As we close out the month of November, we’ve finally received an update from our distributor regarding Forces of Valor. After months of waiting and little to show for it, the Company acknowledged today that Walterson’s re-engineered 1:32 scale 88mm FLaK gun, which is clad in a desert scheme, is now pegged for a February release. Originally, we were told that two 88mm guns were to be expected at the same time — the second in the familiar, early war, dark grey scheme that was previously included in the original FOV line up. Now, the dark grey version is being delayed further and its not clear when it is to be expected.
So, that’s the good news, if you don’t mind viewing the FOV glass as being half full. The bad is that the range will now be MAP enforced, meaning that we and other retailers must sell the line at a specific retail price point and cannot deviate from that pricing for a fixed period of time. The MAP, or minimum advertised price as it is known in the industry, has been set at $79.99, $10 more than what we thought was a marketable price given the length of time FOV has been out of the diecast game. To be fair, the manufacturer has re-engineered the vehicles so that they now come with a removable engine and opening engine compartment, more metal content, reworked superstructures and smoother rolling tracks. As a result, its not as if they are simply re-releasing older product but asking for a king’s ransom to boot.
Because of the price hike for the 88mm gun, we are assuming that all of the other 1:32 scale military vehicles that had been previously announced will likely carry the same price tag, although at this date, we still do not have hard-and-fast release dates for either the re-engineered vehicles or any of the new products announced way back in 2016.
Keep in mind that several international Toy Fairs are right around the corner, so we will likely get a better understanding of what to expect for the coming year once the shows have drawn back their curtains and solid product information has been passed along. So, while we hate to be the bearer of bad news as we head into the holiday season, keep in mind that at least some progress is being made and that the long drought will soon be over now that the pumps have been primed.