Ecclesiam res et talia sermocinamur -

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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A Whimsical Post

Ok, so I meant to put this up yesterday -- which is why the post from yesterday was "A Serious Post," not because the ones preceeding it weren't, but because this isn't.

The American Inquisition has a nice salute up to one of my biggest secret pleasures: board games. Board games are an institution in my family -- this probably has something to do with the fact that the better part of my family is a bunch of guys who are history nuts and who get a big kick out of sacking London and crowning Richard of York king of England or whiping out the Illyrians. Board games (especially large, complex, historical ones such as were once made by Avalon Hill before its death at the hands of Hasbro) are educational, social, and just a whole ton of fun. This sort of game has largely faded into memory as companies have converted titles to computers -- but the board game has all the exhileration of the computer version without any of its shortcomings.

Also of note is something that I have been meaning to post about for some time: Recta Ratio's collection of toy soldiers links. 2 things have colluded to remove toy soldiers from America's living rooms, sandboxes, and back yards: alarmist pacifism and Chinese manufacturing. The first makes it improper for little boys to play with little plastic men with little plastic guns (or swords), the second deprives them of toys worth playing with by flooding our market with crude hackwork that bears no resemblence to anything. They're also un-pc because they're pretty gender-specific -- but honestly, little boys don't want to play with girl toys, they're little boys. A toy soldier requires a healthy dose of imagination to use, but should still look like what it is supposed to be. You should be able to tell your Black Watch grenadiers from your WWII marines and your Vikings. A toy soldier should be crafted with care, for it is one of the first avenues through which a small boy will learn of the bravery of his ancestors, the martial spirit that preserves and gives strength to society, of the richness of history and what it is that men have been called to do since time out of mind. How can he learn any of these things if the knights he sends charging across the plain to defend his tiny plastic kingdom and its tiny plastic king are nondescript blobs? If you have little boys, give them toy soldiers with which to play. I will. (Note: because RR's links are so numerous, I've duplicated his toy soldier ones here. Also, some of these companies sell primarily miniatures for gaming and display, while others sell truly toy soldiers.)

21st Century Toys
Barzso Playsets
Conte Collectibles
Forces of Valor
HaT Industries
Michigan Toy Soldier Company
The Hobby Bunker

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