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Model Kit: All good things…

posted by JamieH 8:00 AM
Monday, June 22, 2009

So, many people have picked up on a small detail in our latest press release that our 1/350 TOS Enterprise looks to be pushed back into 2011. We don’t want to be the company that cried wolf so although an explanation isn’t required, I’ll offer up some quick detail.

First, let me address all of the Eeyores out there that say “oh man, that model kit will never get made” Or “I may die of old age before we ever see the model kit”. To them, I offer the hard reality that aliens could invade the planet Earth tonight and we’ll be involved in an interstellar war that rages for a millennia and they’d be right that the model kit may never happen in their lifetime. To them, I say, lighten up lest your bottom lip gets a rug burn.

Development of the model kit has begun. It has beaten the start of the new movie Enterprise by a full month. This is a model kit that MUST be right in every way. It MUST be accurate. It MUST build better than the 1/350 Refit. (yes, I said better) It MUST be special. It will be our best effort to bring a definitive model kit to market that requires nothing more to add to the subject.

Our original goal was to bring the model kit out by the end of 2010. By that, I mean out in late November. We have limited resources and with the economy as it is where banks don’t hand out money as freely as they did just a year ago, we were told the date needed to move back into 2011. By pushing it back a few months, we are allowed to still do most of the other new kits we have planned for 2010. If it was the only new kit we did in 2010, I’m still not sure it could have happened. It truly is out of our control.

So we hope to have it out just after the clock strikes 2011. Thanks to those who have been reasonable and can understand that we don’t make decisions like this to torture anyone. If we had unlimited funds and a time machine, we’d put it out tomorrow. But the invasion starts tonight so it still wouldn’t have happened…

16 Responses to “Model Kit: All good things…”

  1. phicks says:

    A thought, and a question:

    The thought: I’m just worried that since R2 also produces diecast cars, the word could come down at any moment that the whole business has been sold off to Ertl and that the model division will be closing down because it’s less profitable than diecast cars. It happened before, and it could happen again. So when new kits get pushed back, precedent shows there is truly reason to fear the kits will never happen.

    The question: I also noticed that the 1/1,000 Enterprise-A has now been rescheduled to 2010 in R2’s press release, when just a month ago, we were told it was still on before the end of 2009. Is this a case of “promise less and deliver more”, or has something happened that R2 truly believes that it won’t be out until 2010?

  2. JamieH says:

    At this point, the 1/1000 refit kit is on schedule for the end of the year. However, timing is such that if all doesn’t go according to plan or there is a slip up along the way, it may need to be delayed. Therefore, we decided to make this statement in the event there is a delay. If it were to be pushed back it would only be far enough to solve whatever issue that would arise.

    And who says die cast cars make more money than model kits?

  3. phicks says:

    “And who says die cast cars make more money than model kits?”

    Maybe I’m asking you to speculate, or maybe you could ask Tom Lowe if you don’t know the answer, but if diecast cars and models make equitable money, then why did Ertl buy Playing Mantis and then shutdown the model division, but keep the diecast cars going? I had assumed there was more money to be made in diecast cars with the popularity of Nascar and America’s love of the automobile, but please correct me if I’m wrong!

  4. SmokingRobot says:

    OK, 1/350 TOS is a big deal, we’ll have to wait for it. Got it. Now then, about making the Cutaway TOS with parts to have it not be cutaway….

    PS: And yes, I will buy a boat-load of the 1/1000 Refit and the Nuprise (whenever they get here). Good decals to do other ships in the fleet, please!

  5. Trekster says:

    As disappointing as this news is, I understand that details and the hard economics of it all tend to result in decisions such as this. It is imperative the 1/350 TOS be done right, and if that requires longer development time and higher costs then so be it.

  6. eimb1999 says:

    Here’s my $0.02 for what it’s worth…

    I say better to have it take a lot longer than we’d like and have it done RIGHT than rush it out the door and have some flaws. I am a firm believer in taking your time and doing a great job, making it super accurate and well engineered than to getting it out before it’s really the kit we all want.

    I just know the guys at Round 2 will do a GREAT job with this kit! They are getting the very best reference materials available, I’m sure. Quality takes just a bit longer, that’s all. We’ll still get our kits! And hey, just gives us something more to look forward to NEXT year, right?

  7. JamieH says:

    I’ll take a stab at some speculation. RC2 did not know how to handle the marketing and product development of model kits. They didn’t have anyone there who was familiar with or passionate about the subject matter. (or if they did, they were not allowed to act on their passion) That goes for both sci-fi and automotive. I’m not sure how they made their decisions as to what product they should put out but I’m pretty sure the first thing they considered was not to ask model builders what they wanted.

    I don’t know why they canceled programs in the order or timing that they did. I just know we have picked up brands they didn’t know how to handle and we are making traction where they couldn’t.

