Latest News!!! December 1st, 2018. New Owners of TSSD, No Texas Toy Soldier Show in 2019.

After a couple of months of speculation about the status of Toy Soldiers of San Diego there was an announced today. The new owner is David Cook. He is the eBay seller MicShaun’s Closet.

TSSD

I have purchased toy soldier sets from them in the past on eBay. I’ve had great service from them. The last time was in July when I ordered 3 sets of the Paragon Plains Indians. I can’t wait to see what their plans are.

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https://www.ebay.com/usr/micshaunscloset2013

https://www.facebook.com/MicShaunsCloset/?hc_location=ufi

TSSD Romans

I would like to thank Nick and DeAnna for their time put into creating some nice figure sets and expanding the hobby of Toy Soldiers for us plastic guys.

 

 

Texas

We have some sad news to mention too. The Texas Toy Soldier Show will not continue in 2019. But it should be back in 2020.

Thank you for reading. I hope to have some future posts in a couple of weeks.

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Latest News!!! November 23rd 2018. Black Friday Deals!! Plus some Hobby News……

Black Friday

I hope everyone didn’t eat to much turkey this year. Now that your stomach has settled it is time to find some deals on toys!!! I have a few places to go that I noticed had sales for Black Friday or the holiday season. I hope you guys make out like a Bandit. So lets us begin in alphabetical order.

 

 

AIP logo

AIP Sale

We begin at Armies in Plastic

 

 

ATS

ATS Sale

Next is ATS Toy Soldiers.

classictoysoldiers.com

CTS Sale

Next we visit Classic Toy Soldiers.

lod-logo

LOD Sale

Check out the sale at LOD Enterprises Toy Soldiers.

MTS 

MTS Sale1

MTS Sale2

Next we head over to Michigan Toy Soldier Co.

Latest News

That is it with the sales. We will head over now for some hobby news. 

W Britain

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Besides collecting plastic figures I also collect some of the metal painted miniatures too. The past few years I have been buying mainly W. Britain “Wrath of the Northmen”. I also belong to the W. Britain Collector’s club.

W Britain CC

I like the club. You get to pick one exclusive figure every year and are able to purchase other limited figures. Also included are a magazine, catalog and updates. Beside that they have some sales once in a while like the pictures below show.

W Britain CC1W Britain CC2W Britain CC3W Britain CC4

BMC Toys

BMC NewsBMC JapaneseBMC Marx Battle

Over at BMC Toys Jeff has been real busy this year with adding a lot of vintage recasted figure sets to their line of toys. They are starting to add some Marx World War II sets and accessories. They have Plans of bringing back the Marx WWII Marines in green and tan early next year.

BMC RussiansBMC Peyton4

We should see the Marx WWII Russians figures, Japanese figures, Axis Ambush playset accessories and Peyton Anti-Aircraft vehicles soon. Some of these sets should be here next week.

BMC Iwo JimaBMC Rough Riders

The news does not end there. The BMC Iwo Jima playset and Rough Riders are available in a week or so. Both of these set have been retooled with new colors and a few other things changed.

Mars Japanese

 

 

I read over at Stad’s Stuff earlier this month about Mars Toy Soldiers is going to release a set of World War II Japanese Infantry. They look crude but might look better painted or converted. I will get a set one day to fill up the ranks of my  Japanese forces. 

 

 

This is my Pre-Black Friday deal. I purchased these Lone Star Harvey Series Cowboys & Indian figures for about $7.00. I had some clones of these figures but never the original ones. I like them a lot. 

Lone Star1Lone Star2Lone Star3

 

 

If I missed any sales send me a message and I will update the post. Thanks for reading. Now go out shopping, lol.

 

 

 

 

 

A Tribute To Bill Lango. The East Coast Toy Soldier Show, Sunday November 4th 2018. & Weston D-Day British Infantry Toy Soldier Review.

East Coast Show1East Coast Show

It is less than a week for one of the largest Toy Soldier shows. On Sunday November 4th in Hackensack, NJ starting 9am over hundred dealers will be met by hundreds of collectors looking for treasures. Here are few pictures below from last year. If you want you can read my review of last years show here East Coast Toy Soldier Show 2017 Review.

ECTSS3ECTSS2

This show has alot of plastic figures, metal painted figures and all kinds of other toys too. There is something for everyone. Last year I was there for about 4 hours.

ECTSS1ECTSS

This will be the 36th year for the show and maybe the last one. As many of you know Bill Lango passed away this year. There has been talk that the Lango family will not continue running the show after this year. So attend if you have not been to the show in a while or never went to it. 

You can read more about the show at their website East Coast Toy Soldier Show.

 

Weston D Day British

I remember Bill used to publish the Toy Soldier Review. Here is a Toy Soldier Review of my own. I picked up a set of the Weston D-Day British Troops earlier this year. This set came out about 5 years ago. I have been looking for some British Infantry that would fit with my Conte figures. These guys fit the bill. They blend with the Conte British Paratroopers very well. The set has 12 figures in 6 different poses.

It looks like there are 6 poses of Infantry men with no officer. I like that there are different styles of the helmets. Some are plain, others with a cover on it and then some with camouflage. I will try to customize a few by just swapping helmets.  

50th_division

These figures have a resin type feel to them, like the LOD Revolutionary figures. I am going to paint half them and hope they will look like something in the picture below.

British Infantry

My last picture shows a comparison of the Weston and Conte figures. 

Weston Conte

If your not tied up this weekend, head over to the show. That is it for now. Thank You for reading.

Wild West

Interview with Andrew Stevenson of Replica Metal Soldiers & Models. Plus some hobby news.

When I was young my Parents & Grandmother would buy me and my brother plastic toy soldiers. I also had some painted metal figures too. As a kid I had some Prince August toy soldier molds. I would melt the metal and then cast & paint them. I still have some of those figures. 

 

Replica Metal Soldiers

The other day I met Andrew Stevenson on Facebook. I have seen his pro-painted figures on eBay for a few years now. He is also the owner of Replica Metal Soldiers & Models. His company sells painted and unpainted metal toy soldiers. Their figures reminded me of the the early Britain painted metal sets.

Metal Figures4

Warhorse Miniatures: Hi Andrew. For years I have seen your pro painted figures on eBay. I always admired your painting skills. Now I see you’re the owner of “Replica Metal Soldiers & Models.” Can you gives us some history of you and your company?

