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July 2009

Archive for July 10th, 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.