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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Timpo - Toy Soldiers

Timpo was a British firm started in 1938 and in production until 1978. Its name stood for Toy Importers. Their figures were famous for having detachable weapons and parts, aka swoppets. Some were manufactured with similar techniques as the Britians Super Deetail, using plastic of different color on the same figure. Timpo made a wide range of figures but only a small set were focused on WWII. After bankruptcy, its assets were purchased by Toyway.

Timpo British 8th Army - Part 1
As you can see, these guys have nothing to do with the more typical Timpo swoppet figures. I suspect these might have been made before they switched to that stayle. These guys remind me a bit of the Cherilea guys, particularly the machine gunner. They are also on the taller side of 54mm figures. This set contains who appears to be one of three Monty guys in my collection.

Timpo British 8th Army - Part 2
These guys are not my favorite figures. There are two things that I don't quite like. They are standing too upright and their facial expressions could have used a bit more work. Some of their faces look more like skulls.

Timpo British 8th Army - Part 3
Here are a few vintage figures with some original paint still on them. Notice how they were also cast on a darker plastic color, which I actually like better than that of the newer recasts. 

Timpo French Foreign Legion - Part 1
A set with very few poses. The poses are actually fairly acceptable, although in terms of detail, the faces are not the best. They seem to have been sculpted by the same hand that made the B8A figures. Not sure wha period they were meant to represent, but I like the fact that they have equipment which could pass for WWII era, including the white kepi. WWII legionnaires fought in the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East. They even fought on opposite sides in the Syrian campaign of 1941.

Timpo French Foreign Legion - Part 2
This is a vintage figure. Apparently they came factory painted and you can still see traces of the original colors on this figure. Unfortunately this legionnaire seems to have lost his rifle, but he is still ready to throw a grenade.

Timpo / Lone Star ANZAC Infantry - Part 1
Again, these are not typical Timpo figures. In fact they were originally produced by Lone Star and today you can buy them under the Timpo name. The sculpting on these figures is a bit coarse, but it's nice that they provide a bit more variety and poses. Luckily they are also wearing a tropical uniform. I am sure that once they are painted they will blend in acceptably with the Airfix guys. This set includes an officer with a cap, which looks a bit more official than the Airfix commander that comes with the Australian guys.

Timpo / Lone Star ANZAC Infantry - Part 2
This other set contains a bazooka guy, which is a welcome heavy weapon addition, as well as a radio man, which is also not present in the Airfix set. These  guys are sold in a blister pack which is branded as both Lone Star and Timpo, so if you look for them you might find them under either brand but as I mentiuoned earlier, they were originally released by Lone Star.

Timpo / Lone Star British Naval Infantry - Part 1
These are recast figures of the Lone Star British Naval Infantry. They are pretty much the same poses, except for the fact that they do not have any factory paint on them, and that they are made of a more resilient plastic which does not break. Now that I have found these guys, I will not paint my original/vintage Lone Star figures and paint these newer recasts instead. 

Timpo / Lone Star British Naval Infantry - Part 2
Out of the original nine Lone Star figures Timpo recast 8 of them. The guy who is missing is the helmsman, however I did not really have much use for him as part of a raiding party, so it's not like I will be missing him much, 

Timpo US Infantry - Part I
These are the nicest among the Timpo figures that I have seen. There are quite a few poses for this set -probably close to 20- Unfortunatley I only have a handful. They are hard to find. I found this guy going through a big toy solider bin at a Toy Soldier Show. 

Timpo US Infantry - Part II
Here are two more guys that I managed to get by chance when I bought a lot of mixed soldiers. They used to be factory-painted but as you can see, most of the original paint is gone.

Timpo US Infantry - Part III
Here is another batch of Timpo GIs with some more color on them. I find the sculpting quite good in terms of the poses. The level of detail could be finer, but they are still quite well done for their time. For instance, take a look at the man running with the sub mg. That is a very nice pose. 

Timpo US Infantry - Part IV
And a few more. Note that the radio man is also featured here. I could have removed the other pic, but since it is a close up I figure it's worth leaving it there. I should also point out that these figures were later reissued but a company called UNA. You can tell them apart because the UNA figures have the company name stamped underneath.

Timpo US Infantry - Part V
The latest Timpo GI. Not a very exciting pose. He seems to be carrying a suitcase with a blanket roll attached to it. The strange thing is that it also has a backpack with a blanket roll on the back, so I am not really sure what the suitcase is or why he would have two packs. The paint quality on this figure is still very good. And BTW, note that this paint color scheme is different.

Timpo US Infantry - Part VI
Here is yet another Timpo guy. He looks like a mortar or artillery crew member. I don't think Timpo made any artillery sets, so most likely he is the former, but then again, I would expect him to he holding a mortar shell in that case. So I am not really sure what he is supposed to be operating. He came in a large batch of mixed figures, so I don't have any other context to guess from. If you know, leave a comment!

Timpo US Infantry - Part VII
This is an interesting pose. It seems to have been made in slightly different variations over quite a few versions of the Timpo GIs, boing back to the day in which they were still made in metal. This one is one of the more recent ones. Unfortunately I do not have the stretcher bearers.

Timpo US Infantry - Part VIII
Here is the rest of the stretcher team, with a good amount of the original paint still on them, which is nice so that we can still see the armbands designating them as medics.

Timpo US Infantry - Part IX
A couple of heavy weapons guys a kneeling rifle man. I was lucky enough to find the mortar to go along with the figure.  

Timpo US Infantry - Part X
Two infantry men and an MP guy (in the middle). Note how some of these poses are repeated in the Reisler figures, like the guy on the right. He's actually one of the Timpo guys displaying the most movement, which I always like.

 Timpo Divers
Not sure what nationality they represent. These type of subs were mainly used by the Italians, but it's possible that they also represent British divers, after all, Timpo was a British firm. A decent set. The mini sub is made of a pretty light plastic, and it is hollow, which makes it feel even lighter. The oxigen tanks are removable, but the rest of the figures is one piece. The colors are not painted, but is the plastic's original color, which suggests that this was an item made in their later years. 

Click here to see some Timpo Swoppet figures

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