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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Monogram - Toy Soldiers

Monogram used to be a US firm that specialized in scale models, primarily cars, military vehicles, ships, and airplanes. The kind that come in many litle pieces requiring assembly. While vehicles were its main focus it also released several kits of infantry figures. Monogram was founded in 1945 and for a while it was the main rival of Revell, another firm of great tradition in the modeling world. In 1970 Monogram was purchased by Mattel, and ironically, through the years Monogram traded hands again until it ended up at Odyssey Partners who had also purchased Revell and thus the brand Revell-Monogram was formed. In terms of figures, the Monogram guys are supposed to be in 1/35 scale, but I find them to be smaller than traditional 1/35. The poses are nice and diverse, and even though the focus of my collection is figures don't require assembly, a fellow collector had recommended them to me so when I ran across some of these guys already assembled, I decided to get a batch. Let's take a look at them.  

Monogram 1/35 US Infantry - Part I
I recently found these guys on eBay. Some of the poses looked really good. As I mentioned, they are supposed to be 1/35 in scale, but they turned out to be quite smaller. So much that I thought they were 40mm figures until I confirmed that they were indeed sold as part of a 1/35 kit . There are supposed to be 18 figures in the set. I suspect that I have most of them, but maybe I also got a few extra figures from other sets. Like the guy in the middle holding the artillery shell.

Monogram 1/35 US Infantry - Part II
This picture has some of my favorite figures in the set. The mortar team and the bazooka team are very well done. In fact, they are the poses that made me get these figures. I really like how one of the mortar men is lying on the ground while dropping the shell into the tube.

Monogram 1/35 US Infantry - Part III
Here are the rest of the guys. The previous owner painted them with white helmets, but they seem to be part of the same set, although I do wonder about the mortar team. I doubt one set would have had two mortar teams.

Monogram 1/35 US Infantry - Comparison to a 1/32 figure
Here is a shot with a 1/32 figure next to a monogram guy. The 1/32 guy from Italeri is on the smaller side of the 1/32 scale compared with let's say the Conte or TSSD guys, but the Monogram guy still looks quite smaller. I don't think I will be able to use these guys next to my other troops :-(   Maybe they would come handy in a diorama where you need to create the impression of depth, making things appear farther than they really are.

Aurora? 1/35 Soviet Infantry
I bought these guys advertised as Monogram, but an alert reader has pointed out that these guys might be from a set released by a company called Aurora. Just a small sample of what they look like. The sculpting is fairly decent, with nice level of detail and good poses, but they are even smaller than the other guys!

Click here to see other US GIs
Click here to see more US GIs
Click here to see the US Infantry in action


  1. Hi - the Russians are from an Aurora kit of the T34, Monogram's range was exclusively US prototypical stuff from the post war/Korean war era of the 1950/early '60's, while Aurora had a small range of nominally 1:48th scale AFV's, for which the diminutive size of these figures is better suited!

    Also - and I don't want to ruin your weekend here! - telling Monogram 'out of the box' is tricky as they were much copied/licensed at the time, so a lot of same-age clones exist by Pyro, S.N.A.P., UPC and others!!

    Cheers - Hugh

  2. Good feedback. Thanks for letting me know! You probably know a lot more about these kits than I do. I didn't even realize that they were post-WWII figures. I would not be able to determine if they are clones or not..

  3. Ah no!...don't get me wrong, the figures are fine for WWII, it's the kits they came with I was on about! The figures are pre-M16/AR15 family, pre ALICE/PLCE webbing, so look fine for WWII. And some of the vehicles were WWII era, but there were post war things as well.

    It's funny about the Aurora sets - The Russians are - as you point out - quite nice mouldings, as are the British Infantry that came with the Churchill, but the Brit's who came with the Centurion and most of the American GI's and AFV crew are awful little 'blobs'. There were three Japanese who are quite nice but small, and at least two sets of Germans in the same style as the Russians.

    There is a French website somewhere which has them all, but I've lost the bookmark and don't link to it because he kept getting his mates to ask me to, and I hate that!!


  4. I really appreciate the help identifying the figures. I definitely don't want to publish information that is not correct!

  5. I think the the smaller figures were from the older Revell 1:40 scale figures and equipment kits. Some of the figures look like they came out of the Revell H-526:98 GI Battle Action Figure set.i.e. those in the second photo The artillery guy came from this kit The Monogram figures are a mix of 1/35 and 1/32 and this link will show you what came with the set.

    1. Thanks a lot for the additional info! I am not a model collector, so I don't really know many of these details. Appreciate the input!