From The Brighton Toy and Model Index

Revell was founded by Lewis H. Glaser in 1943, as Precision Specialities. The company initially did a variety of contractual plastics moulding "engineering" work, producing plastic parts for other companies, but also produced a range of HO-scale train sets with accessories marketed under the brandname "Revell".

Further early toy products were based on bought-in designs of early motor cars, initially from the Gowland Brothers in the UK. This gave a range of pull-anong 1:16 cars, which were then scaled down to 1/32 and rebadged as Revell Highway Pioneer Quick Construction Kits.

The Highway Pioneers range seems to have been successful, and expanded to take in a range of other early motor cars, including those from non-US car companies.

In the 1950s, Revell started producing models of ships, and then decided to produce inspirationally modern models of spaceships and current items in the US rocketry programme, along with a set of scale car models, including some dedicated models for car showrooms.

1956: Revell Plastics GMBH

The German offshoot of Revell started producing some of their own well-respected designs in the 1970s.


In the early Sixties, Revell continued to follow trends common across the model car kit industry by hiring Ed "Big Daddy" Roth to produce cartoonish Sixties counterculture characatures of cars and their owners, broadly similar to the Wierd-Ohs sets produced by Hawk, and other "crazy" sets made by other plastic model car kit manufacturers in an effort for differentiate their products from those of their competitors.

However, Revell did manage to create their own niche when it came to "hot-rod-able" models: Some kits could be built in three different versions; as a production model of the car, as a racing version, and as a hot-rod, with advertising emphasising the degree of customisability of the Revell kits.

Also around this time, Revell chased the trend of slot-car racing, buying International Raceways ... but in an over-crowded market, Revell ended up losing a significant amount of money when the slotcar bubble inevitably burst.


In the 1980s, Revell were caught up the unavoidable rounds of takeovers and mergers and ended up effectively being merged with fellow plastic kit manufacturer Monogram.

External links

==ed roth


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