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The Other Side Of Airfix (Hardback)

60 Years of Airfix Toys

General History Colour Books

By Arthur Ward
Imprint: Remember When
Pages: 178
ISBN: 9781848848511
Published: 18th February 2013

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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 tenancious apetitie for business and doing a deal. By the war's end Airfix was the market leader in plastic injection moulded 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.

Ward obviously knows and loves his stuff - this is his fourth book on Airfix, afer all - and with the help of folks from the Airfix Collectors Club there's a huge range of photos of things in the company's range.

Trouble at t'Mill blog

This book is packed with insider perspectives from former employees. Plus, readers will learn new tidbits such as how formerly uncredited Bill Stallion was responsible for some of the thrilling box art for soldier sets, and sometimes used himself as a model. 'The Other Side of Airfix' is an engaging look at the company's history and a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

Toy Soldier & Model Figure

“The other side of airfix” is an engaging look at the company’s history and a nostalgic trip down memory lane. This 192-page, hardcover book filled with colour photos has been published by Remember when, an imprint of Pen & Sword Books Ltd.

Toy Soldier &Model Figure

Although Airfix is now known throughout the world for producing a range of detailed plastic kits, it’s had a fascinating history making everything from board games to craft sets – all of which is charted in this great read.
Written by Arthur War, with a foreword by Airfix’s Darrell Burge, The other Side of Airfix takes us behind the plastic kits to showcase some of the more interesting items produced by the company. It also has first hand accounts from key members of staff like Jim Dinsdale who worked in the ‘Prototype Workshop’ and press officer Sue Wright, who both recall what it was like working for Airfix during its heyday.
However, what we appreciated most was the large amount of superb colour photographs showcasing obsolete toys dating all the way back to the 1950s. Just looking through these alone is a wonderful trip down memory lane. The other Side of Airfix is a cracking read that we thoroughly enjoyed and if you’ve got an interest in classic British toys, we can heartily recommend it.

Collectors Gazette
 Arthur Ward

About Arthur Ward

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 www.collectingfriends.com, the enthusiasts’ website he established with Radio Four's Peter Donaldson.

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