Sunday, January 31, 2016
Jean Hoefler - Figures
Jean Hoefler is a German firm started in Furth, Germany in 1923. It was founded by three brothers, George, Leonard, and Johann Höfler - it is not clear to me where the name Jean comes from. The firm had its origins in the manufacturing of sheet metal products, and while the other two brothers broke away to produce other consumer goods and tools, Johann focused on making tin toys. In the 50's, Johann's son Ernst took over and shortly after moved away from tin into plastic. The range of toys that they produced was large, and it's possible that they are better known for their cars, than their toy soldiers, particularly the red, ride-on 'bobby' car. In terms of toy soldiers, they covered a good range of periods, such as medievals -including some nice siege machines-, cowboys and indians, US Cavalry, Napoleonics, Astronauts, and of course, some WWII figures. They seem to have been popular during the 80's when they were one of the few firms making these figures. In terms of WWII figures in particular, I am only aware of their US GIs. Let's take a look at them.
Jean Hoefler US Infantry
These are five out of the eight poses made by Jean Hoefler. I have also seen them in dark green plastic. The missing guys are a bazooka man, a heavy machine gunner, and an officer leading on his men. The sculpting is fairly good, both in terms of the level of detail and the movement in the poses - aside from the guy who is just standing around. I don't know if the figures came factory-painted or if a prior owner painted them. Overall a nice set. It would have been nice if they had made some Germans to go against them. Being a German firm, it's likely that they decided to side-step that land mine.