Welcome to the Strelets Forum.
Please feel free to discuss any aspect of 1/72 scale plastic figures, not simply Strelets.
If you have any questions about our products then we will answer them here.
Me 54, my brother 49. Collectors since the age of 9, but no playstation back then...
But think of this. I can buy vast numbers of items, a young one can't...
Born in 1864, but in suspended animation for a century :)
56. No kids but my cat likes to play with my figures.
I am 58 years young at least i am not the oldest.
Hi Strelets! I'm 67.
Started collecting in 1958. Cappy
26 years here. But started out at around 6 when I played with my dad's Esci Soviets and Germans :)
I'm 69; didn't really start to collect until I was 40.
34 years old. Collecting from 10 years old.
63 (turn 64 next week); started playing collecting toy soldiers in 1961 (1/32 Marx, MPC, etc; 1/72 GIANTs) learned about Airfix 1/72 and 1/32 in 1969 and REALLY became a collector.
57, Male, Caucasian, British. I don't necessarily think of myself as 'senior' in age terms, but I guess I am 'getting on a bit' in years.
Just a thought, but younger modellers might not actually participate in this Forum. Social Media eg: Facebook groups? is perhaps the place to ask this question for under 40s.
And although I think I know why, starting to thread with 'Gentleman' does not include everyone of every gender. The question needs to be inclusive. That's the world we live in.
It looks as if Airfix in the 60s and 70s has something to do with the age profile...
Hello mr strelets I am 62 started collecting when I was 23 .of course I had the airfix figures when I was a child. So far I have a least 1 of all of your sets and some a lot more
Wow Richard, word for word, including age what I’d have said... Can’t think of anything to add? Richard H.
Looks like I'm in good company!
I can't add much but at last census count I had over 45'000 figures, yes that's not a typo!
I suppose I'll Carry On Collecting while the spirit is willing and the flesh and budget permit......
When I finally pop my clogs my little Empire will be sold off and the proceeds go to charity and church as we have no children
Maybe one day I'll have another go at solo wargaming or even try to get the wife to have a go as she's retiring so we'll have to find things to do...……….
Stay safe all!
Again Wow 45,000. Up until last year I had 13,000+ . However I let a lot go on eBay to clear some space and because I’d never, ever, paint them. Richard H.
A few more thought for what they're worth. Airfix and Mr Kove have a lot to answer for! I used to work for Woolworth and models were only a tiny portion of the toys range.
As for painting I never really developed my modelling and painting skills - I stand amazed by some of the contributions here - far beyond my abilities.
I'm currently painting a box of Hat Union Zouaves but I find painting very time consuming, especially with a number of other make'n'paint projects on the go - Airfix Bofors gun set, repainting old models and applying decals, Airfix Hms Ark Royal, Pegasus T34/85s, long overdue Airfix Superfortress and Junkers Ju 52 to finish. As for storage, well I mostly assemble my soldiers into units, divisions etc, and use interlocking plastic storage boxes for the unused figures. I have an old PC to try and keep track of everything and have a record of what I'm doing - it still gets very confusing at times!!
I got rid of many soldiers over the years, which I now bitterly regret. If I had got into wargaming I'd have been motivated to get more figures. I did try joining a local group some years ago but I just didn't fit in, and they seemed to have no interest in, or time for newbies. They were their own long established clique and wrapped up in their games. I go to Skirmish collectors and wargames Fairs whenever possible and they're still there but again it just seems to be an excuse to play more games and remain oblivious to anyone else trying to take an interest.
I think this a part of the problem with trying to attract new blood into the hobbies, and without new blood we'll just fade away.
As others have remarked, most of the high street where we grew up buying models and figures has gone and children today have so many interactive games and distractions, whereas we grew up watching war films and documentaries, reading shilling war books (I still do), comics etc so WW2 was very much in the national consciousness. Perhaps it's as well we can't foretell the future but I wonder what children will be playing with in a few generations? I find most of todays technology and games is way beyond me!
Interesting to see that some people have larger collections than me, I'll have to see if I can take some photos later and figure out how to upload them if they'd be of any interest to anyone.
I find this thread interesting and enlightening so I look forward to the next comments...………
Meanwhile, stay safe and keep the faith folks!
I’m 34 been collecting since I was 6/7, my old man is 69 he’s still collecting to
64 and getting ready for 65.
Don't feel old though, only feel like I'm about 40, but my knees feel much, much older.
