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Manoil was a combination of three people: Maurice Manoil, his brother Jack and Walter Baetz (designer-sculptor). Manoil began by producing picture frames, mall containers, souvenirs, lamps, ashtrays and banks in 1927. By 1934 Manoil introduced a line of die-cast cars consisting of two sedans, the coupe and the wrecker. According to the Bakels' records the production of Manoil's soldiers began in 1935.The pre-war line of soldiers was both learner and more realistic group of figures making them the most authentic-looking American combat soldiers ever produced.

Manoil never made any enemy soldiers, according to the Bakels the reason for this may have been Baetz, "he hated Japanesse and other enemy soldiers", and did not want to model them.

Manoil Manufacturing Co. moved to Waverly, New York in 1940 employing nearly 225 people. With the end of toy soldier production on April 1, 1942, Manoil found itself floundering. Unlike other companies such as Barclay and Auburn, which turned to war production, Manoil was unable to land any defense contracts. It struggled throughout the war. Manoil returned to producing toy soldiers in late 1945, shortly after the end of world war II. Manoil continued manufacturing in lead until 1949 when it also began producing in plastic. Till this day collectors seek out Manoil toy soldiers along with cowboys, Indians and Happy Farm Series.