Monday, August 27, 2018

Sovenir toy soldiers; early remembrances.

Stay with your bus buddy.

Just about every kid...just about every when I was a kid, that is...went on the yearly school fieldtrip with a grubby pocketful of dimes and quarters with which to by sovenirs at the various historic sites that the yellow school bus took him or her to - except, of course, for that time when our annual fieldtrip was a tour of the Buick plant in Flint (what a bust that was).

Those junky keepsakes were usually quickly lost through a hole in the pocket, sucked up by the vacuum, or wedged deep into the frame of the sofa.  But whatever their fate, often the memory remained, and a lifetime learner was born.

This is the first of four posts focusing on Americana soldier "figurines" (as they are listed in the Americana catalogue).  My small collection consists of American Civil War yankees and rebels and Revolutionary War Americans and British soldiers.  This installment concerns itself with some of the Americana ACW Union soldiers.

This Union infantryman in kepi and frock coat is typical of these made-in-China Americana figures - whimsical, taking liberties with accuracy, somewhat (is simply) detailed, and gloriously shiny.

The loosey-goosey version of accuracy reminds us that the purpose of toy soldiers is play, fun, and imagination...this is even the criteria by which I measure my high-end W. Britain's toy soldiers.

This Union flag-bearer has a lot of charm, even though his flagstaff is a little wilted.

An infantryman would have light blue chevrons instead of these cavalry yellow ones, but considering that the artist is an underpaid laborer in Red China, "close enough is good" enough , I always say!

Much more accurate is this jolly and jaunty cavalry trooper.

The carbine slung from the shoulder is a very nice touch, isn't it?

The Union general is my favorite.  Sword in the forefront and binoculars at the ready.

The glossiness of this general, like all the Americana figures, is one of the aspects that make these some of my favorite toy soldiers.

Although he has no chevrons, this yankee rifleman has the sash and trouser stripe of an NCO.  The funny thing is that he is looking straight ahead while his rifle is pointing off to the side...perhaps he's been distracted by the man beside him having his little hat shot off.

Utterly charming is this Union drummer boy, sadly he has some scratched paint...battle-scars, no doubt.  Despite this, he drums on in the finest tradition of the steadfast tin soldier.

The packaging of these little guys is very nice, each in a thematic window box.

Wha, wha, what?!...Did I miss something?  What a whacky declaration.  Who else would they be for? Ferengi?

Each box has a little historical interpretation blurb...a nice touch for sparking a kid's interest.

Like just about every other toy soldier company, cheap labor drives the price-point.

I really like these little 54mm charmers. 

What a great field trip!  I hear from my brother that in fifth grade we'll be going to the Coke bottling plant!  I'll save you a seat on the bus.

Until next time,

Soldier on!



Quantrilltoy said...

For cheap figures they are well painted. They look fairly historically accurate (except for the infantry chevrons) although they could have more equipment.

Phil said...

Nice poses and great job!

Terranova47 said...

Not long ago we visited The Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. This is a really well designed museum and it does an interesting job explaining it's subject.

There is one very nice diorama of 54mm figures of Hessians and American forces but the shop sell no toy soldiers! There are small models of Washington on a horse, that's it. Very disappointing and not a way to develop future model soldier fans.

Mike said...

A fine recollection of those times, nicely framed with humor.

Rahway said...

Some of their artillery is interesting.

I remember buying Grey Iron ARW cast iron figures on a trip to the Old Barracks in Trenton, NJ.

Mark, Man of TIN said...

These souvenir figures have their own shiny glossy old toy soldier charm. I look forward to seeing more.
No school trip to the cardboard box factory in Springfield then? (The Simpsons ... doo doo doo doo do ...)