The John Hill Company, JoHillCo, an English firm, started in 1898 by a former employee of W. Britain named Mr F. H Wood. It became a competitor of Britains Ltd.. For many years, their cast metal figures rivalled Britains and others.
Johillco also made plastic figures later, until its demise in the 1960s. With its Johillco trademark, the John Hill Company offered various ranges of figures.
In their book The Art of the Toy Soldier, the authors note that due to the cheapness of the figures and the individuality of their poses, Johillco figures were found more in working-class homes than the expensive Britains that came in boxes of rigid identical poses. The authors also noted the company probably used a variety of sculptors leading to various grades of quality of Johillco figures, that the authors call "the good, the bad, and the ugly".
In addition to soldiers, cowboys and Indians, Johillco also made many knights figures and a movie tie-in set of characters from MGM's 1951 film 'Quo Vadis' as well as astronauts and spacemen.
Johillco was slow to realise the effect of manufacturing in plastic. From 1956 they began making figures in plastic in their hollow cast moulds under the name of Hilco but the company ceased production early in the 1960s.
What's your 'Johillco' worth? Here are some recently sold items (USA):
|Hilco Tempmaster Eyeglass Frame Heater||04/2019||$225.00|
|Mi 112 17 Knights Crusaders Ref 304||05/2019||$199.00|
|Hilco Sport Safety Goggles Eyeglasses 14||04/2019||$200.00|
|Hilco Marco Optical Lensmeter Manual||06/2019||$155.00|
|John Hill Rare 1930s Pre War Solid Lead||06/2019||$190.42|
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