Sentimental Journeys was started by Jeff Viggiano in 1992. He produced Dimestore reproductions of Manoil and Barclay figures in solidcast lead. Jeff stopped operating as Sentimental Journeys in 1999 after acquiring the Barclay trademark rights. He now operates as The New Barclay Company and produces a wide range of Dimestore figures in solidcast lead.
Email from Jeff Viggiano of the New Barclay Company
Jeff Viggiano is still very much alive & well, and still pumping out the figures - I should know, as I'm him! We stopped using the "Sentimental Journeys" name a little over 5 years ago, when we took over the trademark rights of Barclay. We have added a number of new figures in Dimestore size, and are doing all the Barclay and Manoil (and other) civilian pieces, as well as 90% of Barclay's pre-war military line, all of the All-Nu pieces, most Tommy Toy pieces (we do the entire Nursery Rhyme set) and we've expanded the winter lines to include a little over 100 pieces! All in all, we produce almost a thousand different items in all sizes (both dimestore and a smaller line of figures that go with Lionel trains - sized the same as the Barclay HO figures, which, by the way, we also make!) Yes, this is my full time job, and there's 12 of us here!
I've been hassled so many times over my repros, I can't begin to tell you. I had one guy at a show who was literally asked by security to leave me alone or leave the show! He was REALLY PO'd about the fact that I now own the rights to the Barclay name and trademark - He went on at great length about how it was guys like me that are killing the hobby for everyone, and ended his great rant with "You sir, are NOTHING but a pretender to the throne" I am sensitive to the interests of the die-hard collectors, so I only produce solid cast figures. I've heard some horror stories about people buying figures, only to find they were made by Eccles or Lango, but carefully "aged" (read: some sleeze-ball buried them in his backyard for a few months to give them that played-with look) I have great respect for Ron Eccles, but I feel that merely signing a piece on the bottom is not enough, because a quick swipe with some sandpaper erases the signature, and viola! An "almost mint" soldier! (I remember reporting someone on Ebay a few years back for selling Eccles and Vintage figures as "mint") Bill Lango is also starting to cast figures in solid materials (aluminum and zinc) to get around the problem. I also put much more detail in the figures than can be found on originals, such as painting in the shirts, ties,buttons and belts. Our paints are also far more glossy than originals, being an industrial enamel rather than a lacquer finish, as was used way back when. Basically, there's no way possible to mistake a new Barclay figure for an original.