Saturday, June 28, 2008

I never thought 300 was that many...

The whole point of the thing is that there were ONLY 300 Spartans. The Persians were like "300??? Pshaw. That ain't nuthin'!" Yea, well, 300 hundred ain't a whole lotta many to defend all of Greece, but when they cost around $3 each, 300 turns into an awful many.

You can check out the latest details on the Conte Spartans here. Looks like the date has been pushed back to August, and the price has been set at $24 per blister pack. And right now, you can only pre-order all nine cards (the freebie being a free 10th card). Also, if you have them on pre-order, they want you to make sure you confirm that order with them so they can charge a $30 deposit. Hmmmm.... never paid an upfront deposit for Toy Soldiers before, but hey, times they are a changin'.

The prices are high, the wait has been long, and buying all 9 cards at once is tough. If it were any other subject matter besides Spartans, I'd probably have balked by now. Well, that's not totally true. This just happens to be one historical era where I'll slap down the cash and only cringe on the inside. But when you consider that they are poseable, and the high quality of the figures, it all evens out in the end I think.

Of course, if you can't wait for the August release date, you can always get a couple on Ebay.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sprucing up the Spruces

As I may have said here before, I love the Christmas Village accessories. Rock walls, fences, street lamps, grave stones, trees of all sorts... But the problem with them is that you can only pick them up during the holidays. I tried to prove that statement wrong by visiting a local Hallmark store on 96th street in Indianapolis. They have miniature village accesories for Christmas and Halloween all year round. Problem is, I had no idea how expensive this stuff is when it isn't on sale.

See, I usually pick us this junk right before or after christmas when they have 70% markdowns. They are usually trying to give this stuff away. You can get a tree for a buck, a full rock wall for $1.50, and all sorts of cool little knick knacks for next to nothing. But when it ain't on sale, you can expect to pay $20 for a pack of four trees, or $18 for a rock wall. Youch. No thanks. I'll wait till the holidays to spruce up my spruce collection.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Rather Unique Subject

I was bumming around the Hat site, which is full of great stuff; a forum, a wiki, conversion ideas, and production pictures from all their upcoming sets. And whilst bumming, I saw on their 1/32 page plans to make a new set simply titled "Sacred Band". I have to admit, I had no idea what that was. I was assuming it would probably include some tubas or some cymbal crashers or something.

I was wrong. Now, I can't say for sure which "sacred band" they are referring to. There were several. Both Thebes and Carthage had one, along with more modern day Greeks. I'm assuming they are doing the Thebes "Sacred Band", since it has a bit more flashy history to it.

I hope I don't step on anybody's morality toes here, but I think Hat just went to the top of my list by doing this set. Quite frankly, homosexuality is still rather taboo in a lot of places. To create a set of figures that depicts a group of homosexual warriors is very forward thinking. This was a group of fighters that, when outnumbered, bested the warriors of Sparta at the battles of both Tegyra and Leuctra. Regardless of your moral stance, of which I have no concern, Hat's dedication to the truth of history proves that we are lucky to have them doing 1/32 again. Plus, it's going to be nice to have another army to throw against the new Conte Spartans.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gettysburg Trip

In a couple of weeks I'll be taking off in a van with a few other reenactors to do the Gettysburg Reenactment. On the way we plan to hit Antietam, Harper's Ferry, the Civil War Medical Museum, and of course the Gettysburg battlefield park. It's going to be an 7 day trip, camping the whole way. It's gonna be crazy fun and I'll try to take pictures.

I got some Conte pewter figures yesterday in the mail. They really are astounding and make for wonderful centerpieces for displays. The exact figures I got were the Confederate and Union flagbearers, and the trio of falling Union figures. I think I'm gonna go back and get some cannon and the two mounted figures, and maybe even some non-civil war poses. The one thing I worry about with them is that they are, to a certain degree, fragile. The flag poles and the bayonet tips, if bent on accident, feel like they could break off.

Also on my "to buy" list is the new scenics from Pegasus. The fences, stone walls, wooden boxes, and the River sections look awesome. I think I'll start with those.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

21st Century British

21st Century is finally going to be releasing their next British Infantry Set. I first saw these awhile ago advertised on the back of another set and wondered when and if they would ever be released. No date is given, but usually 21st Century has a pretty quick turn over time between announcing product and it showing up at Wal-Mart.

In other, less interesting news, I saw a bagged set of Wall-E plastic toys at a Kay-Bee toy store the other day. Might be a nice supplement if you're ever doing a sci-fi setup of any kind. You can see a picture of the Bag-o-Bots at

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Single Color Pewter Conte Available

Conte is having a sale on figures that were previously unavailable on an individual basis. They are letting go of some of their single color pewter figures that were packaged with their plastic playsets. Check them out and see if there are any you need. Might not see these available very often outside of playsets (I think I saw a couple at a show once, and one was broken).

Rock on.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Toy Soldiers or Pants.... decisions, decisions.

I'm still here, I just don't have much to say. I suppose like everyone, money is tight in these depressed economic times. Which means, money that used to go towards Toy Soldiers is now going to those other, not so fun things, like fuel, food, and a stupid new pair of pants. I hate spending hard earned money on pants. Laying down money for any type of clothing is painful to me (except for maybe a cool Star Wars T-Shirt). You spend, at best, $20 on a new pair of pants. That's a whole set of TSSD Germans that you could have had. And if Kohl's ain't having a sale, you could be spending upwards of $50 on pants. That's all three of the figure sets by Pegasus and an AIP set thrown in to boot!!

I know that it's just getting harder and harder for companies to keep producing Toy Soldiers. With the dollar failing, shipping charges going up, and plastic prices probably on the rise... it's amazing that the price of this hobby hasn't skyrocketed, and it may yet. And the real kick of it is, now is the time that these companies need our support the most, but yet we have fewer hobby dollars in our pocket. What a bummer.

On a brighter note, Conte has set an approximate date of July 4th for their plastic Spartans. I'll be in Gettysburg that whole week, so hopefully by the time I get back, they'll be waiting on my doorstep.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hat Greeks

You can see the unfinished masters of the Hat Greeks here. Can't wait to see the finished product.

Of all the companies, I appreciate Hat's willingness to allow us a glimpse into the pre-production and production stages of their figures. Many other companies keep everything very hush-hush, and probably for very good reasons. Maybe it's because Hat knows they are playing in such unique historical areas, that they don't feel the need for the secrecy drapes. Whatever the reason, I think it's cool to get an inside look.

Rock on.