In 2009, Airfix, the most famous plastic model construction kit company in the world, celebrates its 70th birthday.
Founded in 1939 by Hungarian Nicholas Kove, Airfix holds a unique appeal for boys (and girls) of all ages and has been part of the fabric of childhood for generations.
Packed with photos of the kits from the 1950s to the present, "The Boys' Book of Airfix" is a nostalgic look at one of the greatest brands ever.
In addition to the history behind the models, from the first Airfix kit - a model tractor - right up to today's exciting "Doctor Who" releases, it tells the story of the dramatic twists and turns of the Airfix saga.
In the autumn of 2006 it looked as if the great name might disappear for ever when its owners languished in receivership, only for the company to be heroically rescued by Hornby.
If you were ever responsible for sending an Airfix Messerschmidt to a fiery doom from your bedroom window, this book is for you!
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 192 pages, 100
- Publisher: Ebury Publishing
- Publication Date: 20/06/2009
- Category: Antiques & collectables: toys, games & models
- ISBN: 9780091928988
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Review by RobertDay
This is a book with two identities. Outwardly, the title (itself echoing a popular series of educational books from the 1950s and 1960s), the photographs, the packaging and part of the text is a nostalgic celebration of childhood and something of a tip of the hat to the "new laddism" as many of the said "new Lads" move into middle age. But the book starts with, and keeps returning to, the history of the company, its founders, and their ups and downs. The career of company founder Miklos Koves, who later anglicised his name into the more comfortable-looking Nicholas Kove, is paid special attention: his career in the Austro-Hungarian army during the First World War, his brief political career as a minister in the short-lived Communist Hungarian government of Bela Kun, and his life in post-war Europe helping build a new industry - plastics - is paid special attention.Having become a household name - and indeed, a generic name for any plastic assembly kit - the post-war fortunes of Airfix draws in a lot of the rest of the British toy and model industry, and there is reasonable mention of Airfix's competitors and their stories. Many of these companies ended up as part of the same business group. Airfix is now a part of the Hornby group, and the enthusiast community has sustained optimism about its future for the first time in many years. This book is a celebration of that optimism, and should be read by anyone who has ever 'located and cemented parts 16 and 17'.