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  • Toy Soldiers

    I was thinking it might be fun to get some toy soldiers to set up in mini-dioramas, as the mood struck me. I was in Toys "R" Us the other day, and thought I'd pop over to the appropriate section to see what they had. Now, I'm not looking for "miniatures" or "action figures" or anything like that... just the cheap plastic bags of cheap plastic soldiers in various WWII-era combat attire and poses. Not sure of the scale, bigger than 1:72; maybe something like 1:36?

    I was dismayed that a toy store (of all places) didn't seem to have much of a selection. They basically had one set that came in a big plastic case. It didn't have as many soldiers as I would have thought based on the size of the case; rather, it came with all sorts of scenery, hills, machine gun nests, etc. Cool-looking I guess, but not really what I was going for (and much pricier).

    Anyone out there still play with the little tan and green plastic soldiers? And if so, where do you get them?
    "I am not an atomic playboy."
    Vice Admiral William P. Blandy

  • #2
    In case that didn't make sense, it's basically this kind of thing:


    Those claim to be Vietnam-era pieces, which would be OK too. (The WWII ones are the ones I recall playing with as a kid.)
    "I am not an atomic playboy."
    Vice Admiral William P. Blandy

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    • #3
      I love that song.

      Last edited by Miss Saigon; 18 Sep 07, 01:33.

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      • #4
        I used to have hundreds of them and still have my 1/72 VC somewhere. Forget toy shops... I think the hobby shop might be your best bet.
        What the hell are the three guys at the top right with their bayonets fixed to their M16s over their heads doing?
        The truth? You can't handle the truth! No truth handler you! I deride your truth handling abilities!
        Sideshow Bob.

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        • #5
          Wander some dollar stores. They can usually be found for peanuts.
          Life is change. Built models for decades.
          Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
          I didn't for a long time either.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Geek44 View Post
            I used to have hundreds of them and still have my 1/72 VC somewhere. Forget toy shops... I think the hobby shop might be your best bet.
            What the hell are the three guys at the top right with their bayonets fixed to their M16s over their heads doing?
            Wading through a river with bayonets?

            Or stabbing with bayonets in a really awkward ineffective manner?
            “To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.”

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            • #8
              Originally posted by Geek44 View Post
              What the hell are the three guys at the top right with their bayonets fixed to their M16s over their heads doing?
              Raising the roof?

              EDIT: Ah, actually... according to this page about historic bayonet drills, it looks like the soldiers are performing a move that would normally have been done in the 19th century against mounted cavalry: http://www.thortrains.com/getright/drillbay1.html

              Clearly appropriate for a Vietnam-era grunt with an M-16.

              Originally posted by Aries View Post
              Wander some dollar stores. They can usually be found for peanuts.
              I was thinking of that, have to see if there are any nearby.

              Somewhat related, I've found a number of websites dedicated to the collection of these toy soldiers (called, properly, "army men"). There are even wargame rules designed for use with them. Interesting niche hobby that I would have never thought existed. Thank you, Internet.
              Last edited by mirrorshades; 18 Sep 07, 09:31. Reason: Interesting historical tidbits for all!
              "I am not an atomic playboy."
              Vice Admiral William P. Blandy

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              • #9
                Originally posted by mirrorshades View Post
                Somewhat related, I've found a number of websites dedicated to the collection of these toy soldiers (called, properly, "army men"). There are even wargame rules designed for use with them. Interesting niche hobby that I would have never thought existed. Thank you, Internet.
                At my first (and only, come to think of it) wargame convention, in May 1972, I witnessed a wargame played with 1/32-scale tanks. While all the traditional miniaturists were playing tabletop games, these 1/32 fellows were pushing their model tanks around on the ground and shooting at them with rubber-band guns.

                At the time, I thought it was juvenile. I was into board wargames, and the miniatures games all looked kinda childish to me.

                But it turns out there's a historical precedent: Little Wars by H.G. Wells:
                http://www.amazon.com/Little-Wars-H-.../dp/0972251154

                Wells didn't believe in using dice to resolve combat; he said that in a wargame, things should actually happen, not just be resolved. So, he invented a wargame where spring-loaded toy cannons were used to shoot down tin soldiers.
                --Patrick Carroll


                "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by mirrorshades View Post
                  I was thinking it might be fun to get some toy soldiers to set up in mini-dioramas, as the mood struck me. I was in Toys "R" Us the other day, and thought I'd pop over to the appropriate section to see what they had. Now, I'm not looking for "miniatures" or "action figures" or anything like that... just the cheap plastic bags of cheap plastic soldiers in various WWII-era combat attire and poses. Not sure of the scale, bigger than 1:72; maybe something like 1:36?

                  I was dismayed that a toy store (of all places) didn't seem to have much of a selection. They basically had one set that came in a big plastic case. It didn't have as many soldiers as I would have thought based on the size of the case; rather, it came with all sorts of scenery, hills, machine gun nests, etc. Cool-looking I guess, but not really what I was going for (and much pricier).

                  Anyone out there still play with the little tan and green plastic soldiers? And if so, where do you get them?
                  There's a shop in Stroudsburg that specializes in them. Although that might be a bit of a haul for you.
                  ACG QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
                  ¿Cualquier persona fija en el nude? Slug

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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Patrick Carroll View Post
                    At the time, I thought it was juvenile. I was into board wargames, and the miniatures games all looked kinda childish to me.

                    But it turns out there's a historical precedent: Little Wars by H.G. Wells:
                    http://www.amazon.com/Little-Wars-H-.../dp/0972251154
                    I've actually seen that; it forms the basis for some of the other rulesets I've found. Fun stuff.

                    Originally posted by cyberia View Post
                    There's a shop in Stroudsburg that specializes in them. Although that might be a bit of a haul for you.
                    Interesting... I think we are planning a trip there this winter. Apparently Thomas the Tank Engine will be stopping by the railroad station there somewhere.

                    What's the store called?
                    "I am not an atomic playboy."
                    Vice Admiral William P. Blandy

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by mirrorshades View Post
                      I've actually seen that; it forms the basis for some of the other rulesets I've found. Fun stuff.



                      Interesting... I think we are planning a trip there this winter. Apparently Thomas the Tank Engine will be stopping by the railroad station there somewhere.

                      What's the store called?
                      Give me a day, I'll look you up the name, address and phone number.
                      Thomas the Tank Engine in Stroudsburg? Are you sure you're not thinking Steamtown in Scranton?
                      ACG QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
                      ¿Cualquier persona fija en el nude? Slug

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                      • #13
                        Many a great hour spent with my 'Army Men' . Thowing firecrackers at
                        them, rocks, dirt clogs, etc... what fun!!! Thanks for the pics Doctor.
                        SPORTS FREAK/ PANZERBLITZ COMMANDER/ CC2 COMMANDER

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                        • #14
                          Originally posted by The Doctor View Post
                          Woah, somehow I missed your post originally. Very nice pics!

                          Originally posted by cyberia View Post
                          Give me a day, I'll look you up the name, address and phone number.
                          Thomas the Tank Engine in Stroudsburg? Are you sure you're not thinking Steamtown in Scranton?
                          Aha, I double checked. Apparently it's *Strasburg*, not Stroudsburg:

                          http://www.strasburgrailroad.com/day...ith-thomas.php

                          They're so close in spelling, seems like they should be close geographically, too!
                          "I am not an atomic playboy."
                          Vice Admiral William P. Blandy

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                          • #15
                            I have a whole series of actual 19th & 18th century British toy soldiers. I'd love to play with them, unfortunantly they contain a high lead count.

                            But they are worth a rather large sum of money.

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