October 2023


Hi Guys,

By the time you read this I should already be back in Hong Kong after my U.S. visit to the all-new ‘CHICAGOLAND Toy Soldier Show’ which has taken the place of the long-established but sadly now- cancelled ‘Chicago Toy Soldier Show’.

In addition, on this trip I will have visited San Antonio and our own ‘KING & COUNTRY TEXAS’ store.

Here in Hong Kong recently we have also survived, relatively unscathed, a major Typhoon followed, a week later, by the heaviest rainfall in the former Colony’s history since records began in 1884!

So, lots has been going on but somehow, through all of that, K&C has still managed to bring out a few bits and pieces that I hope collectors and dealers will appreciate…  Let’s get on with the show….

1. "LIFE & DEATH ON THE NILE"

Following up on the success and popularity of our ‘Tutankhamun’ related figures set in the years following the discovery of the young pharaoh’s tomb we are releasing a choice selection of some other characters with interesting stories to tell that add more than a touch of colour to this ‘Ancient Egyptian’ series.

AE (S)

Signor Ferrari

AE102 "Signor Ferrari"

For the classic movie fans among us here is one of the supporting characters from the great ‘CASABLANCA’ starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman… ‘Signor Ferrari’.

Ferrari, in the film is a bar-owning competitor of Bogart’s ‘Rick Blaine’ with a decidedly murky background involving all kinds of black market activity in Vichy-controlled Casablanca in what was then French Morocco.

I like to imagine he might also have been in prewar Egypt wheeling and dealing in all kinds of illegal activities including selling-off stolen Ancient Egyptian antiquities to rich American and European visitors.

In the ‘Casablanca’ film ‘Signor Ferrari’ was played by the British actor Sydney Greenstreet well known for his villainous roles.

‘Death On The Nile’ Duo

AE103 "‘Death On The Nile’ Duo"

‘Death On The Nile’ was and is one of Agatha Christie’s most famous

mystery novels and first published in 1937. It features, of course, one of

Christie’s favourite characters, Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian detective.

In the 1978 movie version, Poirot was played by the very talented Peter Ustinov, an actor, director, author and great wit.

This is K&C’s third interpretation of Hercule Poirot and is closely based on Ustinov’s own interpretation of the detective and his distinctive looks.

Accompanying Poirot is a formidable lady, Mrs. Marie Van Schuyler played by the equally formidable Bette Davis.

Both figures would most definitely want to visit Tutankhamun’s Tomb to inspect for themselves the many treasures and relics it holds as well perhaps as a few of its mysteries.

‘The Abduls’ (2 x figure set)

AE105 "‘The Abduls’ (2 x figure set)"

After the discovery of Tutankhamun’s Tomb enterprising Egyptians opened a number of hotels and restaurants nearby to cater for the needs and requirements of the many foreign visitors who flocked to view the burial site.

Here is a father and son combination delivering some refreshments for the foreign visitors. Both are wearing traditional servants costume of the kind that could be found throughout Egypt and North Africa during the 1920s, ‘30s and even into the 1940s and ‘50s.

AVAILABILITY: Early October

2. "ELSEWHERE IN NORTH AFRIKA…"

Talking of that part of the world…  Let’s go forward a few years to a very different kind of foreign visitor to North Africa…  Erwin Rommel’s AFRIKAKORPS!

        Over the years King & Country has featured many different figures and fighting vehicles (plus a few aircraft too) depicting the Desert War campaign that took place there between 1941 to 1943 and the epic struggle between Britain’s Eighth Army and the German Afrika Korps led by General Erwin Rommel.

These all-new AK figures are just the ‘advance guard’ of whole new range of ‘desert warriors’ that are in the works and will show a different view of the campaign that was described at the time, as a ‘War Without Hate’.

Both sides fought a relatively ‘clean’ war without the bitter hatred and atrocities that took place in other theatres of war, notably in the Pacific and on the Eastern Front.

These new figures are in a series of ‘Behind The Lines’ poses that can still tell a story… just a more peaceful one.  You could even imagine them in some kind of Indianna Jones setting… but that’s another story!

