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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Lido - Toy Soldiers

Lido was a US firm started by two brothers named Arenstein in 1947. According to O'Brien's book on Collecting Domestic Toy Soldiers, it was an independent firm until it was sold in 1964. Since then its molds changed hands many times. In the mid 70s one of the brothers bought back the surviving molds and resumed production under the name Joy Toy which survived until 1990. In the recent years they were owned by Processed Plastic and the Lido figures were sold under the Tootsie Toy brand. In 2005 they went out of business and it is not known to me who owns the molds at this time. In terms of WWII Toy soldiers they are probably best known for their 60mm GIs, however they also produced some 54mm sets, such as German and Japanese Infantry. The Japanese in particular are very rare and expensive.
Lido 54mm GIs - Part I
I recently found these GIs on eBay. They did not indicate the manufacturer, but I could tell that they were vintage so I got them (not to mention that the guy throwing the rock is a very unique pose!), assuming that I would be able to track down the manufacturer later. Well, I spent almost a whole afternoon trying to identify them and could not figure it out. It was thanks to one of our readers who left a comment that we now know that they are early Lido GIs.

Lido 54mm GIs - Part II
The rest of the 8 figure set. The guy with the knife is a bit intereting. It resembles the pose with the rock quite a bit, but it's not quite the same. The guy in the middle seems to be lacking in terms of the action dimension. The officer is a decent way to wrap up the set. 

Lido 60mm US Infantry - Part I
This is another old set. Originally made in the mid 1950s, although continued to be recast and cloned over the years. Even these guys are from several different batches, even though I bought them all together. Note how they do not have any bases, and yet they are quite stable.

Lido 60mm US Infantry - Part II
Some of the Lido figures were copies of Marx figures. I think the guy on the left is one of those. 

Lido/Marx 60mm US Infantry - Part III
Some more guys. I bought them as Lido, but even if they are Lido, they seem to be recasts/clones of the Marx GIs.

Lido 60mm US Infantry - Part IV
Here are a few more alleged Lido guys. They came with the rest of the set, but I have not been able to determine their origin.

Lido/Marx 60mm US Infantry - Part V
These guys are some of the same poses, as those already show above, but they have a smooth helmet, without netting, and are slightly taller.

Lido German Infantry - Part I
These guys are pretty rare. The poses are fairly decent and a bit less common. There are a couple other poses out there that I am trying to get my hands on. The three with color on them were painted by a previous owner, but they used to come in plain grey. The guy on the right is operating a flamethrower. The original figure used to have a flame at the tip, but this one is missing it.

Lido German Infantry - Part II
Here is a close up of the two guys in their original color. As you can see, they are well detailed, down to the facial expressions. The main thing that jumps out as being a bit off is the machine gun that the man on the left is holding. 

Lido German Infantry Hong Kong Clones - Part I
I recently found the whole set of Lido Germans. They are not originals, but at least I got all 8 poses. 
One of the 'new' poses is the second guy from the right. Not my favorite one though. He is about to throw a grenade, but he is in a very awkward position, and the greande is not even German. 

Lido German Infantry Hong Kong Clones - Part II
The other two new poses are the ones on the left. Another grenade thrower -with a real German grenade and a man engaged in hand to hand combat. These two are much better and round up the set nicely.

Lido German Infantry Hong Kong Clones - Part III
Since they are clones, I wanted to show them next to the original figures to show the difference in size. Since the molds are generated from actual figures, some shrinkage is innevitable as you can appreciate from the picture.

Lido Japanese Infantry - Part I
Here are four of the six poses that I am aware of. These guys are really ahrd to find and if you do find them, they can be quite expensive. I got lucky with them, even though I did not find the full set. The scultpting and the detail are OK. Not the best, but decent enough. Given how rare they are, I am debating whether to paint them or not...

Lido Japanese Infantry - Part II
Here is one more pose. It is interesting that the shape of his helmet resembles that of a German soldier. Not sure what to make of that. He might be better suited to serve as a Chinese officer. The only one missing at this point is a man firing his rifle while advancing.

Lido Japanese Infantry - Part III
I think these are the last two poses. Unfortunately both of them are a bit broken. The man on the left is just missing the tip of the rifle. The officer on the right is missing a hand in which he was holding his binoculars. I'll probably end up painting them in which case I will try to repair them as the fix will be less noticeable. Even in this state, I was hapy to run into them, as they are very hard to find and also got them at a great price compared to what they regularly sell for in better condition. 

Click here to see some painted German Infantry
Click here to see a post about other GIs
Click here to see a post about more GIs
Click here to see a post about even more GIs
Click here to see a post about GIs in action
Click here to see a post about US Armor

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