As we have seen before on this website (for example, with Solido and Wiking), manufacturers love to release their models many times over, by changing the colour schemes and/or the accessories. Completist collectors can be driven to distraction by this practice – so many models with so many variations to find, and some of them exceedingly rare! Luckily, I don’t share this mania because some of the Skybuster range have many, many variants. But nonetheless, let’s take a look at the practice, using just a few of the most easily available models, to see what fun can be had.
Continue reading “Matchbox Skybusters – Variants”
After the War
Following the dislocation and destruction of WW2, the German economy and Wiking itself slowly recovered. The moulds for most of the pre-war ships seem to have survived the war, and some were made available again. However, the real profits were made from new ventures making plastic models of aircraft and vehicles, and in fact it is the range of 1/87 vehicles for which Wiking became famous in post-war Germany.
Continue reading “Wiking Ships – Relaunch”
Fitting the Box
Matchbox, like other manufacturers of the time, made their models to fit the box. This was convenient for the manufacturer and retailers, because they could handle a single size of product, but as a consequence meant that models in the same range were produced to varying scales. In fact, the scale of an individual model is not usually stated.
What does this mean for Skybusters models? Let’s examine the question by taking two aircraft of widely differing size.
Continue reading “Matchbox Skybusters – Scale”
Of course, not all figures created by toy makers were military. Britains are famous for their soldiers, but they also made farm workers, dancers, equestrians and hospital staff. Airfix had already produced several sets of figures for model railways in HO/OO scale. However, only a single set of non-military figures were made in 1:32 and these were footballers.
Continue reading “Airfix Military Series – Football”
In 1973, Matchbox introduced two new ranges of aircraft to the market. The first has already been covered in these pages – plastic construction kits. The second was a range of diecast models, the Skybusters.
Continue reading “Matchbox Skybusters – Introduction”
The Big Planes
The last of the roughly 1:200 series of aircraft models that we have so far been examining was produced in 1960, and the range fairly quickly faded out of production. But after a short hiatus, the first new aircraft of what is generally called the Big Planes range was released in 1965, and this was followed over the next 10 years by another 15 models.
Continue reading “Dinky Aircraft – Big Planes”
The French Connection
We have seen elsewhere on Fighting Toy Stories how the French output of Dinky military vehicles added an interesting set of models to the British selection. Is the same true for the aircraft?
Continue reading “Dinky Aircraft – France”