The History of the Airfix Catalogue

The History of the Airfix Catalogue

The illustrated leaflets prior to 1962
The first “real” Airfix catalogue appeared in 1962 – see 1st Edition cover photograph later. Before that Airfix produced frequent kit lists – sometimes every month. Printed in simple duo-tone, these flimsy and very rare publications were the earliest illustrated kit listings from the manufacturer.

1958 Leaflet
1958 – This is one of the very first coloured leaflets from 1958. It’s marked Autumn 1958, but earlier English and Dutch versions are known from May 1958.

Spring 1959 leaflet
1959 – This Spring 1959 leaflet has a Lancaster on the front cover. It’s not known whether this single edition is unique in style.

Summer 1959 Leaflet
1959 – The Vickers Wellington featured on the covers of leaflets from the Summer and Autumn of 1959.

May 1960 Leaflet
1959-1960 – From Winter 1959, leaflets appeared almost every month – most of them with this Fairey Rotodyne front cover.

December 1960 leaflet
1960 – From about August 1960 to December 1960 we have an aircraft carrier on the front.

April 1961 leaflet
1961 – Leaflets were issued monthly from January to May 1961. Each has this battleship cover.

Autumn 1961 leaflet
1961 – This leaflet is Autumn 1961 – it’s not known exactly when the change from monthly to quarterly happened.

Winter 61-62 Leaflet
1961-1962 – Complete change of style. The Halifax will now feature on all future leaflets.


9th Edition leaflet
At some point in 1962 the leaflets changed to blue and became “editions”. This is a 9th Edition from 1964.

Leaflet inside
Inside detail of the April 1961 leaflet shown above. Leaflets were fan-fold and opened up to 6 pages.


The various price lists
In conjunction with the Catalogues, Airfix also issued periodic Price Lists. These often went inside the main catalogue or were available separately. The price lists referred to the main catalogue pages, and are of particular interest for several reasons – 1. They listed kits sometimes not shown in the main catalogue. 2. They announced new kit availability, and are therefore a more accurate guide to the first release date of a kit and 3. They contain some wonderful fantasy art-work, as they were often published before the real art-work was available. In some years, more than one price list was published.

1974 Price List

1969 Price List

1974 Price List. Features – Locomotive kits marked as Limited Availability; Collectors Series of museum engines now had an optional electric motor available as part number 09399-4 (price 30p); The famous HO/OO polythene ready-made Elephant Gun (09782-2) at 12p!

1969 Price List. Features – The very rare Attack Force Set, 1661; some very strange box-top artwork as shown below.

1968 Price List

1968 Price List

A 1968 Price List. Features – The original James Bond autogyro; The Ariel Arrow motorcycle as a Series 1 plastic bag. The Chippie character is NOT part of the price list, but is a later hand-drawn addition!

A later 1968 Price List. Features – significantly fewer kits than the earlier price list (left) and a noticeable price rise!


The Catalogues from 1962 to present
Note that in the early 1980s (the Palitoy years) many of the Catalogues were “trade” and aimed at the retailer. Several Catalogues also contained details of display stands and some catalogue numbers referred to boxed assortments of kits etc.

1st Edition Catalogue 1962
1st Edition

2nd Edition Catalogue 1963
2nd Edition

3rd Edition Catalogue 1964
3rd Edition

4th Edition Catalogue 1966
4th Edition

5th Edition Catalogue 1967
5th Edition

6th Edition Catalogue 1968
6th Edition

7th Edition Catalogue 1969
7th Edition

8th Edition Catalogue 1970
8th Edition

9th Edition Catalogue 1971
9th Edition

10th Edition Catalogue 1973
10th Edition

11th Edition Catalogue 1974
11th Edition

12th Edition Catalogue 1975
12th Edition

13th Edition Catalogue 1976
13th Edition

14th Edition Catalogue 1977
14th Edition

15th Edition Catalogue 1978
15th Edition

16th Edition Catalogue 1979
16th Edition

17th Edition Catalogue 1980
17th Edition

The very rare 1981 catalogue
Very rare 1981 Catalogue

1982 Edition Catalogue
1982 Edition

1983 Edition Catalogue
1983 Edition

1984 Edition Catalogue
1984 Edition

Retail 1984 Catalogue
1984 Retailers Catalogue

1985 Edition Catalogue
1985 Edition

1986 Edition Catalogue
1986 Edition

1987 Edition Catalogue
Rather boring 1987 Edition

1988 Edition Catalogue
1988 Edition

1989 Edition Catalogue
1989 Edition

1990 Edition Catalogue
1990 Edition

1991 Edition Catalogue Supplement
No “real” catalogue was issued in 1991

1992 Edition Catalogue
1992 Edition

1993 Edition Catalogue
1993 Edition

1994 Edition Catalogue
1994 Edition

1995 Edition Catalogue
1995 Edition

1996 Edition Catalogue
1996 Edition

1997 Edition Catalogue
1997 Edition

1998 Edition Catalogue
1998 Edition

1999 (50th Aniversary Catalogue)
1999 (50th Anniversary Catalogue)

2000 Edition Catalogue
2000 Edition

2001 Edition Catalogue
2001 Edition

2002 Edition Catalogue
2002 Edition

2003 Edition Catalogue
2003 Edition

2003 New Releases Leaflet
2003 New Releases leaflet

2004 Edition Catalogue
2004 Edition

2005 Edition Catalogue
2005 Edition

2006 Edition Catalogue
2006 Edition

2007 Edition Catalogue
2007 Edition

2008 Edition Catalogue
2008 Edition

2009 Edition Catalogue
2009 Edition

2010 Edition Catalogue
2010 Edition

And a couple more for the Collector – two F.W.Woolworth’s catalogues, and a very attractive 1977 Price List…

Woolworth catalogue 1977 Price List