Learn about Britains
Britains was established c1860 by William Britain (1826 – 1906) in northeast London and, in the early 1890s, began to specialize in the manufacture of toy soldiers.
Britain’s son William Britain Junior (1860 – 1933) is credited with having invented the hollow casting process which, and in 1893 applied it to the manufacture of toy soldiers, giving the company a competitive edge.
By 1906 virtually all the toy soldiers in the Christmas catalogue of the London toy store Gamages that supplied toys by mail order all over the world were made by Britains. They were marketed as "English-made", giving them a competitive edge over toys made in Europe.
The hollow cast figures, being of a standard size were ideal for war simulations, and Britains were renowned for the accuracy of uniforms and equipment.
The models were sold in high gloss bright red boxes and having the original packaging adds to the value for a collector.
By the 1960s plastic had become the predominant material of manufacture and in 1966, due to safety regulations and the high manufacturing cost, production of hollow cast figures came to an end. more...