Contemplation Is About Over & Decisions Are To Be Made.
We are about ready to 'pull the trigger' and send mold masters out for bid/production for our first new plastic in many years.
Before we do, however, we thought we'd give you one last opportunity to let us know which range or historical period you'd most like us to send to the factory. We ran a few unscientific 'polls' on Facebook and the top requests were for Romans and Vikings/Saxons/Normans. Perennial favorites... WW2 , American Civil War & Zulu War were very close behind.
The polls were for a short time period and only represented the opinions (obviously) of Facebook members.
Let's hear from the rest of you before final decisions are made. What sets /periods/ ranges ??
After considerable review and evaluation, we have decided to put production runs of our longtime plastic sets 'on hold'. ALL plastic efforts are being focused towards NEW sets rather than rerunning some of our older sets which have sold out or have been on 'back order'.
For ALL sorts of reasons, it makes considerably more sense for us to produce NEW sets of our hundreds of heretofore unproduced sculpts rather than to go back and make more of the older sets. We wish we could please everyone but the financial realities of the hobby today make that impossible. All of our back ordered or sold out plastic sets were kept on the market & made available for at least 10 years and in most cases 15 to 20 years. WE STILL HAVE ALL CIVIL WAR SETS IN STOCK, MOST OF THE ALAMO RANGE, VIRTUALLY ALL ZULU WAR & FOREIGN LEGION, VIKINGS, NORMANS AND SOME WW2. If you need any of these, you might consider buying sooner rather than later .
We also still have most of the 'single color' metal sets from the various ranges in limited numbers. The sets of resin ACW and Alamo and NorthWest Frontier figures are also generally in stock albeit in very low inventory. As with the 'older' plastic, if you've been thinking bout it, now's the time...as there are no plans to rerun these either.
Costs of production have risen dramatically in the past 5 to 10 years and ANY reruns would carry with them a sizable, very hefty price increase if/when we might ever do a new production run.
As of today, there are NO immediate plans to order a new production run of ANY of our previous, complete play sets.
We are considering running select parts or pieces from some of the sets (items like Village houses/huts from our Medieval range or buildings from the WW2 series) but NO plans are being made to do a production run of any COMPLETE older playsets.
Similar reasons as with 'Older Plastic" figure sets. Most everyone who might have wanted these playsets has already purchased them. The problem with 'reruns' is that we are forced to meet minimum quantity requirements set by the factories who make the various parts such as the boxes, the buildings or terrain pieces , the exclusive resin accessories or figures, the special items (like the Victoria Cross in Zulu Last Redoubt set or the book and b/w still photos in the Beau Geste set, etc.). Additionally, sets which were based upon or licensed by movie studios require that a sizable licensing fee be paid....and so it goes..... endless front end costs ...and these costs have risen dramatically since we first made most of these sets...
Most plastic collectors are probably aware of (a) the several plastic or resin manufacturers who have ceased production/retired in the past year or 2 , and (b) the high prices being charged for many of the excellent new plastic figure sets being made overseas.... The hobby is quickly changing in many ways.
I am hopeful that a market still exists to support new play sets & larger projects but an aging collector base, increasing production costs, etc. are all making things more difficult to justify financially..
Regarding the possibility of NEW play sets --- Yes, that is still a possibility. First, we need to see the reaction of 'the market' to new plastic figure sets. ( A new Viking ship is being completed and wlll be sent out for bids in the future.)
Instead of doing large, multi'part' play sets, we might individually offer a few buildings and terrain pieces which can be sold as separate items. We have a beautiful fortified Saxon Church, an Irish WatchTower, a siege tower, various artillery pieces all finished and crying out from my desk to be in production. We even have a major WW2 structure complete....which I don't believe we have ever shown to anyone.
There are at least 4 new 'play sets' series which I'd love to produce, if the support is there....
Time and your response will determine how we proceed.