Welcome Guys, to a very exciting edition of “DISPATCHES”. As many of you will already know we are launching a major new series that will focus on the Vietnam War. The beginning of the range sees King & Country ‘zeroing-in ‘ on one particular event that became a turning point for the war itself and American’s involvement in it... THE BATTLE OF HUE during the TET Offensive of 1968.
Elsewhere in this month’s releases you will find a great set of Allied Leaders and Planners who made D.Day happen...
Add to that a brand-new figure of these Allied Leaders opposite number and you have a very different looking Adolf Hitler with his pet German Shepherd dog ‘Blondi’ and no less than SIX female members of the BDM (Bund Deutscher Madel), the girls wing of the Hitlerjugend PLUS one more little surprise!
From Europe in WWII we move over to the Pacific and bring you THREE more U.S.M.C. reinforcements to ‘beef-up’ your landing forces there.
Next, we go back to Ancient Rome with TWO fighting Roman Legionaries and then it’s on to the American Southwest of the 1880’s and THREE mean-looking Apache warriors.
And for “Streets of Old Hong Kong” there’s even a little extra ‘street characters’ set that will prove very useful for those collectors of that colourful range.
Finally, a timely reminder that K&C and yours truly will be taking part in The Texas Toy Soldier Show 2018 in San Antonio at The Menger Hotel on the 26th & 27th May (Memorial Day Weekend).
Dealers and collectors from all over Texas, the U.S. and elsewhere will come together to bring (and sell) some of the finest toy soldiers and military miniatures in the world today.
The Saturday evening of this 2-Day Show will see the return of THE SATURDAY NIGHT SYMPOSIUM which is being held in the Menger Hotel and features TWO great guest speakers, Capt. Raymond Lau U.S.M.C., C.I.A. ret’d and Mr. Daniel Martinez, Chief Historian of The National Museum of the Pacific War. The theme of this year’s SYMPOSIUM is THE BATTLE OF HUE and the TET OFFENSIVE. Ray Lau was a young Marine officer, in Hue when the battle erupted and was caught behind enemy lines and had to fight his way back, over eight days, to friendly forces and comparative safety. His story is both amazing and unique.
Dan Martinez, the host of several TV military history shows, will also present an overview of the general situation in Vietnam leading up to TET and the events of 1968.
There will also be a Question & Answer session after both talks.
In addition, each ‘SYMPOSIUM’ Guest will receive ONE of K&C’s very latest VIETNAM WAR U.S. Marines as well as other items.
Add in our favourite Menger Mexican Buffet Dinner and you have a great ‘night to remember’ at this year’s SATURDAY NIGHT SYMPOSIUM.
TWO Great Speakers… ONE Special Figure… A GREAT Buffet Dinner AND ALL FOR JUST $69! Book your ticket now.
So, without further ado… Let’s get down to the ‘nitty-gritty’…
1. BEING RELEASED THIS MAY...
By November 1967 half a million American soldiers were fighting in South Vietnam and General William Westmoreland, the commander of U.S. Forces there felt confident in saying, “the end begins to come into view...”
In North Vietnam however a major military offensive was being planned that would change everything and would ultimately have a decisive impact on American commitment to fight the war and on U.S. involvement in South Vietnam.
On January 30, 1968 on the eve of TET, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year North Vietnamese Army regulars and local Viet Cong militia launched a massive attack on ALL major towns, cities and military bases throughout South Vietnam.
Nowhere suffered more devastation and saw more bloody fighting than the old imperial capital city of HUE. After seizing control of most of the city the NVA and VC were counterattacked by both ARVN (Army of the Republic of South Vietnam) and U.S. Forces including United States Marines.
Now began a long and bitter struggle to retake the city.
King & Country’s first new ‘VIETNAM’ release in over 20 years begins to refight this epic battle.
A series of U.S.M.C. ‘Grunts’ battling their way street-by-street, house-by-house replicates the battle in miniature with some of the most realistic fighting poses that K&C has ever produced.
Here is just the first small ‘advance party’ of Marines... Many more will follow in the coming months as well as their NVA and VC opposition and some unique fighting vehicles!
