BBI - Blue Box Toys Information Q&A (Mike)

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aferguson
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BBI - Blue Box Toys Information Q&A (Mike)

Post by aferguson » Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:08 am

I was recently contacted by Mike Murphy who is in charge of marketing for
Blue Box International. He wanted to pass on some information about BBI's
1/18 scale line, clear up some misconceptions etc. To that end he is going
to email me information that i will then post on the forum

While i was a little skeptical at first (nature of the beast i'm afraid) i
am now very confident that he is who he claims to be and that he is
taking a proactive step to address one of our chief concerns where BBI is
concerned, namely, the desire for more information. Everyone can decide on the
validity of the information for themselves.

I'll post information as i get it. Feel free to discuss it within the
thread, as Mike will be monitoring the board from time to time and can
perhaps address other concerns/questions etc that are brought up. Keep all
your comments confined to the one thread. All spin off threads will be
deleted. We want to keep it all in one topic so it is easy for him to
peruse during the limited time he will have to visit the board....plus spin
off threads will only create unnecessary clutter.

I will not be giving out his email address so don't bother to ask, nor will
i pass on individual questions to him, so don't pm me with them. They will
be ignored.

I personally think that it is great that Mike is taking the time and making
the effort to inform our little band. I'm sure what he has to say will be
appreciated by all.

So without further ado....
Last edited by aferguson on Sat Oct 22, 2005 8:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

aferguson
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Post by aferguson » Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:11 am

First bit of info to pass on is his introduction:

"Hi Andrew,
Just by way of information I would like to give you some background of what your boards refer to as bbi which is actually Blue Box Toys International.

Blue Box has been manufacturing toys for 53 years and is a Hong Kong based company with international offices.
Our US sales office is based in New York in the Toy Center at 200 Fifth Avenue.

Apart from the Blue Box line of products we also handle OEM and ODM manufacturing for many other toy companies as unlike many other companies, we actually own our own factories...

...We are one of the largest toy manufacturers in the world..and the bbi line is a very small portion of what we do.
I did want you to understand this, however we see it as a very important segment for us...

...I myself am a pilot and own and operate a Boeing Stearman and a North American T-28D Trojan.
I have flown and have access to numerous other types including a P-51, AT-6, Spitfire, Corsair, Tiger Moth and more.

That should be enough for now.

regards,

Mike

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Post by aferguson » Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:15 am

Here is an exerpt from one of our back and forth conversations. The info may seem a bit piecemeal at first but will get more organized when he sends me his next email.

Mike wrote:

"I see numerous posts asking why bbi did the Mustang and the Corsair as they were already done by 21c and why didn't we do something new?

Seems the market has forgotten we did 1:18 modern first and we offer the Apache, Little Bird, Blackhawk, Kiowa, F/A-18 Hornet and the F-16 Falcon.

By the way, all of our modern aircraft sold above expectations and have been very sucessful.
When it comes to WWII then there are really only a few aircraft that we can recover our investment on so we began with these two, more will follow. "

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Post by Teamski » Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:18 am

Great! Hopefully bbi can go ahead with something new with a good paint scheme! With how their products come out, maybe their turn-around for product release is shorter than 21st. Come on bbi, give us something to bite into!!

Needless to say, bbi's jets are priceless in the 1:18 world......

-Ski
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Post by aferguson » Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:20 am

Next bit of info...


Mike wrote:

"Hi Andrew,
My name is Mike Murphy and I am in charge of marketing for Blue Box International.
Thank you for your email address and I will email you with mine shortly.

You are entitled to be skeptical {i had mentioned that there may be some initial skepticism over his credibility} and I can assure you that I am who and what I say I am as time will reveal.

I have experience with the boards and have seen them degenerate into shouting matches as with the 1/6 guys and I really want to avoid such acrimony.
I just want to set the record straight...but I will not reveal what our development plans are. We went through too much of this and the associated problems with 1/6...so when your people give us suggestions and ask why we don't make this or that...then my response must be either polite or nothing. Just be aware we see what they ask for and naturally we want to make what they want but we need to make what we can get a return on.

I will get to the boards as often as my schedule allows but perhaps you might suggest what are the most major issues that they wish to know about for me to address first.

As for the Hind {i asked him about whether the rumours are true)....there were some rumours about it but we are not making it. This is part of the problem...some of our customers ( retailers) like to talk to some of our people and then they come away with some ideas of what we are discussing internally and next thing you know it gets out of hand.
We will make a Hind one day...but not in the near future...but I can say that we will soon release one item your boys are begging for.

Mike"



hmm...i wonder what that might be... :)

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Post by aferguson » Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:24 am

Regarding BBI at Target...


