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Toy Soldiers

The Dogs of War

The battle rages on!  Or as William Shakespeare so aptly put it, "Cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war, that this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial."  Whether on the silver screen or in the backyard, a sandbox or amid the improvised prop pieces afforded by the typical family living room; fighting men in uniform have long clamored to the stage to act, reenact or perhaps even pay a kind of solemn tribute to the ever more exciting and horrific scenes of earth shattering mortal combat that have fascinated, consumed and yes, certainly plagued mankind throughout the ages.

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Little Wars

Throughout the ages, few man-made creations have been as long lived and pervasive as toy soldiers.  Perhaps, for almost as many eons as there has been war and men at arms to fill the ranks of armies great and small, there have been even smaller figurines fashioned to represent these hardy men in uniform, forever locked in their various battle ready or fighting poses.

Prolific and imaginative writer extraordinaire, H. G. Wells

From the 2" (5cm) variety of plastic army men on up to the world's first, truly modern action figure, G.I. Joe, boys and (even sometimes girls) of all ages have fought and/or re-enacted countless battles, skirmishes and full scale miniature wars via the world of toy soldiers.

Even the famed English writer of such notable classics as The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine, H. G. Wells, was a true believer in small soldiers.

Despite being a well known pacifist, Wells actually advocated playing war games with miniature men at arms as a cathartic way to relieve stress and use the imaginative power of the human mind as a way to solve problems, rather than resorting to real world acts of violence and all out war.

In fact, Wells even penned the first modern manual of miniature war game strategy for toy soldiers, a book entitled Little Wars (first published in 1913).

Like so many of Wells' other works, Little Wars has since become a true classic and even inspired Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson to co-create the legendary Dungeons & Dragons role playing game.  This led to the foundation in 1973 of TSR, Inc. (or Tactical Studies Rules) by Gygax and co-founder Don Kaye.

You can also learn more about H.G. Wells' Little Wars at Garden War


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