Monday, December 29, 2008

Playmobil rediscovers the cute in civil war


Stonewall Jackson confers with S.D. Lee regarding the placement of Confederate aritllery on the Dunker Church plateau (church in background).

Holy moley! even those little cutie pies from Playmobil have been sucked into the maelstrom of "plastic brother against plastic brother" that characterizes civil war.  In this case, the American Civil War.

Although no longer in production, these Playmobil Civil War guys have been around for 20 years or so.  I think these must have been for rich kids, Kennedys and such, though my friends who've had them, including the friend who loaned me these for this post, insist that their parents were of modest means.  I remain skeptical.

Nonetheless, fortunate was the child who unwrapped these upon a frosty Christmas morning.

Here they come, thundering northward the  Playmobil forces of succession and slavery!  Lock up your plastic daughters and Lego smoke houses, these rebs mean business!

Don't let the dutch-boy hairdo and cute freckles fool you...

this here member of "Lee's miserables" is armed to the teeth with a six-shooter and a Henry repeater...hmmm, must of picked it up during the big surrender at Harpers Ferry.

This close-up shows a very detailed pistol, real trouble for any blue-belly, if our Rebel had an actual trigger finger, that is.

Shades of Chuck Connors!  A totally American TV reference, click here

(note to Russia: don't mess with us Americanskis, we all pack Winchesters)

Huck Finn - C.S.A.

See origin of Playmobil hairdos here

Holy you-know-what!! it's the Playmobil version of James Longstreet as portrayed by...

Tom Beringer.

His beard was also manufactured by Playmobil.

This little rebel has more of an Errol Flynn look.

Is this one of those "benevolent" slaveholders we hear so much about these days?

"Look! Not a moment too soon!" gasp the relieved citizens of Sharpsburg...It's the Playmobil Army of the Potomac!   


These pistol-packin' plastileros mean business!

Playmobil actually does a nice job providing a fun level of detail on these little guys.

Nice insignia.

Not historically correct, but still quite charming.  Also,  fab sideburns!

The origin of the Malcom X ball cap, no doubt.

How a lieutenant of the finance corps got on the front lines is anybody's guess.  I'm sure, however, that he's quite excited to be in the thick of it all.

Yikes!  Here comes...

THE ARTILLERY!  (my favorite)

Looks like a 12 pounder light gun-howitzer being towed into position by that two horse limber.

As the detachment springs into action our number 6 man goes to the limber to prepare the projectile (looks like a three inch Hotchkiss to me, hmmm they must have left the smoothbore ammo behind).

The brave battery commander instructs the men on the placement of the ready ammunition.

Meanwhile, the gun captain sights the piece...

indicating to the number 3 man some deflection is needed to the left.

Now the number 2 man is ready to sponge the tube in preparation for...

the number five man to place the round in the muzzle...

which number 2 rams home (gently).

(view the whole loading and firing procedure here)

The gun captain checks the target and the position of all detachment members....

raises his sword and shouts...


KA-BOOM!!!!!!  Plastic death hurtles toward the advancing enemy.  Oh! the humanity.

The opposing infantry collides amid the thundering reports of the guns, and the melee ensues.

The bloodshed, had they blood, would have been ghastly.

Under inspiring Confederate leadership things initially go well for the sons of the southland.

Though the Yanks are no slouches either.

With fists full of fanciful firepower this young rebel lieutenant leads a thrust,

and breaks through the Yankee line.

Surprised, several Yankees are hustled to the rear, under guard, destination: Playmobil Andersonville, or worse yet, the Pony Ranch set.

"NOT SO FAST, YOU HAYSEED B______S!!"  Shouts this old veteran, guns a'blazin'. (Apologies to the moms and dads out there, but you can seize upon this "teachable moment" to explain that sometimes soldier talk is not very nice and can be hurtful to the feelings of the other soldiers on the playground)

Inspired by the Veteran's courage the fearsome Federals furiously fight the forces of factionalism.
The casualties mount in the swirling contest of arms.

"Surrender!" commands the Union general.

Surrounded, the Confederates, and their diabolical combat wombat clones throw down their arms and raise up their hands (sounds quite impossible). 

Thus ends the impetuous insurgent's incursion into the fair state of Maryland by the dastardly demons of Dixieism.

These playmobil guys are great, though the cuteness does not lend itself to the utter barbarity of the battlefield nor does their expense (especially as "collectors items") suit them to the rigors of garden warfare, replete with the occasional firecracker.

Thanks to Park Ranger Chris for the loan.  

Finally, I wish I'd thought of this

See you again on the 15th.

Happy new year and Soldier on!


This Just In!

Go here to see an entire Roman Legion (16000 figures) of Playmobil Guys! (thanks Dirk!)


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lincoln's Christmas Visit

Though no record exists of the exchange between Lincoln and McClellan, this Gardner photograph shows a skeptical President poreing over the books of the Army of the Potomac.

Amid the tumult of combat, the president looks toward the "dawn of peace".

Peace, and a happy holiday.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Returning, with a vengence!

I'll be back to regular, twice monthly, posting beginning Jan 1. Thanks for your patience.