Jump to content


What is an annual kit?


  • You cannot reply to this topic
18 replies to this topic

#1 SuperStockAndy

SuperStockAndy

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,438 posts
  • Location:Indiana
  • Full Name:Andy "Android" Conn

Posted 18 December 2010 - 08:30 AM

Sorry for the dumb question, but I keep hearing this.


It sounds like a model that the issue every year?

#2 SuperStockAndy

SuperStockAndy

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,438 posts
  • Location:Indiana
  • Full Name:Andy "Android" Conn

Posted 18 December 2010 - 08:35 AM

Sorry for the dumb question, but I keep hearing this.


It sounds like a model that they issue every year?



#3 Chuck Most

Chuck Most

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,239 posts
  • Location:Ithaca, MI
  • Full Name:Charles Donald Eric Richard Jules Kasim Most

Posted 18 December 2010 - 09:37 AM

They don't do it anymore, but it refers to when the kit manufacturers introduced new-model year cars in kit form, usually after the dealer promos. Many were updated each year, but some, like the AMT '66 Mustang, have been reissued countless times since their first run.

#4 highway

highway

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,391 posts
  • Location:Talentless Hack University at Wheelman's Warehouse
  • Full Name:Matthew Brownlee, card carrying member of the Donnie Boger fan club

Posted 18 December 2010 - 09:37 AM

There is no such thing as a dumb question, Andy, at least that's what mom always told me! :)

Anyway, you are very close in your thinking, an annual kit is a kit that is released annually of a certain subject every model year of the subject and reflecting sometimes very small changes between the model years. These four kits are perfect examples of annual kits.

Posted Image

The red Probe GT is a 1989 model and the silver is a 1990 model and the Explorers are 1996 and 1997. Most annual kits are mostly the same kit, just as these examples are, but reflect changes that may have been made through a run of a certain body style or maybe as little as a different wheel offered for a model year.

The Probe kits are an example of the first, the bumper covers and wheels were changed to a different style in 1990, and the silver kit reflects these changes. The only difference in the two kits are the bumpers and wheels, everything else is the same for both. The Explorers are the same way, but in their case the only difference was the style of wheel offered on the 1:1 truck. The kit is the same way, the only different parts are the correct wheel for the model year.

#5 SuperStockAndy

SuperStockAndy

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,438 posts
  • Location:Indiana
  • Full Name:Andy "Android" Conn

Posted 18 December 2010 - 09:59 AM

Now I understand it! Thank you guys!



I had heard of MPC and AMT doing it the most.




Thanks, Andy

#6 george 53

george 53

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,865 posts
  • Location:Allen Park, MI 48101
  • Full Name:George53

Posted 18 December 2010 - 10:07 AM

Andy, AMT, MPC, and Jo Han, all made annuals. Revell did too back in the mid sixties, but they stopped and concentrated more on custom vehicles, Like the Roth Custom cars, and such.:) ;)

#7 SuperStockAndy

SuperStockAndy

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,438 posts
  • Location:Indiana
  • Full Name:Andy "Android" Conn

Posted 18 December 2010 - 10:31 AM

I didn't know Jo Han did too :)



Thanks, Andy

#8 george 53

george 53

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,865 posts
  • Location:Allen Park, MI 48101
  • Full Name:George53

Posted 18 December 2010 - 02:08 PM

Andy, JoHan's are probably THE MOST expensive OOP kits you can find/buy!:) :lol:

#9 SuperStockAndy

SuperStockAndy

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,438 posts
  • Location:Indiana
  • Full Name:Andy "Android" Conn

Posted 18 December 2010 - 02:42 PM

Andy, JoHan's are probably THE MOST expensive OOP kits you can find/buy!:D ;)



Really? Well, I guess they are pretty old models. One last question: What is an OOP kit? I know, I know, I ask too many questions B)

#10 Longbox55

Longbox55

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,661 posts
  • Location:Danville Il
  • Full Name:Bill Burmeister

Posted 18 December 2010 - 02:44 PM

Andy, JoHan's are probably THE MOST expensive OOP kits you can find/buy!B) :D

And many times, they are some of the neatest subject mater you can find, too! Like Cadillacs and DeSotos.

#11 SSNJim

SSNJim

    MCM Avid Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 427 posts
  • Location:Bowie, MD

Posted 18 December 2010 - 03:37 PM

At one point in the early seventies, about all MPC produced was annuals. Lessee, there was the Vega, Pinto (sedan and wagon), Mustang/Mustang II, Dodge Trucks, Demon, Duster, Charger, Camaro, Caprice, Pacer, and some others I don't remember right now. Almost all had at least two versions you could build, if not 3 (stock, drag and custom). I used to look forward to the new year models as much as, if not more than, the real cars. The AMT 1976 Caprice is one hold over from the MPC annuals, along with the 1971/1973 Mustangs.

