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Christmas toy soldiers are a great form of entertainment for families at Christmas time, both in terms of decoration and play.
The intricate figurines, also commonly known as wooden nutcracker soldiers, are extremely popular at this time of year - but they also have quite the traditional backstory to them. In German culture, the wooden dolls symbolise good fortune, power, and strength - and are said to protect the home and keep away any danger or evil spirits that may come around.
They also grew massively in popularity thanks to 'The Nutcracker' storybook, ballet, and subsequent films that have been released (most recently Disney's adaptation of the iconic tale). Having become quite the traditional addition to our homes during the festive period, who wouldn't want one for themselves?
We've rounded up 10 of our favourite Christmas soldiers below that we think the whole family will love to have around, so take a look - and if you like these suggestions and are looking for even more festive inspiration, why not check out our top 10 Christmas train sets to go under the tree or our best Marvel gifts for super-fans!
Our Top Choice
Paint Your Own Wooden Soldier Nutcracker Figures
If you thought Christmas toy soldiers couldn't get any better than they already are, then you're very wrong. This set of six figures not only creates the perfect fun activity for the whole family to do together but the end results can either be displayed or played with - a great way to get in the festive spirit. Using the included set of paints and brushes, you'll get to design your very own figurines however you'd like - choosing from the varied selection of soldiers with different hats and accessories. The set comes with a very decent price tag and you can really go wild - either following the traditional design of the soldier's uniforms or coming up with your own.
- Price: £11.42
- 6 models included
Best For Families On A Budget
Toy Soldier Ornament - Lego
This Lego Toy Soldier Ornament is the perfect miniature addition to the family, and could even make for an adorable festive stocking gift. The kids will have so much fun building the unique little soldier and presents to place inside the clear bauble, which can then be hung with the red ribbon right onto the tree to admire. A modern twist on the traditional wooden nutcrackers, the Lego ornament will look great throughout the festive season and is sure to bring a smile to the faces of both children and adults. When the celebrations are all over, the kids can even add the figurine to their collection of toys!
- Price: £6.99
- Age: 6 years +
- Includes 43 pieces
Best For Family Fun
Nutcracker Toy Soldier Wooden Puppet Kits - Baker Ross
This pack of four puppets is great fun for the whole family to get involved in, leaving you with some pretty cool toys to play with or some great decorations to hang up - that's up to you. The kit comes with several wooden shapes cut and ready to assemble together into a soldier, but first, you'll get to enjoy the activity of decorating them! Using either paint, felt tip pens, or even felt to glue on - you'll each be able to decorate your own puppet toy soldier however you see fit, whether that's with the traditional uniform and hat, or your very own unique design. When you've finished your design, simply put it together and have fun with the strings. We'd recommend this activity is best for those over 6 years old due to the small parts and fiddly putting it together - but all ages can help decorate for an awesome end result!
- Price: £5.95
- Age: 6 years +
- Made with plywood
Best For Decorating Your Tree
Christmas Nutcracker Ornaments Set - Womdee
Bright and sparkly, this gold, silver, and white five-piece set look great in their traditional uniforms and hats and are ideal for hanging up on your tree or even standing on a table as decor. The handmade wooden dolls are each unique, with some holding drums or swords - and aren't super fragile if the kids want to pick them up and play. Each figurine is 12cm tall and is placed on a glittery stand with a string attached to their heads for hanging - a standout set that will catch your eye whenever you walk past!
- Price: £9.99
- 5 piece set
Best For All Ages
Jelly Nutcracker Soldier - Jojo Maman Bebe
A festive soft toy soldier that's great for imaginative play, a cuddle, or even to prop up and add to the rest of your decorations - what more could you want? Suitable for all ages, this jolly Jelly toy soldier comes all dressed up in a luxurious red and gold uniform and hat, and may even give you a giggle with his moustache. A friendly companion that a younger child may just want to bring along with them everywhere - this is a great soft toy to add to their collection, or even to give as a Christmas gift. When the kids are tired of playing, this soft toy nutcracker will make a great addition to your festive decorations and can be seated on a shelf, fireplace, or wherever you want him!
