NEW RELEASES FROM KING & COUNTRY!
WELCOME ONCE MORE to another great edition of ‘DISPATCHES’. As you can read this particular July Edition is being released a day or so earlier than normal… just in time for the weekend!
However, before we begin let me say a great big THANKYOU to all those dealers and collectors who made this year’s ‘TEXAS TOY SOLDIER SHOW’ one of the very best and most enjoyable!
Also, another well-deserved ‘THANKS’ to Amber, Jason, Jake, Norma, Laura and all the rest of our KINGS X team in San Antonio as well as Chris & Julie who flew in from California to assist.
THANKYOU also to Tammi and the entire K&C crew in Hong Kong for their very able and important support.
And now onto the main event that you’ve all been waiting for…
BEING RELEASED THIS MONTH…
1. "ENEMIES & FRIENDS OF ROME"
Any imperial power that builds an empire is never short of enemies… However not every person in every conquered land reacts to the invaders in exactly the same way…
RnB003 "The Farewell"
When the Roman Legion took over an area of conquered land they built forts and garrisoned them with troops, who in some cases, might stay there for years.
Often in such circumstances and depending on the local conditions they might find ‘wives’ among a few of the native population.
Here, one such soldier prepares to go on duty as his wife and child look on.
RnB004 "Guarding the Prisoner"
Less amicable relations with the local population can be seen in this 2-man set... A recently-captured prisoner, hands tied behind his back, is made to kneel by his Roman captor.
RnB008 "Short Back & Sides"
A different prisoner... a different Roman soldier. As the captured warrior is made to lie prostrate under him the Roman Legionary appears to be waiting for instructions from a superior as to the prisoner’s fate.
In general, warrior prisoners of Rome could expect either ‘a life as a galley-slave’... ‘a brutal and bloody future in the Arena’... or perhaps ‘a relatively swift end’. None of the options pleasant!
SPECIAL NOTE: These are just a small detachment of the many new Romans and Celts, Britons and Gauls in a wide range different poses that will be appearing in successive months.
2. "KNIGHTS AT TOURNAMENT"
Throughout history warriors have always engaged in military games both to prepare for war itself and to perfect their skill-at-arms for pure enjoyment.
From the 10th Century onwards tournaments were an integral part of a knight’s life… and sometimes death. Tournaments and jousting in particular could be a deadly and dangerous pastime.
The image however of armoured and surcoated knights on their charging horses racing towards each other remains the epitome of the chivalric ideal.
Here are two additional versions of K&C’s own colourful jousting scene…
MK177 "Sir William Carlisle of Allerdale"
Sir William also known as ‘The Red Knight’ at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
A native of Cumberland in the North West of England he had friends and enemies on both sides of the border between England and Scotland and was an avid jousting participant.
MK178 "Sir John Ross of Galloway"
Sir William’s opponent, Sir John Ross of Galloway hails from the south west part of Scotland and was an early supporter of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots from 1306-1329.
Sir John’s heraldry includes both the ‘Lion Rampant’ and ‘The Ship’, much favoured by Scottish knights of that time.
MK-S01 "Let The Joust Commence!"
This colourful ‘BONUS SET’ combines both knights together with the ‘Jousting Barrier’ that separates them at a very favorable price!
3. "POLAND 1939"
From medieval jousting in Britain to September 1939 in Poland and the outbreak of war in Europe. In August 1939, the ‘German-Soviet Pact’ was signed which among other points stated, in secret, that Poland was to be partitioned between the two countries. This enabled Germany to attack Poland on September 1, 1939, with no fear of any Soviet intervention.
On September 17, just over two weeks later the Soviet Union invaded eastern Poland and within days met up with their advancing German ‘partners-in-crime’ from the West.
Instantly Poland was dismembered and a reign of terror began…
FOB168 "Searching the Prisoner"
A captured Polish infantryman has his pockets and ammunition pouches searched by one of the victorious ‘invaders’... A scene that must have been repeated many thousands of times.
FOB169 "The Invader meets The Backstabber"
A senior German officer shakes hand with one of his Soviet opposite numbers. Friendly for the moment... in June 1941 all that will change when ‘Operation Barbarossa’ erupts!
4. "THE THREE MUSKETEERS"
Alexander Dumas’ historical adventure novel recounts the many adventures of a young D’Artagnan as he travels to Paris to join the Musketeers of the King’s Guard. Along the way he befriends the three most formidable members of the Musketeers and finds himself involved in great affairs of the state and the court.
