NEW RELEASES FROM KING & COUNTRY!
Welcome to a relatively modest selection of offerings this yuletide month as we end 2023 and look forward to 2024, just a few weeks away.
Talking of the coming year there are several major releases planned, particularly for ‘WW2’ and ‘Vietnam’ and I will be sharing more details as they get near. In a few days time (as I write this) I am heading to Europe for the first time in 4 years to visit K&C collectors and dealers in 4 countries.
My Euro Itinerary begins in Italy, Milan to be exact where I will be meeting up with Stefano of SAIMEX and quite a few of our Italian collectors at the Christmas Milan Hobby Fair that will take place on Sunday 26 November.
The following day I will move to Paris to visit the two ladies Sylvie and Marie-Alix who run the beautiful little Solda’ Telis, a gem of a toy soldier shop, just a stone’s throw from the magnificent Arc de Triomphe in the heart of Paris.
Just days later I also join up with Phylip and Pierre of ‘Figurines et Collectiones’ who will host a King & Country event in Paris for many K&C collectors from in and outside of the French capital.
After all of that it’s off again, by Eurostar to London and the December Toy Soldier Show where once more I will join with Stefano of Saimex who takes part in this great annual event. I’ll also be meeting quite a few loyal K&C enthusiasts who always attend this show.
From London I fly to Stuttgart, Germany, the home of Porsche and Mercedes Benz. Now, I must stress here it is not to pick up the latest model but to join up with one of our great German dealers, Marcus Heiss-Hasala who has organized yet another ‘Meet ‘n’ Greet’ evening on K&C’s behalf.
This is only the second time l’ve been to Germany on K&C business and I’m looking forward to it. Marcus held another such event several years back which was great fun and very enjoyable.
As are all such ‘get-togethers’… K&C Collectors always want to know about our future plans and developments and I want to know what in particular they like… what they want to see… and also their ideas, suggestions and general comments.
Although it’s not the cheapest way to go about getting this information it’s simply the best way I know to forge a bond of support and friendship between collector, supplier and dealer! It’s worth every Euro, Dollar and Pound spent!
Now, let’s see what Santa has in store…
1. "ONCE UPON A TIME IN AFRIKA…"
King & Country and yours truly have a very long time had a deep interest and fond affection for the Second World War campaign fought in North Africa.
For many years now K&C has portrayed in miniature the British and Empire forces who battled their combined German and Italian enemies under the blistering heat of the North African sun during the daylight hours and then through the bitterly cold nights of the Western Desert.
One of our favourite subjects are the men of the famous AFRIKA KORPS and their equally famous commander, Erwin Rommel, also known as ‘The Desert Fox’.
Among the major projects K&C is currently working on is our next all-metal ‘big cat’ tank … ‘The Desert Tiger’.
To accompany this great model are a whole raft of new Afrika Korps figures.
Here is just a small taste…
AK133 ‘AK Radio Operator w/Rifle’
Cradling his K98 rifle, this soldier also carries the M33 (Feldfunksprecher B) field radio on his back complete with headset earphones.
AK138 ‘AK MP40 Gunner’
If there is one infantry weapon that symbolizes the German infantry during WW2 it is the MP40 submachine gun.
Officers and NCO’s armed with this weapon usually carried 7 magazines each holding up to 32 9 x 19mm Parabellum rounds.
Our Squad Leader also has a captured set of British Army binoculars!
AK139 ‘AK Field Policeman’’
A member of the ‘Feldgendarmerie’ (German Military Police) nicknamed by the ordinary German soldier “The Chained Dogs” because of the metal plate hung around their necks! This particular ‘Chained Dog’, or Kettenhund’ in German, must be looking for trouble as he already has his pistol out of its holster.
AK140 ‘AK Field Police Checking Papers’
A second ‘Chained Dog’ is examining someone’s travel documents or perhaps a soldier’s paybook to make sure they are who they say they are.
AK141 ‘AK Saluting Rifleman’
Standing to attention this soldier snaps up a smart salute.
AK142 ‘AK Ready For Action’
Another MP40 carrying Afrika Korps soldier cocks the weapon as he appears to see something suspicious.