 

AK (S)

‘Food & Drink’ (2 x figure set)

AK134 "‘Food & Drink’ (2 x figure set)"

As one soldier pours himself a drink, the other eats out of his mess tin.

MG34 Machine Gunner

AK135 "MG34 Machine Gunner"

A standing machine gunner with the MG34 resting on his shoulder and carrying a box of belted ammunition.

Perhaps he is on his way to a practice session at the range…

‘At Ease’ (2 x figure set)

AK136 "‘At Ease’ (2 x figure set)"

Two relaxed-looking AK soldiers just talking. Obviously there are no enemy troops in the vicinity and they can take it easy… at least for a little while.

Guard Duty

AK137 "Guard Duty"

This single AK soldier is enjoying a ‘smoke’ as he looks around him.

AVAILABILITY: Early October

3. "GOING FROM HOT TO COLD"

         From the blistering hot sands of North Africa to the freezing, winter cold of the Ardennes Forest in December 1944.

Once again K&C is fortunate to have designed and produced a broad range of figures that cover a wide span of very different historical eras and subjects.

The ‘Battle of The Bugle’ has always been a particular favourite of mine and many K&C collectors.  With the last two major releases of ‘Bulge’ American GIs wearing their ‘Melton’ winter overcoats quite of few of our newer collectors requested that we release one or two figures wearing those long greatcoats, that alas, have been long retired and sold-out.  Three particular figures were the most requested and here they are together in a combined three-figure set.

BBA (S)

Staying Warm

BBA108 "Staying Warm "

These three ‘2nd Generation ’GIs are doing their level best to try and keep warm despite the fierce winter weather conditions that surrounds them.

As one GI drinks some warm coffee, another enjoys a ‘smoke’ while the third guy just blows into his hands as all three stand around a discarded oil drum brazier that someone has turned into a ‘burn barrel’.

As you can see all three GIs are still carrying their rifles so the enemy can’t be too far away.

AVAILABILITY: Mid October

4. "CHRISTMAS COMES BUT ONCE A YEAR!"

Well that’s certainly true however here at King & Country we try and make sure it comes ever year… and always on December 25!

           And, as is our tradition, we like to bring out one or two little ‘stocking-fillers’ for those who like their Festive Cheer in small packages…

XM023 Group (S)

Santa & His Snowman

XM023-01 "Santa & His Snowman"

Santa is having a little break from watching his elves hard at work producing all kinds of terrific toys for all those good little girls and boys all over the world just waiting to discover what Santa has brought them on Christmas morning.

And so, stepping out of his Toy Workshop for a break he’s decided to build himself his very own ‘Snowman’ complete with an old tartan scarf and a giant, snow-capped top hat.

The Teddy Bear's Snowman

XM023-02 "The Teddy Bear's Snowman "

A pair of little Teddy Bear’s also decided they too wanted to build their very own Snowman and so, taking a leaf out of Santa’s book as well copying his design they have built their own version.

Ok, so it’s not their own design but hey, c’mon give the little guys a break.

After all, they’re still only Teddy Bears!

AVAILABILITY: Late October

5. "MORE HORROR STORIES"

           From cute little Teddy Bears and jolly old Santa it’s time to take a little side trip to… TRANSYLVANIA.

           A couple of months back we released our first look into the dark, vampiric world of the Horror Movie genre with the dreaded and sharp-fanged ‘Count Dracula’.

Well, still somewhat in that vein, if you will pardon my pun, K&C is presenting collectors with a few more memorable if not always menacing figures from some famous Horror Movies…

HS_BG (S)

'The Bride of Frankenstein!'

HS002 "'The Bride of Frankenstein!'"

The Bride of Frankenstein was a 1935 American horror film and a sequel to the 1931 movie ‘Frankenstein’.

As with the first film it starred Boris Karloff as the monster but this time around Dr. Frankenstein decided to produce a female partner to keep the monster company.

