Before cracking the hollow-cast toy soldiers process in 1893, Britains manufactured friction tin toys.

Established in 1845 by William Britain, one of William's sons perfected the way to produce their famous lead figures and wide range of military vehicles, lead figures, soldiers and farm animals. Motorised transport was also included in the range, in 1/32 scale and also included a few civilian vehicles.

An OO gauge range was also developed, which for a time appeared under the name of W. Horton Ltd, a subsidiary of Britains. The range was known as Britains Liliput trains, and was intended to complement Trix Twin model railways. People, animals and vehicles were produced, including Bedford and Fordson lorries.

Other notable items include a Coronation Coach and figures produced to mark the American Bicentennial.

In more recent years the company has concentrated on its military and agricultural models. In 1987, as part of the Dobson Industries Group, the name was changed to Britains-Petite, revealing the association with Petite Typewriters.

The company continually produced the miniature metal soldiers, except for time-outs during the two world wars, until 1966 when plastics took over. It wasn't until 1983 that the next all-metal figure made a return back to the Britains line-up. The brand is now owned by Ertl, which uses the Britains' name for its collectables ranges.


Updated: 5 November 2019

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Britains value and price guide

What's your Britains worth in 2021? Here are some recently sold items.

Item Title Date Price
britains farm animals cows horses ducks Britains Farm Animals Cows Horses Ducks 09/2021 $39.99
britains beetle lorry driver 1877 Britains Beetle Lorry Driver 1877 09/2021 $37.50
britains deetail world war ii wwii british army range 6 Britains Deetail World War Ii Wwii British Army Range 6 09/2021 $39.99
britains leyland milk tanker dairy ref 9599 mint in box Britains Leyland Milk Tanker Dairy Ref 9599 Mint In Box 09/2021 $99.73
1 32 britains 5154 6 bicentennial swoppet 1776 american 1 32 Britains 5154 6 Bicentennial Swoppet 1776 American 09/2021 $119.00
no pictureSee all sold items on eBay for more prices10/2021$-.--

Britains forum

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1 comment
Jean - May 19, 2021
Hi John, I'm interested in some of your Britains models but you only have details of these on eBay. I don't want to buy on eBay as my husband uses it extensively and, as these will be a gift for his upcoming birthday, I don't want him to know anything about them. Can I buy from you direct?
Regards, Jean
Hi Jean, I'm sorry, but I don't sell anything, I'm not a seller.