figurine peinte : fabrication et distribution de figurines peintes Papo

Something Good From France:

One of the two signs of spiritual health in a man is that he takes pleasure in the play of children. (The other is that he finds joy in life, in spite of its hardships.) I don't spend as much time as I might to talking about that here, because the readership of Grim's Hall is all adult, although some of you have children (I'm looking at you, BlackFive).

Today I bought my son Beowulf a couple of toys. All I can say about these things is that I wish we'd had them when I was a boy. They are from a company called Papo-France, and I am honestly impressed.

One of the toys I bought was from the "L'antiquite" page, and is the finest example of a Viking warrior toy I've ever seen. The details are correct, from the chain mail (rare but prized by Vikings) to the nasal helmet and round shield. The horned-helmet fellow on the same page is not a Viking, but an ancient Gaul, for whom the horns are correct. The only complaint I have is the sword, which has a high central ridge (appropriate for a stabbing weapon, rather than a Viking slashing sword which would have had a central groove and high ridges along the edge). Otherwise, it's beautiful.

I also bought a dragon (from Contes et legendes). With the two together, I have a functional "Beowulf and the Dragon" set to use in teaching my son about the poem that is his namesake.

Not shown on the website, but in the print catalog they gave me, is a Richard the Lionheart, a Joan of Arc, and several other historic figures. There are also knights from various periods, again with arms and armor that are largely correct -- a shining departure from the norm.

If you're looking for a gift for a boy, say five to twelve (and possibly older if they love Tolkien, or play Dungeons & Dragons), this seems a good bet to me.

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