Ever since I came to Ireland I have been intrigued by the Prince August Toy Soldier Factory in Kilnamarytra, Macroom, Co Cork. You can’t drive over the Cork & Kerry Mountains without passing signs for the place – – – it’s so well sign posted from all the main roads. This summer we had friends from the US stay with us so after years of wanting to check it out, having visitors was the perfect excuse to finally visit.
The Toy Soldier Factory is a one of a kind attraction. It’s the only Toy Soldier factory in Europe and is a fully functioning
factory so they are actually casting toy soldiers there!
Visiting the factory is free for all but the main attraction is the ‘Make and Paint’ Workshops. For a reasonable price everyone can select a miniature to cast and paint. For safety reasons littler ones (under 6) can take a paint workshop as casting involves heat and melting. The website outlines a variety of workshops and there is even a fairy door Make & Paint workshop.
We selected the Make & Paint workshop which takes approximately 40-60 minutes (with the smallies just painting). Participants get aprons and a quick demo on how to cast metal miniatures. After choosing from a variety of miniatures (including toy soldiers, fairies, ballerinas, holiday ornaments and many more) each participant has an opportunity to melt metal and cast their own miniature. Once cast the fun moves to the painting area!!! There is plenty of colours and brushes for everyone to perfect their work. For the little ones who finished early there was a small play area with toys to occupy them while the perfectionists in our group finished.
Once dried everyone’s masterpieces are ready to take home!
The gift shop sells some pretty unique toys and gifts including do at home toy soldier kits. There are also plenty of hand patient toy soldiers to buy. ThisIrishBoy fell in love with the hand painted knight gear. For an additional charge visitors can see the HUGE diorama of the Battle of Waterloo. The scene includes over 15,000 hand cast and painted toy soldiers and was an 8 year-long labor of love by Andre Rudolph from Germany.
- Book online at http://princeaugust.ie/toysoldierfactory/ to select your workshop and avail of discounted pricing. We booked early on a Sunday morning and had the factory virtually to ourselves!
- Thinking of early Christmas shipping?? The at home cast and paint kits make cool gifts and the helpful staff was happy to arrange shipping internationally.
- We made a day of it and headed off to one of our favourite places for lunch: Toons Bridge Dairy you can check out or post on it here.