Wednesday, July 4, 2012

K-Line Statue of Liberty

Train Time will return to Toys & Stuff next Wednesday.

Today, as we mark the 236th year of the signing of The Declaration of Independence it would seem fitting for Toys & Stuff to present one our most precious symbols of Liberty - The Statue of Liberty - in toy form, K-Line's #K-4193 Statue of Liberty. Enjoy!

The Prototype

Per Wikipedia: "The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue, a gift to the United States from the people of France, is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue has become an icon of freedom and of the United States."

The statue is built upon a pedestal erected within the walls of what had been at the  time, an unused fort - Fort Wood, an 11-point star fort built in 1806-1811 - located on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor (now called Liberty Island). The inspiration for Lady Liberty and the trials and tribulations of those who made it possible are way too many to explore in detail here. Just the story of its design and construction is fascinating enough, but add to that the politics, the historical context both in France and America, the national demeanor at the time of its gifting is enough to fill volumes. Her story is simply amazing!

Back in 2005 I was fortunate enough to see Lady Liberty while on a trip to New Jersey. I wasn't able to actually go on Liberty Island but can share at least a few photos. The day was quite hazy and so the sky isn't very blue in the photos, but it does peek out from the haze in a couple of shots.

The Toy

Back in the 1950s, the Louis Marx Co. put out a series of model kits based on National landmarks. The series included the Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial, White House, and the Statue of Liberty among others. After Marx folded, Maury Klein was able to purchase the tooling for his K-Line series of plastic kits based on the old Marx line. K-Line first offered Lady Liberty in the version you see here today - the Statue located on its pedestal and copper-colored. Later K-Line versions would see The Lady in her familiar green copper patina. The original copper colored and patina colored offerings are easy snap-together kits. Later versions would have a pre-assembled Statue sitting atop the star fort and include interior lighting.