The 70mm Brown Backwoods Battle Frontiersmen Figure Set is a decent package, although without the horses it's a little lacking - you get 9 different variations of Davy Crocket and Daniel Boone, cast in a chocolate brown plastic. Each one has various hats, rifles, bandoliers, and such just like the original run had decades past, and the 3-inch figures mostly are pretty great. I say "mostly" because in the bag of 24, you get 12 "rider" figures that can't stand up and there's no horse included - so to me, they're pretty useless.
The mostly glossy figures come in 9 styles, with a minimum of 2 of each. One of the sitting guys came in a quantity of 6, and the other in 4 - which to me is too bad, because I like the idea of giving away extras and these aren't the best examples of what this set has to offer. Thankfully the standing and kneeling guys are pretty great, and they did a great job designing three of them to stand without the use of a plate under their feet.
First up is a "scout" figure, designed to use his rifle to prop him upright and his hand acting as a visor. I like this one because it's pretty clever - generally speaking this kind of figure comes with a display base glued to the feet, so this configuration certainly shows that the old designers were thinking about new ways to bring the figures to life without falling on their faces. This one is clean-shaven and has higher, stronger cheek bones than the rest which makes me wonder if this was meant to be a Native American, given that's how a lot of the figures represented them in the old days. The attire is clearly frontiersmen TV chic, and at about 3-inches tall it's one of the bigger figures in the line.
The figures lack any identifying markings, as with most Tim Mee releases these days. The two parts of the mold have a little more flash around the sides as well, so you may want to be ready with a hobby knife to trim this and other figures up.
Two different kneeling molds were released in this set, each posed slightly differently. One has a rifle, the other a pistol. Their hats are different, and neither seems to have a beard. The rifle guy's detail is a little smooth, but it looks like he may have a mustache if you squint. (Such is the trouble with the older figures from this line.) The detail tended to get incredibly sharp for the 1970s and 1980s figure rereleases, but the older ones are smoother and feel more like what you'd expect from this era.
Both castings are clean, with minimal excess plastic to sully their designs. The detail is very smooth, with a little sculpted fringe and few wrinkles. As an evolutionary step, it's amazing just how far we've come with toy sculpting over the last few decades, although it seems the very best in sculpting and designs come in after the heyday of the "army man" has ended. Granted, it's having a pretty good afterlife right now between reissues like these and similar, lesser product at dollar stores. Also it's worth noting that neither require a display base to stay standing, which is pretty neat.
The next figure stands on a base, taking aim at... something with his rifle. Presumably someone from the "Indians" sets of old was the intended target. The set includes no antagonists to speak of unless you want to put the people with differing hats up as warring factions, and why wouldn't you? The pose is pretty traditional for this kind of figure - I've seen it in other lines, including the recent Star Wars Command series, so it's a definite classic. Assembly is a tiny bit uneven, but not enough to hurt the look - you'll also probably notice a little excess plastic. His sculpt is charming and the pose is pretty dynamic, making for a decent desk accessory.
The next one is seemingly clubbing someone or some thing over the head with a rifle, and while a tiny bit smaller than the rest the output may be the best. He has a beard and a more visible expression, a livelier face and pretty good detail on the fringe. It's a strange pose, but a good figure.
The next one has a good, general pose that looks like an explorer who's expecting trouble. The rifle is held at his waist and the detail is pretty crisp as this set is concerned. There's not much in the way of facial features, but it has a lot of personality as these things go. If you only had one figure to best represent the collection, this would be it, easily. This is a clean sculpt, standing easily and proudly. This would be your recruitment poster figure - it's almost majestic, as this kind of thing goes.
Rounding out the collection are three "riders" that require horses to remain upright - they can't stand on their own. Each one has a rifle or other weapon, and the sculpting is a little weaker than the standing guys.
The first one has a rifle pointing down with some sort of a horn thing. Were the gun relocated just a bit, he'd probably stand on his own - the head sculpt is a little bland, but the outfit is more or less on par with the set.
The second one has a gun out and a knife raised high, and has no real chance of standing. Still, he looks pretty neat. The fur hat detail is impressive.
Lastly we have a smaller figure aiming his rifle, and to me this is the most infuriating figure because it looks like it should stand. He feels smaller but is about the same size, and is very flat from the waist up. The legs are posed as you might expect for a riding figure, but I don't have an abundance of horses around for him to mount. As it is, it's OK - if you are in to this kind of costuming or grew up in the era where this was the biggest thing in entertainment, you're going to dig everything about this set except the lack of horses.
Of all the Tim Mee sets so far this is my least favorite, mostly because I'm not of the age to appreciate it. They're well-designed, muted colors look like something you might see at a classic toy show. The faces lack emotion, but that's true of most figures at this scale. For the price they aren't bad, but there are no surprises here. The space set had amazing detail and fun little easter eggs in the form of helmets and rifle roleplay toys having been integrated into the figures. The dinosaurs are dinosaurs. The Legendary Battle set is just generally amazingly cool and weird. The Frontiersmen are good frontiersmen - the lack of variety and older designs are by no means bad, but the other sets just offered so much more that it can't compete. Having said that, if you're into this stuff and want to collect them all they aren't bad - just be prepared to bring your own horses.
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