Britains Toy Soldiers: The History and Handbook 1893-2013

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Pen and Sword, Oct 30, 2016 - Crafts & Hobbies - 504 pages
This is the first full-colour history of the world-famous toy soldiers to chart the whole story of their development from Victorian table toy to 21st Century collectable. Prior to 1893 the family toy business of the Britain family was struggling as the toy industry was dominated by German manufacturers and importers. Then came the fateful decision first to import, then to design and manufacture, toy soldiers, an area the German firms were particularly strong in. Britains Toy Soldiers were born and soon their boxes stamped with the slogan 'Best Quality English Make' were being eagerly opened by little boys across Britain and then around the world. The rest, as they say is history and it is all captured here by James Opie, the world's leading expert on the subject, as he lovingly traces the varying fortunes of arguably the most famous British toy company.     Illustrated with lavish colour photographs, many of them featuring items from the author's own collection, the book includes feature sections such as collectors' favourites and prices, high-value and famous sets, artistic highlights, quirks and mysteries. It is without doubt the most authoritative book on the subject and will be welcomed by the thousands of devoted collectors world wide as well as many more with fond memories of childhood battles with these beautiful toys.
 

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Contents

The First Age of Britains Startup 18931900
3
The Second Age of Britains Expansion 19001918
50
Britains Small Size an investigation in detail 1896
65
The Third Age of Britains The Golden Age 1919
81
The Fourth Age of Britains Hollowcast Twilight
121
The Fifth Age of Britains Plastic and Diecast 1953
197
The Sixth Age of Britains Collectors Toys 1983
268
2013
317
Bibliography
2213
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About the author (2016)

James Opie is the toy soldier consultant to Bonham's auctioneers and recognized as one of the world's leading experts on the subject. He has a very significant collection of his own, which he has been building since childhood. For over a quarter of a century, until his recent retirement, James Opie was also editor and buyer for the Military and Aviation Book Society and various other book clubs. He has written seven previous books on various aspects of toy soldier collecting.

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