|Toy Brands and Manufacturers|
Bachmann's Plasticville ("Plasticville, USA") brand of self-assembly plastic buildings were launched in (late?) 1946, and were conveniently scaled to work with model railway layouts.
Like Tri-ang's later Model-Land range in the UK, the buildings were designed to be easy to assemble, and were pre-coloured (with coloured features such as doorways and window frames moulded separately in a different colour) so that no painting was strictly necessary. For more exacting model railway enthusiasts, the kits could be painted, in which case having the differently-coloured details as separate parts was rather convenient.
Although the Plasticville range was developed by Bachmann in the 1950s, it also absorbed some models that had originally been produced under the Littletown brand.
1963 promotional text:
PLASTICVILLE, U.S.A., THE TOWN FOR FUN
No grass to cut – no leaves to rake – no snow to shovel – no windows to wash – no errands to run
LOOK, BOYS! Own your own town, your own railroad pike, your own farmland – without any of the grownup worries ... just the fun of creating your very own HO or O-S gauge scale layout to fit your train or trolley plan!
PLASTICVILLE, U.S.A. city, country, and suburban buildings and accessories just can;t be matched for realism. Everything is there, down to the people, the animals, the highway and road signs. New this year in HO scale is a luxurious trailer home with patio awning and jalousie windows.
Insist on PLASTICVILLE U.S.A., for the biggest value in fun-giving true-to-life model towns and villages.
— , Bachmann Bros, Inc, , Boys' Life, , December 1963
In many of the Plasticville models, the designer(s) seem to have deliberatlely set out to capture the essence of 1950s newbuild America, and the US Post Office building and town Bank, the Turnpike, and the 1950s motel, drive-in, diner, supermarket, and "Frosty Bar" all serve up a slice of classic Americana – our special favourite is the desperately Art Deco hospital building ... if one removed the hospital markings, we think it'd make an excellent British Odeon Cinema!
- Plasticville homepage, Bachmann (bachmanntrains.com)
- Plasticville Collectors' Association, PCA (plasticvilleusa.org)
- Plasticville (wikipedia.org)