Andrew Stevenson: I’ve been collecting and painting Toy Soldiers, Wargame and Model soldiers since I was a kid. I still have a crate full of Airfix 1/72 Napoleonic’s which were my favorites when I was a child. My Gran dad and Dad collected and so I’ve had Toy Soldiers of one type or another in my life since I can first remember. I have always enjoyed painting figures and love painting plastics in Matt in all scales and I’ve undertaken some big private commissions over the past 4-5 years for collectors in 1/72 and 1/32.

Metal Figures10

My real personal passion, and my own collection is traditional glossy figures, and it was my Gran dad who really got me into these when he retired and started collecting again. To be able to commercially produce figures for fellow collectors has been a dream come true and I was very fortunate following a discussion with James Opie. I had visited him to see his collection, that the opportunity to acquire the Late Pat Campbell’s Replica Models came up. Pat was a true enthusiast who supplied some of the great names in the toy soldier world with castings and his own unique painted sets which were exquisitely painted in both Gloss and Matt.

Metal Figures14

I’m both privileged and honored to have the chance to build upon Pats work, and continue to supply collectors with figures, both as castings and painted figures. A once in a lifetime opportunity, and I thank James Opie and Margaret Campbell for helping make my toy soldier dream a reality. I hope that Replica Metal Soldiers and Models will continue the tradition of the gloss toy soldier well into the 21st Century. Exciting times for the glossy I hope!

Metal Figures1

Warhorse Miniatures:  I read on your website that you have plans on expanding the ranges in the future. What ranges are you going to go into?

Andrew Stevenson: I’m focusing on re-releasing the original Replica range of Indian Army figures, originally a joint venture between Bill Cranston and Pat Campbell. There are 70 sets listed in the paperwork I have, so far sorted out the first 40 or so sets. I’m also going through the other moulds and discovering more recasts of hollow figures and adding the to the recast list.

There are also other figures in the range which fill in the gaps Britains never made, and this is something I’m looking to expand. My first releases are RN landing party with field gun, all in full equipment, and RN figures at the ready and kneeling at the ready, and Indian Army figures to complement the original Britains Indian army figure but in different poses. I have also a new Chelsea Pensioner figure. In the next phase I have Anglo Egyptian War Egyptians/Turks, and plenty of others on the work bench! My Ideas book just keeps growing!

Metal Figures12

Warhorse Miniatures: What is the average cost for your figures?

Andrew Stevenson: My figures start from £3.75p and £9 for a mounted figure as castings, with Painted figures in the toy soldier style starting from £8-9 for a foot. My spare arms and heads start from 35p. I want to provide a good quality reasonably priced product for collectors of all budgets, so will supply castings and painted items in any quantity. I always charge postage at cost, to ensure that that collectors get best value. Why waste money on over the top postage…. Buy another couple of figures!

Warhorse Miniatures: It looks like you’re a one man show. Do you have any help?

Andrew Stevenson: Yes, I’m a “One Man Show”! I design, sculpt, cast, clean, paint and dispatch. So, my figures really do get the personal touch! I do sometimes have support from friends at the show, and I have a lot of support from others in the hobby, including James Opie and Chris Bartlett and my good friend Craig Appleton at Redcoat Models who have all helped me get Replica up and running again.

Warhorse Miniatures: One other question that I have. Are you ready to take orders from the USA? Or is most of your business done locally in England?

Andrew Stevenson: I’ll take orders from wherever they want my troops! Post will all be at cost. I send tracked and signed only abroad.

Pro Painted3aPro Painted4a

Besides all the work that Andrew is doing with his new company he also does a lot of custom work. Both with painting and some customizing of the poses. He sells some of his pro-painted plastic figures on eBay. I will have all the links listed below at the end of this article. Send him a message if you are working on a project and need some help.

You can find Andrew at some of the shows in England.

Show4

John Tunstill and James Opie and Andrew Stevenson at the Replica Stand Birmingham Toy Soldier Fair 2018.

 

I am glad to see new companies continuing the classic style of  traditional toy soldiers. Listed below are all the links that Andrew has.

Replica Metal Soldiers & Models

Replica Metal Soldiers & Models on Facebook

Custom painted figures on eBay – painted172

That concludes the interview with Andrew Stevenson. I would like to thank Andrew for taking his time to answer the questions. Now here is some hobby news below.

News

East Coast Show1

“Please join us Sunday, November 4th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 for the 36th Annual East Coast Toy Soldier Show & Sale, where history comes alive. Sponsored by Vintage Castings, Inc., once again, the show will be held at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Rothman Center, 100 University Plaza Drive, Hackensack, NJ 07601. Plenty of free on-site parking and a convenient bus ride from Manhattan. Admission is $7 (free for children under twelve).
Our show has grown to become the largest and best attended toy soldier show on the East Coast with tons of soldiers, militaria, military miniatures, diecasts, G.I. Joe and action figures, dioramas and antique and collectible toys from ancient toy soldiers to Star-Wars and everything in between – including our 6th Hess Toy Truck Meet & Greet.  Plan now to attend this once-a-year event and for the opportunity to connect with other collectors and share nostalgic memories. The Hess Meet & Greet is an event where you can bring your Hess Trucks for appraisals, or display your rarities, or just hang out and chat with other collectors. Participation in the Meet & Greet is free with paid admission to the show.
Now some sad news – many of you might not know that William Lango, toy soldier guru and organizer of our show, suddenly passed away this summer. He was a great man in all respects and a “regular” guy, originally from Queens, New York.  A true patriot, he loved his country, was a member of the VFW and proudly served aboard Naval destroyer USS Mullinnix during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  He was a member of Operating Engineer’s Local 68. Artist, historian, writer, editor and magazine publisher (Toy Soldier
Review Magazine), he was at the forefront of the re-emerging toy soldier hobby in the 1980’s. An avid toy soldier and toy train enthusiast, he founded Vintage Castings, making and specializing in American Dimestore-style figures (acquiring many of the original molds from the defunct Barclay factory). Through his work and mentorship, he brought
many different generations of toy soldier enthusiasts together and helped grow the hobby. For all his accomplishments, he was always fair and honest – lived a simple yet exemplary life – was humble and never tried to impress. The world and the hobby community doesn’t see people like this very often.  Bill appreciated and valued all his friends in the toy soldier, toy train and Hess toy truck communities and we will all miss
him. In homage to his love and devotion to the hobby, our family is carrying on his legacy this year by running the show as a tribute to him. We hope you can join us on November 4th to salute Bill!
In friendship and appreciation for all your years of patronage,
The Lango Family”
East Coast Show

I wanted to share an email from the Lango family with some information about the show and the passing of Bill. 

