The publishers of Model Auto Review magazine are adding their Official Archive to the hobbyDB database. The magazine was published for 31 years as a print edition, and we are working with the current editors to make sure every issue is documented in the database.
Rod and Val Ward published the premiere issue of the magazine in Summer 1982. It started quarterly, with the season and year as the date, and then expanded to a fifth Christmas issue for the next few years. Rod and Val were the owners of Modelauto, a model car shop in Leeds, England. He is also known for his series of books about models and cars. “Rod, the first Editor, set the tone of the magazine in the first issue,” said, Maz Woolley, current MAR Online Editor and Website Manager. “All scales, materials, and eras of model vehicles are covered: model and toy cars, trucks, buses, etc.
In addition to Rod Ward and Maz Woolley, the staff of MAR Online includes Karl Schnelle, US Editor and Website Contributor and Hans-Georg Schmitt, Consultant Editor for Germany. Schenelle has also contributed to hobbyDB as a Curator and Champion.
Even though much of the information about each issue can be found on MAR’s own website, by putting it on hobbyDB, content can be linked to information about relevant models, brands, and people. These additional connections make the archive on hobbyDB extra useful.
As a British publication, it makes sense that their biggest readership came from the U.K. “Most readers were from the UK naturally, followed by the American, German, French, Dutch, and Scandinavian readers. Some readers were also from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, and Russia.” Exact subscription data isn’t easily available from the early years, but their very active Letters to the Editor section reflects these data.
The magazine changed in ways that improved the quality of printing (especially the photography) and frequency reaching 10 issues a year in 1990. The name on the cover became “MAR Model Auto Review for the next decade or so.” Despite these changes, the focus remained the same as in that first issue. “We have followed this guidance through all the iterations of the publication.’ said Maz. “Our purpose has always been to provide information for collectors.”
In the mid 2000s, the most radical change occurred with a new, smaller page size. “Circulation was down to 25% of the 1982 numbers and printing costs were up. The advantage of the smaller format was easier portability, better color reproductions, and better B&W photos.”
Issue 276, December 2013 marked the final print edition of MAR. From that point, content was released online, still in a monthly format for 2014. Since then, the “MAR Online,” as it is now called, has released articles in a blog format, publishing news as it happens rather than as a monthly collection. The 2014 issues are no longer online in their original form, but most of the content has been compiled in the new format.
As for the print edition, the content is gradually being digitized and added to this website. Meanwhile, we have begun adding them to the hobbyDB archives. So far, there are only few early ones missing that images are not available for. If you happen to have any very early issues, MAR and hobbyDB would be thrilled if you could let us know.