Mike wrote:

"Hi Andrew,
here is one that you can post on the line at Target Stores.

The bbi Elite Force "Combat Command" product at Target is a line specifically developed at the request of Target Stores It is only associated with the Elite Force by name and is not intended to be either as well articulated, true to scale or as accurate at the regular Elite Force 1:18 line.
Each item for Target is built to a specific price point and tailored to the toy market and not for the collector market.
The version of the A-10 Thunderbolt in this line is by no means a scale offering, but is a toy item with the appropriate features and price point.
It is however, produced under license and approved by Northrop Grumman who are the Licensor for the Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt.

With the reduction in availability of the 3 3/4 inch GI Joe figures, bbi see the introduction of the EF Combat Command line as a way to encourage the 1:18 collector of tomorrow through access to affordable product in this category.
We would hope that in time Target will appreciate the opportunity in the basic 1:18 Elite Force line and perhaps carry an expanded line up in the future as an addition to the Combat Command line."


More to come...

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Post by Teamski » Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:27 am

Well, I can't fault him with that logic. I know 21st gets enough flak for being so open with release dates, etc. But, they surely earned respect for being so forward.

Hopefully bbi can give some sort of nugget of future products. I'm not interested in specific release dates. I just would like to know where our hobby is going. Just the thought of 21st doing the F-86, 262, Mig-15 lights that XD fire......

Thanks Andrew for passing on the posts to all of us. And, thanks Mike for cracking the bbi portal open just a bit. It's nice to know that we are being heard.

-Ski
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Post by Quixote511 » Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:27 am

This stuff sounds interesting---I hope it is the real deal.
Aaron

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Post by INTREPER » Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:34 am

Wow, you mean people at Bbi really exist? Wow! Glad to hear that are calls are not going un-heard.

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Cool

Post by digger » Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:39 am

Good to get info. He couldn't be more right with this:

"With the reduction in availability of the 3 3/4 inch GI Joe figures, bbi see the introduction of the EF Combat Command line as a way to encourage the 1:18 collector of tomorrow through access to affordable product in this category."
We need new blood to keep our hobby alive 8) :twisted: :wink:

We have a bunch of threads on the bbi Zero....could it be :P

Thanks Andrew & Mike for the scoop. Can't wait for more vehicles :D

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Post by JohnLumley » Fri Aug 05, 2005 8:25 am

A big thank you to Mike Murphy @ bbi for taking the time to keep this board informed. :D

And thank you for continuing the 1:18 true to scale line.

Best,
John
One hundred and fifty three - 1:18 scale aircraft on the ceiling looks :shock: damn good!

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Post by vulgarvulture » Fri Aug 05, 2005 8:26 am

Thanks for being the point person for BBI, aferg.
but I can say that we will soon release one item your boys are begging for.
Hmm. Vehicle...Aircraft....WWII....Modern?

Oh, of course, a F-4. Can't wait. :wink:

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Post by Jericoeagle1 » Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:38 am

That is really good news if true. I was worried BBI had forgotten about the 1:18 line. Even if he can't give out specifics about anything knowing there is someone listening is good enough. Now, if he will tell us when that "scale" A-10 will be released that would make my day.

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Hard part is over...

Post by digger » Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:41 am

Jericoeagle1 wrote: Now, if he will tell us when that "scale" A-10 will be released that would make my day.
Well, they have the license and they have the dimensions so the hard part is over :P Cats & Birds are nice, but I'll take a Hog 8)

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Post by Fatalist » Fri Aug 05, 2005 10:02 am

I, and about 20 others here at my workplace would LOVE to get their hands on a 1:18th F-14. Thats the common question I get whenever someone see's my f-18 and f-16 hanging in my office, "Is there an F-14?".

So I am hoping, crossing fingers that BBI releases an F-14. Its too beautiful of a bird to NOT realease it.

So if you're reading this....PLEASE RELEASE A 1:18 F-14!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Post by cruizin2000 » Fri Aug 05, 2005 10:15 am

Hmmm, something that we've been begging for????

Could it be...

A ZERO?!?!?!?!?!?!

C2000
Attack!!!!

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Post by Quixote511 » Fri Aug 05, 2005 10:38 am

I am more of a WWII guy than Modern. Don't get me wrong I buy them both. But, I think so long as it is new and not a 21st retread----we will all be happy with what bbi puts put.
Aaron

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Post by vulgarvulture » Fri Aug 05, 2005 10:43 am

I think so long as it is new and not a 21st retread----we will all be happy with what bbi puts out.
Amen.

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Post by fredricchio » Fri Aug 05, 2005 11:27 am

Very cool, aferg! Thanks to you and Mike Murphy for opening up a line of dialogue of any kind with bbi.

