The Trojan Horse hardly needs any introduction, but it is going to get one anyway. According to the story, after a 10 year siege of Troy which had achieved nothing, the Greeks built a horse which they left outside the city before apparently leaving. The Trojans saw it as a gift or offering and took it inside, little knowing it was full of elite Greek soldiers, who emerged during the night and opened the gates to the returned army, whereupon the city was captured and destroyed. No one today, or in antiquity, knew whether there was any truth to the story or not, but even some ancient writers suggested the people of Troy could hardly be so stupid as to fall for such a device. Many theories have been put forward to explain the story in a more credible manner, everything from a ship or siege engine to an allusion to an earthquake, but the story as told continues to appeal. Atlantic were (probably deliberately) very muddled when it came to their Greek range, lumping the story of the Trojan War with the exploits of Alexander the Great, which were many centuries apart. Thus we have hoplites from the Classic Age standing around a legend from the Mycenaean period. Time to switch off our credibility scanner and take a look at the model itself.
The horse itself is a very simple model. Basically it is two halves of the horse plus the tail, and this fits onto the wheeled base. The shield each side of the horse plugs into the animal's side with pegs, and under the belly is a pretty crude trap-door. The base is a single piece with separate wheels, so the whole thing can be put together in no time at all. It isn't the most high-precision model ever made, but plenty good enough for a toy. Without the base the horse stands about 120mm at the withers and reaches a maximum height of 170mm at the top of the mane. The wheeled base adds about 20mm to those heights. The box artwork and our photos give an idea of how it looks compared to the figures that share the box, which are themselves a bit too large for true 1/72 scale, let alone the claimed HO scale, which is slightly smaller.
Judging it from the literary references presents some problems. The various stories refer to at least 30 armed soldiers hiding inside, sometimes more, but even if stacked very uncomfortably you would be hard pressed to pack more than a dozen or so soldiers in this horse. Also we are told that it was built in three days, so the fairly good anatomical representation seems far too elaborate, and some modern 'replicas' are far more crude and so more believable. Having said all that it is a fair match for what many a child might imagine the Trojan Horse to look like, and the size is sufficient to make it quite an impressive construction compared to the men alongside or even inside it. The trap door under the belly is very crude, with no hinge to speak of, but it does the job and is plenty big enough to allow a warrior to pass through while holding weapon and shield at the ready. The samples we have seen are free from flash, and our example needed only a little work on the holes to fit together well without need for glue.
The set includes a number of sprues of their Greek Army, which as we have said is less than ideal, but strangely none of their Trojan Army figures. Also a curious feature is that four of the poses from this set are also included on the sprue for the horse, apparently simply to fill a gap.
The idea for the horse came from Ulysses (also called Odysseus), hence the slightly cumbersome English title, but we prefer the simpler German title. Whatever you name it, this is a fun toy that perhaps brought ancient Greek literature to some small children in the 1970s. Not a lot of value for the more fussy model-makers of today, but an interesting curiosity from the relatively early days of the hobby.