Dean Mackey is hoping to introduce customers to a cool, slightly retro art form he calls “airigami.” Mackey, curator of The Online Paper Airplane Museum, is hoping to bring back a novelty that was popular in the 1940s and 1950s: real postcards that include plans for a detailed and beautiful paper airplane that can be created from the card itself.
“These are real postcards that you would send in the mail,” Mackey advises. “When you get one, you cut it apart and glue it together and make an airplane that actually flies. Some of the planes use paperclips and some use pennies for additional weight, but they all really fly.”
The company offers several airplane designs, but Mackey says the most popular is the vintage World War I flying ace Red Baron. Other models do well depending on where in the country the seller is located. Mackey says he can also do custom non-aviation orders for the same price as the pre-printed cards.
The cards are perfect for hobby and gift shops, as well as stationary shops and any place where people are on vacation and looking to communicate with people back home. The best sales locations, Mackey says, are high volume, with plenty of traffic and opportunities for people to actually see the cards on display. “We’re in art galleries, which do really well, and a few aviation museums,” he says. “We’re also in a few gift shops.”
How to Buy Products
The cards can be ordered through the company’s website, or you can write Mackey directly to enquire about availability and pricing. The cards sell for 40 cents each at wholesale, with a suggested retail price of $1/card. There is a minimum order of 12 cards, but customers can mix and match at will to get the most popular or most appropriate cards.