Perfect flags for the Swoppets range too!

Swoppets figures holding 1:32 scale toy flags from the current Britains Flags range
The image on this page shows a sample selection of Swoppets figures holding 1:32 scale toy flags from the current Britains Flags range.

The Swoppets toy soldier range was produced during the late 1950s to early 1970s and were factory painted plastic figures famous for their moveable and interchangeable parts. This meant you could literally swap heads and limbs and this allowed a certain amount of customisation. It proved to be quite a popular concept and one that is still appealing to collectors to this very day.

The very first 1958 Swoppets production was by Herald, with Britains Ltd. taking over the company, subsequent Swoppets production was "Britains"-branded, with the "Britains Herald" name being retained for the rest of the Herald plastic range that Britains continued to sell.

Being 1/32 Scale (54mm) soldiers, they represent another toy figure range that’s very suitable for the use of Britains Flags accessories. Swoppets included soldiers from the such eras as the American Civil War, the American War of Independence, World War Two (various armies), the Wild West and Medieval Knights (to name a few).

Find any kind of flag for any kind of Swoppet, in the Collections pages here.

A little history:

“Swoppets first appeared in 1958, originally as a range of "cowboy" figures, which were later joined by a group of "Indians" (i.e. Native Americans), and then Fifteenth Century Knights in armour, and British Infantry. Most of the figures were produced by Britains Ltd., and designed by Roy Selwyn-Smith, a highly-respected sculptor very experienced in designing for plastic who had been designing for Herald Miniatures until Britains took over the company.

The subject of what is (and what is not) a Swoppet is surprisingly complicated. The "full" Swoppets (Swoppet Cowboys, Swoppet Indians, and Swoppet Knights, and also the later British Infantry Swoppets) all share the same two-part body with two fixed arms on an upper torso and two fixed legs on a lower torso, attached by the same large swivelling ball-and-socket waist joint, with swivelling head.

However, the brand name seems to have been so effective that Britains ended up applying it semi-generically to things that weren't actually proper Swoppets, and had a different fundamental design that wasn't Swoppet-compatible. The Civil War figures include "some" of the Swoppet features, in that they have moving heads and arms, and allow hats and rifles to be exchanged. This isn't quite the same as the Swoppets concept of figures that try to have pretty much everything swoppable.

The difficulty in extending the Swoppets concept to other "combat" groups was that in modern armies, there wasn't so much to swop. While Cowboys could have different hats and different coloured neckerchiefs, and different clothing that could be changed by swapping around torso and leg combinations, it was more difficult to produce new hybrid characters by swapping parts on soldiers who were all wearing the same standardised uniforms, all in the same colour.

Some collectors apparently also refer to the contemporary "Eyes Right" range of plastic British regimental figures as Swoppets, but this grouping seems to be based on date range and styling rather than on any attempt at swoppability.”

(Ref. Brighton Toy Museum)
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