ITC Model Craft
|Toy Brands and Manufacturers
ITC Model Craft
|1957 - 1963
ITC Model Craft was the "plastic kits" branch of the Ideal Toy Company (hence "ITC"). Producing catalogues between 1957 and 1963, ITC Model Craft absorbed and rebranded the kits that Ideal already produced and expanded the range into a proper product line.
At its peak, ITC Model Craft produced kits that were not just motorised but arguably animatronic, with the motor shaft fed through a reduction gear to very slowly turn a set of control shafts equipped with "cams" that switched functions on and off. To get even more complexity from a single mechanism, on some models the control shaft would reverse at the end of its sequence, and then replay all the same actions in reverse order.
ITC Model Craft's range had a number of problems, not least the reaction from serious kit hobbyists, of "who?". Ideal's distribution chain was focused on toys rather than model shops, the ITC-H range inherited some car and other mouldings from Ideal that were more toyish than serious hardcore modellers demanded (and could get from Airfix, Revell, and other "serious" kit-makers), and while adding animated features was fun, a serious car modeller was more likely to put their precious finished model in a cabinet than to have it driving in funny patterns in the livingroom carpet. The range tried to straddle ... uncomfortably ... the division between fun "gimmicky" toys and serious model kits.
Alan Bussy's history of ITC Model Craft (linked below) says that the remaining unsold inventory was then jobbed out under the brandname "Ringo".
- "ITC (Ideal Toy Company) Model Kit History and Cam-A-Matic Action (Used in the Halibut, USS Enterprise, Thor, Mercer, Duesenburg and Battling Betsy)", by Alan Bussie (www.oldmodelkits.com) – a thorough history of the subject, complete with listing and box art gallery
- ITC Model Craft (scalemates.com)
- British Pathé: Brighton Toy Fair (1958) (youtube.com) – at ~2'13": Unboxing: the ITC Model Craft kit of the S.S. United States liner