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.

1 comment:

  1. As a big fan of the older AMT Truck modes, I am looking forward to the release of some of the past AMT Truck kits - the White Freightliner dual drive in 2009. I am hoping it doesn't stop here. Would love to see the Autocar Dumptruck and the "original T500 Pete 359 "California Hauler". Then there are some AMT tailer kits that could be redone.