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  QUESTION: Who made (makes) Men at War 1914-1945 lead (now tin) miniatures? 09 Sep 2006, Queensland Australia

I began collecting the Men at War 1914-1945 miniature lead figures a few years ago, and returned them due to their high lead content. After this i tried re-purchasing the soldiers, but was delayed at least a year. I had since given up, but found the information on your web site, and was wondering if perhaps you had any further information regarding the miniatures, such as discontinuation of their manufacturing, original producers etc.
Thankyou for your time.
ANSWER: 09 Sep 2006

Dear Sir,
we first started to receive complaints about television commercials being shown in the morning (before-school) timeslot for the Men at War 1914-1945 lead miniatures in mid-2001 and I wrote to the manufacturer DelPrado Publishers in Spain to ask: "Why does your company use a known toxic compound in a shape that children will find appealing? Why don't you do what other metal model makers have done and develop lead-free models that can be publicised as such?"
They replied in July 2001 to the effect that the lead soldiers are not toys, and it is made clear. Specifically:

"re: our Lead Soldier Collection.
1. At no time during the advert are the soldiers referred as "toys", it is in fact clear throughout that this is an adult collection, specially designed for collectors.
2. It is clearly marked on every title page, every box containing a soldier, and every price/barcode label that the product is not a toy with wording as follows: "Figures contain lead. This product is not a toy. Not suitable for children ".
3. Lead soldiers are all around the world in specialist shops which again specify that they are not toys."

Australian consumer affairs agencies determined that the lead soldiers were being imported by Osprey and marketed in such a way that they would appeal to children and in August 2001 the Australian Treasury recalled them saying in an email to our information service: "Thank you for your email about the recall of the Lead Soldier Collection. As you would be aware, it is usual practice for 'pewter' items sold these days to be made of a leadless material. The distributor has undertaken that the replacement soldiers will also be free of lead, as stated in the recall notice."
The full text of the recall notice is:

"Gordon and Gotch Pty Ltd—The Lead Soldier Collection: Men at War 1914-1945.

PRA number: 2001/4866
Date created: 8th August 2001

Product information

Product description

What are the defects?

Due to the high lead content of the soldiers this product could be a health hazard particularly to children.

What are the hazards?

Lead Poisoning.

Where the product was sold

  • Nationally


Gordon and Gotch Pty Ltd

What should consumers do?

Remove the soldiers from children's reach and return the soldiers to the place of purchase for a full refund. Alternatively you can return the soldiers and place an order with your newsagent for an identical replacement soldier made of Fine Pewter."

[Reference:] If you visit the DelPrado website today you will find "Men at War 1914-1945" in the catalogue at " You can contact DelPrado at Email.
I notice that searching the web for - DelPrado miniatures - also turns up quite a few hits on eBay.
I hope that answers your query and that the item you saw on our website was "METAL MINIATURES: HOW TO MINIMISE THE RISKS OF LEAD POISONING & CONTAMINATION" at
Be safe
Best regards
Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

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Last Updated 04 September 2012
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