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Model Car Kit History
There are many smaller companies that produce model car kits, but the major ones are Aluminum Metal Toys (AMT), Revell, and Monogram. At the present time, Revell and Monogram have merged.
The Early Days of Model Car Kits
The model kit car hobby began during the WW II era with Ace and Berkeley wooden model cars. The first real plastic kit, a 1932 Ford Roadster, was developed by a gentleman from England named Derk Brand. He was also known for creating a line of 1/32 scale model car kits in England. These kits were later introduced to the U.S.
It wasn't long before promotional models for car dealers were being manufactured. This was a big plus for the car salesman, because while he was trying to make a sale to the grown-ups, he could give the children a model car to play with. During the 1950s and 1960s, interest in the hobby flourished, which led to many companies making a profit. Several companies such as AMT, Jo-Han, Revell, and Monogram began producing model car kits in large numbers. The full-size Dodge Monaco was among their first kits to be released. Today, it is a valuable collector's item.
Model Car Kit Sales Decrease
In the mid-1970s, interest in the model cars began to diminish as the collectors got older and moved on to other interests. In the early 1980s, younger people replaced model building with video games. The late 1980s brought model cars back to life with the help of Monogram and AMT. Monogram produced a series of replicas of NASCAR race cars and AMT produced a kit of the 1966 Chevrolet Nova. This brought model car enthusiasts together again.
The Internet today has also given a boost to the kits. One can even buy a plane model kit, train model kit, boat model kit, car model radio controlled kit, and many other great products. Collectors can now search online for special models they are looking for, read articles on model car kits, and even look at the pictures of the kits. If you are looking for a hobby, this may be the one for you. Many people also like to build model cars to look like the classic cars they had growing up or currently have in the garage.