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Round 2 Models: Wonderfest Wrap-Up!

posted by JamieH 3:43 PM
Thursday, May 20, 2010

The show is three days gone and I’m still feeling worn out. It was a great show for us. How can we judge that (since we weren’t actually selling anything)? I’m judging it based on the response we got from you, the modeler. I knew (hoped) some of the stuff we had brewing would be exciting to you guys and the people who stopped by seemed to hop right on board with what we could show so far. I actually didn’t hear any severe criticism (please don’t start now 🙂 ). At our first year at the show the response was “I thought you guys went out of business” with a look on people’s faces of “and who are you?”. Last year was positive but we were still getting tons of “suggestions” and a few had some legitimate complaints and a few bad reactions to our announcement of the planned new movie Enterprise. That’s not to say that we get everything right. We do honestly try though.

The show went by quickly even though we spent the whole time on our feet. I made a few trips around the dealer room but limited myself so I wouldn’t overspend (I did anyway) and made it over to the guest room for a very quick lap missing a chance to talk to John Eaves again. I was able to look around the contest room for about a minute and a half before they started kicking people out for the awards ceremony. I feel a little incomplete for not having a better chance to look around. I’ve had to look around online but it just isn’t the same and being able to really get up close to a nicely detailed model.

We did a little “social media” experiment on Saturday. I’d been dropping hints around to follow us on Twitter while at the show. We tried to take a cue from comic book artist, Jim Lee. At a recent comic convention in Chicago, he left sketches here and there and “tweeted” their locations. So we took along a few special prizes to try the same thing but we genuinely had no idea how effective it would be. Were modelers on Twitter? If they were, would they pay attention during the show? The answer was “yes”… a little bit. We planted the prize around noon time and started dropping hints here and there. As the afternoon went along, we started to worry that we’d just need to go pick it up the next day unless someone accidentally stumbled across it. Late Saturday afternoon, a gentleman stopped by and a said a little birdy told him to stop by. So, congratulations to… You know I just realized we didn’t get his name. But our heads were about us enough to take a quick photo of him. So, congratulations mystery winner on receiving a 1st edition Enterprise Tin (one of six uncovered in our warehouse. Hopefully Bob and I can take home one of the other five). We had a few more prizes to give away but figured we’d try again next year to see if we had more interaction.

I checked out the Aurora documentary Saturday night. I never took the chance to build them when I was a kid. Even then I didn’t like the sculpts. But after seeing how they were sculpted, I have a much better respect for those old kits. The selling power of James Bama’s illustrations put me in awe. After the show, I helped judge Iron Modeler. I wasn’t sure what to expect, now I’m not sure what to think. The final builds ranged from whacky to meticulous. My hat is off to the participants for taking up the challenge and putting their hard work in.

As in past years, we had a questionnaire to fill out. After some trouble interpreting the “data” last year and having two sheets worth of questions the year before, I’ve learned to simplify and I hope it helped not to take too much out of everyone’s busy show. Some people responded out loud that some of the questions we asked were difficult because they could only choose one option. My response was that we have to answer hard questions like that all the time. As a “reward” we handed out 1:72 scale Robby the Robots complete with a mini box on the back of the header card. We only had a limited amount and ran out around 1:00 on Saturday. We also handed out previews of the mini catalog that we’ve started including in our latest kits and everyone was entered into a drawing for some free kits.

Congratulations to this year’s winners. Your prizes are on their way.

Bob Bleber of Elkhart, IN (my home town oddly enough) won a regular edition Batmobile.

Chris Alima of Cincinnati, OH won a 1:1000 Star Trek Kit 4-Pack (POL803, POL806POL807POL820)

And Kevin Bessey of Omaha, NE won a Batmobile Collector’s Edition Tin

Many have asked if they could fill a questionnaire online and we’ve tried to find a way to allow that without requiring too much time or expense. We finally decided to make it available as a .pdf for you to print off and mail back in to us. Other bigger, less busy companies can incorporate it into their system and keep it completely online. I’m sorry we can’t do that at this time. If you weren’t able to hit the show but want your voice to be heard, this is your chance. Feel free to take a look at some of the pics of our booth and fill out our questionnaire. We’ll add your input to our data from the show. It won’t be an open-ended thing so fill it out and send it back in the next few weeks. Sorry no prizes for this, just a chance to join the crowd.


