Among my favorite Hollywood films are the three John Ford cavalry westerns released in 1948, 1949 and 1950—“Fort Apache,” “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” and “Rio Grande,” all of which featured John Wayne and Victor McLaglen. Therefore, it’s understandable that when I came across two Minimen 75mm figures of John Wayne as an ageing Captain Nathan Brittles and Victor McLaglen as the brawling, hard-drinking Sergeant Quincannon at a toy soldier show I pounded on them.
The figures represent Wayne and McLaglen as they appeared in the second of cavalry trilogy, “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon,” in which Wayne plays a cavalry officer on the verge of retirement, who leads his troops in one last battle against the Cheyenne Indians, driving off their pony herd and averting a full-scale Indian war.
In the pair of figures illustrated below, Wayne is shown hatless in casual campaign garb, while a smiling Victor McLaglen (second of two photos) can be seen (side view) clutching a whiskey flask. For me, the figures recall the many enjoyable hours spent watching the cavalry films, as well as reenacting them with my Ralph Bussler “John Ford cavalrymen” and my Beton plastic Indians.