Age 39. Started collecting around age 7 (whatever my parents or grandparents would buy me), stopped at age 14, got back into the hobby at 21 and haven't looked back since.
Just celebrated my 54th birthday.
Actually ‘celebrated’ might be a slight exaggeration.🤨😱
We do seem to be living down to stereotypes around here though.
Tengo 59 y desde los 15 años estoy en esto
59yesrs old. Avid collector of scale 1/72 models since my childhood. Please keep producing soldiers of varied periods and battles to keep my childhood dreams coming true. The more you produce the more I buy to recreate epic movies like Guns of Navarrone, Beau Geste, Ben Hur, Sudan, Green Berets, Waterloo, Where Eagles Dare, The Vikings, The Fall of The Roman Empire, Troy, Gladiators, Zulu, Viva Zapata, Villa Rides, The Kingdom of Heavan, Geronimo Juarezv& Maximillian and so many others.
Sixty four. Just. Happy BDay Wayne and others!
My first fascination was with the Britains Swoppets from department stores and then discovered the "good value" Giant figures at the grocery store - some being scaled down versions of Swoppets. Then became a life-time collector of the "great value" 1/72 Airfix Fort Sahara and Fort Apache sets from hobby shops with their realistic sculpting and detailing (good enough anyway), and being able to re-create my favorite movies, both adversaries, with one set.
I wonder how newbies discover and get into 1/72 figurines these days?
53 years young. Fear not, Strelets....given current life expectancies, I'll be buying your products for another 30 years!!
Hoi dear Strelets,
I'am 57, my oldest son 33 both collectors. Love your recent WSS range and ACW. Carry on with your ever improving range.I was not impressed with the earlier ranges but nevertheless have some 4000 + figures of Strelets
Hello everyone, I'm 63 years old. I am a southern Frenchman and I currently live in a small village in the sarthe department. I'm a nurse, still active. I am passionate about history. I've been interested in figurines since 1967. It's an ever-intense interest. I have a room reserved for this passion. My wife is forbidden to stay there . . . .
Among those under 40, I'm 37. I got started at age 9 or 10 (somewhat around 1992/3... can't say for certain), dropped the hobby by my 21st birthday to finally dive back into it about two years ago.
good question! i am 57. I have visited many hobby events and i get the impression that very few of our hobby enthusiasts are below 50. I think the hobby may die with our generation as i have seen too few youngsters. I am trying to get my 8 year old son interested but it's going to be an uphill battle.
51, Finnland, collecting since I was something like 7.
Kari Suomalainen draw once a nice cartoon about ages and how people see them. It went (more or less) like this:
First there's a little boy looking at a slightly hippie-like young man with a thought bubble where the guy had long beard and text "A 10 year old thinks a 20 year old is so very OLD"
Second that same 20-year old guy looking at 30 year old man and seeing that man very old "A 20 year old thinks a 30 year old is so very OLD"
Third that 30-year old man looking at a 40 year old man and seeing that man hardly able to walk with stiks and a beard to hisa ankles. "A 30 year old thinks a 40 year old is so very OLD"
Fourth that 40-year old looking at a 50 year old man and seeing gravestone "A 40 year old thinks a 50 year old is so very OLD"
last that 50-year old thinking about himself leaping like some youngster "A 50-year old thinks a 50 year old is so very YOUNG!"
54 years young started collecting soldiers as a child before I could walk or talk stopped collecting at age 16 (starting collecting girls:heart_eyes: ) then back to collecting soldiers again age 31.
"...collecting at age 16 (starting collecting girls ) then back to collecting soldiers ..."
we are Brothers in Arms... :joy:
I am 53 and i see you are my companion in misfortune.... :laughing:
I'm 59 now. Started collecting with Giant figures, pushed on to airfix and esci and then really exploded with revell germany and so on.
I will be 65 in two months. Got my first figures at age 3, and probably have 250,000 figures more or less. About 75 of them are painted.
My collections include GI Joe, 60mm / 54mm plastic from Tim Mee, MPC, Marx and others.
Mostly 1/72nd scale plastic figures, all the usual companies, Giant, Airfix, Pegasus, Caesar, Strelets, Atlantic/ Nexus, Esci/ Italeri, Revell, Emhar, Imex, Red Box, Orion, Eagle Games, and many others.
Mostly USA and their enemies, primarily WWII, but some science fiction, fantasy, super heroes, and other historical.
