King & Country


APRIL 2005



It’s Easter Monday and I’m sitting at home writing this month’s “DISPATCHES”

Well, that’s my “Around The World in 19 Days” over and I’m back in Hong Kong and back to work!  The trip itself was amazing – even better than I imagined and here’s a few of its many hilights



As usual Bob Fisher and Scott Morlan put on a great show and the weather was perfect throughout.  All of K&C’s West Coast dealers were on parade – Craig… Chris… Mike and MishkaBill and Roy.

Also in for the show was Larry and his wife from Reno, NevadaMatt from Boston and Bill and Pam from Arizona.  So K&C was well represented.  Apart from the WW2 sales, there appeared to be a “run” on our Egyptians, especially the new chariot.

Also attending the show were Frederic and Thierry from “Toy Soldiers Paris – they seemed to be buying any “old” K&C they could find – and finding some real bargains!



After an all-too-short LA stay, it was down to Mexico for the first time to meet up my business partner.

Cabo has to be one of the most beautiful resorts on earth – stunning beaches and beautiful houses… the sunrises are simply the best I have ever seen… anywhere in the world.



From Mexico I flew to New York for the special K&C Symposium organized by Louis Badolato.  Unfortunately because of flight delays, I missed the opening night dinner, however, the following day we all met up at Classic Toy Soldiers store in Greenwich Village for my talk and a “question and answer” session with over two dozen K&C collectors.  I thought this might last a couple of hours but it went on for almost three!  I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did – great fun.  I hope we can do it again sometime.  A special thanks to John & Gideon Rettich. 

That evening Louis hosted a cocktail party at his apartment where interested collectors could see just a small portion of his huge vintage K&C collection.  Afterwards another K&C afficianado, Lawrence Lo invited a whole bunch of us to his exclusive Chinese Restaurant in Manhattan for a fantastic dinner. 

Early next morning, Louis, Lawrence, Hans Hedrick (another K&C enthusiast) and myself drove out of New York to New Jersey for the Schutzen Park Show.  A great little show with lots of variety for collectors plus a few good K&C dealers doing the business… George of “Minutemen”Matt and Bill from “Hobby Bunker”Anthony and his wife from “The Barracks Gate” to name but three.

All too soon we were heading for JFK and flying onto Paris.


Waiting for me at “Charles de Gaulle” airport in Paris was Frederic of “Toy Soldiers Paris.  In less than 18 months, Fred has established himself as one of K&C’s biggest dealers in Europe.  He had arranged a pretty full schedule for me which included meeting some top K&C collectors as well as the editors and publisher of Historie & Collections”Europe’s leading producers of top quality military and historical magazines.  H&C have just started a brand-new, all-colour toy soldier magazine called “MILITOYS”.  I heartily recommend it – even though it is in French, the many excellent photographs speak for themselves.

Fred also organized a party at “Toy Soldiers Paris for dedicated K&C enthusiasts – 20 were invited… almost 40 turned up!  And he ended up selling a bunch of stuff also.

Paris is, without a doubt, my favourite big city – its history, architecture and grandeur is second-to-none.   Also it has more military oriented bookshops, stores and sights than any place I know.  I heartily recommend it to anyone… the food is also fantastic, just don’t ask for “Freedom Fries”!



Come Thursday morning (17 March), it was time to take the Eurostar – the direct, under-the-channel express train from ParisGare du Nord” to London’s Waterloo.  The journey takes just 3 hours and by early afternoon I was booked into the Royal National Hotel in the heart of Britain’s capital.

I was there to take part in “The Toy Soldier Experience” organized by Mike and Bob Neville of King & Country U.K.  This was going to be a toy soldier show with a big difference as promised by Mike and Bob and that it certainly was!

When the original toy soldier show in March was cancelled at the last moment by its organizer, Mike and Bob stepped in.  Within a few short weeks, they had completely revamped it to include living history reenactors depicting WW2 German, American and Red Army soldiers.  They designed and built a 20-foot stretch of “mock” Fall of Berlin wall to hilight and display our upcoming BERLIN 1945 releases.  Complete with audio visual aids, real battle sound effects and special lighting, this display was the perfect focal point for the show.

In addition, a real WW2 Jeep complete with “imitation” American/German MP’s and huge 1/6 scale German and Russian tanks drew hordes of crowds to the show.

The result was a host of happy dealers almost three times the normal attendance and double the actual business of last year!  Regular and first-time attendees absolutely loved it.

