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Discussion Starter #1
Dear PL,

As I stated in a previous thread, I really enjoyed the diecast batmobiles. I personally liked the fact they were pre-painted like so many of the metal bodied models emerging on the modeling scene. This is a welcome change from having to pay 100.00 for a diecast in 1/24 scale from the likes of Danbury and Franklin mint.

I'd like to pass along a request for your consideration. With the recent merger with RC, I'd like for you to consider using RC resources to possibly expand the diecast car model line you started with the PL Batmobiles. Stay with the 1/24 scale and see if you can convince RC to go along with the fantasy/scifi cars of the various movies/shows we've all enjoyed. RC seems to want to stay with muscle cars, race cars, etc. This would please their need to produce cars and satisfy our need for scifi/fantasy modeling

For starters, I'd ask for the following:

1) Green Hornet's Black Beauty
2) Joker's sedan from the movie
3) Corvette Summer's Corvette
4) Austin Power's Shaguar , yea baby!!
5) Elvira's Tbird
6) Of Course, the 1960's TV batmobile if they ever the the licensing worked out.

This is an open letter because I'm sure other fans of the Batmobile models will want to add their favorites for consideration.
 

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You may be right Lloyd, but if so, these threads are at worst annoying and at best harmless.

But if anyone at RC2 is listening, why confine youself to cars? Why not a prepainted unassembled model of the Fantastic Voyage Proteus, my fave sci fi vehicle?!!

Huzz
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Lloyd,

as a wise man once said. "seek and ye shall find. Ask and ye might receive."

I've already written RC2. Since I don't know how they have structured themselves after buying PL, I figure it's best to send a request in every manner I can think of.
This open letter will at least be another bug in someone's ear to possibly make what we want to pay for and others to add their voice.. I can't imagine, for the life of me, why RC2 would buy PL and shut them down after spending so much money to obtain them. Yes, I know they wanted Johnny Lightning yada yada, but PL is still a source of income if RC2 can open their minds and listen to PL. Hey, if we don't speak up, RC may assume the worse. At least I can say I tried.:thumbsup:
 

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Ignatz said:
But, but NASCAR RULES!!!!!

Uh, okay. I'm not into auto racing, or cars for that matter. BIG DIECAST FRANKIE! BIG DIECAST FRANKIE!
Do you know how much that sucker would weigh? LOL!

James (who would buy one anyway - LOL!) :)
 

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What's that RC2 address again? I want to write them and suggest they check the bboards once in a while. Anmd include a wish list, of course.
 

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Old_McDonald said:
Dear PL,

I really enjoyed the diecast batmobiles. I personally liked the fact they were pre-painted like so many of the metal bodied models emerging on the modeling scene.
And that highlights the comment I made in another thread about PL losing it's uniqueness.

I have no problems with your suggested choices. I have no problems with diecast vehicles.

Question: Does the world need another maker of diecast vehicles?

There are more diecast companies than I can shake a stick at. Diecasts are piled floor to ceiling at Toys R' Us. They go from 1/64 to 1/18 and everything in between. I even own a few big diecast cars myself.

You know what I wish for? I wish there was a company that would produce plastic kits that we could build and paint...kits of monsters, pop culture icons and esoteric sci-fi vehicles. I wish there was a company that made kits of Godzilla, The Phantom of the Opera, the Seaview and things like that. Now that would really be something. That would be unique.

In fact there used to be a company just like that. Last time I heard, they were making Trek models and had just sold out to RC2.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
John P said:
What's that RC2 address again? I want to write them and suggest they check the bboards once in a while. Anmd include a wish list, of course.
John P. the email address for RC2 is [email protected].

Brent, while I agree that there are a lot of diecast makers and plastic model makers. They are basically all making the same thing. Look on the shelves and you'll find an infinite variety of mustangs, camaros, gto's, etc.

There are very, very, very few models outside of the nascar, muscle car arena. There aren't even many models of George Barris's creations. What we need is a company like PL who can make those diecast models of things like the batmobiles, elvira mobile, etc.

