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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Benbros - Toy Soldiers

Benbros was a British toy firm based out of Walthamstow. As the name suggests, it was founded by two siblings, Jack and Nathan Benenson. Even though the firm was founded in the late 40s, it did not adopt the Benbros name until 1951, and it continued to operate well into 1965. Benbros was not just a toy soldier manufacturer. They also made metal die cast models of cars and farm equipment which they released under several brand names such as Zebra Toys, Qualitoys, TV Series, and Mighty Midgets. In terms of toy soldiers, they made both lead toy soldiers and later on, plastic figures. Their range included cowboys and indians, Robin Hood and his merry men, British Grenadier Guards, and Modern British Infantry figures among others. Speaking of the British Modern Infantry set, at some point it appears that Timpo sold its plastic molds to Benbros which has lead to some confusion about who made what figures. The situation is more confusing because many of Timpo's figures are the same as Herald's and UNA's. I am not sure if they also purchased the same molds, or if they cloned each other's figures, but the result is that there are several makers of the same figures which sometimes makes it challenging to identify their origin. I only have a couple of Benbros figures in my collection. Let's check them out. 

Benbros Modern British Infantry
These are reproductions of the Timpo/Herald/UNA British Infantry. Their most notable characteristic is that they don't appear to come factory painted as the Timpo/Herald/UNA guys did. Other than that, they look much the same.

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