Matchbox musings ...

Matchbox musings ...

Joined: March 1st, 2005, 2:54 am

July 17th, 2010, 2:12 am #1

I have been following a few classic Matchbox kits on ebay recently and it led me to thinking a bit about the history this company had with plastic kits and the endless hours of fun I had building these kits as a kid.

I was wondering if anyone could tell me when they started with plastic kits and what their first aircraft kit was? Also, when did they cease making plastic kits and what was their last aircraft kit?

It seemed towards the end they took to re-boxing other manufacturers kits and did away with the multi colour plastic, which, when you think about it, they were way ahead of their time in terms of innovation with that one!

Although some of their kits were, to coin a phrase "ordinary", there were some real crackers in their range. The main ones that come to mind for me in 72nd are the Hurricane IIc, P-51D, P-47D, P-38, A-20, B-25, Tempest Mk.V/II, A-4M, F9F Panther, but to name a few.

Does anyone know of a website that traces the history of the company?

What are your memories and favourite kits?

Cheers!

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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 10:20 pm

July 17th, 2010, 2:59 am #2

I remember my first kits. They were a red plastic tri winged aircraft and a P-40. I assume they were Airfix but that I can't remember for sure. I recall Airfix, Frog and Revell not so sure about matchbox kits. I had heaps of matchbox cars.

I was 4 years old at the time. Modelled for many years after and never really lost the interest but got really hooked again when I was 40. I couldnt believe how expensive the hobby had got. Now I look back 10 years and think they where cheap then and I cant believe the retail price of kits now.

I remember dad getting me to bring out my built kits to show his friends. It was amazing how many of his friends even then had kits stashed away and gave them to me. I vaguely recall some special kits from BP being given to me.

Regards

Peter Johnstone
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Joined: February 9th, 2008, 6:04 am

July 17th, 2010, 3:36 am #3

I have been following a few classic Matchbox kits on ebay recently and it led me to thinking a bit about the history this company had with plastic kits and the endless hours of fun I had building these kits as a kid.

I was wondering if anyone could tell me when they started with plastic kits and what their first aircraft kit was? Also, when did they cease making plastic kits and what was their last aircraft kit?

It seemed towards the end they took to re-boxing other manufacturers kits and did away with the multi colour plastic, which, when you think about it, they were way ahead of their time in terms of innovation with that one!

Although some of their kits were, to coin a phrase "ordinary", there were some real crackers in their range. The main ones that come to mind for me in 72nd are the Hurricane IIc, P-51D, P-47D, P-38, A-20, B-25, Tempest Mk.V/II, A-4M, F9F Panther, but to name a few.

Does anyone know of a website that traces the history of the company?

What are your memories and favourite kits?

Cheers!
in the RAAF. Whilst I was doing a little modelling in those days I was never tempted to buy Matchbox kits because of their "two tone" plastic sprues.. it made them look toylike.
In fact I had never built a matchbox derived kit until last year when I built the Revell repop of the twin otter.

I think the first kit I ever built "alone" was the Airfix Stuka 1/72..an unpainted glue bomb, all i remember is the grief the dive flaps gave me!

The biggest memory of "wanton lust" for a kit is one I written about before.. The Frog Shackelton, I eventually saved up enough to buy it on a Friday afternoon. started building it, finished painted asnd decalled by about 5 in the morning (Saturday)! it was hard puting down decals on tacky paint and rivets the size of champignons...........

I have one in the stash to relive the moment.
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Joined: November 15th, 2006, 3:26 am

July 17th, 2010, 4:01 am #4

I have been following a few classic Matchbox kits on ebay recently and it led me to thinking a bit about the history this company had with plastic kits and the endless hours of fun I had building these kits as a kid.

I was wondering if anyone could tell me when they started with plastic kits and what their first aircraft kit was? Also, when did they cease making plastic kits and what was their last aircraft kit?

It seemed towards the end they took to re-boxing other manufacturers kits and did away with the multi colour plastic, which, when you think about it, they were way ahead of their time in terms of innovation with that one!

Although some of their kits were, to coin a phrase "ordinary", there were some real crackers in their range. The main ones that come to mind for me in 72nd are the Hurricane IIc, P-51D, P-47D, P-38, A-20, B-25, Tempest Mk.V/II, A-4M, F9F Panther, but to name a few.

Does anyone know of a website that traces the history of the company?

