Toys might not be the first thing that come to mind when you think of militaria collecting. However, on the Home Front in all countries there were millions of children who wanted to collect toys which reflected the things they were seeing on a daily basis.
In a time before television and the internet, the toy market was crying out for the latest historic figures and soldier toys, vehicles and even cannons for children to play with. Two of the big makers in that marketplace were Lineol and Elastolin, but other smaller producers made similar models as well.
The Hausser toy manufacturing company traded using the name Elastolin and it was started in 1904 near Stuttgart, Germany by Christian Hausser and his two sons. Their business grew rapidly as they produced figures representing armies from the around the world. Children loved these toys and collected the variations and accessories as they were released. In 1938 alone the company manufactured 3 million figures using the name Elastolin and they had a production team of over 1,400 employees.
Although they are relatively inexpensive objects today, they offer a great introduction to collecting. In this article we take a glimpse into some of the WW2 Elastolin and Lineol military figures for sale from our partner sites.
A French / Belgian Lineol Soldier
This Lineol figure represents a French / Belgian soldier from the 1930s and is priced at £8 from Malcolm Wagner Militaria.
Lineol-made French Soldier pointing a rifle.
A German Army Soldier
Next up from Eagle Relics is this 1930s German soldier in the same pose as the French one above. The standing rifleman with his rifle aimed has always been one of the most popular models in the range. He retains around 90% of his original paint and is priced at £25. You can see the distinct shape of the German helmet on the soldier’s head. These toy figures tried to be as accurate as possible.
German Army Medic with a Wounded Infantryman
Some of the toy figures were a lot more elaborate than just a soldier standing with his weapon. Reflecting the realities of war, this pair of Elastolin-manufactured figures represents a German combat medic rescuing a wounded soldier. The highlights and detail is in the sling, the medic’s hat and his armband.
This dramatic pair are priced at £48 from War Toys.
WW2 German Army Marching Band
If you fancy buying a few more soldiers in a group, why not look at a marching band? They were very popular, as you could buy the figures individually to make up the whole band piece by piece. The centrepiece of this set is the bass drummer and he comes supported by a bandmaster, a snare drummer, a tuba player, a clarinet player and a cymbalist. The band is accompanied by two marching soldiers.
This good condition set is priced at £125 and is for sale from M&T Militaria. There are 8 pieces in the set, which works out at only £15 per figure.
Another WW2 German Army Marching Band
Another slightly larger German Army marching band. This time it has 13 figures, all made in the traditional way of mixing glue and sawdust. 5 of the figures are manufactured by Elastolin, two are made by Lineol and another by Armee. The rest have no manufacturer’s marks on them.
The band, similarly to the previous set, includes the bandmaster, a snare drummer, a clarinetist, a bass drummer, a cymbalist, and a tuba player. However, there are additional figures, namely a second snare drummer, a trombonist, a trumpet player, a French horn player, and three woodwind instrument players (seemingly flute and piccolo players).
They are all in good condition with only a little age wear and cracks. The whole set is for sale from Regimentals and priced at £130, meaning £10 per figure.
German Elastolin Flags
If you need small accessories to add to your marching band collection, they are available – although you will probably have to hunt around online as they are rarer and harder to find than the figures themselves.
This pair of Elastolin Standard Bearer’s flags is available from Military Tour in Canada priced at $69. (CAN) for the pair.
And finally… how about your own Lineol bunker with sentries?
This Lineol bunker comes with 4 sentries and presents an opportunity for the soldiers to be displayed in a diorama. It has a small light system for the officer’s area and the exterior colour is still bright, which is excellent given its age.
The bunker and soldiers are for sale as a group, priced at £295 from Antiquities of the Reich.
Have you seen this article? WW2 German Armour
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