Since the mid-1950s, plastic toys have been sold in the millions. They are manufactured in injection molds, with some companies modifying older molds used for hollow-cast lead soldiers.
Perhaps the most interesting UK maker oF plastic soldiers was Zang. They hired exciting designers and produced unusual figures including American civil war soldiers and Trojan hoplites. They later changed their name to Herald and the logo of a Medieval Herald appears on the underside of each base.


During the 1950s, Britain's took over Herald. This association resulted in the Swoppets range which consisted of Cowboys, Indians and Knights whose heads could be 'swapped' from one figure to the next.Timpo also created swoppet style soldiers and may be best remembered for its King Arthur and the ; Knight of the Round Table models.


Timpo and other companies, including Cherilea,Trojan, Benbros, Gemodels and Kentovs tailed in the 1970s, but Britain's still continue to produce both plastic figures and its line of New Metal Toys.
Evolving technologies, literarv genres and the advent of computers, has considerably changed the market for toy soldiers. In 1975, Games Workshop married fantasy and the tradition of the model soldier to create a new genre of war figures. The imagerv for these figures, unlike their predecessors, does not build upon actual regiments or battles, but upon fantasy, science fiction, computer games and accompanying literature.

In fact, John Robertson of I-Kore, a company that creates both a science fiction series and a fantasy series, attributes the background to Tolkein and other authors who opened the floodgates for the success of fantasy literature. Craftsmanship and careful design remain the hallmarks of the best production. Designers like Ken White create figures that fetch $5-$10 now and may be worth considerably more in the future.

Where to start

Collecting toy soldiers can be done on almost any budget and any scale. Many collectors find pieces at antiques' fairs, shops and specialist fairs. While some prefer auctions and the web, other collectors prefer to focus on one particular make or manufacturer, or a particular time period. Re-creating a particular battle may also give a collection focus. Finding an area that suits the new, or even experienced, collector may take a little time to identify, but generally speaking, most collectors allow their personal interests, however eccentric or general, to serve as their guide.  


So, with such an array of toy soldiers on the market, it's no wonder that collectors are standing to attention .

Further  Blog Reading

Part 1      TOY SOLDIERS



Collectibles  Coach

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