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The Tecumseh’s Woodland Indians set is available now from Expeditionary Force. They are listed as 54mm. I will see if I can pick this set when I go to the East Coast Toy Soldier show on November 4th.

CHTO12CHTO19

Chintoys released two new sets. CHT012 Conquistadors Set 2 and CHT019 Aztec Warriors in 1/32 scale. They should be available now.

 

That is it for now. Thank you for reading 🙂

An Interview with Ron Barzso of Barzso Playsets.

“Remember the feeling you had as a kid when you received a playset for a present?”

“Looking at the box, opening those little bags that contained treasures never before seen, setting up for the first time… Well, now you can recapture those feelings with a brand new playset from BARZSO PLAYSETS!”

barzso-playsets

These are the words you will see when you visit the Barzso Playset website. In 1993 Ron brought back the second Golden Age of Toy Soldier Playsets. Barzso Playsets released their first playset “Roger’s Rangers, In the Attack on St. Francis”.

The Figures1

It was the first new American produced playset in about 25 years. Barzso Playsets would release a new playset almost every year after for the next 25 years. Most of his products were focused on early American history. From early colonial history to the American Civil War. The French & Indian War was a major theme of his. The Native American Indian figures are some of the best figures every produced. He also brought to life some of our childhood classic stories like John Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” and the medieval tale of “Robin Hood”.

Wigwam1

Most of there early figures were casted in resin and so were the playset accessories. Their products were made in the USA. Later on they used plastic injected molds to make the figures and they were made in China. They still continued to use resin casted character figures and accessories that are made here in the USA.

Barzso China

Besides producing some great playsets Barzso sold figure packs, different kinds of small accessories and foam buildings. But some of his best products had to be the forts and castles they made.

Barzso Playset3

Barzso brought collectors dreams come to life. Today his products are very desirable and can command a premium price.

Barzso Playset A

This year at the Chicago Toy Soldier Show Barzso Playsets in a joint venture with LOD Enterprises will release a playset together.

Yorktown1

The other day I got a chance to talk to Ron Barzso and ask him a few questions. He and his family were busy packaging their final playset the “Battle of Yorktown: Attack on Redoubt #10”.

 

 

We talked over the phone. This was the first time I did an interview over the phone. I had some questions written out to ask. The conversion was almost a half hour. As we talked I took notes to use later on for this article. The conversation moved into different directions as you will see as you read further. 

 

 

 

Warhorse Miniatures: Hi Ron, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. I would like to say I am a big fan of your work and have followed your company for a while now. It started with the first playset, Roger’s Rangers.

My first questions is; Who is Ron Barzso and how did all of this start?

 

Ron Barzso: (Ron laughed at who is Ron Barzso) Ron told me he was a 5th grade teacher(his wife Mary is also a teacher) and a collector of toy soldiers. He would go to the shows in the 1980’s with like sixty dollars in his pocket and be amazed at the prices that some of the playsets were going for. After a while Ron got tired of seeing nothing new being produced or nothing that he was interested in. He started doing some research on making his own playsets. After seeing collectors spending a lot on old toys he realized that there would be a market for his products. So he started reaching out to different companies. He started working with some small local companies to start the business.

 

Plastic Addict

Roger’s Rangers raiding. Here is a picture from the http://playsetaddict.com/

Warhorse Miniatures: One of the main themes of your sets is early American Colonial history. Your first set was Roger’s Rangers playset. What was the main reason that you started here.

 

Ron Barzso: Ron told me he loved history. One of his favorite movies is “Northwest Passage” He said “that would be a cool playset”. He saw an ad about Hudon Allen Studio. He contacted them and met Ken Olsen. Ken was the sculptor of the Roger’s Rangers figures. Ron used a few different companies to put together the playset. One did the figures and accessories. Another produced the buildings.

NW1

Barzso Rangers1Barzso Rangers2

Warhorse Miniatures: One of the things that I remember about your sets is the amount of detail given. Of all your playsets, do you have a favorite? Or which one was the most fun to produce.

Ron Barzso: After about 15 seconds of thought Ron said he had two that came to mind. “The Last of the Mohicans and Treasure Island”.

Treasure Island is one of Ron’s favorite books. Ron reread Treasure Island and used details from the book to design some of accessories. The late Steve Lortz sculpted the figures. Ron had a lot fun bringing this playset to life.

Barzso Playset2

The second set was “Last of the Mohicans”. While at the West Coast Show in the mid 1990’s Ron was approached by some executives from 21st Century. They wanted Ron to develop a playset for them. These executives were also collectors of toys soldiers. After some talks they agreed to use “Last of the Mohicans” for the playset. Ron like the characters and story. Plus the historical background. Wes Studi even autographed a picture of himself for each playset. Ron said about 550 playsets were made. He was able to visit the studio set of the movie. They gave Ron some movie stills and few blue print designs they used in the movie. One of the blue prints was of Fort William Henry which Ron said is about twelve feet by 3 feet. It is a everlasting reminder of the playset and movie for him.

Barzso LOTM1

Both of these sets were followed up with expansion sets. A few ships where made and a Pirates cove set were made to go with the Treasure Island set. For the Last of the Mohicans set they made Fort William Henry.

Barzso Playset2aFort William Henry

 

Warhorse Miniatures: In 2017 you allowed Ken Ciak of LOD Enterprises to produce your Medieval and Revolutionary War figures. Now that your going to retire soon, do you have any plans for Ken to produce some of your other sets? And if yes, which other sets?

 

Ron Barzso: Ron said that he sold the rights to the Robin Hood medieval molds, Lexington Green molds and the Yorktown figure molds to Ken. They came to an agreement to work on the Yorktown Playset together. Ken providing the figures and Ron gathering the other parts for the playset.

Ron never did answer the second part of the question. But I asked Ken about it and he said “Ron and I have discussed his molds and the opportunity to purchase them. We have not delved too deep into the details but will look to do so in Schaumburg” at the Chicago Toy Soldier Show.

