RC/Ertl Buys Playing Mantis (Polar Lights)!
Just in case anyone is interested, supposedly RC/Ertl have bought Playing
Mantis (Johnny Lightning, Polar Lights, etc...). No official word yet but
there is a lot of action over on the Polar Lights and Johnny Lightning
Supposedly, there wii be some sort of announcement next week.
and then the PL and JL kits will go down the crapper just like ERTL
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your
eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to
return. --Leonardo Da Vinci
I don't know where I have been because I frequent the Polar Lights BB. I
just popped over there and read Dave Metzners replies. Oh My Gosh!
I love Polar lights and I hope that RCERTL doesn't stop them from doing all
the great stuff they do.
I have every PL kit made except the car kits and Snap Draggins.
Yes, it is fact. Playing Mantis and RC2 are in the final stages of
negotiations for the sale of Playing Mantis to RC2, for reasons I cannot go
into at this time.
While I for one wish this wasn't coming down (Being in product development for
both Johnny Lightning and Polar Lights model car kits), I do understand the
reasons, albeit not the happiest of situations.
From the product perspective, I seriously believe that RC2 will carry on the PL
line, after all, there's nothing to be gained by them by deep-sixing them,
truthfully. From the diecast perspective, again the same story.
Much of the bad rap that RC2 (formerly known as Racing Champions) garnered over
the past several years comes from some mis-calculations on their part when they
acquired Ertl and along with that, the AMT model kit line, and of course,
economic and financial troubles that we've all faced beginning in mid-summer
I truthfully do not know where I will be come the completion of the deal,
however, I refuse to be panicked by any of the prospects. After all, those who
really know me know that I have survived a couple of ordeals far more serious
than this could ever be, and I am still standing, and expect to be doing so for
years to come (and I am almost 60 years old, believe it or not!).
All the threads have been deleted. Guess they were fed up with all the
negative comments. Anyway, supposedly the official announcement will be
tomorrow. Let's hope the result is not as bad as most people think it will
Sounds like an omen of things to come to me.
My Drill Sergeant in Basic Training used to tell us (and I think it
applies here): "Things *may* get better -- but they can *always* get
worse." He seems to have been well-aquainted with the concept of entropy...
I doubt it. ERTL's sci-fi line was, except for a few of the newer ST ships,
was getting a little tired and was probably not selling well. After a couple
of years there are still alot to be had, even at close-out prices. I was still
sorry to see it go but the PL line is more varied and I can't see how they
bought it to shut it down.
And does anyone know is it just Polar Lights (plastic models) that sold
or ALL of the Playing Mantis company?
It's too early to doom-cry. And I want that 1/350 movie Enterprise!
All of the big 1/72 airplane kits AMT/ERTL had were the only injected
kits of their types, even tho their B-52G & H were a POS, the C-135
series & XB-70 weren't too bad & I'm sure they sold well. Now they bring
a good figure on eBay. I remember getting some of their smaller 1/72
kits & they too were garbage, ISTR the F-18 & F-15 & F-16 weren't
impressive. So how smart a move was discontinuing the big kits? I can
understand the B-52s, but the XB-70 & C-135 series? Even if RC keeps &
even develops the PL stuff, we have to look forward to their crappy
quality control & so-called customer service.
was getting a little tired and was probably not selling well.
Let's give them some credit for the decent Star Wars episode one kits. Trade
Federation Tank, STAP w/Battle Droid and Anakin's Pod Racer were not bad kits.
Their snap kits too (Gungan Sub, Naboo Fighter, Droid Fighters) were actually
pretty good entry level kits.
Modern US armor at