We’ve been in this business for fifteen years now, and have seen a number of curious developments take hold in the diecast military space. Over the last year or so, for instance, we’ve witnessed the rise of both Air Force 1 Model Company and Eaglemoss Collections – the former a newcomer to high-end diecast modelmaking while the latter has steadily built a multi-tiered portfolio of partworks product ranges. Both companies have done well over the past year or so, perhaps too well, which has caused seismic changes in the market place.
Earlier today, our principal distributor reported that both Falcon Models and Panzerstahl were ceasing production, at least for the forseeable future, neither company offering anything new at the recently-concluded Nuremberg Toy Fair. We had heard that Falcon Models factory in China had closed, and that the owner was seeking another factory to take over production. We can only surmise that they were unsuccessful. What does come as a surprise is the end-of-the-line for Panzerstahl, a German-based company that we thought had carved out a respectable niche in the military vehicle arena. In fact, their last few efforts were tied, in part, to the World of Tanks online massively multiplayer game, so we thought that might be enough to keep the wind in their sails. Apparently, it was not.
So, we will be selling off our existing stocks of both Falcon Models and Panzerstahl, and we hope other newcomers will step to the fore to take their place. In a related news story, we still haven’t heard any word from the Unimax Forces of Valor camp, despite rumors from their new distributor that they were still alive and kicking. That too isn’t a good sign and it may mean another player is being scratched from the lineup. Fortuitously, smaller companies such as Modelcollect, Amercom and and Altaya seem to be picking up the slack, and manufacturers such as Lucky Diecast are picking up the pieces from the Yat Ming closure.
If anything changes in the near-term, we will certainly keep everyone informed, and keep our fingers crossed that this bit of doom and gloom we are seeing in early 2015 will give rise to green chutes in the latter half of the year.