Friday, March 7, 2008

AMT, American Muscle, Polor Lights get new life...

ERTL/RC2 announced last year their intentions to stop production of many of their diecast and plastic kit car lines, including AMT and American Muscle 1:18. However, as of today it appears that these great brands will live on under different management.

Auto World (a division of Round 2, LLC) has signed a licensing agreement with RC2/Learning Curve Brands, Inc. which will allow them to produce plastic model kits under the brands of AMT, MPC and Polar Lights. Included as well are the rights to make 1:18 and 1:24 scale die-cast replicas using the trademarks of American Muscle and Ertl Collectibles.

Thomas E. Lowe, owner of Round 2 and ERTL/RC2 are no strangers to each other. Lowe, sold his first company, Playing Mantis, to RC2 in 2004. Lowe had founded Playing Mantis in 1994 and brought back the classic Johnny Lightning brand, producing die-cast replicas and electric slot cars primarily for the adult collector market.

Lowe says "2008 is going to be a roller coaster ride for us as we prepare our game plan and get things moving." "Our goal is to bring back many sought after vintage kits of all types from the AMT and MPC tooling banks, some that haven't been available for decades." "The American Muscle tooling bank has great potential, too... Using our own production facilities, we will have the capability to adjust quantities of the model and die cast lines to satisfy market demand. We will not rely solely on old tooling, but will develop new tools as well." "We understand the modeling and die-cast markets have changed and that several large mass-retail chains are beginning to turn their backs on stocking these products. We will try and slow that down by introducing new and innovative products, hopefully enticing them to support our brands."

Round 2 was started by Lowe in 2005. Its brands includes Auto World, currently featuring X-Traction, ThunderJet and Super III 1:64 scale electric slot racers and racing sets; Forever Fun Holiday Collectibles, and EarthGlow Candles.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Alright, I told you that I was coming back from Toy Fair with lots of news, and then I left you hanging. Sorry about that, but there's so much news that it's been keeping me wonderfully busy here. However, I am really excited about some new products, including some lines that we previously have not stocked in the past, that will hopefully appeal to everyone in some way.

We just received our first shipment from m2machines, a new product line that should make our car collectors drool. They are currently specializing in 1/64 scale, diecast (that's right, they're not plastic), classic cars. Now when I heard that we were going to go see these cars at Toy Fair, I wasn't horribly exciting. Other similar cars, like Johnny Lightning, have done well and our collectors love them, especially for the chase car or White Lightning. But all the same, I wondered what was so special about these, that made collectors so excited. Well, let me tell you, these cars are spectacular.

So here's the details on these nifty things. They are small, yes, but there is so much detail that has gone into them. First off, the doors, hood, and trunks OPEN! I don't know of many other cars this size that pack in that feature. Each car comes with a plastic display stand featuring a diamond-plate design, a placard showing type of car, and the manufacturer's logo. Other features include rubber tires, chrome wheel covers, and jeweled lights. The lights alone will show how much care has gone into the making of these. Each piece of the car, including the headlights, have been individually molded and welded on, making m2machines truly unique in its field.

You will also notice that the hood ornaments and manufacturer logo on the car itself is quite clearly detailed, although you may need a magnifying glass to take it its full effect.

Each car comes with a collector card showing the model in its clay mold with a signature of approval. On the reverse side of the collector card, a special Sneak Peek shows what you can look forward to next in future releases. These are remarkably collectible items, and production runs are very small.

You should also be on the lookout for the special CHASE cars, which are randomly inserted into the cases, and limited to less than 400 pieces. This adds an extra element of surprise. We don't yet know precisely what the chase car will feature, although my impression is that the chase car will be a chrome edition. We are giving you a chance to open the sealed cases yourself for a chance to find the chase cars among your other cars, just like we do with Johnny Lightning's White Lightning cars.

As I said, we offer these in sealed cases, which will include 2 different releases of each of 6 cars. To state that more clearly, there are a total of 12 cars. You will receive 2 colors of each car. Here is what is included in the A and B releases (sold together):

1951 Ford Crestliner

1953 Oldsmobile 98
1954 Chevrolet Bel Air
1954 Mercury Sun Valley
1955 Pontiac Star Chief
1957 Ford Fairlane

You will receive 2 of each car, just in different colors.

These have just arrived today and I hope to have them checked in and ready to ship to you within the next few working hours. Don't miss your chance on these; I know they will go fast! AND watch for the next releases of C&D together, and E&F together.

Oh, and one last thing. We are offering FREE SHIPPING!!!!

See now, wasn't this exciting? Stay tuned, because I've got a lot more coming your way!There some geeky stuff coming up soon, so you gamers and kids-at-heart, beware!