(As we talked about this Ron jumped back to question about favorite playsets)

Ron Barzso: Ron said he enjoyed meeting Fess Parker while they developed the Fess Parker Daniel Boone Playset. This was another licensed playset. He spent over 3 hours talking to Fess. Fess was surprised about that there was any interest about him acting as Daniel Boone after all the years. This playset was almost produced as much as the Last of the Mohicans playset.

Daniel Boone1Daniel Boone2

 

(from here we jumped into the prices of Barzso)

Ron Barzso: Ron said he was a little surprised about prices of what some of his products are going for now. But he said collectors will spend whatever their willing to get what they want. He said he gets requests for some of his items that are over 17 year old sometimes. And that collectors from around the globe send such requests.

The Figures Native

Warhorse Miniatures: You told me that you plan to retire after the Yorktown playset. If you could design another playset what would it be?

 

Ron Barzso: After some thought, Ron says that he would have liked to do a science fiction based playset. Maybe either the movies “Forbidden Planet” or “The Time Machine”. He said that he didn’t know what he would have used as the main display for Forbidden Planet. He said the idea of the Morlocks with the Time Machine would have been fun.

Forbidden PlanetThe Time Machine

I later found some pictures of toys and images of what could have been?? The Barzso “Forbidden Planet” playset.

or The Barzso “The Time Machine” playset.

If Ron ever makes another playset I bet it will be really cool. I brought up the idea of zombies or the Walking Dead. He liked the Walking Dead zombie figures that where made at one point. He is surprised that they were not produced into a bigger production.

Walking Dead3

Warhorse Miniatures: Any new details about the Yorktown set you would like to share with us?

 

Ron Barzso: Ron talked a little about he history of the battle. He mentioned about the Redoubt #10 being a surprise attack and the American soldiers were ordered not to load their muskets. They would use their bayonets to charge the British to take the redoubt.

He said the redoubt would have 3 sides. Six different sets of figures included. A few character figures like Alexander Hamilton and George Washington. The figures were sculpted by Jim Holloway. These were some of the things he divulged.

We then talked about how much he liked the action poses that these figures had. He also mentioned that he had planned to originally release this playset the year after the Lexington Green set. But he ran out of gas and put it to the side until now. He is excited now to finally release the Yorktown set.

Warhorse Miniatures: This is my last question. I would like to thank you for the time you took to answer the questions. It saddens me that your retiring. At the same time I am happy to see that you will be enjoying yourself in retirement. Is there anything else that you would like to say about Barzso Playsets?

Ron Barzso: One of the things that we discussed was some of Ron’s plans when he retires. He talked about traveling and his interest in preserving wild flowers. He also mentioned that it was mainly he and his wife that would handle the daily tasks of the business. From taking the orders, to packaging item to be shipped. It was overwhelming at times. He is ready to retire. He is glad to have met all the collectors over the years. He has many fond memories of the toy soldiers and toy shows.

Ron will now be retired but he still will be at some of the shows for the near future.

Ron-Barzso

Ron & Mary Barzso

This is the conclusion to the interview. As I was looking for some figures to take a few pictures of, I found some old flyers that Barzso Playsets would mail out to customers. I thought it would be interesting to take a few pictures of those. It was nice that Ron would send a personalized note at times to thank you or answer a question that you might have sent with an order.

Ron-Barzso1

 

I also came across some old order forms. I wish these items were still in stock );

I have been collecting Barzso playset products off and on since almost the beginning. Their playsets of early American History and Native Americans are my favorite sets from Barzso. 

 

I hope that LOD Enterprises will continue the legacy of Barzso Playset. I have a feeling they will.

LOD1

 

 

Latest News! September 3rd, 2018. HaT Toy Soldiers SYW Prussians 1/32 Scale Return!!! ATS Sale, And……???

Prussians1

Hat SYW Prussians5

Hat SYW Prussians6

It is a very exciting time for us collectors this time of the year. The Chicago Toy Soldier Show is less than a few weeks away. Usually the toy companies will release new products or show some prototypes at the show. Last week HaT finally re-stocked the Seven Years War Prussian sets in 1/32 scale. These sets will be available this month(September). I have been looking for these for almost 5 years now. I really like these figures. Hopefully they will release the new 1/32 scaled Seven Years War Austrians soon. 

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The sets are sold as Marching, Action and Command.

Hat SYW Prussians

With these sets you can change hats of the figures to make them look as either Musketeers, Fusiliers or Grenadiers. 

hatpr7yw10

Prussians3

You can get these sets for around $15.00 or less.

Besides being used as Prussians these figures can be easily used as Hessian mercenaries that served for the British in the American Revolution. The mix well with the new LOD/Barzso figures.

Prussians

I like the Grenadier hats the best. The details on those hats are really nice and have a nice shape to them. Other plastic Grenadier figures that have been made over the years have some weird shaped hats.

Schlacht bei Leuthen 1757 / Röchling - Battle near Leuthen 1757 / Röchling - Battle near Leuthen 1757 / RöchlingPrussians4

Also this week ATS Toy Soldiers has a sale of 20% off your order with a purchase of 2 items or more! You can check that out over at ATS Toy Soldiers.

I was going to write up a post this weekend about some vintage figures that I got last month. I will most likely get to that at the end of the month or in October. Instead of relaxing this weekend, I went to work on Sunday. 

Next week I will have an exciting blog post. It will be another interview. On Saturday I did an interview over the phone with someone that I have been wanted to do for a long time now. That is it for now. Thanks for reading.

Latest News! July 29th, 2018. Vintage Toy Soldiers, Flea Market Finds, and Hobby News.

Here is another blog post on the hobby of toy soldiers. Here are a few pictures of some of the figures that I am going to talk about.

I usually try to visit flea markets, yard sales and antique stores in the late spring, summer and fall seasons. Most of the time I don’t find too many toy soldiers of interest to me. But the last couple of years I have been lucky to find some nice items. A couple of years ago I started searching for new places to visit that were about 2 to 3 hours away from the house. I find a store or town that I want to visit and then take the local roads until I get to that place. Usually we find stores or discover some yard sales along the way. The other day me and my girlfriend took a random drive and discovered the small town of Honesdale, PA. There were a few nice shops there. One of the stores that we visited was Ambeez Toy Box. This toy store was selling a combination of vintage and new toys. I saw a lot of vintage action figures there. Plus some Warhammer figures. The store is family owned. The owner Paul Bas was very friendly and helpful. I picked up a 21st Century Airplane. An WWII Italian Macchi C.202 Folgore in 1/32 scale  for $30. If you are ever around Honesdale stop by.

