Royal Sussex Regimental Society to Exhibit at the East Coast Toy Soldier Show & Sale


Photo courtesy of Janice Wolk

Photo courtesy of Janice Wolk

With the realization that our show is more than strictly a  “toy soldier show”, it’s our mission to attract a vast and varied group of exhibitors to our show.

While this year’s show theme is “History Comes Alive with Toy Soldiers.” Nothing adds more to the historical military atmosphere of our show than reenactors.

Exhibiting for the first time at our show is the Royal Sussex Regimental Society. Members of the society will be in uniform to field questions, pose for photos and add a bit of living history to the show. Please click this highlighted text for more information on the Royal Sussex Regimental Society.

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Barclay’s Mystery No. 50 Ambulance


Mystery Unnumbered (unmarked) Ambulance

A collector friend of mine, Steve Sauchelli, ferrocollect@gmail.com, turned up what appears to be an unnumbered (unmarked) version of the Barclay large ambulance #50. Both ambulances are exactly the same size and share the same front grill, window, and side curtain details.

However, crosses on the unmarked version are inverted instead of embossed. Also, the unmarked ambulance does not have the three small bars on it’s underside, near the rear opening of the front casting sprue hole, as the marked version does. The unmarked ambulance is not marked in any way. Paint and rubber wheels appear identical on both ambulances.

Barclay unmarked Ambulance unique details:
1. Cross on each side is inverted.
2. Does not have the three small bars at rear opening of front casting  sprue hole.
3. No lettering of any kind.
4. Paint appears to have a gray undercoating.

Barclay No. 50 Ambulance

Numbered Ambulance unique details:

1. Cross on each side is raised.
2. Has three small bars at rear opening of front casting sprue hole.
3. Is marked (embossed) “Made USA” on its right rear fender bottom.
4. Is marked (embossed) “Barclay #50″ on its left rear fender bottom.


Unmarked Ambulance bottom

Steve says…..  if the unmarked toy turns out to be original….  since it is undercoated, and I’m guessing that would be so the white paint adheres better…..   was that a standard production operation?  If not, and this was done special, could this be a prototype or a salesman’s sample?  This kind of puzzle is one of the things I enjoy most about the hobby.     —Steve

Barclay No. 50 Ambulance bottom

I think the unmarked version is a very early version of Barclay’s No. 50. As lettering could only have been added later to the mold. As for the crosses: the inverted cross would be more difficult to hand paint? The mold could have been easily reworked so the castings produced from it would have raised crosses. I’m at a loss for the reason why three thin bars were added to its underside.  But what’s your take on this ambulance? Feel free to share your thoughts with us.

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Toy Soldiers and More at the East Coast Toy Soldier Show & Sale, Sunday November 1st.


Here’s a snapshot taken at one of our recent past shows. Although it shows a very small portion of the show,  we hope it will help coax those who’ve never attended the East Coast Toy Soldier Show to visit the show this coming November 1st.

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The Toy Soldier Museum’s Fall Open House


Britains sculptor Ken Osen (l) with Jim and  Britains managing director Richard Walker  (r) at the April 2009 Open House.

Britains sculptor Ken Osen (l) with Jim and Britains managing director Richard Walker (r) at the April 2009 Open House.

Every spring and fall, Jim Hillestad’s Toy Soldier Museum hosts an Open House with good food, entertainment, and great sales on toy soldiers.  You’re invited!

Next Open House & Cellar Sale, Saturday, October 31.  The day before the East Coast Toy Soldier Show & Sale — make a weekend of it!  Special guests for the fall Open House include John Jenkins from Hong Kong, Thor Johnson of the St. Petersburg Collection, Martin Ritchie, Richard Walker Managing Director of W. Britain, and Sam Watson of the Irish Toy Soldier Museum in Belfast, Ireland.  Hours are 10 – 4. For directions call Jim Hillestad at 570 629-7227, or for complete information including directions click this highlighted text to visit The Toy Soldier Museum’s web site

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Daniel Morgan’s Rifle Company & John Lamb’s Artillery Company To Participate at The East Coast Toy Soldier Show


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Daniel Morgan’s Rifle Company and John Lamb’s Artillery Company are modern reincarnations of units which fought as members of the Continental Army during the American War for Independence.

