Model railway maker Hornby is launching its own crowdfunding platform, purely to fund small plastic models of aeroplanes, historical figures, birds, and more.
KitStarter will let model enthusiasts bring back old models from the back catalogue of Airfix, the scale model kit maker Hornby bought in 2006. Customers will commit to buying the kits on the platform and if enough do, they will be revived.
Airfix, founded in 1939, is best know for making plastic scale models of wartime planes like the Spitfire. It sells kits that children can assemble at home and was a huge hit among British children in the 1960s and 1970s.
But the models have since declined in popularity among children and Airfix is these days mostly associated with adult collectors and hobbyists. The kits have a devoted core of fans.
Hornby said the platform will let people revive more than just planes, saying that it has had requests to bring back models of everything from “historical figures like Henry 8th and Oliver Cromwell to common garden birds such as Robins and Woodpeckers, not just wartime aircraft.”
Hornby CEO Richard Ames said in a statement his morning: “This initiative is one of a number where we are working hard to build closer links with our consumers. Many of these people are loyal enthusiasts who have been fans of Airfix for a long time and we enjoy interacting with them at model shows and via the model forums on our website.
“We are also confident that KitStarter will help us to reach a new generation of model enthusiasts that we can attract into the hobby.”
Ames has good reason to want to attract more people to Airfix and Hornby’s other brands like Scalextric car racing tracks. The company has been on the ropes for a while now, earlier this month it posted its first full-year profit in three years of £1.5 million ($US2.3 million).