The Other Side of Airfix

Sixty Years of Toys, Games & Crafts

Arthur Ward

Date Published :
March 2013
Publisher :
Remember When
Contributor(s) :
Darrell Burge
Illustration :
Over 100 color images
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781848848511
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.75 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Airfix is synonymous with plastic model kits. The brand name has virtually become a noun, occupying a special place in that lexicon of trade names alongside Hoover, Sellotape, Perspex and Aqua-Lung.
Throughout the war years, Airfix survived on government contracts for a whole range of plastic items and by virtue of Kove's tenacious appetite for business and doing a deal. By the war's end, Airfix was the market leader in plastic injection molded combs in Britain.

By the time Airfix had released its first proper construction kit, a tiny model of Drake's flagship Golden Hind, in 1952, the firm was well established as a leading toy brand. Indeed throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s Airfix invested heavily in developing new toys or manufacturing them under license for large US toy companies such as Hasbro.
Very soon, Airfix extended its activities beyond toys into games and arts and crafts and in short time famous names.

Indeed so successful was Airfix at diversifying that by the 1970s the company had grown to such an extent that it had acquired other famous toy brands including Dinky Toys, Tri-ang, Meccano, and Romper Room. With its subsidiary Crayonne Airfix even harnessed the design talents of the then Terence Conranne in attempt to elevate plastic products to the rarified atmosphere of designer chic.

So there's a lot more to Airfix than many might think and this book is the first attempt to document the myriad successful lines, outside of plastic kits, which contributed to the company's dramatic growth before a combination of factors forced it into brief liquidation in 1981. Written by someone with a lifetime's fascination for Airfix and who has written other books about the better-known construction kit side of the business, The Other Airfix is a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

About The Author

Trained at art school, Arthur Ward has enjoyed a thirty-year career in media and marketing. His first love, however, is history, and he is particularly interested in the social and political aspects of military history and, as far removed from this as it is perhaps possible to get, the history of toys. He is a specialist about Airfix and is considered the leading authority about this famous brand. He also runs, the enthusiasts’ website he established with Radio Four's Peter Donaldson.

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