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Round 2 Model kits: Building a Reputation

posted by JamieH 3:43 PM
Friday, September 9, 2016

First a quick apology… Technical difficulties prevented me from posting this yesterday, which would have made it a bit more pertinent.

Nostalgia… We are fully aware that this factor may be the most significant thing that provides the success we have with our AMT, MPC, Polar Lights and Lindberg models. Many of us remember building kits as kids. Some saved their builds and have done their best to hold onto them to this very day, but I’m betting the greatest majority suffered similar fates trying to withstand a black cat or twenty. Even still the surviving “fan” in each of us has drawn us back over time and Round 2’s faithful (and usually improved) reissues of vintage plastic kits supply the kits we remember so well the in WAY that we remember them.

80s-comic-book-spinner-racks

I’ve made no secret of my love for comic books and just as most modelers do, I have my own list of “Grail” comics, but I was lucky enough recently to obtain the one item at the top of my list. It is something I thought I would have to wait a long time to find and had limited hopes of having the cash on hand to purchase when found. But the stars aligned for me this time so I could experience the jubilation of landing the “thing” of my dreams. Some middle-aged men need a hot rod. Others are equally as happy to obtain a 1/350 scale TOS Enterprise or 22” Eagle Transporter. For me, it was a comic book spinner rack just like we remember from our childhood. Some of my earliest memories are of going to our local supermarket (the building still stands and was only ever as big as a 7-11 we have today), going to the cereal aisle to pick out the one box that seemed to offer the best balance of fruity/chocolaty/sugary goodness with the best prize soon to be dug out of the bottom. This was immediately followed by a jaunt to stand in front of the spinner rack while my mother shopped. It was for all intents and purposes my baby-sitter for the rest of the trip to the market. Mom had no fear I would wander anywhere else. And in those days, it wasn’t child endangerment if any other adult was around to ensure I wasn’t kidnapped. Oh, what a difference 40-odd years makes… But now, I have one of my own to fill with reading copies and books I clearly recall buying directly “off the rack.”

I mention this tale as a means to touch on the fact that I know what it is like to finally find a fan-grail and how I appreciate the opportunity to create products that fill that level of demand for our consumers. Though I can’t “regret” it, because it is out of my control, I just wish we were in a position to do more and more quickly. That said, I want to assure you we have the ball rolling on a few big things… Grail-level things. Things sci-fi modelers have been asking for for a long time and I’ve been saying “maybe someday” kinds of things.

As I’ve been filling my spinner rack I’ve taken notice of some of the model kit ads that showcased our brands. Heck, half the fun of looking at old comics is looking at those goofy old ads. Here are a few I’ve found…

mpccomicbookad-vi

kat-from-amt-ad

mpc-camaro-ad

mpc-black-hole-ad

star-trek-tmp-ad

Lastly, I’d like to take a moment to officially commemorate the 50th anniversary of STAR TREK. We can all appreciate the future it imagined for us and even the gadgets we already enjoy 250 years ahead of time. With hand held communicators & computers and now replicators, transporters should be right around the corner. The characters are truly iconic and will always be… but because of my relationship with the model kits we’ve developed, I think I like the U.S.S. Enterprise the best. She was a character, and most of the episodes I liked the best featured her as a main component. So, here is to STAR TREK, Captain Kirk & crew, and the U.S.S. Enterprise. Live long and prosper…

POL938 box lid



24 Responses to “Round 2 Model kits: Building a Reputation”

  1. Rocketfin says:

    Very cool trip back in time.:-)

    I did the Golden Wheels thing a few times myself. I think the last time was around the late 1980s, maybe even early 1990s. I don’t think by then you could choose what kit to get, I think it was random. I lived in an apartment then, and didn’t have much money, so any kit that was free was more than welcome! LOL

    The Black Hole kits, at least the Cygnus, would be great to reissue. (I never had one). I’m not sure the robots would sell well though (?).

    It seems unusual sometimes how Disney related models seem to be absent from the USA, yet Zvezda or Bandai can somehow get those licenses. I’m sure it’s complicated either way. 🙂

    Besides, with Round2 around, my funds are spread pretty wide already. Maybe new kits isn’t the way to go for my wallet LOL

  2. George Belknap says:

    Round 2 has done a fantastic job filling my Grail list. The 1/350 TOS Enterprise and an accurate Eagle. The reissued drag racing kits and the updated classic Star Trek kits. Can’t wait to see what Grail kits you have coming up in the future.

