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Squadron to return from the dead (link fixed)


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  • Hub Plott changed the title to Squadron to return from the dead (link fixed)

Me, I don't get it. I don't wish the new owner ill, but why would anyone go to the expense and effort to resurrect a business and brand that has had such a bad reputation for the last several years, especially without those components that made it unique? It just doesn't make sense. The old Squadron is dead. It's been dismembered. Without Squadron/Signal’s books, True Details resin parts, Superscale decals, Czech Models, Encore kits, and even Squadron putty, the “new” Squadron is just another hobby retailer competing against the likes of Sprue Brothers, Kitlinx, Hannants, and HobbyLinkJapan, to name just a few.

 

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27 minutes ago, Space Ranger said:

Me, I don't get it. I don't wish the new owner ill, but why would anyone go to the expense and effort to resurrect a business and brand that has had such a bad reputation for the last several years, especially without those components that made it unique? It just doesn't make sense. The old Squadron is dead. It's been dismembered. Without Squadron/Signal’s books, True Details resin parts, Superscale decals, Czech Models, Encore kits, and even Squadron putty, the “new” Squadron is just another hobby retailer competing against the likes of Sprue Brothers, Kitlinx, Hannants, and HobbyLinkJapan, to name just a few.

 

The press release refers to the new owners having purchased the assets of the old Squadron which implies that they’d have the copyrights (at least) for printed material and tooling for accessories and the like, for example.  This, of course, may not actually be the case but until the new owners reveal their catalogue/product list we out here aren’t going to be any the wiser.  Whatever happens I cannot see me using their services on account of the horrendous cost of shipping goods from the Untied States, but I do hope their investment in time and effort is rewarded.

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I think they have a fighting chance.  The Squadron name is still worth something.  Maybe not much, but something...and it can be rebuilt.  Especially if they can get some exclusive (at least in the USA) kits or even supplies.  Maybe do package kit deals like the Encore kits.  Or (dare one even hope) run the Wingnut Wings molds to ground and repop those. 

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9 hours ago, Space Ranger said:

Me, I don't get it. I don't wish the new owner ill, but why would anyone go to the expense and effort to resurrect a business and brand that has had such a bad reputation for the last several years, especially without those components that made it unique? It just doesn't make sense. The old Squadron is dead. It's been dismembered. Without Squadron/Signal’s books, True Details resin parts, Superscale decals, Czech Models, Encore kits, and even Squadron putty, the “new” Squadron is just another hobby retailer competing against the likes of Sprue Brothers, Kitlinx, Hannants, and HobbyLinkJapan, to name just a few.

 


I applaud this purchase, Squadron is a strong name and they had a strong business model at one time. With this fresh start the new owner appear to have a strong background in the industry. I’ll give them a chance if they price things properly.

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10 hours ago, Space Ranger said:

such a bad reputation

What was so bad about the previous Squadron? 

The only experience I had with them was me sending some emails which were never answered.

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3 hours ago, Sturmovik said:

What was so bad about the previous Squadron? 

The only experience I had with them was me sending some emails which were never answered.

The only bad experience I could say would be not having a lot in stock, but they had some nice sales at times

 

I also believe they did distribution for local hobby stores, some kits had the imported by mmd/squadron sticker

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Sturmovik said:

What was so bad about the previous Squadron? 

The only experience I had with them was me sending some emails which were never answered.

For about the last ten years it was owned by an investment group which had no knowledge of the hobby industry and hired C.E.O.s with no knowledge of the hobby industry. It had also put itself in a poor cash flow situation due to aggressive expansion and acquisitions of other hobby businesses (Aeromaster and Scalemaster being just two), resulting in an inability to pay many of its vendors and the subsequent refusal of those vendors to supply their products (Tamiya being just one). The lack of inventory caused long-time customers, both wholesale and retail, to buy elsewhere and discouraged new customers, exacerbating an already critical lack of cash. It was a graveyard spiral from which recovery proved to be impossible.

 

I was employed by Squadron from 2005 to 2007 as Squadron/Signal editor and witnessed the beginning of its aggressive expansion by the person who purchased the business from Squadron founder Jerry Campbell.

Edited by Space Ranger
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18 hours ago, stever219 said:

Whatever happens I cannot see me using their services on account of the horrendous cost of shipping goods from the Untied States,

This does not need to be so though, it was the silly postage fees that put me off using them for sure, but at the same time, I could order from Sprue Bros & pay a lot less postage, guess where I shopped. It would appear it is possible for businesses to arrange alternative postal services, how it happens I'm not sure but some do & I'm not talking courier companies afaik.

Steve.

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4 hours ago, Space Ranger said:

For about the last ten years it was owned by an investment group [...] Campbell

 

Interesting, thanks for sharing. Shame short-term financial aims seldom deliver a happy ending

 

Jay

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12 hours ago, Sturmovik said:

What was so bad about the previous Squadron? 

The only experience I had with them was me sending some emails which were never answered.

 

The market changed, when I began buying from Squadron, there were no proper web shops, or eBay but they sent their catalogue and monthly supplements in the post to me.
And there were American kits from Revell, Monogram and Academy that were hard to find in Europe.

 

Now I can order kits from new companies in Central and Eastern Europe as well as China via eBay or web shops in those countries with cheaper and faster postage long before they are in stock in the USA.

 

They will struggle to make Squadron great again....

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I used to buy from them in times gone by and made good use of their sales.  Sadly it all came to a juddering halt when US Mail changed their rates.  I well remember filling my virtual basket and going to the check out to be faced with some eye watering postal costs. IIRC the postal charges were much about the same as the item costs !  I emptied the basket with regret and not been back.  The US to UK rates were a killer for me as I could by the same or similar items in the EU cheaper.  It must have hurt all USA side exporters and not just Squadron 

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