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Discussion Starter #1
Derek Brand passed away in Ventura, California on May 12. He was 85 years old.
His name is not well known, but in the toy and hobby world his inventions are landmarks.
He was the chief designer for the California toy design company Gowland & Gowland back in the late 1940s. He designed many plastic toys. However, in 1951 Revell turned one of his pull-toys, a 1910 Maxwell car, into a 1/16 scale model kit. More importantly, Revell brought out a line of his 1/32 cars as the "Highway Pioneers." These were the first truly popular model kits. So easy to build anyone could do it. It launched plastic modeling as the most popular hobby for boys in the 1950s.
He also designed and sculpted the patterns for the Gowland/Revell ship-in-a-bottle kits.
Then in the late 1950s he invented the HO scale electric slot car that became Aurora's Model Motoring and then AFX cars. Thus starting another major hobby product category.
He lived a good life doing what he enjoyed: making and creating new things.
RIP Derek Brand.
 

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He was one of the major pioneers of our beloved hobby.
Rest in peace...

Chris.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Brand was British

Derek Brand was British by birth. His HO slot cars were first issued by the English company Playcraft, however Brand was by then a US citizen living in California and did his inventing here.

Another of his inventions was Aurora's Skittle Pool, the best selling table-top game in America in the late 1960s. Brand took an old English pub game and updated it for the American market.
 
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