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The Sky Busters are die-cast model aircraft produced under the Matchbox brand, initially by Lesney Products and later by Mattel.

History

Lesney began the Skybusters in 1973, producing them with their other Matchbox toys in London, England. During the 1970s, Skybusters competed against Dyna-Flytes, produced by San Diego based Zee Toys.

Skybusters combined military and commercial aircraft models at their earlier stage. The United States Air Force, Air France, Federal Express, Lufthansa, and QX Express were among the first brands to advertise with Skybusters. Some of the first Skybusters released represented Learjet, Airbus A300, Boeing 747 and Corsair AD7 airplanes.

The line appeared intermittently until the 2000s, when Mattel decided to release the models each year. The line tends to offer a mix of licensed paint schemes representing real-world companies, and fictional airline names, such as Matchbox Airlines. The list of companies advertising through licensed Skybusters models continues to vary.

Skybusters production line by date of casting initial release

[1]

1973

  • Airbus A300B
    • Air France
    • Lufthansa
  • Alpha Jet
    • German Air Force
  • Boeing 747
    • Aer Lingus
    • British Airways
    • British Caledonian
    • Cathay Pacific
    • El Al
    • KLM
    • Lufthansa
    • Middle East Airlines
    • Olympic Airways
    • Pan Am
    • Saudia
    • Singapore Airlines
    • Virgin Atlantic (1988)
  • Cessna 210
    • Generic, white and orange
    • DHL
  • Cessna 402
    • Generic, green and orange
    • Generic, beige, blue and brown
    • Generic, green and white
    • Generic, blue and yellow
    • DHL
  • Corsair AD7
  • DC-10
    • Aeromexico(1988)
    • American Airlines
    • Continental Airlines
    • KLM
    • Sabena
    • Swissair
    • Thai Airways
    • United Airlines
  • Junkers 87B
    • Luftwaffe
  • Learjet
    • Generic, yellow and white
    • Generic, white
    • Datapost
    • DHL(2000s)
    • Federal Express
    • QX Express
    • United States Air Force
  • Mikoyan MiG-21
    • Various generic types and colors
    • United States Air Force
  • Dassault Mirage F1
    • Various generic types and colors
    • French Air Force
    • United States Marines
  • A-4 Skyhawk
    • United States Marines
  • Supermarine Spitfire
    • Generic, beige and brown
    • Generic, gold and green
  • Lockheed Starfighter F-104
    • Canadian Air Force

1975

1976

1977

1978

  • Panavia Tornado
    • Various generic types, colors
    • Flight System
    • German Air Force
    • Rescue Helicopter
    • Royal Air Force

1979

  • Helicopter Rescue
  • Supersonic Airliner Supersonic Airliner (1979)
    • Air France
    • British Airways
    • Supersonic Airlines (fictional)
    • Heinz 57 (promotional issue for ketchup company, Heinz)
  • F-16
    • Various generic types, colors
    • Israeli Defense Force
    • United States Air Force

1980

1981

1983

  • Airbus A300
    • Air Malta
    • Alitalia
    • Federal Express
    • Iberia
    • Korean Air
    • Lufthansa
    • Swissair

1988

  • Piper Comanche
  • Lear Jet
  • NASA Space Shuttle
  • 747 KLM
  • Air France Supersonic
  • Korean Air - Air Bus
  • DC10 Aero Mexico
  • Cessna DHL
  • 747 Pan Am
  • DC10 Thai
  • 747 Lufthansa
  • Pitts Special Virgin Atlantic

All names written as they are printed on the product card (including spelling errors). Made in Macao.

1990

  • Bell Jet Ranger helicopter
    • Generic, white
  • Boeing 747
    • British Airways
    • Cathay Pacific
  • Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt
    • Various generic types, colors
    • United States Air Force
  • Grumman F-14 Tomcat
    • Various generic types, colors
    • United States Air Force
    • United States Navy
  • Lockheed C-130 Hercules
    • United States Coast Guard
  • Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk
    • Generic, black
    • United States Air Force
  • MIL M-24 Hind-D helicopter
    • Various generic types, colors
    • Russian Air Force
  • SR-71
    • Generic, black and red
    • NASA
    • United States Air Force

1992

1994

  • USAF F16A
  • British Airway SST
  • National Parks Service Ski Plane
  • British Airway 747
  • Desert Storm A-10
  • Marine Harrier
  • USAF Stealth Fighter
  • Bell Jet Ranger Helicopter
  • Virgin Airways Biplane
  • Continental 110
  • Russian Hind Helicopter
  • NASA Space Shuttle

All names written as they are printed on the product card (including spelling errors). Made in China by Tyco.

1997

2000

  • Cessna Citation
  • MD-90
    • Matchbox Worldwide (fictional)
    • D.A.R.E (Promotion for the anti-drug program D.A.R.E)

2002

2003

2004

2006

[2]Matchbox Boeing 787-8 in Boeing House Colors.*2007

2008

2009

  • Pusher Prop

2010

2012

  • P3030001
    Cessna Citation X

References

This page incorporated text and coding from the Wikipedia article on this subject.

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