Among the great and the not-so-good he and his ‘Three Musketeers’ encounter are both the fictional and historical characters that inhabit the novel…
Here are three of the actual historical personages that feature in the story…
PnM076 "The Duke of Buckingham"
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, was a handsome and charismatic man used to getting his own way and not too particular about how he achieved that. He thinks nothing of beginning a war between England and France for his own personal convenience and advantage.
He is also, quite dangerously, the lover of Anne of Austria... now the Queen of France.
PnM077 "King Louis XIII & Queen Anne of France"
As portrayed by Dumas in the novel Louis XIII is a weak and indecisive monarch easily manipulated by his chief minister, Cardinal Richlieu. In reality Louis was more taciturn and suspicious by nature however he did rely heavily on his ministers, particularly ‘The Red Eminence’, Richlieu.
During and after his life there were strong rumours about Louis XIII’s sexual preferences which, if true, might explain his wife’s attraction to the Duke of Buckingham.
Anne of Austria followed the long tradition of cementing military and political alliances between Catholic countries with royal marriages.
Her marriage to Louis was only briefly happy and the King’s frequent absences often kept them apart which might also explain her attachment to George Villiers (The Duke of Buckingham).
She did however eventually give birth to a son, Louis XIV, the future ‘Sun King’.
5. "ANOTHER NAPOLEONIC 'CUTE' CAMP FOLLOWER"
Armies for many centuries have always attracted ‘Camp Followers’... Females willing to follow a soldier, his flag and the drum in exchange for regular food… a free bed… and a degree of protection against the trials and tribulations of both other men and a hard, brutal civilian life.
Of course, a pretty face and a comely figure also helps as we can see here…
NA413 "A Girl of The Old Guard"
Here, we see one such lass... partly dressed in the uniform of one of Napoleon’s own Imperial Guard Infantry... How well she might fight... who can say...? But she would certainly keep you warm at night!
AVAILABILITY: Mid July
6. "GOOD MORNING VIETNAM!"
After the very successful launch of our new ‘VIETNAM’ series at the recently-past ‘TEXAS SHOW’ K&C are delighted to announce FOUR MORE MARINES in great combat poses…
VN003 "Standing Ready"
This ‘GRUNT’ stands poised to go into action his M16 at ‘port arms’.
VN004 "Standing Firing "
One more Marine takes careful aim at some enemy soldiers. In the U.S.M.C. it is a tradition that every, single Marine is a ‘trained rifleman’ irrespective of what branch of the Corps he will eventually serve in.
Marksmanship is highly-prized in the U.S.M.C. and the Marines specialize in it.
VN005 "Shotgun Ready"
During the Vietnam War Marines carried a variety of different weapons. Among the most effective both in close-quarter jungle conditions and in house-to-house fighting was the shotgun... A number of different makes were employed in the battle to retake HUE... Our Marine carries a ‘Mossberg 500’... Other favoured shotguns include the ‘Winchester Model 1912’ and the ‘Remington Model 870’. Special length barrels could also be ordered as short as 20 inches or as long as 36 inches.
VN014 "Marine NCO w/Binos"
As he peers through his military-issue binos to seek out the enemy this Marine Non Commissioned Officer also carries his M16 and a Colt. M1911 .45cal. semi automatic pistol, the standard U.S. Military sidearm from 1911 until 1986.
Just that one word could spread fear and loathing among anyone who ever had to fight them!
Cunning, resourceful and highly skilled guerilla fighters the Apaches proved to be one of the most formidable enemies the U.S. Army ever had to face.
Just as the Apaches themselves expected little or no mercy from their Mexican and American foes so they too showed the same disregard for their opponents… or indeed anyone who had the misfortune to fall into their hands alive…
TRW142 "Captor & Captured"
As his Apache captor patiently looks on this poor, unfortunate Cavalryman is in for a slow, lingering and painful death as he is ‘staked-out’ under a blazing sun.
As an additional torture the Apaches liked to smear a captive’s face and mouth with sugar or molasses to attract all kinds of insects onto the scene...
TRW143 "Crouching Apache"
Moving stealthily forward this warrior silently approaches the enemy.
TRW144 "Apache Standing Firing "
Among the Indian tribes that faced the American Army during the Indian Wars after 1865 the Apaches were often considered to be the best ‘shots’.
