Lets face it, if you’re a fan of Forces of Valor, and who isn’t, then you should be delighted to learn that the Company has started to pick up speed, both in terms of production as well as over the air waves. Earlier this week, they embarked upon a series of Facebook posts that explains some of the delays they have faced for 2018 along with some of the projects currently in development and nearing completion. While finished product images are still being held at bay, they have uploaded several shots showing some of the vehicles and accessories currently being created and discussed their philosophy regarding how they plan to take the line to new heights. For more information, click on the image above, which will take you to their Facebook page. You can even ask them questions if you so desire.
Anyone that has perused our About Us page over the years probably took note of the fact that it took two people to initially run this operation. Well, we are now down to one. Early on Sunday morning, after a long bout with dementia and suffering the prolonged effects of Type II Diabetes, my father-in-law and partner, Marvin Binder, succumbed to his combined illnesses. What follows is his obituary written collaboratively by several members of his immediate family.
Marvin Binder passed peacefully in his sleep on Sunday morning, September 23rd. Over his 88-year lifetime, he was happily married to his wife, Beatrice, and together they saw their daughter, Robin, marry Marc, her high school sweetheart. Robin and Marc gave Marvin two granddaughters, Linda and April, who were lucky enough to have Marvin in their lives for so many years. Both received college educations and married their respective sweethearts, Samir and Jason. Through them, Marvin was fortunate enough to see three great granddaughters enter this world, Isabelle, Mia and Eliana.
Professionally, Marvin was perhaps best known as “Mr. Matchbox.” He worked to create display cases, sales programs and other important initiatives that made Matchbox a world renowned brand and respected toy company, the likes of which few companies have been able to replicate.
Most importantly, Marvin was the kind of guy that would give you the shirt off of his back, even if it meant digging into his personal savings or face hardships of his own to provide comfort and aid. He touched so many lives through his unwavering compassion toward others. He was a kind, loving person that will be sorely missed by not only his family, but many friends, acquaintances and colleagues that knew him for what he truly was: a Mensch.
Marvin’s funeral is scheduled for Thursday, September 27th at 1PM at Schwartz Brothers Funeral Home. Even if you cannot attend, we know you join us in wishing him well in the afterlife where he will finally be reunited with his one true love, Beatrice.
We’ve learned that the September cache of Hobby Master products has arrived at our distributor and is now headed our way, slated to arrive the first week of October. The September diecast payload is critical from a number of standpoints, since it includes several heavily requested items that cut across the entire spectrum of Hobby Master releases. Certainly, one of the more notable issues is this 1:72 scale US Air Force Douglas B-25K Counter Invader Attack Aircraft (HA3225). A similar plane, released earlier this year, sold out the moment it arrived, which makes this second iteration just as likely to sell out the moment it lands.
Another coveted aircraft is this 1:48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109E-7 tropical fighter, which was attached to Jagdgeschwader 27 “Afrika”, then flying in support of the Deutsches Afrika Korps (HA8704). All of the previous 1:48 scale Messerschmitts have sold out, so this version, slathered in a desert sand motif, will certainly go quick once word spreads that its in stock.
Also up for your consideration is this sleek-looking Ukrainian Air Force Su-24 Frogfoot attack aircraft, clad in a digitally enhanced scheme (HA6102) that takes the art of camouflage to an entirely new level. Inspiring to look and deadly in the hands of an experienced pilot, this undeniably handsome aircraft makes a welcome addition to anyone’s collection, even if it does fly for a foreign power.
And last, but certainly not least, is this 1:48 scale rendition of famed Japanese ace Saburo Sakai’s Mitsubishi Zero, as it was painted and marked up during his stint at the island fortress of Rabaul (HA8805). Perhaps not as eye-popping as some of the other aircraft we profiled previously, collectors are all too familiar with its historical significance rather than its somewhat monotone scheme. Its a war winner if ever we’ve seen one, and we already have lots of pre-orders in-house to prove it!
Say what you will about some of their modern era aircraft, the fact remains that Air Force 1 does a very credible job in the World War II category. We’ve sold oodles of their 1:72 scale B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers over the past couple of years so the release of their first ever B-24 Liberator bomber is certainly welcome news as the holidays approaches.
When last we spoke with our distributor, “Wongo Wongo”, their inaugural Liberator, is now winging its way to us and should be in stock for general sale early next week. Priced at just $115.99, this aircraft is certainly a bargain, especially when you compare it with similar aircraft released by Corgi over the past several years. Painted in a North African camouflage scheme, “Wongo Wongo” took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the famed Ploesti Oil Field Raid in 1943 which was intended to deliver a knockout blow to the Nazi oil refineries.
Well before we started our web site, we began selling diecast collectibles on eBay back in August 1999. Nineteen years later, we’ve finally crossed the 10,000 positive feedback threshold, thanks, in large part, to our customers, many of whom have stuck with us through thick and thin over the years. Believe it or not, we have a handful of buyers that have been purchasing from us for almost two decades, a feat few could replicate but would certainly love to crow about in the digital era where virtually anything goes. Anyway, we just want to say a big thank you to all of our supporters, whether or not you have been with us from the beginning or have just learned about our store. Without you, we could never have lasted this long or have become this prosperous and we look forward to serving your diecast wants and needs for many years to come.
