This is pretty much the same Verthot CQB set, but with updated chest rig and long sleeve shirt. Two mags down, but nothing else. Good quality but recycling bits and parts is not that good…
That is pretty much what everyone seems to be doing these days unfortunately. The plus side is that at least in China they are targeting a reasonable price, roughly $52 USD. That will probably rise a fair bit by the time it reaches other markets but for now it looks like they are retiring the Very Hot name for entry level and using Mini Times with a new entry level series.
No issues with Minitimes. Most of my modern SEALs are from their sets. Only problem I see is a little bit the molded boots and some clothes too “big” for SS or DAM bodies. Besides that HK rifles are quite decent.
Any idea on the release date @AdamC? On the Minitimes website it’s not even shown…
So, “entry level” is the new big thing, apparently. There probably is some sense to it with the rising prices of “standard” releases. At the other end of the spectrum, there seems to be the approach to offer two sets of uniform/clothes with one figure, like DAM is doing with the DEA figure and the civvy/AOR2 SEAL or the SEAL Decade exclusive. I wonder what will reach more customers.
They have it listed as a Q1 2020 release, so probably Late February - March at the soonest given CNY.
I think brands are struggling a bit to achieve consistency in sales. The problem is they have gone a bit overboard in reuisng tooling from various plastic pieces to save money. When you sell the same things over and over to a customer base there is going to be diminishing results. DAM has been toying with the “deluxe” version idea for some time. Things like extra clothing are a relatively small cost to provide perceived value as fabric patterns are cheaper than opening new tooling. That helps provide a better value proposition to the customer than their midpriced products, but the real answer is to provide variety and better execution of when tooling gets reused. It’s all gotten a bit repetitive when the same boots, same gloves, same helmets, same pistols, same holster, same rifles, etc being added to consecutive releases.
The customer base for new customers entering the hobby is far, far smaller than the existing customer base so the key is trying to reach existing customers with a compelling product. When you go entire years with the same rifle patterns in minor variations iterated over many products you are going to hurt sales in the end. Soldier Story used to understand this but even they are getting pretty bad at doing this.
I think there is a place for entry level product and it is needed but adding bodies and heads kills the value proposition outside of the Chinese market as it inflates pricing needlessly when you look at the total cost to get the product to a customer. It needs to be delivered in a small, compact, lightweight package. ACE had this down pat in previous years (SuperMC/MCtoys as well) and I would recommend brands follow that model. The reality these days is very little product gets sold in retail stores and it’s getting shipped back and forth around the world so it needs to be suited to ecommerce.