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the pre-tech years |

From toys

to men Stephen Paul Hardy reflects on life as a model collector in the pre-internet era and explains why he believes the launch of Model Collector proved so pivotal to the development of the hobby… aunched as a quarterly publication, the fi rst ever issue of Model Collector was cover dated Summer 1987, so Happy 30th Birthday Model Collector! Ever since our Editor, Lindsey, flagged 2017 up as an anniversary year back in January, I have been thinking about how to respond and for me this has had the effect of a massive time

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machine catapult! For those of you who were not yet involved in the hobby in 1987 (indeed some of our younger readers may not even have reached the stage of playing their first toys back then), it’s perhaps difficult to imagine what a different world it was. So, to even begin to articulate my own recollections I’ve needed to first cast my mind back

a little further to set the scene. In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, comics, word of mouth in the school playground and displays in local toy shops were the main source of information when it came to new releases. Later, as adults started to collect, came some very good but cottage-industry produced magazines. It wasn’t until the launch of Model Collector in 1987 that we were able to pick up a title specifically dedicated to our hobby in the newsagents.

From toys to tech… Technology has moved forward so quickly in the last couple of decades that we have all come to take internet

Stephen in the late 60s, already a Yesteryears collector and just before getting serious about Rio models…

access for granted. So, for those of us of ‘a certain age’, when we grew up and our interest widened to encompass the more expensive ‘collector’s models’, it drove us to seek out the specialist model shops, go to swapmeets, start to network as best we could and acquire pen-pals, who, if we were lucky, lived abroad. Our buying power was exercised invariably in person with cash or by post with bank cheque or Postal Order. It was a time of lots of letter writing and the very occasional phone

“It wasn’t until the launch of Model Collector in 1987 that we were able to pick up a title specifically dedicated to our hobby in the newsagents” october 2017 | www.modelcollector.com

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