VN001 “The Radio Operator”
Kneeling on the ground this ‘Grunt’ holds his PRC25 radio handset in his right hand and his M16 in the other... This figure is based on a great combat photograph taken during the battle.
VN006 “Looking Back”
A lying prone Marine looks behind him to see if there’s more ammunition coming up!
VN007 “Machine Gunner”
A black Marine or in Corps parlance, a ‘Dark Green Marine’, shoulders his M60 Machine Gun and looses-off a burst of bullets at the enemy.
VN008 “Decoy Marine”
Using one of the ‘oldest tricks in the book’ this Marine balances his helmet on top of his rifle to attract an enemy sniper to reveal his position.
The M79 Grenade Launcher first entered service with the U.S. Forces in 1961. Vietnam was its baptism of fire. It could launch grenades farther and more accurately than its predecessors and was much used at squad and platoon level.
Our Marine sits on his butt as he aims and fires. The M79 got its “Blooper” nickname from the sound it made as it fired.
VN011 “Kneeling Firing”
In 1966 the M16 was introduced into General Service with the U.S. Military and proved a controversial choice because of its early ‘teething problems’... Many Marines in particular preferred their old M14’s which were rugged, accurate and reliable. However by 1968 virtually every ‘Grunt’ carried an M16. It was light, just 2.5kg, and could fire single shot and fully automatic and would become one of the most manufactured and widespread combat weapons of the 20th Century and beyond.
K&C’s Marine kneels as he fires.
VN013 “Covering Fire”
Not wishing to expose himself to the enemy this Marine raises his M16 over his head and opens fire on ‘fully automatic’.
Although frowned upon as a waste of ammo... in a tight situation you did what you had to do to make the enemy keep their heads down and perhaps allow your buddies to advance or even fall back to safety.
VN-S01 “TET’ 68 BEGINNERS BONUS Set”
BUY All 7 of these K&C Vietnam Marines, which retail for US$43 per figure, when you buy them individually. OR BUY THEM as a BEGINNERS BONUS Set and the price is just US$279!
GREAT FIGURES and OUTSTANDING VALUE!
AVAILABLE: Mid May!
B. “D.DAY... LEADING ALL THE WAY”
D.DAY, June 6, 1944 has gone down in history as one of the most pivotal moments of WW2... The Allied Invasion of Western Europe.
What can sometimes be overlooked is the many weeks and months that went into planning and developing the strategies that would make this invasion so successful and hasten the end of the war.
Also sometimes passed over are the other military leaders who ably supported the Supreme Allied Military Commander, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower in many of his plans and decisions for that fateful day...
DD315 “D.DAY COMMANDERS PLANNING GROUP”
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower commanded a team of many of the best Allied military leaders of WW2 among them were...
Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder (1890-1967), Ike’s Deputy Supreme Commander of the AEF (Allied Expeditionary Force). Tedder, a senior Royal Air Force officer was a loyal and trusted subordinate ensuring Gen. Eisenhower’s instructions were fully understood and carried out.
General Omar Bradley (1893-1981), the ‘soldiers general’, had a distinguished career even before D.Day having successfully commanded U.S. troops in North Africa and Sicily. He was chosen to command the First United States Army during the Invasion of Normandy and was responsible for both of the American landings at OMAHA and UTAH beaches. Later he took over the Twelfth United States Army Group which ultimately comprised 43 Divisions and over 1.3million men.
After WW2 he was promoted to become the 1st Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976) was Commander of Allied Ground Forces for the invasion and made major contributions to the original planning of ‘Overlord’. Although popular with soldiers and civilians, he could frequently be tactless and arrogant causing unnecessary conflict with his American allies and others.
After D.Day he was a key figure during the campaign in north west Europe and received the surrender of all German Forces in North Germany, Holland and Denmark in May 1945.
Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay (1883-1945), Commander in Chief of All Allied Naval Forces for ‘NEPTUNE’, the naval part of D.Day. Previously he had overseen and been responsible for the successful evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk in 1940.
Ramsay’s long experience and naval skills greatly contributed to the Invasion’s success.
