March 2016

Master Fighter Comes

MF48575HI

A couple of months ago, we listed many of the french-built Master Fighter vehicles and accessories on our site to gauge interest in the line and assess its strengths in relationship to other ranges now on the market. We’re proud to say that reaction to the line has been strong; in many instances far outstripping our initial forecasts. Unlike the original Gaso.Line range stocked several years ago, the Master Fighter series come in their own handsome acrylic cases which resemble many of the other comparable lines available on the global market today. Moreover, the vehicles are not based upon a Solido, Verem or Corgi chassis, making them look more uniform and ideal for wargaming aficionados as well as collectors interested in showcasing a premium line.

We’ve placed an initial order with the manufacturer, which will hopefully arrive in the next couple of weeks after clearing customs. We’ve deliberately kept our order conservative, largely because the line is both broad and deep and we do not want to tie up funds unnecessarily in some items that may not sell as well as others. So, we strongly recommend pre-ordering those items you may wish to purchase now, before the shipment comes in and gets doled out to early adopters. Its entirely possible that some items may not be listed as available for general sale, at least until a follow-on shipment is released to us at a later date.

 
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DeAgostini Slips a Round Peg into a Square Hole

DARA21

When we received the DeAgostini multi-scale Russian military aircraft range last year, there were a few notable absentees who failed to stand muster before our police line up. Of these, the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG 23 Flogger fighter (DARA21) was one of the most suspicious, a mainstay of the Russian air force for several decades boasting exceptionable qualities and characteristics. Fortunately, a remedy seems to be at hand, with stock expected of this 1:150 scale replica set to arrive some time in April. Priced at just $15.98, its a great way to fill in one of those ignominious holes in your collection, at least until the much larger Hobby Master rendition comes out this year.

 
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The Six-Day War: Fifty Years and Counting

Six Day War

Next June is the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the Arab-Israeli Six Day War, perhaps one of the most pivotal conflicts of the twentieth century. In less than a week’s time, the outnumbered Israeli Defense Forces virtually destroyed the military apparatus of Egypt, Syria and Jordan, thereby enabling them to seize the Sinai peninsula, the West Bank, which includes Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Much of this territory is still held today, buffer zones should hostilities ever erupt again and a testimony to excellent planning, training and a will to survive despite facing overwhelming odds.

To mark the occasion, we are hoping that several model makers recognize the importance of the event and, in so doing, create a brand new series of diecast military vehicles and aircraft that pays homage to the men and machines that fought on both sides of the conflict. Certainly much can be learned by studying the war in detail, and what better way to do it than with miniatures that help bring the conflict to life. Here’s hoping the model making community doesn’t let us down.

 
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And You Thought You Had a Collection

A church usher who recently passed away, willed his house and much of its contents to the local church he served. When officials gained access to his home, they found more than 30,000 diecast replica automobiles neatly stacked around the house in glass cabinets, into his bathroom, along his kitchen and even on his bed.

You can read the entire story here: USA Today

 
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Hobby Master Shows Us Their July Fireworks

HA5301

While several products have now been delayed until July, Hobby Master did reveal detail concerning several new warplanes also expected that month. Among them are the first MiG 23M Flogger, which was announced previously but never assigned a firm price (HA5301). We’ve learned that its coming in at just $99.99, thereby making it affordable and a key release for 2016.

HA8454

Also slated for July is a 1:48 scale replica of a P-47 Thunderbolt flown by a member of the Tuskegee Airmen (HA8454), a third example of their 1:72 scale F-14 Tomcat (HA5203), and a F/A-18C Hornet flown by VFA-25 “Fist of the Fleet” (HA3528).

HA5203

 
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Lockheed: How Fast is Fast?

Hypersonic Test Vehicle

Lockheed announced that it is currently developing a mach 6 capable warplane under its Hypersonic test vehicle program. The program’s aim is to comply with the DARPA Falcon Project, an effort to develop hypersonic vehicles capable of performing airstrikes anywhere in the world within one hour, a military goal known as Prompt Global Strike (PGS).

According to Popular Mechanics, “The HTV-2 and HTV-3X are proposed unmanned transonic aircraft that could perform long-distance airstrikes. The HTV-2 has been part of two launch tests, but the HTV-3X program was put on hold due to budget shortages in 2008.

The HTV-2 is an experimental aircraft that is capable of achieving Mach 20 speeds, or about 13,000 miles per hour, after being launched on a rocket. Two HTV-2 launch tests were conducted, one in 2010 and one in 2011. After the second launch on a Minotaur IV rocket in 2011, the HTV-2 successfully hit speeds between Mach 17 and Mach 22 before crashing into the Pacific as a safety precaution.

