The collection of toy soldiers is an expensive and eccentric hobby. However, it can also be quite entertaining and rewarding. But the question of valuation often confuses novice collectors. For one, what’s all this fuss about old figurines? You can part with hundreds of pounds for a little tin man from the 1960s while paying next to nothing for a new plastic toy soldier.
The question of valuation grows more confusing as you shop at antique stores and check online sources. However, the rules concerning valuation are quite straightforward once you learn them.
Here are the main factors that affect the value of toy soldiers:
The Rank of the Solider
Avid collectors always aim to acquire a complete set. This set could be from a particular war or particular historical era. Toy soldiers tend to cost more the further you climb up the ranks. This is because officers have more detail on their uniforms when compared to enlisted men.
Manufacturers use different materials and quality standards. Some also use elaborate packaging and levels of finish to make their products more appealing and longer-lasting. High-quality figurines usually fetch much more at auctions than their shoddily-made counterparts.
Figurines and other miniature collectibles are graded from ‘mint’ to ‘poor’ condition. A toy soldier that’s still in the original packaging, for example, will fetch more than one that was once a child’s plaything. Therefore, it’s essential to keep your figures clean so that their condition won’t deteriorate.
Sometimes a manufacturer can produce a batch of toy soldiers that contain manufacturing errors. Such errors may be undesirable if the batch was a popular edition. However, the same ‘errata’ may result in a rare or vintage model being valued much higher than it would otherwise. It’s a matter of preference on the part of the collector.
Level of Detail
Toy soldiers come with varying levels of detail. Some are generic and mass produced. But others have apparent and distinguishable features. You should expect to pay more for the latter.
People who collect toy soldiers must consider the origin of the toys, and they should be on the lookout for durable ones. In most cases, collectors want soldiers that will last many years. But this depends on the manufacturer. For this reason, it’s important to review companies that distribute these toys. These factors can help would-be collectors determine the value of toy soldiers around the world.