Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Figuren Magazine

To complete the line up of toy soldier publications, Figuren Magazine popped through the letter box last week.  This magazine has been published since 1973 (originally under the name "Der Lineol Soldat) which I guess makes it the longest running publication for toy soldier collectors.  In the early days the coverage was predominantly German composition toy soldiers but over the last ten years or so a younger generation of contributors has broadened the scope.

Above, Sitting Bull graces the cover of the latest edition, the two page spread below give an idea of the layout and format of the magazine, in this case it's a report on the collectors show at Friedburg by Andreas Dittmann.  Other articles look at composition Ethiopian cavalry from the Italo-Abyssinian war of 1936 by seven different manufacturers, 1930's wooden cut-out soldiers, paper cut-out Wild West figures from the 1890's to 1950's and an offering of seasonal Nativity figures.  There are three different articles showing exquisitely made large dioramas, which are a very popular feature of the German collecting scene.  Several other show reports also include 7cm resin figures, made in the style of the old Elastolin plastic production, these high quality figures are a popular new stream of collecting in Germany but don't seem to have taken off anywhere else.

The text is all in German and some of the articles can be quite lengthy so it's a stretch if you don't know the language (although toy soldiers seem to have their own universal vocabulary), 50 pages in full colour.  There are four issues a year and cost with postage is 30/39 Euro depending on where you live.  For more details and to subscribe see their website: Figuren Magazin.

I know that many people who occasionally look in at this blog have also been active participants on the Collectors and Wargamers forums provided by Yahoo Groups.  For reasons which I don't entirely understand, Yahoo has decided to effectively close down the Groups and delete all existing content.  In fairness I think the Groups have been in decline in recent years since the emergence of  blogging, which seems to have become prominent on the web, but it is still a great loss of information and opportunity to comment.  I guess the same thing could happen to Blogger one day, all the information that people have contributed over the years just lost at the swipe of an executive decision somewhere far away, and that's why we need to support magazines like this and all the others that provide a permanent record of our hobby.  Makes you think doesn't it?


  1. Some blogs have already been lost during software upgrades by Blogger.

    I find that I can still send an email to the 54mm Yahoo group but no emails ever come back so I can only assume it is gone.

    I had a couple of people in their twenties in the other day and they were surprised to see my book shelves. They could not understand why anyone would want to own physical books.

    1. Now that you mention it I have seen comments from people that their blog had mysteriously disappeared and they had to rebuild them. Also I've read about people bundling up their best blog posts into a book and self publishing them, maybe that's the way to go?