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I am not an expert in toys but this type of cast iron soldiers seem pretty common from what I have seen online. I am assuming they are from the 1930s and that they are worth about $5 a piece but I was wondering if one in particular would have more value than the others. .

thanks

 

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Those are by the US company Barclay, with the exception of the gas mask and searchlight fellows which are by Manoil. You're correct in that they are from the 1930s or so, and all are pretty common. I'm not seeing any that are particularly scarce, but they all appear to be in nice shape for their age. Nice collection!

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Love the little metal soldiers! Never seen one in person, but occasionally pics pop up. They are so cool! Nicer than the plastic ones! Thanks for posting! Like the one on the far right and the one with the searchlight!

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My significant other has a large collection of these. We went to an estate sale years ago and she was able to pick up 20-25 at $3-$4 apiece. Since then we have always kept an eye out for them and I've seen the prices run from $4-$8 each all the way up to $32 (and more). If really nice and unusual, then $12-$15 is about the sweet spot. Barclay and Mannoil are the common makers, there are both WW1 and WW2 types. She has several books on these and it can be fun picking them up if the price is right.

I once saw a large set of these at an antique mall and the asking price was $700 for somewhere around 80 or so individual pieces along with tanks, artillery, trucks, etc. One of the more popular sets to get are the medical ones; two stretcher bears, stretcher, wounded soldier, doctor and nurse. You can actual buy a tent to go with them.

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Nice lot of Dime Stores.

 

These are hollow cast soft white metal.

 

Cast Iron is hard as a rock and heavier but cast iron soldiers were made.

 

And the cast iron soldiers commonly have rust where the paint is missing.

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I pick them up when I see them as well. Barclay's and Manoil's.

 

A good deal of child labor was used back then to paint the soldiers. Many started at the factories at age 14.

 

If you want to learn a bit about the factories, there's a good book by Richard O'Brien. I'd ignore the prices in the book, but the history about the factories is very interesting.

 

Your soldiers are very nice condition. I'd buy them in that condition all day long at $5.

 

Thanks for posting ... Tim

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I would strongly suggest researching ebay and other auction sites for values on manoil and barclay's as some of them can be worth more than a few bux -but remember condition is really key in toy collecting. Missing paint, rust etc that can affect any toy- as stated these are lead. as stated generally 5-12$ is what I would expect to pay in an antique mall but there are rare ones and as stated by Thorin, I've too seen these upwards of 35$ or so.. I sold a barclay coast guard cannon for 50$ hope that helps. just my two cents.

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These are priced through the roof at antique malls. You'd think they were made of gold.

 

I agree with the suggestions to do an eBay search. When you pull up the listings, along the left side bar you should be able to select "Completed Auctions". Those with the price in green actually sold.

 

Again, condition can make a big difference. But apparently some of the figures are rarer than others.

 

Good luck.

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I collect these also as part of a little Home Front display that I am doing.

 

Agree with others on the following points:

 

* Most of the Barclay/Manoil/Grey Iron pieces you encounter are common as dirt (but there are few "better" ones)

* Condition is key, especially for the commons. Really nicely ones (95%+) usually sell (on line) in the 10-20 range (sometimes more)

 

Additional thoughts would be:

 

* Don't dismiss all of them out of hand if you run across any. There are "better" ones which can sell in the 50-150 range (or more) ** the foreign (Chinese, Japanese, Italian) ones for example or the ones with folding stock rifles.

 

Here is a super rare one (below) I just bought this weekend for $300 (O'Brian's M-113, not to be confused with M-114)

 

* Don't mistake "Tommy Toy" soldiers for the others. These are much better and worth much more. Should all be marked "Tommy Toy" I believe they existed only from 1932 to 1936, had financial problems and sold the business to Barclay.

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Eric, that's indeed a neat figure. O'Brien's books are definitely good reference points but prices sure aren't what they may have been at his publication dates. There are some scarce ones out there with small variations from other castings and it always pays to look them up. I'd be interested in seeing anyone's collection should they like to share!

 

Here is my Dimestore shelf. I collected old Britains exclusively since I was younger, but in the last couple years have picked a few Dimestores up.

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Nice collection. There are some really nice pieces there including the paymaster, the Chinese soldier, the folding stock rifles, etc.

 

Here are a couple quick snaps of my modest home front display. Still a work in progress.

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Nice collection. There are some really nice pieces there including the paymaster, the Chinese soldier, the folding stock rifles, etc. 

 

Here are a couple quick snaps of my modest home front display. Still a work in progress. 

The dog and the pigeon handlers are probably scarce. Very nice diaplays

 

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The rare soldiers are the ones kids didn't want.

 

This sentence says it all. The pay master, the guy in camp playing the banjo, the guy writing home, etc. are some of the best ones.

 

The machine gunners, the ones the kids wanted at the time. are garbage. Next to worthless.

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