I guess you could say my grandmother got me started collecting about 66 years ago. She gave me a Britains’ fireman, with a moving arm for my birthday. I have been collecting off and on ever since. During the early 40s, my teenage cousin gave me a box of Dime Store soldiers. He was “to old to play with them any more”. What fun my friends & I had out in the sand pile playing with them. Building forts and blowing things up with firecrackers.
When I could get some change, off to the 5 & 10 cent store I would go, to try and get more toy soldiers. Shortly after WWll , along came high school and then the Army. The toy soldiers were put away for a while. After the Army, marriage and children, the old soldiers and winter figures came over from my mom’s house and out of their boxes. My son played with the soldiers and the whole family played with the winter figures under the Xmas tree. When time and some extra cash came around, Marilyn & I would look in the toy shops, for new soldiers and the antique shops for old ones. The collecting was slow but steady.
When my son & daughter finished collage, I started picking up Britains’ limited addition sets, along with old figures both Dime Stores and Britains (and their copies). At times, I was able to pick up a few Dime Store soldier collections. I was able to sell the extra & doubles, to help buy more. It was about ’98 when Charles Biggs left the Wm Britains toy soldier Co. Charles started his own toy soldier Co. I was able to talk his US rep. into letting me be a dealer for them. I think it was that fall, I had one table at the East Coast toy soldier show in Hackensack, NJ with old Dime Stores and Charles Biggs’ figures. I ran into Richard Walker, the new rep for Wm Britains at the show. Britains was just starting their new “matt finish”, American.Civil.War line. Richard was a great help in getting me set up as a dealer for Wm Britain’s full line.
When Richard later left Wm Britain and went with Conte Collectables, I was able to add that line of figures to my offerings. It was at this time I started “Green’s Collectables”. I felt it was the right time to get a” bit more organized”. We started to advertise in the soldier magazines and to send out a news letter to my growing list of collectors. The news letter still goes out e-mail monthly and about every two months to my “ regular mail list”. In the spring of 2000, I saw an article in the “Toy Soldier and Model figure” magazine about a new start up Co. East of India. I made contact with Ken Clark Jarvis, the owner, in Hong Kong. Ken and I were able to work together and I became the first dealer to offer E.O.I. figures here in the US. It was not until the Chicago show the following Sept. that more dealers had EOI product to offer. Each year I would add new soldier makers to offer my growing list of collectors.
In 2003, I again saw information on another new Co. Pickelhaube Miniatures from Australia. Again I made contact and was able to be the first dealer on the East Coast to offer Pickelhaube figures. Since starting to offer new toy soldiers to collectors, I have looked for new and interesting figures. I have been able to add new makers each year. I now offer figures from over 14 toy soldier makers. I still look for new, different, quality figures & time periods, to offer my growing list of collectors. For the collector that likes to paint figures, we offer a very large selection of castings from a number of makers.
If you like to cast your own figures, or would like to try, we offer Prince August molds and materials. P A offers a large rang of figure molds in 25mm 30mm, 40mm and 54mm. We have Toy Soldier makers across both “big ponds” and enjoy working with all of them. I have been able to meet many interesting people, both toy soldier makers and collectors at the shows and different club meetings. They have all have been fantastic. Always willing to talk about their figures and the whole hobby of soldiers and figure collecting.