The two companies are member units of the Brigade of the American Revolution and of the Continental Line and the artillery company is a member of the British Brigade. These are umbrella organizations devoted to reenacting the Revolution.

Both units are actively recruiting new members and will be participating at our show in authentic Revolution dress, such as typical riflemen’s broad brimmed hats cocked up on the left side, shirt and rifle frock, trousers and shoes or moccasins. Artillerymen wear uniforms of blue faced buff wool regimental coats, buff weskits and knee breeches.

Their participation in our show, proves that our show is more than a toy soldier show. It’s an event where history comes alive.

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Announcements | Sep 18

Barclay’s F.T.-17 Renault Tank


Barclay Renault Tank

Barclay Renault Tank

Many American Dimestore companies produced toy versions of tanks, but none compared to the variety produced by Barclay. Barclay manufactured six versions of tanks. All of their designs generally resemble real-life tanks, but only their pre-WWII version of the Renault F.T.-17  tank comes close to being an accurate model of a real tank.

The Renault F.T.-17 weighed seven tons, traveled at 6 mpg, carried a two-man crew and one machine gun. It was the first tank to be fitted with a revolving turret.  From 1917 Renault tanks saw action in just about every war and even served in the Finnish-Russian War, and were used by some nations during the early part of WWII.

Barclay’s Renault tank was a highly detailed model of its real-life counterpart. It measured 4″ long x 1 1/4″ wide x 1 3/4″ tall, in Dimestore Khaki color. Sometimes found with yellow, silver or khaki painted turret. It’s found in two distinct casting variations, one unmarked (early version), and one marked “Barclay #47.”

Today,  American Dimestore tanks can still be found, although not as frequently as soldiers. Dimestore tanks as well as other dimestore vehicles often turn up at very reasonable prices. But because of their great play value, they are often found in poor shape, usually missing wheels or broken guns.

The above Barclay Renault tank  was manufactured by us (VintageCastings)  using the original Barclay factory production mold that we own.  It has Barclay’s original embossed mark:  ‘Barclay #47′ on it’s right rear.

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Great Tips to use When Visiting a Toy Soldier Show


Selling floor action at The East Coast Toy Soldier Show & SaleI’m always looking for new useful tips and suggestions I can use when visiting toy soldier shows. Suggestions I can use to make my visits more enjoyable. But most of the information I read about toy soldier shows, that is posted on forums, chat rooms and blogs, are previews and reviews about the merchandise and goodies found at shows. Not shopping or buying tips. So it was refreshing to visit Bunker Talk’s recent post on Hobby Shows and read the bunkermeister’s good common sense insights and tips on getting the most out of a hobby show.

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March of the Toy Soldiers


Spencer Morgan

Photo Courtesy of Spencer Morgan

When ever I’m interviewed by the media one standard question they never fail to ask is: “Why do adult men collect toy soldiers?”, and my standard reply is: “Because they (toy soldiers) act like a bridge
to our past; a bridge to our childhood.”

I guess that’s a pretty accurate answer because so many men share a similar response. Oh sure, there’s the history aspect of toy soldiers. As they reflect all era’s of history in miniature, but
for most of us it’s the warm childhood memories of playing with toy soldiers that keep us collecting.

Collecting toy soldiers; picking them up; holding them in our hands; arranging them in table top dioramas, and even sharing toy soldier conversations with our fellow collectors help us to escape from our day-to-day concrete and electronic world and return us to our childhood.

And so goes a recent article in The New York Observer about Bill Jackey who rediscovered toy soldiers about 12 years ago and has since collected an army of 10,000.
Read more…

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Female soldier 1/35 military figures


These are female military figures createed by Kiyoshi Tsuda of Aurora Model in Japan. Photos and More information at their website

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Welcome To The World Of Comic Book Toy Soldiers


If you are like me and remember the colorful comic book advertisements for Toy Soldier Sets that ran on the back pages of most typical comic books back in the 1950s through the 1980s then you’ll enjoy visiting WELCOME TO THE WORLD Of COMIC BOOK TOY SOLDIERS. It’s a great site with cool links and little known information on those plastic toy soldiers and figures that I always wanted, but, when I was a kid, I just didn’t have the money to buy them.

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