New insight on Star Trek model kits gleaned from Wonderfest part 2

posted by JamieH 8:00 AM
Friday, July 10, 2009

Further comments upon data regarding Star Trek model kits… On we go.

Disclaimer: This post refers to survey results. We make no promises to produce any subject mentioned at any time. Be good and we’ll see what happens…

The next segment of our survey asked about repopping some grey area AMT kits. Grey area from the standpoint of “would they worth doing?”. I was interested to get some feedback on these because they seem like good subjects to us but the kits do have many issues with accuracy. We are trying to determine which can be released with some adjustment to detail and which should be started from scratch or is it possible that people want them with warts and all. We found that some had lovers and haters and some were kind of “myeh” across the board. One interesting one was the 1/2500 ships. This had the nearly the least amount of “no” votes and by a huge margin had the most “yes” votes. Another interesting result was the Enterprise Cutaway. It was pretty even from “no” to “maybe” then shot up to a pretty substantial “probably” ranking then fell again to land second to last in “yes” votes. The others rated highest in the “maybe” category. 70% of people said the kits would at least need some work. So, this tells us these kits we felt kind of lukewarm about might get a lukewarm reaction if released. One of them is on our 2010 plan and had been before the show.

Then comes the juicy part. We asked about some general ideas for “smaller” kits meaning kits that would fit in a normal size box or maybe a double sized box. These would kind of be our bread and butter kits that would ideally come out at $20 – $30 price points. The possible answers came from some poles I saw on modeling forums. I kind of picked some of the higher-ranking results from those polls. Then Bob and I kind of threw in a few ideas we hadn’t seen batted about that we thought might be interesting. So, in no particular order the top five were… 1/1000 Klingon BoP, Kelvin, 1/1000 Reliant, 1/1000 K’tinga and 1/1000 Romulan BoP. Here was another case where there was a head and shoulders winner and quite frankly I had no idea what to expect. The 1/1000 Reliant was way ahead of all of the others. By my (unscientific) calculations, it scored 100 points above all others. The next three scored within 40 points of each other.

There was a more than 100-point drop between #5 and #6 rankings. #6-8 scored within about 10 points of each other.

Moving along to the big guns. These would be kits that would need to retail at higher dollar amounts. These would be more 1/350 scale kits or larger ships in 1/1000 scale for the most part. From all previous indications, I figured the K’tinga would walk away with this one. I just wanted to be sure this was the case when other kit possibilities were offered side by side with that one. While the results weren’t as drastic as the smaller kits, the Reliant won again by a respectable percentage. So the K’tinga had to settle for second… well, not quite, more like tied for second. The K’tinga actually came in third for the most “yes” votes. What other option would give it a run for its money? The 1/1000 scale Enteprise D. What about the Akira? It landed behind an accurate K-7 at 1/2500 scale. I was curious about the exploration set. The original kit is tiny, made for kids hands and inaccurate. Yet we often get people asking for it. So I threw out the idea of doing a full sized set. I wasn’t hoping for much and didn’t get much. I’m guessing the best plan is to stick to the ships. Oh, I also threw out a 1/12 scale bridge. Not very popular either. I’m wondering if no one picked up on the scale which would be a perfect set to go along with your old Mego figures…

To wrap up, we had asked what popular ships were left off of our “smaller” ship list. Seems like the Excelsior/ Enterprise B and Defiant from DS9 were the leading write-ins.

I’m probably pointing out the obvious when I say that I see a bit of a trend in these results. Regardless of the outspoken few who crave ships from certain series, it looks like subjects from the early movies win out over all other “generations”. I can see the charm of the early films. They might be my favorite incarnation if I had to choose. But I see outspoken fans out there that declare their love for the original series and likewise there are fans of later series that are also outspoken. I see people wondering about the Vulcan Ring ship and the Andorian Kumari from ST: Enterprise. General consensus is that it was the weakest series but it had some decent ship designs in it. (I’ve been watching some episodes and I don’t think its all that bad other than the whole idea that everything looks newer than it should timeline wise.) Likewise, there are big fans of Voyager and DS9 that didn’t focus as much on a ship named Enterprise and other fans who want more adversary ships. Just for fun, I’ve posted a poll on Starship Modeler to gain more insight into this. Again, this won’t keep us from exploring all of the different series. It’s just an observation.



18 Responses to “New insight on Star Trek model kits gleaned from Wonderfest part 2”

  1. Gouf says:

    I’m delighted the 1/1000 Reliant scored so high.

