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Military Miniatures Figures of the Napoleonic Wars

toy soldier

The first known toy soldiers appeared centuries ago in ancient Egypt. Early military miniatures, made of wood, stone, clay, or tin, reached a relatively limited audience. By the late 18th century, however, toy manufacturers began to produce toy soldiers in mass quantities, primarily made of lead or composition (a mixture of sawdust and glue). The “little men” depicted the armies of England, America, France, Germany, and their opponents, encouraging youngsters to engage in play that had creative, educational, and patriotic qualities. After World War II, miniature, intricately detailed plastic soldiers made their debut, making the toy widely popular and affordable. Metal soldiers are still available these days, but the high production values and the hand painted uniforms place the figures beyond the means of most child's play. These days, most collectors of military figures are adults with an interest in military history and a penchant for arranging figures to depict every element of a historical battle and the minutest detail of military life.

ManufacturerTrophy Miniatures of Wales
Materialmetal | paint
Object ID116.6361
Credit LineThe Robert C. Postal Toy Soldier Collection, gift of Carole Postal

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