If you happen to be British then perhaps the most iconic toy soldier is the guardsman, standing to attention in his red tunic and busby. Everyone who has ever owned a toy soldier will at some time probably have had one but what do you do with them? The only time the British army ever fought in a uniform vaguely resembling this was during the Crimean War, which the toy soldier industry has chosen to totally ignore!
The other sin of the industry, looking back from the lofty pinnacle of political correctness, is one of ethnicity. There are five Regiments of Guards: Grenadier, Coldstream. Scots, Irish and Welsh but the toymakers will invariably only offer you the Grenadiers or Scots. Does it matter? Not really (unless you happen to be of Irish extractions, as I am, or perhaps Welsh). And the point of this post is ............how do you tell them apart anyway? On this occasion Her Majesty, no less, comes to our assistance with a poster outside Buckingham Palace explaining the uniform variations - it's all about plumes and buttons (note also the buttons on the cuffs). The photographer captured in the reflection is non other than your humble reporter before being hauled off to the Tower.