Thursday, December 20, 2007

Imex Web Site Down

The website for Imex is all messed up. I'm not going to post a link, because who knows what sort of weird stuff it might link to, but suffice it so say, Imex's website got hacked. Looks like it was done by a Turkish hacker group of some sort. That's a bummer. Maybe when they go in to fix it, they'll see that they need to update their 1/32 section!!

Christmas is only a few days away. I hope everyone has sent their "reenforcement" list to Santa. My Santa always does pretty good for me. And hey, I'm excited about these new 21st Century Chinese Infatnry figures! Something a bit different and unique. It's nice to see them stepping away from the main WWII powers and doing something that's never been done before. I never did get their Italians. They never showed up at my local Wally World. I think I got all the other new Infantry Sets they have released though. My personal preference here, but I enjoy their sculpts and poses a touch more than the Forces of Valor Infantry. But I'm sure there are those that would disagree but it's all cool.

I've had a couple emails asking about pictures from my library display. I FORGOT TO TAKE ANY!! sorry. It wasn't that good anyway. My displays tend to focus on the figures rather than the terrain. I'm not good with all that stuff; making trees and grass and rocks and what not. I would love to do it, but right now I just don't have the space to create and keep something like that. I envy the guys who do, because they are able to make some really nice display pieces.

I have to go to a Christmas party now. Take Care ya'll

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I had to look up "imbued" in the Dictionary

I didn't come back from OTSN with much money. But to defend myself, why would I travel 4 hours to simply window shop? So, because I came back with a trunk full of plastic, there ain't too many toy soldier item's on my list to Santa this year. I was keeping my fingers crossed that the Conte Spartans would be ready, but alas, it wasn't meant to be I guess. Have you seen the pictures on their site? I think the colors look good. The silver and bronze are absolutely rockin'. I still haven't wrapped my mind around the whole "poseable figure" idea yet. In fact, let's talk about that...

I'm all for change. Change is a good thing. I love change in most regards. If it ain't broke, it's a good time to see if we can make it better. Just like my computer... it's running really well right now, so let's take it apart and see if we can make it run even faster!!!

I don't know. They are what they are. I mean, there are action figures, and there are toy soldiers. When does a toy soldier become an action figure? Can they be one and the same? If someone would have told me they were making poseable spartan figures, and not mentioned the name Conte, I would have assumed they were going to be action figures, much like my beloved Star Wars and G.I. Joe figures from the 80's. But squash em' down to 1/32 scale, and all of a sudden, poseable or not, they become "toy soldiers". Why do we make a difference between them? Are they played with any differently? Do action figures, with poseable limbs and detachable weapons, dissuade imaginative prowess? Do we as hobbyists consider the "Snake Eyes" action figure with the patented Karate-Chop-Action cheaper, and beneath our realistic "scale miniatures"?

Please understand, I'm not trying to decide whether it is a good thing or a bad thing that Mr. Conte has "changed the game" on us. I've already decided, and have in fact decided that it is a spectacular thing!!! Any fresh air to the hobby is appreciated. But I'm still trying to decide whether for me, myself, poseable arms and limbs stray from my preset notions of the concept of "toy soldiers", which I have already imbued with my own particular perceptions.

But you know I'm gonna buy a ton of em' :)

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Discerning Eye

During the month of November, I had a Toy Soldier display set up at the library I work at. It consisted of four smaller scenes, and one large scene. The smaller scenes included the Alamo, Tripoli, Civil War, and Conquistadors. The larger scene was a winter WWII battle.

Of course, it was a hit with the children. It was set up right at the entrance to the Children's department, so everyday, kids would see it, and run straight to it to gawk. It was very rewarding for me to see them so interested in it. But what really interested me were the adults. And from what I saw, the results were about half and half.

One half, let's call them the good half, showed interest in the figures. They asked good questions about them, and they knew that these weren't figures that you could buy in the grocery store toy aisle. They recognized that these were sculptures, collectibles, an item beyond a simple toy categorization. I appreciated that.

The other half, let's call this the bad half, showed no interest whatsoever. They usually ended up pulling their kids away from the display after a few seconds, and said something like "you have some just like them at home". Now, I could be mistaken, but I doubt the kid has any Conte, Butternut & Blue, or TSSD figures at home.

But the difference was more than just being interested or not. The people that stopped to look also had a spark about them... as if all of a sudden, they were transported back to when they were kids, a time when imagination was still permitted and encouraged. Many of them got that goofy smile on their face, just like they probably did on Christmas morning when they were eight years old. The world, so nicely laid out in miniature, just waiting for idle hands to start playing with it.

Needless to say, that spark was not there on the people who didn't appreciate the display. I think that we, the few, who love this hobby, have somehow managed to retain that spark, that excitement that comes along with imagination, where we can transport our mind to a different place and setting at the drop of a hat. And when we see our tiny soldiers lined up, we get that goofy smile, and we are eight again.