AK143 ‘AK Rifleman’
Standing in support of AK142 is this K98 rifleman.
These are just the first releases of a large number of all-new Afrika Korps figures that will be appearing over the next 6 months or so in addition to and accompanying our upcoming ‘Desert Tiger’.
AVAILABILITY: Early December
2. "A Different Kind of Horseman"
Not so long ago we introduced a choice selection of figures for our Ceremonial Series’ that featured the cavalrymen of ‘The Blues and Royals’ who provide part of the mounted bodyguards of the British monarchy. One particular figure was missing… A mounted Blues and Royals officer. Well here he is…
CE096 ‘Mounted Officer of The Blues and Royals’
Let’s call him Rupert, riding a magnificent black stallion and with his cavalry sabre drawn. Of special note is the intricate detailing of the officer’s saddle cover.
AVAILABILITY: Mid December
Special Note: K&C is also producing another mounted figure of a senior Blues and Royals officer… Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, The Princess Royal who is also ‘Colonel-In-Chief’ of the Regiment and often appears in her specially-adapted military uniform (see our sketch). This figure will appear, I hope, in the first quarter of 2024.
3. "GUARDING EDINBURGH"
Perched high on Castle Rock stands Scotland’s most famous and historic fortresses, Edinburgh Castle.
This Royal Castle has stood on the rock since the reign of King David 1 in the 12th Century and continued to be a royal residence until 1633. As the castle’s residential role declined it was then principally used as a military barracks with a large garrison. That role has remained until today although with a considerably reduced but still important military presence.
Because of its historical position as Scotland’s most important stronghold it has been closely involved with many ancient conflicts from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 13rd and 14th Century to the Jacobite Rebellions of 1715 and 1745.
Research undertaken in the last decade identified 25 sieges throughout the castle’s long 1100 year history giving it the title of ‘the most besieged castle in Britain!’
Anyone visiting Edinburgh Castle today must enter through the Main Gate which is the inspiration for King & Country’s latest and perhaps finest 3-dimensional façade backdrop.
SP125(SE) ‘Edinburgh Castle Gateway’
This handsome skillfully-detailed and expertly hand-painted polystone (marble dust and resin) and metal rendition of the ancient gate has the following dimensions:
Length: 34.5cm / 13.6”
Height: 25.2cm / 9.9”
Width: 6cm/ 2.36”
The structure itself replicates in miniature many of the original features that visitors can still see today.
Flanking the entrance way are two life-size statues of King Robert the Bruce and Sir William Wallace, the dual heroes of Scotland’s War of Independence.
Also featured above the entrance is a painted shield bearing the Scottish Coat-of-Arms with the Lion Rampant.
SPECIAL / EDITION
Just 300 of these unique Edinburgh Castle Gateways have been produced and each comes in its own strong and sturdy, full-colour presentation box complete with a numbered certificate.
AVAILABILITY: Early December (just in time for Christmas!)
4. "AWAY IN A MANGER"
Here is the second of our unique display item offerings for this Festive Season…
SP132 ‘The Desert Village Manger’
Back when we first introduced our ‘Desert Village’ buildings one of the most popular was the ‘Desert Stables’.
At that time many ‘Life of Jesus’ collectors utilized that typical Middle Eastern building for ‘Nativity’ scenes depicting the birth of the baby Jesus and brought together many of the K&C sets that depicted the Christmas story.
Move forward a few years and the original ‘Desert Stables’ has long been sold out and discontinued. At the same time many new collectors (and some older ones) have frequently requested a new and upgraded version and now, here it is.
This new ‘Desert Manager’ incorporated some of the typical design features that can be found in the original ‘Desert Village’ offerings while adding extra details all of its own.
As you can see this new building can accommodate many kinds of different scenes, scenarios and figures to tell all types of stories in a variety of different historical timelines.
AVAILABILITY: Early December
5. "BEING RETIRED THIS MONTH…"
Actually, nothing I’m happy to say.
So, that’s the story so far… looking forward to seeing and meeting some of you guys on my European tour and wishing one and all are very Merry Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous and healthy New Year!
Best wishes and... Happy Collecting!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country