85/2604 Toys, human figures, animals, & trees (124), metal, W. Britain, England, 1920-1980
The English firm of W. Britain, became the world's leading toy model manufacturer and over a period of 60 years produced several thousand different sets of cavalry, infantry and militia from countries around the world. However, it was the British toy buying public's rejection of war-like military toys during the inter-war period which provided Britains with the opportunity to introduce their model farm animals and figures in 1921. The farm reflected the social history of agricultural production in the United Kingdom at the time in an idealised form. The firm were quick to realise the potential of the huge overseas markets, especially in the United States, but also in Australia. Production of lead models made by Britains ceased in 1966 though the company still makes plastic and pewter models. After close to a century toy farm sets are still very popular with children today especially in the country areas of New South Wales. The market appears to be dominated in Australia by the moulded-plastic animals and figures made by the German firm of Schleich and the French one of Papo.