SOME, IF NOT ALL, of you
know that the expense of manufacturing in
What many of you may not know is that
This may come as a shock to many… after all with a population approaching 1.4 billion people how can this be? Let me explain…
The vast majority of the factories K&C (and other toy
soldier companies) use are located in
This has brought great prosperity to the south (and elsewhere) and attracted even more factories producing everything under the sun and a lot more besides.
With more work opportunities opening up a skilled workforce is a valuable commodity and, with full order books, factories are screaming for more workers.
Along with all of this prosperity comes… a rising cost of living… and that is part of the problem.
Although workers’ wages have been greatly increased so has the price of living and working in China’s “boom areas”. Many of the workers decide after a while (usually Chinese New Year) to go back and stay back in their rural areas. Although this means less money it also means a less stressful more peaceful existence.
Those workers that remain in place can now pick and choose where they want to work, who they want to work for and what kind of work they want to do…
The result my friends is a substantial reduction in the number of expert casters… skilled painters and other talented workers K&C has been able to utilize to produce for us in the past.
So, what is the answer…?
Well, we continue to look for more factories in more distant parts where we can produce what we want and need to manufacture for our collectors all over the world.
In the meantime however we have to reduce the quantities of what we can produce in order that we can keep the broad spectrum of monthly releases that is a hallmark of K&C.
To give you a couple of examples… In the past K&C would produce say 1,000 Sherman tanks all at one time or perhaps a similar number of a particular figure or range of figures.
From today onwards these amounts will have to be dramatically reduced. In effect K&C is about to get more rare… Whereas in former times an item or items might remain in production for one, two or even three years that is just no longer possible.
The choice for us was quite clear… either reduce the overall quantities of all of our existing product ranges or reduce the number of new and fresh releases which collectors and dealers eagerly look forward to every month. We made that tough call… Thankyou in advance for your patience and, I hope, understanding.
And so…onto this month’s releases…
1. AVAILABLE IN APRIL…
“Napoleon in Egypt”
For some time now K&C has wanted to do a Napoleonic range with a difference… Now don’t worry we’re not abandoning our existing series we’re just kind of extending part of it in a different direction…into the Middle East in general and Egypt in particular!
In 1798 Napoleon Bonaparte launched an invasion of Egypt to extend French influence and power in that part of the Mediterranean and to block any overland access to India by the British.
At the same time Napoleon wanted to explore and investigate one of the world’s great ancient civilization. To help do that he brought, along with his army, a host of engineers, architects, historians, archaeologists and artists to record and research all aspects of Egypt’s amazing history and culture.
Relatively few toy soldier makers have ventured into Napoleon’s ill-fated Egyptian adventure until now… And so K&C has… Another reason for doing this is that K&C has already developed a broad and growing series of Middle Eastern-themed series that utilize some excellent display accessories… Among them our existing “Ancient Egypt”… “Desert Village”…and even our “Life of Jesus”.
“Napoleon in Egypt” seems to us like a very natural and fascinating addition. We hope you agree…
NE001 “Napoleon on Camel”
Inspired by the famous painting by renowned “Orientalist” painter Jean-Leon Gerome this mounted Bonaparte shields his eyes from the blazing sun as he gazes upon the ruined wonders of an ancient civilization.
NE002 “Arab Guide”
Even back in the late eighteenth century there were always local people who were only too happy (for a fee) to show the foreign visitors around!
Clutching his regimental banner in one hand and his sabre in the other this subaltern accompanies his General.
NE006 “Drinking Soldier”
Amidst the sweltening desert heat this young French soldier gulps down a flask full of water… or is it wine?
NE008 “Kneeling Soldier”
Another soldier kneels down to study an ancient stone tablet with some strange signs carved on it.
NE010 “The Artist & The Dragoon”
A military artist sits and draws some of the amazing structures before him… A standing Guide, shaded by an umbrella, observes the artist at work.
NE012 “Temple Ruins”
Two handsomely carved stone pillars support a piece of an ancient carved keystone.
Special Note: Additional “Napoleon in Egypt” pieces have already been prepared to be released later in the year.
AVAILABLE: Early April
B. “SONS OF THE EMPIRE”
The time: The high noon of British Empire…the late 19th. Century…
The place: The North West Frontier between British India and Afghanistan…The dreaded Khyber Pass!
For K&C’s second foray into the “Sons of the Empire” we have selected one of its most famous infantry regiments… the “15th Ludhiana Sikhs”. It’s also a Regiment we featured over 20 years ago. Now, we’re returning with the first five figures of what promises to be a very exciting and colourful range within a range.