 

Ambeez Toy Box

Ambeez1

I stopped at a local Dollar Tree and found this Western bagged set. It had a few figures, a wagon and a camp fire. For a dollar you can’t go wrong. The Wagon is not bad, the figure is about 54mm. The other figures are about 60mm.

Dollar Tree West5

The last couple of months I have been picking up vintage western theme figures either from the flea markets or the internet. Mainly groups of figures from different companies and not sets. At the same time I have been going through my collection and re-discovering figures or sets that I forgot I had. One example is the Airfix Plains Indians  in 1/32 scale. I was looking for a few weeks for some on eBay. The prices are crazy these days. I was watching a set and then discovered a bunch of figures that I already had, lol. I also found some Timpo Solid cast figures and Reisler Indians that I had stored away. I am going to do a future post on them and some other sets that I have. One of my favorite was the 1/32 scaled Timpo Native American in the picture above and the others pictures below. This is from the 1960’s I think. He is holding a rifle with a blanket covering him. I had to repair him and the horse above too. His rifle was broken and the horse’s leg had broken off. I am planning on painting these one day. I think the horse is by Marx?

Most of the items that I picked up this month were from the internet. We will continue with some of the Western themed items that I found. I have been looking for some vintage Marx or European brands lately. I am gathering both painted and unpainted figures. A lot of the older European plastic figures were painted. I first found a few Marx figures. One is Roy Rogers. I put him on a Airfix horse. I got these guys and about 15 other figures for $9.00.

We continue with a lot of figures that I got from Europe. Most of my collection of toys are items from about 20 years old to the present. I am not that knowledgeable on vintage figures. Here are some pictures of the lot that I got for about $13.00. I think some are by Crescent, Lone Star, Cherilea, Hilco and Timpo. Most are about 1/32 to 1/35 scale. Some are smaller. A few have broken weapons and a few scuffs. I will try to fix them and them repaint most of them.

England Lot1

I found this Airfix Mulipose German set for $5.00. Another box to the pile of projects….

Here is an old Britain Herald set of Highlanders. I found this in an antique store for around $7.00. I have about 30 of these or these type of band figures. Most of the ones that I find have broken instruments or weapons. Plus the others have the paint flaking off. This one was no different. One of the figures had two broken legs. I glued the legs together with the Brush on Krazy glue. It works nicely and I have used it on a few of figures. Ed Borris gave me that tip. I am going to keep these guys in the package and display them.

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Next are some figures that I picked up a long time ago. I got these Merten Indians for $3.00 at an auction. At the time I never heard of this brand. They are very colorful. These are 54mm. Made in Germany. They are painted hard plastic. The more common size is 40mm for these figures. These are some of my favorite figures in my collection.

The other day I came across these Walking Dead Zombie figures. Being a fan of the Walking Dead series I decided to get a few different figures. One was the zombies and then some character figures. I will make a mini playset one day. I am thinking of painting zombies one day. Maybe make a display box for a one of a kind playset. Plus I think that we shall see more Soldiers in the future episodes. I can add some of them for the future too. These figures are 1/32 in scale. 

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Besides the solid unpainted figures they have character figures that you put together. I had to connect the arms, legs, head and a few other parts together. These are 1/32 in scale too. There are some solid cast characters too. These are based on the comic and are different from the tv show.

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Here are two 54mm Elastolin swoppet type figures. I don’t to many swoppet figures. When I was a kid I had the Timpo fort with the Cavalry & Indians. These two are nice. Made in Germany.

Here is another lot that I got from eBay a few days ago for around $20.00. I decided to add these figures to the post at the last minute. It is another grouping of European western figures. The main reason I bid on this lot was because of the mounted Indian. I later found out it was made by Cherilea by Paul Robinson who runs the facebook page Marxplaysets (Yahoo Group). This was seconded by Kent Sprecher of Toy Soldier HQ

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I have been coming across some of these older figures here and there. Some of them are expensive. So when I find them they are usually in group lot that I find. This mounted Native American Indian is 1/32 and this figure is casted with the horse.

Besides this figure above there were some other interesting figures. The first batch of Indians were about the same size as Airfix Plains Indians. The three cowboys are about 60mm. The other groupings of Native Indians are about 45mm. The dark blue U.S. Cavalry figures are also 60mm. The other groupings of cowboys are about 50mm. I am planning on painting most of these figures. I will give them a wash and scrub off the old paint with a toothbrush. 

That is it for the new additions to my collection. Now here is some news on the hobby.

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Just a few things to mention this time. The first is a preview of Evan Oelrich’s World War One figures. You can check that out at Stad’s Stuff. I think the details look good, but the arms and weapons look a little small. 

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Also mention on Stad’s page and other hobby forums was that Armies in Plastic has a new promotion and some new recasted figures in different colors to be used as Napoleonic Lancers.

Classic Toy Soldiers Iwo Jima Playset

You can head over to Classic Toy Soldiers if you interested in World War II. They have some limited sets available at the moment. The first is the Iwo Jima Playset. It includes the following items.

CTS952A Iwo Jima Playset Contents (175 pieces) (1:32 scale) plastic toy soldiers
  1 CTS Bamboo Machine Gun Nest
  1 CTS Concrete Pill Box
  1 CTS Chi Ha Position
  2 CTS Fox Holes
  1 CTS Artillery Position
  1 CTS Cave

25  MARX Marines 

32 CTS GI’s
25 MARX Japanese
24 CTS Japanese
  3 CTS Sherman Tanks
  1 CTS Half Track
  3 CTS Japanese Chi Ha Tanks
  2 CTS US Howitzers
  2 JAPANESE Field Guns
  6 CTS Tree Stands
  1 MARX Palm Tree Set
  2 CTS US Weapons Sets
  8 Barbed Wire Sections
  4 Concertina Wire Sections

  2 CTS Flag Poles w/bases
  1 Japanese Rising Sun Flag
  1 American flag

Classic Iwo Jima Defensive Positions

Here is the second set, the Iwo Jima Defensive Positions Set.