Only Ertl has offered anything and it's that big 1:18 scale. I like 1/24
 

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The 1/24 Batmobiles were kits, but they were produced and marketed under the Johnny Lightning branch of Playing Mantis. Given the direction RC2 took ERTL with diecasts, I would prefer that customer demand for more diecasts (and I do like the idea) please be made to JL, and not leave RC2 thinking we want PL to go that direction. The hope we're holding onto for PL is down to threads already as it is!
 

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Dave Hussey said:
You may be right Lloyd, but if so, these threads are at worst annoying and at best harmless.

But if anyone at RC2 is listening, why confine youself to cars? Why not a prepainted unassembled model of the Fantastic Voyage Proteus, my fave sci fi vehicle?!!

Huzz
I know, but if RC2 was checking this forum out they could have let us know they were here. Are questions for the most part have gone unanswered, except what Dave has known and told us. So I guess you can ask,at least we can wish/hope we might get what we want.

Lloyd :freak:
 

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But what's their snail mail addy? Actual letters get more attention than email.
 

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dreamer said:
The 1/24 Batmobiles were kits, but they were produced and marketed under the Johnny Lightning branch of Playing Mantis. Given the direction RC2 took ERTL with diecasts, I would prefer that customer demand for more diecasts (and I do like the idea) please be made to JL, and not leave RC2 thinking we want PL to go that direction. The hope we're holding onto for PL is down to threads already as it is!
Well now, for starters, Ertl was a diecast company well before there were even any significant plastic model kits--you knew that, right? Yup! Fred Ertl began doing diecast metal models of farm tractors in the late 1940's, and all along, diecast farm toys (and some very elaborate diecast scale models of farm equipment as well) have been Ertl's core business for almost 60 years and counting. American Muscle, Ertl's line of 1:18 scale cars goes back almost 20 years now. Of course, Ertl got into plastic models 8 years before they bought AMT (in 1982), and Ertl did buy MPC's line of Mack OTR and Offroad Truck kits in 1976, but still, those were model kit lines going into a company that has always been primarily diecast toys and miniatures. Polar Lights has always been, and continues as a brand name for plastic model kits, and I don't see that changing anytime soon--no more than McDonald's could ever become a brand for a chain of gas stations complete with the Golden Arches.

Now, for plastic kits to thrive, they need shelf exposure--and the way that happens is for the buyers (those people whose job it is to fill the shelves in the retail stores owned by their employers) to see that plastic model kits not only sell well, but perform better in their stores than other lines of toys or hobby stuff they might sell--if that happens, then more shelf space for the stuff that sells, less for the stuff that doesn't--that is a very plain and simple equation. It's a sales-driven business, folks!

Diecast models, primarily cars, have far outsold plastic model kits of the same subject for a good number of years now--I think the primary reason is that there are far more consumers out there who want the finished product without having to build it (either because of time, or worse, a deep-seated fear that if they bought the model kit, they'd not get it built, or if they did, they'd not be happy with the result). Also, we live in a world today where building plastic models is no longer THE thing to do for most of the population--unlike the 50's through the 70's, when virtually every red-blooded American boy at least gave this hobby a stab--because his buddies all were trying to build them. 40-50 years ago there simply were not the competing activities and interests that youngsters are presented with today. Back then, even in a large city, TV channels might have amounted to 7 or 8, no computers, no video games, no DVD's, and not all that many organized activities (sports teams & programs, music lessons ad nauseum) all the stuff that's going on out there to take up kids free time.

Every manufacturer, in every industry that I know of, has some formula for determining on a yearly basis how much capital (money) can reasonably be invested in new product--almost always a percentage of sales. This means that the higher the sales revenue (profitably of course!) for any given product line, the more money available for tooling up new products. New tooling in the model industry doesn't happen if things are in the tank--that's also a fact of the lives of these businesses--and that same fact extends to every area of manufacturing in some way.

So, if we want to see more model kits (and I am a model builder of some 50 years experience, who happens to design diecast cars for a living) then our community has to grow in number, and grow as a market--when that does happen, then new model kits follow, certainly in greater numbers.

Art
 

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Essentially then, we have become an impatient culture that wants results NOW and does not want to work for it. That attitude permeates all aspects of our culture.

