Copyright 2003 T. Sheil & A. Sheil  All Rights Reserved

Army Men Homepage

Police and Fire Figures

Somewhere in the mix of miniatures are policemen and firefighters.  Their arrival in the playroom as incidental rather than inspired.  Police figures were usually included in civilian figure sets, such as railroad station figures.  There were a very few old figures of police versus criminals.  Fire figures turned up mainly as additional pieces for a toy fire truck.  Boys were more interested in the vehicles than the figures.

 The first popular set of police figures was a playset by Marx.  It was named for, and based upon the popular TV series of the time, "The Untouchables."  The set included figures of undercover policemen, gangsters and two or three uniformed officers.  Its popularity was relatively brief, and the playset was soon overshadowed by military, Wild West and historical playsets.

The next brief boost in police figures was the advent of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) police units.  These policemen were outfitted like commandos rather than law enforcement personnel.  A 1970s television show brought them to the attention of the public, and a few sets of SWAT-type police were made.  They remained at the fringes of plastic figure popularity.  Police and fire figures were mainly sold as accessories packed with toy vehicles.  

The September 11 disaster brought policemen and firemen to the forefront of popularity.  One result was a re-emergence of police and fire figures.  New playsets and figures also appeared.  These sets normally include a few vehicles and pieces of equipment.  Obversely, there are more diecast and metal vehicle sets with include a few fire or police figures as accessories.  


The other realm for police and fire figures is model railroading.  Miniature policeman are common, normally sold among other figures to inhabit stations and platforms.  The poses tend to be rather plain.  The standing policeman and traffic cop are the most common.  Police figures are also made for holiday villages.  

This set of 45mm figures is in a rubber-like plastic, and painted.  Included with some police car sets.

6" figures of "SWAT" policemen.  These look more like soldiers, a typical feature of SWAT officers.

6" firemen in modern equipment.  Note the shorter coats and 'Scott pack" breathing apparatus.  Figures have very realistic poses.

These figures are from a recently-made set by Fishel.  The poses and large heads with thin necks are reminiscent of BMC Alamo and Civil War figures

Recent fire figures by Fishel.  Interesting poses.  Note that stretcher bearing team. Unusual poses include man running with rolled hose, plaster hook and kneeling man with axe.

Stretcher bearers and wounded man are clones of Marx WW2 Infantry figures!

These fire figures by Tim Mee were first issued over 35 years ago.  They are probably the first fire figures to feature the Scott Pack (far right figure).

These Tim Mee Police figures were one of the first sets to include SWAT officers.  There are two officers with baseball-type caps and automatic rifles.  The officer in riot gear wears a fill vest, helmet and gas mask.  Is his helmet a tactical type or the modern Kevlar Army helmet?

This female officer is a first in a set of police figures.

Click here for more Police and Fire Figures

Click here to see photos of Army Men and other toy figures

Click here to return to the Army Men homepage

Click here to visit All Gauge Model Railroading main page