I have lamented Squadron inventory levels. Speculated that money spent
on pre-made metal toys is money not allocated to model inventory for
kit builders. Now I tried to get an August Flyer kit expedited for
second day delivery and discover they don't do that now. I find I will
have to wait an indefinite time: probably a week to ten business days
because I can not give them my money to expedite a kit off the shelf.
I know they used to do this. What is going on with these people? I
can't get them to take my money. If I am going to wait to get
discounted kits I might as well pick them up two or three times a year
at shows and cut them out of the loop altogether. Couple that with
supporting my local hobby store for immediate needs and Squadron has
no reason to exist. Can't their management see that? We modelers work
with deadlines. As good as their sale prices are bulk purchases at
shows are better.
Do they want to be a Franklin Mint / Corgi dealer. I say fine, but it
is a different hobby.
As I sad the inability to expedite shipping at cost models to
customers is inconceivable to me.
Big Al Baltimore
Could it be that not enough people were using it to make it
worthwhile for them to offer? Just a guess. Altho, the new owners may
have been on a cost-cutting move and decided to cut back there. I
never used the expedited service, as a hobby, I couldn't justify the
added expense of 2nd day or next day delivery. I just wait my 7-10
I agree about the die-cast thing, I just don't see the point.
everything I had marked in my flyer was out of stock. and since you
can't order out of stock items, like just about every other online
dealer will let you, the Squadron flyer routinely goes to the recycle
they are just about dead last for sites I go to to look for kits.
I was wrong about the shipping a new cleark didn't know the options.
There are choices, it is just they are pushing feEx Ground. Which is
cheating my state Maryland out of payroll tax and unemployment
insurance by using drivers with no flexibility and calling them
"contractors." anyway But a lot of us deal with the "service" of a an
unmotivated berated "contractor" out of habit. I have had packages
left in the rain at the back door without a door bell ring by Fed EX
Ground "contractors". I don't like wet merchandise. Also,
unfortunately that door bell ring is important as we have generations
of package thieves growing up in the area. It must be handed down
generation to generation. Why Fed Ex does not ring the doorbell and
UPS stil leither has you sign or at least ring the door bell, I don't
know? The back door thing hidden behind the trash barrels gets me.
Sure it helps hide it from thieves. It also keeps me from seeing the
mushy box in the rain
The out of stock thing has driven more than half my budget to the
local shops and Roll Models. I guess the thing with local shops is
pretty good. Except MMD has a lot of exclusives to hobby stores and
they are as bad as their twin company Squadron. I can't believe VLS
tied themselves to this "diecast dealer." I bet you those items are in
stock. See how many diecast items are in the August flyer. I love the
way they pair the Hurricane Corgi toy with the F-18 plastic kit on the
back cover.. Then they show referernce books as if you had anything
other to do with the metal toy but buy it I was sad it was not a
Revell reissue of the Hurricane. This metal mania will go on until
they finally realize an on-site hobby shop has the walk in appeal
needed to sell metal planes, cars, and armor, et al.
Squadron used to be about hardcore modelers. I hope someone unloads
all that metal and puts the money into kits and aftermarket. Let MMD
sell metal to hobby and toy stores..
I have tried to make a Fujimi order for six months. They should
expuinge the catalog if it is out of production or they are out of the
purchasing loop. One thing I like about Roll Models is they try to get
something and tell you in three or four weeks if it will be availible
A final thought. You can't order anything from Squadron by saying
Tamiya 1/35 Porsche Tiger. You will get do you have a part number
sir? I have done computer software warehousing and shipping and
academic books in the same manner. You can train the average human
being how to find a book in a huge Library of Congress data base. Why
they can't find a kit in a limited range of choices I do not know? It
is complicated by the fact you can put in what you think is a logical
way of stating the kit and only find it when you call up all of the
the manufacturers choices.. Which with Revell Germany or Hasegawa can
be huge if you count armor, airplanes, ships, and cars. Their staff
should be trained in the idenity of their merchandise. Their managers
should have an idea of when containers will arrive. Enough from me. I
tried to remain loyal to the store of Roy Dyer and others. It has been
35 years since I stepped in a store in Maryland and ordered from
Detroit. It seems others are doing a better job with the plastic
building inventories and information aspect of the hobby. I do not
even see die cast as the same thing. It is like making pottery out of
select materials versus buying someone elses pottery from Pier One or
Wal Mart Sure some may buy and or make both, However, I think this
illustrates the diffrence between building a model to your own
standard, and tearing open a box to slap something on a shelf.
Thanks for hearing me rant
.Big Al Baltimore
: I was wrong about the shipping a new cleark didn't know the options.
I am not surprised. The owner doesn't seem to know much about
models. "New" is a very odd label for kits that have been around
the block, unless they are "new" to him.
: Why Fed Ex does not ring the doorbell and
: UPS stil leither has you sign or at least ring the door bell, I don't
Interesting. It is the reverse here - you don't need no stinking
door tag - OoPS. FedEx - door tag. Unless it is the blue/green
type, then it just gets left. Even if it does say "FRESH SEAFOOD".
Perhaps the words "PERISHABLE" and "REFRIGERATED" are confusing?
