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i'm just in awe of the fact that some companies can pump out tons of stuff every year (Hat, Strelets & now RedBox) while others hardly release anything (BUM, Imex & Lucky Toys). one has to wonder why some companies even bother? RedBox showed at mid year & has already released 6 figure sets & 1 accessory set. while Ger-Man, who has been listed on the books since last year, has YET to release it's first set! Hat & Strelets have pumped numerous sets out over the course of this whole year, while Emhar, Imex & Lucky toys released a few sets early in the year & have released NOTHING since! HAT, Strelets, Imex, Ger-Man, Emhar, Pegasus, Caesar, Lucky Toys & BUM all have reasonably substantial 'future release' lists, but only a 3rd of the 9 companies i listed have released a decent # of sets of their lists (HAT, Strelets & Caesar). one has to wonder about the commitment of some companies?!
I think you are being grossly unfair. By and large Hat, Strelets and Caesar produce NOTHING BUT figures, wheras IMEX, Emhar and many others have considerable ranges of all sorts of things. These companies may be producing dozens of different sets each year, but because few of them are figures you seem to suggest they are doing very little. Broaden your horizons and realise there is much more to life than model soldiers. Other hobbies deserve their share of attention too.
While I do agree that long future production lists are frustrating some on this forum and elsewhere like them. Sure we would all like everything today, but it is often said here that people like to know that a company is committing to a range from the start. I wonder if Strelets would have sold so many Crimean sets if they had not loudly proclaimed that they would fully support this conflict? So which do you want. Do you want to know a company's plans for the next few years, then exercise some patience, or would you prefer to be left in the dark and just guess?
I'm not inclined to let manufacturers off simply because they have lines other than 1/72 figures. In other hobbies I am familiar with manufacurers have no difficulty in maintaining production scedules for multiple lines. This is not an activity where anyone makes huge profits. As a result there is an obvious tendency of manufacturers to try to minimize competition in the less popular eras. (As an example, read Strelets comments about their intended GNW Swedish guard set when Zvezda announced their GNW Swedes.) If certain manufacturers (GerMan for instance) had never announced that they were going to produce certain sets, we might see other manufacturers stepping in and making them.
There is a huge benefit to both manufacturers and consumers to have future production announcements. I understand that development problems can arise, and sometimes the market for an announced set is not what was anticipated. When that happens, and a manufacturer puts a project on hold, it sould come forward and say so. Keep me informed when you are developing the line, and keep me informed when you decide to slow it down.
All you say is true. I would suggest that anyone, manufacturer or other, would take these sorts of future production list in their real world context. At the rate BUM and GerMan produce sets many could be 5 or more years down the line. If Strelets decided to make some Egyptian campaign figures they would probably be able to produce and sell the whole batch before GerMan produced anything.
Another aspect is that such promises could encourage others to produce. People often say they would be more interested in subject X if a good range was available. Well if you know IMEX will be making some French/Indian War figures then that seems like encouragement for you to make matching sets. If you aim to deliver in 12 months or so then hopefully that won't be too far away from whenever IMEX deliver, then everyone is happy. Although Zvezda are surely never going to cover GNW like Strelets, the fact that they are contributing should be a boost for Strelets, whose figures will still be needed in large amounts for any proper game or diorama of that war.
Finally, I want to see my hobby grow. I don't want to deter companies from making figures just because they cant or wont produce large numbers each year. Gulliver only ever made 1 set, but in my view the hobby is a better one with that set than without, so to my mind all are welcome, quick or slow!