This site is created for collectors of mainly composition vintage toy soldiers produced by great toy makers of the past: Elastolin, Hausser, Lineol, Durso, Kienel, Starlux, Leyla, Schusso, Armee, Trico, Duro, Durolin, NB, Triumph, GJ and many others.

Toy soldiers and real battles: Sharp Shooters by Hausser / Elastolin and Lineol

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Sharp Shooters by Hausser / Elastolin and Lineol

In 1937 the Lineol and Hausser sales catalogues showed for the first time a new type of figure which aimed to enhance the toy armies. Both manufacturers offered three different type of shooting toy soldiers with a special feature: they could actually fire their weapons. There was not only a bang, there was also a little bullet which launched from the end of the gun barrel. The mechanism was quite simple. The barrel of the rifle was made of a small metal tube and the firing mechanism was hidden within the knapsack. This had a little spring and could be fired off with a trigger. The whole mechanism works very similar to a real rifle. The "bullet" was a small wooden sick, about 5 mm long and the charge was similar to what is used nowadays in toy pistols. 
Unfortunately the chemicals used for the charge are very aggressive to metal so most original figures are now in a very bad condition with nearly all metal corroded. If you own such a figure today you should just enjoy it and not use the firing mechanism if you want the toy to survive. But if you do decide to use it, don't forget to clean the rifle like all soldiers do after combat.

by Norbert Schrepf
A picture from the 1939 Hausser sales catalogue showing the new firing figures.

Rear view of the Lineol figures. The firing mechanism hidden inside the knapsack can be clearly seen on the figure on the far right.

 Rear view of the Hausser figures. As you can see the knapsack opens to reveal the firing mechanism.

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