Matchbox Nostalgia Campaign
A short history of Matchbox plastic modelling kitsMatchbox kits originated in 1972 when Jack Odell and Leslie Smith, the management of Lesney Products & Co ltd, decided they wanted a share of the plastic model kits market. The first appearance of Matchbox kits was in 1973 when they appeared in the Matchbox Collectors Catalogue. From the start Matchbox kits were designed to be attractive to the younger modeller by casting them in multiple colours. Already in 1974 the plastic model kit range had grown so much that a separate catalogue appeared "Matchbox Kits Catalogue 1974-75". The majority of the kit ranges were moulded in three colours. This gave a good looking appearance even when the model was finished without painting. Each model was moulded in a set of colours that was chosen to give an appearance as realistic as possible in this way. In 1982 Lesney went bankrupt and the company was taken over by Universal Holdings/Universal Toys, renaming it to Matchbox International Ltd. In 1991 Revell bought the moulds for the whole range of kits and got a ten year lease to use the Matchbox brand name from 1991 up to 2001. After 2001 a number of the Matchbox kits have been released under the Revell brand. You will most likely see a number of these models available in a hobby shop near you. Some of these kits have been remodelled since or released with new decal sets. From a pure modelling perspective these kits may even be preferable to the serious modeller as having the whole kit supplied in one colour will make it easier to obtain a homogeneous paint job. Vintage Matchbox kits can be found on auction sites like EBay where your fellow modellers, who likely have huge stashes of un-built kits, offer them to the highest bidder.
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