The Beat is showing her age, but it is fair to say that nothing entranced this young comics reader as much as those ads (drawn by the great Russ Heath) for toy soldiers of various eras on the backs of the comics.
12 Shooting Infantrymen!
12 MARCHING Infantrymen!
Our own wonderful mother, perhaps wearying of treading every night over our standing armies of dinosaurs, cowboys, Indians and Africans (one of the best and if you had it, you know what I mean) quietly discouraged our interest with brutal reality checks, such as “They wouldn’t actually look like THAT, you know.”
In fact, here’s a website that has ACTUAL PICTURES OF THESE SETS! AND THEY DIDN’T LOOK LIKE THE PICTURES!
The possession of one of these sets was — like our dream of a tabletop football game — never to be realized. That’s why they call life poignant. Thanks for the reminder, Bully.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.