Area-21 news

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tko211
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Area-21 news

Post by tko211 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:46 pm

AREA -21 NEWS!!! Boy I sure wish saying those words! Seems like a lifetime ago when I was working directly with Roy Sutherland and the old crew at 21C in the glory days of scale military collectibles. Before the end there things were about get super interesting with lots of cool project plans! Who knew all it would take to ruin it all was one buyer switch at WalMart. One day you are clipping along just fine with a buyer who "got-it" and saw the vision and took time to read the sales reports to know it was a very well performing line. Then one day a new person comes in and just arbitrarily declared military toys offensive and wanted to shift focus away from collectible adults etc. Poof in less than 30 days it was all done. I recall sitting in my conference room in Utah as the phone call came saying that all attempts to sway the new buyer failed and she simply didn't care. It's a shame now to see what's happened to the hobby. I miss the old days of anticipation of new molds, new paint schemes, NYC toy shows, Comic Cons, etc. Still one the highlights of my career. I guess I am at least happy to have been part of it all. Hope all the old dogs here are well and still enjoying your collections. -TKO (Zach).

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Re: Area-21 news

Post by rschaap » Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:05 pm

That was very interesting. It’s amazing when you know the stories behind what happened to the major 1/18 scale military producers like 21st Century Toys, Admiral, BlueBox and JSI along with some of the producers of conversions like that horror story behind Skyworks. It’s a real shame that some of those prototypes and “Future releases” never happened. I was poised and ready for the Phantom, Skyraider, P-51B/C that never made it past prototypes or the B-25 and MiG-21 that never got off the drawing board not, to mention all the proposed armor.
Last edited by rschaap on Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Area-21 news

Post by normandy » Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:23 pm

Well TKO , very glad your checking in! Some are still here and some newer members
who are just as enthusiastic about collecting. I hope you'll stay around for a while, there
are so many questions I have about 21st and I'm sure others do as well.

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Re: Area-21 news

Post by tmanthegreat » Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:37 pm

Glad to see you check back in here, TKO! I’ve still got my 1/18 scale collection and surprisingly over the past 12 years since the demise of 21st, my collection has continued to grow, albeit a bit more slowly. There is a part of me that still misses those days of hunting through every Walmart in my area to see what I could find, and more often didn’t, lol It’s interesting as there still is a very active 1/18 scale community and seeming interest in the scale, though the focus has shifted to more modern, sci-fi, and fantasy type figures and things aren’t nearly as cheap as they used to be...

Still, glad to see you check in :D
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Re: Area-21 news

Post by p51 » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:48 am

Hey hey Zach! Great to see you pop in! This forum has been pretty steady with posts. It's slowed down from the good ole hay days (I miss it as well!), but as others have mentioned, there's still a lot of interest. We still have some people who do amazing custom work on the 1/18 items, and scratched built vehicles. I'm so happy to see how long and how far we've come on this forum, and it's great to see there's still people interested. I still have a massive stash of unopened 1/18 items (hundreds of airplanes, vehicles, figures in 1/18 and 1/32 scale) that I got in pallets from 21st near the end to do the product photography. Never was able to finish it all before the company went under. So sad.

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Re: Area-21 news

Post by dragon53 » Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:12 pm

My first model was the 21st Century 1/18 P-51 "Big Beautiful Doll" for $20 at Walmart. When I turn on my pc, SSHQ is the still the first website I click on from my bookmarks.
I'm glad to see TKO posting again, some nostalgia from the past, but what happened to Roy?

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Re: Area-21 news

Post by [CAT]CplSlade » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:20 pm

I believe Roy is doing resin aftermarket for model kits now.

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Re: Area-21 news

Post by Folkwulfe » Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:07 am

Ah...the good old days of taking one of my days off to cruise the isles in Wally World and Toys R Us. Not just 1/18th scale, but 1/6the scale as well. There was nothing to compare with making the gold score or something new or unannounced.
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Re: Area-21 news

Post by GIJosef » Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:18 pm

Wow, this thread is a shot of nostalgia! I always wanted the M551 Sheridan in 1/18 scale that was rumored years ago. It was always great looking for 21st Century’s latest model after dinner on the town. My wife and girls would hit the books a million while I went next door to Toys R Us.

