based on the movie “Fire and Sword”.
The first set in blue is of Cossacks.
The second set in red is of Poles. This an interesting period when gun powder came to be more commonly used and battlefield tactics changed.
Here are some pictures that another collector Petya Ivanov had shared. They are Publius Roman figures and Vikings from Runecraft. Some are made of a hard resin and the others are made of a soft rubber type plastic or resin.
Here are some more pictures of the Runecraft & Publius figures.
Here are some more pictures of the LOD Amazon plastic figures. They should be available in the fall.
I have two Mars sets that I recently received. The first one was the Mars Pirates of the Caribbean set. There are 15 plastic figures in 8 different poses.
The are cast in a chocolate brown plastic. The scale is about 1/32 in scale or 54mm. They appear to be the same size as Airfix, Accurate and Barzso figures.
This looks like best set of figures that Mars has made. The poses are full nice. So are the details of the figures. The weapons look pretty good too.
I match them with some Barzso figures and the look great together. The poses are full of action. Some of these can be used as character figures too.
They get a A rating from me. I am very pleased. The only negative could be the color. They did look better in grey as shown with the prototypes. They are now ready to set sail. I hope that Mars continues to make some other naval sets in the future. Maybe some Pirate hunters or Royal Marines?
Next we continue with the Mars WW II Luftwaffe Field Division set. There are 15 figures in 8 different poses.
The are cast in a blue gray plastic. The scale is about 1/32 in scale or 54mm. They appear to be the same size as Airfix figures.
The poses in this set are filled with action, even the guy getting shot. I like the poses. The guy with the panzerfaust is a much need pose. I think one is a sniper. They are on the attack.
I thought that these would look good with some of the Airfix figures that I have. They German Infantry set was a little thicker. I next took out some Marx Germans. These were bigger than the Mars. The MPC figure that I had match very well. Some of the poses looked better with the different brands.
I took out some of my Airfix Paratroopers. The originals were a little smaller. I then got some of the new Airfix Paratroop figures that cast about 5 years ago. These look better with the Mars figures. In case you didn’t know the last batch of Airfix figures in the hard plastic are a little bigger than the soft plastic ones. This is probably because the plastic shrunk less.
I was going to wrap up this part of the review and then I remembered about the Airfix German Mountain Troops that I had gotten a few months ago. These match well with some of the Mars figures. I like the fact that the two with the caps art action figures. The Mountain troops didn’t have a bunch of action poses in that set.
I wish that these figures were a little thicker. They would have looked a lot better. The weapons in this set were better detailed than some of the previous WWII sets. I like the color too. One negative was the flash on a couple of the figures. Especially dividing the face on a couple. They do fill a role in my Wehrmacht.
That concludes the reviews and now we move into some of the hobby news. I purchased both sets from Kent Sprecher of Toy Soldier HQ. He was offering a discount on the sets. They cost $22.50 each. Send him a message to see if he is still discounting them.
One of my favorite themes to collect is from the Great Plains Indians Wars period. When collecting figures for this theme Paragon is one of the first companies that come to mind first. If not, it should be. You can visit their website by clicking on this link here Paragon.
Box Art from one of Paragon’s sets.
I first learned about Paragon Scenics & Miniatures in 2012. They produce Western themed sets in plastic. Their miniatures fit into three themes; The Alamo, American Civil War and The Great Plains Indian Wars. Besides the miniatures they also sell foam terrain pieces, buildings and Forts. They also have produced a few playsets. Their Native Americans figures are considered some of the best ever made in plastic.
I have wanted to do an interview with Gene since I started doing them. But we couldn’t set some thing up until now. With the help of Ed Borris I was able to put this together. Thanks Ed : )
An Ed Borris figure by Jason Pope fighting off two Paragon Native Sioux Warriors.
Today we get a chance to talk to Gene Abravaya the owner of Paragon Scenics & Miniatures. Hi Gene. Thank you in advance for taking your time to answer some of these questions.
Box Art from one of Paragon’s sets.
Warhorse Miniatures: Can you tell us about yourself and how did Paragon get started?
Gene: First of all, thank you Mike for giving me this opportunity to reach out to other collectors. This labor of love started a long, long time ago for me when, back in 1959 or so, I received my first Marx Fort Apache playset. I admit that, during my teenage and college years, when I was more concerned about dating and pleasing girlfriends, I was absent from the hobby. After that, pursuing a career and then raising a family took me further away. But always the love of toy soldiers lingered. It wasn’t until my own children gave me a set of Lord of The Rings figures that the desire to collect was reawakened. And shortly after that, the desire to create my own line of figures took hold of me. I have always been a creative person, a lover of all the arts and an over-achiever – the type of person who has always looked to challenge himself. If I was going to make my own line of figures, I was going to make them myself. Something in me kept saying ,”you can do this.” So I did.
