The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, January 17, 1985, Image 18

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Page 18AThe Battalion/Thursday, January 17,1985
" 11 -
- : ' - 11
Toy soldiers more than
a hobby for collector
Associated Press
AMARILLO — Amarilloan Tom
Pace has a fascination for military
history in miniature. He has hun
dreds of toy soldiers, including a fig
ure that’s the only one of its kind
known to exist.
“I started collecting them as a nos
talgia thing,” he said. “I remember
playing witn them as a kid.”
Pace, 43, typical of many young
sters of the 1940s and 1950s, bunt
fantasy battle fields of brightly-col
ored toy fighting men in the dust of
vacant lots near his home in Pampa.
After graduation he joined the
Army, serving as an instructor in
Special Forces. Returning to civilian
life, he went to work at Pantex and
resumed his hobby of building
model planes and ships.
He also developed an interest in
model trains.
“There was an old man who had a
bunch of trains,” he recalls, “and I
used to go over to his house.
“He was paraplegic and couldn’t
get out, and somebody thought it
would be nice to give him some read
ing material — so they gave him an
entire collection of Life magazines,
from the first to the last issue.”
After his old friend died, Pace
said, he offered to buy the mag
azines from the man’s widow. She
accepted, “and a friend and I spent
an afternoon loading over a ton of
Life magazines in a pickup.”
He read them all, and one issue
had an article on toy soldiers.
Toy soldiers, he said, were man
ufactured from the late 1880s until
World War II in Britain, and from
the early 1900s to the 1940s in this
country. Some early American toys
were cast iron, but the majority are
of lead — so the common term, “tin
soldiers,” is in any case a misnomer.
“The cast iron ones were made by
the Grey Iron Co.,” Pace said. “Most
of the rest were made by the Barclay
Co. or the Manoil Co.”
Although all the little castings are
generically referred to as “toy sol
diers,” Pace said that the scores of
different figures include sailors. Ma
rines, and a variety of noncomba
tants — nurses, doctors, clerks even
figures in regular civilian dress.
The little fighting figures also bes-
E eak little-known phases of military
istory. Pace takes a peculiar vehicle
from the shelf. It resembles a jeep
chassis sans body, with a driver and
machine gunner, both prone.
“I thought this was a figment of
somebody’s imagination,” he said,
“until I came across a book on the
development of the jeep. And there
it is.”
Most of the toy soldiers, plus the
howitzers, motorcycles, pill-boxes
and all the array of men and
material, were “slush cast,” Pace
said. The metal was poured in the
forms, then moments later they were
inverted and the still-liquid center
poured back out.
“That’s how they got their hollow
structure,” he said. “After they were
cast, they were painted in their basic
color, then individually hand-
“They’d get a bunch of little old
ladies from the neighborhood, and
have an assembly-fine setup; one
would paint faces, another belts, an
other eyes, and so on. So no two are
ever quite alike.”
From among thousands of fig
ures, Pace drawns one which he calls
his “chief claim to fame.” It is a
fieman wearing a gas mask, posedi-
a lifelike charge.
“This is the only one of thestj
known,” he said. “It was made by it*
All-Nu Toy Co., a company thatJ
only in business about a year. Ttnl
price lists for it say ‘none known."
As toy soldiers have become lid
collectors’ items, he said, markets
lue has skyrocketed.
“These originally cost a nickle.' lit
said. “I started out picking themuj
for a quarter each. Now, theyrt
worth $15 to $100 each. I wentu
the Toy Soldiers Convention inCt
cago last year and got one that cos
me a hundred.”
Part of the price increase he at
tributes to industrialist Malcolc
Forbes, who has probably tk
world’s most extensive toy soldier
Now, Pace’s collection of neaili
2-,000 toy soldiers is difficult to as
“It’s insured,” he said, “and be
sides” — the six-foot, 200-poui)(i
former Pampa High School Hat
vester lineman grins — “can y«
imagine what a job it would be f#
someone to haul all that leadoutof
From a shelf across the rooi
from the display case that holds the
lead figures, he brings two detailed
metal tank models.
“These are called ‘sand table mod
els.’ This is a Sherman, and this in
German Mark III,” Pace said. “Ther
used them on sand-covered tables,to
work out assault strategies andst
forth. But really, they're toys.”
The history of collectibles, Pact
said, suggest popular toys of todai
will one day oe as valuable as tht
once-common lead soldiers have be
seeking a
foreign c
pour ini
an intt
the pool
now at $
some of t
drug me
Florida b
lan an
nanking i
lew Yor
Janks las
few to
tions, as
vent out
itin del:
J. An
tmi, pn
inks, br
loney c
n- come.
Uncle Sam still beneficiary
with any new tax movement
Associated Press
Friday, January 18
ElKs Lodge
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304 Mobile
Behind the
Triangle Bow
NEW YORK — As long as there is
a sun in the heavens there will be
taxes on Earth, along with all those
things that people do about taxes.
But nobody can accurately fore
cast the impact of tax actions.
Do you remember the 1981 fed
eral tax cut that reduced the per
centage of income you had to dole
out to Uncle Sam — by 36 percent
for the median income family?
How could you forget it, espe
cially when states and municipalities,
many of them with severe financial
problems, used the opening to raise
their own taxes.
1978 tax
voters passed Proposition 13, a mea
sure that limitea real estate taxes
and deprived the bureaucracy of the
money it needed to do its thing,
which is to grow.
But did you know that the money
perhaps you remember the
x revolt in California, where
withheld from the state bureaucracy
went instead to the federal govern
That is exactly what happened,
according to a University of Califor
nia volume, “California And The
American Tax Revolt,” based on a
Los Angeles Times survey in the
spring of 1983.
According to authors Terry
Schwadron, Paul Richter and Jack
Citrin, much of the multibillion sav
ings ended up in Uncle Sam’s wallet.
This is how they describe what hap
“One of the biggest winners in
California’s tax revolt ... was a tax-
f obbling bureaucracy of just the
ind the late 1970s ‘tax rebels’ loved
to denounce.
“Uncle Sam may have claimed as
much as $12.5 billion of the esti
mated $50 billion that Californians
have saved from a tax uprising that
was widely intended to curb govern
ment’s appetite.
unions a
“The money flowed to the federa The belt
treasury as cuts in property,
state income swelled personal and
corporate income and reduced iten>
income-tax reductions.”
The best intentions of tax-law
makers are sometimes frustrated
even before laws are passed.
One proposal, from Donald Re |freshme
E jan’s Treasury Department, would
imit interest deductions for mort
gages on second residences.
would, however, retain the tax de bandsmt
duction on primary residences.
But tax specialists and smart
homeowners already have figured had beet
;rades n
id my fi
ish strip
aken oil
“We d
alack bel
if you di
were, pe
were trea
Fresh r
orps nc
In H
moved 1
-were sej
housed c
Powell, (
know ol
while he
tor of th
tions ev<
out how to frustrate such a proposal
They plan, of course, to simply tale
out a bigger mortgage on their pri
mary home and pay for the second
home with the cash.
It’s legal, and it might remain le
gal even after taxes are revised
which they surely will be — as surely
as there’s a sun in the heavens
know nc
band wil
ell said.'
two sop
the outfi
and on
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