Toy knights and medieval miniatures, that is. Like all red-blooded American boys, I had a Marx castle and some plastic toy knights as a kid, watched Robin Hood and Sir Lancelot on television, and went to the movies to see Ivanhoe (the MGM version with Elizabeth Taylor and George Sanders is still the best) and Prince Valiant. Eventually, sad to say, I got older, and my toy knights and Marx tin litho castle went the way of all toys… but in 1996, deep in the throes of writing my fantasy series, my old passions reawakened, and I started buying toy knights once again.I collect the 54mm scale, the so-called “toy soldier” scale, and sometimes go up to 70mm for the exquisite Elastolin plastics. These days 25mm wargaming figures are far more common, but they’re too small for my taste… and I’ve seldom seen any that can compare to the exquisite sculpting and fine detail of one of the better 54mm figures.
The focus of my collection is strictly medieval, but within “my period” my tastes are eclectic. I collect plastic, lead, pewter, and composition figures; painted and unpainted; old and new; cheap plastic recasts of old Marx and Ideal knights from the ’50s to the current masterpieces coming out of Russia, and everything in between. From time to time I do a bit of figure painting myself. It’s fun, and it helps me unwind, but I’ll never be any competition for the master painters whose work I collect.Here are some of the pieces in my collection. I’ll be adding to this page from time to time, so if you like what you see, come back often.
—George R.R. Martin