You had your Childhood - Now Get It Back!

The 2023 Christmas Issue of Playset Magazine has shipped! As you open these pages you will enter an incredible world of vintage plastic in this, our 127th issue filled with plastic toys soldiers and other good meat for –DINOSAURS! PM rarely touched upon subject but thanks to Scott Canady, whose purpose in life is obviously to document in painstaking detail these previously uncovered vertical sets -- and Glenn Ridenour, who has diligently and artfully reconstructed the difficult factory lineage of them, we have the most awesomely packaged full coverage of Prehistoric Mountain and its scary, Raquel Welch-infused brethren (thanks to her movie of nearly identical name), One Million B.C.!


Prehistoric Mountain! – our 4th entry in the vertical sets series following Navarone, (PM122), Iwo Jima Mountain(PM124), Comanche Pass and Falling Rock (PM125),and now the rarer dinosaur set featuring tortuous creaky rope and wood bridges, perilous caves and roaring creatures of a grim and scary past, all surrounded by exotic primeval jungle palms and ferns.

This is adventure at its very peak, as primitive man attempts to survive, even win against thunderous monsters and animals that will make your hair stand on end. Or at least, it did mine, as this was a first exposure to this awesome theme. Or maybe, that is just sorting out these mold groups for the first time. Luckily, Scott Canady and Glenn Ridenour did that for us, with their beautifully detailed, wonderfully written and constructed story of Man’s greatest challenge in the wilds of a very primitive world, by Marx! Man, this article is a real beaut, filling a huge gap in our playset timeline:

• All the drama of dinosaurs are sorted out for you
• All the primitive colors are defined according to group
• All the man-eating and fern engorged poses
• How many of each, which came first and so on
• All right here, soon to be in your possession in Issue 127.


This issue has a stocking full of treats, also.

Remember that eternal mystery – you know, the one about what on Earth was that Fort Dearborn cavalry trooper doing – the one standing with his arms back, rather hunched over? Even Marx Playset Designer Frank Rice (as we have reported on several occasions) could not quite put his thumb on what the poor devil was up to.

Now, thanks once again to Glenn who took a deep dive into official, previously unreported Marx factory documents, we have the authoritative, definitive official Marx answer to this very, very, very, long-term puzzle – one that was active back in the late 1980s and never solved. This one little story is one of our most glorious moments. You’ll see why when you read, “Trooper’s True Use Revealed!” this issue.


Another great piece of similar revelation – and does it not fire the imagination that so many mysteries persist and are still being answered decades after the fact of the release of this wonderful plastic – the shocking story about Ideal’s Pirate Ship. That stalwart companion of many a bathtub adventure, that delightfully packaged rogue’s delight has harbored a secret from all but a few amongst us since its release around 1956 six decades past. Right here, folks, with a tip of the PM hat to Ed Sponzilli and Carroll Cresswell.


It’s Christmas, and so we are pleased to be shipping, even as I write this, packages containing the super-prized Wm. Britain’s Artillery sets to our lucky contest winners, also announced this issue! And guess what – instead of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place WINNERS, Kath could not stop laughing at your great responses and added a FOURTH BIG WINNER! These gemlike prizes including one of several styles of artillery, plus a four man gun crew in gorgeous window box, are already on their way to those lucky entrants whose catchy funny lines won them an unexpected Christmas bonus! Thank you to everyone who sent into their levity – laden captions, your good humor lightened our days as each arrived in the daily mails.


Following up the Prehistoric Mountain, how about a dose of Rulers of the Earth? Marx molds kidnapped and used to very good advantage, excitingly boxed and colorfully presented. It’s Rulers of the Earth, presented with enthusiastic authority by Prehistoric Times publisher, Mike Fredericks. We’re happy to have him aboard and host this special dino-encore by this prolific and well-known authority. And we’re proud to note that his brother Kurt Fredericks, a popular and well –known collector of the 80’s and 90’s, is mentioned in this same issue in the Trooper Mystery story!)


Read if you dare the electrifying on-the-spot report of Rin Tin Tin’s Last Stand as created by our own Paul Gruendler, to which we say “Oh, the Horror!”

Here also is the great new toy show report of Chicagoland Toy Soldier premiere, over two full pages of color and smiles and fun in the first of what we hope are many more shows to come. It’s a dilly, dear reader, and you’ll share in it all!

And, a review of a new maker to our pages, Elastowit and their The Thing From Another World figure set, by Tom Lozowski! Plus:

• Media Watch
• Our promised photo-report on the new Lunette at the Alamo shrine!

Plus more news, and just in the “nick“ of time … Jolly old St. Nick of course -- we’re bursting at the seams with ads for your Christmas perusal Folks, let me thank you and our wonderful advertisers for their incredible support and growth this past year.


To our many new subscribers, welcome. An average of five of you per month have stepped into this fraternity. Your family in plastic awaits you with a smile and a hearty slap on the back of assurance that there is so much new to discover, so much old that returns with gusto and excitement. No matter how bad that mean ol’ world outside gets from time to time, everything is under control and A-OK for a super future no matter who you are, how many playsets and figures are on your shelves, or condition, because now, as we enter the sanctity of Christmas, the world itself falls into a hushed silence broken only by the strains of Silent Night, the echoes of happy children’s voices, and wonderful family and friends and hopefully the best food ever.

Thank you for being here and making us a part of your collecting life, we are humbled to be here and to share the knowledge of this great collective. Merry Christmas friends, and Happy New Year!

Rusty and Kathy, Playset Magazine

Don’t forget to drop in at for updates and new things coming!

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