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This London, England based company was started around the 1850s as a mechanical toy maker called William Britain & Sons.

In 1893, the started their most recognized for product line of toy soldiers. Of the 125 numbered sets made by 1901, 104 were of British regiments, 15 represented colonial troops (mostly Indian Army regiments), and only six foreign military units.

The name Britains Ltd was adopted to in 1907.

In the early 1920s, they issued their "Model Home Farm" series. This was expanded into a full zoological series offering a variety of animals "majestic, ferocious, or docile as the case may be" in the early 1930s. Eventually nearly 100 different models of wild animals, from bears and bison to tortoises and tapirs were made. Many of the animal figures were designed by L. D. (Dennis) Britain, who succeeded his father, William Britain Jr as a director.

In 1929, they issued their first aircraft, a monoplane, in either R.A.F. or U. S. Army Air Corps markings. The monoplane came m a specially designed box that could be refolded into a hangar.

In the early 1930s, they made a "Roadster" and "Limousine" vehicle in 1:76 scalefor their popular "Motor and Road"' series.

After WWII, their focus was on military and farm diecast vehicles and equipment.

In the early 1950s, they started making a range of 1:76 scale sized vehicles that evolved into the named "Lilliput" series in 1957.

In 1971, a scale-model motorcycle line was introduced called "Speeway".

During the 1980s, the were making 1:32 scale vehicles that included farm, construction and police vehicles.

In 1987, Britains Ltd as they were now known became part of the Dobson Industries Group and the name of the firm was changed to Britains Petite. This stressed its assocationa with with Byron International Ltd, the makers of Petite Typewriters.

In the mid 1990s, Britains Petite was aquired by Ertl and then came under the RC2 Brand umbrella in the 2004.

In early September 2005, First Gear acquired W.Britain's toy soldier line from RC2 Brands

On February 5th, 2016 the 123-year-old brand was sold to The Good Soldier LLC located in Holland, Ohio.

Sourced references -

Encyclopedia of Small-Scale Diecast Motor Vehicle Manufacturers - Sahakangas, Foster & Weber (2006)
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