(Gene continues) After checking out the leading manufacturers of new figure sets – Conte and TSSD in particular, I realized how far the industry had come. The work they did and continue to do in advancing the quality of product has to be recognized for its genius and respected its love for the hobby. They were my inspiration and still are. I contacted Nick VerSteeg, who not only unselfishly gave me the benefit of all his insight but gave me the names of the people I needed to contact if I was serious about getting into “the business.” That’s how it started, and after producing sixteen different sets and close to thirty foam diorama pieces, I am still at it.
Warhorse Miniatures: Your Native American figures are some of the best sculpted miniatures ever made. Who is the sculptor and can you tell us any background in the development with these figures?
Gene: Whether or not other collectors are a fan of my figures, I can honestly say they are the product of my own creation. I personally sculpt each figure of each set. The process has taught me patience if nothing else.
Warhorse Miniatures: Your latest set is the Alamo Mexican Set 3. They look very nice. I like the new pattern of mixing some mounted figures with figures on foot. Will you continue this practice?
Gene: Most of our sets are six figures. Recently, because of rising costs, I have released new sets with four poses but, in many cases, these sets have swivel and swappable heads, giving collectors options that they don’t have when buying other manufacturers’ sets with six or more poses with fused features.
Warhorse Miniatures: It seems that you are very fond of the American West or American Civil War History. Have you ever thought about producing another theme?
Gene: Taking a serious look at what had already been produced and what needed to be produced, it seemed like there was an opportunity to make my own presence known to the collecting community by beginning with a line of figures that, growing up, I had always wanted for myself. I have always loved John Ford’s Cavalry trilogy – Fort Apache, Rio Grande, and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. At that time no one had done the Apache Wars of the Southwest, circa 1870’s, so it seemed like the perfect time to do it. We now do three Apache warrior sets, four US Cavalry sets and one set of Cavalry and Apache Scouts.
(Gene Continues) From there we have produced two sets of Civil War figures, Sioux warriors and, another personal favorite, The Alamo. The very next set I received as a boy after my Marx Fort Apache was, you guessed it, Disney’s Davy Crockett Alamo playset. I still remember watching the Davy Crockett series on TV. It was the first time, I believe, a main character of any TV series, died at the end, and if you didn’t exactly see him Fess Parker die (I think the final scene Davy is swinging his rifle at the top of the stairs, the camera pans up as he is surrounded by Mexican soldiers from all sides), it was definitely implied. Nevertheless, to a youngster it was riveting and The Alamo, became not just a monument and a memorial to the nation but something epic in scale in my imagination. I’m very proud of my Alamo sets. What they lack in authenticity, they make up for in drama and versatility. The Mexicans are very reminiscent of Disney’s original designs (minus the backpacks) and the defenders are not just buckskin-clad Tennesseans but from all walks including Tejano.
Warhorse Miniatures: There was some talk on one of the forums about you retiring at the end of this year? What are your plans?
Gene: That brings us to the present and the future of Paragon Scenics and Miniatures. I am currently working on a whole array of foam scenic pieces, twenty or more to be specific, intended for five new playsets that are in development. Two will be 7th Cavalry in concept – Paragon’s version of Custer Hill and the defensive position by Reno and Benteen’s men on the bluffs above.
(Gene Continues) Two will be what I call The Antietam Series – The Bloody Road and the taking of Burnside’s Bridge.
(Gene Continues) The fifth and last of the new playsets will be an expanded version of what we began with – The Final battle in John Ford’s Fort Apache. I believe the design and detail in these new pieces will be unsurpassed by anything plastic collectors have seen in the past, and I hope they delight and spark not only those collectors’ imaginations but their children’s and their grandchildren’s.
Warhorse Miniatures: Thank you again Gene. Is there anything else that you would like to say to the readers?
Gene: What does the future hold? My answer to that is “who knows”. I have always been driven by inspiration and by my wife’s love and patience. Currently, I have sacrificed a den, a guest room and 90% of my garage to this business. How much more I can sacrifice depends on my health, my wife’s love and her patience. Happy collecting to all!
Well that is some exciting news about all the future sets and terrain pieces. I can not wait until the Plains Indian theme sets show up.
Paragon makes some really nice foam pieces. You should try to get them while they are still available.
Their figures blend very well with other companies like these Barzso Buffalo. They also look great with the TSSD Native American sets. Speaking of TSSD, the new owners have a new website over here at https://micshaunscloset.com/.
Warhorse Miniatures is proud to support Prikaz Toy Soldiers. I have set up a online catalog for Alexey Pisarev. The page is still under construction and will be updated soon. It also will be updated as each new set is produced. You can see and read more about this over here at Prikaz Toy Soldiers.
Well folks that is it for now. Thank you for reading.
I went to sleep around 11pm. I got up early around 6am. At 7am I went to the showroom and helped John Stengel Jr carry all his boxes in to setup for the show. It was an interesting event in itself. Seeing all the vendors setup their tables and put together their displays. The vendor list is over at the Midwest Toy Soldier website http://www.mwtoysoldier.com/.
