October 02, 2015

UPDATED: Tom Stark's Plastic Passions #3 Trojan War figures from LOD Enterprises

The War at Troy
Greeks Vs Trojans by LOD Enterprises
I just received a sample package of the new Trojan War figures form LOD Enterprises, Ken Ciak- CEO, CFO and likely many other prestigious titles such a director of product development, archeological researcher, packaging consultant, sales manager etc, etc. I once considered trying to bring some figures into the market but was dissuaded by the magnitude of the upfront costs and warnings from other current makers as to the size of the available market. Thanks for being braver than me Ken and I hope collectors support your effort robustly.

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After getting the figures in my hands I can think of no reason they shouldn’t. LOD’s first set, and Ken confirms it is a first set, is a header bag of 16 figures, 2 each or 8 poses. These are Trojan War “Greeks”, circa 1,200 BCE, not the classical hoplites of the early Persian Wars or the conquests of Alexander the Great.  I believe it is safe to say that facts about what arms and armor looked like that long ago are limited.   Ken informs me that he and his sculptor, Ms. Susan Meyers reviewed a lot of what there is to design these fellows and  Ken reread the Illiad, a favorite of his youth, more than a few times. Sandals and greaves are universal but from there on each figure is pretty unique as should be expected from times when each piece of equipment was individually made by decentralized craftsmen and armorers. There are various forms of muscled, riveted and linen cuirasses and a wide mixture of helmets with plumes and crests and adornments of various types including ones with two short horns for two of the Trojans. For both sides there are an archer with short bow, two with stabbing spears and one swordsman. Of the six poses with shields, the Trojans have two round and a figure 8 and the Greeks two elliptical with side cut-outs (quite Persian looking to me but bronze, not wicker) and a roughly rectangular, riveted plank shield. The round shields have embossed patterns familiarly attributed to later period shields such as the “smiling Gorgon”. In fact, the panalopy of several of these figures, excepting the simpler style helmets, could easily be taken for the 600 to 400 BCE periods. Nonetheless,  their overall appearance fits my mental images quite nicely.
Superior Greek and Toy Soldier of San Diego Roman
Atlantic Trojan and Expeditionary Force Persian
These are larger figures coming in around 65 mm but this is not any sort of drawback since there are so few existing figures that one might be tempted to use these with and those that are out there tend towards the large side too. I took two photos to give a sense of their scale. The first is of a Superior Greek and Toy Soldier of San Diego Roman flanking an LOD Greek and the second an Atlantic Trojan and Expeditionary Force Persian doing the same. I show the Roman since he is a recent release that many readers may be familiar with and because I believe its sculpting style is very similar to LOD’s. The figures are lean, but not thin, and, especially the Trojans, erect and just a touch “stiff”. The Greeks are more animated with a kneeling archer, a spearman half turned looking over his shoulder while advancing and a very animated crouching, defending spearman. I would guess the Greeks were sculpted second as the sculptor was getting her stride. I am informed this was her first foray into toy soldiers but hopefully not her last.

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The material is PVC with some of the arms and equipment being glued on at the factory to improve animation and minimize the filling in of undercuts. For those so inclined these should paint up well and hold their paint reasonably well. If I have any reservation it is the intense, medium blue of the plastic used for the Trojans but if I had fought a war for ten years only to be duped by a stupid wooden horse I’d be blue too. Still, I would have preferred a muted earth tone to compliment the matte, light beige of the Greeks. Select ring-hands would have been nice too to increase “pose” diversity without  having to unsheathe one’s Exacto; the difference between a spear and a sword or axe can be considerable. Overall these are all fine figures and I am thrilled they are coming into the market. Because there are so few existing figures to team them up with I hope they get a very warm reception. The warmth of this reception is up to us collectors and I hope every plastic collector purchases at least one bag. Even if this is not a collector’s particular period of interest, purchasing a pack will encourage LOD and others with the ambition to bring some figures to market, perhaps closer to your prime periods of interest, to keep them coming.

The War at Troy - Greeks Vs Trojans by LOD Enterprises
8 Greeks in 4 poses in molded in beige plastic & 8 Trojans in 4 poses molded in blue plastic

Until Next Time Enjoy!
Tom Sark

View all LOD Products Available

MEET YOUR MAKER: Ken Ciak of LOD Enterprises

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