And, now, I note that DHL apparently can/will not tell you
when your package will arrive. Gotta love "service" industries!
: I can't believe VLS
: tied themselves to this "diecast dealer."
A "large" source tells me that Letterman wanted out, and it was
either sell out to "Massive Markup Distributors" or close the
: Squadron used to be about hardcore modelers. I hope someone unloads
: all that metal and puts the money into kits and aftermarket. Let MMD
: sell metal to hobby and toy stores..
Squander has long been known for listing things that are/were
never in stock. Since I have to pay sales tax and shipping, I do
not bother with Squander, unless it is a damn good price. I let
the LHS deal with it. :-)
: I have tried to make a Fujimi order for six months.
This may have to do with MRC - if they don't order it, it
isn't in the states.
: A final thought. You can't order anything from Squadron by saying
: Tamiya 1/35 Porsche Tiger.
I can understand this. Squander has long been famous for
making it a point to hire the clueless, at least as it pretains
to models. And, when you are talking about Dragon, just which
Porsche Tiger is that, sir? So, having drones that only enter
numbers makes a kind of sense. Not too big in the customer
satisfaction department, granted.
Not Squander related, but I am curious as to the dates Tower
Hobbies lists for the R-G Audi R10 (mid September) and the
Bismark (late October). My LHS can't get any info on these
kits. Who does Tower import from? Or are these dates as much
fantasy as my dates with Paris?
"I like bad!" Bruce Burden Austin, TX.
Unless I've got my facts twisted, R-G stuff will be coming through
Tower/Great Plains/Hobbico, the same bunch who bought R-M. They will
not allow anyone else to buy direct from the factories anymore. They're
partly to blame for Hobby Heaven coming to an end.
I guess that ordering R-G stuff from Europe will become more popular
Bill Banaszak, MFE Sr.
I do go to their website, that is how I find out they are out of stock
and an item cannot be ordered. I'll order from some who takes
backorders rather than checking back daily to see if something is back
in stock. Not worth my time.
I don't know, I really don't have many problems with Squadron. I just
placed a fairly large order and they had every item I wanted. I don't
have "deadlines" with my builds. If it takes a week to get here,
that's ok with me. Us modelers (most of us) don't have deadlines.
Roll Models was mentioned. Their prices are ok but why does it takes
them 3 or 4 weeks to ship in stock items. I don't care about "union
driver" issues with Fedex. As far as Franklin Mint or Corgi stuff
goes, if you can make a buck selling it, why not. When you have a
store you should do whatever is necessary to remain profitable, even
if a few people don't think collecting diecast meets their "hobby
I found it almost always took 8 days to get mine from the time the order
was surface post mailed to them, so actual shipping time would be 5-6
days, assuming the order went in via telephone or computer.
On reason they didn't do back orders is that they always prided
themselves on shipping orders within 24 hours of the time they were
Instead of looking at the monthly sales flier, then going to the website
to find kits that were in it, it makes more sense to go directly to the
website. There is bound to be a time lag on the sales flier because of
the time it takes to compose it, have it printed, and mailed out to the
If a new item in the flier is out-of-stock, it's probably because the
ones that came in were sold to modelers who were looking at the website
and ordered it a day or two after its arrival was noted there.
I care about who drives my order because Fed Ex Ground cheats the
state of Maryland out of payroll and workers compensation
contributions by calling their drivers contractors without giving them
contractor privileges.That costs me more in taxes and I have less
budget to model with when I cover for scam artist companies placing
costs on my state. Also if you pay cheap you get cheap with their
service with drivers who are second rate is as I mentioned of the type
that leaves packages in the rain without ringing the door bell. I
prefer my Osprey books without warping and mold! Sure I can pay extra
for insurance. But commons sense would help as who wants to be without
the contents of a ruined package?
If Squadron buys toys wholesale they tie up capital they do not have
it for plastic. Haven't the Squadron supporters noticed a decrease in
plastic kits offered.Give me the old black white and red flyer. I have
been in retail and wholesale. You can't be all things to all people in
terms of customer base. Now the MMD parent company has a better outlet
access and probably addresses the hobby store and high end toy store
market. I think that is fine. It is like a business having a coin
collecting division and a stamp collecting division. Some might even
collect both, but keep their operations separate.
I think tracking containers and back orders are the new reality. It
would be to Squadron's advantage to have a powerful enough computer an
the staff to use it to pinpoint back orders.
Both a friend and myself haven't seen complete orders that in over two
years! I had ten orders in a row done incorrectly one way or another.I
will only sample a couple: a favorite, which was phoned in, not
Internet was being told by a clerk that I had to keep two exact copies
of an Osprey title because they didn't do " book returns." I asked him
if it occurred to him it might be their mistake as I had no reason to
want two copies of the same book and was not in the habit of buying
for a library for example, for all my protest I received a rude
answer. Later a manager apologized and told me that answer was false
and did offer to take it back. I gave it away instead.. Last night I
was told they didn't expedite shipments Then this morning I was told
Perhaps there crowning mess up was when I foolishly placed the Gato
submarine on a small credit card account instead of using a money
order. Thinking it was at least four months away I didn't run up the
check card account. Well I did get a back order on two small KP Mig 19
jets as was charged for the Gato submarine instead. Which over drafted
the account. It also impacted my credit rating. I had to prove to the
bank by faxing the advertisement that the item I was charged for
wasn't being sold yet, not for months. It worked out. At the cost of
about eight hours of my time. Furthermore, I had to talk to Squadron
management. The basic help could see nothing wrong with paying ninety
dollars for sixteen dollars worth of airplanes. There are good people
there. Several managers have been helpful. That is why the duplicate
orders, incorrect orders, not in stock on arrival when I asked them
right on the phone about inventory, frustrate me.
