King & Country
"THE WESTCOASTER '04"
This show was, as usual, great fun...and pretty good sales for the K&C dealers who took part.
I arrived on Friday 5 March and got to the hotel by mid-morning after a
16 hour flight from Hong Kong via
As usual, I couldn't get into my room so I used the time start visiting the ones that were already open and doing business. It was good to see more than the average number of rooms open on that Friday morning.
Lots of old friends and familiar faces among the K&C dealers and at this point, I must mention the magnificent diorama displays of the guys at "The Old Toy Soldier Home" in Vista CA. Craig, Woody and Darrel had exceeded all expectations and spent a lot of time and effort to custom-make several giant displays for K&C product. They looked great!
Their room sales of K&C seemed to reflect the maximum effort the guys had put in. The displays were also much remarked upon on the Sunday of the show.
Re our competitors...Conte was a "no-show" although I had heard that a couple of weeks prior to the event they had indicated that they were going. But then approaching the time nothing was heard...surprise, surprise.
Actually a couple of days after LA,
I was in
Our other old friends "
A big thank you to Bob Fisher and Scott Morlan who organize "THE WESTCOASTER". It's a great show in a great hotel and lots of fun for one and all.
I seriously urge anyone and everyone to attend who loves toy soldiers and everything to do with them - see you next year!
P.S. I can modestly say "ANCIENT EGYPT - IN THE TIME OF THE PHARAOHS" was one of the hits of the show. I know dealers did very well with it...several selling complete sets to individual clients. Personally, I've never had so many collectors come up to me and say how much they liked a new series.
1. "WHAT'S NEW IN APRIL"
DEPT. The Return to
As many of you know the revised and upgraded LAH series of pre-war Nazis has been one of K&C's best sellers...and most controversial.
Last year's relaunch of over 20 redesigned individual sets and figures of Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler SS has been widely greeted by collectors and historians alike.
Since then many requests have come in for additional figures and display accessories. Well, now we're launching the add-ons...and a big bunch of them too.
Here's a detailed description...First two sensational polystone facades - LAH42 SS Headquarters - this is based on an actual building at the Leibstandarte's Berlin Barracks. The two-storey structure has the SS motto "MEIN EHRE HEIST TREUE" (Loyalty Is My Honour) on the top of the façade. Below that is a giant SS Eagle in gold over an open balcony that can easily accommodate several standing figures. Supporting the balcony are two stone pillars decorated with the LAH monogram. Flanking the building are two massive Nazi red, black and white banners.
As an additional display façade we've produced, LAH43 a separate building annex in the same architectural style as the Headquarters. Decorated with similar SS motifs and a Nazi banner, this piece can be used on the right and left of the SS Headquarter to form an impressive extended diorama.
Both facades measure 9 1/2" wide by 11 1/4" tall and approx. 3" in depth.
The Return to Nuremburg
Alongside the new facades are no less than 15 new figures...
LAH44 The Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler. Dressed in a simple brown-shirt uniform, Hitler stands giving his famous, almost horizontal, salute.
LAH45 SA Chief Ernst Rohm. The notorious Rohm, destined to meet an untimely end, is depicted in his dress SA uniform. The pose is based on a famous photograph.
LAH46 SA Man Marching. A typical SA Storm Trooper in full marching order with pack on back and left hand gripping his waist belt.
LAH47 SA Standard Bearer. Carrying a Nazi Flag over his right shoulder.
LAH49 Feldmarschall Gerd von Runstedt. Although never a Party member, von Runstedt as an Army General was frequently present at Party Rallies. Here he gives a proper 'Army' salute.
LAH50 HJ Youth Leader. Older teenagers prior to their conscription into the Wehrmacht were often appointed Hitler Jugend Leaders. This 18 or 19 year old marches confidently forward.
LAH51 HJ Boy. A young 14 year old, his military back pack in place, on the march.
LAH52 HJ National Flag Bearer. A slightly plump young HJ youth carries the National HJ Flag - Red and White strips surmounted by a white diamond with black swastika.
LAH53 HJ Drummer. Beating rhythmically on his traditional medieval-style drum, this young HJ youth was another familiar sight at pre-war Nuremburg Rallies.
LAH54 HJ Bugler. Bugle aimed at the sky this HJ Musician calls his comrades to 'parade'.
LAH55 Motorcycle Escort. An LAH SS motorcyclist to accompany the Fuhrer's six wheel Mercedes.
LAH56 HJ Black Flag Bearer. The other HJ Flag - the single 'Rune' a gift from SS Reichsfuhrer Himmler to the HJ. He saw the HJ as the perfect breeding ground for the future generations of SS men.
In addition to the above figures we are also reintroducing, by popular request, two other 'personality' pieces that originally featured in our retired Nazi Staff Car range.
Hermann Goering. Hitler's Luftwaffe Chief and
confidante. The portly Hermann, loved to dress
up and designed all his own uniforms. Here, he salutes with his
LAH21A "Il Duce", Benito Mussolini. The Italian Dictator and Hitler's Axis partner-in-crime. Here, he gives a typical fascist salute.
* SPECIAL NOTE: As we have said on countless occasions K&C has absolutely no sympathy with the perverted ideals of the Third Reich. Our interest is historical.
To counter the "Political Correct Brigade" let us quote Winston Churchill..."Those who try to ignore the more unpleasant aspects of history are doomed to repeat its mistakes!"
2. SUPPLY & DEMAND GLITCHES
Allow me to apologise for any delays any of you have experienced in recent months in getting items.
There are, as you might suspect, several good reasons or this and here are just a few...
Even we have been surprised (and delighted) with the public response to certain items. A recent example was the STUG IV (WS47). We expected a good response to this Self Propelled Gun. Normally, a new release will take up to 6 months to sell out the initial order - the new STUG sold out in less than 3!
The new Egyptian Series is another case in point. We believed, based on past experience in launching a brand-new series, we had more than adequate supplies to meet the demand.
When I got to the LA show and experienced, first-hand, the collector
enthusiasm for the series I phoned
Unfortunately, some dealers were disappointed - others who didn't originally seem interested in the Egyptians are now crying out for supplies. That leads me onto...LEAD TIME.
(B) PRODUCTION LEAD TIME
Some people, not many, think producing in
Although we deal with several different factories in
Of course, you might think why don't K&C order more at the beginning
and just store it in
As any of you know who have visited
Although we have expanded our storage considerably in the last 24 months, it is never enough especially since the demand for K&C product, old and new, is increasing.
In spite of all of the above we are ordering larger quantities - we are still trying to source new additional high quality factories and we are looking for more space for storage.
Alas, I can't offer instant solutions but all of us at K&C are very aware of the problem it causes you, us and, most importantly, our collectors.
I hope the situation will improve over the next few months. Bear with us and thanks in advance for your patience and understanding.
3. "IN THE WORKS"
As you know our massive raft of D.DAY projects are very much in the works. We still hope for the May, June, July release dates. More particular D.DAY details in next month's DISPATCHES.
We are also hard-at-work on our next major Napoleonic figures - French Cavalry and British Infantry for a tentative August release date.
"RETURN TO IWO JIMA" - a whole host of great new US Marines in action, a brand-new, different model AMTRAC amphibious transport and a Japanese Tank are also at the planning, design and sculpting stage. Probable release date September.
There's more but I'll keep that till next month...In the meantime, best personal wishes and great sales!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder and Creative Director