MATT OR GLOSS?
THE CHOICE IS YOURS!
And here’s a little surprise… these new figures will be available in a choice of either MATT or TRADITIONAL GLOSS paint finish.
Why you might ask?
Well, in our humble opinion, it just seemed to suit the subject matter which has echoes of the “traditional toy soldier” but with a lot more detail in both the sculpting and the painting…
SOE004 “L.S.R. Standing at Attention”
SOE010 “L.S.R. Drummer with Bugle”
SOE011 “L.S.R. Native Officer Saluting”
SOE012 “L.S.R. Mounted British Officer”
Although all Indian Army Regiments had a mix of both British and Indian Officers… All Colonels, Second-in-command, Adjutants and Squadron or Company Commanders were usually British.
Our mounted British officer is a Major (in charge of a Rifle Company).
SOE014 “L.S.R. Queen’s Colour Flagbearer”
Special Note: As you will see from the “missing numbers” more figures will be released across several months later this year. Photos of all this year’s Ludhianas appear in the latest “COLLECTOR”.
AVAILABLE: Mid April
C. “ITALY AT WAR”
We’re moving from the North West Frontier of India to North Africa between 1940 and 1943… This is K&C’s second release of Italian Forces during World War Two… This time in action!
IF013 “The Italian War Monument”
Erected on the border of Libya (then an Italian Colony) and Egypt (on Mussolini’s orders) this striking structure was built originally to celebrate Italy’s victory over the British. Unfortunately (for the Italians) it proved to be more a monument to Mussolini’s folly in getting embroiled in WW2.
IF014 “The Carro Armato M13/40 Tank”
This medium Italian tank was a familiar sight on North Africa’s battlefields between 1940 and 1943.
It was utilized by the Italian Forces (as in this version) and also by the Australians and on a few occasions even by Rommel’s Afrika Korps. It’s also part of K&C’s “SERIES 250” with 3 different versions being released…Italian, Aussie and Afrika Korps.
This Italian version comes with its own vehicle commander.
IF015 “Officer with Binos”
This particular officer belongs to the “Trieste Motorised Division” attached to the “10th Bersaglieri Regiment”.
IF016 “Sergeant with Sub Machine Gun”
This Bersaglieri NCO is armed with the iconic Beretta sub machine gun.
This attacking NCO is gesturing to his men to follow him.
IF019 “Firing Rifle”
IF020 “Machine Gunner”
This lying prone machine gunner has been fortunate to be using the German MG34, one of the best weapons in the Axis arsenal.
IF021 “Kneeling with Rifle”
IF022 “Lying Prone with Rifle”
Special Note: Figures IF016 to IF022 inclusive are all from the “10th. Bersaglieri Regiment”… one of the best fighting units in the Italian Army. They are dressed in the typical “Mixed Rig” of tropical khaki uniforms with traditional gray/green tunics. All of them wear the Italian sun helmet with black cockerel feathers… a distinct regimental feature of all Bersaglieri Regiments.
AVAILABLE: Mid to Late April
“AUSSIE PRIZE OF ARMS”
During the fighting in Libya in 1941 the 6th. Australian Cavalry Regiment captured a number of Italian tanks (including M13/40’s), which were taken over by Australian crews and fought against their former owners.
To help identify these “hybrid” creatures large white “kangaroos” were painted on the hulls and turrets.
EA059 “The Carro Armato M13/40”
The Aussie version complete with Australian tank commander.
EA060 “Aussie Sign Painter”
Aussie soldiers have always been happy to leave a little sign for the enemy to see who they’re up against.
Here’s a nice little add-on to EA059.
AVAILABLE: Mid to Late April
2. Coming in May…
May is a little bit of a mixed bag with a few useful additions to existing series plus a couple of nice little surprises…
A. “Remember The Alamo!”
Well, as long as K&C produces “Alamo” figures we’ll never let you forget it!”
“Joe”, the personal manservant of Col. Travis was one of the few African- Americans present at the battle. Santa Anna spared only the women and the children and… a few black slaves after the Alamo’s capture. “Joe” was one of the fortunate ones!
RTA056 “General Sam Houston”
Although not at the Alamo, Sam Houston’s pivotal role in the fight for Texas Independence gives him an honoured role amongst the Alamo’s heroes.
RTA057 “Wounded Texian”
RTA058 “Shot Mexican Dragoon”
RTA059 “Defending Frontiersman”
Perhaps one of Crocket’s men this defender will make every shot count.
