Auctions, Soldiers — October 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Old Toy Soldier’s Oct. 19 online-only auction features affordable Britains sets and figures

PITTSBURGH – Toy soldiers and figures have fascinated many successive generations of children, but none more so than the beautifully crafted, colorfully painted productions of W. Britain. The premier manufacturer of miniature figures since 1893, W. Britain is best known for its scale model depictions of military outfits and their encampments from centuries past.

On October 19th, Old Toy Soldier Auctions will host an online-only event through LiveAuctioneers that presents an excellent opportunity for new, younger or budget-minded enthusiasts to start or add to a collection.

The 454-lot auction features Britains manufactured after 1983, with a timeline that stops around 2005. “Everything will sell,” said Old Toy Soldier Auctions’ owner Ray Haradin. “We expect the sets to average around $40 apiece.” Some lots open as low as $5.

The detail on Britains figures is what makes them so popular with collectors. Lot 32, a Britains Set #138 featuring the 17th Purbiah depicts smartly dressed bagpipers with red turbans, black and silver uniforms, and bagpipes with red and yellow-gold trim. The set is estimated at only $80-$120.

Lot 165, a fine 13-piece boxed Britains Set #8857 carries a modest $60-$80 estimate. Lot 446, a similarly estimated Britains Set #48004, Pipes and Drums of the 1st Battalion Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders (79th), includes 13 marching Scotsmen in plaid kilts, some with shakos for headgear.

Britains Set #41115, a boxed Regimental First Aid Post, consists of a Red Cross tent with a sign reading “Capt. Mann, Surgeon” plus figures of the doctor, a nurse, infantryman and two wounded – one on a bed, the other on a stretcher. Very nicely detailed, Lot 325 is estimated at only $20-$40.

Old Toy Soldier’s online-only auction will start at 10 a.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, October 19th, with bidding exclusively through

For information on any lot in the sale, email

View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live online during the auction at