DID YOU KNOW?

  • Over 100 firms have produced plastic figures in the UK since 1945.
  • Polythene was invented by accident.
  • There were only about a dozen designers and sculptors creating the figures for these firms.
  • Of these sculptors, one also designed coins, another designed cars, and one also sculpted erotic statues.
  • The major names of the British toy industry were political refugees from mainland Europe.
  • Several of the 'companies' were merely sidelines or hobbies for the owners.
  • Airfix were the first to make plastic soldiers in the UK.
  • Lone Star never made plastic soldiers: they were produced for them by the Harvey Toy Company.
  • One major plastic toy soldier maker had a sales manager who was a hit-man in his spare time.
  • The rarest figure in the world; no-one has ever reported seeing an example.
  • The oldest figures shown in PW were probably made around 1900.
  • Many moulds passed from firm to firm.
  • Spanish plastic figures developed along very similar lines to British plastic figures.
  • Some French figures can be found in lead, aluminium hard plastic and soft plastic - all made from the same moulds.