Did you have tin soldiers as a child? Maybe you never thought about their historical significance. Brothers Maurice and William of Orange planned wars using silver soldiers set up on a table, thanks to which the Dutch army repeatedly defeated the Spaniards and brought its country’s independence. Suvorov and Goethe, France and Stevenson, Churchill and Malcolm Forbes are among the many who fell into “soldier-mania”. Ludovic XIII of France had 300 silver infantry soldiers, Napoleon gifted his son 117 gold soldiers...
Three-dimensional tin soldiers were released for the first time in France in the 18th century, but their “Golden Age” came 100 years later when British Entrepreneur William Britain discovered a new method of soldier casting which cut costs by a half and set a new toy standard, introducing the infantryman who, from stand to an eye level, should be 54 mm; this standard to this day is one of the most popular and is kept to by many large manufacturers and single artists.
A severe blow was dealt to tin soldiers by the massive spread of plastic figurines, produced by a great number of Asian countries, though this allowed the "soldier-mania" to spread further to new generations of children and adults.
The production of 40 mm standard tin soldiers began in Europe in the 1960s when metal (TSAM) soldiers were enclosed in chocolate eggs - Kinder Surprise. These first figurines portrayed ballerinas and a cowboy. From 1972 - 1974 tin soldiers appeared in the beloved chocolate eggs. At present, there are around 20 companies and a single master working to the 40 mm standard. Tbilisi boasts it's own- Yota Royal, established in 2014 by Grigory Robakhidze, which produces tin (metal) toy soldiers in standard 40mm as well as manufacturing historical models for figures of the same standard using clay, wood and other materials.
Satisfy that inner child! Check out Yota Royal Museum, Gallery and Shop.