Style vs Substance
Matchbox were keen that their models were attractive to young people, so attached a lot of importance to their visual attractiveness, and their ease of completion. But did this focus compromise the quality of their kits? Were they less accurate as a result? To check this out, I’m going to take a closer look at the Matchbox kit of the Hawker Hunter.
Continue reading “Matchbox Aircraft Kits – Accuracy”
It’s All in the Packaging!
Toy manufacturers often group items from their ranges together and sell them in sets. Minic was no exception and immediately the range was launched, began producing a number of boxed bundles. So, what is it about sets that would tempt the prospective buyer? Several reasons suggest themselves. Perhaps there will be a cost saving; a set might contain something unique that cannot be purchased separately; or maybe the boxed presentation is just more convenient and attractive in some way.
Continue reading “Minic Ships – Sets”
The ‘Solido’ brand name – suggesting strength and robustness – was first established in France in the 1930s, but it was after World War 2 that Solido became a major producer of diecast model vehicles. In 1961, Solido launched their 200 series, a new range of military vehicles.
Continue reading “Solido Military – Introduction”
We are usually too busy enjoying the toys we buy to waste time thinking about how they are made. However, every once in a while, doing so can reveal what an amazing enterprise toy-making was, and sheds light on the models themselves. What can we learn from the Dinky production process?
Continue reading “Dinky Military – Manufacture”
Figures of Fact or Fantasy?
Knights are a popular subject for the makers of toy soldiers, and Britains made several sets of them over the years. When the first figures in the Deetail range were released in 1971, it was only a couple of years before sets of foot and mounted knights were added to the range. In line with normal Deetail practice, the new figures were provided with some opponents to fight, in the form of sets of foot and mounted ‘Turkish’ warriors.
Continue reading “Britains Deetail – Accuracy”
Matchbox kits were colourful. Very colourful. In fact, some people think they were too colourful! To understand why, let’s enlist the help of a small Finch…
Continue reading “Matchbox Aircraft Kits – Colours”
Understanding the Context
Toys, like most objects, reflect the times they are made in. They can do this in many ways, but perhaps the most obvious is through the choice of subject to be modelled. When I see a model, I like to be able to identify the subject and understand why it might have been made. Researching this can open the door to some fascinating history, and teach us a little about the past.
Continue reading “Dinky Military – History Lessons”