Britains is a toy company founded by Mr William Britain (junior) in London, England in 1893. Initially Britains produced diecast lead soldiers, but expanded in the late 1940s to produce vehicles, farm machinery & military weapons. After taking over plastic miniature company Herald Miniatures in 1959, Britains expanded their range to include hundreds of plastic animals & figures.  Production of lead figures was ceased in 1966. In the 1970s Britains introduced a range of metal figures aimed at the collector's market. This range was expanded in 1983 & released under the "William Britains" brand. In 1986 Britains was renamed Britains Petite Ltd & in 1997 was sold to US toy giant Ertl. Ertl in turn was taken over by an even larger US toy company Racing Champions in 1999. In 2005 Racing Champions sold the William Britains toy soldier range to another US  company First Gear of Iowa. Britains is currently owned by TOMY.

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