Sadly, he was killed in a plane crash on his way to meet Field Marshal Montgomery on 2 January 1945.
D.DAY MAP BOARD
Here is the large Map Board showing one of the many planning maps for D.Day complete with seaborne routes for the invasion fleet and the individual landing beaches for the American, British and Canadian forces.
This DD315 set comprises the four Allied Commanders and the Special D.DAY Map Board.
Three additional Special Promotional Sets DD315-1, DD315-2 and DD315-3 include a figure of the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower in different uniforms for just US$20 extra while stocks last.
AVAILABLE: Mid May
C. ... AND NOW FOR SOMETHING VERY DIFFERENT!
HK266 “Doing Business”
As many of you know, Hong Kong is a great port and trading city and merchants come from far and wide to do business here. This is just one example... A Chinese businessman discusses a ‘deal’ with a visiting Malay trader. In days of yesteryear foreign traders would often journey with their cargoes to the destination to finalise the price and details with their opposite number.
You could easily imagine this encounter taking place on the dockside of Hong Kong’s magnificent harbor as the hustle and bustle surrounds the transaction.
AVAILABLE: Early May
D. “RETURN TO THE THIRD REICH”
What would ‘DISPATCHES’ be without a look back at ‘BERLIN ‘38’...
LAH224 “Hitler & Blondi”
Again, as many ‘BERLIN’38’ collectors know we have done many ‘Fuhrer Figures’ over the years but only one showing Hitler with his favourite German Shepherd dog ‘Blondi’. As that set has long since been retired we decided, due to collector demand, to design and produce a brand-new one... and something a little different, but first some additional back-ground.
‘Blondi’ (1941-1945) was given to Hitler as a pup by the head of the Reich Chancellery, Martin Bormann. As evidenced in many photographs Hitler was very fond of the animal and it accompanied him even to the Fuhrerbunker in Berlin in early 1945. During that time she had a litter of five puppies.
As the end of his Third Reich grew ever closer Hitler determined not to be taken alive and was given a cyanide pill. To ensure that it would work another
such pill was ‘tested’ on the unfortunate ‘Blondi’ with fatal results. In the end of course Hitler shot himself!
Here, however we see him in a more pleasant time during the summer of 1942 wearing a white ‘Summer’ version of his regular uniform. By the Fuhrer’s side stands a seemingly happy ‘Blondi’.
LAH225 “Eva Braun & Her Dogs”
Eva Anna Paula Braun (1912-1945) was Adolf Hitler’s mistress from 1932 until one day before he and she committed suicide in the Fuhrerbunker in May 1945.
For several years Eva also enjoyed the company of her two small Scottish Terriers, ‘Negus’ & ‘Stasi’ and would take them everywhere with her.
When she stayed at Hitler’s mountain retreat, the Obersalzberg Eva would often be seen in the ‘Dirndl’, the traditional female dress worn in Austria, South Tyrol and Bavaria.
That is how K&C have depicted her... together with her two little ‘Scotty dogs’.
AVAILABLE: Early May
Returning back a few years before the outbreak of WW2 we have a small release of BDM Girls, which will fit into any Berlin ’38 collection...
A young teenage recruit to the Bund Deutscher Madel, the girls’ wing of the Hitler Youth. She is wearing the standard BDM uniform of white blouse, black neckerchief and below-the-knee dark skirt. Most girls wore white ankle socks and their own black or brown shoes.
LAH237 “Winter-Help BDM Girl”
Every year after the Nazis came to power they organized a ‘WINTERHILFSWERK’ a winter relief programme that was financed by charitable public donations. Its aim was to provide food, clothing and coal to other less fortunate Germans during the inclement months.
BDM Girls and Hitler Youth boys led the way in gathering money from the general public all over the Reich. K&C’s smart young BDM girl is doing just that with her collecting tin held out before her.
LAH238 “BDM standard Bearer”
This older BDM girl is carrying the large red and white, swastika emblazoned emblem of the entire Hitlerjugend movement.
