The first paper models, those to be cut out from a sheet and assembled, appeared in Europe in the 17th Century, The earliest commercial models were recorded appearing in French toy catalogues in 1800. From then on paper models became popular across Europe particularly in Germany, and in the later half of the century, the UK. Manufacturers such as Pellerin and Schreiber began producing series of hundreds of models, from famous landmarks to farmhouses and specific scenes.
Originally designed for children, paper models gave their owners the chance to learn about places and people in other parts of the world.
Towards the end of the 20th Century paper modelling became increasingly popular with an adult audience with many kits being designed for a more sophisticated modeller. During this time television tie-ins also started appearing on the market reflecting the emerging trend of media merchandising.
More recently with the development of the Internet, models have appeared online and these have been printed and added to the collection. Some of these models are stand alone items, while others can be used with model railways or in fantasy role playing games.