American toy company based in in Dyersville, Iowa, home of the National Farm Toy Museum. Ertl Company was founded in 1945, and started producing of plastic models and kits in 1973. In the early 1990s Ertl started the American Muscle line up of diecast collectible cars and trucks. In 1999, Ertl was purchased by Racing Champions. Ertl is currently a brand under the RC2 Corporation umbrella, which also owns Racing Champions, Johnny Lightning and AutoWorld brands.