Evolution of the Rocket Model Starter Kit

I’ll never forget the Christmas morning when I opened my brand new Estes Alpha Starter Kit. It was a cold  morning in 1970 and nothing brightened the day more than this starter kit(pictured above). The smell of the balsa and the shiny Electro-Launch foretold of many great launches to come. The starter kit has been the introduction to rocketry to many budding rocketeers. Many versions have been released over the years and this gallery represents images from a few of those. If you have pictures you would like to add email me.

In 1961 Estes added the “Beginner’s Special” . It included an Astron Scout Kit, Design Booklet, B8-4 motor,A8-3 motor, A8-2 motor and an Electro-Launch electrical firing system all for the bargain price of $5.00!

Here is the similar system from 1963

Estes from 1968

Classic Estes 1968 starter kit

Centuri from 1969 -was still a bargain at $6.95

Classic 1969 Centuri Starter Kit

1970-80s Estes Range Boxes

In the 1970s many Starter Kits were packaged in a cardboard range box so that the contents were portable. Gone were the high quality range boxes of the 1960s as the age of cardboard approached.Who could forget carrying the range box to the field for the first time.

1972 Enerjet Starter Kit

Enerjet Starter Kit 1972

Cox Starter Kit 1972

Cox 1972 Starter kit contents

Contents of the Estes 1976 starter kit

1976 Estes Alpha Starter Kit

1970s MPC Starter Kit

1970s MPC Starter Kit

1983 Centuri Shuttle Starter Kit

Centuri Shuttle Starter Kit from 1983

FSI 1986 Starter Kit

1980s Estes – Contents exposed

A current Quest Starter Kit

A Current Quest Kit


Current Quest Starter Kits can be found here

Current Estes Starter Kits can be found here

A nice selection of Starter Kits at Hobbylinc


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