    As for the “success” of die cast lines because they are automotive, here’s something to consider. There are 5 automotive model kit tools for every sci-fi subject. Still, they couldn’t find enough success with automotive model kits to warrant keeping the line. Have their line of die cast cars flourished since they acquired the brand? I’m not a die cast guy so I can’t really answer that, but my impression is no.

  8. Brad says:

    I’m sure it will be a great kit when it comes out! Business is what it is. I look forward the 1/1000 refit, and the Akira, by the way.

  9. NathanJ says:

    Please understand, as I am sure you do, some people have waited thirty years for a kit of this stature and are afraid it will never be done. I assure you they know it is not your fault it we appreciate what you are trying to accomplish. This may sound hokey but other then the very small polar lights 1:1000 kit no one has ever treated (modeling wise) the ship that started it all any respect. Godspeed and thank you.

  10. BlackBirdCD says:

    Hey 2010, 2011 – I’m in no danger of running out of models to build between now and then. And neither are any of the other folks out there commenting on the model interwebs.

    I look forward to seeing a brilliant kit when it comes out. Cheers!

  11. mtyler says:

    I also have plenty of kits to work on, but the 1/350 done accurately with exceeding attention to detail, and designed for full lighting, will certainly be the “masterpiece” of my collection. The runner up will be the 350 “A,” so I will practice! (not a minute past 2011 though!).

  12. Elm City says:

    “Maybe I’m asking you to speculate, or maybe you could ask Tom Lowe if you don’t know the answer, but if diecast cars and models make equitable money, then why did Ertl buy Playing Mantis and then shutdown the model division, but keep the diecast cars going? I had assumed there was more money to be made in diecast cars with the popularity of Nascar and America’s love of the automobile, but please correct me if I’m wrong!”

    And how many years ago was this???

    First off, NASCAR licensing for styrene or diecast is pretty much dead in the water, because Nascar wants too much $$$ for the licensing. To the point that no one will touch it because they aren’t going to make any money at it. Case in point, the Model King re-releases of Nascar Monte Carlo, Torino, Laguna and Cyclone. All fictitious decals because the licensing was too much. Case in point #2….Revell announces that they are giving up the NASCAR License because the asking price is too high.

    Not to mention the fact that one of the major reasons why the AMT/Ertl brand was up for sale for so long, was because it was an all or nothing package, they knew that the plastic market was alot stronger than the die-cast, so they were trying to “dump” the diecast with the plastic line, to get rid of it, because they knew no one would buy just the diecast line alone. There were lots of inquiries for the plastic line, but no one wanted the diecast that went with it. The high price of Zinc (a major component of the diecast bodies) made it non-profitable to continue producing them.

    Personally I think Round 2 are doing a great job, sure we would like to see everything “Right Now” that is just the nature of us modelers, we don’t like to wait. However I too would rather wait to get a “Right” kit, then have a piece of junk come out tomorrow. From what I have seen of the R2 kits so far, and from the numbers of them I have sold in my shop, not to mention kits that people want, but can’t because they have been sold out already… is nice to see someone finally breathing some life and enthusiasm into the models.

  13. Mach7 says:

    I have enough models to keep me building for years. Heck I’m just getting around to my Polar Lights Jupiter 2!

    I just get worried because a big accurate TOS Enterprise is one of my “Holy Grail” kits, and any delay in this economy might mean we never see it. I know you guys have a business plan and it is really nice that you give us so much information.


  14. djdood says:

    I remember the long wait for the 1/350 Movie Enterprise. It seemed like forever, but in the end, it was more than worth it. That was easily one of the best sci-fi kits ever made and possibly one of the best model kits ever.

    I have no doubt a similarly large kit of the classic TOS Enterprise would be just as great and worth the wait.

    When it comes (and I have faith that it will), I’ll be there with an open wallet. That goes for the Akira model too. Build it and we will come. =)

  15. Banjaxed says:

    Sorry, I got lost in all of the juicy, wholsome Star Trek Goodness! If I could have the perfect Trek Kit, it would be the T.O.S. Shuttle Craft…and not the Cheezy AMT 70’s version but one as only Polar Lights could make! I shouldn’t ask because I’ll be building the 1:350th Refit for the rest of my life, but one can dream!

  16. WraithFSC says:

    Please! Just make it accurate to the TOS series! Not the re-mastered version! If you want it to be truly “special” follow the pattern of the 1/1000 scale kit… ABSOLUTELY NO GRID!!!! I can’t stress it enough! It should be portrayed the way it was televised from ’66-’69! You can include option parts for those who prefer the re-mastered version. As a child growing up in the 80’s, those old re-runs were a great source of enjoyment to me and my family. It was one of the only shows that we all used to watch together. A great time in life! Please make that Enterprise. Those of us who prefer the original will have that masterpiece at last.

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