In 1872 Georg Heyde, whose company was based in Dresden Germany, obtained a licence to make cast lead soldiers and other figures, competing with Nuremburg firms who were producing much of the German lead soldier output at the time. Their variety of poses and attention to detail made Heyde the leading exporter of toy soldiers in the world until WWI in 1914. Heyde also produced lead figures for other companies and made the famous railway station passenger figures for Bassett-Lowke. Heyde continued limited production after the war up to 1944, but the partial destruction of the factory and the political climate of WWII forced the company to end production completely.