Long a player in the fixed wing aviation market, Altaya recently announced that 36 1:72 scale helicopters were in the hopper and headed to the North American market, just in time for the holiday season. The list of choppers is quite impressive, covering everything from attack helos to utility transports. All of the models have now been posted to our web site and we anticipate taking delivery by the end of September.
For the last few months, we haven’t seen hide nor hair from Eaglemoss, which had been one of our monthly staples for several years running. We’ve heard all sorts of reasons why the line’s arrival has been delayed, covering everything from production issues to personnel changes. Frankly, we aren’t sure what the hang up is, since product seems to be readily available in Europe where the Company is based. We do know that the manufacturer has embarked upon a rapid series of expansions over the last twelve months, introducing new line extensions to their existing Star Trek starships range while also kicking off a couple of new series that include Battlestar Galactica and Aliens and Predator. Moreover, they tend to use this time to get ready for Comic Con, which is scheduled to open in early October.
Right now, we aren’t sure when the line is supposed to resurface nor do we know where it will pick up from since its been several months since we last received a shipment. For all we know, everything we have been waiting for could arrive all at once, which is both good and bad news depending upon how you look at it. If everything does show up all at once, we are going to need several days to go through it all and marry up the new arrivals with our existing list of back orders. Obviously, we’re going to need ask for everyone’s patience if that occurs and we will do our best to update our web site where applicable. Keep your fingers crossed that we see some material movement later this month.
Now that summer has come and gone, we’ve taken several steps to get ready for the upcoming holiday season. Our Calendar of Events, for instance, now shows the cutoff dates for both domestic and international shipping. Please make sure to review it if you plan to wait closer to the holidays before placing your orders.
We have decided to temporarily delay the spinning up of our Walmart and Jet.com marketplace outlets. Originally scheduled for a November opening, a Walmart spokesperson recently announced that they understood the deficiencies of their present software program and were taking steps to offer a more user-friendly set of selling tools that is both more intuitive and more in line with systems employed by other marketplace venues. By delaying their roll out, it also gives us more time to investigate and deploy a stock balancing software program that is aimed at keeping inventory levels correct across all of out sales venues in real-time. We will likely roll out both stores in early 2019 once we have had time to better analyze their intentions.
We were recently awarded a Store Loyalty badge from Yahoo Commerce which signifies how often our customers’ return to our store after checking out the competition. The badge appears in the lower left hand corner of our web site.
Waltersons, the new owners of the Forces of Valor line, has hired a new point person to deal with questions and/or concerns as they pertain to their line. We are therefore recommending that you direct any and all questions concerning Forces of Valor to Sunny, their new moderator, who will likely have the latest information and release dates for upcoming product.
As an aside, Sunny claims he will be posting new images shortly, likely for the upcoming 88mm FLaK guns and pair of Jagdtiger heavy tank destroyers. Both are tentatively scheduled for a November release, barring any logistical issues or tariffs imposed by the current administration.
All of which leads us to one final point. We are still receiving phone calls, emails and messages asking us when a particular item is coming out, what it will look like, and how it will differ compared to previous versions. Friends, we know as much as you at this juncture. Everything that has been passed along to us has been posted to our web site. We do not have firm, written-in-stone release dates despite the holidays fast approaching and we certainly do not have any images of the product other than what we have posted. We understand that a great many of you are waiting with baited breath for more information concerning the reinvigorated line, however, there is nothing more we can share with you. By contacting us with these types of questions it takes us away from other more pressing matters that we can address. Hang in there and I am sure Waltersons will be delighted to unveil product information to their fans just as soon as they are ready to discuss them.
With the passing of Arizona Senator, John McCain, we’ve noticed that a lot of people have been taking a gander at Hobby Master’s 1:72 scale replica of his A-4 Skyhawk attack aircraft produced way back in 2007 (HA1403). Obviously, many people would like to lay claim to this model now that this American hero has been laid to rest. The question, therefore, is should Hobby Master re-release this overnight sensation? The Company has had a longstanding tradition of refraining from re-releasing a fan favorite, largely because they believe it would have a direct impact on the original model’s value. However, we thought the time was right that they re-consider their position, and possibly offer the model in a different scale, say 1:48, so that it doesn’t step on the value of the original 1:72 scale model, thereby enabling thousands of would-be collectors a chance at paying homage to this warrior turned statesman. What say you? Should Hobby Master make a second batch of the 1:72 scale Skyhawk, consider offering it in a larger 1:48 scale, or let the subject lie so that they can get on with other more pressing replicas?
One potential course of action, as a blogger pointed out, is to portray the A-4E Skyhawk he piloted while aboard the USS Forrestal a few months prior to his fateful mission off the Oriskany. His plane was destroyed while aboard the Forrestal in a blaze caused by a Zuni rocket inadvertently fired from an embarked F-4 Phantom. Afterwards, McCain was asked to join VA-163 “Saints”, which was undermanned and in need of experienced pilots. The rest, as they say, is history.