AVAILABLE: Early May
B. “ITLALIAN TANK… GERMAN STYLE”
AK075 The Carro Armato M13/40 (Afrika Korps)
One of the most serious problems for the Afrika Korps was getting resupplied! Both with vehicles and men…
Rommel’s Afrika Korps took full advantage from the hundreds of Allied fighting vehicles they captured. Often all they had to do was paint their own enlarged German insignia on the captured vehicles and, if still operational, put them straight back onto the battlefield.
The Afrika Korps also “borrowed” fighting vehicles from their Axis allies in the desert to augment their own armoured units… Here is just one example…AK075 “Carro Armato M13/40 (Afrika Korps)”
AVAILABLE: Mid May
C. “OFF WE GO INTO THE WILD BLUE YONDER…”
K&C’s latest warbird and our biggest heaviest one yet … The Republic P47 “Thunderbolt”…
AF012 “The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt”
The U.S. Army Air Force’s most powerful single engined fighter of WW2. The “Jug”… “T/Bolt” or simply the “Juggernaut” was developed by the Republic Aviation Corp. and saw active duty on all the major war fronts of WW2.
K&C’s P-47 belongs to the 6th Rescue Squadron of the 8th Air Force based at RAF Boxted in southern England in June 1944… hence the bold black and white “invasion” stripes. It comes in its own specially designed box with seated pilot and gear down.
Just 500 are being produced!
AF014 “Climbing Pilot”
One foot resting on a metal ladder this USAAF pilot figure can be placed next to any of our K&C warbirds.
AF016 “Ground Crewman on Bicycle”
Useful on any airfield scene.
AF017 “Crew Chief with Clipboard”
AVAILABLE: Mid to Late May
Hitler’s “Thousand- Year Reich” is collapsing around his ears but still the last desperate battle goes on…
WS187 “HALT! SS trooper with MP44”
With units being decimated and survivors fleeing the battlefield this SS man is stopping and checking all vehicles and their passengers.
WS188 “HJ Guard”
Providing “back-up” for the SS man is this young Hitlerjugend rifleman.
WS189 “SS Inspecting Officer”
This veteran officer surveys the serious situation
WS190 “MG42 Instruction”
Whilst the Hitlerjugend boy lies prone behind the machine gun his Luftwaffe instructor tries to explain the workings of the MG42.
WS191 “Volksturm with Bicycle”
WS192 “Hitlerjugend with Bicycle”
AVAILABLE: Mid to Late May
E. “Luftwaffe Vehicles Series 250”
LW043 “Luftwaffe Volkswagen”
This is the first of three military Volkswagen “Beetles” being released as part of K&C’s Series 250 range of multi optional choices of fighting vehicles. This particular “Holzbrenner” Beetle was fueled by a wood gas generator because of the gasoline shortage and comes complete with a roof rack full of supplies and a Luftwaffe driver.
Please note: Planned Production is just 250 vehicles of this version.
Other Versions: The two other VW versions include a camouflaged Waffen SS one and an Afrika Korps adaptation. They will be released shortly after the Luftwaffe Beetle.
AVAILABLE: Mid to Late May
3. BEING RETIRED THIS MONTH
Quite a large batch this month with many more to follow…
AE033 Another Dancing Girl
BBA030 M3A2 Half-Track
BBG021 Jagdpanzer IV
BBG022 Sd.Kfz. 251/22 “Pakwagen” Ausf. D (Winter)
DD088 GI Tank Crew
DD095 “The Rescue”
DD096 “Over There!”
DD097 2-Men Patrol
DD098 “Alive & Dead”
DD099 “ I Need More Armour”
DD100 “General Philippe Leclerc
EA008 Field Marshell Montgomery
EA021 On Guard
EA042 Desert Bentley
FOB039 Blitzkrieg Panzer IV
FOB052 RAF Sergeant
FW008 Marching Bugler
FW017 Running w/Rifle & Bugle
LAH082 Nuremburg Review Stand
LAH083 Nuremburg Nazi Eagle
LAH101 Berghof Waiters
LAH102 Berghof Table and Chairs
LAH112 Hitler’s Berghof
NA169 Standing to repel
RAF014 Nissen/ Quonset Hut
SP034 The Watch Tower
SP036 The Wall
WS076 Bunker Defender Set
WS121 Sd.kfz.250/1 Leichter Schutzenpanzer wagen
WS128 Gen. Oberst Eduard Dietl
WS129 Gen. Lt. Fritz Bayerlein
WS134 Panzer III Tank
And that my friends is that… quite a lot for you to chew over… at least for this month.
Andy C. Neilson
Co-Founder & Creative Director
King & Country