By the way I am sensitive to the criticism about why would someone
expedite something. A) I almost lost my father few weeks back and had
to put every thing on hold, and B)Last year an elevator almost tore my
right hand apart, this is my working hand from birth. It will be
operated an pinned with steel soon. So it will be all lefty until near
Christmas. I have been working in a new realm of "what amount of time
does it take to have something ready". I happen to like to support
clubs by being a builder, not just one who attends meetings. The same
job that wrecked my hand was in the evenings and I couldn't contribute
for six years! So I have a lot of expediting to do.It is a new
learning curve. My deadlines happen because I want to contribute to
clubs again and find all my old calculations from working right handed
are wrong. I wasn't trying to solicit sympathy about expediting
orders, I guess modelers have many reasons to want things overnight or
in two days. However, I thought I might be sounding elitist I would
indicate the situation is far from it. I am a beginner again.
You know I have spent at least fifteen thousand dollars through
Squadron mail order over the years. I have spent more at the various
Maryland stores. How much more of a Squadron supporter can I be when I
should at least have a bench outside around the Texas operation.
Finally I did mention I am getting more in touch with two local hobby
shops which, because, kids, young adults, veterans, you name it,
wonder in,.I am glad to be part of that support. Some good has come of
this for me. One of the stores is not as strong with models as the
other and I am trying to hint and nudge them into carrying more
plastic. I like dealing with models in a store.
I got to agree with you about the flyers. I much preferred the older
Congratulations on having local shops to walk into. The closest thing
we have to that wastes far more money on die-cast, trains, R/C flying
models, and outright toys. The plastics that are there are shoved in
the far rear corner. I think there's more in stock at Michael's.
Sorry about the hand. I don't think anyone here knew. I know I didn't.
Bill Banaszak, MFE Sr.
Squadron/MMD is one and the same. One side does wholesale the other
retail but it is all in one large warehouse in an industrial park in a
suburb of Dallas. The switch to diecast products was/is driven by
demands for these items. Why spend more for a kit, when you can get it
90% assembled, painted, decaled at a cheaper price if you don't
regularly build models as a hobby but want a representation of the
subject? Some out there are collectors, not builders.
Hobby shops have become diluted with toy items over the past decade.
Some have shifted into toy stores with a modest selection of hobby
items to remain viable as a business. Again market driven. Supporting
your local hobby shop is commendable it keeps them in business in a
time when most are dying off.
Squadron fliers are available on their website, you can read them at
your leisure and print just the pages you want plus you can zoom in to
read the small print! Having a staff with a knowledge of modeling
would be helpful but what company these days finds ready trained
individuals who are eager to work and show up on time. Damn few. Its
hard enough to find someone who can make change for a dollar without
the use of a calculator or read a ruler to measure something
Shipping, thats a can of worms. Rates vary from state to state, every
carrier is after the shipping dollar and find ways to offer cheaper
rates. Yes the quality of service suffers as does the way they do
business state by state to achieve this. It is up to each state to
regulate and police the industry.
Service from various on-line retailers depends on their capacity. Some
have huge warehouses and stock nearly all the items in their catalogs.
Others serve as stocking brokers. Stocking only a limited supply of
certain fast selling items. Consolidate orders from customers then
order the majority of the items from manufacturers or distributors on
an as needed bases to fill those customers orders. The latter usually
means lower overhead, which translates into cheaper prices but means
longer waiting periods to receive your order.
FedEx "Ground" came about when they bought Roadway Trucking and their
small package division "RPS". Drivers for RPS, actually bought a
"franchise" to service a specific piece of geography. They are not
contract labor, they are franchise owners. They do in fact have to
pay for workman's compensation insurance and all related state taxes.
They are subject to the same regulations as any other small business
owners and, therefore, cheat your state out of nothing. If you have
an ax to grind with small business owners who don't want to support
the union movement, call it what it is and don't hide behind a bunch
of political bulls*@t.
If you don't like dealing with a company, there are many other
options. I would bet for every one or two modelers who don't like
Squadron, there are fifty who have no real issues with them. I run a
small industrial supply business so I know, only too well, you can't
please all of the people all of the time. If I please 97 or 98 out of
a hundred, I'm satisfied we are doing a good job. The 2 or 3
discontents are welcome to just move on.
What happened to trying to satisfy your customers?And this isn't a
solo complaint...I had almost the exact same negative experiences with
Squadron in the last few years.I finally took my business else where.
On Aug 9, 8:35 pm, email@example.com wrote:
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