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Monday, October 29, 2012

Crescent - Toy Soldiers

Crescent is another English manufacturer of what now are vintage toy soldiers. According to Richard O'Brien's Collecting Foreign-made Toy Soldiers, they were founded in the 20's, and initially made lead/metal soldiers. In the 50's they started making plastic figures and they were in production into the 70's. They have a small range of WWII figures, primarly commonwealth troops, and seem to have worked on both 60mm and 54mm. In recent years I have managed to get my hands on a few of their sets. Here's what I have found.

Crescent British Commandos/Paratroops
These are 60 mm figures. I actually don't know for sure if they are Commandos or Paratroops -I've seen them labeled either way- so I plan to use them as both. Once they are painted I think they will fit in well, and having a mortar guy on the unit and another bazooka man can't hurt. For a commando or a Para unit. Of all the Crescent figures on this post, these are the easiest to find.

Crescent 60mm British Infantry - Part I
Crescent also produced 60mm British Infantry figures, and they are a large 60mm set. They apparently came factory -painted and seem to retain the paint relatively well. I believe there are 1 or 2 more poses in the set which I hope to get at some point.

Crescent 60 mm British Infantry - Part II
The officer. A nice action pose. Running into the heat of battle.

Crescent Modern British Infantry
Based on the weapons, these guys seem to be modern British Infantry. They are a bit on the smaller side of the scale for 54mm, but I think that once they are painted they will fight just fin. I particularly like the two guys on the right. Their forward lean makes them good action poses. The two on the left are at the other end of the action pose spectrum.

Crescent 'Movables' British Commandos
These guys are analogous to the Britians Swoppets. You can remove their weapons and body parts to combine them into different poses/figures. In my opinion, the level of detail and realism is not quite there, however due to their uniqueness, they deserve a spot in the collection. I think they came in sets of 7, so there is one missing from this picture.

Crescent British 8th Army
These guys are failry well sculpted for the time when they were made and and come factory painted. I am not sure exactly how many there were in the original set, but this sample gives an idea of what they looked like.

Crescent British 8th Army clones
These guys are 40mm clones made in Hong Kong. I made the mistake of buying them on eBay without checking that they were the right scale. The only bright spot is that it let me realize that there is at least one more pose that I do not have in 54mm - the guy with the sub MG.

Crescent Sikh Infantry - Part I
These are some guys that I have been trying to get for a while. They are 54mm figures. I have seen sets with 6 of them, but I have only been able to buy 3. They are also pre-WWII figures, but as you can see, they should blend in. Also factory painted.

Crescent Sikh Infantry - Part II
One more for the collection. I actually had to get a batch of 20+ mixed figures just to get this one extra pose. I find the figure a bit puzzling. On the one hand he appears to be leading a charge, but in that case, you would expect his expression to be more lively. Perhaps he jut got hit? But then he would be losing his balance, wouldn't he?

Crescent Sikh Infantry - Part III
And one more, with a good deal of original paint left on him.

Crescent Sikh Infantry - Part IV
This is the last one from the set. An action pose, rallying his comrades to move forward. This guy's paint has been touched up by the previous owner, which actually makes his beard look pretty good.

Crescent Soviet Infantry
This set was a real find as it is not easy to come by. To my knowledge there are only 5 poses. The pose on the left is rather original. As you can see they came factory painted.  The level of detail on the sculpting is fairly decent, except for the faces which are a bit dull. All in all, a nice set to have in the collection. 

Crescent WWI British Infantry - Part I
This guy is a British WWI figure, but I think that given the puttees, he might pass acceptably enough for a French WWII trooper. The helmet is different but some French guys actually wore British helmets, so I just need to find a few more of his comrades and they will form up a French unit in my army.

Crescent WWI British Infantry - Part II
Here is another guy from the British WWI set. He has more of the original paint on him, although the tip of his bayonet is broken off. If it were not for the gear on his chest, I think he could easily pass for a WWII French Infantry soldier.

Click here to see more Indian Infantry figures
Click here to see more British Infantry
Click here to see British Infantry in action


  1. Thank you! BTW, I just got the 6th of the Sikh guys. Need to get around to uploading his pic...

  2. Wow amazing!! I havent seen these soldiers in years and years. I do have information for you about the swappits. (The ones with the light green helmets and where you could change body parts and weapons. I loved these soldiers! They were among my favourites. THERE WERE ONLY SIX SOLDIERS and they came with two green plastic trees of slightly higher than the soldiers and broader too so they could hide behind them,an oak and a fir tree of sorts. Sadly I came home one day to find that my mum had got so fed up with all these soldiers lying around on the floor (and there were dozens and dozens) that she had a raid and put a large number of them in the dustbin, on a day the binmen came to empty them! lol Cest la vie! :o(

  3. Thanks for the input! That story that you tell about how you lost your troops is so painful... how unfortunate that the garbage got picked up that same day! Well, maybe you can find yourself a replacement set...

  4. my sister-in-law has found a boxed set amongst her deceased husbands effects, I don,t have all the details yet but in good condition do they have some value?? JJ Belgium

  5. Most likely. Vintage figures can sell easily for about 1-2 dollars a figure. Sometimes up to 5 or even higher, depending on how rare they are.

  6. I have just found a plastic paratrooper whilst digging in the garden. The house was built in 1950 so wondered if you had any idea how old it would be ? It looks the same as one of the paratroopers at the top, still with a red berret on and holding a rifle with a bear-net on the end. ( It is the far right hand side soldier in the top picture). Any ieas from what year.
    p.s. I will keep digging and hopefully find more !

    1. Nice find! According to O'brien's guide on foreing made toys, Crescent began producing plastic figures in 1956 and stopped production somewhere around 1975. So my guess is that it's somewhere around 50 yrs old. Good luck and keep digging!

    2. Thanks for the info, unfortunately I didn't find anymore !

  7. Hi. Re. The Paratroopers/commandos. I had these as a kid but they were painted. And they had Red berets so paras. Never seen them unpainted!

  8. Easy guide: Red berets -paras. Green berets -Marines. Blck berets -infantry. Grey berets -Army Air Corps. Sand coloured -Special Air Service. All the figure sets -Medieval, Wild West and "modern"- had six figures so not hard to complete a set.

  9. All Crescent foot sets are 6 poses ,mounted poses set are 3 poses ,they did mounted poses x the ww1 British ,FFL, Arabs, knights ,RMP or RCM , Indians, cowboys and US cavalry sets

    1. Thanks for the insight. It never ceases to amaze me how much some of you guys out there know!