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Although Britains and other manufacturers failed to take advantage of the Coronation last year to release a new version of the State Coach, some enterprising, but as yet unidentified, individual decided to step into the breach.

This apparently “one-off”, but very professional looking, example was offered for sale by Jefferys in Lostwithiel, Cornwall in November 2023. It appears to be a marriage between Britains most recent team of 8 Windsor Greys and an earlier “hollow cast” period coach with additional paint details, all housed in a customised Blue box celebrating the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, May 6th 2023. Great fun!

Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla stage coach


toy soldiers that fire weapons

A number of manufacturers have issued soldiers that have the additional play value of being able to fire their weapons in some way. Britains offered their Soldiers to Shoot (strictly Soldiers that will Shoot) in sets of 4 from 1905-1916. These had a very large bore rifle designed to fire a spring-propelled bullet. Heyde produced a rather more realistic large scale figure firing in a similar fashion. Other manufacturers produced similar toys, such as Charbens. They disguised the necessarily out of scale barrel as a machine gun.

Some rare examples of similar figures appeared in the December 2023 OTS auction. These were
made by CBG Mignot as part of their Mignalu range. These had the additional novelty of firing caps
as used in toy guns to imitate the sound of the weapon discharging.
Three different examples went under the hammer. Two simply used a simple spring mechanism to fire
a single cap, while the 3rd, in the form of lying machine gunner also simultaneously fired a projectile.
Complete with original caps and instruction leaflet, these were rare finds indeed!

Mignalu was a brand used by CBG Mignot for its aluminium figures, which it started making in the
1930s. The trademark was also used for various toys designed to shoot projectiles, including archers
shooting arrows. The trade names of Tiralu and Arcalu were also used. Mignot ceased manufacturing in
aluminium in 1955. These figures are NOT cast in aluminium but hollowcast lead. They probably date
from 1955 to 1960, before the move over to producing plastic figures. However, if any reader knows better, please us know.

This section highlights a few recent finds that we could do with our readers’ help in identifying!

Arab with rifle

Arab with rifle rather than the usual musket/jazail/moukahla, picked up at the Sandown show. Possibly another Paris Office find?

Britains b-size figure

Previously unrecorded Britains b-size figure. It is
fixed arm and at the halt. Is it a Scots Grey or an
officer for Fusiliers or Guards?


unknown grenadier guard officer

This figure was picked up in a job lot of officers with binoculars recently.

It looks like a Scots Guards Officer from Set 130, circa 1910, but definitely painted as a Grenadier. The paint style is early and fine with additional cuff detail.

Joe Wallis kindly searched through his files and could find only one small trace of a standing Grenadier Guards officer with binoculars: in L.W. Richards’ series of articles that appeared in the BMSS circa 1960, he described Set #34 as sometimes containing such an officer. Joe has not seen one before. Have any of our other readers ever come across this figure?

As Joe notes this example is half-booted, which narrows the field down to sets made prior to 1933! The rectangular base suggests a date from 1908 onwards.

unknown New Zealander

Another Sandown find. Does anyone recognise this unusually painted New Zealander which Harry Kemp found at the last Sandown Show?

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