20,000 photos of my collection here: https://bunkermeister.blogspot.com/
Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog
I'm 65, having been collecting plastic and metal (when I could afford them) figures since I was four and wargaming since I was eight.
Strelets, you get it right because you understand that your customers have the ability to decide what they like and not what is popular and what their friends are interested in, which is how Airfix used to do it. That is the reason I still hope you will produce a large range of figures (using the latest style of masters, not the original style) for the Spanish Civil War. If I can ever get my wargames guide to the SCW published you might find that you will have a lot more customers than you might have thought likely.
I like the fact that you have pride in your own military history and those of your neighbouring countries rather than slavishly following what is considered 'popular'. I am also impressed by your linguistic ability.
Please keep producing wargames-type figures, like your Napoleonic Polish infantry, for the horse and musket period, rather than military modelling-type, or best of all, continue to do both styles.
I’m 55 next week. This seem to be a hobby for older people. Even at the hobby shop you don’t see man young people.
There lost I guess.
I agree that it appears to be a hobby for older generation. What needs to be done to make this hobby attractive to younger generation? First of all for the young who lead a busy life and have no time to paint it is important to produce sets in 'traditional' colours for example Napoleonic French in blue. Secondly it is incomprehensible how few sets are made relating to modern times. For example almost no sets re modern China (a super power), French army greatly involved in war against fundamentalists, Turkish army, Georgean, Ukriane, Russian, Israel Defence Force and Arab armies (Lebanese, Egyptian, Iraqi). Again there is no set referring to modern day heroes like the Afghanistan army fighting Vs Taliban.What about Pakistan & Indian Armies? When we were growing up we had companies like Revell and Atlantic producing contemporary soldiers which to an extent complemented what was being produced in modern military vehicles in plastic / diecast in 1/72 scale. This connection should be restored.Without decreasing importance of historic wars, I think increasing focus on modern conflicts and armies will render our hobby more relevant and meaningful to younger generation and ensure survival of this hobby.
I recently turned 62 & am hoping to spend a nice chunk of my first Social Security check on some "Little Men", as my wife calls them. Been collecting for over 50 years.
Son is interested - he is 9. I started at age 15...
Bonjour à tous,
I'm 60. Started collecting in 1971. Now have 104,000 "historic" 1/72 soldiers (+ about 1000 Fantasy ones). Decades ago, I tried to introduce my three children to the hobby... But no way : only video games interested them ! Fortunately, my grandson seems much more receptive.
Started collecting with 6 years old that is 47 years ago.
First sets were Airfix WW2 1/72 Japanese & Russian Infantry.The dramatic box artwork
was really something to attract kids.
31. Started when I was about 8. Stopped when I was about 15. Re-started collecting about 3 years ago as I needed to find something that would provide me with a break from the constant pressures of working!
61, located in Outer London. Don't know how we get the youngsters in. Whenever I told my students (16-19) that I wargamed they almost universally said,"warhammer?" So I had to explain that there was a whole other hobby outside of Games Workshop. Also a lot of them abandoned gaming at 14-15, I did, for several years, girls and motorcycles were more interesting but I picked up my interest again when I was about 18-19. What actually got me back was seeing a copy of Battle for wargamers magazine in W H Smith's on Charing Cross station coming back from work one evening.
Getting younger people involved is definately a tricky one.
As I mentioned before, Im 37 now, but i started with figures as a little kid and started again once hit my 30s. That left my teens and 20s away from the hobby.
Cant speak for everyone but during that time, as a teen, i was chasing girls, out socialising with mates but also, homework and revision for exams took up lot spare time.
Then there is the whole living at home with parents and whether there is the workspace or storage space available.
I just turned 70 myself, so I'm one of the older ones. I'm getting a little on the creaky side, but still collecting, painting, and gaming. My love of toy soldiers goes back to some tin ones from my father, which I was playing with by age 3. But my first plastics were the Airfix British Infantry, acquired to my great delight back around 1960, I think.
hello everybody I have never really posted on here but carried on this hobby on my own life has been challenging at times but throughout all that my little figures saw me through and I continue my enjoyment of them .Reading all the posts over the years made me happy that I was not alone so thankyou all. and look forward to seeing so many more posts in the future
Dear friends, I am 57 years old. I am Brazilian, teacher of History and in love with 1/72 plastic miniatures since 1974, when I collected and played with Airfix figures. Today I own approximately 12,000 miniatures, with most of them painted by me. I play table wargames and make dioramas. I love the figures from Strelets.
if you don't change soon your target of customers, you will bankrupt in few years...