I'm very glad to hear that the modern aircraft sold well, hopefully that means they'll continue to make more; its how I got into 1:18 in the first place. And its also nice to hear that more WWII planes are on the way

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Post by MightyMustang » Fri Aug 05, 2005 1:20 pm

Very nice to hear from bbi, thanks aferg. Now Mike said we will be getting something we have been asking for and thats good but dont do another 21st retread, PLEASE I BEG YOU! Some say Zero but 21st is already planning that for future release. I say F6F HELLCAT!



:D
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Post by Morian Miner » Fri Aug 05, 2005 1:21 pm

Good info. BBi has always seemed so tight liped, hopefully this is a good start for the future. I can't wait to see what they have planned.

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Post by immeww2 » Fri Aug 05, 2005 1:26 pm

Glad to hear that we have a BBI rep on board. It's also nice to know that the BBI items at Target are another offering from the company rather than the future of their overall products. Thanks Aferg for sharing the info. Hope there is really good news down the line. :D

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Post by Jericoeagle1 » Fri Aug 05, 2005 2:37 pm

I'm not a betting man but I believe the next modern jet will be an A-10. They already have the license, and they have researched it somewhat to make the "Toy" version. It would be less costly to develop the two together rather then separately. Just my opinion but I think I'm right.

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Post by Birddog » Fri Aug 05, 2005 5:33 pm

An aircraft we have been begging for huh.....I believe it is an A-10!!! We have been begging for a Zero and it could be a Zero. But I believe that an A-10 is coming from them. We have been begging for it and the poll shows it. It would be the wisest modern aircraft addition in my opinion. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let it be an A-10 Warthog!!! :D

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Post by aferguson » Fri Aug 05, 2005 6:57 pm

Recieved another email from Mike, here it is...



Mike wrote:

"Hello again Andrew,
Thank you for posting some of our traffic on your board and I am grateful for the comments of your members.
Your member can be assured that bbi is still in the 1/6 and 1/18 business and will continue to release new products of both Modern and WWII in the future.

My purpose in giving a brief background to the company was so you may understand that military is not all we do and at times our manufacturing capacity is somewhat stretched. This has occurred these past two years and we have not been in a position to produce all the items we planned...not just in military but in our overall business. Oil prices, labour shortages and many other factors influence manufacturing facilities such as ours.

As mentioned our future plans include both Modern and Military topics {i think he meant WWII} and we are most definitely in the 1:18 business to stay.
We will release items that have not been presented before as well as some topics that have already been done. I'm sure no-one complained when Armour started putting out diecast models of aircraft that had been done so many time before.
Companies need to consider what will sell to recover their costs, otherwise it all grinds to a halt...that is as basic as it gets.
The reality of the business is that aircraft and figures are the heart of it with "wheeled vehicles" (you can read that as armour as well) are the slowest in sales...so it is not rocket science to see where the new releases will come from.

For aircraft there are so many great topics around like:
A-10, F-14, F-4, F-86, F-15, F-105,etc, etc and the WWII Zero, F-6, F-3, P-40, Mosquito, B-17, B-25, C-47, B-29 and on it goes.
So the decision will be by us on which one we think we can sell.

As a piece of fun, proudly boasts that we have already manufactured and sold more Hornets and Apaches than Boeing, more Blackhawks than Sikorsky and more Falcons than Lockheed Martin.

We work with all these companies under license arrangements and your people should be aware that we are not always able to do some specific art or colour schemes because of copyright, trademark and license issues...this area is very complex and is not covered by "one rule" but rather on individual cases so I will not discuss this matter any further. Just be aware it is not always simple and not always public domain.

So to end this already long note...yes we hear you and we will deliver new things, it may not always be precisely what you want, but we need to build to a price and to consider many more factors. Be patient and we can all grow this hobby / industry together."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All sounds very promising. I had asked him fairly specific questions in my last email about all the rumours (F-15, F-14, A-10), about armour, about German, Japanese and British etc offerings and so on. His response was much as i expected and what he told me it would be.....namely a bit on the vague side. And that's fair. He has a business to think of. I'm sure he will be a specific as he can be.

He mentioned some interesting aircraft topics but i suspect some of them are a bit of a smokescreen....i won't be clearing space for a 1/18 B-29 for example.

Great to have such a solid connection to a major company like BBI. I know his input and information is appreciated by us all...

I would advise people to state their questions/concerns/queries about BBI within this thread. He wants to know what is of concern to us so he can address them, if possible. You may find that your specific point does not get touched upon but ones he sees repeatedly he may be able to shed some light on.

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