WWII CTS7444A Pacific Theater Iwo Jima Defensive Positions Set #2  — 7 different pieces (painted)  for 1/32 scale plastic toy soldiers

Iwo Jima Pieces Set #2

Palm Log Machine Gun Nest (12”L x 7.5” W)
Dug-In Chi Ha Position (11”L x 9.5W”)
Artillery/Machine Gun Position (9”L x 6”W)
2 Fox Holes in 2 types (4”L x 3”W)
Cave #2 (large) (6”L x 4.5”)
Concrete Pill Box (7”L x 5”W)

I hope to see the Hat Seven Years War Austrians by the end of the year. Last I heard they are still in development. They are working the 1/32 Austrians and 3 other projects. 

Well at least we shall see the new figures from the LOD in September. Here are some of the older sets above. 

Here are more previews of the new Revolutionary War figures. Well the hype train is all most pulling in for the Yorktown Playset. It will be here at the end of September. I can’t wait to see it. 

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My Union Softball tournament came again at the our annual picnic. This year we came as the defending champs. My team made it to the championship game again, but we lost…. We will be avenged!! I don’t know where these Viking shields came from be we had some fun with them, lol. Nobody had to the courage to take up the challenge to “Pick up the Shield!!!”

That is it for this post. Thanks for reading, Take Care.

Toy Soldier Review ~ Prikaz 9th Century Viking Life & Russian Prince Medieval Court figures

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The other day I saw a blog article on Stad’s Stuff, Prikaz Medieval Sets Russian Prince Court Viking Life. It was preview of some Danish Vikings and Rus Slavic figures from a Russian company called Prikaz. The preview showed two different sets in 1/32 scale.  The Viking figures depicted everyday life events. Either raiding, fighting or just waiting for a drink. The other set was of a Russian Prince’s Court. There is a Warlord, some merchants and a Sentry. Both of these sets caught my eye and I decided to purchase them. 

I liked the fact that the figures showed everyday life poses from that era. Here are some pictures below of the Vikings sets.

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Here are the first two figures. The Viking sitting down is Ragnar Lodbrok aka “Ragnar shaggy breeches”. Then there is a Danish Woman serving a horn of Mead.

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The next two figures shows a Saxon woman being carried away by a Viking Raider.

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The last figure shows a Viking Earl in a fighting pose. He can be added to a Shieldwall.

 

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Now back to the Russian Medieval Court. Most of these figures depict everyday life too. There are three merchant type figures. It looks like some are haggling about the price of something.

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The first figure is a Fur Merchant. The Second one is a called the “Money Changer.” The third figure is a old woman called the Klyuchnica (Old Slavic, literally “woman-intendant.”)

The next figure is the Rus Slavic Warlord. He is standing strong with his sword stabbing the ground. I think he is trying to make a point.

Here is the last figure. It is a Sentry leaning on an Axe. He looks like he is keeping an eye on everyone.

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I have to say that these figures are not for everyone. Mainly because of the cost. Each set was about $55.00. I think only the die hard medieval fans like me are going to purchase a set like this. It fills a void for my collection. It brings a bunch of characters that I can use in a village setting. 

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Here are some of the Safari figures that I got the other day at Hobby Lobby. They look really good with these new Prikaz figures.

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The sculpting is very good, a little crude at times. When I add a few of these figures to a diorama they add so much to the story being told. 

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The Prikaz figures are 1/32 in scale about the same size as Conte Medieval figures. Also like Conte that are casted in a hard rubber type plastic. These figures blend in very well with other companies like Conte Medieval figures, Barzso Medieval figures, Engineer Basevich and any figures that are around 56mm to 60mm.

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I purchased these figures on eBay at Toy Soldiers for all Ages. I received the figures about 10 days after I purchased them. 

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I have a some more pictures below that show a few different angles and close ups. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed the review.

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An Interview with Richard Conte of Conte Collectibles.

In 1999 Conte Collectibles began operation. They raised the bar in both plastics, painted metal sets and playsets. Recently Conte announced they were planning to release new sets to the existing ranges and then expand to new ones. I got to ask Richard some questions. 

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Hi, Richard. I have been a big fan of your work for a while. You produced some amazing figures and sets over the years. It is good to see that you have returned with a new website. I know that you have been planning on releasing new sets for a while.

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Warhorse Miniatures: I would like to ask you to tell us a little about yourself and how did Conte Collectibles start? 

Richard Conte: I think I am a typical collector and history buff (with the exception that I’ve tried to produce my own sets). Like many, I had Marx play sets, Lido, MPC and Ideal figures as a kid.  Later I had a few plastic Britains, Herald and Timpo figures. My favorites were the Marx Boonsboro & Vikings figures and Timpo Romans & Vikings. I still have some of my childhood toys. 

I also love old movies , especially those with historical themes. Some of my favorites are Kirk Douglas’ The Vikings and Spartacus, Zulu, Beau Geste, The War Lord , The Longest  Day , Gunga Din, Captain Blood, El CID , 300 Spartans , etc., Plus all the Alamo and Robin Hood movies. Long time Conte Collectors know that we’ve been privileged to obtain the licenses to most of these films and have made products based upon most of them. 

I’ve got a wonderful wife who is very tolerant of my “ toy soldier hobby” and is well known as the model for our pirate woman with two pistols. ( I think she’s gotten over being angry about her toy soldier debut!!). Also am the old boy to a bunch of adult kids and an ever growing troop of grandchildren. 

My career was in the health care field. It involved designing, building and operating hospitals and other medical facilities.  For 20 years I worked part time in the United Kingdom. I visited just about every castle, museum and battlefield I could find time to see. One of the many special memories or highlights from my time in Britain was being invited to dinner with the Governor General of The Tower of London. One of the hospitals I designed and opened is Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Centre in Antigua. My work in the USA is far more boring …

While working in England I became friends with John Jeffries, the wonderfully creative man who owned Accurate Figures and created all of their standout soldiers . John’s excitement and enthusiasm for the hobby was infectious and sparked my interest in producing a few of my own soldiers. Years later, when I was put out to pasture I decided to see what I might be able to create…

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Warhorse Miniatures: What are some of your favorite sets or themes that your have produced?

