50 years of Wonderland

Lothian Road institution Wonderland Models celebrates 50 years of trading. The family favourite was founded in 1972 by clothing retailer Peter Barton, who saw a gap in Edinburgh’s retail landscape for a specialist model shop.

The business has endured all of the ups and downs of the British high street, developing into one of the largest online model retailers in the UK.


The 70s. Famous for bell-bottoms, disco music and chopper bikes. Back where it all began.
  1. Wonderland Models opens
    February 1972

    Wonderland Models opens at 116A Rose Street Edinburgh

  2. Millenium Falcon kits

    Millennium Falcon studio model made from Tamiya model kits

  3. Wonderland Models second store
    September 1977

    Our second store opens at 97 Lothian Road, Edinburgh

  4. First Lego figures

    First Lego Minifigures released


A decade of great pop culture! With some of the best films, music, TV shows, and toys of all time.
  1. First Royal International Air Tattoo

    Tamiya release the Grasshopper RC buggy

  2. Wonderland Models expands
    Mid 1980s

    Time to say goodbye to our Rose Street store as Lothian Road expands

  3. 1985

    First Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford

  4. HPI Racing RC cars
    September 1986

    HPI Racing, one of the leading names in RC cars, is founded


Wonderland continues to get bigger and better!
  1. First Wonderland Models show
    August 1991

    Wonderland is growing again! We added 101 Lothian Road to the existing space to double the size of the shop.

  2. RC cars at international rugby

    Wonderland introduce the Tamiya radio control monster truck to the Scotland international rugby matches at Murrayfield.

  3. Summer 1996

    Start attending model shows, airshows and events to promote the business.

  4. Queues for Furbies at Wonderland Models
    December 1998

    Furbies go on sale at Wonderland with queues for miles!


Wonderland Models launches into the new millennium with its sights set on a bigger and better future.
  1. First wonderland Models website
    August 2000

    Stepping into the noughties in style, the Wonderlandmodels.com website is launched.

  2. Wonderland Models at shows and events

    Attending many leading airshows and model shows including the Air Tattoo, Royal Highland Show and Scale Modelworld.

  3. Hornby acquiries Airfix and Corgi

    Hornby acquire Airfix and Corgi

  4. 2009

    50th anniversary of first specifically plastic Tamiya model Japanese Battleship Yamato kit


The growing focus on online shopping sees Wonderland Models grow even further, reaching customers around the world.
  1. Leuchars Air show

    We're growing again! Added 103 Lothian Road to existing premises to make space for more toys, models, and accessories!

  2. New displays in Wonderland Models

    New Papo and Schleich displays added to expanded shop

  3. 2013

    Last Leuchars air show

  4. Scalextric events at Wonderland Models

    Wonderland start hosting Scalextric corporate events for many leading clients.


The decade starts with challenges for everyone, including us, but thanks to the dedication and hard work of our staff we are able to be there for our customers and thrive in troubling times.
  1. Wonderland Model deliveries
    March 2020

    Lockdown means the shop has to close to customers but we continue to process increased orders online.

  2. 2020

    2020 marks 100 years since the first Hornby train

  3. Wonderland Models reopens after lockdown
    April 2021

    Shop reopens to the public after lockdown

  4. March 2022

    New website launches!