MPC (Multiple Plastics Corp) was making plastic models and kits from the 1950s up until the 1980s. There was a lot of competition for plastic toys at this time, with bigger companies like Ideal and Marx producing some top-notch products. MPC took a different stance however, trying to produce similar items for less money than the competition.
These products are regularly compared to Marx, which they often closely resembled. A lot of people disregard MPC products because they are sometimes ugly and poor quality, but in truth there are some very quirky, interesting models and model kits that have become part of the collectors’ circuit.
MPC produced many plastic toy models over the years including soldiers, jungle animals, farm animals, robots, super heroes and of course, dinosaurs. The dinosaurs MPC manufactured looked quite similar to the Marx designs, but they were made to be more affordable and thus came out looking cheaper. Whereas Marx used earthy, realistic tones for its dinosaurs, MPC was producing dinosaurs in bright, gaudy colors like metallic blue. Another memorable collection from MPC was its spaceman range that came in bright blue, red and white. These little five-and-dime toys are great little astronaut toys representative of what was popular in the 1960s.
There’s something extremely satisfying about putting together your own toy, and the finished product should feel like a real accomplishment. The best companies for making model kits knew this, and produced kits with a realistic, life-like finish to them. Although some of its plastic toys might have skimped on quality, MPC did manage to create some really great, beautiful model kits. During its production period, MPC created a lot of highly-detailed car kits that were very popular with children. Kits like the Ford Double Flip Pickup, Flying Dutchman and a ’76 Dodge Dart were included in the line. MPC also offered a great range of science-fiction kits, military kits and monster kits during the same time.
MPC tried to create toys that were popular with the times at discounted prices. The result was very little originality and ingenuity and sometimes ugly models. However, the combination of gaudy colors, sometimes misshapen forms and cheap materials has given these toys a real kitschy appeal with today’s collectors. Even though the plastic toys are in a sort of “love it or hate it” market, the model kits have definitely managed to have a true mainstay in the eyes of collectors and the baby boom generation.