Swords and Roses, Collecting Guide for Britains Swoppet Knights

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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.

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.


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