For those who couldn’t make it this year, feel free to come see us next year. We’ve already booked the same spot. It’ll be a long year until then.

35 Responses to “Round 2 Models: Wonderfest Wrap-Up!”

  1. zysurge says:

    Hi – my name is Eric Lang, and I was the “mystery winner”! Thanks once again guys, and I’m looking forward to all your new items and re-releases. You guys rock!

  2. JamieH says:

    Hi Eric. Sorry we didn’t get your name the first time. I think we were still in shock that someone actually was paying attention.

  3. fortress says:

    What was the information offered by Round 2 about the
    2009 Star Trek USS Enterprise that got a few folks
    a little heated????

  4. JamieH says:

    You mean last year? Just the fact that we’d do it. The ship and the movie had just been released and they were sore subjects with some.

  5. Bats says:

    Looks like a fantastic time Jamie. If you guys are shorthanded next year i’ll volunteer some time just for the experience! I’ve been checking out some more of the star trek stuff lately and they’re looking great! I may have to get back into ship modeling again.

    I understand the “sore subject” thing. Trek fans can be fiercely loyal to thier favorite interpretation, much like Batfans, Who fans and so on. I personally like the new Enterprise, and for the folks who like the original…well you guys did that too. I’m just waiting for Polar lights to get the American Dr. Who license.

  6. ACE says:

    Thanks for the questionnaire on the website. I’ve already filled mine out with a big vote for the 1/350 TOS Enterprise in 2011. I’m going out to mail it off right now!

  7. crikerat says:

    Hey Jamie, great stuff. Hopefully I can find the time to go to Wonderfest one year.

    As for the survey, have you ever considered using Survey Monkey? It’s an online survey tool that might make your job easier on the questionaire. Of course you could always run the survey out of the Starshipmodeler forum 😉

  8. derric1968 says:

    You just go ahead and ignore those complaints, Jamie. There are plenty of us out here who are looking forward to the new movie Enterprise, especially me!

    P.S. – I’ll get that questionnaire filled out and on the way soon.

  9. JamieH says:

    With a name like SurveyMonkey, I couldn’t help but look into it. So, if you haven’t filled one out yet or don’t want to mess with shipping it back in, feel free to take the survey online. We had to edit a couple minor questions out and you can’t give as much feedback but the online version is up and ready to go now.

  10. Opus_Penguin says:

    I just did the online survey. I will be curious to see he final results.

  11. eimb1999 says:

    Thanks for putting up the survey! Great idea! I’ve also just informed all the rest of my modelbuilding/collector friends who also buy kits and asked them to complete it too!

  12. crowe-t says:

    Thanks Jamie for putting the survey online. I just sent mine in!

  13. ModelMan says:

    Thanks for setting that up! I needed an N/A on several of those, so I just picked random answers instead and skewed the results. box art for the pilgrim, licensed or unlicensed, the repop question and one other one.

    So maybe we could contribute funds to promote the 1/350tos? 😀

  14. falcondesigns says:

    How about a status update on the 1/350 TOS Enterprise?

  15. spock62 says:

    Looking over the questionaire (mailed it out yesterday), I’ve got a question of my own. Why is the 1/350 TOS Enterprise listed under “new products you’d like to see in 2011”? I thought this was a done deal, that the kit was being designed and would come out in 2011. Why the change? This is one of the most requested kits, why won’t you produce it? So far, the only new subject that’s been done is the 1/1000 refit Enterprise, everything else are reissues of old kits. Even the 2009 Enterprise is taking a long time, plus, it’s not even going to be in 1/1000 scale, a scale established by Polar Lights for their Trek kits! While I like some of the reissues, if R2 is going to spend most of their effort on old kits and very little on new kits, many modelers like myself will lose interest in the company. Sorry, but I just don’t think it’s wise to dangle a much anticapted kit (1/350 TOS Enterprise) in people’s faces then reverse course ’cause your getting “cold feet” about producing it.

  16. Mach7 says:

    Can you give any insight into the 1/350 TOS Enterprise?

    I filled out the survey online and voted for it, but I thought it was a “done deal” to come out in the 1st quarter of 2011. Over on the Hobbytalk forum it is being posted by people who were at wonderfest that it might not get done.

    PLEASE say it isn’t so!


  17. JamieH says:

    First, let me say the 1:350 TOS E is a live project. We must decide whether we can afford to do it in 2011. It is not a question of whether we WANT to do it. We DO want to do it but it will be an expensive kit to tool up and we need to plan carefully to maintain the success we’ve had thus far. We are doing what we can to make it happen ASAP. I’m sorry I can’t give more details here.

  18. ModelMan says:

    I was curious to know how your poll questions might go on the 350 matter, so I set a poll at hobbytalk w/ your phrasing. At 12hrs in and 53 votes, 44 (83%) are for the 350.

    I understand that this option is a big single investment on your part and an all or nothing purchase on ours. While there are many people who won’t buy it for the price/size, there are likely as many people such as me who will buy more than one because of its price and size.

    I figure this year we get a Reliant, so a 1k followup so soon is a downer; but the 1k KTinga could be cool; Kelvin seems to have it’s fanbase as well… King Kong? Why not fix all that’s wretched about the TRU Godzilla? That 1k RBoP would make a nice token addition to that line, and whatever the Akira is, it seems to have a fanbase too.

    On the 350, while it’s important you guys do the best job you can, I think more people will be disappointed if the 350 doesn’t release in 2011, no matter what the ‘consolation prize’ is. The Aftermarketeers can handle whatever bling you guys aren’t able to include.

    The most common question I get from my 900 youtube subscribers and other viewers is ‘what’s the lowdown on the 350tos’? I gotta tell them I get my news from the same source as them -round two’s blog.

  19. jonathondadams says:

    JamieH, I know you’ve got some concerned folks around the planet about whether or not this model’s coming out now or in a year and I too get excited about upcoming models, but please understand that there are plenty of us out here who are simply happy that there’s a company out there dedicated enough to keep putting out great models for us to build. I build trek models and will continue building trek models whether there’s a 350tos or not and the fact that you guys are putting out so many great kits this year (reissue or not) puts a pretty big smile on my face and my son’s (his room’s ceiling is a display of various trek models I’ve been building since before he was born. You guys keep up the good work and know that no matter what comes of certain models there’s always folks out here that appreciate your hard work and dedication to people who build. -Jon

  20. JamieH says:

    Jon- Thanks to you and a lot of others out there who enjoy our products. We work hard to deliver products that are the best we can make. I really don’t let any of the negative attitudes of the outspoken minority get to me. Nothing I say or do will change. If it seems like I’m not “around” much or if there is a lag between blog posts, it is just because I am so busy with the product. Thanks again. We’re working hard to bring out some great stuff.

  21. Bats says:

    And doing one heckuva job Jamie! I call myself Polar lights #1 fan because of all the great subject matter being kitted. You guys have taken some great old kits we already loved and made them even better! I thought (a few years back) that figure kits had gone the way of the dodo. Yet here they are. I’m also very pleased with the ongoing polling. I can’t see how anyone can think this company doesn’t listen to it’s fanbase. You keep up the good work Jamie, can’t wait to see what the turn around the next corner brings!

  22. JamieH says:

    Something overheard in a mouse today in a model kit meeting…

    …”1:350 TOS in 2011?”… “we’ll know more in a couple months”…

  23. crowe-t says:

    That’s great news Jamie! I can’t wait for the 1/350 TOS E to come out.

  24. Mach7 says:

    If the big E gets the go ahead in late summer what will be the lead time? Is there still time for a 2011 release?


  25. JamieH says:

    Impromptu 2011 planning meeting went from “what would you do if we don’t go through with a 1:350 TOS E?” to “what could we add to a limited edition first release of a 1:350 TOS kit to really make it special?”.