What are your memories and favourite kits?

Cheers!
I still remember it clearly. It was a 1/72 Spitfire VB moulded in green and tan with grey. I think I used a whole tube of cement on it. I built it, played with it, broke and rebuilt it then one day I discovered Humbrol paint and painted it this ghastly camo scheme. And now some 30 years later I'm still building.

The only kits I still have from when I was about 15 are my 1/48 Roulettes Macchi (rebuilt three times), 1/72 Herc (three times) and 1/32 Hornet (rebuilt twice).

Regards

Andrew Doppel
Assistant Moderator AMI
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Joined: April 24th, 2005, 12:23 am

July 17th, 2010, 4:42 am #5

I have been following a few classic Matchbox kits on ebay recently and it led me to thinking a bit about the history this company had with plastic kits and the endless hours of fun I had building these kits as a kid.

I was wondering if anyone could tell me when they started with plastic kits and what their first aircraft kit was? Also, when did they cease making plastic kits and what was their last aircraft kit?

It seemed towards the end they took to re-boxing other manufacturers kits and did away with the multi colour plastic, which, when you think about it, they were way ahead of their time in terms of innovation with that one!

Although some of their kits were, to coin a phrase "ordinary", there were some real crackers in their range. The main ones that come to mind for me in 72nd are the Hurricane IIc, P-51D, P-47D, P-38, A-20, B-25, Tempest Mk.V/II, A-4M, F9F Panther, but to name a few.

Does anyone know of a website that traces the history of the company?

What are your memories and favourite kits?

Cheers!
This site explains quite a bit about the original matchbox kit ranges and has listings with Box Art etc:
http://www.matchboxkits.org/ They first released kits in 1972 and their first Aircraft Kit was the Hawker Fury (PK-01) with the Spitfire Mk IX being the second.
Matchbox like Frog and Airfix before them were not afraid to do more obscure subjects and if anything moreso with some quite esoteric subjects being released.
I built a lot of these when I was younger as they were in my Teen Pocket Money range but it was mainly the Armour kits I built to wargame with.
They did some amazing stuff like the 32nd Lysander and I seem to remeber a great fondness for the Mosquito, A20, Halifax and Wellington.
Cheers
Al
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Joined: November 3rd, 2008, 4:35 am

July 17th, 2010, 4:46 am #6

in the RAAF. Whilst I was doing a little modelling in those days I was never tempted to buy Matchbox kits because of their "two tone" plastic sprues.. it made them look toylike.
In fact I had never built a matchbox derived kit until last year when I built the Revell repop of the twin otter.

I think the first kit I ever built "alone" was the Airfix Stuka 1/72..an unpainted glue bomb, all i remember is the grief the dive flaps gave me!

The biggest memory of "wanton lust" for a kit is one I written about before.. The Frog Shackelton, I eventually saved up enough to buy it on a Friday afternoon. started building it, finished painted asnd decalled by about 5 in the morning (Saturday)! it was hard puting down decals on tacky paint and rivets the size of champignons...........

I have one in the stash to relive the moment.
$2.49 from 100 Puckle St.  I'd mowed the lawns that day, and Dad gave me $5 pocket money for my trouble.  Airfix Ju-87B, 1/72, codes SZ+FS.  I spend ages selecting that kit, dunno what it was about it that made me buy it.  I would've been around 8 or 9, I think.  It stayed with me until I moved out of home in my early 20's.  After that, pretty much nothing but Matchbox, because they were cheap, and could be gotten just about anywhere.
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Joined: September 17th, 2002, 11:35 pm

July 17th, 2010, 4:57 am #7

I have been following a few classic Matchbox kits on ebay recently and it led me to thinking a bit about the history this company had with plastic kits and the endless hours of fun I had building these kits as a kid.

I was wondering if anyone could tell me when they started with plastic kits and what their first aircraft kit was? Also, when did they cease making plastic kits and what was their last aircraft kit?

It seemed towards the end they took to re-boxing other manufacturers kits and did away with the multi colour plastic, which, when you think about it, they were way ahead of their time in terms of innovation with that one!

Although some of their kits were, to coin a phrase "ordinary", there were some real crackers in their range. The main ones that come to mind for me in 72nd are the Hurricane IIc, P-51D, P-47D, P-38, A-20, B-25, Tempest Mk.V/II, A-4M, F9F Panther, but to name a few.

Does anyone know of a website that traces the history of the company?

What are your memories and favourite kits?

Cheers!
built in the 1950s and were Airfix and Frog.

Matchbox's between the wars biplanes are great value and still good, but the other models they have done seem to be from a different designer in that they are too toylike, especially the larger aircraft.

Early this year I built their Privateer but it required a lot of scratchbuilding of the interiors and other changes to get near to OK.



Recently (last 12 months) I have done the Skynight, Norseman etc.



Last edited by MalcolmMcKay on July 17th, 2010, 4:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 2:48 am

July 17th, 2010, 4:57 am #8

I have been following a few classic Matchbox kits on ebay recently and it led me to thinking a bit about the history this company had with plastic kits and the endless hours of fun I had building these kits as a kid.

I was wondering if anyone could tell me when they started with plastic kits and what their first aircraft kit was? Also, when did they cease making plastic kits and what was their last aircraft kit?

It seemed towards the end they took to re-boxing other manufacturers kits and did away with the multi colour plastic, which, when you think about it, they were way ahead of their time in terms of innovation with that one!

Although some of their kits were, to coin a phrase "ordinary", there were some real crackers in their range. The main ones that come to mind for me in 72nd are the Hurricane IIc, P-51D, P-47D, P-38, A-20, B-25, Tempest Mk.V/II, A-4M, F9F Panther, but to name a few.

Does anyone know of a website that traces the history of the company?

What are your memories and favourite kits?

Cheers!
I started on the Airfix kits in the 70's (I remember a Galdiator amongst others) and then transitioned to Matchbox in the late 70's or early 80's. I still have a few to build in the stash now (Spitfire, Mosquito and a few others)

I have also found the multi colour boxings good for Air Cadets as they are colourful and easy to knock up in a day/weekend.

David Harvey
Editor
Aussie Modeller International

www.aussiemodeller.com
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Joined: March 1st, 2005, 2:54 am

July 17th, 2010, 5:25 am #9

This site explains quite a bit about the original matchbox kit ranges and has listings with Box Art etc:
http://www.matchboxkits.org/ They first released kits in 1972 and their first Aircraft Kit was the Hawker Fury (PK-01) with the Spitfire Mk IX being the second.
Matchbox like Frog and Airfix before them were not afraid to do more obscure subjects and if anything moreso with some quite esoteric subjects being released.
I built a lot of these when I was younger as they were in my Teen Pocket Money range but it was mainly the Armour kits I built to wargame with.
They did some amazing stuff like the 32nd Lysander and I seem to remeber a great fondness for the Mosquito, A20, Halifax and Wellington.
Cheers
Al
the Mosquito. I think they also did a 1/72 Lysander I remember building one day. Also, luved the F-86A!!

I had a stack of Matchbox stuff I have sold off over the years as better kits came along. Kinda regret it now!
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Joined: April 28th, 2007, 9:04 am

July 17th, 2010, 5:44 am #10

I have been following a few classic Matchbox kits on ebay recently and it led me to thinking a bit about the history this company had with plastic kits and the endless hours of fun I had building these kits as a kid.

I was wondering if anyone could tell me when they started with plastic kits and what their first aircraft kit was? Also, when did they cease making plastic kits and what was their last aircraft kit?

It seemed towards the end they took to re-boxing other manufacturers kits and did away with the multi colour plastic, which, when you think about it, they were way ahead of their time in terms of innovation with that one!

Although some of their kits were, to coin a phrase "ordinary", there were some real crackers in their range. The main ones that come to mind for me in 72nd are the Hurricane IIc, P-51D, P-47D, P-38, A-20, B-25, Tempest Mk.V/II, A-4M, F9F Panther, but to name a few.

Does anyone know of a website that traces the history of the company?

What are your memories and favourite kits?

Cheers!
My 1st kit I ever built was a 1/72 Revell Hurricane MkI,I would have been about 8 I guess,( I'm 40 now) but my fondest memories of modelling as a kid/teenager are of the Matchbox kits.There were 2 local toy shops(remember them!?)that sold them and I would buy 1 every week.I still remember their He-111 I built like it was yesterday.Every now and then I will buy 1 off ebay for my son to put together but more often than not they go for ridiculously high prices,which is a shame as they are so easy for kids to put together.It's a shame they went down the gurgler.

cheers,Daz

"the 1st time I saw a jet I shot it down"-General Chuck Yeager
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