Editorial October 2016

As we enter the final Quarter of the year model makers will be rushing to get the final releases of 2016 available with an eye to extra sales in the Christmas season. Plans for 2017 will be well advanced for presentation at the trade toy fairs early in 2017. Many interesting new releases have already been announced for the last few months of the year in various scales. It is also the season for the launching of TV-advertised partworks and subscription series, so it will be interesting to see if any new series are launched in the near future.

As I look at the high quality of models available at all price levels, I am tempted to ask if this is a golden age and if standards have now reached a peak at each price point? Why do I think that this might be the case? Firstly, production in China and shipping costs have been rising steadily while the wage levels of most collectors have risen more slowly, or not at all. Secondly, the number of mainstream collectors is continuing to shrink and those reaching retirement now in the USA and UK tend to have reduced disposable pension income, compared with previous generations. And finally I think we are close the limits of the quality of products we can produce using the technology we have. 3D printing might reduce some labour costs but I doubt if it will increase model quality greatly. What do you think? Why not let us know your opinion here at MAR Online?

Another event in the final quarter of the year is the bill to renew the hosting of our website. We have already had a generous contribution from one regular reader and contributions of even small amounts from others will help make sure that MAR Online can continue to offer a free to access website.


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