Waltersons

Forces of Valor Returns to the Battlefield

Some times a picture is, as they say, worth a thousand words. Even the 1:32 scale dioramas, first introduced way back in 2002, are slated to make an encore appearance

We were concerned that Waltersons, the new owners of the Forces of Valor brand, hadn’t put in an appearance at the recently concluded Nuremberg Toy Fair largely because no one had seen nor heard from them at the Show. Turns out the Company was in attendance, all-too-eager to demonstrate to their fans that the productions lines were already churning and that plans were laid out for the year.

The Waltersons Forces of Valor radio controlled range now includes R/C products once produced under the VS Tanks marque, which was acquired in 2017. Its not clear if the manufacturer will retain the VS Tanks logo or nestle everything under the Waltersons/Forces of Valor brands.

According to our liaison, the first grouping of product expected this Spring will be their 1:72 scale aircraft, which will be followed, in quick succession, by several different 1:32 scale armored subjects. They also plan to update their web site as well as their respective Facebook pages, thereby maintaining regular communication with their fans and dealer network.

Several new tanks can be seen along with repaints of the R/C lineup

In the mean time, several of their upcoming 1:32 scale vehicles can be seen atop one display in their Nuremberg photo gallery. New camouflage schemes are evident for several of their 1:24 scale radio controlled vehicles, as well as images for their upcoming M26 Pershing, M1A1 Abrams and MLRS.

Waltersons claims that many of the relaunched 1:72 scale aircraft are already highly detailed so they will look much the same as in the past, perhaps with more attention paid to the engines. The display stands, however, will resemble the type used for their warship line, in that they will boast a “wooden look” with the name and nationality of the aircraft appearing on the front. Moreover, the display pillar has been completely redesigned, thereby enabling the aircraft to be rotated in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise fashion.

As far as 1:32 scale vehicles go, here is what we know thus far based upon post Nuremberg Show information passed along to us by the manufacturer. “After the 88mm guns, the Jagdpanther and Elefant will enter production. Following that would be the Sherman Firefly and Soviet T-34-85, and finally the Tiger I with lots of modifications. That would be the 1st – 2nd week of May.” So, if you read between the lines, any new molds such as the Sturmtiger and M4A3E8 Sherman are still a ways off, likely stealing the spotlight towards the end of the year. Likewise, the 1:16 scale Tiger, which everyone has been asking about, will almost certainly make it to market towards the end of 2018.

Again, we ask that you not contact us at this time to ask when a particular item is expected or to check on an order. You know as much as we do and questions of this nature are counterproductive, taking us away from things that we can fully address.

 
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Waltersons Completes its Purchase of VS Tanks

Recently, Waltersons completed the purchase of rival VS Tanks, thereby making it the largest manufacturer of 1:24 scale radio controlled military vehicles. No details were provided concerning the purchase price or how it would affect owners of VS Tanks replicas. The purchase radically increases the number of vehicles now available in the Company’s product portfolio. Its not clear if the VS Tanks will be re-purposed to work in conjunction with the Walterson’s Forces of Valor radio controlled line or if it will be held in a separate regard with distinct VS packaging, support and design goals.

 
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Forces of Valor V2.0: Consistency, Quality and Value

 

USS Enterprise (CVN-65), complete with its own embarked air wing and display plinth

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.

IJN super battleship Yamato, flag ship of the post-Midway Japanese navy

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.

Iowa Class battleship USS Missouri (BB-63), currently berthed behind the USS Arizona Memorial, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

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.

USN Pennsylvania Class USS Arizona (BB-39), decked out in its pre-war paint scheme and glory

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.

 
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Waltersons Calls Out Their 2017 Cadence

We’re just a few days into 2017 and several weeks away from the opening of the all-important Nuremberg Toy Fair, yet already several companies are looking to get the ball rolling early and announce their 2017 line ups ahead of their competition. Earlier today, Waltersons posted a Forces of Valor brochure to their Facebook page which showcases their first and second quarter 1:32 scale diecast military vehicles as well as their 1:700 warships series. Currently, we are in the midst of adding all of the new introductions to our product portfolio, and will address pricing for several of the new warships once they are made official. For now though, you can ogle some of their soon-to-be-released products, and place pre-orders, where appropriate for items that show a retail price. We hope to add any new imagery, where applicable, once they are unveiled by the manufacturer.

