Two days ago, April 27th, saw the 1st Annual Gettysburg Toy Soldier Show at the Gettysburg Hotel.

It was sponsored by W. Britains, the legendary toy soldier company, which has teamed up with Osprey North America to increase our presence at events this year. Ever since 1st Gear bought Britains in 2005 and hired General Manager, Rich Walker, and chief sculptor, Ken Osen, the company has seen a resurgence in quality leading many toy soldier collectors to say, "Britains is back." Many have commented to us on the "naturalness" of the Osprey and Britains collaboration.

Not wanting to waste the 200 mile drive to Gettysburg, my wife and I took the opportunity to visit the new visitor's center at the Military Park, which opened its doors April 14th.

The new building is incredibly spacious and inviting. There is a mammoth book and gift shop and the new kid-friendly permanent exhibition is packed with information. The highlight is a series of short movies sponsored by the History Channel that explain the major events of the Civil War leading up to Gettysburg and then the battle itself. Two post-battle movies describe the horrors of the battlefield after the armies had retreated and the poor state of civil rights for African-Americans for the next 100 years. For me, the most moving aspect was the room dedicated to Lincoln's Gettysburg address. Interestingly, newspapers at the time called the speech "silly" and an "embarrasment."