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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Classic Toy Soldiers - Toy Soldiers

Classic Toy Soldiers is an American company started in the early 90s. They began primarily selling recasts of existing figures -a lot of it Airfix-, that were out of production, and casting their own line of vehicles, often packaging them together into larger 'playsets'. Their early figures and vehicles were not the best. Some of their figures lacked fluidity in their movements and their vehicles were a bit undersized and entirely made of plastic. In recent years they have begun doing their own sculpting and production of original figures. They are among the few manufacturers that offer new WWII sets. The quality of their offerings has consistently improved and I am hoping that they will continue to release new and varied sets going forward.

Classic Toy Soldiers German Infantry - Part I
This is one of their earlier figure sets. Several of these guys are scaled down versions of the 6 inch Marx guys. A few of the other guys seem to be originals, but their poses are a bit stiff.

Classic Toy Soldiers German Infantry - Part II
If you observe them for a moment you can tell the two different scultpting styles in the set. Perhaps even three as the prone guy is also different. Even his uniform is different. He is wearing a smock. BTW I think that guy used to have a little tree trunk in front of him, but it broke off.

Classic Toy Soldiers Japanese Infantry - Part I
CTS also came out with their own 6 poses of Japanese Infantry. They are slightly on the larger side for 54mm. My favorite poses are the two guys working the machine gun. The type of plastic is slightly brittle. Somehow I was able to knock off the head of the prone guy and had to glue it back.

Classic Toy Soldiers Japanse Infantry - Part II
These other three guys, have very long rifles which are hard to keep straight and they are standing too straight for my taste.

Classic Toy Soldiers Italian Infantry
CTS released this set about 5 years back. They display a bit more intensity than the Airfix guys, however the sculpting is a bit less detailed. Still a welcome addition after so many years of waiting. These guys could be fighting in the Balkans or in the Soviet Union.

Classic Toy Soldiers Romanian Infantry
CTS came out with this set around the time of the Italians, and aside from the officer, the other five figures are the same. That and the color is also different. The set is actually fairly decent. The sculpting could have used a bit more details, but their poses do a nice job of conveying action. These guys will fit just fine fighting either the Soviets or the Germans.

Classic Toy Soldiers US Infantry  Set 1 - Part I
These were released a couple of years back. And here you can already see the marked improvement in the sculpting and realism. The fact that they come with a flamethrower guy and a guy having to fight with both hands, makes them good candidates to paint them as Marines and deploy them on scenes like Pelelliu or Iwo Jima.

Classic Toy Soldiers US Infantry Set 1 - Part II
I like the guy standing with the bazooka. Most of the times they are depicted kneeling. The BAR guy seems to be firing indiscriminately through the foliage at some unseen enemy in the distance while on patrol.

Classic Toy Soldiers US Infantry Set 2 - Part I
This is the second release of GIs by CTS. The guy I like the most is the one on the radio. I like the intensity that he portrays. The prone BAR man is also a good addition to the unit and it shows the weapon resting on its bipod.

Classic Toy Soldiers US Infantry Set 2 - Part II
These three poses are what made me get a couple of these sets. I had several Long Tom artillery pieces from 21st Century Toys, but I did not have crews for them. There is a loader, a guy on the phone, and another one that seems to be ready to fire the gun. The caliber of the ammo looks small for this gun, but I guess it's going to have to be good enough for it.

Classic Toy Soldiers German Medical Team - Part I
This is a freshly released set from CTS. It contains a mixture of medics and casualties. It is nicely detailed and when painted they will blend very well with other German figures, such as Conte's. The only thing to criticize about these figures is the shape of some of the helmets, which seem to have a softer edge than expected -like the kneeling guy's helmet.

Classic Toy Soldiers German Medical Team - Part II
Here you have one more casualty -who does not seem to need any more medical attention, a man carrying a stretcher and a presumed prisoner. Not sure what the prisoner has to do with the medical team, but since these are all non-fighting poses, I can see how he fits in in that respect. Overall a nice set from CTS who will go very well with the FOV ambulance.

Classic Toy Soldiers Assault Troops - Part I
The latest release from CTS. A new set of German 'Assault Troops'. Considering that most of them are wearing cammo smocks I am going to paint them as Waffen SS. I like that some of the poses are a bit different from what has typically been done in the past for such weapons. For instance, the panzerschreck is held by a prone guy and the man operating the MG 42 is not actually firing it, but urging on his comrades.

