Last month I spent two weeks in the United States in a college town in Texas.
I was looking out for some interesting toy soldiers which I would not see in Ireland.
Hobby Lobby was an interesting store.
I bought bags of BMC Yorktown and Alamo figures. These are available by mail order in my part of the world. Essentially the American War of Independence and the Mexican War are "American" subjects so it was good to be able to see them in the American context.
I also bought two Safari Toobs...an African Village and Workers. These were pre-painted, a little pricey for just seven figures in each "toob" and they were sold as educational toys rather than "soldiers" which I found refreshing. On reflection, I should have bought more...as they are pretty good, even if scale is a bit "erratic".
Elsewhere in the town, I found a quirky store with friendly staff...which sold "loose" pre-painted figures. The manufacturer was a new name to me....CP Inc, a Chinese firm. I bought Sports figures...Basketball, Baseball and American Football...as well as two Pirates.
I also picked up some Boy Scout figures (no manufacturer).
And...I picked up four "babies"...two boys and two girls (no manufacturer but I think these are cake decorations for newborns etc).
This quirky little store will be the first place I call when I return to Texas in 2015 as some of the figures on sale there have excellent "conversion" potential.
I visited The Alamo at San Antonio and there is an excellent Toy Soldier in the Alamo Plaza. The store sold wonderful metal figures and the dioramas were amazing. Unfortunately these figures were out of my price range. But I picked up some more BMC Yorktown and Alamo figures.
Having already bought bags of these figures in my college town...this seemed like I had bought too many. But I am glad that I did. One Yorktown bag did not contain a Washington character figure and one Alamo bag did not contain a Jim Bowie figure.
Very much looking forward to going back to Texas in 2015.