 
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Waltersons Mutters, “Mugsy, Take the Scenic Route”

Lately, it seems as though most of the new product announcements we are posting have one thing or another to do with Waltersons’ resurgent look at the Forces of Valor brand. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, particularly if their intent is to resurrect some of the oldies but goodies in the Forces of Valor product portfolio. Earlier today, as part of the run-up to the Nuremberg Toy Fair, the Company floated the idea of bringing back the deluxe diorama sets that were a part of their initial product mix way back in 2003, when the line was first introduced. I fondly remember ogling the sets at the American International Toy Fair held here in New York City, remarking to the distributor and owner how lifelike they looked and the degree they were prepared to support the hobby across all market segments.

Fourteen years later, and it now appears as if the new owners feel the same way, showcasing one of the now sold out scenics with an accompanying Tamiya 1:35 scale Challenger II main battle tank. If they do indeed move forward with the re-release of the dioramas, they will likely make some minor tweaks and improvements along the way, which may or may not affect the retail price, weight, packaging, etc. For now, we’re just happy that they are looking to bring them back in full force, which will no doubt be supplemented with additional dioramas featuring several of the new vehicles they’ve already hinted at coming to market in 2017. Enjoy!

 
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Waltersons Declares, “One if by land, three if by sea”

 

Mum for some time regarding their soon-to-be-released range of static military models, it now appears as if Waltersons is releasing information to the public on a day-by-day basis. Yesterday the Company posted imagery of their upcoming 1:32 scale Tiger I tank. Earlier today, they revealed pictures for the warship series, which explains how the vessels will come packed when “shipped out.”

Rather than using a plastic blister to keep them in place, the Company developed a new locking nut mechanism that permits the buyer to easily take the ship in and out of its packaging. Moreover, the outer packaging features an open tabbed fifth panel, which is designed to make it far easier to remove, and, if necessary, replace the item in its box, thereby reducing the likelihood of damage.

As an Easter Egg of sorts, it appears as if the French Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle (R91), will be joining the growing Forces of Valor fleet in 2017, as well as some other unidentified warships. We’ve also re-categorized our Forces of Valor 1:700 scale subsections into a Battleship and Aircraft Carrier Series to correspond with the changes shown on the back of the aforementioned packaging.

 
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Waltersons Maintains, “There’s Still a Tiger in Your Tank!”

As a special holiday gift, Waltersons, the new owners of the Forces of Valor brand, has debuted images of their upcoming 1:32 scale Tiger I heavy tank. Posted to Facebook earlier today, the up-close photos demonstrate some of the principal differences between the Tiger I tank produced by the former owners, Unimax, then contrasts them with some of the enhancements made by Waltersons, all of which are intended to correct certain deficiencies and make each vehicle more realistic. In the case of the Tiger I tank, five new molds were produced, among them a new chassis, new road wheels, swing arms, torsion bars, new sprocket & new idler wheel, new engine details, and new caterpillar tracks. You can see all on the improvements and follow the progress of some of the other vehicles still under development on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/fovhobbies/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED. A new web site is also reportedly under construction.

 
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Waltersons Adds More Punch to its R/C Lineup

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Over the weekend, Waltersons, the new owners of the Forces of Valor brand, uploaded an intriguing post which disclosed how the Company is supporting the curious if successful Girls und Panzer brand within Japan by offering a wide array of licensed 1:24 scale military vehicles. Four of the new Forces of Valor vehicles have obviously been repainted to fit the Girls und Panzer theme, however, what really caught our attention are some of the vehicles included in the brochure that are designed to widen the license’s appeal in 2017. Some of the vehicles featured in the Girls und Panzer handbook include a US M3 Lee medium tank, German Hetzer tank destroyer, German Sturmgeschutz assault gun, Russian IS-2 heavy tank, Russian T-34/76 medium tank, Russian KV-2 heavy tank, French B1bis heavy tank, German VK4501(P) heavy tank, Japanese Chi-Nu heavy tank, Japanese Chi-Ha medium tank, US T-28 super heavy tank, German Morser Karl self-propelled gun, British A41 main battle tank, variants of the M4 Sherman tank, British Churchill infantry tank, Italian CV33 light tank, Russian BT-42 light tank, and Japanese Ha-Go medium tank. Whew! Quite a proposed lineup. These same vehicles will more than likely be included in the Forces of Valor R/C lineup going forward with more to follow, if intuition serves as any guide.

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Waltersons Lifts the Curtain on Their First 1:16 Scale R/C Tank

t-72

Early this morning, Waltersons, the new owners of the Forces of Valor brand, revealed details and first shot product images of their initial radio controlled 1:16 scale tank. Their first foray is a Russian T-72 main battle tank, which will come in two editions: the Original (shown here) and an upgraded version called their Enthusiast Edition.

t-72a

According to Facebook, the Original version is slated for a 1st Quarter 2017 release while the Enthusiast version is expected one quarter later. Details concerning its feature list and pricing can be found on our web site.

 
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