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Beton / Bergen Pre-War Figures

(a,k,a, World War I Soldiers)

Beton was one of the first companies to produce plastic soldiers.  They began making plastic figures in 1938.   Toy soldiers were made in a variety of poses, in the uniform of the day.  Though sometimes called a "World War 1" figure, the uniform is an interim type from the 1930s. It includes leggings and the flat trench helmet.  A few figures have the earlier puttees.  

As for figures: they are toys.  These could never be called "model" figures due to the offscale and sometimes fantastic elements.  Note, for instance, the massive "submachine gun" with drum magazine.  Helmets and proportions are variable.  Many of the poses are active and exciting.  Boys would have had a lot of fun with the Beton soldiers.  However, there are a few of the less-exciting figures in there.  Beton made saluting figures, the binoculars man and a drummer.  Contrast that with excellent action poses on riflemen and submachine gunners.

As you can see, production varied.  Earlier figures were in two pieces: the figure with pins under each foot, and a rectangular base.  Later figures were made in one piece, with an oval base.  In between, the figures themselves were rescultped several times. This explains differences in detail, pose and size.

Color also varied greatly in Beton / Bergen figures  White figures were cast, supposedly for "winter camouflage."  Occasionally, blue an red figures turn up.  Usually, though, they ranged from medium brown to dark, almost black olive drab.

In the late 1940s, to keep up with the "modern" Army, the figures were given a helmet-swap and new foot gear.

(We do not have all the Pre-War poses yet.  Some of the World War II figures are in the other poses)

Multi-colored figures

Three sizes, some pose

Charging - reciprocal broken rifles!


Rifleman with Gas Mask

Throwing grenade

Kneeling with drum-fed submachine gun

Prone with .30 caliber machine gun

(Ajax and WW2 Tim Mee have similar poses)


Marching - oval base.

Marching - Bergen figure - thin legs

Marching - thicker figure

Click here to see more Beton / Bergen Pre-War Figures

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