I must have been five or six when my mother bought me my first bag of toy soldiers. And as the only accessories were picks and shovels - in retrospect I guess they were green construction guys, nonetheless to me they were my first plastic armymen.
These were MPC "ring-hands" the first generation of cheap American-made plastics that had rudimentary accessories.
The summer that I turned ten my godmother, Aunt Josie, gave me the MPC Civil War playset to supplement the Marx "Blue and Gray" set that my parents had given me that spring for my birthday. I was in kid heaven that summer.
The accessories were pretty clunky, as here, our soldier models the neckerchief, saber,
canteen, and haversack.
The sculpted detail however was quite pleasing.
And, though somewhat squinty, the facial expressions were much improved on the earlier ring hands in which everyone looked like Raymond Burr.
This Yankee may have lost his rifle but he still has his bedroll.
MPC also made really cool WWII GIs. I had lots of these. The silver-colored accessories were much better than those of the Civil War guys. Helmets, "grease-guns", M1 carbines, and even life jackets for goodness sakes - these guys were ready for anything.
Again, the sculpted on detail was very good. And as a kid I was fascinated...
by these cool cargo pockets!
The prone shooter guy was a favorite, waiting silently in ambush for the next Japanese patrol
to come down the trail.
Thank goodness for my mom and Aunt Josie, they got me started in a delightful world
of toy soldiering.