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Round 2 Model Kits: It’s been awhile…

posted by JamieH 8:00 AM
Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Have you ever had, I dunno, one of those years when you just can’t seem to catch up to your workload? We at Round 2 know how that is. Keep in mind that Bob and I work on two of our brands, Forever Fun holiday product and Round 2 model kits. Like most companies trying to survive in the current economy, Round 2 is run on a skeleton crew. We’ve got less than 20 people running things. (We could use 20 more.) To say the least, things have been hectic. (I don’t think I’ve ever written an understatement as massive as that one right there.) So, I’ve been away from the blog for a few weeks… check that, a month.

For Forever Fun, our year starts with the Hong Kong toy fair, so product planning starts months in advance for that. Once that’s over, there are numerous sales appointments with buyers that require tons of product and packaging mockups and other sales information. Also during that time, we finalize product mockups, spec colors, etc and generate revised RFQs (Request For Quote). That leads into finalizing packaging and reviewing test shots in the late spring and early summer. Production is done during the summer. Basically as soon as (or before actually) we get done with one year, we start planning the next. We hold our sales summit in late summer and head directly into show season based on feedback from that meeting. We do our two biggest trade shows in the fall (which requires catalogs, signage etc) and start sales presentations in the late fall which again require tons of mockup work. Keep in mind, that’s just Forever Fun. Bob and Terri, another art director, and I cover all of that plus more. (this paragraph doesn’t even begin to cover it)

While that is all going on, we also have to develop our model kits and as fun as “Forever Fun” is, sci-fi is my kind of thing so I’m always anxious to get to it. With everything that goes on, that’s almost impossible to do sometimes. We try to work as far ahead as possible but that has turned into 3-6 months and that should ideally be a year. I’ve had test shots sitting around for so long that I couldn’t find some of them when I found the time to review them. (which I do at home) We get buildups done just in time for our shows and we hardly even get a chance to enjoy actually looking at them. Preparing for a show whether it is Wonderfest, iHobby or any other trade show takes about a month of planning and at least two solid weeks of work which usually goes right up to the panicked day before. One or two of us goes off to work the show for a weekend only to come right back to work to give attention to all the stuff that had to be put aside while doing the show prep. Hundreds and thousands of emails are received and written each week in our department to further distract us. We work long hours and weekends (others even more than me).

I hope I don’t sound like I’m venting. I’m not looking for sympathy. These are all good problems to have these days. It is all worthwhile when I see or hear how much our fans enjoy the product. I finally had a half a day today to clean my office and assemble a big batch of test shots to take home for review. I think I can devote the next week to model kit development that is sorely behind.

Despite our very best efforts, our two highest profile kits may not be out for Christmas. The Enterprise Refit looked like it would make it in time but delays completing the package and instructions seems to have set it back a bit. Buying, shipping and refurbishing the original Batmobile tool is the cause of that kit’s delay. We’ve been further hindered in getting its packaging artwork approved by the licensor. These aren’t indefinite delays. The refit will leave the orient well before the end of the year. All of the materials have been handed in and approved. I think we should have a breakthrough on the Batmobile soon too. It shouldn’t arrive any later than sometime in January. Believe me this news hurts on many levels. I worked as hard as I could to get my part done on time. I felt physically ill the morning I read the email telling us the latest “closing” (shipping) date of the Enterprise. These things happen and we’ll learn from them to keep it from happening again in the future.

I may seem like Uncle Scrooge but I’m actually just a tired monkey…

11 Responses to “Round 2 Model Kits: It’s been awhile…”

  1. mrnobudy says:

    need help? where can i send my resume? =)

    in all seriousness, there is one phrase that i only care about: ‘they will be out’ delays are one thing. most of us who act like adults can live with that. delayed gratification. but its the ‘its not happening’ is when it really hurts.
    you guys are doing great. keep up the good work, and if it take a month longer, so be it. just keep chuggin, and if you need help, let me know! i would be glad to work for ya!

  2. edge10 says:

    It stings a little but I guess it gives us a little time to restock our wallets after Christmas.

    Don’t let things get you down. Do your best and it will get here when it gets here.

    Thanks for all the hard work!

  3. phicks says:

    Will the Vulcan Shuttle be in stores before Christmas, or is it a package deal with the new Enterprise?

  4. JamieH says:

    Thanks for understanding guys. It’s not that we don’t want to bring in more help, we just can’t right now. (hopefully soon)

    The Vulcan Shuttle and all other kits will be out by Christmas. I know the C-57D was a bit behind schedule but it and pretty much everything else is “on the boat” or closer even. We get shipments into our warehouse so often that I can’t keep track. Luckily we don’t have to unload them anymore otherwise we’d never get anything done.

  5. Richard D. says:

    I’d send my resume too 😀

    I’m sure everyone can understand, things happen; just know that we appreciate Round 2 listening to fans and making the effort to not only communicate, but make kits the fans actually WANT.

    Take as much time as you need.

  6. crowe-t says:

    This delay just helps build up the suspense! I can’t wait to get my hands on a 1/1000 Refit or two or three…

    Keep up the great work and have a Happy Holidays!!!

  7. Mach7 says:

    Well lets see, I still have to get to the hobby store to pick up Spock, then I have the UFO Mystery ship, And I’m just finishing my PL Jupiter 2 from 10 years ago! I think I can wait until January for the refit.

    No Worries, The one thats hard to wait for is the BIG E. No bloody A B C or D! 🙂

  8. PatrickE34 says:

    I’ve only recently gotten into model building/collecting over the last 6 months. I’m not much for posting on any site, but after reading your update, I wanted to take a moment to say how much I appreciate the work you guys do. I’m already the proud owner of a number of your kits and the quality of each never ceases to amaze me. I hope things start to look up during this holiday season for everyone at Round 2 Models.

  9. falcondesigns says:

    start working on the TOS 1701 in 1/350 scale NOW!!

  10. Fozzie says:

    So it’s a little late. No big deal. Your products are worth waiting for…! 🙂

    Thanks for the update and I hope you get a chance to catch your breath sometime during this holiday season.

  11. Zakuformer says:

    Sad to hear about the delay, but I completely understand. These things are bound to happen.

    By the way, the Spock kit is absolutely AWESOME! You guys did an awesome job in restoring this kit to it’s original pristine beauty! Thanks again, and keep up the great work!

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