Matchbox Skybusters – Introduction

Simple and Snazzy

Matchbox Aircraft

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.

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Dinky Aircraft – Big Planes

Bigger and Better?

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.

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Matchbox Aircraft Kits – Updating

Keeping Up To Date

When manufacturers release kits of contemporary subjects, they usually represent the version currently in service. Sometimes, in the haste to release a kit of a new subject then in development, they have to base their research on prototypes. This can pose a problem of accuracy if the subsequent production version differs to any great degree. But even an accurate kit can find itself left behind if the subject it models is upgraded and visually altered during its service lifetime, as often happens with successful aircraft. What does a manufacturer do in this situation?

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Matchbox Aircraft Kits – Uniqueness

Modelling the Unusual

Unique Selling Point

When it came to choosing subjects for their aircraft kits, Matchbox seems to have followed a policy of backing two horses. On the one hand, they followed the other major manufacturers in creating kits of the most well-known and popular aircraft but on the other, they also modelled some very unusual subjects.

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Dinky Aircraft – Introduction

Compact & Charming

Dinky Aircraft

The first aircraft models were released by Dinky in 1934, and the range continued, with a break during World War 2, up to 1965. As with their contemporary range of military vehicles, there were two main periods of production: the first models were created during the 1930s, and then a new set of models replaced them in the 1950s. During both periods, separate but complementary selections of models were produced by the UK company in Liverpool and by the French factory in Bobigny.

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