Its so sad.

Huzz
 

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Dave Hussey said:
Essentially then, we have become an impatient culture that wants results NOW and does not want to work for it. That attitude permeates all aspects of our culture.

Its so sad.

Huzz
you said it brother.
 

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Thanks for the reasoned reply Art. Dave M has said essentially the same thing here for years now. It is simply a matter of business. Tom Lowe bet his own money on a venture that has paid off pretty well in some areas, not so well in others.
 

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Dave Hussey said:
Essentially then, we have become an impatient culture that wants results NOW and does not want to work for it. That attitude permeates all aspects of our culture.

Its so sad.

Huzz
You know, I'd not go quite that far! Consider this: A great many buyers of diecast cars are modelers, or were at some time in their earlier lives.

Not everyone who ever attempted a model car (or any other model kit) went on to become an accomplished, or dedicated modeler--to have expected that would have been quite wrong. That would have been as improbable as believing that every kid who ever took piano lessons would go on to be another Van Cliburn, or every kid who ever swung a bat at the plate would be playing baseball today--those things just don't happen. However, just as with music, sports, or anything else we've all tried in our early years, we become spectators to most of it--and models are a pretty good indicator of that.

The very high popularity of built, finished diecast models (first cars, now aircraft, armor, even ships--saw a lot of this stuff at RCHTA last week) vis-a-vis plastic model kits does indicate, however, that the "spectators" do outnumber the players at this point--not my wish, but I think it's life--just as there are millions more who watch sports events yearly, as opposed to playing the game (be that game football, baseball, hockey, golf, motor racing) for whatever reasons. And, as long as retailers can point to their sales experience with diecast, they will continue to stock the stuff.

Art
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Dave Hussey said:
Essentially then, we have become an impatient culture that wants results NOW and does not want to work for it. That attitude permeates all aspects of our culture.

Its so sad.

Huzz
I agree with this, but in my case, It's the painting that makes it difficult for me to have the level of finish I like on my models. Some kits, like sci/fi and naval warships, are fairly easy to paint and get a good looking displayable model. But cars are something else. I can never get the grills, wheels, and interiors to look good enough for me(dashboards, etc.). I'm also always getting orange peel finished on my cars as well. Having a pre-painted metal body and pre-finished parts still give me the enjoyment of assembly without the frustration of trying to get a car model painted to look realistic. To me, the only thing more frustrating is painting figures to look lifelike.:freak:
 

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I like the sports metaphor, Art.
Though I realize you are correct about the more diverse buffet of distractions available to today's consumers, I think it's hard to pin low model sales on that when the same distractions are available in Japan (hell, they INVENTED the video game market) and yet building models is a hobby practiced by many thousands of adults and children of both genders. The Japanese hobby market is mighty, and plastic kits (and resin and vinyl; they don't discriminate like Americans do - and btw, they invented and perfected the "garage kit" as well) play a very large part in overall sales.
I always shake my head whenever I hear model company reps trotting this line of reasoning out... frankly, if the industry had a clue as to how to market plastic kits, they'd be a booming business.
The public will buy anything - Pokemon cards, Pet Rocks, Rubber singing fish plaques, Rubik's Cubes, Koosh balls, (need I continue?) - if it's marketed correctly.
Sorry, while I know the public's attention span has deteriorated over the years, a company with a smart marketing department and reasonable budget should be able to focus it - it happens every day.
AT
 

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Well said A Taylor. I was a collector of comics in the 90's,until money problems got me out,and they had ways of marketing their product. Remember the Death of Superman.
Now with superhero movies everywhere, people will be checking out the comics.

If you go to grocery stores,drug stores,book stores, and some unlikely places you see comics. But models, that is the problem. I go to Wally World all I see are cars and military models. Sci-Fi is not there. Even Toys R Us cut down. Hobby Lobby has mostly cars.

Die Cast cars are everywhere, even Dollar Stores. Maybe RC2 if they try to market Sci-FI models more then we might have some hope. I like to build model because you have the chance to make it yours. You might change the color, configuration, and even decals. But Die Cast is done,if I have one and someone else have one it is the same. Boring.
 
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