1943 – 2018: 75 years of Revell scale model kits!

1943 – 2018: 75 years of Revell scale model kits!
1943 – 2018: 75 years of Revell scale model kits!1943 – 2018: 75 years of Revell scale model kits!1943 – 2018: 75 years of Revell scale model kits!1943 – 2018: 75 years of Revell scale model kits!

Μοdellers born in the 70s, and even before, certainly remember that brands like Frog in UK and Hawk, Aurora and Revell in USA, were the pioneers of scale plastic models in the history of our beloved hobby.

Frog was in fact the first of all since its foundation in 1931 and their first kits were released in 1936: a range of 1:72 scale aircraft models in kit or pre-built form, moulded in cellulose acetate, was launched under the Frog Penguin name. These were the world's first plastic model construction kits, though the material was not yet polystyrene plastic!

A few years later Revell’s foundation in 1943 by Lew Glazer brought to the market some scaled, toy like model kits of cars, which only remotely resembled scale plastic kits as we got to know them later on.

Although there are no official celebrations, we thought that the 75 years anniversary of Revell’s foundation was a great opportunity to look back at what the company has achieved.

There is of course the Wikipedia and some internet sources and forums you can read more for details, as well as some dedicated books: “Remembering Revell model kits” by Thomas Graham (Schiffer, 2002) is one of them worth reading (photo above).


Revell was the first truly multi-national plastic kits manufacturer, with factories in USA, UK and Germany. For many modelers, like myself, their first model kit was a Revell; in my case a Messerschmitt Me262A-1 in 1/72nd scale (H-624) bought in 1972 (aged 12) at my local stationery bookshop in Athens, for 20 drachmas - hardly 0.05€ - built in less than an hour with the help of my big brother (at 22 called as an expert, having built a few Starfix bagged kits when I was 3)

Those were the days of pocket money modeling and building a kit in an afternoon - instead of studying for school!

It’s very sad news indeed to hear that Hobbico, parent company or both Revell USA & Revell GmbH, filed for bankruptcy on January 10th 2018.


Hobbico company history below (in brief):

In 1971 Tower Hobbies was founded by Bruce Holecek.

In 1972 Great Planes Model Distributors was founded by Don Anderson.

Hobbico was started in 1985 when Tower Hobbies was combined with Great Planes Model Distributors to form Hobbico, Inc.

In November 2005 the company became a 100% employee-owned ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan).

In May 2007 Hobbico acquired Revell-Monogram, famous maker of Revell plastic model kits.

In January 2010 Hobbico acquired model rocket maker Estes Industries.

In September 2010 Hobbico was appointed exclusive distributor for Thunder Tiger in North and South America.

In January 2012 Hobbico acquired the brands Axial, Durango, Arrma and dBoots tires.

As of January 2015 Hobbico no longer distributes Thunder Tiger products.

In 2012, Hobbico acquired Revell Germany located in Bunde, Germany, and launched Hobbico Europe.

As of January 2018, Hobbico filed for bankruptcy protection...

A question was asked on Revell Germany's Facebook page, whether the Hobbico bankruptcy would affect them.  Herewith the response from Revell Germany:

"Revell is not part of the Hobbico bankruptcy filing under Chapter 11 and will continue to operate “business as usual” moving forward. There is no impact on the availability of our products."

Hopefully the model manufacturing side of the business can be sold if necessary and Revell can keep going.