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Re: Area-21 news

Post by Axis Nightmare » Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:51 pm

Wonder how many 21st century 1/18 molds Hobby Boss managed to get? Their Me 262 and Huey are allegedly from 21st Century molds.
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What makes the P-51 Mustang so special?

"It would do for 8 hours what a Spitfire would do for 45 minutes."

Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager

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Re: Area-21 news

Post by bpxbrian » Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:29 pm

Great to see some life back into this board. I think there is a sizable group of 1:18 collectors who bounce between this board and other 1:18 collectibles (GI JOE etc.).

What was the last new mold created for 1:18 - was it the Harrier? Did that not sell well enough to warrant simply a slower series of releases and repaints? I think the last 2 1:18 planes I bought were the Dauntless and the Harrier. What happened to the Tomcat mold - shouldn't that have had more than 2 (or 3?) releases. What about the FA-18 Hornet?

Hobby Boss has released some kits based off similar (same) molds we've seen before. Has anyone purchased these? If so, where did you buy them?

What are the chances of another 1:18 plane being produced - why hasn't there been any kickstarters from Merit or any others who build plastic models. Hasbro has been holding HASLABS special creations and I think many of us would support a new plane or two. Even a tank.

We have to keep this hobby alive! :D

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Re: Area-21 news

Post by DocTodd » Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:29 pm

I too miss those days of scoring a new plane. I remember the first time I saw the original P-51 & Bf 109 at TRU. I couldn’t believe it, they were making these awesome planes in that 1/18 scale with figures. I still have most of those planes and some armor too. Always thought it would be cool to meet forum members somewhere and tell stories and swap items. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.
Todd

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Re: Area-21 news

Post by Folkwulfe » Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:07 am

It would be awesome to have something new fall onto store shelves again. Remember when 21C was trooping out photos of the master proof of the F-4Phantom and talking about to A-10, Mig-21, and GIANT B-25? Admiral Toys and their A-1 Sandy (Spad)...Unfortunately, I doubt we will see a "kit" F-16 or FA-18 because they were both products of BBI. I currently have the Merit SBD thats on another thread being built, and I have built the DML Pak-38 (1/6th scale). Not sure if I'll get and build the Harrier yet.
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Re: Area-21 news

Post by normandy » Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:56 am

I had always wondered what happened to the King Tiger, I thought it was
due out right after the 88.

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Re: Area-21 news

Post by pickelhaube » Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:25 am

Hey Zack,

What is up ?
Nice to hear from you .
Remember trying to chase down the A-10 proto to no avail ?
I do believe that was the beginning of the end to easily accessible XD

Normandy ,

I know I thought the Tigers were made boxed and ready to ship .
Kirk Douglas : Mine hit the ground first
John Wayne : Mine was taller



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Re: Area-21 news

Post by normandy » Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:37 pm

Pickel...better call the Hun

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Re: Area-21 news

Post by pickelhaube » Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:22 pm

normandy wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:37 pm
Pickel...better call the Hun

:D :D :D
Kirk Douglas : Mine hit the ground first
John Wayne : Mine was taller



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Re: Area-21 news

Post by Razor17019 » Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:03 pm

TKO,
WOW! So good to hear from you.
What are you doing these days?
So, a shift from one buyer to another started the downfall of 21st Century?
I can see where that can happen.
I am a buyer for a Computer Reseller and I have seen that sort of thing take place.
A good relationship between a vendor and reseller or in your case MFG and retailer can change in a heartbeat with a change in leadership or personnel.

You always were able to let us know what was happening with 21st Century.
I for one appreciated your honesty and intel that you provided.

Razor
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Well, they didn't exactly say "no"...

Post by c44 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:45 pm

For those of us wondering if we'll ever see new mass-produced 1/18 product (I guess that's all of us :) ), this non-committal reply to a brief Q&A back in May may offer a feeble spark of hope to the faithful...

