Monday, September 24, 2007

Chicago... highlights

It's like a whirlwind. Everywhere you look is something new and cool, or old and cool, and you want it all. Too much to take in. I'll let you know right off the bat, I didn't take any pictures. My camera, for some reason, has a 10 minute battery life. But there are plenty of pictures on other sites for you to enjoy, which I suggest visiting when you have the chance.

Now for the things that really stood out in my mind:

1. Lots of nice people. From the dealers to collectors, everyone I met was super nice and ready to talk about what they brought or what they had bought. Being able to put faces to online names is almost worth the trip alone.

2. New stuff - Barzo's Robin Hood, Conte's Spartans, TSSD's Cavalry, and Mr. Weston's Gunfighters and Peasants were what I was most interested in. There was of course lots of other stuff that was outside my interest range, but these were the things that I went to see. I have to say, each of the above makers/dealers were super nice and helpful. Anyone that has met Ron Barzso knows what a super nice guy he is, and always willing to talk about his newest creations. Jim Clouse, who sculpted the Barzso buildings, is also a real addition to the hobby and fun to talk with. Richard Conte, who always manages to cause waves in the hobby for one reason or another, was nothing but extremely friendly and helpful. Even though his room was full, and had people clamoring to talk to him, he took the time to go digging into the top corner of his closet to find me a set of Viking figures. (Thanks!) And of course, Nick and Deanna from TSSD, even though they seemed pretty busy the whole weekend (probably a good thing!), were always willing to stop and talk to Stephanie and I. Hope to see ya'll at the Texas Show in 2008!! Steve Weston, who has the new gunfighters and peasants, is also just a really nice guy, and you can tell is just way into the hobby. If the weekend seemed like a rush to me, who was just wandering around shopping, I know it had to seem even worse to these people, having to set-up, tear down, and then set-up again, all the while selling and talking about their product. Thanks to them for taking the time to stop and "hobby talk" with Stephanie and I.

One of my favorite rooms to be in was the Hobby Bunker. The guy has everything (.50 cent buckets!!!!) and gave a good dry-brush painting demonstration on his foam buildings. I got myself the unpainted two-story blown up building and going to give it a shot. (don't worry, I think Stephanie is going to help... a lot.)

My favorite part of the weekend was after my 7 year-old nephew bought a set of the Barzso Merry Men and we went to eat at the Cheesecake Factory with him and his parents. I took out my Airfix Cowboys, and he took out his Merry-Men, and we had a grand ole' battle right there between the fried macaroni and the bannana cheesecake.

Good times.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Itinerary for Tonight


I should get to the show tonight at around 6:00. In my quest to become ever more like Danny Tanner, here is the itinerary for tonight.

1. Go directly to Barzso Display and then to Barzso room and accidently spend my whole stash within the first few minutes of my arrival to OTSN.
2. Find an ATM.
3. Go Directly to TSSD Room, spend everything that I just pulled out of the ATM.
4. Raid the wife's purse for loose cash (she always has some)
5. Run (not jog, actual sprinting here) to Mr. Conte's Room.
6. Feign surprise and astonishment when wife realizes all of her cash has disappeared. "You just can't trust these toy soldier types, darlin. Sneaky and desperate guys they is".
7. Rob the nearest bank.
8. Mosey on over to Mr. Weston's room to find me some Gunfighters and Peasants. Dude yea!
9. Give blood, trade watch, and sell my shoes for some paltry bit of cash.
10. Hit up the Hobby Bunker for some recast Marx bits.
11. Hang out at the Chicago Skyway McDonald's because I don't have enough cash to pay the toll booth in order to get home.

Yea, pretty much the same as last year.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Barzso at OTSN

Well, the news has hit the web that Ron Barzso has delivered an entirely new set this year. You can see the Robin Hood themed set at his website, and dang, the OTSN display looks HUGE!! The hub-bub is that Mr. Barzso used injected molded plastic this time instead of the usual resin. I know some people didn't like the composition of his previous figures, but for me, I always thought they were great, a little fragile, but still unique enough to make them a stand-out. Plus I thought the most recent Tripoli figures had moved beyond being very fragile, and had reduced a lot of the flash. I'm most interested to see his newest offerings. I guess I'll need to go get the Marx figures to go along with them.

So far this is the only big surprise I've heard about thus far. I've got one and a half days of work ahead of me, and then I get to scoot on up to Chicago to see it all for myself. I'm taking my camera, and as long as it stays charged, I should be able to post some pictures for ya'll.

You should also be able to keep up with the show through the Playset Magazine website, which always does a nice job of covering the show. And I believe TSSD will be updating their page each day with reports from the show. And, keeping an eye on the Hobby Bunker forum usually proves educational.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

So Much New Stuff

Well, I've been off in la-la land lately... mostly "chilling" before the big Chicago show. I'm way too excited about it, and looking forward to all the new stuf that is going to be there. And to get you even more excited, check out the teaser page from TSSD. Yup, Civil War Cav. Rock on. And what was that they said, possibly another new TSSD figure set??? New stuff from Steve Weston (see his site for pics of the peasants), new Barzso, Pegasus having sample shots... It's just all too much to take in. (I may need to go lie down for a second... and it has nothing to do with the fact that it's 3:03 in the morning right now.)

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. It may continue to be fairly sparse. With all the news coming out, I don't want to just simply repeat what's being said on other message boards and collector sites, so, I just don't say anything at all. My room is in tatters right now, so I can't put up any new displays till that is cleaned up. Plus, the other day while going through my toy soldier closet, I saw a great big huge black spider. I haven't wanted to venture into the closet anymore since then. I have some friends who had a brush with death because of a situation that featured me driving and a dangling spider... It wasn't pretty.

Labor Day weekend, Stephanie and I went down to North Vernon, Indiana for the annual flea market and antique show. We set up a table and sold a few things, including some BMC civil war soldiers. I was practically giving them away to the kids, but it was fun to see them root around in the bucket looking for different poses. One thing I was most amazed at, the girls were just as interested as the boys. In fact, many of the boys sped right by the toy soldiers to hit the NASCAR die-cast dealer right beside me. The girls on the other hand had no love for the cars, but were mesmerized by the miniatures. It was surprising to say the least.