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Bachmann Mini-Planes, made by a firm that claims to have been founded in 1833, were tiny and highly-detailed, fully-assembled model aircraft that came in red and blue window boxes in the 70s. Made in Hong Kong, Mini-Planes encompassed everything from the first 1903 Wright Flyer to the latest wide-body jet liners. They were fragile, however, and really designed for "display" rather than heavy play. Nevertheless, the moving parts - such as spinning props, retracting undercarriage and opening bomb bays - were appealing to children of all ages. Much as I liked them, the WWI bi-planes were especially fragile, and also especially intricate and beautifully detailed. Mini-Planes are widely collected because of their affordability.

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