With my camera in hand and a bunch of Prikaz Medieval sets in an old Army gasbag that I had at my side I then walked around the showroom talking to the vendors. I passed out business card for my website and show off the Prikaz figures. I also took a few pictures.
Stephen Connell is one of the promoters of the show. He had a bunch of vintage painted metal sets and some 6 inch Marx figures. He also had a nice Conte Battering Ram set. I forgot to go back to look at that. Later on after the show I asked Stephen how the attendee was this year. He said “Hello Mike….record crowd…the most people we have had in the four years we have had the show…and more than the previous five shows held at Indianapolis…great turnout!!! Thanks.” That is really good news for the hobby.
Talking about Conte, there was a Conte Roman Galley for sale at the show. I heard they were asking $1,500!!! It was nice. But out of my price range.
Here are some pictures from the show.
Even though most of the show was plastic toy soldiers there were some painted metal sets too. W. Britain was represented by Ted Deddens. Besides the W. Britain figures Ted also had some other older painted ones.
As a proud W. Britain Collector Club Member. I re-joined again. They had a nice special for this show. Join or re-join and you get two collector club figures as part of the membership. Their are a lot of benefits for joining. Besides the exclusive CC figures, you get all the latest updates and interesting articles in the “The Standard”. It is in full color, triannual magazine, packed full of fascinating facts, hints and tips, with exclusive articles. You can read about more of the other benifets at https://www.wbritain.com/collectors-club/.
As usual Rick Eber had a bunch of vintage Marx figures and playsets again.
Ed Borris was at the show too. He and Mike sell new and old plastic figures. Ed had a couple of exclusive sets. One that he’s still selling are the Barzso Indians in camp set that is cast in metal. This is one of the few figure sets that Ron Barzso had done in metal. Ed also has some Alamo Mexicans cast from original Barzso sculpts. You should try to pick up these sets before they are sold out. You can also get one of the Ron Barzso or Ed Borris figures too.
Rich Egan had a bunch of vintage plastic figures for sale. He also had some Barzso and Conte figures. Plus some playsets.
Gary Green was at the show also. He always has tons of plastic. Both 1/32 & 1/72 scale boxed figure sets. He has bagged sets of figures and flat boxes of new & old plastic figures for sale. Check out his website https://army-group-center-wargaming.myshopify.com/.
Cal Luckett had a bunch of vintage plastic too.
Rick Berry was at the show also. He had a mixture of vintage plastic figures, playsets, new boxed & bagged plastic sets. He had a lot of the foreign plastic figure sets like Plastic Platoon and X-Force. Plus magazines and other hobby related items. Check out his website at https://www.michtoy.com/.
Paul & Donna Amody had the beautifully painted St. Petersburg miniatures as usual.
Rod and his son Tera Roberts had a bunch of Ultimate Soldier and other toy soldiers for sale.
I heard that Joe Saine had sold most of his toy soldiers before the show even started. I think that the room trading was up this year too. The only thing he had left for the show was these Elastolin figures. You can check out his auction page at https://www.josephsaine.com/index.html.
Here are some more pictures from the show.
Dan McLean had a bunch of vintage plastic figures too.
Volk Designs had their one of a kind hand made Medieval and French & Indian War related buildings and other accessories displayed. You can only find him at the shows.
Gary Wendeln had a bunch of Airfix boxed and bagged figure sets. He also had some display pieces and playsets.
John Stengel Jr surfaced again with a bunch of vintage plastic & new plastic sets available. He had a bunch of tables full of plastic boxes full of plastic figures. There were some playsets, tin buildings also. He usually has some rare Marx sets, Barzso figures and Conte figures too. John only sells at the toy soldier shows. You never know what he will have. Sometimes he has some limited run figure sets that he produces. He has had a few setbacks but should have WWII German Paratroops this September at the Chicago show. Towards the end of the show a black suburban with tinted windows scooped him away not to be seen again….
Ron Barzso had some exclusive “Last of the Mohicans” character figures for sale at the show. I think that he had about 10 of these sets with him. Maybe less. I did purchase one set at the end of the show.
Ron brought with him a bunch of loose figures that he was selling for $3.00 a piece. He also had some bagged figure sets. I think most were for sale at $25.00 a bag. There were also a lot of character figures. I had 4 sets of the Prikaz Medieval sets with me. I showed them to Ron and he liked them very much.
Ed Borris flipping over a table.
Towards the end of the show Ed Borris got upset and flipped over his table and attacked some of the vendors. I was able to take a picture…..
Collector Thomas Kontos and the owner of Warring Warbirds Michael Sreckov.
It is nice to meet fellow collectors and owner of toy companies.
Things that I got at the show.
Here are some close up pictures of the figures that I got from Ron Barzso.
Ron had some loose mold test shot figures for sale. They feel like plastic.
Here are some of the Barzso Pirates in blue.
Here are some of the bagged sets that I got.
Some more Barzso character figures and accessories.