Category:World War Two

From The Brighton Toy and Model Index
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The Second World War arguably marked the end of a Golden Age of distinctly British toymaking, which had flourished though the 1920s and 1930s. WW1 had broken the previous German dominance of metal toy manufacturing and encouraged British manufacturers (and prospective manufacturers) to move from wood to metal as a material, which created greater opportunities for finishes, mechanisms and mass production, and the industry showed practically year-on-year innovation between the wars. This was cruelly cut short in 1939 with the outbreak of World War Two, resulting in the slowdown and then cessation of all toy production as manufacturing industry was switched to war work.

With the War looming, 1939 saw a notable increase in the number of military toys and models, mainly tanks, armoured vehicles and fighter planes. Advertising in 39-40 began to emphasise the usefulness of toys and construction kits as a "blackout hobby" to keep children occupied during the long blackout nights.

As the War progressed, toy manufacturers kept advertising, even though they currently had nothing to sell, and in 1945 these adverts started to be more optimistic, promising that production would start really soon.


In the event, WW2 was followed by the Korean War. Korea had been liberated from the Japanese, and (like Germany) partitioned, with Russia taking nominal control over the North, and the allies controlling the South. The American determination that Korea wouldn't "go communist" led to a brutal suppression of suppression of groups with communist sympathies, including many of the anti-Japanese freedom fighters, who fled to the North. This created a highly polarised region that still conflict-ridden. Britain still had National Service and metal shortages after WW2, and the toy industry didn't get back onto its feet until the 1950s, after which technology had moved on, plastics were becoming dominant, and many existing toymakers found themselves with out-of-date skills, trying to compete with cheap internationally-manufactured plastic, and a new business environment where toy companies were being bought up not just by their national competitors, but by international corporations, some of whom were not even toy manufacturers, but were looking to diversify form other markets (such as breakfast cereals).

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This category has the following 20 subcategories, out of 20 total.


  • Airfix(12 C, 10 P, 164 F)


  • Cox(4 C, 3 P, 45 F)











Pages in category ‘World War Two’

The following 35 pages are in this category, out of 35 total.

Media in category ‘World War Two’

The following 200 files are in this category, out of 715 total.

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