1/32 Revell 1913 Mercedes Factory Display - Built Up With Base - Highway Pioneers
Plastic Model Kit
This is a Revell-factory built display made for hobby shop promotional use around 1954. The intention was simple- if hobby shops would purchase and display these attractively built displays, potential buyers would see them and immediately purchase the kit. This probably worked well; but the hitch was that these displays were expensive for the 1950s, so few hobby shops could afford them. And once in public, there was heavy attrition; parts easily broke, and when the new kits came out next year, they were thrown away to make room for more. Which makes condition of this one even more exceptional. The actual model is very neatly built and Revell factory airbrushed. You can always tell the Revell-built models by the airbrushing and the way the parts were masked. It is 100% complete and has no breaks and no repairs. Even the base is in very good condition. However, 1/2 of the paper nameplate is missing as well as the clear cover. Before the 1950s 'model building' never made the top 10 list of boy's activities. Hobbies were nothing new to America in the 1930s/40s, but they were not mainstream. Shortly after the turn of the century, many dedicated modelers built flying or static airplanes, ship, train, automotive or other subjects. Basic kits existed, but the majority of these models were built from scratch, which demanded a high talent level developed from years of experience. That changed in the early 1950s. The phenomenon of the Revell/Gowland & Gowland 'Highway Pioneers' car kits was a significant force in proving that model building as a hobby could have mass appeal, provided that the kits were easy enough to build and finish. These 1/32 scale vehicles could be built in an hour after dinner and looked much like the real car. The Highway Pioneers series lead to the production of other subjects in plastic and the effect was revolutionary. By the early 1960s, model building was the #1 past time of American boys.