I did not check in my area yet,but members of other Forums who live in other states also noticed the price raise. Wal Mart also impose at which prices items should be sold,and Motormax was compalining about the $1.97 price due to the fact,besides another reasons,of the ever rising prices of zinc.Even at $2.47,these are a good deal,however.
Just picked up the Fieros and Matadors. Thought I missed something, must have been those Mustangs. Somebody in central MA is always beating me to the Fords. Reading the British Collector mags it has to be that increase in metal prices and probably also the weak Dollar. Oh well, still good value for the money.
With or without the smiley with or without the Hammer,the problem was that the $1.97 price was artificial at best (i.e.,imposed by Wal Mart) and Motormax was being vocal about that,mostly due the dramatic increase of Zinc Prices.It is expected,due to that factor,plus the fact that the hobby per se is shrinking,that the price may go to $3.00 and many companies may join with anothers or will go under all togheter. Many analists predict that the next 18 months may be one of the more dramatic for the diecast industry.
I see Motormax as a surviver,for,since they also decided to mold subjects in 1/87 scale they will atract the Railroad Modelers,which at times need lots of vehicles for their lay-outs.Granted,their HO models are not much competition for the likes as Herpa,but the chosen prototypes and the (current) affordable price makes them quite atractive.
I am not trying to rain on anyone's parade. These are just the facts the diecast Industry is facing as of now.