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Saturday, August 9, 2014

DGN "Army Guys" - Toy Soldiers

DGN seems to be a Chinese firm who recently released a series of WWII figures. They come in tubes labeled "Army Guys" and are distributed by a firm named D&D Distributing-Wholesale, Inc. According to Stad's site, DGN stands for Dounghan-Guandong Niunght, although no matches come up when you search for that name. There are 8 such sets of "Army Guys". Each tube contains 17 pieces which translates into about 15 figures (plus or minus 1), a flag, and a base for the flag. Unfortunately what you get in each tube is a random selection of poses, so it might take several tubes to be able to collect all 12 poses for each country. Some of the figures, like the British, seem to be heavily inspired by earlier manufacturers, but aren't clones. Others, like the French, seem to be entirely new poses. A few things that I don't quite like is that most of their weapons seem to be oversized, also some of the figures seem to be a bit short or underscale, and lastly, the material is very light, and feels a bit brittle. However, the fact that they have included some nationalities which tend to be under-represented is a nice plus. Having said that, let's get to it and take a closer look at them.

DGN British Infantry - Part I
As you can see, this set is heavily influenced by the British 8th Army Matchbox figures. However, when you compare them side by side, you realize that they are originally sculpted, but there is not mistaking that the sculptur tried to replicate the original. 

DGN British Infantry - Part II
The weapons are definitely different. Some of them are larger, and some of them are missing the bayonet at the tip of the rifle, which several of the Matchbox guys have. 

DGN British Infantry - Part III
Overall, this is a pretty solid set. Not very original, but fairly decent if you were not aware of the Matchbox figures. Good poses and good level of detail.

DGN French Infantry - Part I
This is a nice set to have given the scarcity of French infantry figures. The man firing the bazooka is an interesting pose. I don't believe that this weapon existed at the early stages of the war, when the French troops still wore their original uniforms. Nonetheless, it is a welcome addition my the Frech army, as they would otherwise not have such a heavy weapon.

DGN French Infantry - Part II
As you can tell, the poses are also varied and decent. The scale of the weapons is my main concern with them. For instance, look at the size of the Bren gun's magazine, or the grenade that the man on the left is holding.  

DGN French Infantry - Part III
The prone man firing the machine gun the worst case of how some of the weapons are out of proportion. In this case, the gun is almost as long as the man's body. Partly, this is also because his lower body is shorter than it should be. As far as the bugler, he seems more adequate for a WWI set, which makes me wonder if these guys were copied from a WWI set that I might not be aware of. The uniforms could certainly pass for WWI era dress style. BTW, note that I only have 11 poses. There might be a 12th pose out there, but these are all I got after buying two tubes. 

DGN German Infantry - Part I
This is one of the weakest sets. The figures are under scale and the detail is not what it could be. For instance, the shape of the helmets is definitely not the distinctive German style. While they did try to add the ledge at the bottom, it did not turn out quite right. The bipod on the kneeling machine gunner is also quite large and the barrel a bit short. 

DGN German Infantry - Part II
Here you can also see how some of the figures are quite short, particualrly the grenade thrower. The mortar man also poses a bit of a challenge when it comes to getting him to stand straight and not fall over.

DGN German Infantry - Part III
These are the best poses when it comes to head gear I think. Only the sub mgs are a bit on the larger side. Other than that, these figures are fairly decent. This is another set for which I only have 11 poses.

DGN US Infantry - Part I
The US Infantry seems to be among the best -if not the best- proportioned of all these sets. Again, some of the figures seem to be inspired by Matchbox figures, although they are still originals. 

DGN US Infantry - Part II
These guys do not have the over-sized weapon problem that the other sets do. I particularly like the machine gunner here.

DGN US Infantry - Part III
See the strong resemblance with the Matchbox GIs?

DGN Italian Infantry - Part I
This is a welcome addition to the scarce WWII Italian figures available up to date. The prone guy has a strong resemblance with the Airfix guy. The others seem to be originals. The mortar guy is a bit hard to stand as it keeps falling over. 

