We find toys in America overbearing. They all try desperately hard to be educational. They all try to teach the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors or rhymes. They are pedantic and and in being so they actually achieve less especially for infants (under the age of 2 years.) We are constantly looking for toys that are just fun and allow the child to make of it whatever they want.
It is some of that thought and just the appreciation for something creative that we love wind-up toys in general and the specific toy soldiers shown above. These toys are small -- just about 2-3 inches tall. They have a little key that you use to wind them up and then once you release -- they move like a horse -- up and down on the front legs and make an amazing sound very similar to those of a horse's hoofs (Tak...Tak..Tak). The sound isn't via any electronics but just the impact of the tiny front feet on the floor.
Akshra loves them and excitedly says 'Takka...Takka...' whenever she sees them. We've used their charms many a times to feed her dinner.
They are hard to get these days. You can find them used on eBay. No American company is making new toys like these. We found them for the first time in a tiny little shop in the small village called 'Niagara On The Lake' a few miles off of the Niagara Falls in Canada.