The Other Side of Airfix - book review

09 May 2013
imports_CCGB_airfix-book-fc_20191.jpg The Other Side of Airfix - book review
Learn about the history of the famous British toy manufacturer. ...
We’re always interested to receive the latest books about collecting here at Collectors Club of Great Britain, so we were particularly chuffed when a copy of The Other Side of Airfix landed on our desk. 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 Ward, 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.

It’s full of fascinating facts you can quote down the pub to show off! For example, did you know that during its peak in the 1960s, Airfix produced 350,000 miniature Spitfires, 80,000 Hurricanes and almost 60,000 Lancaster Bombers every year. Surely that fact will get you a free pint of ale! Then you can follow it up with the fact that during this time Airfix was selling 20 million kits a year – 75% of the UK market… and these fascinating facts are just from the introduction!

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 and certainly resulted in a few frantic auction/eBay searches to see if we could snap up any of our favourites.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand! 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 this super book.
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