These have mostly been mass produced as toys since the 1950s. The most commonly used material is polyethylene (PE) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). These are flexible, unbreakable types of plastic.
Hard plastic miniatures are usually supplied as single figures in the form of construction boxes. Well-known brands are Historex from France, Airfix from England and Tamiya from Japan. With Elastolin (now Preiser) miniatures deserving a special mention. These are high-quality hard-plastic toy miniatures. Softer plastic miniatures have been produced in huge quantities since the sixties by brands such as Timpo Toys, Britains and Atlantic. Contemporary brands include Esci, Italeri and Revell. A new kind of miniatures from the last 20 years are the 10 cm-tall figurines by the brands Papo, Plastoy and Bully.