AVAILABILITY: Mid-Late July
8. "PACIFIC MARINE REINFORCEMENTS"
Earlier you saw our additional ‘VIETNAM MARINES’. Now, we present their Pacific War ‘brothers-in-arms’.
USMC041 "USMC 75mm Pack Howitzer & Crew"
Originally designed in the 1920’s to meet a demand for a howitzer that could be moved across difficult terrain, the gun and carriage could be broken down and moved by pack animals.
In the U.S.M.C. from 1943 onwards, divisional artillery always included three 75mm battalions with 12 guns each.
Our new Pack Howitzer comes complete with three Marines manning it.
USMC047 "Marine Casualties"
The price of victory is never cheap! These two Marines prove that... As one Marine falls to the ground his buddy next to him takes a bullet to the chest.
AVAILABILITY: Mid-Late July
9. "SO, WHAT'S BEING RETIRED...?"
Well, as per normal as some items come in some others have to go out… Grab’em while you can!
BBG057 "Advancing w/Rifle #2"
Looking to the left, right leg forward, going into action...
BBG061 "Advancing, well-wrapped up!"
This soldier is doing his best to stay warm and alert... all at the same time.
BBG062 "Sergeant w/MP40"
Machine Pistol at the ready this NCO knows some enemy might be in the vicinity.
BBG074 "Kneeling Tank Rider w/Rifle"
BBG076 "Kneeling Ready Tank Rider"
BBG077 "Standing Officer w./ MP40"
BBG080 "Standing Ready w/Rifle"
BBG089 "Advancing Turning"
A snow-smocked Panzer Grenadier cautiously looks to his left as he moves forward.
By this late stage in the war the sheer variety of uniforms worn by Germany’s soldiers was simply staggering ... A few however were still more traditionally dressed and this front-line soldier still wears the long army greatcoat. However he is carrying the “Gewehr 43” the semi automatic rifle developed during the war following riflemen’s actual combat experiences on the battlefield with the existing bolt-action K98.
Utilizing a 10 round box magazine the rifle, strangely enough, did not have a bayonet mount!
SP039 "Desert Palm Trees (Single & Double Trees)"
A 2-tree combination plus a single tree version on 2 separate bases.
TRW038(P) ""Sun Bear""
This mounted warrior with the buffalo-horn head dress looks ready to lance one of the hated “blue-coats”.
WH011 "Dispatch Rider"
Perhaps sitting on his bike on a nearby road this other German soldier stops to take a break and watch his two comrades at work in the field.
WH047 "JagdPanzer Pz.Kpfw. IV L/70"
That’s quite a mouthful ... but no less deadly for it! This was a “Tank Destroyer” based on the highly successful Panzer IV chassis and built in three main variants.
As one of the casemate-style turretless Jagdpanzer tank destroyers it was developed contrary to the express wishes of General Heinz Guderian, Germany’s most famous armoured leader.
He believed that the already existing Sturmgeschutz III and IV models were more than adequate for the Army’s needs and this new development simply diverted valuable resources away from Panzer IV tank production!
Hitler and Speer over-ruled Guderian and the Jagdpanzer IV was put into production. The first production vehicles saw action in Normandy and later during the Battle of the Bulge. Many were also used on the Russian Front.
After the war small numbers of surviving L70’s served with the Romanian Army and even a few (6) fought with the Syrian Army against the Israelis during the “6-DAY WAR” OF 1967!
The K & C model comes complete with detachable “metal mesh” protective side skirts and a vehicle commander in the open top turret hatch.
Camouflage is in the muted 3-colour scheme adopted by many German vehicles from the mid war onwards.
WoD016 "The Toy Shop"
Another revised and upgraded single shop/house facade from the original “Dickens Street”. This time “KING & COUNTRY TOYS occupies the street-level shop with a very nice “bijou” residence on the upper floors.
WS230 "Demag Ambulance"
As you all know, the Germans were quick to adapt any vehicle to their specific needs as and when they arose. This camouflaged Demag sports prominent red cross markings but that still made it a target for Allied fighter/bombers
The Model comes with Medic Driver and detachable roof canvas.
And that my friends is that for another month. In the meantime I leave for Australia on July 12 to meet ‘n’ greet K&C collectors in Brisbane (13-15)… Sydney (16-19) and Melbourne (20-22) and our great dealers Brett, Peter & Sven and Howard in all three cities… Looking forward to seeing many old friends in each venue and making lots of new ones too!
Best wishes and... Happy Collecting!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country