08 May 2019
Kickin' it oldschool
In the lands of the North, where the Black Rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long the Men of the Northlands sit by their great log fires and they tell a tale...
Those of a certain age may fondly remember Noggin the Nog, a popular TV show and series of illustrated books from the ‘Golden Age’ of British children’s television. Originally broadcast from 1959-1965, the story revolved around the titular Noggin, the king of a Viking-esque community called the Northmen, and his various lighthearted adventures. Now, The Little Soldier Company has released a set of Noggin the Nog miniatures after a successful Kickstarter in 2017. The range has been licenced and endorsed by Peter Firmin and Daniel Postgate for Smallfilms, creators of the stories and characters of Noggin the Nog.
Considered here is the Noggin the Nog characters box. In addition to the titular character, the set also contains Nooka of the Nooks, Knut, Graculus, Ronf, Thor Nogson, Olaf the Lofty and series villain Nogbad the Bad.
Cast in white metal or pewter depending on which set you opt for, the characters come in a rather nice presentation box, with each miniature housed in its own foam inset. The castings are all one piece and the pewter ones I received have virtually no flash on them at all. The detail is all clear, although the only minor "complaint" – if indeed it is one – is that they come attached to cobbled bases, which would make it a bit tricky for anyone wanting to base and decorate them with gravel and flock.
The sticking point is the price. Judging the monetary value of a product is a tricky proposition of course, especially in a hobby like wargaming. Since miniatures can’t be judged on a functional basis, perceived value lies almost entirely on subjective aesthetic considerations. Nonetheless, as a box of eight miniatures will set you back £40 for white metal castings and £55 for pewter frankly – bearing in mind you can buy entire games or armies for that amount – it just seems too much. They seem like the sort of thing one would gift to someone as a nostalgic novelty, but the novelty value would have to go pretty far to justify that kind of moolah. Then again, 146 people backed the series on Kickstarter, so what would I know?
At the end of the day, it’s hard to recommend the Noggin Character box. Dedicated fans of the series will either most likely have brought into the Kickstarter already, or will buy it anyway. For everyone else, though, this will probably be a saga that’s too dear.
Thor Nogson. It may seem trivial to mention, but I was impressed by the fact that the miniature was a one-piece casting despite the halberd he's carrying. I've tried to visualise how you'd get it to fit into a two-part mold and can't work it out - it's a nice technical feat that clearly took some expertise.
Olaf the Lofty
Nogbad the Bad