Toy Soldiers

Simon Clark
Toy soldiers have played a significant role in the history of toys since the days of ancient Egypt, reflecting real-world realities of the times in which they were produced. Written as a primer for toy soldier collectors, both new and experienced, as well as for those wishing to relive childhood memories, this highly illustrated volume conveys the reader from the early origins of toy soldiers to the so-called ‘golden age’ of the 1930s, then through the austerity of World War II and early post-war years to the plastic revolution of the 1960s. It moves on to look at the reintroduction of the traditional toy soldier in the 1980s and 90s and the emergence of the bespoke military miniature and commercial connoisseur ranges by the likes of King & Country, First Legion and similar makers, before ending with a brief examination of the future of the toy soldier. Brief histories of the major toy soldier makers both past and present are included, and most of their most prominent products are examined and evaluated in some detail. Useful hints on identifying and buying toy soldiers, as well as practical information on the storage and display of your toy soldier collection, how to start a collection and where to buy toy soldiers are also included in this meticulously researched work.
Toy Soldiers by Simon Clark

About the author

Simon Clark has been collecting toy soldiers since the early 1960s. This collecting bug culminated in amassing a world-class collection of Napoleonic figures (over 5,000 individual pieces). Following a twenty-year career in human resource management, Simon changed direction and began his dream job working as Military Figure Consultant and Cataloguer for Vectis Auctions in 2003, a role in which he continues to this day.

Simon and toy soldiers feature in two episodes of the recently broadcast ten-part Yesterday Channel TV Series: ‘Scouting For Toys’(a year in the life of Vectis Auctions), which premiered in the UK in 2022. Currently focussing on completing a collection of Napoleonic militaria and antiquarian books, Simon lives in North Yorkshire with his wife and youngest daughter.

Press Reviews

An excellent introduction to the hobby for new collectors, as well as a very readable reference for more experienced enthusiasts.
Every budding or hardcore collector should have a copy of this hardback volume on their bookshelf.

- George Phillips, Toy Soldier Collector issue 114