When grading the condition of Vintage Toy Soldiers we can, with some confidence, stick to 5 general levels of quality: Mint, Excellent, Good, Fair and Poor. Unlike some collectibles, such as coins, stamps and comics, these grades of item quality aren't as tightly defined. However, here are some guidelines you can go by.
Mint condition should only refer to a figure that is in perfect condition and that has not been removed from the original factory packaging, if there was any. One cannot say that an item is mint if it has been removed from the package. Also, the toy soldier in question must not have any factory flaws. While it is rare to see vintage toy soldiers in the original package they do pop up on eBay and other auction sites from time to time.
Excellent condition, which might also be referred to as "like new", is used to indicate a figure that has been removed from the package or has other changes. For example, a soldier with a new, high quality, paint job obviously isn't in factory mint condition but would be considered to be in excellent condition. This is the quality level you should target although you will find as you collect vintage toy soldiers that figures of this quality are rather rare.
Good condition generally indicates that the toy soldier in question has been played with by a child (or child at heart) to some degree. These figures could have minor flaws and damage that has been well repaired. The paint job might be chipped and scrapped very slightly. A vintage toy soldier in this condition should still be acceptable for a collection and the flaws should be minor enough so as not to distract from the visual quality and enjoyment of the figure in a collection.
Fair condition means that the toy has been played with considerably but that a substantial portion of the original paint remains on the figure. The toy soldier may have minor, unrepaired, damage. For the most part, these figures aren't of collectible quality but they can serve as place keepers for better toy soldiers at a later date.
Poor condition means a piece that has very substantial damage, such as missing limbs or accessories, and has no collectible value at all. However, don't despair. These vintage toy soldiers can be used to build dioramas or serve as spare parts for other figures.
Let me know if this information on grading the condition of Vintage Toy Soldiers has been helpful to you.