H.G. Wells wrote a war game rule book, Little Wars, in 1913. He hoped the game would let kids blow off steam and help prevent real future wars. Obviously, that didn't happen, but war games still have many fans.
On June 16, dozens of mostly greying middle-aged types met to show off their toy soldier figurines - plastic stuff as well as wee metal men - at Fort York.
History teacher and Ontario Model Soldier Society member Guy Elliott explains that "high-end ones are called connoisseur figures."
Okay, but these are still toys, and I can't help but giggle at how seriously some of the assembled take this.
Resting my camera on a table, I almost take out a squad and get a warning sidelong glance from their owner.
While the models are replicas of participants in humanity's many past and current wars, there's no chaos in the presentations.
Everything is meticulously placed in mini-May Day parades of military might. There are no pools of blood, no scattered bands of insurgents or limbless casualties, just the glorious pre-battle processions.
In another room, technician/sculptor Charles Buchanan tells me he makes his own army men when he's not helping real-world amputees.
"Do you know what the leading cause of foot amputations is?" he asks. My guess is land mines, at least in some parts of the world. "Diabetes," he says.
Around him vendors peddle mini-machines of war at prices ranging from a few bucks to more than $1,000. There are tanks, planes and cannons. If it's carrying a rifle, lance or bloodied battle axe, you'll find it here.
"Everybody has different eras in history that they like," says Military Miniatures owner John Drown. His Midhurst, Ontario, company designs figures that are fabricated by specialized artisans in St. Petersburg, Russia, who he says are ancestors of the famed tzarist Fabergé egg makers.
Drown's figures don't sell for Fabergé prices, but he's already seen his limited-edition stuff sell on eBay for up to $4,000.
High-priced figures probably aren't played with much, but some enthusiasts do play war games - the younger generations of war nerds who tend to invest in the fantasy world of Warhammer and paint orcs, elves, lizardmen and other Tolkienesque creatures.
The older connoisseur crowd certainly isn't snobby about welcoming new blood into the ranks to help their hobby soldier on.