  3. Tchail says:

    If only you could persuade Disney to allow you to re-release model kits from “The Black Hole.”

    Sigh…

  4. Scott Jeffreys says:

    I really appreciate all you guys at round2 do. A great read.

  5. BatToys says:

    Your hyper-accurate 1/25 TV Batmobile is a kit I waited 50 years for. It’s great. Now that next month is the 1966 Batman animated movie, PLEASE reissue the Batmobile with all new metal parts like beacon, rims and canopy frames, lower the suspension.

  6. Jo says:

    I’d love to see the Black Hole kits reissued too and I can’t see why the robots wouldn’t sell. In fact I’d say they’d probably sell just as much as the Cygnus if not more.

    They could do with some upgrading though. Vincent’s top head piece is inaccurate and mishapen and his claw hands are pretty poor too plus the Cygnus is too short.

  7. Jo says:

    And Vincent just has decals for the eyes which don’t look anywhere near as good as proper plastic ones.

  8. David says:

    Back in the ’90s Trek kits had 1 of 2 cut-away posters, 1 of the E-A the other being the E-D. Any chance of others??

  9. David E. says:

    I was just at All Scale Trek (.com) and saw the unboxing photos of the Excelsior that a member posted. It looked pretty much how I expected it to after Jamie posted the photos here, except for one thing.
    The warp engine dekoids (that ARE included in the Enterprise-B kit) are once again NOT included in the Excelsior kit (and their are on the U.S.S. Excelsior).
    Is this a deal breaker for me? Will it keep me from purchasing the kit? No, I’ll still buy the kit. But REALLY Round2, really? I’ll once more have to go to the aftermarket to buy a kit piece, but this time it’s a kit piece that you’ve already produced, but just couldn’t bother to include.
    It’s a minor disappointment, but a disappointment nonetheless.

  10. Warp8 says:

    Hi Jamie,
    Will the updated paint guide be available somewhere for those of us who’ve already purchased the earlier 350 scale TOS kit? Thanks.

  11. Michael says:

    Hello Jamie,

    Can you tell us something abut upcoming (1/1400 scale) Star Trek kits? Esp. about the Ent-D and about the Decals for the 1701-D? Do You maybe have a pic for us?

    Thanks,
    Michael

  12. Tye G. says:

    Jamie,
    When will the 1/1400 Enterprise-D Aztec decal sheets be available?
    Also, are the full Aztec and all decals include with the newly released Excelsior kit, and if not, when will those be available?

    THANKS!

  13. Jeff says:

    I just wanted to thank you, Jamie, and everybody at R2, for your efforts. I was pulled back into modeling after a 5 year hiatus by the 1K TOS Enterprise back when PL first released it. Building can be slow, what with work and life and kids, but I now have an entire Ikea Detolf practically full of 1K R2 Star Trek builds and bashes, with 2 more models on the bench and a spot on the stash shelf awaiting the Excelsior reissue. Thanks for all the fun I’ve had building your models.

  14. Chris Brame says:

    Interesting choice of comic book ads – especially the 1/32 All Stars (now Scale Stars). Is that a hint we’ll be seeing more of them? The ’32 and ’40 Fords have my vote!

  15. Mach7 says:

    Hi Jamie,

    Sort of on topic, any update on when the “Tomorrow is Yesterday” F-104/Enterprise kit will be out?

    Thanks.

  16. Martin Burkey says:

    Jamie,
    Just got this kit at Christmas. Easily one of the best kits ever made. However, I was disappointed that it no longer includes the white and black window parts for those of us who want the lighted effect without tinkering with electricity. I wrote customer service asking if I could purchase them and got a fast, courteous reply that R2 is not offering them separately. IMO, that’s a step backward for a kit where so much thought was put into every single aspect.

    • JamieH says:

      The new kit is not identical to the original. Some concessions had to be made to keep the price level with the previous offering. Check around with your modeling pals. Maybe someone has parts they are willing to part with.

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