    There would be some opportunities and advantages for that ship in this scale. For example:

    -Presuming that some form of rapid prototyping is involved, the engines from the 1/1000 refit 3D files just need the mounting point changed. And most of the saucer could be reused as well. Giving you consistent base components. Thats 50% done already.

    -You could do the multiple registrys again on the decal sheet:
    USS Reliant NCC-1864 (Trek 2)
    USS Saratoga NCC-1867 (Trek 4)
    USS Saratoga II NCC-31911 (Rick Berman insisted any ship in Next Gen or DS9 have a 5 digit hull number )
    USS Brattain NCC-21166 (Next Gen)

    -Option parts to build the standard Reliant or the Saratoga II version. The only difference is on the Saratoga II version the roll bar is replaced with 2 phaser canons, see parts pictured below.
    http://www.starshipmodeler.com/trek/ss_saratoga-304S.JPG

    http://www.starshipmodeler.com/trek/ss_saratoga-301S.JPG

    So with a decal sheet and 12 extra parts in the kit, you could add all the incentive needed for modelers to buy multiple copies of the kit to make all the variations.

    As for the 1/12th scale bridge idea, I think you were only off the mark, by the scale. 1/12 in scale Mego figures, really isn’t going to sell modern modelers. Nostalgia for such things can only go so far. However, a bridge kit, or series of bridge kits of the main ships including apropriate figures in 1/35 scale would double your market. As you would get the Trek/Scifi fans, and the 1/35 military modelers in one fell swoop. Bandai in japan did this to great success with their UC Hardgraph line of kits.

    So the concept for such things has already been introduced to the modeling community.

    Thought I would share my thoughts.

    best regards,
    ~Duncan

  2. derric1968 says:

    Hmmm…. interesting results indeed! I’m surprised the 1/2500 set rated so well amongst the re-pop suggestions. I will say that 1/2500 as a scale is intriguing. I would be open to new kits at this scale, but re-pops of the 2 existing sets does nothing fore me. I’m disappointed that the Akira rated so low. That’s a kit that would be a good candidate for 1/2500 or 1/2000 (since you’ve opened that door with the new movie Enterprise).

    But, I am not surprised at all that the Reliant scored such high numbers. Not only is it a iconic ship, but the miniature was recycled several times for TNG and DS9, which brings me to a suggestion. If you do decide to do a 1/1000 Reliant (please, please, please!), I think it would be cool if you could include the decals and optional parts to build it as some of the variants, like the Saratoga, the Lantree, the Bozeman. I know I would buy several Reliants if you did this!

  3. geino says:

    Cool items to look forward to. I have been very impressed with the Round 2 kits to date.

    I agree with Gouf – when Round 2 releases the Reliant (in any size) – please include the parts to create all 4 classes of ships and multiple names:
    Rollbar – Reliant
    No Rollbar – Lantree
    Side Cannons – Sisko’s Saratoga
    Aft section add on and other pieces – Brittain (Soyuz Class)
    Additional web links:
    http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/schematics/starfleet_ships2.htm
    http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/scans/miranda1.htm

    For the Bird of Prey – Could you make the wings move and include landing legs and a ramp (Star Trek 4)? A “limited edition clear plastic cloaked version” would make a good collectable version.

  4. Opus_Penguin says:

    I personally would have voted high for the 1/12 scale Bridge and would have noticed that scale.

    Are you planning on doing the survey online?

    I would want … in this order:

    1/350 TOS E (not sure if I should mention this due to us already knowing it is coming out)

    1/350 K’Tinga/1/350 Reliant _ Tied

    1/1000 Reliant

    Accurate Exploration Set possibly even a TNG version

  5. BronzeGiant says:

    I’d like to hear about some of the results that were NOT related to Star Trek Kits. There ARE other models in your line and other modelers besides Star Trek modelers. Don’t get me wrong, I have a re-popped Enterprise in the tin but that’s probably the only Star Trek kit that I want. Mostly for sentimental reasons as opposed to Star Trek reasons. Let’s hear about what people said they wanted from the vaults. I know I made some suggestions.

  6. razorwyre1 says:

    i was just terribly impressed that you made up such a survey in the first place. luckily i attended the show and filled one out. it was just so nice to see a company that really cared about what their core buyers thought and were interested in buying. very shrewd and wise on your part. id have just liked to see it repeated with your other model lines and licenses.

  7. JamieH says:

    As far as new kits, we’ll see what the future holds. I can’t make any promises but all comments are duly noted.

