Wm Hocker | Toy Soldier Resources

The Metal Toy Soldiers of   

  Wm. Hocker, Proprietor

Here follows a list of resources that may be of use to the collector making a foray into the field. This list concentrates specifically on those resources pertinent to the collector of old or new "54mm" cast metal "toy" figures as distinct from other resources that deal with "military miniatures", "composition" and plastic figures or with larger scale "dimestore" cast metal figures. Additional suggestions for the list as well as corrections and dead/updated link notifications are quite welcome. Please email me.

Also a small disclaimer: the people and companies involved in the toy soldier world are an overwhelmingly conscientious and trustworthy lot; inclusion in this list, however, does not imply any guarantee to that effect. Please research independently those with whom you are dealing before any serious money changes hands.

Update note 2020: Maintaining an accurate resource page is a substantial effort, and I have not made that effort for at least 10 years. Many of the links now lead to blank pages or, worse, to unrelated advertising, It is a testimony to the ephemeral nature of the digital world that has replaced the world of things. There is still no digital equivalent of the shoebox of artifacts (toy soldiers come to mind) to be discovered in an attic 100 years hence by our descendants.

Since the list is becoming a bit long you may want to jump rather than scroll to the following subjects: manufacturers, periodicals, books, associations, shows, collections/exhibits, do-it-yourself, shops, mail-order dealers, auctions, other link pages, related subjects.

modified 31 Oct 2011

of 54mm± cast metal toy soldiers and figures currently in production. Accessory makers (backdrops, vehicles, etc.) are listed at the end.

* Honorary member of the American Toy Soldier Maker's Guild (should you wish to collect the work of indigenous hands-on artisans of the craft.)

Grey text indicates gone (but not forgotten) members of the toy soldier community.
  • Allen Hickling Toy Forts, UK
  • HECO Tinplate Models, UK, Tony Williams, tinplate buildings, planes etc.
  • JG Miniatures, UK, John Gittins, buildings, backdrops
  • Metal Shed*, CA, Bruce Hebron, tel: 805-238-1662, vehicles
  • Old Foundry Toy Works, IN, Jason Spangle, accessories & other things
  • Wagons of Wood*, NJ, Don Paulussen, tel: 973-694-2727, vehicles
  • Windows of the World, FL, Gerald Huntley-Williams
  • The William James Collection*, FL, William Miller & James Davidson (gone?)

The most necessary of resources containing information about makers, dealers, shows, books, auctions, articles and available goods.
Hardcopy Magazines:
On-line Periodicals:
On-line Articles:

All have been useful at one point or another and many are absolutely necessary. Most, unfortunately, are probably out of print but may be available through their authors, dealers or at shows.

A much more extensive bibliography is available in the Fall 1998 issue of the Old Toy Soldier Journal.

Also see Brian Carrick's Books page for covers and brief descriptions of many of these books.
  • Stuart Asquith, The Collector's Guide to New Toy Soldiers, Argus Books, UK, 1991
  • Christian Blondieau:
    - Collection de CBG Mignot, Paris, Christian Blondieau, 1993
    -Petits Soldats, Paris, Christian Blondieau,1997
  • Bertel Bruun,The Confident Collector Toy Soldiers Identification and Price Guide, Avon Books, 1994 .
  • W. Y. Carmen, Model Soldiers, World Publishing Company, New York, 1972
  • Christie's South Kensington, The Britains Archive Post-Sale Edition, Christie's, UK, 1994
  • Peter Cowan, Toy Knights "The Other 100 Years War", UK, Roundtower Design, 2004
  • Johnathan Crawford, World Toy Soldier Directory and Compendium, Cullen & Coolidge Publishing, US,1998
  • John G. Garrett, Model Soldiers A Collector's Guide, Seeley Service & Co, UK,1959
  • Henry Harris, Model Soldiers, Octopus Books, UK, 1962
  • Jim Hillestad, A Guide to Collecting Toy Soldiers, The Toy Soldier
  • Peter Johnson, Toy Armies, B.T.Batsford Ltd., UK, 1981
  • Norman Joplin:
    -British Toy Figures, Arms & Armour Press, UK,1989
    -The Great Book of Hollow Cast Figures, New Cavendish Books, UK, 1993
    -Toy Soldiers, Courage Books, US, 1994
    -Toy Soldiers: The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier, 1996
    -Toy Soldiers Identifier, Apple Press, 1999
    -American Dimestore Toy Soldiers & Figures, Schiffer Publishing, 2000
    -Britains New Toy Soldiers 1973-Present, Schiffer Publishing, 2008
  • Norman Joplin & Philip Dean,
    -Britains Civilian Toy Figures, Schiffer Publishing, 2002
    -Hollow Cast Civilian Toy Figures, Schiffer Publishing, 2005
    -Old Toy Soldiers and Figures 1900-1939 Four Decades of Advertising Blurb Books, 2014
  • K. Cory Keeble, The Horourable Henry N. R. Jackman Collection of Toy Soldiers in the Royal Ontario Museum, ROM, 2002
  • Henry Kurtz & Burtt Ehrlich, The Art of the Toy Soldier, Abbeville Press, US, 1987. Henry Kurtz tel: 212-642-5904
  • Ian McKenzie, Collecting Toy Soldiers, 1975
  • Jean Nicollier, Collecting Toy Soldiers, Charles E. Tuttle, 1967
  • Richard O'Brien: 705 Greene St, Beaufort, SC 29902
    -Collecting Toy Soldiers No. 1, No. 2 & No. 3 An Identification and Value Guide, Books Americana, 1988, 1992, 1995
    -Collecting American Made Toy Soldiers, Identification and Value Guide, Books Americana, 1996
    -Collecting Foreign Made Toy Soldiers, Identification and Value Guide, Books Americana, 1997
  • James Opie:
    -Toy Soldiers, Shire Publications Ltd, UK, 1983
    -British Toy Soldiers 1893 to the Present, Arms and Armour Press, UK, 1985
    -Britains Toy Soldiers 1893-1932, Victor Gollancz Ltd, UK, 1985
    -Collecting Toy Soldiers, Collins Ltd, UK, 1987
    -Phillips Collectors Guides Toy Soldiers, Boxtree Ltd, UK, 1989
    -The Great Book of Britains, New Cavendish Books, UK, 1993
  • Dominique Pascal,
    -La Folie des Petits Soldats, Flammarion, Paris, 2001
    -Collectible Toy soldiers, Flammarion, Paris, 2003
  • Edouard Pemzec, Figurines et Soldats de Plomb, EPA, Paris?, 2001
  • Don Pielin, Norman Joplin, Verne Johnson, American Dimestore Toy Soldiers & Figures, Schiffer Publishing, US, 2000. Pielin email, Johnson email.
  • L. W. Richards, Old British Model Soldiers 1893-1918, Arms and Armour Press, UK, 1970
  • Hans Henning Roer , Old German Toy Soldiers, Palagonia Verlag, UK, 1993
  • Andrew Rose, The Collector's All-colour Guide to Toy Soldiers, Random House, US, 1997
  • Richard Scholl, Toy Soldiers: A Century of International Miniatures, Courage Books, 2004
  • Joe Wallis
    -Regiments of All Nations, Britains Ltd. Lead Soldiers 1946-66, US, 1981
    -Regiments of All Nations, Britains Ltd. Lead Soldiers 1946-66, US, 2011 (All-color edition)
    -Armies of the World, Britiains Ltd. Lead Soldiers 1925-1941 US, 1993
  • H. G. Wells, Little Wars, Da Capo Press, US, 1977 (first published 1913)
  • Digital Barracks (Wintel collector's database), Jay Knox, Knox Data, email

