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Steve Iceton returns with a short overview of the Sherwood Foresters Regimental Band made by W. Britain exclusively for its collectors club in the 1990's
In its centenary year, 1993, Britain introduced a new Collectors Club. This was a first time venture, aimed at adult toy figure collectors, and also marked a swing by the firm to move from the children's toy industry over to the adult collector market.
The new club promised a quarterly journal and exclusive figures at the rate of one a year. The first of these member only figures was to be the Drum Major of the Sherwood Foresters band, followed annually by the rest of the bandsmen. The gloss painted figures were based on the limited editions range first issued in 1983.
The Sherwood Foresters were formed in 1881 by the amalgamation of the 45th Nottinghamshire Regiment and the 95th Derbyshire Regiment to become the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the new regiment. They are now part of the Mercian Regiment and no longer have a band.
The dress of the bandsmen was based on the 1910 English Regiments band uniform, featuring a green home service pattern helmet, scarlet jacket with green facings, 'wings' and drummers lace, and dark blue trousers with red stripe.
The demand was there and the figures proved popular so as a means of speeding up the issue, members were allowed to buy boxed sets of three, rather than wait several years to obtain them all, and by 1996 the full band of 12 figures was complete.
Each box had a certificate which features the collectors own membership number which were given to each person as they joined.
Also a large decorated box to contain all the boxes could be obtained. These excellent toy soldiers were never sold through retail outlets and could only be collected by club members, which makes them sought after by early 'new metal' collectors.
Drum Major of the Sherwood Foresters band on the left
For details on the current W. Britain Collectors Club visit:
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