From The Brighton Toy and Model Index
Toy Brands and Manufacturers


1939 -     

Airfix was founded in 1939 by Nicholas Kove, to make hollow rubber toys and novelties, and when rubber became scarce because of wartime demand for tyres for military vehicles, Kove switched to using plastics, and then to injection moulding.


Although the name is now synonymous with model aircraft kits, and it would be reasonable to assume that this is what the name stood for ("air-fix"), the name was actually a reference to the air-filled rubber building blocks (and toy ducks and other novelties) that the company originally produced.

In 1949 the company produced a moulded acetate model tractor as a promotional item for the Ferguson tractor company, and then started selling the parts through Woolworths, unassembled, as kits.

Airfix "Cutty Sark" ship, polybagged construction kit

In 1952, this was followed by a "proper" moulded polystyrene kit of the Golden Hind ship, and then the first Airfix model aircraft kit - a Spitfire Mk1 - in 1953.

However, the roaring success of these "poly-bagged" kits didn't immediately take over the company's whole output - a 1956 trade advert lists "construction kits" as the second entry for the company's output, after "polythene tea-sets"!
The list goes on to mention "beach lines", "games" and "novelties, etc. etc".

Part of a range of kits aimed at model railway constructors – Detached House - Airfix Trackside Series No.2

Undated slip, text:

The AIRFIX Range includes over 300 Constant Scale Kits and among them are Aircraft, Modern and Veteran Cars, Warships and Classic Ships, Fighting Vehicles, Historical Figures, Rolling Stock and Trackside Series, 00 figures and Museum Models.

AIRFIX also produce MotorAce Home Car Electric Racing Sets and Accessories, New Artist Painting by Numbers, BETTA BILDA Building Sets and a wide range of Toys and for the modeller, publishes Airfix Magazine. For full details of each range see separate catalogues.

External links


  • Trevor Pask, Airfix Kits (Shire Library) ISBN 0747807914
  • James May with Ian Harrison, James May's Toy Stories (Anova, 2009) ISBN 1844861074 pages 128-169


This category has the following 6 subcategories, out of 6 total.





Media in category ‘Airfix’

The following 48 files are in this category, out of 48 total.