The Company

   

Walter Merten GmbH was a longstanding German manufacturer of painted plastic figure sets in all of the popular scales. The original Merten figures were of lesser

quality as compared with competitor and market leader Preiser, although Merten did have a wry sense of humor (consider: pirates and garden dwarves). Many of Merten's figures are recycled by Faller.

The Figures

Not long ago, Merten was purchased by Preiser, who has since reissued about two-thirds of the sets with improved painting, which was honestly Merten's only shortcoming. Preiser made some other changes: some figures that used to be packed while attached to their casting sprues have been cut off and placed in nests. Most Merten figures have bases, which are handy for beginners but annoying for more advanced modelers; it appears Preiser has begun removing the bases from some figures. Preiser has also added a few new sets (2535 and onward); these figures do not have bases.

The list probably has errors. It's a challenge determining which items might be or have been discontinued, as Preiser's website is ambiguous as to the status of the sets that are out of stock, of which there are many. Those marked OOP were not re-released by Preiser. Merten had two different packaging styles.

Cat #

Description

Notes

0800

Street vendors

 

0806

Women travelers

 

0812

Men travelers

 

0818

Traveling groups

 

0820

Traveling pairs

 

0853

Women sitting

 

0855

Men and women sitting

OOP

0859

Men sitting

 

0865

Sitting groups

 

0867

Sitting pairs

 

0870

Track repairmen

 

0876

Track repairmen

 

0889

Blacksmiths & horses

 

0891

Foresters & shepherds

 

0896

Farm workers

 

0902

Harvesters

 

0908

Railroad personnel #1

 

0914

Railroad personnel #2

 

0948

Bathers

 

0954

Swimmers

 

0960

Swimmers

 

0963

Wedding group

OOP

0967

Wedding guests

 

1006

Jockeys

OOP

1007

Riders on horseback

OOP

1008

Riding school

OOP

1009

Military horsemen

OOP

2024

Pirates #1

OOP; rare

2025

Pirates #2

OOP; rare

2174

Musicians on the beach

 

2180

Pedestrians

 

2191

School children

 

2197

Children playing

OOP

2203

Ice cream shop

 

2209

Organ grinder

 

2234

Workers loading

 

2240

Workers loading

 

2246

Policemen

 

2250

Policemen

OOP

2252

Traffic policemen

 

2258

Workers

 

2264

Street cleaners

 

2268

Railroad personnel #3

 

2280

Railroad personnel #5

 

2286

Passengers climbing stairs

 

2292

Passengers

 

2295

Passengers

 

2301

Passengers

 

2303

Garden dwarves

OOP; rare

2319

Women hanging laundry

 

2325

Gas station workers

 

2331

Race car mechanics

 

2337

Cement workers

 

2343

Construction workers

 

2371

Firemen #1

OOP

2377

Firemen #2

 

2397

Young people

 

2398

Happy drunks

 

2399

Chubby passengers

 

2400

Chubby couples

 

2403

Sheep & shepherd

 

2406

Pigs & goats

OOP

2407

Cows - brown

 

2407

Cows - black

 

2408

Show horses

OOP

2409

Work horses

 

2410

Stags

 

2411

Fallow deer

 

2414

Wild boars and fawns

OOP

2417

Mountain goats

OOP

2451

Car occupants

 

2454

Playground 1

 

2455

Playground 2

 

2458

Merchant stand

OOP

2462

Mini golf

 

2465

Ping pong

 

2466

Cats and dogs

OOP

2467

Hunting hounds

OOP; rare

2481

Wind surfers

OOP

2490

Tennis players and judge

OOP

2493

Rubber dinghy occupants

OOP

2496

Wagon with logs

OOP

2497

Wagon with freight

OOP

2508

German fire department 1

OOP

2509

German fire department 2

OOP

2535

Wedding group

new

2539

Passengers with luggage

new

2544

Wanderers

new

2550

Passengers

new

2567

Young passers-by

new

Where to Buy

Merten figures are available from a number of European online shops, as well as directly from Preiser. Vintage sets frequently appear on eBay, although some are quite rare.

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Copyright 2017 by David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.
Corrections and contributions greatly appreciated. Thank you!