You might notice that some contributors to this thread have stated that they have come back to the hobby of collecting military figures after they gave it up during their teens. This is by no means unusual across a variety of hobbies but because their elders kept buying figures at least there was a supply of figures they could come back to. The age profile of the population of most countries is going up as more people are living longer and there are fewer people in the younger age range because their parents wanted to have a better standard of living, the best age range for targeting is 55 - 65 when most people have paid off the loan to buy their property and have a bit of spare cash to spare. As I said in my earlier message, because they know what they like, 'senior' wargamers and military modellers are in a position to judge whether they might be attracted by a new period, if it catches their fancy.
That does not mean that suppliers of figures can ignore youngsters. I was heavily influenced by my uncle into wargames, perhaps because he was not my father. He introduced me to classic wargames literature such as Donald Featherstone's 'Wargames' and 'Advanced Wargames' and I now have a collection of 20 classic wargames books that are very difficult to obtain now. In other words, I went through an apprenticeship in military modelling and wargaming. I discussed with a friend of mine the feasibility of us setting up a wargames school for youngsters, on a voluntary basis because we are both retired. I live in Britain but there is absolutely no reason why a school could not exist online so that any 'pupil' with a rudimentary grasp of the English language could not 'attend' lessons in any country in the world, notwithstanding time differences, through some digital medium, the current coronavirus crisis has emphasised how important these platforms are. One task of the teachers in schools like this should be to look for future leaders amongst the youngsters, such as a young lad I knew when I was younger whom I took under my wing and who helped organise his own wargames group in his secondary school and organised a wargames show.
I don't know if anyone from the Strelets company attends any wargames or military modelling shows in the Ukraine.
A working life long retailer, so I learnt a thing or two over the years. The demise of brick and mortar stores is mirrored by our online shopping habits, just look at Hannants range and ask could a local shop match it, obviously no. But we are talking about entry level, getting kids hooked as we were. Retailers have to make what ever space they have pay it`s way, and good retailers are very analytical about sales per square foot( or metric equivalent), so slow sellers do not take up space for long, to be on the shelf you have to earn your keep. In the 60`s/70`s Airfix was everywhere , no internet , no play station etc etc, in my small home town , there were three toy shops, two model shops , Woolworths, a department store all with a very large range of Airfix, plus newsagents etc with a shelf or two. Now there is not one shop selling our stuff, the nearest is Frome about an hours drive away. My point once it was a licence to print money, all my friends had bedrooms full of planes ,tanks,ships and soldiers, nearly all Airfix. Some of that was about that was it, the choice of what to do on a rainy day, kids today have more choice. There is also a cultural change, when I was a child in the 60`s every middle aged person was a veteran of WW2 and WW2 was everywhere, comics, magazines, TV, films, and all around were pill boxes, old airfields, dragoons teeth and they were our playgrounds, visiting Bristol huge area`s were just as the Luftwaffe had left them, they were yet to be rebuilt, WW2 seemed like yesterday...we could feel it and touch it, my parents used to tell me about sheltering under the kitchen table and taking a gas mask to school. Today political correctness rules, it`s not just toy soldiers you cannot buy, toy guns or anything war related, so getting back on track retailers have to think will this sell?, will this stop mum`s shopping here? to us that sound daft, but for a small retailer every lost customer is a big deal. The solution is probably the Warhammer model, go down the fantasy route to start, then lure them in to Historical...alternatively start WW3 and things will take care of themselves just as it did for us. There ends today`s sermon,amen I hear you all say.
Your quite right about the retail side of things Alan.
As a kid i can remember hopping on the bus to go into Swindon to visit my favourite shop in the whole world back then.....Beatties Toys & Models!!!
It was a 2 story toy shop but best of all, upstairs was nothing but model kits and figures!!!!! I could spend ages in there not knowing what to spend my pocket money on, due to the vast choice offered.
That place was responsible for my bedroom ceiling being crammed full with Airfix WW2 aircraft!! Then my toy cupboard (& my mums flower gardens!) were full of WW2 tanks & soldiers.
But then Beatties closed down and that just left Woolworths. However they didnt have anywhere near the same range of stuff. In fact the Swindon store had very little on that front, just one small shelf section.
They too have now long since disappeared.
There was the local newsagents. These had some Airfix kits but very very few and even they stopped selling them in the end.
