Every so often, we speak with the manufacturer directly to get a sense of what collectors can expect in the coming months. We’ve been particularly keen on finding out how Walterson’s, the new owners of the Forces of Valor brand, plans to pick up where its former owner, Unimax, left off. We’ve already seen some evidence of where they are headed with the receipt of their four 1:24 scale radio controlled tanks, which will be augmented by several dozen new vehicles as we move further down the road.
In the case of their 1:32 static military vehicles and 1:700 scale warships, what some consider to be the cornerstone of their business, we’re starting to get a sense of how Walterson’s plans to proceed in 2017, and likely how they will handle themselves and each individual sub brand for the foreseeable future. Several legacy warships are expected this April, among them the USS Arizona, USS Missouri, USS Enterprise, and IJN Yamato, with several new molds not too far behind. In a previous blog post, we discussed how they have improved both the outer and inner packaging for each warship, thereby making it easier for the collector to remove and display their models, and take pride in their purchase. Yesterday, we received several images for each of the upcoming warships, demonstrating the newly-designed display plinth, name plate and repainted workmanship.
In regard to their 1:32 scale static vehicle line, many of the vehicles will not only feature better weathering, painting and, where needed, corrected improvements to bring them up to their correct historical standards, but will also come with more “useful” bonus pieces instead of the standard fare accoutrements that seemed to have no correlation and or redundancy with the vehicle in question. For instance, with their first Tiger I tank, the vehicle will come with a stand-alone Maybach engine, while the Sherman Firefly will be bundled with a Chrysler V-12 engine. Other vehicles might come with similarly conceived extras instead of “wine bottles, cats and road signs”, perhaps including transparent cutaways, vehicle crews or other more critical extras that should enhance the overall product and demonstrate they are listening to the consumer.
Perhaps, most importantly, Walterson’s has moved into their own manufacturing facility, which reduces the overall cost for each product rather than having to subcontract each product to a third party manufacturer, which would build, assemble and paint their products with little in the way of quality assurance. Moreover, Walterson’s has a dedicated team of graphic designers and engineers devoted to each individual sub brand, thereby ensuring consistency across the entire spectrum of their product portfolio and guaranteeing a more uniform approach towards bringing new product to market. We expect big things from this Company and thus far they haven’t disappointed.