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Jennings Heilig

Hobbico files bankruptcy

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Not really that surprising to me, though I'm sorry to see it happen anyway. May well be the end of the Revell brand forever, unless another model company picks up the name.

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Interestingly, a few months ago, Great Wall Hobby asked me to help them find a new US distributor after Dragon USA pooped out on them.  I called Hobbico and explained who I was and what I was asking for on behalf of GWH.  The woman acted like I was an alien or something.  Like she'd never heard of any such thing.  If that's the way they do business, I guess that explains this development.

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Revell, Monogram, Italeri, Hasegawa: https://www.hobbico.com/brands.php

 

If I understand it correctly, they only distributed the other brands in the US, but they owned the Revell brand in the US. I could be mistaken, though. Please someone correct me if that is not right. Also, how does that affect Revell Germany?

 

I guess that also means that Tower Hobbies is done for, too.

Edited by BiggTim

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Revell, Monogram, Italeri, Hasegawa: https://www.hobbico.com/brands.php

 

My understanding is that while Hobbico distributes Hasegawa and Italeri in the U.S., they own Revell and Monogram (along with Revell/Germany), so it's more than distribution that's at stake for those brands.

 

Kev

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They just bought out Revell Germany a few years ago which is why RoG stopped bringing out so many excellent 1/32nd planes.... My understanding is they fired the design team as a cost-cutting move.

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Crap, that also means the P-51 re-tool that was supposed to ship late January could be screwed up too. Maybe it still will....

 

Kudos to the lucky fellows who've already got theirs.

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Back in the day i started an R/C airplane manufacturing business competing against Great Planes (prior to the Hobbico/Tower Hobbies/GP merge). Don Anderson was a pretty good guy and we were friendly competitors with products (scale R/C warbirds) that both filled separate niches. He liked his side, I liked my side. After he sold out things changed with GP and Tower Hobbies dramatically, at least on the R/C side. They soon became the 800 lb. gorilla, buying manufacturers, isolating sales channels, dictating terms, prices, etc., to retailers all the while undercutting the retailers by selling products on the Tower Hobbies website at prices lower than wholesale. I really believe that Hobbico was one of the bigger nails in the brick & mortar hobby shop demise. Not to say that internet sales wouldn't have done the same thing, just that Hobbico was one of, if not the first to take an axe to our friendly local HS. Hobbico also aggressively hammered small manufacturers and really squashed lots of innovation to push their own branded (think dirt cheap Chinese) products.

 

I sold my business - it's still going, though not in it's original form - and the new owners even opened a hobby store which is still going strong today. They had to use Hobbico as a supplier but refused to market their in-house products through Hobbico. Interestingly, all of my original warbird kits are still available - imagine that! Don't know if anyone even builds r/c kits anymore since I got out of that.

 

Long story short, I feel bad for the employees, but as to Hobbico itself, good riddance, karma works, and the void will be filled, hopefully by something better. Think Squadron vs. Sprue Brothers.

 

Mark

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Because the distributor goes away, doesn't mean the manufacturers do too.

Some entity could buy the bankrupt Hobbico and do a turnaround. New

management could properly manage the company and expand the product

line sort of like Tamiya does.  Who knows, with the new tax / deregulation

policies in the U.S. Tamiya might open up shop in the U.S. too :speak_cool:

A bankrupt distribution company doesn't mean the end of their clients.

 

We'll see I guess :popcorn:

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They just bought out Revell Germany a few years ago which is why RoG stopped bringing out so many excellent 1/32nd planes.... My understanding is they fired the design team as a cost-cutting move.

You mean like the Fw190 and the P-51D that they haven’t brought out? Not sure who told you that, but it’s 100% garbage. Absolutely not true.

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Because the distributor goes away, doesn't mean the manufacturers do too.

Some entity could buy the bankrupt Hobbico and do a turnaround. New

management could properly manage the company and expand the product

line sort of like Tamiya does.  Who knows, with the new tax / deregulation

policies in the U.S. Tamiya might open up shop in the U.S. too :speak_cool:

A bankrupt distribution company doesn't mean the end of their clients.

 

We'll see I guess :popcorn:

As noted above, Hobbico *owns* Revell, not just distributes it.

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As noted above, Hobbico *owns* Revell, not just distributes it.

 

Both are well established businesses with a value

and a price tag. Neither hobby product distribution

or hobby (model) manufacturing are obsolete businesses.

I wouldn't give up hope on either.

 

:popcorn:

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