Much as I love the “WESTCOASTER” and the CHICAGO shows, I think organizers should begin to think “outside the box” and how to build their shows to appeal to the potentially huge market of collectors and history buffs that would love toy soldiers if they could only see them.

Enough of my travels and preaching here’s the latest news…


1.     “1776” LATEST RELEASES

                  As I explained in March’s “DISPATCHES”, we’ve only received the first batch of woodland Indians and Redcoats.  The response, as I hoped, has been terrific both with dealers and collectors who saw them on my “promotion trip”.

Virtually most, if not all, of this first delivery has already been shipped out to dealers. Now, I know many of you didn’t get all the quantities you wanted but at least I hope you got enough to keep your customers coming back for more.  In June, that is, when we expect the balance of our order from the factories.



Once again I’m happy to report the feedback has been extremely enthusiastic on this new series.  Although all dealers have by now seen the photos on the internet, there is no substitute to seeing it “for real”.

Our room displays at the Westcoaster as well as in New York, Paris and London got very positive reviews from collectors and dealers alike.

The Berlin ’45 ads will be appearing in the U.S. in “WW2 MAGAZINE” on 5 April 2005 and 3 May 2005.

In Europe full-page ads will appear in several leading magazines including “Toy Soldier and Model Figure”“Military Modelling“Toy soldier Collector”… and the brand-new “MILITOYS”.



We hope to have all the German sets WS63-WS68 (including the “King Tiger” and “Puma”) available in late April / early May.

* SP14 The Berlin Tenement available in early May

The Red Army sets RA08- RA15 (again including the “T34/85” and “KATYUSHA” Rocket Launcher) available in late May / early June

SP15 + SP16 Reich Chancellery Facades, we hope to have ready mid / late May





As last year’s 60th Anniversary commemorations amply proved interest in D. Day continues unabated.  So here’s what will be dropping from skies…and landing on the beaches!



Four additional sets of Paratroopers, Rangers and a great new DUKW amphibious transport vehicle.  Here’s some details…

First our paratroopers – three REAL Paratroopers – by that I mean 3 ‘troopers actually parachuting… suspended beneath fully deployed ‘chutes.

The actual parachutes are cast in resin and come complete with actual cotton lines that suspend the paratrooper beneath.  All three ‘troopers are in different poses and look fantastic suspended from the ceiling descending at different heights.  If 3 look good, imagine how a “stick” of 15 or 20 will look!

In addition to the paras, there’s two 4-man sets of US Rangers on the beach.  These will be a great add-on to the two Ranger sets (DD47 & DD48) already released.  These new sets boast some really dynamic combinations of figures such as medics, wounded and radio operators directly inspired by the dramatic opening scenes of “Saving Pvt. Ryan”.

Finally supporting the GI’s is our latest US fighting vehicle – The DUKW amphibious transport.  These were used in both the European and Pacific theatres of operations.  Our model comes with rolling wheels, removable transport load and two full-figure crewmen.  It’s big as well – approximately 13” long.

Releases dates to be announced.



Following the success of “Mr. Churchill’s Commandoes” last year, we’re also adding on four more sets of British (and Canadian) sets to this range.

Among these new sets will be a group of 4 more Commandoes in action including two more riflemen… a running Bren gunner and a Sten gunner firing his weapon from the hip.


Another great set depicts a Commando escorting two captured Waffen SS officers back to the beach – a British Military Policeman sitting astride his BSA/Triumph motorcycle looks on.

On the fighting vehicle side is a great new Bren Gun Carrier and our impressive “Staghound” Armoured Car.  These vehicles were American built but used almost exclusively by British and Canadian forces.  Our vehicle is in Canadian markings and comes with a 2-man (half-body) crew.



We’re also looking into the possibility of producing a range of scale model “Beach Obstacles” to complement all of this action on the Normandy sands.  More details later.




As mentioned last month, some of our older IWO JIMA items are being phased out as stocks go down.  Among those on the “retirement” list are:

IWJ12           “Wounded Marines” (2 Corpsmen + 2 wounded Marines)

IWJ16           “Hand-to-Hand A” (Japanese being knifed by Marine)

IWJ17           “Hand-to-Hand B” (Rifle versus Entrenching Tool)

Please note all other “vintage” IWO sets including all the Japanese and IWJ18 “The Defenders” will remain in production until replacements are ready – probably next year in 2006.

So, that’s the story so far…

Best wishes and… great sales!



Andy C. Neilson

Co-founder and Creative Director