April 17, 2015

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Gangland America BY Black Hawk Toy Soldier

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Gangland America, the latest series from Black Hawk features the mobsters and molls of the 1920s & 30s. Cleverly designed so you can recreate any number of different scenes, scenarios and dioramas from Eliot Ness kicking in a speakeasy door (is that Bogie & Bacall?) or Bonnie & Clyde at a backroads gas station to a police chase and shoot out with John Dillinger. Capone, Purvis, Ness, Dillinger, Bonnie Parker, Clyde Barrow, the classic Ford V-8s...they're all here in beautiful 54mm, full color glory. 

The complete range:
BH-1201BE Gangland America: 1932 Ford V-8 - Blue
BH-1201GN Gangland America: 1932 Ford V-8 - Green
BH-1201PE Gangland America: 1932 Ford V-8 - Police 
BH-1201RD Gangland America: 1932 Ford V-8 - Red
BH-1202BE Gangland America: 1932 Ford V-8 Convertible - Blue 
BH-1202GN Gangland America: 1932 Ford V-8 Convertible - Bonnie & Clydes Car
BH-1202RD Gangland America: 1932 Ford V-8 Convertible - Red 
BH-1202YW Gangland America: 1932 Ford V-8 Convertible - Yellow
BH-1203 Gangland America: Dillingers Escape Car
BH-1204 Gangland America: Motor Cop - Shooting
BH-1205 Gangland America: Motor Cop - Falling
BH-1206 Gangland America: Gas Station
BH-1207 Gangland America: Clyde Barrow
BH-1208 Gangland America: Bonnie Parker
BH-1209 Gangland America: Posse Hunter
BH-1210 Gangland America: Highway Patrol 
BH-1211 Gangland America: Dillinger
BH-1212 Gangland America: Wounded Gangman
BH-1213 Gangland America: Cop - Shooting
BH-1214 Gangland America: Cop - Falling
BH-1215 Gangland America: Al Capone
BH-1216 Gangland America: Capones Bodyguard
BH-1217 Gangland America: Hit Man
BH-1218 Gangland America: Poker Game
BH-1219 Gangland America: Do Not Disturb 
BH-1220 Gangland America: G-Man

The Story via Black Hawk...
Gangland America
In the 1920s and 1930s, the United States confronted a crime rate never seen before. American Puritanism had long fought the evils of drinking when the first attempts at prohibition took place in the 1850s. The movement increased significantly during WWI and finally an outright ban for alcoholic drinks was issued in 1920. This circumstance boosted the eruption of a wave of underworld organized crime eager to meet the unattended – and overwhelming – demand for spirited beverages. The unprecedented crime wave culminated in the famous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago, in February 1929.

To make the dramatic situation worse, in October of that year, the stock market crashed, which led to a worldwide economic depression and massive unemployment. Soon a new breed of outlaw arrived that, unlike the romanticized outlaws of the Old West, drove fast cars instead of riding horses and exchanged the old single-action revolvers and lever rifles with automatic pistols and submachine guns.

It was a time of violence and disorder that would produce a colorful gallery of rogues ranging from the kingpins of Chicago’s organized crime to restless, lonely characters that lived by the gun on the road, many of whom met a tragic and often bloody end. Black Hawk’s representation of this frantic, wild era is primarily based on just a few of the most important criminals from “Gangland America,” if only because their lives have been recreated by Hollywood in some unforgettable films. So we have Al Capone (1899-1947), who reigned over Chicago for seven years and will always be thought of as the epitome of a ruthless, organized crime leader. Then there were Bonnie Parker (1910-1934) and Clyde Barrow (1904-1934), who began their crime spree in Dallas and travelled the central United States, captivating the attention of the American public between 1931 and 1934, before being riddled with bullets in a police ambush on a rural Louisiana road.

Last, but not least, is John Dillinger (1903-1934), who robbed 24 banks and four police stations, and escaped from jail twice. Dillinger arguably cast the most complete version of the Depression-era outlaw, due to his colorful personality and bravado. He was killed by federal agents as he exited a movie theater. 

But this miniature mosaic of Gangland America would certainly be incomplete without some characters from the other side: the law. Besides some anonymous policemen and citizens, the series includes a striking rendition of Eliot Ness (1903-1957). The agent famous for his efforts to enforce Prohibition in Chicago and the leader of “The Untouchables” has been recreated in full action, in a piece titled “Do Not Disturb”. The series also includes Melvin Purvis (1903-1960), the noted FBI agent that hunted Dillinger (and other famous outlaws like Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd), who appears in this series as “G-Man”. 

Finally, to complete the whole picture, there are several cars (Bonnie and Clyde’s included) and a typical period gas station.

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