Community Collections: Toy Soldiers, February 20 - March 31, 2016


The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums are pleased to announce a series of special exhibits highlighting the collections of local community members. Our first special exhibit in this series will be “Toy Soldiers” from February 20 through March 31, 2016.

The objects in this exhibit come from the private collection of local community member Eric Fatzinger and will focus on the Napoleonic Wars, the Jacobite Rebellion in Scotland in 1745-46, the American Civil War, The Battle of the Little Big Horn 1876, World War II, and the Cold War. A hands-on area will be available for younger children with plastic “Little Green Army Men.”

Eric Fatzinger, Colonel (Retired, US Army), has been collecting toy soldiers since he was a boy growing up in Platteville.  He and his brother Curt were highlighted in a Platteville Journal article in the 1970s with some of their toy soldiers.  While Curt moved from toy soldiers to sports memorabilia, Eric remained fascinated and his collection continued to grow while he served on active duty for 27 years. Upon his retirement from the Army in September 2010 Eric returned home to the Platteville Community.

The collection itself is made up of a variety of scales (sizes) of figures, equipment, vehicles, aircraft, ships and diorama pieces. The sizes range from the smallest at 1/285th scale, (about 6mm high for a figure), to the largest at 1/6th scale, (about 12 inches high for a figure) and just about everything in between.  The collection also includes a range of materials, including metal, soft plastic, hard plastic, resin, and poly-stone.  The collection has more than 10,000 individual items and Fatzinger continues to add to it.