Richard Conte: This is a tough one. Certain sets are special to me for different reasons.  I love all of the periods or themes we’ve attempted over the years. I’ve put something of me into almost all of our figures, sets, buildings and playsets.

I’m proud of the Roman War Galley because of the degree of difficulties in sculpting, producing and even figuring out the packaging for a beast that large. When we started making figures, I never could have imagined making a warship like that in 1/32 scale…and with 48 rowers below decks. I have similar feelings for our Viking Ships.

Our LCVP and LCM3  landing craft are really special because the majority of the these went to the National WW2 museum where they were sold and made $$ to help support the wonderful work they do commemorating America’s role in saving the world. The same with our ACW plastic sales; some $$$ from those was donated to the Museum of the Confederacy and other Civil War sites.

The Vikings is my favorite movie and Spartacus is the film that means the most to me. Getting to produce sets based on these with the permission and enthusiasm of my number 1 childhood hero, Mr. Kirk Douglas,  has been a real honor and privilege. Our corporate logo is based upon ‘The Great Snake’ design used in The Vikings. The first piece of our stationery (with the logo) was sent to Mr. D as a thank you. I’m hoping to get some additional poses done.

Sets based upon The Vikings, Zulu, The War Lord, Beau Geste and the Alamo are special because of private memories involving my grandfather. With regard to Zulu, Sir Stanley Baker was very kind to me starting when I was about 10 years old and cemented my love for Zulu & Colonial Wars in general. In adult life I had the privilege of being able to discuss The War Lord with Mr. Charlton Heston and really enjoyed his stories about the film.

All of our character figures (both historical and film)have been attempts to pay tribute to the actual historical person and/or actor who made an impression upon me. I’m glad we had the opportunity and I think we’ve generally succeeded.

Casualty sets, sets with a lot of action or emotion , hand to hand sets are ALL amongst the favorites because they were our attempt to pay tribute to the common soldiers, the enlisted men , the patriots and the conscripts of history. Showing or depicting the horror and misery of war was important to me.  The sacrifices of Those  who’ve come before us needs to be remembered.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Why after all these years of being absent have you returned? 

Richard Conte: Hi Michael, it is nice to hear from you.  Thank you for the kind words. Yes, we are back and doing our best to ‘gear up again’. By the way, the new website you mentioned is a work in progress and is by no means complete. Lots of sets are not posted yet; we hope to add a little each day as time permits.

 I’ve ‘returned’  for a number of reasons : (a) because I love the toy soldier hobby and want to continue trying to contribute to it; (b) there are several ranges or series that I was in the ‘middle of’ when the various distractions sidetracked me..unfinished business if you like; (c) there are several projects which I am very fond of which were in their infancy or had not even been announced which I’d like to attempt. A couple of these are special to me personally (and I hope they will be to other collectors).; (d) I feel as though I let down many collectors of the Conte product who were awaiting the arrival of sets which we had shown photos of; and (e) because I enjoy bringing to life figures and sets for fellow collectors who have been so supportive of our Labor of Love all these years….

Many people don’t realize that sculpting continued , unabated, during my hiatus and that we have around 300 sculpts complete which have not yet been produced.  Even when things looked darkest, I wanted to believe that I’d one day be making soldiers again. Besides, I felt obligated to keep my best sculptor working.

 

Warhorse Miniatures: It looks like your restocking old sets and have previews of new sets to come. Any timeline on when the new products will arrive?

 

 Richard Conte: Production of new sets is my #1 priority.  I’d also like to do new production runs of some of our older, sold out sets which collectors continually ask for.  Since I’ve been sidelined from production, we have quite a backlog of new product and we have a lot of decisions to make regarding what sets we work on first.  Just a day or so ago, I posted on Facebook the names and numbers of 11 new sets which were sent to the factory for production. These were Zulu War and North West Frontier.  The second wave heading to the factory are primarily Vikings, Normans and some Civil War. And I’m at last sending the Robin Hood ‘duel’ in.

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As to timing, I’m reluctant to post dates because there are so many factors that can affect when new sets can actually be in the hands of collectors. It usually takes 4 months or longer from the moment a factory receives our paint and mold masters. Sometimes painting errors happen and delays result. Decades ago I sent a Kirk Douglas as Spartacus figure for production. It took almost 7 months to be able to sell him because the factory kept filling in his trademark chin cleft!!!!!!!!

The other factor which will affect delivery schedule is that of collector response to and interest in our offerings.  I know that the ‘market’ has declined in the past 5 years as collectors have aged and prices of figures have gone up. One needs only to look at the many companies who have either ceased to exist or have otherwise slowed release of new product.

 The initial response to our new website and to the announcement that we are back in action has been very positive with a few exceptions. I very much appreciate the response and the kind words received from many and we will try to not disappoint them.  Time will tell how collectors react to our new offerings.  The better the response, the more quickly we can make other sets…. 

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Warhorse Miniatures: The new sculpts are impressive, can you tell us more about them?

 

Richard Conte: Thank you . I actually think (immodestly) that our new & as of yet unproduced figures are probably the best we’ve attempted thus far.  I’ve been blessed to have some of the most gifted sculptors working with me. I am very proud of all sorts of the hand to hand sets. These are especially complex to sculpt and produce.

We also have quite a few multiple figure sets where the figures are part of a diorama terrain base like our upcoming Roman catapult which is something like 9 figures on 2 separate bases plus catapult, tree, accessories, etc….. As simple as it seems, getting the figure bases to exactly match the spaces for them on the terrain base is an ongoing quality control issue.

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Warhorse Miniatures: So I noticed that most of your items for sale are painted metal sets, plans for plastics sets?

 

Richard Conte: I have posted an update about plastic figures on our web page in the blog section which I think gives the most honest assessment of where my thinking is at as of today.  Summarized, we are looking into costs of new molds and new production & also researching what new production runs of already existing plastic sets might cost.  I’ve also started considering different types of materials for the actual soldiers themselves.  It’s too early to be able to give any firm  answers on whether the plastic will be like that we used on our American Airborne or more like what was used on our GI’s.. 

Prices and methods have changed dramatically since I made my Spartans and I need to reeducate myself before coming to any conclusions. I’m also evaluating what sorts of ‘dumbing down’ of our sculpts will be necessary in order to realize a mold making cost which we can afford. Said another way, I don’t see us making any 12-14 separate part figures like our poseable Spartans because the market just won’t support the costs. I hate sacrificing any of the detail or implied motion/action of our sculpts but realize that trade offs will need to be made.

