Swords and Roses, Collecting Guide for Britains Swoppet Knights

Book Review Now Available!

  • Check out the book review by Steve Pugh in the July edition of Plastic Warrior magazine

  • More reviews coming soon in other toy soldier publications

Swords and Roses is a collecting guide that focuses on the Britains Swoppet Knights, a range of plastic toy soldiers that ranks among the best ever. They were marketed with a theme of "The Wars of the Roses" - thus the title of the book. Britains Ltd produced the Swoppet Knights from 1959-1972, and they have become highly collectible over the past 50 years. See below for characteristics that make them special.

The Guide is an all-new reference for this innovative and remarkable line of toys that represented a high point from the golden age of plastic figures. It covers every major aspect for the collector: basic factory configurations, rarities, values, counterfeit components, boxed sets, where to search, what to watch for when buying, restoration, and repair. It features robust color photography with hundreds of pictures, and up-to-date information on every known component, from common to the rarest, including previously undocumented variants. A checklist is included for those striving to collect all the components.

The Guide also includes chapters on how the line was developed by Roy Selwyn-Smith and Herald/Britains, "swopping" to create new poses, conversions, historical accuracy, display, and making dioramas featuring Swoppet Knights. Want to collect every possible Swoppet knight? Can’t be done – this Guide tells you why.

Click Here for Customer Comments on Swords and Roses:

Excerpts from feedback July-November 2022 -

      • “Your book on the subject is just awesome and is obviously a labor of love. You have motivated me to begin collecting ... Thanks so much for making an old man happy” – L.K. (USA)

      • “I just received the book and I want to congratulate you right away. It is a very thorough and accurate work, full of useful information and curiosities such as to interest even the most savvy collector …” – O.B. (Italy)

      • “… I am about 60 pages into your book. So far, it has been an informative and enjoyable read! It really fills in the gaps of the earlier works. Thanks so much for writing it ...” – J.M. (USA)

      • “I have read 'Swords and Roses' from cover to cover, and I think the two of you have done a terrific job. I found all your angles of approach completely absorbing and informative, whether to do with placing the set in the contexts of the history of knight figures, the history of actual knights, the conception of the set or its production history. I very much enjoyed the gentle humour which kept surfacing throughout …” – P.C. (UK)

      • “… it appears to be the ultimate magnum opus on Swoppet knights … I didn’t know you could write that much about one range! … thanks for the memories” – C.G. (Australia)

      • “… The photography. I am mesmerized. It is stunning in all its detail … The content is so thorough, so detailed, so extensive … The breadth of Swoppets knowledge that you are sharing with us, is unbelievable … And of course, your stories of your childhood and starting the collection. So similar to my own and I’m sure thousands of other collectors …” – J.H. (Canada)

      • “The book arrived yesterday. I dove into it shortly thereafter. I am suitably impressed. Thank you very much. Your research is impeccable, to say the least …” – W.K. (USA)

      • “… I have begun to read it word for word, cover to cover and it is fantastic. A great read and a super resource … will be put to good use, both as entertainment and as a guide to further collecting and display …” – J.B. (Canada)

      • “The book is everything I had been led to believe and more, and absolute tour-de-force of the subject …” – S.B. (UK)

Examples of the Standard Figures

The Swoppet Knights range includes four mounted and six foot figures that came in different action poses. The knights donned armor with detailed engraving, were equipped with realistic weapons, and sported an array of colorful tournament-style shields, crests, streamers, and horse coverings. A great attraction for children in the 1960's ... and collectors in present day.

So, What's Different About a Swoppet Knight?

  • Beautiful sculpting by designer Roy Selwyn-Smith

  • Creative, realistic poses

  • Separately molded body components that twist at the neck and waist to enable different poses

  • Separately molded equipment parts in 3 different types of plastic that complemented the animation and three-dimensional appearance of the figures.

  • Over 250 color/design variations of the parts

  • The parts can be "swopped" between figures to generate even more action poses.

Have you ever wondered if that missing part really exists?

  • The Guide includes tables for each accessory/equipment type (e.g., shields, crests, etc.) that include color photos documenting design and color variations.

  • A checklist is included in the book for those collectors seeking to collect all variations of all components.

  • Lots of discussion on rare parts and figures.

Sample Pages

Below are small snips of several pages from Swords and Roses to provide a sense of presentation and style (actual pages are 8-1/2" x 11"). The blend of text and illustrations varies by chapter as dictated by topic. Following the title page, there are snips related to the standard figures, equipment variations, hybrid figures, cleaning, a photo montage of a conversion diorama scene, and a subset of the equipment checklist.


Contact SwordsAndRosesBook@gmail.com to get more information

Copyright © 2022 by Edward Stephen Poole. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.