That just left the odd hobby shop but these tended to concentrate on Railways (not really suprising considering Swindon was the HQ & massive industrial works for Brunels GWR railway etc).
Also the way we shop has changed dramatically. No retail business on the street is safe now due to the internet. The current covid 19 problem probably hasnt helped safeguard their futures either.
So if kids cant see a "physical" presence of our hobby, how can it be advertised? How can it draw in new interest? Does the hobby need to advertise in a large way? Does it need put itself out there to get noticed? Are there ways of making historical figures more "trendy"?
But as ive said before, even if it was still out there and "trendy", kids have so much to get involved in and have lots of studying to do.
I think most pick up the hobby once they are settled down with their own space.
Id make sure the hobby has products worth buying, that there is a comprehensive range to an era so it can be represented properly and that advertisment is utilised as much as possible to gain new customers or even just to let people know when a new product is out.
Fishing had the same problems in Britain, but these days there are more younger people on the lakesides Carp fishing due to targeted advertisment & making it look more "trendy".
Tengo 58 años, mis primeras figuras fueron de esci, británicos y guardia francesa.
Ahora tengo, Esci,Italeri,Revell,Strelets,Hat,Redbox,Zvezda,
Saludos desde España
52, collecting, painting and war gaming since I was 8. Have over 60,000 figures- about a 3rd painted. Insurance lawyer by trade buy a military historian by passion (WW1 particularly). Other Hobbes include equestrian sports (cross country eventing) and playing the piano.
Dear Strelets and fellow forum visitors,
You may well already be aware of the 'Great Wargaming Survey' run by Karwansaray publishers. Last year's received 10,795 responses to their on-line questionnaire.
Some interesting reading in their blog about it within their website. This link is to the initial summary, if you click on 'Next post' at the bottom, it goes into more and more detail with some most interesting graphs and summaries.
There are also links to the survey from earlier years.
No doubt I am not the only one here who is/has been a data point in this!
Thank you James, I was not in fact aware of this survey (Perhaps I am existing in too much of a bubble!), but it looks very interesting...as does the rest of the Karwansaray site. Will browse with interest.
James, like 'Minuteman', I was not aware of this survey. It is not just individual wargamers who exist in a bubble, so do wargames clubs. Sadly, this be because they are too introspective. Unlike many pastimes/sports, there is no national or international federation that wargamers can join. The only bodies that can co-ordinate on a national or international basis are magazines or interest groups that cover particular historical periods (I used to be President of the Spanish Civil Society). That is why the Strelets forum and the Karwansaray blog survey information are so important.
I am 58 years of age, a Brit living in Australia and brought up like so many others surrounded primarily by Airfix figures, vehicles and aircraft. (Hopefully Airfix will return to producing figures again after a long break and perhaps taking a few pointers from Strelets in subject matter!- (remember the proposed new Airfix WW1 British, French and German artillery sets promised in approximately 2014 that sadly never materialised). I have always liked dimensional and figurative concepts and sculpture and whilst not a wargamer have found the more obscure or sometimes more rarified elements of the past the most appealing. From the problem riddled Crimean War - especially the Light Brigade to the sad yet heroic Polish armed forces of WW2 and a lot in between. The small units like the LRDG to the sometimes forgotten combatants who helped secure an allied victory in 1945. My father was a veteran of the Normandy landing on Gold beach (Green Howards) who served to the end of WW2 and then in both the RAF for a short time and then the army again in the Korean war so both my brother and I were brought up with stories of military service when we were young. It would be interesting to know if there are female modellers/collectors/wargamers out there as we can see it is (obviously) a male centric interest ! As usual the forum provides us with lots of interesting chatter and ideas and I am sure Strelets are taking our comments in. I keep saying this but Strelets is an absolute tonic especially in rather troubling times like we are experiencing currently with the Covid 19 virus. Keep up the good work ...
I live in Catalonia and started with Montaplex, then Airfix, Atlantic and Matchbox In the 70s.
My collection is above 45000 soldiers, specially HAT and Italeri but now Strelets is growing high specially for napoleonics.
I dessigned the HAT catalonian guerrillas and this is my little contribution to the hobby.
I played wargames 10 years, then made dioramas 5 years and became just a collector 25 years ago.
My favourite set is the Revell Old Guard and I am waiing foR the Strelets Bavarians or more martial Prussian Cavalry with swords on shoulders...
