The Story of a Great Passion
The history of the Revell company – it’s also the history of a great passion that started back in the mid 40s in America. There in Venice/California the founder of Revell Inc. Lewis H. Glaser had the idea to build a true-to-scale car out of several plastic parts himself. That was the birth of plastic model kits. As early as 1956 the enthusiasm for the new hobby jumped over the “big pond” and revolutionised the recreation of innumerable modelers and collectors.
In the past just like today: Revell means Plastic Modelbuilding
In that year the German subsidiary, Revell Plastics GmbH, was founded in Bielefeld. Just one year later the company headquarters were moved to the neighbouring town, Bünde. Initially only original model kits imported from the USA and Great Britain were sold from a former cigar factory, rich in tradition in Germany and the neighboring countries.
The first domestic development – a 1:8 scale model of a BMW R75/5 – was created in 1971. In the mid 80s an independent development department with an attached production facility was established in Bünde. This expertise in the development and manufacture of true-to-the-original plastic model kits was extended and maintained continuously and with great persistence troughout the many years of company history. By the mid 70s the distribution network already included all Western European countries. Since 1976 an extensive assortment of accessories has supplemented the model kit programme. Based on these successes, the sales network was extended into Eastern Europe in 1978. Further consequent steps were the integration of airbrush products and die-cast models into the portfolio.
The worldwide success of the Revell brand can also be exemplified by impressive sales figures from the plastic model kit area: In the year 1995 the threshold of more than 5.000.000 model kits sold was surpassed for the first time. The Fokker Dr. 1 model kit alone was sold several 100.000 times. The worldwide most successful plastic model kit ever is the Titanic: Over two million copies of the legendary steamship have been sold so far. These figures are even more impressive if you consider that in the beginning there were only several thousand models that were shipped all over the world from Bünde.
Build Your Dream – Model kits remain the Core Business
A look back to representative product highlights of the past decades illustrates the fascinating variety of the world of Revell models.
One product from the initial production is still current today: The Bismarck, one of the largest and most famous German battleships, part of the programme since the beginning of the 60s, is replaced in 2012 by a new spectacular version. During its research, Revell was able to draw upon old plans and the latest underwater shootings. Modelmaking history was furthermore made by a small sailboat that left the “Revell Wharf” as the Peter Pan Pirate Ship back in the year 1960. In 1969, the year of the moon landing, the complete Apollo-Saturn programme caused furor. The space series was successfully continued with the NASA programmes Challenger and Atlantis.
With the start of the 1980s Revell was the first manufacturer to present 1:25 scale Truck model kits. One movie highlight was integrated into the modelmaking portfolio in 2005 - Star Wars, probably still the most famous cult series worldwide. The by now substantial fleet of Star Wars space ships is a symbol for the successful licensing business of Revell and the easykit product line for the youngest modelbuilders. But also with modern, popular topics as the AIDA cruise ships or BMW car models personal dreams can come true at any time with true-to-the-original model kits from Revell.
With additional, attractive concepts and ideas Revell has successfully caused quite a stir in the games business again and again. Among these are e.g. the Grand Champions horse line or the accessories handicraft series MagCliks for girls. The brand Kick-O-Mania hit a big success among the target group boys. Right on time for the Football (Soccer) World Cup at home in 2006 international football stars excited all young and old sports fans as 30 cm large toy models.
With the launch of the airbrush system ORBIS 2011 for children, Revell proves once again how innovative and creative products for children can be. With this system it virtually becomes child’s play to bring your own ideas to paper, textiles, wood and glass, as well as tattoos.
In 2009 the successful entry into the RC toy market was accomplished, and in doing so the business portfolio was extended to remote control products. With the brand Revell Control a consequential complement to plastic modelling was implemented, whereas this segment profits strongly from the reputation and image of the tradition brand Revell. The Revell Control portfolio is positioned as fun- and first-time user brand and includes attractive RC models on the ground, on water and in the air. This offer is complemented by the self-developed RC Cars of Revellutions, which impress with their exceptional design and their combination of unique features. Therefore pure driving pleasure is guaranteed by the 1:14 and 1:18 scale cars. With these RC products Revell has become one of the top manufacturers in the RC toy market.