Sunday, October 13, 2013
Ideal - Toy Soldiers
Ideal was an American Toy soldier manufacturer which was in activley in business during the 50s through the 70s. They manufactured figures in the larger scales of 60mm - 70mm and complemented well those produced by other manufacturers such as Marx and TimMee. They produced a nice range of figures, addressing many historic periods, including the US Civil War, knights, US Colonials and British, Alamo, Pirates, Cowboys and Indians, modern frogmen, navy, firemen, race track figures, and of course, WWII GIs. They also made a a nice range of accessories, including vehicles such as, wagons and stage coaches, farm vehicles, a pirate ship, a PT boat, Tanks, jeeps, trucks, and a very cool modern cargo plane, that fits other vehicles inside. And they also produced a complementary set of 'forts' to place the figures in, like a mdieval castle, the Alamo, Frontier forts, and so on, which made for very attractive and engaging playsets. As you can see below, one peculiar aspect of their figures is that some of their sets were made without bases. I only happen to have the WWII GIs to show in this post, but if you happen to be interested in seeing more of their figures, Toy Soldier HQ does a much better job at showcasing the range that they produced.
Ideal US Infantry - Part I
These guys are actually reissued Ideal figures. The originals are harder to come by and pricier, but for me, these guys are just fine. The sculpting on these figures is quite nice for the time when they were released. As you can tell, some of them are very similar to the TimMee series 1 figures, like the prone guy on the left. I am not sure who inspired who, but I suspect, the Ideal figures came later. One distinct feature of the Ideal men is that they come without a base. They simply balance themselves on their two feet, and they do it surprisingly well.
Ideal US Infantry - Part II
Here again we see a couple of figures very similar to the TimMee guys: the ones on the far right and left. These guys BTW are closer to 60mm than they are to 54mm. In contrast with the TimMee set, they included a few figures with a bit more action and movement in them, as illustrated by the second man from the right. Even the guy with the flamethrower is leaning forward in a good action pose.
Ideal US Infantry - Part III
Here one can recognize the kneeling rifleman and the bazooka, although the rifleman lost his sniper scope in the Ideal set. One guy who fooled me for a bit is the one sitting with his legs apart. At first glance I thought he was a recast of the Marx figure, but later on a noticed that he does have a few significant differences, one of them being that his shirt is open down to his belly button. A rather unique touch. The man on the left, appears to be manning a machine gun. Unfortunately the set did not include it. Luckily I do have one or two spare ones that I can issue to him from other sets.
Ideal US Infantry - Part IV
This picture shows three more that might have been inspired by the TimMee set. The fourth man, firing from the standing position might have been inspired by the Marx guy. In any case, Ideal set was a nice, well sculpted and detailed set, and with 16 poses, a nice contribution to the hobby. I am glad I was able to finally lay my hands on them.
Click here to see a post about the TimMee figures
Click here to see a post about other GIs
Click here to see some more GIs
And even more GIs
Click here to see a post about US Armor