For me the figurines have played an important role in my life as, i do not Know why, enjoy displaying or looking at them. Thanks to the 1/72 soldiers I am an expert in Napoleonic Period and Ww2, the colonial wars and others. And the military strategy helped me many times in my job. Yes, it did...
So, thanks 1/72 and thanks Strelets for these great new models.
mucha salud para todos!
Sorry for my late reply, I have been very busy during these days. I am the only one of my age among my friends to be interested in our hobby and in history as well. It is a passion which has remained since I was 10 and will never end.
All the best,
What happy reading there are a few readers older than me. And yes it seems the we old ones out number the young ones, at the toy fairs I attend 600 to 1000 people 10% female less than 5% under 30 years old.
I think that 10% women at the shows you attend is very good, presuming most of them have a military theme.
Yes, there are female wargamers and most of them do not object to being called 'Gentleman'!
I am (only just) 69 years old and live in Scotland. I've been playing with and collecting military figures since I was an ankle-biter. The original - pre-Airfix - collection was assorted 1/32 figures(WW2, cowboys and Indians mostly Swoppets, medieval and ancients). Then Airfix and others opened up the world of 1/72 wargames and kitchen and bedroom floors became my battlefields. One of the great joys in the 1960s was taking my pocket-money to the Woolworths stores in Bellshill and Motherwell in north Lanarkshire to spend hours perusing the kits and boxes of figures on display at their own dedicated counters in both towns. Two particular delights were the issue by Airfix of Union and Confederate infantry and artillery in this scale and then the later release of the second version of their superb 8th Army and Afrika Corps soldiers. I don't think those DAK figures have ever been bettered. I spent more than 40 years as a journailst, including 30 as a war correspondent, covering the Northern Ireland "Troubles", the Falklands War embedded with 45 Commando, Royal Marines, Lebanon with the Israelis, the 1999 and 2003 Gulf Wars attached to various British and American units in the desert, and then the Balkan conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo with Nato, UN and local forces. If anything, long experience of the real thing only whetted my appetite for tabletop gaming. I recently downsized from a big flat in Glasgow to a smaller place in Lochwinnoch in rural Renfrewshire and most of my collection - many tens of thousands of figures - came with me. Recent treats were Strelets issue of ACW and WSS figures. Most of my collection is now living in the loft and I intend to concentrate on painting my ACW armies when the dust of moving house has settled. Looking forward to many years of gaming on the floor of my new, dedicated library room. I have not retired. I am merely "resting between adventures". A second childhood? I never truly left the first one. :relaxed:
Heading straight towards my fifties now, into the hobby since the late 70s.
Received my first kits & figures as gifts from family members who also were WWII veterans.
A quick look at this and related sites (Bennos e.g.) reveals a good insight into origin and age-structure of the respective audiences.
Although a first glance suggests that mainly older European men enjoy the hobby, the reality is probably quite different. Russia and East Asia are most likely to be significant markets as well.
Undeniably, the vast majority of potential customers are located outside the English-speaking world and actually there are younger people interested in the hobby.
Two observations which manufacturers could take into account when planning future business strategies.
The fantasy segment is very likely one of the most promising ways to get young people interested in the hobby.
Unfortunately, PSR has only recently and quite half-heartedly started to change its approach in this respect. Too little, too late maybe.
It would be relatively easy to persuade more GW customers to buy 1/72, if only because of the incredibly better price-performance ratio.
Another immensely important and long known aspect is of course the availability of popular, self-contained and widely covered ranges. :wink: :smile:
Btw, a concept which Strelets, unlike other less successful manufacturers, understood from the beginning. A look at their earlier CW- or recent WWII- & Nap-ranges proves this convincingly.
Well, I'm 52 years young man living in Moscow, that definitely in Russia. Collecting 72 staff for the last 40 years
Just turned 63 (yes, Airfix and Woolworths have a lot to answer for), but we had a young visitor from out of state when we played Battlegroup Torch at a friends house recently. He is 15 and we let him command some of the British attack force: he enjoyed so much he wants to start his own collection.....
BTW if anyone knows of groups or clubs in Hagerstown, Maryland USA he could join, please contact me
Not sure how much success this hobby will have with any 'young' people. As already mentioned by others, people have less time on their hands, lots more options of what to do with their time (games consoles/internet) and less likely to spot them in a shop (how many shops actually sell models/toys anymore?!). The other issue is that models and military history are just not 'cool'. And that counts for a lot when you're younger (at school I did not tell anyone about my hobby and now that I'm early 30's the only person who knows about my hobby is my fiancé!). I have never met anyone my age who collects models or has any interest in military history...
