For King & Country (and myself) September means ‘CHICAGO’ and ‘The Old Toy Soldier Show’... Back in 1985, just 2 years after K&C was founded, yours truly and my cofounder, Laura McAllister Johnson attended our very first ‘CHICAGO SHOW’. Never before had we seen so many collectors, dealers and toy soldier makers all gathered in one place to buy, sell and talk toy soldiers all day long and often well into the night... It was a revelation and, even more importantly, great fun!
We met all kinds of people and saw all kinds of amazing toy soldiers... There really was something for everyone at prices to suit all sizes of pockets. Laura and myself loved it then and we still love it today, more than 30 years later.
This year’s upcoming Show at the HYATT Schaumburg, just outside of Chicago, will see K&C on display once more display and present some of our latest releases as well as preview a few soon-to-be-released future ones.
Here is just a little taste of some of what is being launched this month, September... Enjoy!
1. Coming This Month...
A. ‘Colonial Hong Kong On Parade!’
For 156 years Hong Kong was a British Crown Colony until 30 June, 1997 when it was ceremonially handed back to the People’s Republic of China.
Two years previously, in 1995, a unique military unit held its final parade before being disbanded and ending 143 years of loyal service to the British Crown and the people of, what was originally, a small port city on the southern coast of China – Hong Kong.
THE ROYAL HONG KONG REGIMENT (The Volunteers) was a militia formation founded in 1854 and tasked with the defense of the small Colony alongside the regular British Army garrison stationed there.
For many years it would join with other British Forces in taking part in the Queen’s Birthday Parade held annually in the city.
Taking the official salute on behalf of the Queen would be her representative, His Excellency, The Governor, resplendent in his ‘Tropical Whites’ and saluting as the different units marched past.
Here are some great new additions to our fond memories of a Colonial Hong Kong now long gone...
CE021 ‘British Guard Box’
A once familiar sight outside many Army barracks in Hong Kong and around the world wherever the sun never set on the British Empire... Usually painted either black or green, our K&C model comes in a very fetching ‘British Racing Green’ colour. Can also be utilized with our ‘Ceremonial’ Coldstream Guards figures.
CHK006 ‘RHKR Staff Sergeant Present Arms’
This smartly-turned out NCO (Non Commissioned Officer) presents arms with his SLR (Self Loading Rifle) and fixed bayonet.
CHK007 ‘RHKR Corporal Present Arms’
Similar to the previous ‘Volunteer’ but a junior NCO this time... with just 2 x stripes.
CHK008 ‘His Excellency, The Hong Kong Governor’
Always a trusted and experienced Civil Servant, appointed by the British Prime Minister, the Governor would put on his white tropical uniform only for special occasions, such as the Queen’s Birthday Parade.
CHK009 ‘The Governor’s RHKP Aide de Camp’
Every regular and volunteer military unit in Hong Kong Provided H.E. The Governor with an ADC, however to avoid any inter service rivalry between the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force the senior ADC was always provided by the Royal Hong Kong Police.
Here we show the Governor’s RHKP Aide de Camp in all his ceremonial finery including the white ‘Solar Topee’ sun helmet adorned with black feathers.
CHK010 ‘Ceremonial Flag Base & British Crown Colony of Hong Kong Flag.’
The Colonial Hong Kong flag comprised the British Blue Ensign with the Colony’s ‘Coat of Arms’ in a white circle in the fly of the flag. The shield shows two junks upon blue and white stripes representing the sea topped by a lion holding a pearl, a reference to Hong Kong’s nickname as ‘The Pearl of the Orient.’
The shield as a whole is supported by a British Lion and a Chinese Dragon.
The Flag and its staff fit neatly into a sturdy grey stone base.
CHK011 ‘RHKR Trooper Present Arms’
Same parade position as CHK006 and 007
AVAILABLE: Mid September
B. ‘ON THE STREETS OF OLD HONG KONG’
Still wandering around Hong Kong in ‘The Good Old Days’ we come across a pair of street vendors... In those faroff days before supermarkets virtually anything and everything was sold on the street... and for cash, no credit allowed!
HK281 “The Hakka Flower Seller”
The Hakka people are Han Chinese who originated from the lands bordering the Yellow River who migrated to China’s southern provinces as well as overseas.
During the late Ming and Qing dynasties a substantial proportion moved to what became Hong Kong and took up farming in the less accessible and more hilly areas of the territory. Most of this agricultural work was done by women as their menfolk often took laboring jobs in the nearby urban areas of Kowloon and Hong Kong.
After cultivating and tending their crops it was the women who would journey into the city areas to sell their produce.
This seated Hakka enjoys a snack of sweet corn as she awaits customers for her flowers.
HK282 “The Hakka Vegetable Seller”
Sitting nearby is another Hakka woman selling basket loads of fresh fruit and vegetables.
AVAILABLE: Mid September
C. ARMOUR IN WINTER
From the humidity and heat of tropical Hong Kong and Southern China to the freezing cold of Northern Europe and the frozen steppes of Russia during WW2...
WH091 “The JagdPanzer Pz. Kpfw. IV L/70 – (Winter Version)”
Whenever K&C produce a ‘summer’ version of an armoured vehicle (especially German ones) it does not take long before collectors contact us to request the same vehicle in ‘winter garb’ suitable for either ‘Battle of the Bulge’ or the ‘Eastern Front’.
Well, here is the snow-camouflaged self-propelled gun as requested and there are just 150 of them. So, grab them while you can.
As noted in our original version the metal mesh side-screens are removable so collectors can choose how they wish to portray the vehicle.
AVAILABLE: Early September
D. THE SPOILS OF WAR’
From ancient times onward victorious soldiers have always collected ‘souvenirs’ from their less fortunate, defeated opponents. During the First World War ordinary soldiers had access to a first-class postal service that allowed them to collect and ship off home all kinds of battlefield mementoes and ‘trophies’ that they had come across (by whatever ways and means) after the fighting was over.
British and Australian soldiers were no exception and here is one of the most famous of the ‘amateur’ collectors...
FW230 “Private John ‘Barney’ Hines”
John ‘Barney’ Hines (1878-1958) was a British-born Australian soldier of The Great War, well-known for his skills and prowess at collecting ‘souvenirs’ from captured German Soldiers.
A photo of ‘Barney’ depicting him surrounded by his German acquisitions after the Battle of Polygon Wood in 1917 is among the best-known Australian images of the First World War.
This was the inspiration for our K&C figure which shows ‘Barney’ complete with ‘pickelhaub’ helmet (a much-prized souvenir for WW1 soldiers and collectors) and other bits ‘n’ bobs of German equipment. Our figure also shows ‘Barney’ taking a closer look at some saucy French postcards that he has ‘liberated’ from a German prisoner!
AVAILABLE: Mid September
With the popular success of K&C’s WW2 U.S. Marines it’s only natural that collectors of this dynamic-action range want more opposition to fight the ‘Leathernecks’. Well, here are the latest additions...
JN041 “Type 95 ‘Ha-Go Light Tank” (2nd Version)
Our first version had the tank commander perched in the open hatch of the vehicle leading the charge... This time around we’ve closed up the hatch and allowed the commander to take cover inside the turret as the tank moves into action.
This second-version ‘Ha-Go’ is numbered #22 allowing our Japanese opponents to put another armoured vehicle into battle alongside the earlier and now-retired #21.
JN045 “The Japanese Light Howitzer & Crew”
Compared to Allied artillerymen the Japanese Army had only a limited number of Light Field pieces. This particular Light Howitzer was ‘crewed’ by just 3x soldiers and could be ‘broken down’ and man-carried in jungle terrain and then hastily reassembled.
JN047 “Dead Japanese Set #1” (2 x figs)
No one could deny the bravery of the ordinary Japanese soldier in WW2. Instilled with the spirit of ‘Bushido’ and willing to die for his emperor his Allied opponents could take no chances when encountering this fierce and often fanatical foe... Few Japanese soldiers even considered surrendering even when faced with imminent death or defeat...
Better to die for the emperor than live as a coward!
JN048 “Dead Japanese Set #2” (2 x figs)
Another pair of dead Japanese soldiers... remnants of a failed ‘Banzai’ charge or just in the wrong place at the wrong time...?
JN049X “A Rare Surrender”
Towards the end of WW2 a few Japanese soldiers decided it was better to live with the shame of surrender especially when they could see they were fighting for a lost cause and Japan’s defeat was inevitable.
Allied troops capturing them would usually make them strip down to their loin cloths to ensure they were not hiding any weapons, knives or grenades on their bodies.
AVAILABLE: Mid-Late September
Please note: This particular set is exclusively sold by K&C.
AVAILABLE: Early September
F. ‘THE ENEMIES OF ROME’
In warfare ‘ferocity’ is nothing new... Back in the 1st. Century AD the Romans had their hands full dealing with rebellious tribes all over their empire.
Some of their fiercest enemies could be found in the warlike tribes that inhabited Britannia and Gaul...
RnB013 “No Mercy”
A Roman Legionary pleads for his life to be spared as a tattooed Briton stands over him dagger in hand...
RnB014 “Mounted Chieftain w/The Draco Standard”
The ‘Draco Standard’ was originally developed by the mounted nomads of the Steppes. It may have originally been used to determine the wind-direction for horse-archers.
Roman cavalry units adopted the ‘Draco’ for their own use and here we see one that has fallen into enemy hands and is proudly displayed as a battle trophy by this mounted chief.
RnB015 “Carnyx Horn Player”
The ‘Carnyx’ was an ancient Celtic war trumpet used between 300 BC and 200 AD. The instrument and its player accompanied warriors into battle.
The mournful sound of this ancient horn was said to both inspire its followers as well as strike fear into its enemies. It was considered a great honour among the warriors to be chosen to both play and carry the richly decorated tribal Carnyx into battle.
AVAILABLE: Mid September
G. ‘MORE JOHN FORD CAVALRY!’
As promised when we first previewed these mounted U.S. cavalrymen here are the next three releases...
TRW135 “The Stars ’n’ Stripes Forever”
A cavalry sergeant carries the National Flag proudly... This is another in this new range of mounted figures that has the ‘moveable’ head feature.
TRW139 “Captain Sam Collingwood”
Another of the featured characters from John Ford’s ‘FORT APACHE’ (1948), a brother officer of Capt. Kirby York (John Wayne). Here Captain Collingwood scans the horizon for any sign of hostile Indians.
He also has the ‘moveable’ head.
TRW146 “5th Cavalry Regimental Flagbearer”
A companion piece to TRW135... This sergeant has the colourful Regimental Standard of the 5th U.S. Cavalry... with ‘moveable’ head of course.
AVAILABLE: Mid September
H. ‘GOOD MORNING VIETNAM’
From ancient battlefields in Western Europe to more modern battlefields in South East Asia... Vietnam to be precise!
VN002 “USMC Sniper”
During the Vietnam conflict the U.S. Marine Corps used 2 x main ‘Sniper’ rifles... the M40 bolt-action rifle and the Winchester Model 70, also a bolt-action weapon based on the sporting rifle made by Winchester.
Our K&C Marine sniper has adopted the seated firing position as he takes aim at a distant enemy figure.
VN009 “Corpsman & Wounded Marine”
This Kneeling Navy Corpsman has done his best to bandage up a seriously wounded ‘Grunt’... Now, they’re waiting for the transport to get the injured Marine back to the nearest Aid Station to have his wounds properly seen to.
VN012 “Marine Lying Prone Firing”
While one Marine awaits evacuation from the battlefield another ‘gets down on the deck’ to shoot up some of the opposition!
And here comes the first of the opposition...
VN019 “Lying Prone Viet Cong Sniper”
The National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, commonly known as the Viet Cong were locally recruited South Vietnamese peasants and workers that fought against its own government and the United States during the conflict.
The Viet Cong or ‘VC’ was made up of both part-time militia and regular full-time army units. Many of those militia were farmers by day... guerrillas by night... They often had the advantage of knowing the local countryside and area well compared to both the U.S. and ARVN units sent against them. Although the US and ARVIN forces had the firepower and the wealth of military equipment the V.C., or ‘Victor Charlie’ had the element of surprise and the long-term commitment that ultimately led to the collapse of South Vietnam and the victory of the North.
In the Viet Cong there was a very strong female element who played an active role in all aspects of the fighting. This lying prone female sniper is ample proof of that as she draws a bead on some distant enemy target with her Czech-made, Soviet supplied SKS rifle.
VN021 “VC Kneeling firing AK47”
A male comrade of this little VC ‘sniper’prepares to fire off a burst from his AK47. The Soviet-designed AK47 has long been a favorite weapon (and symbol) of guerrilla groups worldwide... Easy to use, difficult to jam and able to withstand all kinds of weathers and conditions it is, quite simply, described by friends and foes alike, to be a superlative Assault Rifle!
VN024 “Crouching Uncle Ho”
Look closely at this older member of the Viet Cong group and you will see that he bears more than a passing resemblance to Ho Chi Minh, the legendary revolutionary leader of North Vietnam.
Looks aside however, it would seem unlikely that the ‘great leader’ would be operating down south with a small guerrilla band. Our ‘doppelganger’ carriers the ubiquitous SKS rifle.
VN026 “Dead Viet Cong”
Taking the fight to the enemy also comes with a cost... 2 x dead V.C., one male, one female lie sprawled on the ground, their weapons by their side.
VN028 “Moving Supplies”
A female V.C. shoulders a box of supplies while still keeping her rifle close at hand.
AVAILABLE: Mid-Late September
And that my friends is the story so far this month, except, of course to let you know about the latest ‘retirees’, here they are...
2. BEING RETIRED THIS MONTH...
AK110 The AK Medical Officer
AK111 Soldier Lifting Jerricans
AL080 Turkish Officer w/Pistol & Binos
DD183 D-Day Machine Gun Team
DD220 Officer w/Carbine
DD221 Walking B.A.R. Man
DD222 Para Radioman
DD242 Sitting Wounded
FW207 Kneeling being Blessed!
JN018 Lieut J.G. Tetsuzo Iwamoto
JN025 Japanese Officer
NA284 Standing Firing (leaning forward)
NA290 Helping Tommy Atkins
NA348 The Maid
PnM039 The Cardinal
SP061 Desert Village/Compound Set
SP066 European Walls Set
WH057 Where Vultures Fly!
WH058 Fresh Milk Today!
WH061 Sd.Kfz. 11 Special Tracked Transport
WH062 10.5cm Light Field Howitzer
On that cheerful note, I’ll get ready for ‘CHICAGO’ and look forward to meeting some of you in person at the SHOW...
Until then, all the best, happy collecting and... GREAT SALES!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country Ltd.