Aifix Collectors Club
Arts & Crafts
I recently acquired a 1978 Arts & Crafts catalogue, which I think may complete my collection of these catalogues and leaflets put out by Airfix in the 1960’s and 70’s.
I know that in 1979 and 1980, the Arts & Crafts range was included in the Toys and Games catalogues for those years and that, therefore, separate Arts & Crafts catalogues may not have been issued. I don’t have a 1978 Toys & Games catalogue yet but I know one was issued (see Arthur Ward, Celebrating 50 years of Airfix, page 157).
1st Edition (?):
The earliest leaflet I have is undated and lacks a catalogue number but is probably 1967. It is a simple four-page folded leaflet measuring 163 mms by 225 mms and is entitled “New Artist”. I think it is possibly the “1st Edition”. Incidentally, the New Artist range first appeared in the 5th Edition Kit catalogue (Early 1967) as a half page feature which suggested it was a new range to Airfix.
1st Edition Catalogue
The 2nd Edition catalogue/leaflet was probably issued the same year and has the catalogue number 907077 on the back. It is a twelve-page fold-out leaflet and measures 147 mms x 232 mms per page.
I also have an undated leaflet, number 90708/0 which contains details of new additions including “Signs of the Zodiac”, “Velvet Art”, “Fashion Art by Maio”, “Foil Craft” and “Craft Time”. Velvet Art was listed in the two earlier leaflets. Craft Time first appeared in the 8th Edition (1971) Kit catalogue. Some of the other additions were mentioned in the 6th and 7th Kit catalogues so I’m not sure when to date this, but all three leaflets mentioned so far had Type 3 logos.
The next leaflet is number 90710-3 and bears a green Type 4 logo. It is an eight-page fold-out leaflet, measuring 111 mms by 230 mms per page. There is nothing listed as “new” so it was probably issued in late 1971 or early 1972.
2nd Edition Catalogue 2nd Edition Leaflet 3rd Edition Leaflet
In 1972, the 3rd Edition catalogue/leaflet was issued. Very similar in design to the above leaflet it does not have a catalogue number but does have the date, 1972, on the cover and inside. It is a sixteen-page fold-out leaflet measuring 150 mms by 241 mms. New additions to the range include “Activity Corner”, “Cotton Craft” and “Velvet Treasures”. From now on all catalogues/leaflets would be labelled as 4th Edition onwards, except for the last two, and would be issued annually and bear the date of issue. Some of the range may have attracted licenses.
3rd Edition Catalogue
The 1973, 4th Edition was a twenty-page fold-out leaflet which measured 160 mms by 222 mms per page and bore the catalogue number 90704-8. There were two sides to the folded out leaflet, the title side included all the New Artist range plus a new “Pet Set” series. The ten inside pages which had their own title page were devoted to the “Crafts” range and included new additions such as “Freestyle”, “Airfix Pastimes”, “Felt Craft” and “Craft Kits”. The four “Craft Time” kits were no longer mentioned and they had also disappeared from the 10th Edition Kit catalogue which probably signalled their demise.
4th Edition Catalogue
The 5th Edition, 1974 catalogue was the first ‘real’ catalogue being an A5-size stapled booklet. It bore the catalogue number 90704-8, the same as the 4th Edition! There were 36 pages including the covers.
New additions included “when I was a little girl”, “Mona Lisa” and “Black Beauty” (which may have been licensed from the T.V. series) in the New Artist range and in the Craft range, “3-D Pictures”, “Clay Craft” and “Soft Toy Kit”, the Pink Kitten being held by a very young Patsy Kensit!
5th Edition Catalogue
1975, saw the 40 page A5-size 6th Edition catalogue. There were obviously alterations to the content of each series but the main new additions were a “Vicky and Black Beauty” painting from the T.V. series, 6 “Doctor Who” (Tom Baker) painting sets, “Weebles Water Colour Sets” and “Magic Miniatures” in the New Artist range. “Luminart”, “Colour Craft”, “Super Craft Kits”, “Puppet Packs” and a “Three in One Craft Kit” were additional to the Craft range.
6th Edition Catalogue
The 1976 catalogue (90714/5) was now A4 size in landscape mode, similar to the 13th Edition Kit catalogue. Acrylic paints were added to Series One New Artist sets. “Fast Dry” acrylic paint sets and “Hugo the Hippo” acrylic sets were also added. Magic Miniatures now included “Royalty Sets”. “Super Pin Pictures”, “Nostalgia Crafts”, “Fimbles” and “Walt Disney Cartoons” were added to the Crafts range.
7th Edition Catalogue - 1976
8th Edition (?):
Now listed only as “1977 Arts & Crafts” (90715-8), the A4 landscape catalogue was similar to the 7th Edition. New art sets included “paint’n glitter”, “Mickey Mouse & Friends” and “Nature Trail”. “Picture Kits”, which included kit parts, “Cross Stitch” and “Stitchery” were craft additions.
8th? Edition Catalogue - 1977
9th Edition (?):
The 1978 catalogue was in A4 portrait mode number (90716-1). “The Dinosaur”, “Mirror Signs” were new art ranges and “Doing Things” activity kits and “Italian Flower Craft” were new craft additions. The “Fimbles” had been deleted (see CS30). This was, I think, the last separate Arts & Crafts catalogue Airfix produced.
9th? Edition Catalogue - 1978
This article first appeared in "Constant Scale" No. 32 - 2008