DGN Italian Infantry - Part II
The officer in this set clearly resembles the Airfix officer. The other guys also appear to be originals. The head dress that they wear matches that of the Waterloo 1815 El Alamein Division. The weakest figure here is the prone machine gunner. His left arm is too short and he does not rest on the ground entirely.

DGN Italian Infantry - Part III
The rest of the set. Not much to criticize here. These guys appear to be Bersaglieri, based on the plume that they have on the left side of their helmets.

DGN Japanese Infantry - Part I
This set seems to be a fairly unique set in the sense that only a few of the figures seem to be influenced by prior sets -Airfix in this case. A few of the other poses have a very vague resemblance to the ESCI guys, but it is questionable. The rest of the poses seem to be originals. The man on the right for instance is a sniper which will be a good addtion to my Japanese army since I do not have any so far. 

DGN Japanese Infantry - Part II
The size of the figures is also a bit on the shorter side, but considering that the Japanese were also smaller, this does not seem to be an issue. Here we have a couple of Airfix look-alikes. 

DGN Japanese Infantry - Part III
Another two more Airfix-like figures, and two originals. I just wish these guys were displaying a bit more action. I am not a big fan of guy who are just standing around. 

DGN Soviet Infantry - Part I
These guys all seem to be originals as far as I can tell. They are a fairly decent set in terms of detail and proportions. Some of the poses are a bit 'funny' though. For instance, the guy on the left is aiming too low. I suppose he could be placed in the upper floor of a building. The other guys in this first picture are OK. In fact, I quite like the two on the right. 

DGN Soviet Infantry - Part II
My favorite guy here is the officer. Very nicely sculpted and good body language. The grenade thrower's arm is posed at a funny angle, but other than that, these four guys make a nice batch.

DGN Soviet Infantry - Part III
These are my least favorite poses. I don't really like how they are standing. The best part is that they are all carrying sub mgs, but I don't think they would manage to survive a charge across no-man's land standing that way. 

DGN Chinese Infantry
This was a huge disappointment. I really felt cheated when I received these figures. All they are is a neon green version of the Soviet figures. What made them believe that they would pass as Chinese? Not worth of reviewing at any closer level of detail. 


  1. They look a lot like these... ''202 action figure'' bucket by Hing Fat

    1. The British do look like the Hing Fat guys, but there other guys are more unique.

  2. Fascinating stuff - these seem to have completely passed me by here in the UK? Where are you, and others who have them, finding them, please?


  3. I have seen them online on eBay and also at this site (better priced):

  4. "but I don't think they would manage to survive a charge across no-man's land standing that way."
    Lol, too much vodka.

    1. I had forgotten I wrote that line until you pointed it out. It is a bit amusing :-)

  5. They've come out with new soldiers, ANZAC soldiers. They have true Chinese Soldiers, Chinese Nationalists! I will admit, the Chinese Nationalists do look like VietCong soldiers, or the stereotypical rice farmer, but I couldn't believe it.

  6. Where do I get the Chinese Nationalist and ANZAC? I've seen them on eBay but I cant find them anywhere.
    Link to the only guy Buying these.

  7. Hi!
    Great and correct review. I've got several Soviet and German sets. Here in Russia they are sold in pacakges by 6 different figures - there are total of two sets that make 12 figures. But the suppliers do not guarantee a specific set, so I had to purchase 10 packages of each army to get all the figures certainly. Your review, however, lacks the Australian infantry - which is the best set of figures here in terms of detail and quality (It is almost an exact copy of the Airfix set, except for 1 sitting figure), alongside with the British 8th Army. To summarize, these sets are very good, say 4 out of 5, especially taking into account their price in this country - about 30 cents in USD equivalent per a package of 6 figures. And in detail they may be even better than the recent Airfix sets, which standard has recently dropped compared to 1970s, for example. By the way, Hing Fat also sells here sets of pirates, knights, ninjas, US Civil War and Independence War, ets. But their quality leaves much to be desired compared to WW2 figures.
    P.S. A French soldier with bazooka is a knock down. Why not a laser gun?