An Aviation Enthusiast's Kit Collection

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Hobby Miniatures


On my research on Busch Plastic kits I came upon the entry of Hobby Miniatures in John Burn's PAK-20 [1]. We learn:

"Hobby Miniatures.USA, np
All of these kits are ex-Busch and were also issued by Lindberg. They were normally sold in greeting card shops as party/novelty items. Other labels used to market these kits were Jet and Gay-Gem bagged kits.... A bagged small scale Fokker D.VII has also been confirmed by this comany but its mold origin is unknown."

Being interested in the fate of the Busch moulds after the end of the Lindberg licence production I bought some Hobby Miniatures kits to be able to confirm the Busch origin.

I compared the parts the Bucker Jugmeister and F-100 and came to the conclusion that the Busch and  the Hobby Miniatures  kits did not come from the same moulds. There is a general resemblance and same size, but the Hobby Miniatures kits are certainly not "ex-Busch"  but a rough copy of the Busch resp. Lindberg kits.

The whole look-and-feel of the Hobby Miniatures kits and the packing corresponds more to a premium article which matches the Gay-Gem product line of party items. See also the screaming colors of the parts (pictures 3 and 5).

History of Hobby Miniaturs Kits

I did not find much information about the Hobby Miniatures Kits.

I wanted to understand what the statement of John Burns in
PAK-20 means  that the Hobby Miniatures kits were normally sold  as party/novelty items. So  had a look in auctions and found some examples (see pictures 6-8 below).

I have the impression that Hobby Miniatures is just a label or brand for the series of airraft  kits (and possibly kits of other genres). The producer/distributor proper was Gay-Gem. The side panel of the box of the Bucker Jungmeister has the inscription: " Made in Hong Kong for GAY-GEM PRODUCTS CORP" (picture 2).

The box of the F-100 does not show any company information. (picture 4). There is no insert or instruction sheet in any kits in my collection to give clues to a company.

In an orbituary from the Philly.Com News portal [2]  I found he following information:

Jerome L. Cohen ..." had been president of Jerome Distributors in Philadelphia before he founded Gem Products, a Philadelphia packager of party favors. Through a merger, the company became Gay Gem Products. It was sold to General Mills Inc. in 1972."

Earliest trace of a date is "Copyright 1958 Gay-Gem Products Co." which is printed on a "Loot" Bags set I saw offered on in April 2015 in an auction.

List of Hobby Miniatures Kits.

This list is taken from PAK-20 [1].

 *) Aircraft Type Designation on Box
4023 Messerschmitt Bf 109F Me 109
4024 Buecker Bu-133 Jungmeister Bucker Jungmeister
4025 Republic F-84-F  
4026 Piaggio P.149  
 4027 DeHavilland  Sea Venom  
4028 Fouga CM 170 Magister  
4039  Super Sabre F-100-C F-100
4030 Norh American X-15  
? Fokker D.VII   

*) These numbers are quoted in PAK-20 but I cannot find them  on the boxes of the kits in my collection.There is neither an insert nor an instruction sheet in the boxes.


Picture 6: Gay-Gem Products Race Car party cake decoration. Below: detail of card insert  ©

Hobby Miniatures

Picture 1: Hobby Miniatures Bucker Jungmeister. ©cjk

Picture 2 : Hobby Miniatures Bucker Jungmeister. Inscription "GAY-GEM PRODUCTS Corp." on side panel of the box. ©cjk

Picture 3: Hobby Miniatures Bucker Jungmeister parts. ©cjk

Picture 4: Hobby Miniatures F-100. Side Panel says : "Interesting! Educational! " ©cjk

Picture 5: Hobby Miniatures Me 109. ©cjk

Picture 7: Gay-Gem  book "Let's have a party.  ©

Picture 8: Gay-Gem ad at rear of the book. ©cjk


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Started: April 2015 Revised: Author: cjk  ©cjk