W.Britain Toys Announces Expansion of their Chillicothe Operations

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Press Release: For Immediate Release

W.Britain Toys Announces Expansion of their Chillicothe Operations
Chillicothe, Ohio: April 08, 2021 –– On the Mantle, LLC dba W.Britain Toys in collaboration with JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE), and Greater Chillicothe & Ross County Development today announced an investment of over $226,000 to add manufacturing capabilities to the company’s operations in Chillicothe, OH, creating eight new jobs.

“Like most businesses in this country, the unforeseen complications of Covid-19 and related shipping
backlogs from China over the past two years have illustrated how dependent we have become on
offshore manufacturing,” said President of W.Britain, Ken Osen. This was not always the case with W.Britain Toy and model figures, said Osen. Founded in 1893 as a family-owned and operated business in the UK, it grew to be one of the largest and best-known manufacturers of miniature figurines, scenery, and historical models. Although the company has changed names and ownership over the past 129 years, the attention to detail, quality, and authenticity has always been a governing philosophy and hallmark of W.Britain. 

As an American-owned company that relocated to Chillicothe, Ohio, in 2020, these company values remain today. “For the last 26 years, we have taken pride that all our research, development, prototyping, and fulfillment of finished goods has been done here in the United States,” said Osen. “In fact, we are the only ones in our industry who have embraced this approach.”  Although part of the business has always included the domestic manufacturing and finishing of specialized items, this has traditionally been a very small component due to lack of space, staff, and equipment. 

“With the recent experience of global supply chain problems, we are convinced that a larger percentage
of our unique products can be entirely designed and produced here in the United States, and with the support of JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE), and Greater Chillicothe & Ross
County Development this is becoming a reality,” said Osen. “Our immediate goal is to further increase
our staff, which will allow W.Britain to manufacture a larger portion of our scale model miniatures, model kits, and accessories here in Chillicothe.” To maintain quality, it will be paramount to train new staff members in a variety of areas, said Osen. This will include the handling of materials and techniques and educating the new team members on the history behind what the various models represent. 

“We are in the process of reconfiguring the workspace at our main office on Water Street for this new
aspect of our business, including the addition of new workstations and specialized equipment. With
these first steps in training and manufacturing, we will grow the existing business and decrease our
dependence on offshore manufacturing,” said Osen. “We thank JobsOhio for their support and
confidence in our local business.”

JobsOhio supported the project with a $25,000 JobsOhio Inclusion Grant and Ohio Southeast Economic
Development assisted the company with the grant process.
“As a community, we are excited to welcome this manufacturer of custom figurines, scenery, and
historical models to our downtown district,” said Tammy Eallonardo, Director of Economic
Development. “Similar items have been sold at Chillicothe’s ‘History Store’ for many years and are very
popular among collectors and history buffs. It is exciting to know that these items will now be
manufactured locally.”

The JobsOhio Inclusion Grant exists to provide financial support for eligible projects in designated
distressed communities and/or for businesses owned by underrepresented populations across the state.
”W.Britain Toys has over 129-year history and global brand recognition,” said OhioSE President Mike Jacoby. “We are gratified to see the company enter a new chapter of expansion based upon the company’s craftsmanship and the productivity of its Chillicothe workforce.”

Contact: Steph Moore, Fifth Street Business Services: 970-904-0400 and steph.moore229@gmail.com;
Matt Englehart, JobsOhio Communications Manager: 614.300.1152 and englehart@jobsohio.com; or
Sarah Arnold, OhioSE Director of Communication & Marketing: 740.525.5510 and sarah@ohiose.com.
On the Mantle, LLC: Since 1893 W.Britain has been producing toy soldiers and military miniatures with
attention to detail, quality, and authenticity. Each model figure is cast out of metal and hand-painted to
the highest possible standards. Most major time periods are covered from the eighteenth century up to
the conflicts of the twentieth century. Whatever your interest, W.Britain has figures and accessories for
your collection!

Greater Chillicothe & Ross County Development is a public/private partnership, created for the purpose
of advancing, encouraging, and promoting the industrial, economic, commercial, and civic development
of Ross County. To learn more, visit us at GCRCD.com.

Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) is the JobsOhio Network Partner for southern,
eastern, and southeastern Ohio, providing economic development work and resources in 25 rural
counties; they are the newest and geographically the largest of the six regions across the state. OhioSE
partners closely with regional development districts, local economic development offices, state
agencies, and other entities to expand, retain, and attract businesses in the counties they serve. Learn
more at OhioSE.com.

JobsOhio is a private nonprofit economic development corporation designed to drive job creation and
new capital investment in Ohio through business attraction, retention, and expansion. The organization
also works to seed talent production in its targeted industries and to attract talent to Ohio through Find
Your Ohio. JobsOhio works with six regional partners across Ohio: Dayton Development Coalition, Ohio
Southeast Economic Development, One Columbus, REDI Cincinnati, Regional Growth Partnership, and
Team NEO. Learn more at www.jobsohio.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

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