AMT also had a pretty good line, though not as comprehensive as MPC's.

#12 highway

highway

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,391 posts
  • Location:Talentless Hack University at Wheelman's Warehouse
  • Full Name:Matthew Brownlee, card carrying member of the Donnie Boger fan club

Posted 18 December 2010 - 04:02 PM

One last question: What is an OOP kit? I know, I know, I ask too many questions :lol:

You can never ask too many questions, Andy. The more you ask, the more you learn! ;)

An OOP kit is a kit that is Out Of Production.

#13 SuperStockAndy

SuperStockAndy

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,438 posts
  • Location:Indiana
  • Full Name:Andy "Android" Conn

Posted 18 December 2010 - 05:18 PM

Ooooooh... Ok.

@SSNJim- They really remade their molds for that many kits every year?! They should have been spending the money to fix the errors in the models :lol:




Thanks guys!

#14 ChrisPflug

ChrisPflug

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 640 posts
  • Location:Hawks, MI

Posted 18 December 2010 - 07:49 PM

The annuals were usually produced by the company who had the contract with the automaker to produce the promos

The choice of subject matter was determined more by the car company rather than the model company and the emphasis usually on an accurate body and decent but simple interior rather than a lot of chassis detail or accurate engines

Tooling was updated for cars that used the same body style for a number of years- some were later reissued as street machine or race cars and then modified back to stock years later- this is why many of the reissues have body issues, strange combinations of parts included, or if the subject was only offered in stock form the latest year of the promo is the version that still exists

#15 samdiego

samdiego

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 603 posts
  • Location:Hi, Desert . . .AZ
  • Full Name:Sam Tate

Posted 24 December 2010 - 05:58 PM

When I was a kid . . . no really, in the 60's promos were used as a sales tool by the dealers. They would have the entire line up mounted to a big plaque or something. This showed different color combos on different models in a more three dimensional way than the brochure but didn't fill up the lot. I spent a lot of time perusing these displays and even wheedled a few from the salesmen. They could also be purchased through the parts counter. This is the main reason that the yearly changes were followed so closely.

#16 SSNJim

SSNJim

    MCM Avid Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 427 posts
  • Location:Bowie, MD

Posted 25 December 2010 - 02:01 AM

Ooooooh... Ok.

@SSNJim- They really remade their molds for that many kits every year?! They should have been spending the money to fix the errors in the models :)




Thanks guys!

By the mid 70's, there weren't all that many changes to a particular car line. 1974 was probably the biggest change when all cars got the huge guardrail bumpers, and the kits were updated to reflect that. Other than that, most changes were paint, trim and wheels. It's been mentioned before on this board that there are many stock cars out there that we will never see reissued in their original form because the molds were updated each year. The '69 Whizbang Sport may get reissued time after time, but you won't ever see the '67 or '68 again unless they create new molds. Others were modified to become race cars, monster trucks or customs.

They were created from Official Factory Blueprints! There couldn't have been any errors! :lol:

Merry Christmas, All!

Edited by SSNJim, 25 December 2010 - 02:01 AM.


#17 larrygre

larrygre

    MCM Avid Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 391 posts
  • Location:New Jersey USA
  • Full Name:Larry A. Greenberg

Posted 22 February 2011 - 07:46 AM

Revell went back to doing annual kits in 1989, with their Thunderbird SC, Pontiac Grand Prix, and Mercury Cougar XR7. Despite these being really nice kits, 1992 was the last year for them, and Revell has not done any annual kits since.

#18 larrygre

larrygre

    MCM Avid Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 391 posts
  • Location:New Jersey USA
  • Full Name:Larry A. Greenberg

Posted 22 February 2011 - 07:48 AM

By the mid 70's, there weren't all that many changes to a particular car line. 1974 was probably the biggest change when all cars got the huge guardrail bumpers, and the kits were updated to reflect that.


The first year for "cowcatcher" bumpers was 1973. That was the year the Federal mandate for 5 mph front and 2.5 mph rear bumpers had to be on every car sold in the USA. In 1974, the rear bumpers went to 5 mph as well.

#19 Art Anderson

Art Anderson

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,097 posts

Posted 09 March 2011 - 06:47 AM

Sorry for the dumb question, but I keep hearing this.


It sounds like a model that the issue every year?


Andy,

To "flesh" this out a bit more:

While the roots go back to the late 1930's, with promotional toys made for the auto industry by various toy companies, in the late 1940's, the idea of a 1/25 scale model of a new car clicked in the minds of both marketing people in the auto industry, and with the then-new startup companies wanting to get into the business of making fairly realistic scale model toys of the then-new cars.

Companies such as Master Caster and Aluminum Model Toys (best known by their later acronym AMT Corporation began by producing 1/25 scale models of new Fords for 1947-48 as both toy store items, and something that car dealers could use to "sweeten" a deal (Dad's looking at a new Ford, son's along for the ride--son gets given a toy of the new Ford Dad's looking at, deal closed, signed-sealed-delivered.

