Toy soldier

From Academic Kids

A toy soldier may be any of various metal, wooden or primarily plastic figurine toys manufactured to commemorate soldiers who served in any war from the beginning of time to the most recent wars.

Toy soldiers generally come pre-painted or require no painting (i.e., colored plastic figures).

The largest toy manufacturer of this type of toy was the Louis Marx and Company, founded by Louis Marx and producer of very realistic soldiers of great detail. Marx was also noted for his realistic historical figure collections of plastic men and women including the Presidents of the United States collection, the Warriors of the World, Generals of World War II, Jesus and the Apostles, and figures from the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

In Germany, "Elastolin" an "Lineol" figures were made of a composite material consisting of glue and sawdust, with a strengthening skeleton of iron wire. A large range of figures were produced, including Nazi leaders during WWII. See Toy Soldier Gallery (http://www.toy-soldier-gallery.com/).

Two distinct markets exist for toy soldiers: adult collectors (usually expensive metal replicas) and children's toys (usually made of green plastic). These soldiers were made of tin, lead or zinc and these soldiers would represent various time periods such as the American Civil War and the Napoleonic Wars.

One type of toy soldiers is the wooden dolls of British 17th century soldiers with red coats and black shako hats.

The most known type of modern toy soldier is the all-green plastic soldiers. These toy soldiers are usually based on World War II or the Vietnam War. The soldiers appeared in different positions such as rifleman, machine gunner, an officer, a sniper, a bazookaman, scout and others. The soldiers came with accessories including tanks, jeeps, vehicles, artillery, helicopters and buildings. In addition, some soldiers were made in different colors, such as tan or grey to represent an opposing side. They are commonly sold in plastic bags or in plastic buckets.

The playing of games with toy figures, popularized by H.G. Wells, eventually created the modern hobby of miniature wargaming.

Scale for toy soldiers is expressed as the soldier's approximate height from head to foot in millimeters. Because many figures are not standing straight, the height is usually an approximation. Popular sizes include 54mm, 45mm, 28mm, 25mm, and 15mm, which, assuming an average height of about 6 feet for a human male, works out to about 1:32, 1:35, 1:64, 1:76, and 1:144 in scale modeling terms.

See pictures for example: [1] (http://home.att.net/~1.elliott/FootlockerToySoldierSet.jpg), [2] (http://www.toy-soldiers-etc.com/aloosecommandos.jpg) .

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