Christmas Toys Toy Soldier Seller 1947

Toy soldiers for sale Petticoat Lane Market London Christmas 1947

You can see the whole offcut of Pathe Newsreel Christmas Shopping 1947

Difficult to get a good clear close up on moving film.

These at first sight appear to be hollowcast lead figures, sold boxed in the market – hard to identify, but they could be Crescent or copies. However, after checking a few sources in response to a comment by Alan Gruber, in 1947 they were probably solid cast or homecast scrap metal.

Classic playset arrangement mixture of scales in some boxes of big figures, smaller horses.

Hopefully they cheered a small boy for Christmas 1947!

Brian Carrick of the Collecting Toy Soldiers blog has found some more Pathe Newsreel toy soldier related films here:

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, July 2020.

B.P.S. Blog Post Script

In response to Alan Gruber’s question: “Do we know how toy soldier production was affected by the war and was it much better by 1947? The dolls look home made and I wonder if there was much of a market in cheap copies? Would it be hard to have got hold of metal anyway? A most enjoyable clip,thanks for posting it.”

Many of the Britain’s toy companies including Britain’s (1941) shut down toy production due to a scarcity of suitable metal and shifted to munitions war work. Postwar for a number of years, much of the metal available was for export manufacture of figures to the US and world markets, rather than home market. Hollowcast production did not widely resume until about 1949.

In Christmas 1947, these figures being sold in the market may well have been scrap metal home casts or solid copies. The boxes look unmarked.

Here is more detail from a small section from the wonderful Norman Joplin’s colourful and inspiring The Great Book of Hollowcast Figures.

Taken from Norman Joplin’s The Great Book of Hollowcast Figures

For more on wartime and postwar toy improvisation read these two posts about Alfred Lubran’s DIY wartime 1940s Toys – an unusual ‘Character’