Thursday, February 12, 2015

Warriors of the World

One of my fondest memories is the old "Warriors of the World" by Marx. These were hard plastic soldiers in the 60mm to 70mm scale size. They were sold in small boxes, each of which had a small card wit ha "bio" of the fictional person whom the figure was supposed to represent. The soldiers were all painted.

Unlike the old painted metal dimestore figures, Marx’s hand-painted warriors covered a wide variety of armies and conflicts. Even the best dimestore figures only covered 20th century American soldiers, cowboys, Indians, knights and perhaps Parade men and the Civil War. Marx went so far as to cover our allies and enemies in those conflicts, as well as other eras such as Romans, Pirates and our Revolution.

Figure quality varied. Many of the first ones were cast in white plastic and completely painted. Later ones might be cast in colored plastic, with only the faces, hands, weapons and details painted.

Marx made larger sets with up to eight figures.

My favorites were the Army and the Vikings.

In recent years, I have acquired a few of the Warrior of the World figures. Looking as an experienced military miniature buff and toy soldier maker, I am amused as well as impressed. The Warriors of the World are toy figures, first and foremost. They do not have the historical accuracy of military miniatures. The Vikings look more like Gauls or ancient Germans. Many of the other soldiers have details which are not proportionate. And some of the Civil War guys are missing essential field gear such as cartridge boxes.

These were molds in Hong King and Europe. Figures were painted in Hing Kong, Holland and Germany. Some turned up a few years ago on the Ukraine but nothing has been heard more recently The Ukrainians cast up Vikings, Romans, Egyptians, Knights. Indians and Cowboys. Other molds were in Hong Kong. Several years ago, recasts of the American World War I and Spanish-American War troops turned up in dollar stores.

Accurate or not, we had a lot of fun with these soldiers half a century ago/. And it is fun to have a few of them today. The hard part is finding examples whose weapons are other details are unbroken. The hard plastic did not stand up well to boys’ play.


Most of the molds for the Warriors of the World still exist. The figures have been recast in recent years, usually in softer plastic and solid colors. Molds are in the Ukraine, Hong Kong and possibly Mexico.


Marx’s Hong Kong facility also turned out smaller-scale version of the Warriors of the World for hand-painted playsets. Figure size ranged from about 25mm - 1/72 scale to 30mm - 1/60. Playsets included Iwo Jima, with copies of the 60mm and 54mm Gis in 25mm against 40mm Japanese troops and Knight and Viking sets that pitted 25mm copies of Viking Warriors of the World against 30mm knights. There were also sets of US versus Germans, Wild West fort with cavalry versus Indians, Revolutionary War with blockhouse, Civil War, Cowboys & Indians, Vietnam, and a weird Charge of the Light Brigade set with early 19th Century British cavalry against Asian Indians.

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