La Nef des Jouets à SOULTZ ( Alsacian country ) organized an temporary exhibition since July 6 to October 5, 2008, on the topic

       " Le  poilu en petit soldat de plomb"
        The "Poilu" as a small tin soldier"

     The organizers sent to Poupendol a press documents and many illustrations.Alas! Alas ! Poupendol  had received anything.

     Now Poupendol has find again all its mail accumulated on more than six months.
     It is thus only too late that we report this demonstration to give regrets to our visitieurs not to have been able to go to it, for lack of having been warned.
     We can only express all our regrets both in our visitors and to the organizers of La Nef. Here is what we would have liked diffusing from June, 2008

     To mark the 90ème anniversary of the end of Great War (14-18), Gerard Faessler and Henri Cayrat showed the golden age of the lead figurine (1920-1940) in close connection with the conflict which was one of most fatal of the European history.

    The retrospective put in scene figurines all marks : CBG, QUIRALU for the French marks, ELASTOLIN and LINEOL for Germany and BRITAINS and TIMPO for England; to quote only some marks of toys.

The figurine, reflection of the conflict and warlike exaltation

     The golden age of our small tin soldier places between 1920 and 1940. The figurehead is the combatant of the Great War for France with especially the Poilu  in  blue horizon suit, often represented in allegorical attitudes of which  the war memorials are inspired and raised in our villages

     The lease of the figurine coincides  with the worship of the MEMORY and PATRIOTISM. Let us not forget that 90% of the subalterns  belligerent armies were killed during this conflict. So, is it urgent to give to the rising generations the sense of duty and the taste command, panache…
     The middle-classes and higher become the privileged targets of this nationalist dash. Thus,the toy will be the tool for the most effective “education”, through the small tin soldier, in the case which interests us, but also through the panoplies, the educational plays...


     To be convinced some, it is enough to examine the old catalogues of  New Year's gifts of the Parisian Department stores, in the Thirties, for example that of the “Bon Marché de Paris”.

     One page is devoted  to the little girls with beautiful dolls, some teddy bears, cradles, cookers, poussettes… It is necessary well to prepare these little girls to their future role of perfect housewife ! Even a panoply of nurse there is found…. !

       For the boys ? Two pages of warlike toys going from multiple boxes of tin soldiers on the most varied subjects. The artillery, Allies, the review of the Victory, soldiers with the camp…. there are some recurrent themes.
    Toward the panoplies of perfect small soldier - with or without shoulder pads - we  find the copy of uniforms of officer, of captain, of headquarter, cuirass-cavalryman… the weapons are not in remainder: dart rifles, sabres, machine-guns and even guns. Without forgetting the drums, the trumpets, and the bugles of the victory; as many  accessories impossible to circumvent and emblematic.
     In these same catalogs however, we can already observe a  emergence of new industrial markets, appear indeed of new toys, though timidly still: one or the other lithographed sheet car (Renault, Citroen or Panhard) and a building set MECCANO, well-known  of all.

This last mark - MECCANO - which launches after the second world war the toy which will dethrone the small  toy  soldier definitively, namely small car DINKY TOYS to the 1/43ème.     

            But this is another history…


La Nef des Jouets – 12, rue Jean Jaurès
68360 SOULTZ  
Actuellement fermeture annuelle
Dès le 29 Mars 2009, le musée dera ouvert tous les jours
sauf le mardi de 14h à 18h

Feb 2009