- Price: £26
- Made with soft plush
Best For Disney Fans
Disney Traditions Stalwart Soldier - Mickey Mouse Figurine
Arriving in a beautifully decorated box, this Mickey Mouse Soldier is all dressed up in festive red, green, and gold colours and stood upon a stand decorated with mistletoe. Delicately hand-painted, this figurine has a really unique twist on the Christmas toy soldier and even opens and closes at the mouth like the traditional dolls. While he'll be sure to look great no matter where you place him as a decoration, you'll have to be careful when it comes to touching as this soldier is breakable. Either way, he's sure to be popular amongst both children and adults - so why not combine the magic of Disney with the most magical time of the year?
- Price: £31.46
- Made with resin
Best For Lego Lovers
LEGO The Nutcracker Christmas Soldier
Enjoy the traditional wooden toy soldier in Lego form with this super-cool Lego interpretation. Perfect for those aged 7 years and older, this toy soldier is great as a small gift or for children to play with instead of the typical ornament - easy to assemble and perfect for the festive season. The unique piece is slightly pricy as it's no longer in production, but it's great fun to build for both kids and adults, and the finished product can even be displayed so that everyone can admire the unusual hair and moustache of the soldier.
- Price: £42.71
- Includes 320 pieces
Best For Festive Fun
Augustine & Augustus Christmas Nutcracker Family
This festive duo of nutcrackers is a great addition to your collection - hand-painted in bright colours of red, green, blue and gold. Each doll is unique, one stands with a drum and the other with a staff - and are both realistic replicas of the traditional German wood soldiers, stood on a gold stand. The pair would look great either placed on a window sill, a fireplace, as a table decoration, or even to complete an outdoor display - and can be handled gently by children.
- Price: £50.99
- Made with polyresin
Best For Standing Out
Norbert The 3ft Red Christmas Nutcracker Soldier - White Stores
Who wouldn't want a 3ft nutcrackers soldier to decorate their home? This beautifully crafted figure comes dressed in a festive red, green, and blue uniform with charming gold buttoned boots - but there are four other colour options to pick from if you'd wish. Durable and stable, smaller kids will love being the same size as this model - and will absolutely adore the LED lights built into the uniform jacket (though this does require three AA batteries). The (almost) life-size replica of the traditional soldier can be placed anywhere you'd like - either inside or outside of the house and will have you mirroring the open-toothed grin right back at him!
- Price: £79.99
- Made with polyresin
Best For Decoration
Wooden Nutcracker Soldier - Studio
With a big white beard, a sword on his belt, and a festive red and green uniform - this traditional nutcracker soldier is a real pleasure to look at and really adds to the Christmassy feel. Beautifully crafted from wood, the soldier reaches half a meter tall in size - which makes him both great value for money and a real stand-out piece. Stand him up (with the help of his solid base) by your door, your tree, or near the fireplace and see how he adds to the festivity. While the soldier doesn't actually crack nuts, he looks fantastic and can even be played with (with gentle hands).
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top online products for families of all ages, sizes, and budgets. If you enjoyed our toy soldier suggestions, then why not have a browse of our best Disney gifts or our best Lego gifts for kids for some more inspiration?
- Price: £22.99
- Decorative purposes only
Rachel grew up in Switzerland and currently lives in north-west London. She is an avid reader, writer, and a real foodie and loves discovering new hotspots and trendy places to go in the city. She also enjoys planning days out for her family, she especially loves taking her little cousins swimming and to the park. When she has some free time she loves going to concerts, baking, or visiting her family at their home in Essex. She can sometimes be found travelling a bit further than Essex and loves meticulously planning and researching a trip before heading off to explore new places in Europe and further afield.