I would agree with others who have suggested the biggest chance of success with a younger generation may be through fantasy sets. I think if someone were to produce Game Of Thrones (including the main characters) this could appeal to a much more diverse audience. What would be really convenient is if some current major celebrity came out and said they collected toy soldiers...If Kit Harrington said he spent his weekends painting or Emilia Clarke said that she found men who paint soldiers alluring then this hobby would have its next generation sorted...!
I am 51 years old .And get my first set in 1975 (Airfix Raf ,still in box,never open).Get my first Strelets ,when they where Brand new ( swedish inf,great nothern War)still wondering what to do with 15 figures of Carl 12. He He.I was thinking that my 15.000 soldiers was a lot.But then i saw many of your numbers.Have never in Denmark meet a person under 40 interesstet in 1/72 plastic soldiers
Best regards from Denmark
Well I'm 67 and I guess I've been started seriously collecting since about 1966 or so. I've collected over the years seventy eighty thousand figures who knows. Last time I did an inventory was about 2002 and that was about 50,000 and I know I bought thousands more since then. One of the biggest things about getting younger people into the hobby is unfortunately the price. Now the figures have gotten more sophisticated more details and a variety that would be unimaginable when we were kids. But back then Figures were fifty cents a box and then they got up to about $2 and they held at $2 for most of the 80s. So back then even by saving my lunch money and working minimum wage and entry level positions I could still afford to spend 10 or $20 every few weeks and I could get a decent load of Airfix or ESCI figures and in a few years I had quite the collection even back then. Nowadays retailers want 10 to $20 a box and a youngster just can't afford that. I'll admit they are much much better figures then you throw in all that accoutrement such as buildings trees and terrain features a computer and a library of books and videos for reference gosh it gets to be quite an expensive Hobby. I was a kid I was just starting out I'd probably pick another hobby nowadays
Thats a good point about prices.
When I was a kid (80s/90s), you could buy a Airfix 1/72 scale Avro Lancaster for around £10-£12.
Now you will be lucky to get a Airfix Lancaster in 1/72 for £25, especially when chances are, you would have buy online so would have pay postage.
If i was a kid now, my parents would no way allow me to spend so much for "a piece of plastic". They wouldnt accept the "its had new tooling" or "a different manufacturing process" arguments.
So today, i probably wouldnt of ever been bought my 1st model kit, and so therefore, may never of had the door opened into the hobby. That very 1st model kit (a De Havilland Mosquito, my fav WW2 aircraft), i was ever bought was what begun my journey into the modelling hobby, and thus eventually soldiers.
Even now as an adult, i look at certain kits and figure sets and think that its way overpriced for what it really is. But then, if its a set i really need, i still buy it!!! 😂
A 39 years old/young gentleman. Graphic designer and musician. Started my journey with a box of ESCI French Imperial Guard and Prussian/Austrian Infantry at the age of 6. Since then, miniatures, wargaming and military history are my constant companions. While I'm not solely into 1/72 (have lots of 28mm miniatures), it's still my 'first love'.
As with most consumer goods, the figures are actually far cheaper in today's terms.
Your ten quid in 1980 is equivalent to 40-odd in today's terms. You can calculate by hand or 'cheat' and use an online calculator that applies annual rates of the consumer price index. Here's the link to the Bank of England one:
Electronic goods have become ridiculously cheap, consider how TVs are the same price as they were in the 1970s. That is why 'every' kid has a mobile phone that is a pocket computer. Compare them to my first hand calculator, a Sharp Elsi-mate, that was twice the size, performed basic maths functions only and had no memory!
At the same time wages have doubled, trebled or more (although stagnating in the past ten or so, for most people)...
Like many here I'm in my mid 50s, played with small soldiers as a kid, then dropped it, and came back to the hobby in my 30s. Dont know how many figures I have but they fill half a bedroom, so quite a lot probably. Loving the range available today. I think some of the success of fantasy in the last 10-20 years has been down to the success of films like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thromes. If someone would remake Waterloo or some other film and do it well, that might inspire many a potential new collector and gamer. Works for me. Italeri big sets are also very appealing, and might encourage new customers. But online presence and communities like this forum do a lot to promote the hobby. Thanks Strelets!
My wife and I some years ago bought taught pipes and drums to young girls between 12 and 17. We hard a very hard time bringing girls into the because there is so much to do now on the internet. Kids spend more time on there phones and tablets then doing something constructive with there hands and minds.
