You had your Childhood - Now Get It Back!

GREETINGS FRIENDS OF THE LOTUS BLOSSOM and fellow people of plastic as we rise up in support of awesome playsets and movies in Issue 106. This time we honor The Longest Day and the Samuel Bronston production of 55 Days at Peking starring Charlton Heston, David Niven and Ava Gardner. Shipping right on schedule as we have for 106 issues, it’s the 55 Days at Peking issue! Thanks for subscribing and reading


It occurred to us, researching this issue, that the gigantic events of the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 would be little known to Americans without the movie to elicit our interest. China is far away, but what happened there then, as now, has great impact on our lives. Today, with China in the news so prominently it deserves our interest. On the 19th of June, 1900 – exactly 119 years ago -- the Imperial Court ordered all westerners and foreigners to leave Peking and, in August, followed that up with a huge siege of the legations. Americans, British, and many others were surrounded and struggled for 55 Days against the raging peasant army. The greatest issue, says one historian we consulted, was to keep them off the walls from which they had a clear field of fire down onto the legations present inside the compound. Yet with rifles, ammunition and especially manpower perilously scant, their chances of survival were low.


This issue we take a rare peek into Peking with Dave Carpenter’s recreation, and Mark Young’s early Heide figures which prove how closely toymakers work to the event: The Boxer figures shown this issue were made within a few years of the event itself. These are among the very early sets of figures and give us a valuable, worthwhile look into the past. They are also very early examples of sets of figures making up a theme, much like Louis Marx later did with playsets. We are proud to examine the history and the plastic with you, with coverage featuring an elaborate, handmade and meticulously researched recreation of the Peking Forbidden City created by Dave Carpenter.


June 6th, 1944 will hardly seem like vintage history to those of us who knew the men of those days -- our fathers and their friends -- and recreate the history on our tabletops. Revered, solemn and ongoing is the thinking of that history here, and I know in many of your own homes you have constant reminders of the sacrifice, the glory, and the heroism of that day in World War II and of those times. Conte Collectibles certainly was a believer and created The Longest Day playsets -- thanks to collector Eddie White we are proud to bring them to you. This is an extensive series of playsets, long out of release; now, on the 75th Anniversary of the colossal landings at D-Day, we present this huge story with lots of exciting photos, offered as a double feature to 55 Days at Peking. This is also an anniversary of sorts, in that Charlton Heston stars in our featured subject 55 Days at Peking; and it has been ten years and 63 issues since our “Hest Fest” Charlton Heston tribute issue (PM43).


A short article fills in the details of Marx' Nikes. Last issue we explored what sets they were in, and the specifics of the venerable little launchers and their colorful rockets. This time, James Trever concentrates on the ifferences between the Marx and other maker's Nike rockets. It's fun and informative.

There’s a short piece on the Buddy-L Nike launcher, and on Len Hardt’s 55 Days at Peking set up. Then Bruce Redenour delivers the Midwest - Lafayette Show report and extensive photos. That is a show that fills a perfect spot in the Spring just as the collecting season warms up and folks are getting out to hunt for collectibles.


Meanwhile, several of the world’s most renown toy authors have been working overtime to deliver a weird September / October special with Archer’s fabulous War of the Worlds. That’s next time! Till then – Thank you so much for making a stop on your browsing.

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