Collecting model soldiers has been a pastime for well over a century now. Early soldiers were one-dimensional silhouettes known as ‘flats’. These developed into more 3D models and eventually, the likes of Britains and other leading companies developed the hollow cast method where the molten alloy was spun centrifugally into moulds. Nice lead soldiers always sell well at auction but in recent months, plastic warriors have led the auction charge – and none more so than Timpo.

Timpo plastic soldiers are what collectors refer to as ‘swap-its’ because the parts are moulded separately, head, torso, legs, base etc. These parts can then be pushed together to form the model. Timpo models are not the best in terms of accuracy but they are colourful and the range is varied. Arabs on camels can battle Mexicans who can in turn battle crusaders, native Indians and cowboys. Apparently, cowboys with white hats are particularly sought-after. My favourites are the Eskimos who form part of the Frozen North series. These do not have a regular base, instead, they have separate snowshoes to make them stand.

We recently sold a rather nice Roman chariot and a few loose figures (not boxed) for £80.00 plus buyers’ premium.  Not bad for something which cost a few pennies when new!  This was not a one-off, in a previous sale, a tray of loose figures fetched well over £300 plus the buyer’s premium.

If you want to back a winning side in the soldier stakes, you could do worse than send your Timpo into battle at auction with us; it should be an assured victory.

Call 015395 66201 or email info@1818auctioneers.co.uk to find out more about selling with us.