Copyright 2002 T. Sheil & A. Sheil All Rights Reserved
There are many types of plastic soldiers available, and have been many more produced in years past. Only a few are true classics. The soldiers that started it all, and the ones that carried the ball are relatively few compared to hobby figures, playset figures, imports and others. The classics of which I speak were available in every five and ten store, every general store and toy shop. Packed in clear plastic bags with a few vehicles and accessories, the "by the bag" toy soldiers are the genuine item.
Forty+ years later, some of the old ones are hard to find. Only a few remain in production or are recast. At one time, they were the most common toy. Every boy had heaps of them.
The main brands included Lido, Tim Mee, Ideal, Marx, Auburn, Payton and MPC.
Click here for Lido U.S. Infantry
Click here for Marx 60mm Infantry
Click here for Ideal Infantry
Click here for Marx 54mm U.S. Infantry, Set #1
Click here for Marx 54mm U.S. Infantry, Set #2
Click here for the Marx 54mm U. S. Marines
Click here for Marx 45mm Army Training Center Soldiers
Click here for Tim Mee World War II style Infantry
Click here for Tim Mee "M-16" "Vietnam-era" Infantry
Click here for Beton / Bergen Pre-War Soldiers
Click here for Bergen / Beton World War II Soldiers
Click here for Ajax World War II Soldiers
Click here for Premier Soldiers
Click here for Plasticraft Soldiers
Click here for MPC Army Soldiers
Click here for MPC 54mm and 45mm Soldiers
Click here for MPC Ring Hand Soldiers
Click here for Auburn Soldiers
Click here for Crescent brand Soldiers
Click here for Britains Khaki Infantry
Click here for British Paratroopers
Click here for Other British Soldiers
Click here for Home Cast Toy Soldiers
Click here for Comic Books Toy Soldiers and Games
NEW - Click here for Tiny Soldiers and Tanks (H.O. size)
In the next few months, we will be adding more MPC, Tim Mee, Marx 54mm and Auburn.
The standard toy soldier was usually molded in green plastic. A very few were tan, and these were mainly figures from one of the Marx basic training type playsets. On rare occasions, a company might cast some troops in odd colors. one garish example: during the late 60s, Tim Mee produced some of its Cold War G.I.s in day-glow colors. However, the true classic soldier was all about shades of green.
Standard troops sizes ranged from 54mm to 70mm, the exception being Payton's 45mm little troops. The smaller figures were not very popular. Marx 54mm figures were considered the best, although they were more a playset figure than bag soldier. I believe that the type of figures found in any area was a matter of local distribution and availability. Certain brands were more available in some areas than others. My area had plenty of Lido and Tim Mee.
Things were a little different for Canadian, British, Australian and New Zealand kids. Their brands included Reliable, Crescent, Britains / Herald, Johillco and others. The British tradition was to sell soldiers that were fully or partially painted, as opposed to the unpainted troops favored in the US.
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