Collecting Timpo Toys: 4 fields can be distinguished:






Several years passed from the founding of the company 

under the name of „Toy Importer“ to the production of 

the first metal figure. During world war II metal was 

badly needed for military purposes. The toy production

therefore was restricted to articles made of wood

and bakelite, the figures were made of a composition 

material named Timpolene (sawdust, glue, porcelain

clay plus X). 



Two figures made of Timpolene from the year 1946 height 60 mm

 and a chauffeur of Timpolene from 1947 height 40 mm





During those years the TIMPO company only produced

figures made of metal. Today collectors are confused 

about three things: 1.  Lead and pewter were used as

an alloy. For this reason the figures are often classified 

as lead-figures or tin-figures also. 2. The first moulds

were bought from companies like Stoddart and 

Kew.They were developed before the war. It is hard to

tell the difference between older castings and TIMPO

originals. Since 1950 TIMPO used their own moulds.

3. Soldiers made by Benbros can be found in TIMPO 

boxes. Since 1952 the name of the company changed 

to "Model Toys", the trade mark TIMPO however

existed further on. After the production of solid metal

figures TIMPO turned to a technique called „hollow-cast“

developed by William Britains. The models can be 

recognized by their low weight and a small air-hole .

Norman Joplin listed and photograhed them all in his 

very instructive book. Those figures were partly 

flocked with textile fibres to gain a kind of fur look.


The hollow-cast-figure "Wild Bill Hickock", produced

by Benbros, sold in a TIMPO box.





The switch to plastic production occured between 1954 

and 1956. There was a campaign in those days  to exile 

lead from childrens' rooms. The contemporary material

was „plastics“. This is the era of solid plastic figures. The

figures were first commended in a catalogue in 1955 to 

be unbreakable and hand-painted.

In the early days hollow-cast-moulds were used to 

produce the plastic solids. Norman Tooth remodelled

the moulds for this purpose. I found out that some figures

are different regarding the base. Maybe it is due to 

different states of working over of the moulds. The more

recent figures are marked.under the base. Metal figures

are casted upside down, therefore the first plastic castings

are not marked in this place.

The first figures designed only for plastic castings were 

listed in the prospect of 1955. Some series vanished over 

the years, some were sold for an astonishing long time.

The moulds are made of metal and seem still to be in use.

You can read about this subject in Alfred Plath's beautiful 



A cossack, casted 1959 in a mould made

for plastic castings.

From the 

beginning of

the sixties

till 1980

The first swoppets appeared then. Though the first 

generation of this successfull series was partly painted,

TIMPO tried to make the expensive paint obsolete.

The figures were cast in seperate parts consisting of one-

coloured plastic. The single parts were assembled. 

The third and fourth generation of these toys were 

produced with less seperate parts. A special overmoulding-

procedure made possible to combine plastic parts 

made of different colours. In the first and second 

generation it was in use already, but had it's blossom

in the fourth generation. In this way TIMPO achieved to

offer highly charming figures in the fashionable colours of 

the seventies today estimated as vintage items. 

A roman standart bearer made with overmoulding. 

The upper body was formed by melting four 

different coloured plastic granulates together.

since 1980

The year of the failure of Model Toys, who sold the

figures over the world, wasn't the end for TIMPO

fortunately. The legendary trade mark TIMPO survived

until today. The TOYWAY company offers TIMPO-products

partly made using the old moulds today.

Some other moulds are also in use today in the hands of

collectors, particular to satisfy the collectors with the

small swoppet parts which always disappear.

I hope this will last for a long, long time!

Contemporary Toyway-figures