On Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, promoter and toy soldier authority Norman Joplin will present his annual Old Toy Soldier and Figure Show at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, on Coram Street in London. Sponsored by Old Toy Soldier magazine, the show is held in the hotel’s combined Academy, Booker and Turner Rooms, and this year will feature 52 dealers selling antique and vintage toy soldiers and civilian figures from 75 tables.
“There may be bigger toy soldier shows, but this event is the only one that is a dateline show,” said Joplin. “The dealers sell only items made during the 90-year period between the 1890s and 1980s, and that’s what attracts buyers from all over the UK, Europe and even the United States. In all, there will be between fifty and seventy-five-thousand soldiers and figures available for purchase.”
High-profile British dealers who will be taking part include Lynn Kenwood, Ged Haley, Bill Kingsman, and principals of The Toy Cupboard, a business known for its inventory of extremely rare civilian figures. Continental vendors include Francois Beaumont (France), Nils Fischer (Sweden) and Thomas Finck (Germany). American dealer, publisher and auction company partner Ray Haradin will also be there, offering a fine selection of early productions by Britains, Heyde and Mignot, as well as coveted “dime store” figures.
In addition to browsing and buying, attendees will be able to chat with Hugo Marsh of Special Auction Services, Leigh Gotch of Bonhams, representatives of Old Toy Soldier magazine, and author Peter Greenhill, who will be launching his new book published by GMC Publications titled The Heraldic Sketchbook.
“We are honored that Peter has chosen to introduce his new book at this show,” said Joplin. “Peter has continued the tradition of Richard Courtenay heraldic figures by adding to the original range and producing his own widely admired line of figures under the branding of Courtenay Greenhill. Collectors are excited over the prospect of meeting Peter.”
The camaraderie with fellow collectors from around the world is, to many, the highlight of the show. “It’s a unique opportunity that happens only once a year, where everyone gathers together to buy, sell, deal, swap and socialize,” Joplin said. “We don’t charge admission for anyone under 16 because we want to encourage parents to bring their children and instill an interest in collecting toy soldiers and figures to a whole new generation. It’s a timeless, ageless hobby.”
Show details: The Old Toy Soldier and Figure Show, sponsored by Old Toy Soldier magazine, will take place at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, Coram Street, London, from 10:30 a.m. till 4 p.m. Admission is £3 ($5), under 16 free. Early buying starts at 6:30 a.m. and costs £15 ($25). The venue is only two minutes’ walk north of Russell Square Underground station.
For additional information, call 262-692-3913 in the USA or 01926 496062 in the UK, or visit www.normanjoplin.com. E-mail [email protected].