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: Lineol Irish Army figures ?

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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Lineol Irish Army figures ?

There always have been a dispute among collectors about whether Lineol Irish figures have existed or not. Some Lineol soldier collectors are sure that Lineol produced Irish Army soldiers in 30s because of the Irish army helmets similarity to the German Stahlhelms. In reality, Irish Defence Forces decided to choose the German helmet used in the First World War, and in November 1926 the Irish government approached the German consulate requesting a modern sample. The German Foreign Office’s reply, dated 30 December 1926, advised that the export of steel helmets was prohibited under the terms laid down by the Versailles Treaty, and for that reason they were unable to comply. So the Irish Free State had to look elsewhere: an order for 5,000 helmets was placed with Vickers & Co. Ltd, London, and the design was to be based on the German pattern worn during the Great War. The helmet produced was similar to the German one except that the sides were more gently sloped and it was painted a dark shade of green. The most relevant features were the two small brackets affixed to the front to hold an officer’s pattern cap badge painted black and worn by all ranks when the occasion required. On the inside rim of the centre of the rear was a die-stamped inscription ‘V Ltd.’ with a serial number. The interior fittings were completed in Dublin and were stamped ‘T. Smith & Son, Dublin, 1927’.      
On the photos below you can see Lineol figures that are considered by some collectors as figures representing the Irish Army. It might be true. Lineol tried to extend its product range of "foreign" armies through simple painting of 
German army figures in different foreign uniform colors. This production approach worked for foreign armies wearing German Stahlhelms in 30s and 40s (i.e. Hungary, Bulgaria, Sweden).


  1. Hi GP, that poster for the volunteers is a great find, do you know when it is dated?

  2. Hi Brian, this poster is from the National Museum of Ireland and dated by 1934 (Recruiting poster for the Volunteer Force, a reserve unit established in 1934 by Fianna Fáil).