Stay safe and keep painting.
Some clarification is needed here, are you asking for physical age or mental age?
My physical age is 61.
I'm sure I recall Airfix sets being 1s6d, but memory is not my greatest asset.
For our generation having soldiers and tanks and planes to play with when we were young was just normal. But for the generations of kids that came after us their parents were the sixties hippies and war toys were taboo. The moratorium on war toys was supposed to create a world of peace, love, and harmony. Which would have been nice if it worked, but...
The youngsters today do seem to be returning to a version of the hobby but it's Sci Fi and it's Fantasy and it's Pseudo History rather than anything real.
I am 65 and have been collecting for over 60 years. I have well in excess of 2000 sets of figures and thats only the 1/72 scale ones. Looking forward to another 60 years of collecting.
I am another 69 year old who started buying figures and 15mm afvs once I retired after a break of 50+ years. I do not buy excessive amounts but it does mount up!
Basically there are more things to do when you are young! Going abroad to Switzerland with the school was a BIG thing when I was young - now going abroad several times a year is accepted as norm by so many - especially us pensioners. Throw in such organisations as the U3A and modelling has become one of many activities.
Is it becoming an older activity? Probably but it is not all doom and gloom as I suspect it is another activity to do. However as several people have commented on plastic models have gone up market with very complicated products (never understood why people want very detailed cockpits that you cannot see when the hood goes on) and price.
The other comment is the image of modellers (and hobbies such as train/aircraft/bird spotters) as a bunch of 'sad lads' that is churned out in the media. Unfortunately, some modelling clubs do attract such characters which certainly put me off!
I turned 58 on the last 30th of June.
I wish younger lads could join the hobby for it to carry on in time.
But painting figures is much more difficult than Playstation...
my mother in law says I am 12 and should grow up ?
I can't and won't but I am a bit older🤣😂🤣
Despite being 57 years old, when it comes to toy soldiers I feel the same pleasure as when I was 12 years old. My father once said that I would no longer play with toy soldiers when I became an adult. I think he was wrong!
Collector and painter of 28 here. I started collecting at the age of 14 or thereabout. I must admit that I discovered the hobby by accident. I have been interested in (military) history for as long as I remember but never really encountered this hobby as a child. At home we did have a collection of antique William Britain soldiers which once belonged to my great grandfather. These little colourful soldiers had always fascinated me. This resulted in me collecting statuettes of knights and soldiers of the kind you might find in souvenir shops at historic sightseeing places. Yet I remained oblivious of the fact that there were actually figures available at shops that you could paint yourself.
One day I happened to be in a model shop with my father, who's into collecting model railway stuff, when I noticed an Italeri box with some nice box artwork (Highlanders and British infantry). I have been painting and collecting figures ever since (admittedly with interruptions), mostly 1 72 Napoleonics, though I do occasionally dabble into other scales and periods as well.
I think that my story shows that much could be won with better marketing. In my case all the "ingredients" for a painter and collector to be were already there in early childhood, yet I had to accidently stumble upon the hobby in order to learn about its existence.
Some things could be easily improved. I recently introduced my younger brother into the hobby and taught him most of the little tricks that I picked up over the years. He did, however, rightfully remark that it is strange that manufacturers don't include some of these basic tips on modelling on the box. Why is there no information on how to prepare your model for painting on the box (washing in detergent, removing mould lines etc.)? I had to find out all of this stuff the hard way and with a lot of frustration which almost put me off the hobby after just starting it.
Visibility of the hobby is another thing, as my story shows. Had I not wandered into that model shop by accident, there would have been no other way for me to find out about the hobby. Would outreach programmes at schools be an idea? Perhaps there should also be more starter sets; a few sprues of soldiers, some paint and brushes and a set of simple wargame rules and painting instructions, all in attractive packaging and not too expensive.
Interesting what CW says, most of us older ones were drawn in by seeing shop displays but that doesn't really exist nowadays and we need to find news ways of creating awareness.
48, and on occasion my teenage sons will play a wargame with me.
i'm 46 but my majority of armies except colonials are composed of vintage converted plastic minis such as Airfix and ESCI even subjects from golden age like original tarzan tribesmen set used as Egyptian rabble and trumpeters from Airfix Quenn's Guards enrolled in ACW units..so i should be rated an old man as i like, not only if we talk about minis, everything which is vintage