Britains Toy catalogue, 1979

Featuring toys from the world famous British toy manufacturer William Britain, as seen in the 1979 English, French, and German language mini catalogue. Britains are well known for producing durable and highly detailed painted toy figures, play sets, and vehicles, with sets such as the ‘Deetail’ line being much sought after by collectors in today’s vintage toy market.

On a personal note, as a child, I collected the Britains American Civil War soldiers, 7th Cavalry, Cowboys and Indians, and German Infantry figures. I also had one of the wagon and horses sets, and a selection of farm animals, and one of my brothers had numerous animals from the Wildlife range. This catalogue brings back a lot of happy toy memories 🙂

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In 1893, William Britain perfected the metal hollow casting process that led to the production of hollow ‘cost effective’ lead toy soldiers. This method had already been utilised to some degree by German manufacturers, but it was William Britain that led the way in creating affordable lead toy figures.

In 1959, William Britain purchased the Herald Miniatures toy company which had been successfully manufacturing plastic toy soldiers. William Britain embraced this new method and began producing a wide range of toy soldiers in plastic. By the 1970s, the company became widely known as ‘Britains’. Toys appearing on the market under this name included farm sets and animals, military vehicles and play sets, a space series, and the hugely popular range of  military and Wild West ‘Deetail figures’ with their instantly recognisable metal bases. Today, the company specialises in die cast toy soldiers and accessories, featuring armies from numerous time periods.

TVTA is pleased to present a number of print adverts and catalogue pages featuring the Britains range across the years.

US. FAO Schwarz catalogue 1980/1981

Denmark. 1970.

UK. Hamleys Christmas Book. 1983.

PIF 744. Britains Farm vehicles 1983

France. PIf Gadget. 1983.

Anders. 46. 1984. Britains farm and Deetails.jpg

Denmark. Anders And & Co. 1984/

France. Pif Gadget. 1979.

France. Pif Gadget. 1979.

Britains. De Speelboom. 1987. Netherlands.

More history here: A short history of Britains Toys