A toy soldier is a caricature or a miniature that genuinely represents a soldier. This miniature represents well-armed, well-disciplined, and well-uniformed soldiers in military forces and further includes pirates, knights, and yeomen of all times. These small troops containing military-like soldiers seem to fight each other in combats. Several variants are available, ranging from only toys to highly developed and manufactured realistic and detailed models.
The realistically simulated models are recent developments to distinguish them from the traditional toy soldiers. Sometimes, dolls and some other military toys are also well uniformed, but generally, they are kept outside from toy soldiers.
These toy soldiers are made from different kinds of materials such as plastic and metal. They have different types like tin soldiers or flats, composition figures, hollow figures, plastic army men, etc. These toys are sold in sets, and they are equally well packed. Plastic toys are sold individually in the market of Europe and Britain. These toys are sold in large boxes often in the USA.
These military figures and toys dating back to ancient Egypt, where they have been found in tombs. These toys even take us back to hundreds and thousands of years before seeing that each culture and ancient civilization fossilize them.
In 1730, in Germany, tin soldiers were made by sandwiching the metal between two hardcore metallic slates. In the 18th century, they were sold like hotcakes because people were genuinely inspired by Fredrick the Great, who was a brave soldier.
In 1990, the manufacturing of painted toy soldiers became highly demanding. Moreover, the art of manufacturing these toy soldiers shifted a great deal from the traditional style of painting to a more elaborative acrylic style, which was more prone to historical accuracy. This revolution in painting toys’ art is credited to the high-quality painted figured from St. Petersburg.
Collection of Toy Soldiers:
Collecting all old and new toys either directly from the manufacturers or some exhibition or dealers is a hobby, many people have adopted now. Apart from this, many well-reputed magazines like Toy Soldier Collector, Plastic Warrior, and Toy Soldier and Model Figure add toy soldiers related news like some auction or exhibition, etc.
The most exciting thing is that some people are interested in a particular period, and they love to collect only those figures representing only that specific era. Still, several others are there who, despite collecting era-specific models, contain models of all generations. Some people add slight modifications to these models, and some peel off-color and add one of their interest.
These toy soldiers are well made, and these models are manufactured, keeping in mind the height of a soldier in millimeters. A standard scale for these models’ height is round, about 54mm or 2.25 inches or 1:32 on the scale, but this scale keeps changing from one manufacturer to another. It ranges from 50mm or 1:32 scale to 60mm or 1:28 scale.
These models are also available in the size of 25 mm or even smaller than that. American figures and even some German models are manufactured in comparatively larger scales: 75 mm or 1:24 plate. Although people play war-games with these smaller toys, yet almost all contemporary players use a smaller scale of 25mm than that recommended by common collectors.
Variety of Toy Soldiers:
These toy soldiers are available in the market, and their availability further depends on their cost, the availability of the material, and the manufacturing technologies. Here is a list of some models and worth collecting figures of all times.
- Aluminum: slush cast aluminum chiefly manufactured in France around the 20th century.
- Army men: Unpainted, well packed with terrain and vehicles and well-manufactured plastic.
- Composition: made of sawdust and glue, mostly in Austria and Germany.
- Connoisseur: high quality, beautifully crafted featuring all detailed marks and arrangements.
- Dime store: manufactured via hollow and hollow iron during 1920-1960.
- Flat: sandwiched model between two hardcore slabs.
- Hollow cast: manufactured through a molten metal reshaped and modified into a model engaging in an open box.
These models were manufactured through various materials such as wood, hard and soft material like metal. Furthermore, they were printed on papers too where they had been seen wandering through forests, mounting on hills, and battling against enemies.
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