I love plastic figures(as well as painted metal) like many others do. There is something visually or artistically beautiful about a single colored toy soldier where the detail can really be seen as it is.  The best I can say is that I’d like and hope to make new plastic.  I encourage all plastics guys to support the folks who are making plastic like LOD, TSSD, Paragon, Plastic Platoon, etc……Most collectors have no idea what goes into producing a completed set of plastic figures.  It’s an expensive, time consuming and sometimes worrying  & thankless project.

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Warhorse Miniatures: If you have plans for the plastic sets.  Are you going to use the same material or something new?

 

Richard Conte: The jury is out on this one.  I don’t know. Some collectors love the ‘rubbery’ plastic we used on the Zulu War, Alamo defenders, Foreign Legion, Germans, Brit Paras, Us Airborne and Medieval. Others who paint the figs, don’t like and complain of bendable bayonets and swords being a problem with paint flaking…

The harder plastic we used on the Mexican Army, Civil War, WW2 GI/s and the Spartans has it’s fans and detractors. It seems there are two schools of thought on which type of plastic we should use. Can’t please everyone…

New materials (new to our product) will be considered and only time will tell .

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Warhorse Miniatures: I see some new product themes in the pipeline. Do you have any information on these?

 

Richard Conte: Several new ranges or series are in the pipeline.  The Tombstone figures , the French Foreign Legion, medieval Scots, Woodland Indians , etc.  are all in varying stages.  As excited as I am by some of the new ranges, first efforts are being directed towards major additions to our Zulu War, NWF, ACW, Roman and Viking ranges.  I was mid stream on a number of these themes when things got interrupted.   I also have some Revolutionary War, WW2 and Spartan sets which I’d like to add to those ranges in due course.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Thanks Richard, this is going to be my last question. What are your future plans and would you like to share anything else with us? 

Richard Conte: Thank you for the interest and in spreading the word that we are back in action. Jokingly, I’d like to share the expense of the sculpting, the mold making, the product itself with you!

Future plans are to gradually gear back up and to release some toy soldiers which hopefully do us proud and more importantly, please our fellow collectors.  Most people seem to think we are some large toy soldier company with endless resources and loads of employees and they don’t understand the delays or why a phone call is not answered immediately .  We are trying to keep costs down so that we can keep prices as low as we can to collectors. People often don’t know that I started Conteco as a frustrated collector who could not find what he wanted from the big corporate soldier makers; namely, hand to hand action, casualties,  poses that showed raw emotion and tremendous implied motion/action, and character likenesses which actually looked like the characters they were supposed to portray. 

Lastly, I’d ask people to take the  vile & specious negative attacks directed against me personally or the company with a grain of salt. Sadly, there are a number of disgruntled collectors, dealers we’ve parted with, competing companies (who would rather see us out of the market and not pulling collector money away from them) and a few others who for whatever reason have an ‘axe to grind’ who perpetually criticize anything we ever announce or post. A number of the usual ‘naysayers’ and Conte bashers have gone extremely far ‘out on a limb’  and are telling people that I am a liar, a huckster and that no new product will ever be released …..

Toy soldiers should be a positive thing. A source of enjoyment.  I’m doing my best to return and to unleash some exciting new designs.   Thanks to all the collectors for their past and current support. 

Hail Einar !

RC

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Here is the new page here,  Conte Collectibles.

Conte Collectibles Returns

Conte Vikings

“The world has changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost. For none now live who remember it.

And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend, legend became myth.”

Conte Crockett

In the late 1990’s Conte Collectibles exploded into the scene of Toy Soldiers like Attila the Hun once did to the world. He heralded the coming of the second Golden Age of Toy Soldiers. They released set after set for years of painted metal figures, plastic figures and playsets.

After years of no new releases, they are finally back with a new website https://contecostore.myshopify.com/. They are also having a 20% sale on their sets, check out the new site for more information. They are in the process of updating it now. You can sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases and more on their website.

I had a feeling something was up after I received a card from Richard after a order I had made recently.

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Here are some of the comments from Richard Conte below.

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“DEAR FELLOW COLLECTOR

APOLOGIES FOR OUR ‘ABSENCE’ .  WE’VE HAD A ROUGH COUPLE OF YEARS ON THE HOME + PERSONAL FRONT WHICH CAUSED NUMEROUS MAJOR DISTRACTIONS AND UNAVOIDABLE DELAYS IN MAKING EXCITING NEW PRODUCT AVAILABLE TO YOU LOYAL SUPPORTERS. WHILE WE’VE BEEN RECEIVING ORDERS AND SHIPPING PRODUCT THROUGH THIS PERIOD, WE MADE A DECISION TO DELAY RELEASE OF OUR LATEST CREATIONS UNTIL WE FELT ABLE TO HANDLE THE EXTRA WORKLOAD.  WE VERY MUCH APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE.  

NOW THAT EVERYTHING HAS CALMED DOWN, WE ARE COMMITTED TO RELEASING LOADS OF BRAND SPANKING NEW HIGH QUALITY & FAIRLY PRICED SOLDIERS . WE ARE ADDING TO EXISTING RANGES AND ALSO INTRODUCING SOME NEW ONES INCLUDING WOODLAND INDIANS VS. COLONIALS, FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION, WILD WEST.”

 

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“OUR FIRST PRIORITIES ARE TO * * * * * * * EXPAND EXISTING RANGES

THEN TO INTRODUCE NEW SERIES BASED UPON THE FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION, THE WILD WEST , ROBIN HOOD AND A FEW SURPRISES.”

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“SOME EXTREMELY COMPLEX SETS ARE IN THE PIPELINE ALONG WITH LOADS OF 1 OR 2 FIGURE SETS

WE ARE EXCITED TO BE BACK & LOOK FORWARD TO RENEWING THE QUEST WE HOPE YOU WILL JOIN US”

 

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I am interested in seeing some of the new sets and themes. The Woodland Indians & Colonial theme sounds really interesting to me. I will follow up this article when I get some more information.

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HAIL RAGNAR! HAIL EINAR! HAIL OUR FELLOW COLLECTORS! 

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