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Model Kits: Deleted Scenes

posted by BobP 8:00 AM
Monday, May 18, 2009

You know those extras on DVDs, where you can view scenes that were ultimately cut from the final edit of a film? Sometimes those provide a fascinating glimpse into what might have been. Occasionally, those scenes add another level of character or plot detail that heightens one’s appreciation for the work. What does that have to do with model kits? Well, sometimes product development is like that: many things might be developed that end up never being part of the final product, in some cases, entire product lines might make it through concept and mockup stage and never see the light of day. We hope to occasionally be able to highlight such lost treasures (or discarded trash, depending on your point of view), whether it’s concept work, product or packaging, both here and on our sister blog, foreverfunblog.com.

For starters, here’s an image of a version of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-E packaging that actually made it all the way through a press proof. What’s the story? Well, most of our Star Trek packaging has 2 incarnations: a version with illustrated art for the hobby market, and a version with photo or digital art for the mass market. We had developed this packaging for the mass market version, but the kit only ended up being released to the hobby market. (So – this art is waiting in the wings should any of our mass accounts choose to carry it!)

The cool thing about this packaging is that it really shows off the kit nicely – those are shots of the actual buildup, enhanced with some Photoshop  window lighting and phaser effects. As usual, Jim Small did a fantastic job putting together and finishing this kit, and provided the photography of the buildup as well. Jim has a great understanding of how to “pose” and light a kit for dramatic effect – I had to do very little digital tweaking to the ship itself. The flares and glows added to areas of the ship and the background are a part of our Star Trek packaging graphic vocabulary, and helps to provide a cohesive look to all our Trek packaging.



11 Responses to “Model Kits: Deleted Scenes”

  1. SmokingRobot says:

    Speaking of box art…. new Enterprise? 🙂

  2. BobP says:

    New Enterprise? What new Enterprise?

    Actually, we had permission from the Star Trek licensor to show the concept box art at WonderFest only; it has to go though a further round of approvals (Paramount and Bad Robot) before we can show the thing to the whole dang world. I hope to get approvals this week on both the concept art and an official press release announcing the license. We’ve been working on getting the license for a while now, and it was finally confirmed a few weeks ago! The timing was good to announce it at WonderFest — most reactions at the show were extremely positive.

    Hang tight; I’ll post the image as soon as I can.

  3. eimb1999 says:

    I like the vivid colours!

  4. Doug Pirahna says:

    Possibly silly question coming up:

    Why do 2 sets of box art? Seems like a lot of hassle and expense to go through for the same kit.

  5. BobP says:

    Hey Doug,

    Not a silly question at all — I should’ve addressed this more clearly. You are right — it is a lot of hassle and expense to go through for the same kit. I have to admit, I don’t completely understand the reasoning behind the decision, but apparently the hobby retailers want an obvious point of difference between their kit and what is available in the mass market. (At least, that is what the sales/marketing folks tell me.) The mass being big chain stores like Toys’R’Us or Hobby Lobby.

    The decision was made with the Trek kits to make that point of difference the way the box art is handled: traditionally illustrated packaging for the hobby accounts, and photographic/digital treatment for the mass accounts. In the case of the Enterprise-E, we were confident our mass accounts would take the kit and proceeded with the “mass” version of the box art. Unfortunately, the mass accounts passed on taking it. So — I ended up with a pretty piece of art to be used on the website and the blog.

    Hope that makes a little sense, at least.

  6. SmokingRobot says:

    Bobp,

    Really interesting discussion of hobby retailers vs ‘mass market’. I often wonder if the mass market is perilously close to being gone. Model building seems to have evolved into an adult past-time in this country. Adult modelers get kits for their kids, sure. But I really wonder how long the mass market will be around.

  7. crowe-t says:

    I have to agree with SmokingRobot. Back when I was a kid I built models and so did my friends. They may not have been works of art but we were building them. The local toy store around the corner from my house had a nice assortment of kits and even carried the glue and paint. I think video games have taken over with kids now a days. Model building seems to be an adult hobby now.

  8. psytce says:

    “The mass being big chain stores like Toys’R’Us or Hobby Lobby.”

    Bob … Is there any special reason why Hobby Lobby is carrying the Star Trek Polar Lights models, but not the Star Trek AMT Models?
    Because with the popularity of the new movie I think it would be a mistake not to sell these models ….

    Tommy

  9. BobP says:

    Hi Tommy,

    Sometimes it is a mystery why certain stores only invest in certain products, and I can’t speak directly to Hobby Lobby’s entire thought process, but I believe part of it has to do with the fact that they have a certain amount of shelf space allocated for sci-fi, and that is currently divided among Trek, Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica. They also seem to prefer the smaller “standard” model kit boxes — although they obviously make exceptions, as they do carry some of the larger SW and BSG kits.

    Hopefully, as interest in Trek continues due to the success of the new movie, they will consider allocating more space for Trek, including taking some of our items that are in the larger packaging, like the Enterprise E, and the upcoming Vulcan Shuttle and Spock kits, which are due out later this year.

    Bob

  10. R23 says:

    I would like to know if Round 2 will be selling / distributing these new model kits in the UK at major retailers like Toys’r’us and amazon.co.uk because I want to buy the reissued PL 1701-A and E, so far no one in England is selling them.

    Thanks

  11. BobP says:

    Hi R23,

    Unfortunately, our license for Star Trek does not cover sales outside the U.S. or Canada. However, you may be able to find an online retailer in the U.S. or Canada who ships overseas.

    Bob

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