    BronzeGiant- The survey was created in haste and was pretty limited in space. Last year we had two surveys and that got a little hectic so I tried to keep it simple. I stuck to Star Trek because the questions came easily to me and it was a very pertinent subject as the new film had just come out a week before. We’re always open to suggestion for other sci-fi/fantasy/horror subjects.

  8. flamingakira says:

    I am surprised the Enterprise-D 1/1000 came out so high, honestly. I voted highly for it, but I figured the “older” ships would rank higher. Honestly, though, cant wait for the Reliant in any scale.

    I understand your reluctance to rehash kits that might have errors. Kits like the Enterprise-B and Excelsior though would be great as re-releases with updated decals (Lakota, anyone?) and aztek decals. That’d be pretty sweet.

  9. eimb1999 says:

    Reliant, please!!!! Esp 1/350th!

  10. Brad says:

    Guess it doesn’t look too good for a 1/1000 Akira. Rats. Oh well, a 1/1000 Reliant would be great!

  11. eimb1999 says:

    I’m a fan of really big models over smaller ones, but the nice thing about the smaller ones is that they cost less and you can make a fleet. I have a whole pile of TOS Enterprises to make a lot of differnt versions (if I ever get the time to do them!)Kudos to Polar Lights at the time to think of supplying all the parts for all three versions too! That was a wonderful idea.

    So, I think it’s also a great idea to make more ships to scale with the smaller snap kits. If you’re going to do a TMP “A” then it follows that there should be a “Reliant” to go with it. A Klingon BOP would be a good follow up too. I would also like to see a TOS Romulan ship too. As long as enough info could be gleaned to make it more accurate than previous examples. But then, maybe that’s just me.

    I’d also love to see a “Grissom” (Oberth class?) as well. I don’t know why, as the design makes no sense, but for some reason I like it! Oh well, I can dream, can’t I? :-)

  12. Zakuformer says:

    An “exploration set”, either re-pop or new tool, would be a bad idea. There are numerous releases of fairly affordable “props” as toys from Diamond Select Toys, the newest being the TOS Tricorder. These are all authentic looking pieces, and I believe these would hurt any chance of models of the props from selling well.

    I would like to throw my votes out there for 1/350th TOS Enterprise, 1/350th K’tinga movie battlecruiser, 1/1000th Reliant, and 1/1000th Romulan Bird of Prey. I also wouldn’t mind seeing re-releases of the original Romulan BOP kit, as well as the K-7 space station.

    I love what Round2 is doing, please keep the kits coming!

    ~Sean

  13. SpacetigerHobbes says:

    I still vote for 1/350 and 1/1000 Klingon K’tinga, Kronos,and BoP, TOS Romulan BoP, and ‘Enterprise’ Vulcan and adversary kits in at least 1/1000 scale. I realize the bigger scales are a bigger investment in tooling. If so, get some 1/1000 kits on the street and use sales figures to pick larger subjects.

  14. raser13 says:

    if you guys do happen to get around to the excelcior/ enterprise-b. would you please, please, on bended knee please add the impulse crystall and the rounded part infront of the rear shutle bay to make the nx-2000 from st:3? i know i and a lot of other modelers have wandted to have one of these for years but no one that i have ever seen makes one. you could probabley do a kit with the parts for the nx-2000, the normal excelsior ncc-2000, and conversion parts for the enterprise-b.that should get people to buy multiples just to make all three versions. plus would add great parts for kit basing poibilities. also i would think that a combo kit would save on tooling at least two different kits for the excelsior,and ent-b. but i digress, i’m definately not in the feild and i might be wrong but just an idea.

  15. Trekster says:

    The Reliant and Klingon K’tinga would be great at 1/350 or 1/1000, and I would buy them at either size. Though I expect 1/1000 to be the more likely scale we would see them introduced at first, with the ship that sells the most being the first to get 1/350 tooling. Thats IF both are eventually released at 1/1000. Round2, please make it so! :)

  16. Randy Nugent says:

    I think there is a hole here.
    The Enterprise “C” and “D” models.
    Also consider this: 1/350 is the same as large ship models, such as the Iowa, Bismark, and so on.
    Ship models then move on to 1/700 scale.
    I could not understand how companies like Polar Lights missed or ignored this fact.

    I would like the 1/700 scale trek kits to compare to my real warship kits.
    This would have been so much more useful, and it would also appeal to the regular ship modeler.

    Randy

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