Copyright 2004 T. Sheil & A. Sheil  All Rights Reserved

Army Men Homepage

British Paratroopers

During World War II, the British Paratroopers adopted the red beret as their symbol. Paratroopers were elite soldiers within the British Army, used as shock troops as well as airborne infantry.  They shared this special status with another elite group, the Commandos.  In the Postwar era, British toymakers sought to keep abreast of childhood favorites by producing their own versions of Paratroopers and Commandos.  The new releases tended to reflect current trends, those being the 1950s, rather then the World War II standards.  Troops had the Postwar style of uniforms and weapons.  In some cases, designers merely replaced the helmets of other figures with berets!

How well were the Paratroopers received?  Consider the fact that all of the major British toy soldier makers carried a line of paratroopers.

Figures by Crescent exhibit the rectangular stand typical of that brand.  Rifle is supposed to be the SMLE.  Figures include Sten gunner, grenade thrower, charging rifleman and bayonet fighter.  (Missing are a mortar man and bazooka man)

Lone Star figures: commander, rifleman, flamethrower and grenade thrower

Rifleman, charging rifleman, kneeling infantryman and kneeling rifleman.  All three riflemen are almost copies of Herald figures.

Grenade throwing commando, brand unknown.

Click here to return to the main page