(From Merit's facebook site)

Guy asks: Will there ever be any new 1/18 aircraft? Or is there no money in it?

Merit Reply: Just super expensive to produce.

...and some disheartening news:

Different Guy: Look how much money you would have made in release a F-14 in 1/18TH

Merit Reply: F-14 is a JSI product. Their mold in now MIA thanks to irresponsible factory in China.

The full exchange (not much of it) can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/MeritIntlLtd/ (scroll down to the May 22 posts)


...and DocTodd, I also have a distinct memory of the first time I came across the original 1/18 planes at TRU, must have been like what Indiana Jones felt when he laid eyes on the Ark of the Covenant :D
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Re: Area-21 news

Post by Axis Nightmare » Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:47 am

I too remember that first time seeing a 21st Century 1/18 plane in TRU. It was the 109E. My first reaction was What the ****? It looked perfect in the box. You couldn't tell how far from the accurate shape, overly thick wings and bad landing gear it would have in this unassembled configuration. The paint, camo and markings successfully distracted me. Then my next reaction was: Why a German Messerschmitt? At the time I was thinking it was the only one available. It wasn't until I saw that first attempt a a P-51 that I noticed some major flaws through the window box in the nose area that moved it farther to a toy than a model. The improvements in the later series' were game changers. They came a long way with what I still think was their best offering, the Corsair series, despite not correctly reproducing the complex landing gear, and later with their jets.
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What makes the P-51 Mustang so special?

"It would do for 8 hours what a Spitfire would do for 45 minutes."

Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager

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Take me back to the day....

Post by c44 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:55 am

Yeah, they had faults...but they were glorious, gargantuan, and affordable! And this site is testimony to how influential they were...years after their departure, modellers, figure collectors, and kids of all ages just playing with their toys gather under one roof...how cool is that!
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Re: Area-21 news

Post by Axis Nightmare » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:54 am

Size does matter. After 1/18, even 1/32 seems small.
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What makes the P-51 Mustang so special?

"It would do for 8 hours what a Spitfire would do for 45 minutes."

Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager

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Re: Area-21 news

Post by normandy » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:13 am

"...and DocTodd, I also have a distinct memory of the first time I came across the original 1/18 planes at TRU, must have been like what Indiana Jones felt when he laid eyes on the Ark of the Covenant :D"

Almost 20 years ago I saw the 21st 109, Mustang and Panther G in the same store, being a tread head
I went with the Panther as my first purchase. The others would be purchased later...in mass :shock:
The numbers amaze to this day, the collection is under one roof but I may need a second one to
display them all. :)

Zack come on back, I'd like to talk 21 history with ya.

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Re: Area-21 news

Post by tmanthegreat » Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:39 am

Hard to believe it’s been 20 years since 21st Century Toys released their Xtreme Detail line and 12 years since the company folded!

In October 2000, I was in my first semester in college and was on a weekend trip up to Sacramento, CA. There was a Toys R Us near to where I was staying and I figured I’d stop by and take a look. At the time, I was collecting the re-released GI Joe 3.75” figures and vehicles, The 12” GI Joe figures, and Star Wars 3.75” figures and vehicles, so I was already used to making my rounds to Toys R Us and other stores. I was looking at the GI Joe figures when I saw a huge 1/18th scale BF-109. I was in awe! It had been a childhood wish to have “GI Joe-sized” WWII aircraft and there one was! I then spotted the P-51 and that was the first XD item I took home. I got the BF-109 a few weeks later at a local TRU and that was the start of my collection...

I’ve still got those original two planes (still with their boxes) and the majority of the 1/18 aircraft, armor, and figures I’ve collected since 8)
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Re: Area-21 news

Post by NWarty » Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:54 pm

Nice to read the trip down memory lane. I don't collect anymore and 99% of my collection was sold (long story). But it's good to come back and see a thread like this.

Hope you guys are well.

Blake

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