Company Profile: Revell

History in a Nutshell

In 1943, Lewis H. Glaser founded Precision Specialties in Hollywood, a contract manufacturer of injection molded plastics. Some of their first products were marketed under the brand name Revell (French for "new beginning"). A subsidiary, Revell Plastics GmbH, was founded in BŁnde, West Germany, in 1956.

Products included plastic kits of automobiles, battleships, planes and, eventually, model trains. Around 1980, as sales of plastic kits plummeted in the US, Revell was purchased by Generale du Jouet, a French toy company; however, Generale du Jouet was having their own financial difficulties, and by 1986 Revell was picked up by Odyssey Partners of New York, who folded Revell into their Monogram Models division.

In 1994, Revell-Monogram was purchased by Hallmark Cards as part of its Binney and Smith toy and hobby division. Hobbico then acquired both North American and German divisions of Revell in 2012. In 2018, Hobbico filed for bankruptcy, and the international investment group Quantum Capital Partners assumed management of the company.

N Scale Products

Revell launched their N Scale trains line in 1967 with rebranded Arnold products. Although it lasted only a few years, their relationship resulted in a number of new American-style locos and freight cars. Toward the end, Revell also supplemented their structures with rebranded Bachmann items. Revell branded their line MicroTrains, not to be confused with Kadee Micro-Trains or Sony Microtrains, and their track was called MicroTrack, not to be confused with Micro-Trains' Micro-Track.

Printed Matter

Revell's 1967 catalog was bare-bones, populated mostly by images of Arnold's 1963/64-era products, including their awful "Baldwin" diesel. Their 1968 catalog, on the other hand, featured HO Scale "stand-ins" almost throughout. They also advertised in magazines such as Boys' Life, competing head-to-head with Aurora Postage Stamp.

Nathan R. Preston < Return

Copyright © 2018 by David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.
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