The HTV-3X, referred to as Blackswift before the project stalled out in 2008, differs from the HTV-2 in that it would take off and land conventionally rather than be launched by rocket. The HTV-3X would be the size of a conventional fighter jet.”

 
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Clearance Pricing on Many Air Force 1 Models

ZTZ99G

It started with their suite of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and now its moved on to other aircraft types and even some ground vehicles. Our distributor has acknowledged that they have reduced the pricing on many Air Force 1 SKUs, no doubt to clear out some inventory, many of which are the Chinese aircraft, helicopters and tanks they still have in stock. Here’s a list of what’s being reduced in price:

SKU                   Description                 Old Price                      New Price

AF100034         1:72 J-8B Fighter              $52.99                           $49.99

AF100036         1:48 J-5 Fighter                $67.99                           $49.99

AF100037         1:48 J-6 Fighter               $113.99                          $89.99

AF100039        1:1444 H-6K Bomber        $66.99                           $49.99

AF100040       1:72 J10A Fighter              $39.99                           $34.99

AF100044       1:48 J-10Fighter                $99.99                           $79.99

AF100045       1:72 J-11B Fighter             $62.99                           $49.99

AF100048       1:72 J-15 Fighter               $52.99                           $49.99

AF100053       1:72 J-16 Fighter               $62.99                           $49.99

AF100066      1:72 JH-7 Bomber              $79.99                           $59.99

AF100069      1:48 Z-9 Helicopter             $89.99                           $69.99

AF100072     1:48 Z-10 Helicopter            $89.99                           $69.99

AF100080     1:48 Z-19 Helicopter            $99.99                           $69.99

AF100081     1:48 AC313 Helicopter        $99.99                           $69.99

AF100109     1:35 ZTZ-98 Tank               $99.99                            $69.99

AF100110     1:35 ZTZ-99 Tank                $99.99                           $69.99

AF100113     1:72 Helicopter                   $62.99                           $49.99

In some instances the savings are rather substantial, making them excellent value for the money, particularly with several important holidays coming up. As before, these items are offered on a first come first served basis and when inventory is depleted we do not expect them to return to stock.

 
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Oh Captain, My Captain

EMGC64

Our lookouts have been posted for some time now, scanning the horizon for Task Force Eaglemoss. Thus far, the warships seem to have taken a rather indirect route to reach our shores, avoiding the traditional sea lanes for perhaps a more scenic route. Or maybe we’re just suffering from sun stroke and seeing mirages.

Anyway, we’re now being told to expect several new ships in June, although we still don’t know as yet which ships will form the latest squadron. To date, they’ve been released in a non-sequential fashion, so its anyone’s guess which ships will make the cut and which will be delayed for the next assault wave. We will continue to review the sonar scans, feed the lookouts black coffee and monitor radio traffic to the best of our abilities and issue General Quarters once we have a solid lead.

 
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The Motor Pool: Line Delineation

Limited Edition A

In an ongoing effort to make our business as transparent as possible while keeping everyone informed about the latest diecast we offer in our product portfolio, we have decided to add a special series of graphics to each manufacturer category called “series graphics.”

Mass Production A

Three graphics have been created – limited edition, mass produced and partworks – which will be positioned on the initial category landing page just below the company information. These have been designed to clarify how each range is presented to the public and will hopefully help you to make a more informed purchasing decision, including the likelihood of return on investment should you be approaching this hobby from a purely financial standpoint.

Partworks Edition A

We hope these graphics add to your enjoyment of the hobby!

 
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Hobby Master: Time to Make the Donuts

Donuts

Perhaps Fred the Baker of Dunkin Donuts fame said it best when he uttered those immortal words, “Its time to make the donuts!” With Chinese New Year now all but a distant memory, we were hoping to hear a bit of news concerning several models from Hobby Master, ones they’ve produced in the past but have now dried up due to high sales demand. Key among them is their 1:72 scale F-111/EF-111 Aardvarks, not to mention their recently introduced RA-5C Vigilantes, which blew out almost as fast as they arrived. We are now completely out of both aircraft types, thanks to strong demand, abbreviated production runs and generally high consumer satisfaction with both models. Likewise, we’re hoping to see their upcoming F/A-18E Super Hornet along with their MiG 23 Flogger sometime soon, which has obvious implications for a potential MiG 27 strike aircraft.

 
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