When I suggested to club members that we should stop by the Toy Soldier Museum in Cresco, Pennsylvania during our trip to Historicon '96, I was politely ignored. When I persisted in '97 everyone realized that I wasn't going to shut up about it until we went so the stop was reluctantly agreed to. I was informed in no uncertain terms that I was to expect no mercy if this place turned out to be a total waste of time.
So, after traveling through the Pennsylvania countryside we arrived at this dirt driveway that wound back to what looked like a small barn. The jokes began.
I went inside and introduced myself to Jim Hillestead the owner and told him that I had contacted him about our group coming down. The guy seemed less than enthusiastic.
Our group began browsing the thousands of soldiers and other military items. Some Oooh's and Ahhh's were allowed to escape. Someone, I think it was George, was talking to the owner when it came out that he thought we were someone else. Once he realized we were wargamers who actually knew a little about what we were looking at he began a tour and opened up the second floor.
We were led around the museum while the owner explained each display. The museum has thousands of figures, mostly 54mm, and I would say that almost every manufacturer is represented to some extent. Then we went upstairs.
We were shown a number of dioramas. Some were from a James Bond movie. We saw some exquisite Russian made figures, George fell in love with the Streets of Hong Kong, and everyone was walking around with that glazed look of wonder and daydreams. Like kids looking through a Christmas catalog.
After a couple of hours the group forced itself to leave. I naturally waited for the insults and good natured ribbing that I had coming to begin.
But nothing. No one complained. The consensus was that this was a worthwhile stop.
Here are some photos: