January 2013

Important Changes to USPS Shipping

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Earlier this week, in conjunction with a rate hike by the US Postal Service, a number of important changes were made by the USPS to the way they handle parcels. To begin with, they have eliminated the Parcel Post and First Class domestic rates and combined them into a new level of service called USPS Standard. Essentially, this service is still cheaper than Priority Mail shipping and on a par with UPS ground service. Furthermore, they have done away with the green delivery confirmation labels that were affixed to the outside of the box. Now, a second white mailing strip is being affixed by the USPS to the box that contains an automatically generated tracking number. This means we cannot enter the tracking information for a shippable order until our return from the Post Office.

 
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And What Of Bauer?

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Many people have asked us about the fate of Heinrich Bauer’s 1:12 scale 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500K Roadster (#BAUMB500K). In today’s uncertain times, it wasn’t clear if this sumptuous car was on an indefinite delay or simply cancelled, since no word was being passed along regarding its’ disposition. Well, according to our distributor, the car is still in the works, although it is now expected in August. Just as importantly, the car now carries a sticker price of $1,995, up $400 since it was first announced. We’ve revised the pre-order price to $1,895 and need to confirm our pre-orders with the distributor by tomorrow, February 1st. So, if you were on the fence about this item, now is the time to jump in and get your feet week. We will likely not be able to obtain any more of the cars once it does come out, so we may have to close the pre-order window this week after confirming our order with the distributor. Remember, if you like your cars big, hyper-detailed, luxurious, and available in extremely limited numbers, now is the time to plunk your money down.

 
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Dragon Radios for Assistance

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With the Nuremberg Toy Fair serving as a backdrop, Dragon today announced plans to model the German Sd. Kfz. 260 kleiner panzerfunkwagen as part of its 2013 range (DRA60605). Modeled with all the attendant detail and realism collectors have come to expect from the Dragon Armor range, this new vehicle will likely be released in the spring with no doubt other liveries right behind it.

 
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Minichamps Paints Up a Storm at Nuremberg

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To kick off the festivities at this year’s Nuremberg Toy Fair, Minichamps announced a spate of repaints for its award-winning line up of 1:12 scale motor bikes. Several reintroductions were also debuted, including Ray Petty’s 1960 Norton Manx and their highly coveted 1932 Brough Superior, both of which were sold out for quite some time. The complete list of new introductions has been posted in the February 2013 New Additions section, and it looks like several aren’t too far off from being ready to hit the open road.

 
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Dragon Embarks Upon a Space Shot

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Looking to pierce the heavens and tear a page out of our space faring play book, Dragon today announced a 1:400 scale replica of the Space Shuttle “Discovery” which comes complete with its Crawler Transporter (DRW56391). According to Dragon’s own marketing literature:

the entire assembly of the Shuttle Discovery (with attached External Tank and two Solid Rocket Boosters) plus the MLP and Tractor-Crawler are produced in minute detail. Fine details such as the track links on the four tractors are all perfectly replicated. Even areas that are hidden (e.g. the inside surface of the MLP) are all fully furnished and painted. Discovery had the honor of conducting more flights than any other Shuttle – 39 missions spread over 27 years – and this astonishing Space Collection model from Dragon Wings is the perfect way to commemorate its accomplishments.

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Currently, this all-new set is scheduled for a March lift off, and carries into orbit a very affordable price of just $89.99. Godspeed Discovery!

 
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No Credit Card Surcharges at The Motor Pool

credit card

In light of the recent changes to the usage of credit cards, we thought it important to point out that we do not pass along a surcharge for credit card transactions. Under the terms of a $7.2 billion settlement reached last summer between credit card companies and merchants, merchants in some states could impose a surcharge on customers paying by credit card. This is both illegal in the state of New York, where we are located, and, from our standpoint, morally and ethically reprehensible. You may want to check with whomever you do business with to determine their credit card policy.

 
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Falcon Models Goes Supersonic

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In a surprise announcement, Falcon Models plans to offer a 1:72 scale replica of the Grumman F-11 Tiger (#FA728001). Seeing service for only four years because its performance was inferior to the Vought F-8 Crusader and its J65 engine proved unreliable, this carrier-borne aircraft was nevertheless an important fleet defense fighter, since it was the US Navy’s first supersonic fighter jet. Likely follow-on candidates for replication will be a US Navy Blue Angels aerobatic aircraft, as well as a F-11F-1 Super Tiger, which were fitted with a more robust pair of engines.

 
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Dragon Launches its FLaK Attack

DRA60630

At long last, Dragon has finally hauled its 88mm gun into position to take aim at the collector market. Their first FLaK gun (#DRA60630) comes in a simple, early war grey finish and represents a gun that saw action in Stalingrad, Russia, during late 1942.  According to Dragon, their first gun is being allocated to its dealers, which means they hope to fill our order in two installments over the coming weeks. This, in turn, means we will be filling our earliest orders first, until our first allocation has been exhausted.

 
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Unimax Decides Upon Some Name Dropping for 2013

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Recognizing that a legendary ace helps to spur sales, Unimax has decided to leverage two venerable names from the pages of military history for their early 2013 range. Armor enthusiasts should have no trouble with the name Otto Carius, the diminutive panzer ace who commanded both a TIger I heavy tank and later a Jagdtiger heavy tank destroyer. Their latest 1:32 scale Jagdtiger (#UNI80078) bears his turret identification number ‘201’, which was attached to schwere panzerjager abteilung 512 in the waning stages of WWII.

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Also expected is Unimax’ first ever 1:72 scale rendition of a McDonnell F-4J Phantom II fighter-bomber, which bears the ignominious number “100” on its fuselage, signalling its place in history as “Showtime 100” (UNI85021). Piloted by Randy “Duke” Cunningham, this F-4 was famously connected with the supposed North Vietnamese ace, Colonel Toon, during the latter stages of the Vietnam Conflict. Look for both new entrants later this spring.

 
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Unimax Puts to Sea with the British Admiralty

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As part of their early 2013 lineup, Unimax, the makers of the Forces of Valor military vehicle, aircraft and warship range, have announced plans to offer a 1:700 scale reproduction of the HMS Ark Royal (91) (UNI86007). Bundled with all sorts of early WWII-era aircraft such as the Fairey Swordfish, their latest addition to their fleet of diecast warships will probably set sail some time in April. The pre-order window is now open and we hope to have some additional product announcements up shortly.

 
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