Even though we’re still a couple of months away from moving into our new digs, we thought you might be interested in how our new site will look when completed once the Shopify migration has been fully implemented. The image above reflects a mock up of our new and improved home page, which is designed to make finding product as easy as possible.
You’ll find many of the things we already incorporate on our existing web site, thereby making it as intuitive as possible given the many different lines we stock. For instance, the same color scheme and overall interface will be retained, albeit with a lot more bells and whistles to keep you coming back for more. While its still far from completion and doesn’t reflect all of the retail sales channels you’ll soon be able to find us on, we figured you might like to see what’s behind the curtain sooner rather than later. Enjoy!
Forces of Valor has formally announced plans to revise their pricing structure for their 1:32 scale military vehicle line beginning in early 2020. Essentially, smaller scale vehicles, such as their jeep and zundapp, will carry a MAP of $69.99. Medium sized vehicles, which includes the Sherman tanks and other similarly-sized items, will be pegged at $79.99, while the larger vehicles, including their upcoming Jagdpanther, Jagdtiger and Tiger tanks, will sell for $89.99. These increases are designed to cover the costs associated with upgrading all of the existing molds to the revised specifications, the inclusion of larger display bases as well as the creation of new toolings for some of the vehicles expected to appear in 2020. As an aside, we will honor the price of any pre-orders that have already been submitted to us for the larger sized vehicles.
In other news, Dragon has set the retail price of its upcoming 1:72 scale Stryker family of military vehicles at $29.99, $10 less than what we originally had them listed for. Here again, we will honor the new lower price and refund any differences due for those individuals that may have pre-paid for these vehicles. Refunds will be issued at the time of shipping, which is now expected to occur in January.
It isn’t often we pen a blog post about the latest advancements in the world’s arsenals. If we did, we’d end up writing about something every day and never get around to discussing some of the coolest pieces of diecast hardware coming to market. Recently, however, we were caught off guard by an article posted by The National Interest, which happens to do an excellent job of covering all of the world’s latest developments in the military sector.
According to a November 7th posting, Russia is preparing to reconfigure an Oscar II class submarine that would enable it to launch a flotilla of nuclear-powered drones. According to Russian state media, which oftentimes likes to boast about some of their latest military breakthroughs in the hopes of intimidating the West, “the Russian Navy is on track to deploy up to 32 of its “Poseidon” thermonuclear drones across four submarines.
Poseidon is an underwater drone weapon, armed with a 2-megaton
nuclear or conventional payload that can be detonated “thousands of
feet” below the surface. This is meant to generate a radioactive tsunami
capable of destroying coastal cities and other infrastructure several kilometers inland.
Poseidon can remain submerged at up to one kilometer, travels at a maximum speed of 200 kilometers per hour, and is programmed to execute three-dimensional evasive maneuvers in response to interception attempts.”
We’ll leave it up to you to determine if this latest development should be a cause of worry and consternation for Western war planners who are once again grappling with a Cold War foe determined to flex its muscles in the increasingly more dangerous 21st Century world. For more information on the Poseidon, pay a visit to The National Interest.
Seems as if everything is rolling in two-by-two these days. A pair of Air Force 1 B-17 bombers, a duet of Forces of Valor T-34/85 tanks and well, a lonesome Air Commander F-4 Phantom fighter-bomber that makes me look like a liar from a literary standpoint. More importantly, these and other new items have been trickling in days before Thanksgiving Day weekend, making them ideal gifts for the holidays even if some of them may not fit in your favorite Christmas stocking.
Lots of additional new products are still expected to come out for the holidays, so make sure you peruse our newsletter, visit our blog and check out our web site on a daily basis to see what just arrived from the North Pole.
Some times a message can get lost within another message, especially when it gets stuck in the crevices of a castaway’s bottle. That’s the case with Forces of Valor when they recently discussed their upcoming 1:32 scale Tiger and Sherman tank variants last week. While reading through some of the ensuing comments and their own remarks it appears as if the Company is finally getting set to discuss their military aircraft line, which was hinted at well over two years ago but has seemingly laid dormant ever since. This December, Waltersons plans on discussing how they will re-purpose some of their existing aircraft tooling, which was never truly a hit with the aviation community. They’ve listened to the community, done their due diligence by researching the competition and believe they are now ready to discuss their plans in detail now that they are competing in a space long dominated by others.