The result of the Doctor’s efforts was this strikingly original looking ‘Bride’ played by the English actress Elsa Lanchester complete with a conical hairdo with lightning-trace streaks on each side.

Our K&C figure shows her wearing a simple but stylish long white dress and fully- bandaged arms and legs… the result of numerous surgeries to help put her together.

To say the ‘Bride’ is ‘different ‘would be a slight understatement.

Doktor Frederik Von Frankenstein

HS003 "Doktor Frederik Von Frankenstein"

From some horror movies that can be frightening… to one that is famously funny, ‘Young Frankenstein’. This was and is simply the best and funniest comedy /horror movie ever made! Directed by Mel Brooks in 1974 it tells the story of the American great grandson of the infamous scientist who is invited to Transylvania to claim his inheritance and family estate.

Filmed in black and white, ‘Young Frankenstein’ accurately echoes the look of the original 1931 horror movie complete with the same kind of vintage-style opening credits and even utilizes some of the original film props.

Playing the lead was comedian Gene Wilder who was the man who originally came up with the idea of making the film and persuaded his friend Mel Brooks to direct it.

Our K&C portrayal of Dr. Viktor Von Frankenstein is a tribute to Gene, Mel and a very funny movie.

Igor, the Doktor’s Assistant

HS004 "Igor, the Doktor’s Assistant"

Although, ‘Young Frankenstein’ is choc-full of great comedic talents in all of the parts special mention must be made of ‘Igor’, the Doktor’s Assistant played by the irrepressible, bug-eyed Marty Feldman making his American film debut.

In the film ‘Igor’ is a small, black-clad, hunchbacked laboratory assistant always by the side of the doctor and that is how we have portrayed him in this miniature tribute.

The Monster

HS005 "The Monster"

This King & Country creature is a composite blend of the 1931 monster played by Boris Karloff and the much-later ‘edition’ which featured actor Peter Boyle as the 1974 ‘Young Frankenstein Monster’.

Both are almost 7’ tall, with very large, heavy shoes, badly-fitting clothes and a slightly green, unhealthy pallor that suggests someone who has been dead for a while and only just brought back to life by a mad scientist.

AVAILABILITY: Late October

6. "BEING RETIRED THIS OCTOBER…"

"Dai Pai Dong" Set (Matt)

HK113M ""Dai Pai Dong" Set (Matt)"

A chef labouring over a steaming hot wok with plenty of tasty dishes prepared for his customers' hungry appetites.

"Dai Pai Dong" Set (Gloss)

HK113G ""Dai Pai Dong" Set (Gloss)"

A chef labouring over a steaming hot wok with plenty of tasty dishes prepared for his customers' hungry appetites.

Policeman w/ Rifle (Matt)

HK137M "Policeman w/ Rifle (Matt)"

Policeman with Martini Henry carbine standing on guard duty.

Policeman w/ Rifle (Gloss)

HK137G "Policeman w/ Rifle (Gloss)"

Policeman with Martini Henry carbine standing on guard duty.

Policeman w/ Notebook (Matt)

HK138M "Policeman w/ Notebook (Matt)"

Police Corporal with notebook taking notes.

Policeman w/ Notebook (Gloss)

HK138G "Policeman w/ Notebook (Gloss)"

Police Corporal with notebook taking notes.

Policeman on Patrol (Matt)

HK139M "Policeman on Patrol (Matt)"

Chinese 'Bobby' on the beat.

Policeman on Patrol (Gloss)

HK139G "Policeman on Patrol (Gloss)"

Chinese 'Bobby' on the beat.

Police Station

HK140 "Police Station"

Paper Windmill Stall (Matt)

HK194M "Paper Windmill Stall (Matt)"

Another common sight in what was old Hong Kong… Particularly at Chinese Folk Festivals such as the Autumn Moon Festival and Summer Solstice.

Paper Windmill Stall (Gloss)

HK194G "Paper Windmill Stall (Gloss)"

Another common sight in what was old Hong Kong… Particularly at Chinese Folk Festivals such as the Autumn Moon Festival and Summer Solstice.

