Britains Deetail Medieval Knights

My brother and I recently went digging into a box of very old toys. There were many discoveries, but what stood out to me were these pre-painted plastic minis with green metal bases. They were medieval knights and soldiers and included some horses. After a quick Google search, I found out what they were. Britains Deetail Knights and Turks line of figures.

Above, you can see our surviving mounted riders and horses. Only two horses still have their saddle and barding. None of the riders still have weapons, but only one shield is missing its decal.

Britains Deetail (originally W. Britain) was a company that made pre-painted plastic figures during the 70s and made lead toy soldiers decades before until lead was found unsafe. We didn’t grow up in the 70s but have many toys from the period, but it appears these may have been sold during the 80s as well. The company changed manufacturing to China in the 90s, but the figures underwent changes to make them more pose-able which lost a lot of detail in the molds. We don’t have those, just the high-detail old ones.

These are all of the figures that still have bases. The front-middle two are the only ones with weapons. Only one Turk has his base. At least most of the shields have their decals. The one in the top right appears to be wearing a crown?

In 1997, Britains Deetail was bought by an American company, and the brand has changed hands some since then. To this day, W. Britain still exists and still produces collectible figures. And the original lines of toys can easily be found on eBay, often for reasonable prices.

The poor soldiers who have no base or weapon.

What really struck me about these figures was the amount of detail. These are still a step above typical modern plastic toys you find in stores. They’re much more comparable to hobby miniatures like Warhammer from Games Workshop. Knowing today how much I’ve gotten into gaming, I regret not having played any growing up, but I simply never knew about them. I’m sure I would have loved playing classic Warhammer or Chainmail, or even early D&D. These are a bit on the large side for miniatures games (roughly 50mm). But if you want to grab some old-school, affordable, high-detail minis, look around for some of Britain Deetails old lines. Lots of it out there.

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