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Franklin Mint покидает нас?

#1 Пользователь офлайн   kislik 

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  Отправлено 25 Март 2011 - 15:58

Вот что пишет пользователь Bschindler на


Franklin Mint is officially out of the Diecast business and the entire division laid off! If you ever wanted to buy FM...they are selling the remaining inventory at prices 70% off in some cases.

Sad too when you think about it...they were the ones that started the whole higher end game in Diecast and set the bar very high back in the 80's a call from my contact and things have changed...they will not be doing anything money to go to new R & D but they will still support those companies that were commissioning limited editions from them. There is also the possibility of repaints direct from FM but nothing all is not lost...yet!



#2 Пользователь офлайн   DenX 

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Отправлено 11 Октябрь 2011 - 03:19


JSS received this information yesterday(Friday Aug 20).
The Franklin Mint has completed the move of their tooling to a new factory and there will be more models produced soon. Mint Models/Mint Wholesale has many new dealer versions in the works. Should be announced in the 4th quarter of 2011.

и это хорошо, возможно ФМ выйдет на другой уровень и составит достойную конкуренцию ДМ)

#3 Пользователь офлайн   DenX 

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Отправлено 09 Февраль 2012 - 00:51

интересный пост от Raffi Minasian, который проработал 5 лет на должности Director of Precision Models and Engineered Products в Franklin Mint до конца 2010 года...


The subject of the Die cast industry has come up several times in the past year and much of it has been fueled by the changes in the economy, the Chinese government raising labor rates, and the increasing costs of shipping, talent, licensing etc. This post will hopefully address some of those details and concerns.

In the past three years several major players in die cast models have simply stopped production of model cars. Some of those companies are now out of business and others have simply stopped making model cars. While a great deal of that is due to the changing economics of model car manufacturing, it is also due to the purchasing habits of the larger audiences out there.

In 1997 (essentially the peak of the die cast model car manufacturing market) sales were in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Three key factors contributed to this.

1. The internet as a sales and marketing tool was just starting out. All sales for model cars were done at retail, on catalog, or through direct mailing.

2. We were (as a nation) at a perceived high point of economic stability. Credit was available and we were operating as a nation with a surplus. Real or not (and much of it was propped up) the perceptions were all that were needed to spend with the desire to own.

3. China needed our business. We were cultivating relationships with factories and labor rates were cheap while import costs were also in our favor. Workers stayed with companies and efficiencies in volume as well as quality were key features of low priced volume goods.

A decade later we would see a change to ALL three of these positive features, each of which would directly effect even the strongest of companies. Die cast not only would be effected, so too would the gift industry, paper goods, toys etc.

Critical to the die cast model world would be a gradual shift of two significant facts:

A. Up until 1996 US manufacturers still used US pattern makers and modelers to build pattern masters. When I first started work as a designer (1987) I made and later managed the wood patterns in the shop for Testors, Revell, Hasbro etc. When I came to FM in 1995 we had vendors in PA making those patterns. But by 96 that would start to shift as we started training Asian sources to make patterns in the pattern shops for our approval. We gave away that skill, sent a lot of talented people home to reinvent themselves, and took the cheaper route. A financially good decision, but only for that benefit.

B. The skills that were lost in the US and transferred to China have become impressively good over the past decade, but have become even harder to find at a high level of competence and proficiency. Only through detailed and careful internal relationships can you find the best and most skilled pattern makers in China. The craft in Asia is going away and the skills in the US are harder and harder to find.

Some of this is due to what I had mentioned in the BB post on the d4c (that "other' site :-) but a lot of it is due to the plain economics of the craft itself. With the volumes gone and the sales slow, the need to serve the lower numbers goes away. Pattern makers shift from doing car models to other, more in-demand work/projects and that changes the landscape. Work is harder to get done on time and with the levels required.

A lot has been said about the demise of FM. I worked with FM for 5 years as Director of Precision Models and Engineered Products. I was retained on contract for two years after that and then began a decade long contract relationship working with FM on dozens of products until the end of 2010. To the best of my knowledge FM has stopped all new tooling and is no longer in the process of making model cars. They retail cars on their site and someday perhaps might release a new model, but it is not likely based on the information I know.

The changes at FM happened for a number of reasons. Yes the economy, yes the talent went away, yes they should have listened to a lot of people with good insights including many of their customers. But in the end I think what killed it was lack of leadership passion for model cars. Stewart Resnick LOVED model cars. Lynda knew cars had enduring cultural value and all the car brands would be evergreen. As long as you could "sell it and tell it" cars would be made. Keep in mind, a meeting with Stewart asking for $6million in tooling was not one where he questioned if that was too much. Stewart actually asked me "Do you think that will be ENOUGH?" he love the biz and loved the cars. Plus he had the pockets to follow through.

So what about DM? Well I know less about them so I cannot comment from personal experience. I did interview there once and enjoyed the people. Smart bunch. They know their math and stats and they are good at list management. They kept their eye on the ball and watched their spending while they leveraged good brands and names. For years they followed FMs lead and did a great business with their models. In the past 5 - 7 years they have even gone back and re-engineered older FM releases to show their new technology and improve on the model outlook. I think DM is the leader in 1:24 diecast today. They make superb product and offer lots of variety. I also think they will be able to retain market share and sustain their product offerings through the changing tides.

DM is going through the same problems all the industry is having. Lack of confidence in the vendor base, loss of off shore talent, loss of volume, and changing economies. But they will hang in there much as other companies as long as there are collectors like us willing to buy their products. But we are getting smaller as a buying unit. Even I don't buy like I used to from primary sources - ebay gets most of my biz.

New model car companies will also start appearing. They will build using new methods and leveraging new technologies to bring new models to market. That will always be the case. But it will be a long long time before we see anything the likes of 1995-1999 again.

Long term, though the business is going through changes and China is moving in different directions, we are not seeing the demise of die cast. We are (not unlike the american auto industry) going through another transition and adjustment as technology motivates our brains in different directions and we reply with our wallets.

As collectors, we are buying more "experiences" with ipads, laptops, and internet activities. The screen has replaced the shelf as the "go to" spot for hobby entertainment. Time was, we would ALL sit in front of our model car collections and study the parts, maybe make a model or two ourselves, go to a show or gathering with friends and have quaint in-person conversations or bench race about build tricks, the latest in car models, and have a beer over it all. Now, we are immersed in a different community through the internet, texting, blogging, and "collecting" through our online communities.

While the changes are all a part of the ongoing shift in behaviors, the car and model cars will always be the subject of desire and passion for many of us, our children, and their children to come.


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