It’s time to look at Timpo …..
Ah Timpo ……… one of the most collectable figure makers in the world if you are talking swoppets but perhaps not the much less collected and overlooked 1950’s solid figures that pre date the swoppets from the 60’s and 70’s.
Napoleon Showing typical paint loss
This maker is a big subject for this blog and we will need a number of posts . Timpo like the other makers I have covered so far began in Lead and moved to plastic around the same time ( post WW2) . I’ll cover the history later as it needs a post of its own to cover how it came about , the great western figures in lead, early plastic production , the golden era of swoppets and more recently Toyway and the eventual demise of the brand.
This first Timpo blog is going to take a small look at the Solid figures that were produced between the end of lead production and the start of swoppet production. A period of perhaps only 10/15 years between 1945 and 1960.
By the time I was buying toy soldiers from Bermans toy shop in the late 60’s production was entirely swoppet figures. I had hundreds of knights all now gone to that Timpo castle in the sky ( landfill ! ) . We will
Western campfire figure
come to the Swoppets in a series of posts at a later date and if you collect Timpo swoppets I guarantee it will be worth the wait. The Solid figures are still collected and can command good prices for figures in good condition with good paint and excellent prices can be obtained for the scarcer figures such as the cowboy campfire set.
With all figures from this period condition is key and Timpo solids do suffer from having a lot of chalk in the mix and being particularly brittle. Consequently they are often found broken or with high paint loss so good figures are that much harder to come by.
Timpo reissued many of the solid figures in the 1970’s as “Action packs”. They were issued unpainted and in a harder more resilient plastic and proved very popular for
Western campfire figure
a time and are easy to find. I’m not going to cover these at this time but just provide some pics of the earlier hand painted figures.
Cowboy, WW2 Germans and Cossack
If you are interested in this post and in Timpo solid plastic figures then you need to visit Axel Sohnius Timpo Solids website.
Axel’s site is the best Timpo solids resource on the internet ( actually its the only specific one but it’s still very good 🙂 )
It has an English version ( translation ) and provides great historical background on the models produced with plenty of pictures. As he is a collector his figures have very good paint and you can see them in great condition although I think many have been repainted.
Axel has purchased some figures from me from time to time including some unusual Cadets.
We couldn’t decide whether they had been repainted or were just an unknown variant set. They got a lot of interest when sold and although I had a lot of them condition was very varied, some bein very brittle and they had to be treated with real respect. Here is a picture of them and below some larger shots.
If you are looking for more information on Timpo solids I do also recommend the Plastic Warrior Timpo Special . www.plasticwarrior.co.uk
It’s not in print but does turn up on eBay from time to time. A much sought after publication ( with an auction price to match ! ) that provides an excellent introduction to plastic Timpo generally and doesn’t just focus on those darned swoppets !
So on to the figures. Here are some of the original figures I’ve been lucky enough to move on to collectors. More will follow in a later post.