We’ve heard through the grapevine that Waltersons, the new owners of the Forces of Valor brand, may bring back the marketing duality of offering two versions of each upcoming aircraft. Unimax, the original makers of the brand, came up with this concept as a means of addressing how they planned to introduce the same merchandise into deep discount big box retailers as well as traditional hobby stores. They envisioned an “action grade” version for the Target, Walmart and Toys R Us chains of the world, which meant there was no weathering applied to the vehicle and the outer box had a somewhat mass market look to it, thereby appealing to kids as opposed to hard core collectors. The “enthusiast version”, on the other hand, gave each vehicle a more robust appearance, complete with weathering and some battle scarring, along with a more traditional collector designed outer box.
According to a recent posting, Waltersons will likely offer a 1:72 scale aircraft in much the same look and manner as Unimax once crafted, pretty much a plain vanilla product priced well below the competition. They also indicated plans to sell an enthusiast version, which could, conceivably be painted slightly different than the standard version, and will be accompanied by carrier planking or some other appropriate accessory designed to make the product stand out a bit more. The enthusiast version could sell for as much as $99.99, which would make it a more premium offering and quite possibly come with a numbered certificate of authenticity, making it a more desirable product to obtain from a collector’s standpoint.
So, what say you? Does this marketing move make sense and are you willing to pay more for a more deluxe product that could conceivably appreciate at a quicker rate than a larger run item?