    We still won’t know for awhile one way or the other but discussion is happening.

  26. jamesironwolf says:

    well i would like to have a 1/1000 Akira & 1/1000 Reliant
    1/1000 birds of prey would be nice too,
    but i would like to see the 1/350 tos E more
    already have a spot set for it between the 1/350 NX-01 and the 1/350 1701-A
    with what you did to the 350 A not sure what you could do to make the 350 tos better if the same work and detail goes in to it , which from what we’ve heard seems like you guys are doing good.
    as to the survey i will send it out soon , had trouble finding it on surveymonkey, the last question , what new licenses
    would like to see the BIG ships in 1/2500 to go with your 1/2500 enterprises , i was thinking the stardestroyer, battlestars, and Babylon 5 ships.
    reissue of the 1/72 starfury might not be bad either.

  27. JamieH says:

    james-just click on the big red rectangle in the middle of the page to find the online survey.

  28. ModelMan says:

    >…“what would you do if we don’t go through with a 1:350 TOS E?” to “what could we add to a limited edition first release of a 1:350 TOS kit to really make it special?”.

    Well that is certainly encouraging to hear.

    If you folks are concerned about the cost of tooling, I’m sure it is realized by all that those costs will only be more expensive as early as next year for 2012 release. This is not a kit that will fail you, the time for it is now.

    What could be added is a tough question. Being truly ‘limited’ would be good. These collector tins you guys are issuing are worthless in unlimited runs. I imagine a tin to contain this kit would be prohibitive.

    Custom box art is one obvious idea. Casting in clear plastic? How about a sound chip w/ ship noises? A lighting kit would be too much $ and could be done better, more cheaply by us on our side of the build; Freshly autographed boxes; prints of Shatner w/ the original three footer?

    If your license also included the Franz Joseph designs, then a Tug’s ‘tow pad’ and cargo container would be very cool, a custom neck to build a Scout class; an extra nacelle, that kind of thing. This kit is going to be bashed into a lot of custom designs for many years to come.

    What could be added depends on what’s going in already too. Will you folks follow suit w/ the 1k version and include alternate plastic for each of the three screen versions of the ship as standard? If not, then that would be a nice touch, for example.

    How about what could be left out of ‘regular edition’ kits to make them more cost attractive than the first edition? Is a shuttle bay in the mix? Then leave it out of the regular run, but perhaps sell it later as a plus pack or something. Maybe plus packs are the way to go. The base kit builds one version of the ship for a base price. Then, plus packs are sold including shuttle bay and shuttles, alternate domes and such for the 1st and 2nd pilot versions, alternate decals, etc.

    As is, I figure this kit will be in the $80 range as the other 350 kits. Adding more cost to a limited edition could cut into sales very harshly.

    Perhaps a ‘golden ticket’ of some kind which entitles the winner to any one of a number of possibilities – a trip to a star trek event, tour of Round two’s US offices, shwag, additional kits,… something which gets round two some big publicity…

  29. JamieH says:

    ModelMan- We’re starting to be cautiously optimistic about this again. We’re still in no position to guarantee it yet. Covering the tooling cost is indeed the biggest (and only real) hurdle. We had thought of most of your ideas in our little brainstorm session the other day. I don’t want to state our plans for what to include or not include at this point because what we do may change from what I thought we would include. As for the price point, don’t expect us to maintain the $80 of the Refit kit. Coming to see our offices would be a prize? I don’t know about that. Really not much to see here. I do like the golden ticket idea but I’m not sure how much that will spur sales for a 1 in a thousand chance of winning.

  30. Mach7 says:

    Glad to hear she is not dead! I like the idea of separate kits. A shuttle bay kit, maybe an upgraded/lighted bussard collector kit, alternate version kits (Cage/ WNMHGB/Production/mirror universe). Just a few ideas I’m sure you guys thought of.

    As a kit builder I am expecting The big E to come in around $110. If you can keep the upgrade packs around $20 I would buy a few.

    I know you can’t discuss propitiatory info here, but am I close?


  31. ModelMan says:

    >As a kit builder I am expecting The big E to come in around $110.

    I was hoping Jamie meant it would be less expensive than $80, not more. Consider that the C-57d with all it’s massive plastic goes for (well) under $80. A base kit with a base price and a few “plus packs” could be a great way to go.

    If the standard kit was $110+ and then plus packs on top of that, well, to build one of each of the three versions of the ship means $330+ required accessories! That gets crazy and will kill sales before they start.

    Whereas if the base kit was closer to $60 w/ the $20 plus packs, then all three could be built for under $300. That’s far more reasonable. As much as I want this model, $110+ each would hurt very, very badly. It should not cost as much to kit bash a Scout or Tug class as it would the Connie herself. There are going to be a lot of secondary hulls laying around when all is said and done.

    >golden ticket.

    Maybe one in ten kits have a special sticker or print. One in a hundred kits have a rebate -or credit for a different kit. And one in a thousand have a really unique prize along the lines mentioned previously.

    My inspiration for this goes way back to the mid-80’s with Grenadier models and their ‘Golden Orc’ AD&D promotion. I forget what the prize was, but finding a gold plated orc in their 10 pack gave one a chance at a raffle for something really big.

    A gold plated star fleet badge maybe…

    Put me on the payroll and I’ll go to work on some real ideas. :p

  32. Mach7 says:

    Some good points ModelMan.

    The C-57d and refit both have all the tooling already done and paid for. At this point they are basically re-pops.

    My $ estimate is based on the Moebius J-2. I can’t believe the big E would be less expensive to produce than the big J-2. The E would have less parts, but more really large parts. I think this is the crux(sp?) of the decision R2 has to make. A 1/350 Enterprise must be a huge investment, one I think would pay off big, but what do I know. R2 will do what is best for them, which is ultimately what is best for us the kit builders.

    Again just the ramblings of a 50 year old builder who really knows nothing.

    Jamie, Thanks to you and R2 for letting us have this view of how you guys do things! Believe me it’s really interesting and informative.

  33. airwolfflies says:

    With all the main focus on the Star Trek kits, is there any possibility of a kit of clear styrene of the Nebula Class starship as seen in Star Trek The Next Generation and at the end of the Star Trek movie Generations? The ship that beamed up Picard and Riker was the USS Faragut, a Nebula Class starship.

    This starship design is so cool and totally awesome. Is there any indication this kit could come out in the near future? I bet if this kit came out, the sales would go through the roof! If it DOES come out, I will buy FOUR (4) of these marvelous kits. Two for lighting up with fiber optics and LEDs and Flo-Tubes, and one for a static display and the last for my Star Trek collection of unbuilt kits.

    Thanks, guys for bringing out the new line of Star Trek kits for all of us fans out here.


  34. airwolfflies says:

    Howdy, JamieH

    I have already left a comment inquiring of the possibility of a Star Trek Nebula Class starship as seen on Star Trek The Next Generation and at the end of the Star Trek movie, Generations. The ship that beamed up Picard and Riker was the USS Faragut, a Nebula Class starship.

    So, again my question is there any possibility of Round 2 Models or AMT coming out with a clear styrene edition of this beautiful and wicked looking starship in the same scale as the USS Enterprise NCC-1701D With Fiber Optic Lighting System or the USS Enterprise NCC-1701D in blue styrene that is 18 inches long when assembled?

    Whew! Sorry for the long question, but Star Trek modeling always gets my heart a pumpin’! I know for a fact that if this awesome starship is released either in clear styrene or blue like the Fiber Optic Lighted USS Enterprise NCC-1701D the sales of this kit will go through the roof!

    Thank you for bringing these Star Trek kits out so all of us fans out here can enjoy them!


  35. fortress says:

    1/350 Scale subjects are really a treat to say the least
    I am sure there is a huge investment factor to take under
    foot when you do a subject like that a large 1701 would
    be the proper choice to make but I would like to add for
    future consideration;

    The Klingon Bird of Prey
    U.S.S. Reliant
    U.S.S. Excelsior
    Galileo-7 Shuttlecraft(TOS)


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