Marching Hong Kong Policeman (Matt)

HK201M "Marching Hong Kong Policeman (Matt)"

Martini-Henry carbine over one arm this smart-looking constable (plus a few others) would make a fine little parade.

Marching Hong Kong Policeman (Gloss)

HK201G "Marching Hong Kong Policeman (Gloss)"

Martini-Henry carbine over one arm this smart-looking constable (plus a few others) would make a fine little parade.

The NEW Mahjong Set (Matt)

HK208M "The NEW Mahjong Set (Matt)"

The NEW Mahjong Set (Gloss)

HK208G "The NEW Mahjong Set (Gloss)"

New Chinese Pagoda

HK217 "New Chinese Pagoda"

A new upgraded version of an old favorite and perfect for any “Streets of Old Hong Kong” display or “Imperial Collection” diorama.

Lullaby(Matt)

HK225M "Lullaby(Matt)"

A young mother sings a soothing folk song to her son while the child rests contentedly in his rattan basket. Available in both matt and gloss finishes.

Lullaby(Gloss)

HK225G "Lullaby(Gloss)"

A young mother sings a soothing folk song to her son while the child rests contentedly in his rattan basket. Available in both matt and gloss finishes.

The Fish Seller Set (Matt)

HK260M "The Fish Seller Set (Matt)"

A colourful second-painted version of this highly popular set.

The Fish Seller Set (Gloss)

HK260G "The Fish Seller Set (Gloss)"

A colourful second-painted version of this highly popular set.

The New Sedan-Chair Set (Matt)

HK263M "The New Sedan-Chair Set (Matt)"

Up until the 1930’s sedan chairs and their passengers were a familiar sight on the streets of Hong Kong ... Now long gone alas.

The New Sedan-Chair Set (Gloss)

HK263G "The New Sedan-Chair Set (Gloss)"

Up until the 1930’s sedan chairs and their passengers were a familiar sight on the streets of Hong Kong ... Now long gone alas.

The U.S. Army M113 APC

VN072 "The U.S. Army M113 APC"

K&C’s Aussie M113 was a big success and so it was only fair that we brought out the original U.S. Army version.

The M113 was first introduced into Vietnam in the early 1960’s where it became one of the most iconic fighting vehicles of the entire war.

This new K&C model has an all-new armoured turret complete with a .50 cal. heavy machine gun as well as a pair of M60 machine guns on each side of the Carrier. 2 x all -new crew figures are also included.

FACT: Strangely enough the USMC did not have the M113 during the Vietnam conflict in its inventory... Whenever they needed them they were supplied by the U.S. Army, hence our M113 is clearly marked U.S. Army.

Also of interest... the Viet Cong and NVA (North Vietnamese Army) nicknamed it “The Green Dragon”!

To date over 80,000 M113’s in various adaptations and figurations have been manufactured and it still ‘soldiers-on’ in many armed forces around the world.

Ambulance Kubelwagen (Mid-Late War)

WH087 "Ambulance Kubelwagen (Mid-Late War)"

This particular kubelwagen has had ‘dunkelgelb’ yellow oversprayed in a camouflage pattern on top of the original ‘feldgrau’ field grey.

A wounded German soldier lies on the stretcher as the driver/ medic prepares to ferry him back to the nearest field dressing station.

The painting and ‘weathering’ on this vehicle is particularly good!

HJSS Advancing w/Rifle

WS362 "HJSS Advancing w/Rifle"

Cautiously moving forward this youthful soldier had only just completed his infantry training before the Allies invaded France on 6 June 1944.

Now, his training has become his reality!

HJSS Running w/Rifle

WS364 "HJSS Running w/Rifle"

Another young infantryman dashes forward, rifle in hand and ready for action.

HJSS Kneeling firing MP40

WS367 "HJSS Kneeling firing MP40"

Here the MP40 is in the capable hands of another young NCO (non commissioned officer) who kneels to take aim at the advancing Allied infantry.


Best wishes and... Happy Collecting!

Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country