By 1949, AMT had started producing these in injection molded acetate plastic (chosen because acetate was the one plastic available that was pretty much shatter-proof), Cruver Plastics in Chicago did an iconic 1/25 scale model of the 1949 Oldsmobile 98 4dr sedan. Within a couple of years, AMT was joined by Ideal Models (later known as JoHan, as Ideal Toy Company objected to the use of "Ideal" by any other manufacturer), and Product Miniatures Company (PMC), these three producing all manner of plastic promotional model cars for display and sale at new-car dealerships. These came in a myriad of factory color schemes as well, PMC even making several body styles of some cars, notably Fords and Chevrolet's, so that the much smaller car dealers of the era could have some sort of 3-dimensional collection of what was available--new car dealerships back then were MUCH smaller than what you see nowadays.

There were several attempts at making model kits of current-year cars by the middle-1950's, Revell being the first serious producer, in 1/32 scale, of kits for 1955 Ford, 1955 Mercury, 1955 Buick Roadmaster, 1955 Chrysler New Yorker, 1955 Cadillac Eldorado. These were successful enough for Revell to remake them as 1956 models the next year. But, the real push came in early 1958, when AMT Corporation took the tooling for their 1958 Promotional models, added styrene chassis (to replace the stamped steel chassis used in promo's), adding customizing and race car parts to them--then calling them "3in1 Customizing Kits". The cars they did this way were the 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 hardtop and convertible, 1958 Chevrolet Impala hardtop and convertible, 1958 Pontiac Bonneville hardtop and convertible, and 1858 Buick Roadmaster hardtop and convertible. They were INSTANT hits in the hobby shops and other stores that sold model kits back then. But, they were produced ONLY the year the actual cars were being made. In the fall of 1958, AMT (and their sister brand SMP) introduced the all-new 1959 promotional models, which were followed, by January 1959 as 3in1 Customizing kits in hardtop and kit form: Ford Galaxies, Chevy Impalas, Pontiac Bonnevilles, Buick Invicta's, Lincoln Continentals, Imperials (Model King commissioned a reissue of the SMP 1959 Imperial kit 5 years ago), Thunderbirds, the Corvette--suddenly a HUGE hobby was born that we still know and love today. Also, for 1959, JoHan did exactly the same thing with many of their promotional model car tools, all in hardtop form: Oldsmobile 98, Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special, Plymouth Sport Fury, Dodge Custom Royal Lancer, Chrysler New Yorker. Both companies did exactly as AMT had done at the end of the 1958 Detroit model year--discontinued all the '59's, and started anew with 1960 cars, adding two new subjects: 1960 Chevrolet Apache long-bed Fleetside pickup, and the Ford F100 long bed Styleside. By 1965, Model Products Corporation had entered the fray, and for a number of years, virtually every make of US automobile was represented in model form this way.

But why drop models only to bring out next year's? Easy answer: For most cars back then, given that Detroit was on a 3-year styling cycle with facelifts of a new car for the 2nd and 3rd model years of it's production, and it seemed that nobody had much interest in "last year" model as a plastic kit.

Model car kit sales were simply phenomenal in the years 1960 to about 1970 or so. AMT Corporation was noted by none other than Wall Street Journal in 1065, as the largest automaker in the World that year--having produced nearly 100 million model car kits (yeah, that's one HUGE number!!!), JoHan, MPC, Revell, Aurora and Monogram contributing a MUCH smaller volume of kits, but still there, and reasonably profitable as well. I think it can safely be said that the early model car building hobby was driven by the Baby Boom Generation--then seeing its leading edge at the ages of 10-15 or so by 1960, and the industry responded, by encouraging kids in this age range to buy and build, build and buy more (until they reached the stage of discovering girls and real cars anyway.

With the passing of the Boomer kids into their late teens, and as the baby boom birth rate dropped by the late 1950's or so, the age group most interested in model car building also declined, and given that our's was seen as primarily a hobby for late-preteens/younger teenagers, so did model car kit sales. Simultaneously, the idea of having promotional model cars in new car dealer showrooms also dropped way off--this serving to diminish the number of promo tools that could be adapted to model kits, and the concept of customizing parts began to lose its luster as well.

But, that is what Annual Series Model Cars were, and what they meant to us now old guys in the hobbo--the vast majority of us got our start at say, 9 or 10, most (not all, and certainly not me!) dropping away from them by about age 16 or so. But, thousands upon thousands of now adult Boomers began to return to the hobby circa 1980 or so, as they saw their lives stabilize, their kids no longer in need of constant care and supervision--they wanting to relive a fun part of their youth once again.

Hopefully, this long essay will help you understand the whys and wherefores, and give you some appreciation as to where this hobby started, and how it grew, along with how its "morphed" over time.

Art