Classic Toy Soldiers Assault Troops - Part II
These other poses are also nice and interesting. Note the guy with the flamethrower on the right, and the guy pulling the cord off the hand grenade. The guy surrendering is not my favorite as I prefer fighting poses, but even that is original. Note that he had been previously released with the medical team, along with the dead guy from the previous picture. That does not make much sense to me. They could have made the set more affordable be leaving them as part of the medical team.

Classic Toy Soldiers Artillery Crew - Part I
Also part of the latest release, a set that was sorely missing: an artillery crew. Italeri had also produced a PAK 40 with crew, but you had to buy them as a set, so you could not really staff any artillery pieces purchased without a crew. Well, now you can. The set comes with an observer/officer and two loaders.

Classic Toy Soldiers Artillery Crew - Part II
Another angle. This crew can also be deployed to serve an 88 gun. They look equally good and the size of the shell might be more in line with an 88.

Classic Toy Soldiers Korean War Chinese - Part I
I got these guys thinking that I will use them as WWII Soviet Winter troops. The level of detail is so good that their faces actually betray them as Chinese. I might still be able to use them as Soviets, if we assume that they came from the Central Asian Soviet Republics. The uniforms and weapons all would pass as Soviet gear. In terms of the sculpting and poses, I am quite happy with this set. All poses are combat poses, which is the way I like them. 

Classic Toy Soldiers Korean War Chinese - Part II
The man on the right is actually my favorite pose. You don't often see figures reloading their weapons, and he is doing it on the run. Another interesting detail of these figures is that the base is covered in snow and you actually see the footprints of the men on it. A nice touch of realism, which actually highlights the fact that I should have taken these pictures with a different background :-)
 The only thing that some might criticize is that the sets come with 16 figures, but you don't get two of each pose. Three of them come in 3s and 3 of them as singles. Having 2 of each is useful if you plan on painting one set of poses and leaving the other 8 unpainted. On the other hand, if you want to use all 16 together, then, having one officer makes more sense than having two. All in all a nice and unique set from CTS, so I might not even mind buying a second one, perhaps to use as true Chinese.

Click here to see more German Infantry
Click here to see more GIs
Click here to see more Italian Infantry
Click here to see more Japanese Infantry

12 comments:

  1. CTS newest releases I am told seemed to have met the demands of most WW2 figure collectors. Gun crews for both "sides" and a German Medical set. One wonders what will be next.

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  2. Yes, they have definitely come a long way. The quality of detail and the poses are almost as good as that of TSSD now. In terms of what to do next, I hope they will tackle some of the other countries and branches of the military that have not been represented as frequently as US and German Infantry. Then again, I know they have to produce what is popular so that they can cover their costs, so I am not very optimistic that we will see something very unique. It would still be bold to do something off the beaten path though...

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  3. Thanks for these pics! Glad to see them up close and personal before I purchase them! Great site!

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  4. Thanks Beau. Glad you've found it useful. You should know that your blog was my inspiration to get the site going!

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  5. I am talking about your previous blog, the Plastic Battalion I think it was called.

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  6. I must agree with you. I just recently got all the new CTS sets. They're almost comparable to some TSSD sets. I'm also loving the artillery crews. Now I don't have to pretend that infantry are crew members in my war games. I also love the noncombat poses even though I don't have much use for them. They're a nice addition to my ranks though.

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  7. Yes, I've also been borrowing some infantry guys to man the guns, but that won't be necessary anymore! at least for the GIs and Germans... I like how you put it that they are 'almost comparable' to TSSD. That's also how I feel. Just a notch below in terms of detail..

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    1. Thanks for the reply, I love your blog. Could you possibly check out my blog? It's about my WWII 1/32 scale soldiers too. It's my passion. Please post more often!

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. I am enjoying all the posts and comments during what would be a traditional visit to Chicagoland at the OTSN Show in Schaumburg, IL USA ... http://www.playsetmagazine.com/OTSN.html

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  10. Thanks Pylgrym! I take it as a big compliment that you are taking time to look at the blog while at OTSN! Enjoy the show!

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