WAKEFIELD, Mass. – There are few toys more American than a balsa wood plane. And the great manufacturer of those model planes is the Paul K. Guillow Company.
Guillow’s started as Nu Craft Toys in 1926, and with the ownership of Paul Guillow, grew into an iconic American toy brand, and now makes airplane kits, rubber-band powered planes and even radio controlled planes. Guillow is one of BrandlandUSA’s Nifty Science Brands, a list that includes Revell Models, Estes Rockets and Gilbert and Chemcraft chemistry sets.
According to the company history, the first line of Guillow balsa shelf model kits offered consisted of 12 different W.W.I biplane fighters with 6″ wing spans that retailed for 10¢ each. Each kit contained a 3-view plan, balsa wood cement, 2 bottles of colored dope, a strip of bamboo for wing and landing gear struts, all in all a great value even in those distant days.
It survived the decades.
The company started making promotional planes in the 1980s, and bought the foam airplane manufacturer Tiger Incorporated in 1994.
In 1998, Guillow bought Comet Industries/North Pacific of Chicago, and the purchase turned Paul K. Guillow, Inc. into the nation’s major maker of toy airplanes.
The company still makes planes in the U.S.; we happened to notice at a toy store that only the bags were made in China.
Paul K. Guillow, Inc.
40 New Salem Street
P.O. Box 229
Wakefield, MA 01880
USA Phone: 781-245-5255