Of interest she is also wearing the short, mid brown jacket that was worn in cooler weather by the BDM. A black beret completes here uniform.
LAH239 “BDM Pennant Carrier”
The BDM like the rest of the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) was organized at both a local and national level into troops and districts... Similar to pre-Nazi Boy and Girl Scout groups.
Each local ‘troop’ might be anywhere from 30-100 members and had their own individual BDM pennant, a medium-sized triangular flag design in black complete with the HJ diamond and the group/troop number in white.
Our marching BDM girl carries the pennant over her right shoulder.
LAH240 “Marching BDM Girl w/Backpack”
Much emphasis was placed in the BDM with outdoor sports and activities... Hiking was particularly popular and during the summer and autumn months troops of young BDM girls would hike out of their towns and cities into the countryside to help local farmers gather their harvests or just for the pure fresh air and exercise.
This ‘240’ girl is a brunette.
LAH241 “Marching BDM Girl w/Backpack”
As above... but a blonde this time!
AVAILABLE: Early May
E. THE FIGHTING LEGIONS
ROM029 “Defending A comrade”
A standing ready Roman soldier preparing to fight off the enemy and... defend a fallen Legionary.
ROM030 “The Fallen Soldier”
His sword broken... his shield and helmet lost this fallen legionary is lucky to have a friend around to help...
AVAILABLE: Mid-Late May
F. APACHES... ON DIFFERENT SIDES
It’s a little known fact that during the “Apache-Wars” of the 1880’s in America’s southwest one of the major factors in helping the U.S. Army finally defeat the Apache tribes was the use of Apache Scouts. It was General George Crook who first pioneered the use of ‘rival’ Apaches to pursue and help capture other Apaches on the opposing side. As Crook said at the time, “It takes an Apache to think like an Apache and catch one too!”
TRW134 “The Apache Scout”
This kneeling pointing Chiricahua warrior points in the direction where the enemy is hiding... Now, is he pointing at some of the hated ‘Long Knives’ or some fellow Apaches...? You get to decide.
TRW141 “Apache Prisoner... & Apache Guard”
As one warrior stands bound his captor, wearing the Cavalry corporal’s coat, stands guarding him.
AVAILABLE: Mid-Late May
G. “FROM THE HALLS OF MONTEZUMA... TO PACIFIC’S BLOODY SHORES!”
These days it is essential that K&C ‘DISPATCHES’ includes at least a few lean and mean WW2 ‘Leathernecks’. Make way in your collection for three more fightin’ Marines…
USMC024 “Marine Kneeling firing Carbine”
From mid 1941 onwards virtually every USMC officer and senior NCO was issued with the M1 Carbine, Officially it was to replace the pistols and submachine guns previously used by them.
For many however it was still useful, practical and plain old common sense to carry at least one additional weapon and that was usually the Colt 1911 A1 automatic pistol.
Our Marine carries both... Sensible guy!
USMC031 “Marine Crawling Into Position”
When the bullets are flying you should get as close to the ‘deck’ as possible. This Marine, M1 at the ready, edges his way forward.
I based this Marine’s pose on a photo I have of big John Wayne in the classic ‘Corps’ movie, “The Sands of Iwo Jima”. What better name to give him than ‘Stryker’!
AVAILABLE: Mid-Late May
2. BEING RETIRED...
Take a look at these and see what you might be missing...
AE052 Small Papyrus Boat
BBA052 Vehicle Scout
BBA065 The General
DD275 Capt. Dale Dye… Weapons Training
DD300 Master Sergeant Joe Gunn
SP040 Sandbags Gun Position
SP059 Baskets & Jars
WH049 Sd.Kfz250/11 Panzerbuchse 41
WoD017 Christmas Lamp post
WS232 Pointing German MP
WS264 "Now This Might Hurt A Little…"
WS344 WITTMANN’S WINTER TIGER
WS345 WHEN WITTMANN MET PEIPER
WS-S01 WITTMANN SPECIAL PRESENTATION GIFT SET
And that’s the story so far guys... Looking forward to meeting up with some of you guys in San Antonio and for everyone else... All the best and happy collecting!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country Ltd.