Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Overlooked Films: THE ROY ROGERS SHOW

The YouTube description says this is the first episode. Could be, but there are two here. 1 & 2?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Cap Gun Monday: MATTEL Rolling Block Rifle

The Rolling Block Rifle was one of Mattel's distinguished line of Shootin' Shell weapons. It was sometimes packaged alone (with a cowhide bandolier - not shown because I don't have one) and sometimes with a Shootin' Shell Fanner 50. It was modeled after a real Remington rifle fitted with a rolling breechlock between the hammer and the cartridge. Because that sounds a little complicated, it was also called (at least on the box) an "Indian Scout" rifle. It's about 30 inches long.

More Cap Guns HERE.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Toy Soldier Saturday: Marx ZORRO

The Fox So Cunning And Free starred in his own Marx playset back in 1966. The action took place inside and around the gates of the cuartel, and included a two-story comandante's office and a secret cave. Our hero made fools of a crew of round hat Mexican soldiers (I featured them HERE and HERE). Come back next week for a look (thanks mostly to the photographic skills of Mr. Cap'n Bob Napier) at Sgt. Garcia and the other co-stars of the set. 

More Toy Soldiers on parade HERE.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Forgotten Books: CONAN THE INVINCIBLE by Robert Jordan (1982)

When this book came out back in 1982, I remember thinking it was pretty dang good. The business of writing novel-length Conan pastiches was still fairly new (there had been fewer than ten of them, I believe), and I had read them all. This one struck me as the best yet. 

Well, it's been sitting on my bookshelf ever since, tempting me to read it again, and I finally gave in. And what do you know? It's still a dang good read. 

Conan the Invincible was the first in the Tor Conan series - they eventually published more than forty books - and the first of six by Robert Jordan. (Yeah, I know he also wrote the novelization of Conan the Destroyer, but I don't put that in the same class.) It's a rousing good adventure story, complete with a butt-kicking female warrior, rival wizards and an eldritch god of the Lovecraft school. And along the way, Conan makes a friend who become a sidekick in the following book, Conan the Defender.

Jordan's Conan is not quite the same as Howard's, of course. No one's is. The hero of this book is a bit more thoughtful and a shade less savage, but that's okay. Every novelist who tackled Conan - and there were more than a dozen of them - brought something new to the character, and helped keep him fresh. Their storytelling skills and styles varied widely, but the character (like that of Sherlock Holmes) is compelling enough that I can turn off the critical side of my brain and just enjoy the ride.

I enjoyed Jordan's books enough to follow him into his Wheel of Time series, but somewhere around book 6 or 8 I caught up and had to wait too long for the next book - a problem I encountered again with Game of Thrones.

That's a problem I won't have with Conan. All the books are sitting right waiting for me.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Overlooked TV: THE THIN MAN and his "Robot Client"

The YouTube description say this "client" is the original robot from Forbidden Planet. True? I don't know. I'll defer to Cap'n Bob, who has recently acquired knowledge of such matters. What say you, Cap'n?

Cap Gun Monday: Buzz Henry GENE AUTRY

It has come to my attention that a couple of you cowpokes actually missed this feature while it was on hiatus during our Continental Op extravaganza. Sorry to cause anyone discomfort. Rest assured there are many more weapons in the cap gun arsenal. 

I don't know anything about the Buzz Henry (hence the BH brand) line of guns except that it was obviously related to the Leslie-Henry company. This little Gene pistol was designed for small hands, and is only 7 1/2" long. It's unusual in that the grip is part of the metal cast, with plastic pictorial inserts. The same gun was manufactured in Roy Rogers and Dale Evans models, and the plastic piece was sometimes red, blue or black. Shucks, I don't have any of those.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Toy Soldier Saturday: MARX 60mm CAVALRY

I don't know if "cavalry" is one of the most misspelled and mispronounced words in the English language, or if it just seems that way because I find it so annoying. Verbally, movie and TV folks seem to either put the "l" in the wrong place or leave it out entirely about sixty percent of the time. In print (probably thanks to spell check), the screw-up percentage is lower. The most egregious example I've seen was on a display card in the Alamo gift shop, where they were offering a reproduction of a "Calvary" pistol. (For the record, you Alamo giftorians, Funk & Wagnalls defines "Calvary" as "The place, near the site of ancient Jerusalem, where Christ was crucified," and "calvary" as "A sculptured representation of the Crucifixion, usually erected in the open air." What kind of pistol is that?)

As to these figures, I know there are more poses in the set, but this is all I possess. I asked Cap'n Bob Napier for a chance to photograph some of his, but he said they've gone into storage somewhere deep in the catacombs of his vast toy soldier collection. Bummer.

Get your Toy Soldiermania fix HERE.