December 2014

Toy Fair Cometh

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On January 28th, the Spielwarenmesse Toy Fair in Nuremberg, Germany, throws open its doors and welcomes buyers, exhibitors and visitors to its annual showing. While we will not be attending, we will be posting information gleaned from the manufacturer’s web site, newsletters, and promotional literature so that our audience can learn about the very latest piece of diecast memorabilia headed to market.

200 5th

Years ago, we used to attend the Toy Fair here in New York City at 200 5th Avenue, which has since transitioned to the Jacob Javits Center. Yesterday, I paid a visit to the old 200 5th Avenue building which stands opposite the world famous Flat Iron building. 200 5th Avenue has since been changed into an Italian market, complete with restaurants, salumerias, groceries and other faire. It was strange and a bit sad to walk through the revitalized building, which held all sorts of memories for me and my family. The march of time has certainly swallowed up another tradition, be it for better or worse, and I can only hope the new tenants understand the history and allure their building once meant to the toy business.

 
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Air Commander Resurrected

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It has been awhile since we saw any stirrings out of the Air Commander camp, but just as we were beginning to give up hope comes an all-new Phantom II for 2015. Based upon a warbird that flew with the 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 432nd Tactical Fighter Wing, this southeast Asian painted beauty is known as the “Supersonic Gun Kill“, so named because it was one of the fastest recorded shoot downs ever claimed, and piloted by Major Phil “Hands” Handley who was flying east of Hanoi in June 1972.

 

 
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The Motor Pool’s 15% Off After Christmas Sale!

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Put down the egg nog and step out from underneath the mistletoe cause we’re doing that one better with our annual 15% off ‘After Christmas’ Sale. This sale begins on Thursday, December 25th, and ends on Sunday, January 11th, 2015 This discount can be used for any type of item except radio controlled military vehicles, from in-stock merchandise to pre-orders, back orders and special orders.

As always, we would greatly appreciate it if you could keep these orders separate and do not combine non-qualifying items with sales merchandise. Please note that this discount cannot be used for any of the radio controlled vehicles we sell. If you have any questions, feel free to call or email us. Customers must apply discount code “TMP132” at the point of checkout in the coupon code box. Sale ends Sunday, January 11th, 2015, 12AM EST

 
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West Coast Port Delays Have an Impact on Business

Crane

The work slow down affecting many of the West Coast’s ports is now having a material impact on business across the country. In our particular case, several shipments that were expected to arrive in December have now been postponed until January, and many of the items we were expecting in January will likely come in one month later. We apologize for the delay but wanted to point out that these types of circumstances are beyond our control.

 
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UPS Dimensional Rates Will Soon Take Effect

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Please be aware that UPS and FedEx live rates will be calculated in a new way, beginning December 29th, 2014 (UPS) and January 1st, 2015 (FedEx).

In an effort to encourage efficient packing and decrease fuel usage for delivery trucks, both carriers will now use “dimensional weight” to help determine the most accurate shipping cost for a package. Dimensional weight is different from actual weight, and is more representative of the amount of truck space a package actually occupies.

As a result, the shipping cost for a number of larger items we stock will go up dramatically, particularly if it needs to be shipped cross-country. We will be monitoring these adjusted shipping rates and will either have to increase their individual shipping costs, raise our free shipping threshold, or, in a worse case scenario, drop an item altogether if it proves to be uneconomical for us to ship. Over the past few months, we have already systematically eliminated those items we feel will be impacted by these shipping adjustments, and will continue to curate our product portfolio to see which items may need to be examined more closely going forward.

We strongly recommend that if you are interested in purchasing any of the larger items we stock that you do so now before we reach the December 29th deadline.

 
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Atlas Editions Orders a Crash Dive in 2015

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As the holidays rapidly approach, we were pleasantly surprised to see a new line of 1:350 scale warships taking to the sea in early 2015. Atlas Editions will be releasing the first five 1:350 scale submarines in January, with lots more expected to get underway as the year progresses. Priced at just $34.99, these warships look first-rate, serving as great complements to some of the other warship ranges already sailing on the diecast high seas.

ATL7169102 Compilation

 
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Dragon Strikes Back

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Just when we were again giving up hope that we would ever see their long-promised Panther D medium tank comes news that a second version is already in the hopper. While the first version replicated an early model Type D Panther (DRA60596), their latest announcement depicts a later version (DRR60683), complete with its letterbox hatch opening for the glacis machine gun, pistol ports on the turret sides and a drum cupola.

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Both are listed as February roll outs, and you can bet your bottom dollar that other schemes and liveries are no doubt in the works. Keep your fingers crossed they don’t run into any partisans, thereby delaying them any further.

 
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Corgi Hits the Surf in 2015

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Images are figuratively as well as literally surfacing concerning Corgi’s all-new 1:72 scale Short Sunderland flying boat. Expected some time in 2015, this beast of an aircraft looks to carry on the tradition left in the wake of their recently released 1:72 Avro Vulcan strategic bomber, perhaps taking on the role of signature centerpiece for the new year.

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Surprisingly, their inaugural Sunderland will not be based upon the flying boat recently raised from the ocean depths off the coast of England but will instead depict a craft attached to the RAAF’s No. 461 Squadron.

 
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Eaglemoss Boldly Goes into Orbit

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We’ve just learned that we will soon be receiving several new Star Trek spaceships just before the holidays, and, perhaps more importantly, the first special edition release in the series – the Deep Space 9 Space Station. Long coveted by Trekkies world over, we thought that we might not be able to obtain this item, since it seemed to be sold out from other sources and going for a premium at other retail sites.

EMST0032 Compilation

Other ships expected by year’s end are a Federation Runabout (ST0032), Cardassian Hideki Class Fighter (ST0033) and a Vulcan Surok Class starship (ST0034). Live long and prosper.

 
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The Motor Pool: Looking Ahead to 2015

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As 2014 draws to a close, we are already looking ahead to the new year with a great deal of excitement. For openers, we will be migrating our web site to a more responsive design, using a cutting edge template that is both informative and attractively conceived. Likewise, our mobile interface will change substantially, so that it looks more appealing on today’s larger phone and tablet screens. Look for the changes to take effect in early 2015.

In other news, we will be dropping a number of under-performing lines where we see little growth going forward. Some lines have been languishing for some time, either no longer supported by the manufacturer or in need of a redress. This is actually good news for us, since we plan to bring in a great many new lines in 2015, several of which are tied to the expanding military science fiction universe heralded in by such brands as Star Wars and Star Trek. Moreover, a number of new military themed lines have been moving aggressively to market, which portends good things to come for our collector audience.

We hope you enjoy many of the changes coming your way.

The following lines are being drawn down and closed out:

Gaincorp aircraft, Easy Model warships, aircraft and military vehicles, Tamiya Masterworks, older Minichamps racing motorcycles, figures and racing helmets, Minichamps classic cars, Dragon Warbirds, Blitz 72, Schuco, Sky Defenders, Air Commander, Sword Models, The Collectors Showcase, Merit International, BBI, Gearbox Toys, IXO Models, Sky Guardians Europe, Marushin

The following lines look to be dramatically expanded going forward:

Air Force 1, Hobby Master, Eaglemoss Collections, Fabbri, Wings of the Great War, Luft-X, DeAgostini, Oxford, Hasbro, Bandai, Modelcollect, Panzerstahl, Disney

 
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