Vintage Britains toy , Union Gatling gun.

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Vintage Britains toy , Union Gatling gun.


Size 10 x 5.5 cm

Company History

The story of the most famous toy soldier company of all time, W.Britain Limited

Whether you have ever collected toy soldiers or not I'm sure all of you reading this, at one time or another, have come across the name William Britain. William Britain, Britains, W.Britain and Petite are just four of the names the oldest and most well-known UK toy company has been known as over the years. The exact moment when William Britain Senior turned his hand from 'Brass Clock Maker,' his original trade, to toy maker is unknown. However what is catalogued is the start of toy soldier production, the business which made W. Britain a household name during the 20th Century.

From 1893 onwards, W. Britain continued to grow and evolve as the hollowcast toy soldier gained in popularity with production only slowing/stopping during the First and Second World Wars. Little changed with the style of the figures (apart from the introduction of the farm series in 1921) until the late 1950s when the introduction of plastic figures from companies such as Herald made Britains sit up and take notice (Britains eventually bought out Herald in 1959). Plastic figures now became the mainstay of Britains business with the metal hollowcast figures finally ceasing production in 1966.