On-line Forums:

There are now almost 2 shows going on somewhere every weekend of the year. For additional shows and exact show dates you might try (although not always up to date):

* Shows I will be attending in this year
US & Canada:
  • Michigan Toy Soldier and Figure Show, MI, mid Jul, Joe Saine email
  • Florida Toy Soldier & Figure Show, West Palm Beach FL, early Feb
  • The West Coaster*, Costa Mesa CA, 3-4 days in early Mar
  • New Jersey Toy Soldier & Sale, Shutzen Park NJ, mid Mar, Ed Gries, tel: 201-342-6475
  • The Indianapolis Toy Soldier Show, Indianapolis IN, late Mar, Barry Carter, email
  • Northeast Toy Soldier Society Show, Dedham, MA, mid Apr and mid Oct, Arley L. Pett
  • MFCA Show and Mart, Wilmington DE, 2 days in late Apr
  • Jim Hillestad's Open House, Paradise, PA, early Nov.
  • Virginia War Museum Toy Soldier Show, Newport News, VA, mid May, Colin Romanick, email
  • Ohio Toy Soldier Show & Sale, Richfield OH, mid May, Doug McClure, email
  • On Parade, Ontario Model Soldier Society Show, Toronto Ont, CANADA, mid June, Brendon Furlong
  • Southeastern Toy Soldier Show, Columbia SC, mid Aug, Dennis Fontana, tel: 803-419-7647
  • Annapolis Toy Soldier Show, Annapolis MD, early Jul, Dick Sossi, email
  • Big-D Super Collectors Show, Dallas TX, 3 days in mid Jul, Don Maris, email
  • Chicago Toy Soldier Show * ( formerly the OTSN Show), Schaumberg IL, 4-5 days in late Sep, Don Pielin
  • East Coast Toy Soldier Show, Hackensack NJ, early Nov, Bill Lango.
  • Pennsylvania Toy Soldier Show, Langhome PA, mid Nov, Ed Gries, tel: 201-342-6475
  • Heart of the South Show, Annandale VA, early Dec, Ed Gries, tel: 201-342-6475

On-line Galleries & Collections:

Do It Yourself
A craftsperson as well as collector? Some sources for castings, molds and knowhow.
Unpainted castings:
Molds & Materials:
Online Knowhow:
My Own Materials & Suppliers:
  • Mold Rubber: Dow-Corning 3120 RTV (red) with type S catalyst. Source: Ellsworth Adhesives
  • Metal: Lead-free pewter "OR-8" and spin casting equipment. Source: Conquest Industries, Sante Fe Springs CA
  • Boxes: custom rigid set-up (1000 min order). Source: Brimar Packaging, Avon OH
  • Paint: Testors gloss enamels. Source: HobbyLinc.com, Atlanta, GA
  • Melting Pot: Waage MP 20A ($375). Source: Waage Electric, Kenilworth NJ

'Bricks and mortar' purveyors for those that want to see and feel the real thing before buying. Most are also mail order vendors.
US & Canada
UK & Abroad

Mail Order Dealers
in old and new goods. All are principally mail order, internet and/or show vendors although some may also have "by appointment" shops.

Auction Houses
Upcoming auctions are occasionally noted on the show calendars above.
On-line Auctions:

Other Resource Pages
Link collections similar to this one related to ± 54mm metal figures.

Related Subjects
Contacts or link pages for other types of toy soldiers and toy soldier paraphernalia.

And finally...
the only search engine necessary,
searching on "toy soldiers".