History of William Britain Toy Soldiers
William Britain introduced his first toy soldiers in 1893. These soldiers were immediately popular, in part because they were affordable. William Britain achieved this price advantage by using the hollowcast production method; a technique for producing metal figures that were hollow. The hollow figures required less metal and, as a result, cost less to produce. The savings were passed on to the customer and this lower price allowed William Britain to compete with the German toy soldier manufacturers who had previously led the toy soldier market.
Though William Britain toy soldiers were popular when they were introduced, early Britains pale in comparison to the W. Britain toy soldiers of the present. The first William Britain military miniatures were toys and looked like playthings, unlike the extremely detailed collector’s items of today. The early toy soldiers had less detailed facial features and did not possess the lifelike quality of modern military miniatures. Their faces looked expressionless and their clothing had limited detail, whereas toy soldiers today are extremely detailed from the looks on their faces to the features on their clothing. Early metal figures were also shown in a limited variety of poses. They were most often shown standing at the ready or sitting on horseback. These poses are much less creative than those of today: modern military miniatures may be shown in the heat of battle, charging, or even injured, dying, or dead.
Modern Britains Toy Soldiers
For decades, W. Britain focused production on agricultural toys and plastic toy soldiers. In 1983, however, they introduced a new kind of metal toy soldier. These soldiers were diecast metal figures and were again meant to be toys for kids. Interest from adult customers, however, shifted the market for these new metal toy soldiers. By 1987, these metal toy soldiers were officially considered collectors’ items and they are the toy soldiers that W. Britain produces today.
The Process of Making a W. Britain Toy Soldier
W. Britain Collections
W. Britain doesn’t limit their pieces to fighting scenes or to specific time periods. They also offer a Jane Austen collection for the reading enthusiast. Their Petticoats Collection traces women’s fashion over time and is an excellent counterpart to figures from the Redcoats and Bluecoats collections. W. Britain even makes a number of 15th century knights. W. Britain metal figures are available both in sets and individually so that you can quickly start your collection or tailor your own set.
Whether you are starting a new toy soldier collection or adding to your army, we have the toy soldiers for you. Browse our extensive collection of W Britain Toy Soldiers now.