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Polar Lights Model Kits: iHobby Recap!

posted by JamieH 9:42 AM
Friday, October 29, 2010

Our shows for the year have wrapped up with our attendance at the international iHobby Expo last weekend in Chicago. October has been a busy month for us with our two biggest shows of the year falling within the same month. iHobby covers the entire gamut of the hobby industry and is open for industry days on Thursday and Friday and open to the public on the weekend. For the past few shows, I’ve ended up working on consumer days which suits me because I’d rather talk to the guys building the kits than sitting around a conference table talking to guys with ties on. It turned out that I was assigned to help set up the booth and then return to work the last day of the show and tear it down again. Overall the show seemed less attended than previous years and I was surprised to see many booths close up mid day on Sunday and some had closed up even before consumers even had access. (Shame shame on a couple of our distinguished competitors…)

At the show we announced our plans through mid 2011 and gave a sneak peak at a couple things beyond that. Let me run down the highlights…

Batmobile– With the kits going to tooling, we were able to unveil our packaging plans. All are still subject to licensor final review. Of course we showed off the beautiful Alex Ross painting in support of the kits. Many have asked about prints of the poster. Sorry to say that that is not allowed under our current agreement. We gave a hint at what will be included in the deluxe version of the kit. If you didn’t get a chance to see it, ask your friends who did. (yes, that is a tease)

Star Trek– As usual we had plenty of buildups and box mockups and/or preproduction samples on display. We featured a buildup of the Klingon Bird of Prey sitting comfortably atop its new landing gear as well as other buildups previously on display at Wonderfest. We announced the classic Klingon Battle Cruiser would return this year. We are looking into what little bits of accurizing we can do to the kit. Also announced was a re-release of the classic AMT Enterprise. Sure we brought that one back once already but we have put a nice spin on this one. We are calling it the Tholian Web Commemorative Edition. The kit comes injected in glow in the dark plastic along with the usual decal sheet complete with decal dressing to create the ship as the U.S.S. Defiant. To cap it off, we are including two new Tholian Web Spinners. We showed a buildup of the U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-B and showed a coupld of the revised parts, specifically the lower saucer and rear deck. We had no announcement regarding the 1:350 TOS Enterprise though the kit is still under consideration. Though we did have a prototype of the new movie Enterprise, it could not be displayed due to an error in the output. I’ll be showing that off in my next blog post though and explaining why it couldn’t be displayed.

Marvel Comics- We showed a buildup of our re-release of the Captain America kit. We will also be bringing back Spider-man (actually sooner than Cap) and a few other Marvel surprises later in the year. We will be doing these kits in Comic Scenes style boxes complete with cardboard backdrops and full color comic book instruction sheets. The faces in the Captain America kit will be resculpted. One of the resculpts is shown on the buildup but is subject to licensor approval.

Strange Change- We’ll be bringing back the Vampire and Mummy versions in the first half of 2011. The buildups on display showed how great they look when a great modeler gets ahold of them. The kits function really well (though I had my doubts as I was putting together test shots.) Look for the Time Machine version later in the year probably. And please also note that these kits will be made in the USA.

Dark Shadows- All three kits will return in 2011 with Barnabas Collins leading the way. We had great looking buildups of the figure kits on display. We are planning on reproduction boxes and glue parts just like the good ol’ days and we’ll throw in both soft PVC and styrene sets of arms.

Leif Ericson- When we brought back the UFO kit, most people asked if or when we would bring back the LE. Here it comes complete with reproduction box art, clear engine parts and lights (this time LEDs.) What I would like a little bit of feedback on is would you guys like the engines injected in red or clear so you can paint them whatever color you want? Or maybe a couple different color options. I’m listening for feedback on this.

Man In Space set- This set of historic NASA spacecraft will return with its original packaging art as well as the cardboard gantry that had been included in the first release of the kit. We had a mockup of the gantry on hand but just ran out of room to display it.

KISS and Yellow Submarine- We’ll be bringing back the stars of each band in a series of pre-painted model kits. As you may see in the photo the packaging offers a different twist to appeal to collectors. We’ll be doing the Yellow Sub in a lunchbox tin later in the year and we are exploring the possibility of doing prebuilt models of these subjects as well.

So that’s the plan Stan… or Bobby… or Richard… or Steve… (I’m getting slap happy now after so much planning and work) Thanks to everyone who stopped by and were universally complementary of our display.

BTW! many more pics showing all of our featured products can be found in the gallery section of the Round 2 Models website.

33 Responses to “Polar Lights Model Kits: iHobby Recap!”

  1. kennetzel says:

    I am thrilled to see the Leif Ericson come out. I built it as such, right after the light up Enterprise kit…they were similar in design. Looking forward to building it again. One suggestion…reissue the Enterprise with the light kit as well like the original kit.

  2. Nomad says:

    Trekkie Modeller Heaven!! I never realsied the Romulan ship was so big; was never really imto it before but it looks beautiful there.
    What scale is the man in space set-?

  3. Mach7 says:

    Really nice on the Leif Ericson! Did you extend the neck to it’s original length?

    I only really care about the engines in red, others might say otherwise. I love the original stand. The man in space set looks nice also. Is the Romulan still on track for next month?



  4. JamieH says:

    Ken- We could do a lot more than just that like clear nacelle domes. Who knows. Maybe some day.

    Nomad- From memory it is 1:200 scale.

    Mach7- We will be rejoining the neck with the rest of the hull if that is what you are asking.

    The Romulan ship looks like it will arrive in December. Probably the same for the Klingon ship. The Enterprise B will be December. Enterprise D looks like it will be here next month. Reliant will be late November or early December. Pilgrim Observer may slip into January.

  5. epaulk says:

    Why Pre-Paint??? please don’t take this route! There is enough “Actions Figures” out there. This only encourage the new generations to the “Instant Gratification” they are used to, and drift them away of this beautiful hobby.

  6. JamieH says:

    …or think about pre-paints this way. Maybe someone doesn’t think they have the skill to paint a kit but they think it would be fun enough to put one together. Then they try a kit like this and maybe they transition into unpainted kits.

    The modeling hobby is losing too many participants not to try something like this. Why not?

  7. mrwoodchuck61 says:

    Leif Ericson: I suggest multiple colors (I plan to build more than one) and in that regard multiple ship names on the decals as well.

    Enterprise Lighting: Yes you could do so much more, Clear, Red, Orange, and Blue domes would be my starter choices. You could also consider mod kits for the builder, an open shuttle bay mini kit would be cool. How about asking for a Frans Joseph license to do his destroyer, tug and dreadnaught as kits. An expansion to the Trek Line as well as reproduction of the classics dose seem like the way forward.

  8. BlackBirdCD says:

    Leif Ericson – Just clear! It’s very easy to color clear plastic.

  9. Nomad says:

    A totally corrected version of the AMT Enterprise would be good – nice size kit, but full of innacuracies… and yes, clear domes would be great for lighting. No hury though – enoughhereto keep me busy till aboutr 2014!

    I seem to remember having an Enterprise kit in the early 70s with clear domes – I think it came in an Aurora box. Anyone else remember that or did I imagine it?

  10. Starslayer says:


    Offer it in clear – there are so many choices in clear/translucent paint out there, that everyone could have a different color/shade with no exact duplication

    Personally – I’d like it in an electric blue – but I’m a bit strange that way

  11. Mach7 says:

    Thanks Jamie,

    I was going to pass on the Leif Ericson as I converted the UFO mystery ship.


    But now I think I might have to get it. I was asking about the neck, Thanks.
    It is believed that when the neck was cut 4 or 5 mm was taken out.

  12. chris731 says:

    I see the Black Beauty! Please tell me you guys are working on a 1/25th kit! And the Dark Shadows figures, HaH, how cool!
    I loved that show as a kid.

  13. JamieH says:

    Mach7- See this old post that shows the tool itself to see how much of the neck was missing. 4-5 mm… maybe less.

  14. djway3474 says:

    A lot of the old Star Trek kits can still be found except for the Enterprise C How about one of those. The upgrades on prior releases are also greatly appreciated.

  15. phicks says:

    Jamie – Will the classic Klingon Cruiser only be released in a metal tin, or will it also be released in a cardboard box?

  16. Nomad says:

    Phicks: I suspect it’ll only be in a tin, as it could proabably fight its way out of a cardboard box.

  17. Nomad says:

    I hate to be the one to point it out, after the “Enterprise-C Decal Debacle”, but it look like the Enterprise’s name is mis-spelt on the “Tholian Web” box-! 🙂

  18. JamieH says:

    Phicks- tin now cardboard later.

    Nomad- Don’t worry. You weren’t the first to point it out. Just a mockup box in this case.

  19. Nomad says:

    Ah, that’s a relief! Thought I might have won a prize or something though.

  20. irocer says:

    Seems like R2 is getting beat on for so many re-issues, sorry I disagree with that. It is great to see so many, long gone kits coming back and many with new pieces or decals- very cool! Keep’em coming and get new stuff when you can. Thanks Tom Lowe & R2 for saving these old models giving us achance to build them again- or for the first time.

  21. Nomad says:

    Yes indeed irocer. Also there are a lot of kits here that were either before my time or never made it to the UK before… I particualrt like the ‘Man in Space’ kit nad the ‘strange changer’ kits. Can’t wait to see the ‘time machine’ kit!

  22. jamesironwolf says:

    HI Jamie
    I just saw this at CultTVman
    seems it was not ment to be posted for everyone. But i wanted to say,
    having read it. I am still looking forward to a 1/350 TOS Enterprise.
    I even have a spot saved for it between my 350 NX-01 and 1701A.
    Hope it doesn’t get dropped. And the Accessories pack sounds like a good idea.
    That was one thing i wanted for my 350 A was extra interior parts to display by the stand for better viewing. Of course i could just get another A and do this.

  23. Bats says:

    Chiming in on the Lief Erikksen, I say clear for the engine parts. If you cast them in one or two color “choices”, like red and blue, those are the only choices and not really much of a choice at that (either or never seemed a choice to me). With clear, the builder need only invest another two bucks or less in one of those cheapie little paint sets they sell for coloring sun catchers. Then the choice is only limited to the range of colors in the set. Most of them have red, blue, yellow, green, amber and purple. 😀

  24. fortress says:

    I really dig the Glow in the Dark Defiant, it’s a neat idea and cost effective as well. Hey what would be a killer of
    a thought is if Round 2 made the old AMT klingon battle
    Crusier and the Romulan Bird of Prey Glow in the Dark kits
    and called “The Star Trek Cloaked Enemy series”.

    Maybe even a Klingon Bird of prey Glow in the Dark.

    Also The old Aurora Monster kits such as King Kong and
    Godzilla in Glow in the Dark w/large box.


  25. fortress says:

    I just had an after thought, instead of the traditional
    Green glow in the dark, it’s changed to a ghostly light
    Blue. That would give the cloaked ships and monsters
    An more stronger effect.


  26. jamesironwolf says:

    I always wanted a clear bird of prey for a cloaked version.
    but i have to admit a glow in the dark one sounds like a good idea too.

  27. Patrick Costello says:

    I see the Black Beauty in there and someone else asked about it too. Most interesting to me is that the art shows quad green headlights but the toy-quality old kit only had two headlights. Is this an indication of some improvement done on the old kit or a new (hopefully 1/25) tool????

    (The real car’s headlights flipped over so it could be driven on public roads at night with regular clear headlights -one per side- but then be filmed for TV with the quad green lights. As far as I know the clear lights modeled in the old kit weren’t shown on TV.)

  28. JamieH says:

    Hi Patrick. This kit will be a reissue of the 1:32 scale kit. Though we are cleaning up the kit a little bit, we don’t have plans to add the dual headlights at the moment.

  29. Patrick Costello says:

    Thanks again, Jamie! I have one of those sitting unfinished in the basement from the last re-release. Any improvement to that kit would be welcome though I’d love to see it in 1:25. AMT did Imperial coupes back in the mid-’60s but those vintage kits are too pricey to hack into a Black Beauty. Might that tooling still exist???

  30. I’m with the guys who’d like to see the Leif Erickson released with clear engines. The background story of the original instructions gave the L.E.’s sister ship names as the John Glenn, Marco Polo, and Vaco da Gama. It would be cool to include those on the decal sheet along with specific insignia for each. I mean, the Viking Helmet-within-the-electron-orbits symbol was appropriate for the Leif Erickson; how about replacing the helmet with the outline of a Mercury capsule for the John Glenn? It might be challenging to come up with similar designs for the Vasco da Gama and Marco Polo, but I’m sure there’s a talented Art Director SOMEWHERE at R2 who could do it ;). Maybe come up with a numbering system for the ships as well?

  31. crowe-t says:

    Jamie, When will there be an update or pictures of the ‘New’ Movie Enterprise?

  32. JamieH says:

    Heh. I actually just turned in that blog post literally 10 minutes ago. It will be put up next week but another post will be put up sooner that I think a lot of people will be interested in.

  33. crowe-t says:

    Thanks Jamie!

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