Category Archives: Movies and Other Media

Owner Jamie Delson appears on Fox Business TV Show ‘Strange Inheritance’

The Fox Business show ‘Strange Inheritance’ interviewed The Toy Soldier Company owner Jamie Delson for an episode involving a widow who inherits a large collection of toy soldiers. Airing in March 2017, the episode is entitled ‘Toy Soldier Story 2’:

View the trailer for the episode ‘Toy Soldier Story 2’

 

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Massive toy soldier display by director Peter Jackson commemorates WWI Battle at Gallipoli

Peter Jackson with soldiers

Read the news article about director Peter Jackson and his massive toy soldier display in this news article: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm…

For incredible detail on the toy soldier project, check out their blog:

http://www.anzacdiorama.blogspot.co.nz/

 

French TV News Piece on Incredible Starlux Collection

Following through on New Year’s Resolution # 1 (expand our website listings for our extensive collection of Starlux Napoleonic figures), we bumped into this 2010 French news piece about a passionate Starlux collector. Warning: it’s in French, and you have to view one minute of French commericals to get to the video. Enjoy!

TF1 Starlux Toy Soldier Collector Extraordinaire

Playmobil stop motion battle scenes

I have been using Playmobil castles, buildings, ships and other accessories for wargaming props since the 1970s. But as much as I love their highly realistic inanimate items, their figures are just too ‘toy-ish’ for gaming alongside traditional toy soldiers. You’ll find other posts on this blog featuring Playmobil castles and buildings with toy soldiers (like this one), but I stumbled on these amazing links to some videos featuring full battle scenes using the Playmobil figures – some of them hand-painted! Stop-motion is a painstaking and time-sucking process. Hats off to these dedicated Playmobil fans.

‘300: Rise of an Empire’ Comes to Life

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They may not be official tie-ins, but the new Greek Hoplites from Expeditionary Force are well positioned for the release of the sequel to the 2007 film, ‘300.’ ‘300: Rise of an Empire’ features a wide array of ancient Greek infantry and cavalry types on the big screen. With Expeditionary Force’s Greeks, you can field an army of light infantry, including slingers, archers and javelin-throwers, as well as heavily-armored hoplites and formidable cavalry troops.

We offer these figures in unpainted form, but also make them available in painted versions of troops from the city states of Athens, Sparta and Thessaly, as well as the islands of Crete, Rhodes and the Balearic Islands plus the wild province of Thrace and detachments of mercenaries and mixed hoplites. Click on any picture to visit the page on our website – or view all the Expeditionary Force figures on our website by clicking here.

EXP109p Athenian Hoplites - fully painted

EXP109p Athenian Hoplites – fully painted

EXP109 Ancient Greek Hoplites

EXP109 Ancient Greek Hoplites

EXP107p Athenian Archers and Slingers - fully painted

EXP107p Athenian Archers and Slingers – fully painted

EXP107 Ancient Greek Psiloi Archers and Slingers

EXP107 Ancient Greek Psiloi Archers and Slingers

EXP108p Ancient Greek Hoplites

EXP108p Ancient Greek Hoplites

EXP108 Ancient Greek Peltasts

EXP108 Ancient Greek Peltasts

EXP112p Athenian Cavalry - fully painted

EXP112p Athenian Cavalry – fully painted

EXP112 Ancient Greek Cavalry Set 2

EXP112 Ancient Greek Cavalry Set 2

On the Enjoyment of Pirate Movies

Borneo pirates charge across a jungly table top

I am a devotee of pirate movies. In my lifetime I have spent far too much time glued to small and large screens in search of worthwhile piratical entertainment. Alas, most of the titles I can recall proved to be disappointing in the event, although the expectation always was (and is) that the next will be one of the greats. As the fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film opens tomorrow, I offer some reflections on the highs and lows of the Pirate Movie oeuvre.

Greats? “Captain Blood” (Errol Flynn – need one say more?), “The Sea Hawk” (E. Flynn again), “The Crimson Pirate” (a young Burt Lancaster), “A High Wind in Jamaica” (the only superior drama in the long history of pirate films, with a sympathetic Anthony Quinn and sidekick James Coburn); “The Black Swan” (Tyrone Power at his peak); “The Princess Bride” (not so much a pirate movie as a funny, shtick-filled anti-historic romp, but an equal mix of improbable excitement, quirky romance, slapstick chicanery and downright silliness, with a script by the great William Goldman – based on his novel – and impeccable direction by Rob Reiner. Most famous line, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my grandfather. Prepare to die.”)

The downright failures: most of the rest of the scores of hackneyed, derivative, low-rent pirate adventures ever made. The greatest disappointment for me was “Swashbuckler.” Even the late, great Robert Shaw, star of TV’s “The Buccanneer” couldn’t save that one; Disappointing, although not surprisingly so, were the second and third “Pirates of the Caribbean” installments, which show that no matter how much money you throw at a project, without a script it’s nothin’; “Cutthroat Island”  – one more nail in the  coffin for pirate movies, and the virtual end of a career for then-hot-on-the-trail-of-superstardom Geena Davis. Almost everything about this movie reeked, from the fights to the effects, from the props to the cinematography, and ESPECIALLY the script. Wikipedia on this 1995 film: “The abject disaster of Cutthroat Island is also credited with significantly reducing the bankability and Hollywood production of pirate-themed films, which only recovered with the production of Disney’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’ in 2003.”

My other favorites, even if they’re not classics: “The Pirates of Tripoli”, though I can’t really say why it’s a favorite, as it is a standard, cheesy, stock-footage-filled 1950’s B picture starring an over-the-hill Paul Henreid and “North African Princess” Patricia Medina, and the pirates’ main tavern diversion is to play quoits with the leg of a tavern wench as the target???); the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” film (mostly due to Johhny Depp’s spectacular performance), “The Black Pirate” (a silent romp with the greatest of them all,  Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. – and in technicolor!), “Treasure Island” (a dissolute Robert Newton at his best, in the defining performance of Long John Silver – this led to a one season TV series called “The Adventures of Long John Silver,” in which Newton perfected his arrghhh); “Pirates of Dark Water” (a 21-show animated adventure which was silly, but which I watched over and over again with both of my then-toddlers. I even managed to find the tie-in figures and pirate ship, so I was able to introduce my kids to toy soldiers through their passion for the series.)

I always welcome your opinions, but on this subject, especially so, as the pirate and the toy soldier share a long intertwined history.