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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

First Gear - Toy Soldiers

First Gear is a company that currently owns the molds for a few of the original Britians Deetail WWII sets. They have been issuing recasts of German, Japanese, British and US infantry since the mid 2000s. They have replaced the bases of the figures with plastic bases with round ends instead of the traditional square metal bases. They have also given the figures a different paint color scheme, which is more realistic. Britians Deetail would only paint the details on top of the base plastic color. First Gear paints the whole figure. I also read once that Britains Deetail would not use more than 6 colors. First Gear seems to be more flexible in that respect. There is another company in Argentina called DSG that owns the molds for Afrika Korps and British 8th Army. Initially I thought these figures were also produced by DSG, but I recently learned that they are actually made by First Gear. First Gear's figures are much more affordable than the original Britains Deetail figures and even those from DSG.

First Gear US Infantry
These are the rest of the Britains Deetail guys, as they are presently made by First Gear. You can see that they make them in a couple of different uniform color schemes. Note also the difference in the bases.

First Gear German Infantry
These are new production figures of the old Britains Deetail figures. They only make six poses and they have given them bases with round corners. The uniform is painted grey which makes more sense to me than the blue of the originals.

First Gear Japanese Infantry
Recent recasts of the old Britains Deetail figures. They come with round bases and brown uniforms. I actually like the new color scheme better than the original.

First Gear British Infantry
These are recasts of the original Britains Deetail figures produced in the last few years. I find the color scheme better than the original, but I don't like how they paint the eyes that much. Note also that the bases have rounded corners, not that it makes a big difference.

Click here to see a post about the DSG figures

17 comments:

  1. Any idea where to buy First Gear products?

    Thanks for the great site!!!

    Will

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    1. I've bought them in person at local toy soldier shows. Online I've seen them advertised at http://www.battlefieldlegendstoysoldiers.com
      Compared to what I have paid at the soldiers shows, there are probably better deals out there.

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  2. on an aside...

    When I was a kid in the 80's we traveled to England and in an amazing toy store in London they sold these boxed sets of the most beautiful plastic army men I have ever seen. I remember there was a great variety of different nations and eras to choose from. The detail and variety was very good. The depth of relief on the soldiers was better than any others I have seen.

    Do you have any idea who the manufacturer could have been?

    Will

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    Replies
    1. Those sound like fond memories. I suspect they might have been Airfix figures. Or they might have been Matchbox. Both were sold as boxed sets. Both were popular in the 80s. Airfix had a larger variety of nations and periods. Airfix figures are still being produced today. You can check out my posts on Airfix and Matchbox figures and see if you recognize them.

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    2. Wow! There they are in your Airfix posts. I fondly remember my british modern infantry, my Italian WW2 guys and blue Nazis.

      I found the Airfix site and am happy to see they have stuff in production at reasonable prices.

      Do you know off-hand if any of these old sets get remade over the years or if there are ways to buy them?

      And thanks for the help,

      Will

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    3. I know the feeling of running into your old figures. It is almost like running into an old friend. About the recasts, what old sets are you asking about? For Airfix you do get new production figures. For other brands it depends on whether the molds exist today and who owns them. Sometimes you do find 'clones' of those older figures, but of lesser quality. If they are not made today, then you can try to buy them on eBay or other online market places for toys, or at toy shows where they sometimes have bins full of soldiers. Good luck!

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  3. Hello,what ever happened to the moulds for the Britain's Super Deetail 1st Version of the Paratroops?Are they out there somewhere?If not wish some one like Weston could do clones of the poses.Is that possible or are there any legal reasons it couldn't be done?Kuvaszsleepybear.

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  4. No idea. I have been keeping an eye out for those guys but have not been able to find them. I wouldn't know about the legal issues. Perhaps after a certain number of years it might be possible to clone them, like patents that expire? Or perhaps if the original molds do not exist anymore? It would definitely be nice if someone came out with new production figures of those guys.

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    1. Check out Ebay # 130776837178 !!!!!Kuvaszsleepybear.

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    2. Wow... US $2,166.89... that's a bit steep for me. As much as I'd like to lay my hands on them!

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  5. Good news Bad news,I just saw that "Call to Arms" has released a set of 1970's British troops that the poses are based on the Britains Super Deetail Paratroops including the 4 "Lost poses",the BAD news is they are 1/72 but CTA does have a pretty good record of upscaling their sets to 54MM so fingers crossed eh.I REALLY wish companies like Revell who do some great sets in 1/72 would get of the stick and upscale to 54MM.Kuvasleepybear.

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  6. That would be really nice. That's the only way that we are ever going to get our hands on those 4 poses! I really hope they release them in 1/32. Thanks for the heads up!

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  7. I did go crazy once on Ebay and am now proud owner of the "Lost" GPMG figure.Don't ask what I paid!!LOL

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  8. I suspect it was an arm and a leg... However I am familiar with that figure... What does it look like?

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  9. Meant to say, I am not familiar with that figure...

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  10. If you "Google" Call to Arms 1/72 British Paratroopers should get a picture of them on a sprue,he is second figure on left top row walking carrying a GPMG across his waist.Kuvaszsleepybear.

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  11. Got it. And they also show the other 3! Wow... I am really looking forward to the 1/32 version!

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