In other news, the Company is hard at work touching up some of their existing tank toolings, particularly the M24 Chaffee light tank, which, according to consumer sentiment, was one of their fan favorites and required little work to bring up to date. New molds are in the offing too, including their first ever Leopard 2A5 and 2A6 main battle tanks, likely offered in German markings and paint schemes. We are hoping that the Stryker, which was cancelled by Unimax before its release, will be drawn out of storage while other tanks, such as the Abrams, gets a face lift to bring it up to today’s standards.
Lastly, pictures have finally posted for their upcoming Jagpanther tank destroyer, which models the earlier G1 variant complete with zimmerit anti-magnetic mine paste. Reading between the lines we’re willing to bet a G2 version will eventually be made, which featured, among other things, a two-piece gun barrel and the omission of any zimmerit. Finally, a pair of 1:32 scale T-34/85 tanks are finally en route, and should be ready for immediate shipment right before Thanksgiving. Gobble gobble!
Recently, Waltersons posted several comments concerning their upcoming 1:32 scale Tiger tanks to their Facebook page. According to the FOV rep, 24 versions will eventually be offered, although its not clear if all of them will come out in 2020 and how many involve repaints which the Company considers as a separate SKU. What is known is that the manufacturer has spent an inordinate amount of time and effort retooling the original mold which first surfaced way back in 2003, thereby ensuring that it will pass muster amongst the FOV community of 2019. Four versions of the Tiger I will be produced (initial, early, mid and late revisions) each with their own intricate features, characteristics and shortcomings that should sit well with discriminating collectors. For starters, all of the vehicles feature a reworked suspension enabling them to smoothly roll along a flat or uneven surface. Each will come with their appropriate road wheels, which ranged from the initial rubber rimmed wheels that tended to get bogged down in the mud to the more efficient steel rimmed wheels used in the latter versions of the Tiger I.
According to Waltersons, the Sturmtiger, which was never a part of the original Unimax line up of combat vehicles, will likely come out in mid-year and feature a fully detailed crew compartment, although its not clear at present if collectors will be able to remove the superstructure to peer inside the vehicle. Likewise, its not certain if the vehicle will come with stacks of ammunition stored inside the vehicle and/or a crane that was used to lower the ammunition into the gun’s breech. Since the manufacturer tends to take the high road when it comes to replicating armored fighting vehicles of World War II its more than likely going to occur, albeit at a slightly higher price considering all of the extra work, labor and material going into the effort.
Lastly, the Company claims that the first batch of Tigers will be completed some time in January. Even if this pans out, its not likely we will see any of the models before March, at the earliest, due in part to the upcoming Chinese New Year, continued tension in the streets of Hong Kong and trade war currently underway between the Peoples Republic of China and the US.
Even though its taken us some time to get around to it, customers can now purchase a select group of items from our Facebook page. While not every item in our growing catalog will be added to our Facebook shop, we will put up for sale many of the most recent arrivals, taking them down once inventory has been depleted. Thus far, only a handful of items have been included within the “shop” but expect many more items to be added as more new items come in this holiday season. Keep in mind, these very same items can be purchased from our web site, which contains everything we sell as well as those items not yet released by the manufacturers. We will likely build out our Instagram shop next, followed, in rapid succession, by our Target + and Toys ‘R” Us sales channels in early 2020.
With the end-of-year tariff imposition looming, it appears as if several manufacturers and distributors are doing their utmost to stuff as much product into the supply chain to avoid unwarranted and potentially expensive fees that are then tacked on to the asking price of most hobby-related items. As a result, several late year deliveries, which were expected in early November, now seem to be delayed by several weeks, possibly arriving after the all-important Thanksgiving Day weekend. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that a late November/early December time frame will see the arrival of a number of shipments, among them Forces of Valor, Eaglemoss, Air Commander and Air Force 1. Where this puts our December shipments is anyone’s guess so we’ll stay on top of this issue as best we can and report any further delays should they arise.
Certainly one of the most prolific model makers of our time, Hobby Master has nonetheless kept one eye on the mill stone and one on the clock ever since they came into being back in 2006, releasing a steady diet of replicas month in and month out that have become the envy of aficionados world over. For April, collectors can expect to look forward to taking delivery on the following models: