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Why Did Figures in Model Kits Disappear?


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Looking at older Revell kits such as the Lincoln Futura and '56 Cadillac Fleetwood, we see they both contained two figures:

revell-lincolnfutura.JPG

Revell%200200%2056Cad.JPG

It seems by the time the '58 SMP/AMT kits hit the shelves, figures had fallen out of favor and we were left with only the vehicles, and nobody to ride in them. Why did new kits no longer include figures? Is it because model kits were moving away from 1:48/O-scale and their association with model railroading? Maybe it was an extra cost/materials vs. value issue for AMT, Revell, etc.?

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The '57 Ford Skyliner also had a figure of a guy and a girl. Don't know why figures in models disappeared... it was pretty cool to have them included in the kit.

My guess would be what it always is... it was a decision based on $$$.

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I wish they hadn't disappeared from the kits...to me it was one of the selling points like the old 3 in 1 kits...they cant save the companies that much plastic but could cost a customer at times. I have actually gotten kits,build ups just for the figures with them.

It's not the cost of the plastic, it's the cost of creating the masters.

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Didn't the Beatnik Bandit II Have a Ed Roth Figure ? Some one gave me one and told me it was from there . I have to say, a good likeness of Ed too. Ed Shaver

Yes, it did. The Road Agent also has a figure of "Large Father", along with his grinning rodent friend.

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the last fairly realistic figures that came in a kit were probably the Fonz and the Sweathogs when MPC retooled the Monkeemobile and the Superfly kits in the late '70's. the Club De Mer, Futura, and Cadillac from Revell are the only semi-current kits that have figures with any fidelity to them. AMT had Laurel and Hardy (google them, kids) in several T's in the late '70's, and the MPC Gangbusters Lincoln had some awful "gangster" types.... MPC's 75 Dart had a driver, as well....

we sure could use some, shall we say, cost-efficient figures in styrene. Fujimi's 1/24 stuff is great, but EXPENSIVE.

and Ulrich's Mini-Men take some real craftsmanship to do anything realistic with.

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The "other" mag did a comparison once awhile back. Seems all those early figgies didn't stay faithful to scale. It was kind of like the old box scale kits. Build a model that fit in a specific box. Have a driver that fit in the out of scale interior.

G

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have they really disappeared? seems like Revell hasn't forgotten about them.

no one mentioned the Dick Landy figure from the '68 Dart kit of his car

or the Ken Miles

I actually typed then deleted a disclaimer of sorts, indicating that I was asking about figures which were for the most part intended to be used in or with the vehicle, versus Revell's semi-recent pre-painted figures which are intended to be displayed alongside the vehicle. The figures in the '56 kits are specifically designed to be placed inside the vehicles, and are unfinished, like the rest of the model kit, hence why I chose not to include anything die-cast based or pre-finished.

At any rate, the question still stands. ;)

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I would think you need to be pretty good with a paint and brush to make the figures realistic. I could never do it, mine always came out looking like the ladies had ear to ear mouths when I imitated the lipstick on the Cadillac woman, the guys bow tie looked like a clown version :lol:

So I kept my figure painting to a minimum and settled on the Li'l Coffin and Rommel's Rod skeletons.

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