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Confederate Colonels, Turbulence and the Nuremberg Toy Fair

The ostrich tendency?

Now, all the above are manufacturers (and those who featured in the individual News Reports) who made time for us. All of them recognize how important it is to get their message out and understand the power of the ‘Net in getting exposure. There are however, companies who still believe that the WWW is somehow irrelevant to their promotion and either stay with advertising in print magazines or believe that their name is (still) sufficient to sell their products.

Three companies fall into the above category (at least in AFV modeling) Tamiya, Italeri and Revell (Germany). The normal procedure at Nuremberg, is to make an appointment with their PR people. This is pretty easy as most exhibitors WANT the maximum coverage and, as good business-people, the cheaper the better. However, despite the business of the ‘Big’ three above still having a large part of modeling, they really DON’T want to know. Tamiya’s stand (city-block?) is beautifully presented – lots of hi-tech lighting, impressive display cases etc. etc. etc. However, getting to actually talk to anyone involved in their model kit division is an exercise in futility. Lots of suits getting treated like visiting royalty – facilities for the Press? Zero.

Italeri work on a similar basis. They have a series of cut-outs (locally employed ‘hostesses’) to ensure that the Press don’t actually get near any actual employee of the company. Revell (Germany) - as above but even bigger. Perhaps a few rolls of barbed-wire and some Dobermanns would be cheaper? So, much as these companies want to separate you from your hard-earned cash, they really don’t care too much for their promotion – or so they work hard at presenting…


Nuremberg, is an extraordinarily rewarding experience. This was my third reporting for the Network and, it really is worth it. The frustration of (not) dealing with the ‘Masters of the Plastic Universe’ is easily compensated by the genuinely warm welcome you get from companies such as Masterbox, Trumpeter, MiniArt, Vallejo or ABER. It’s not, due primarily to the cost, a show that ALL the manufacturers can attend but all the plastic manufacturers and a fair few AM companies are represented. This year it didn’t seem as busy as usual – you could actually walk around on the Sunday (unlike previous years).

The city itself is a GREAT place for a show of this type. The public transport is excellent, there are some great places to eat (and drink). The ‘Messe’ is a purpose-designed center which is really comfortable to move around in and although it does get busy, it’s never overwhelming. Services for the Press are excellent although I almost missed the appearance of the complimentary pastries in the Press-Center. Aeroscale Staff-Member, Jean-Luc managed to get more than his fair share of them – clearly showing that Armor is STILL the ‘poor-relation’ in the modelling world…

About the Title. As I mentioned before, Nuremberg, is a great place to take a refreshing glass of something. However, on Saturday night, I was convinced that I had been somewhat overdoing the local liquid products when, in the bar I was in, an elderly gentleman appeared - wearing the full uniform of a Colonel of the Confederacy. Asking the bar-staff, they reassured me that, no, this was a perfectly normal sight and that previously he had walked the streets dressed as Napoleon. The gentleman fortunately WASN’T armed as the local police decided that a revolver and sword were not necessarily in the public interest…

As to the ‘turbulence’ part, on the return flight into my local airport, I landed during a pretty nasty storm. Now, logically, those who decide these things would have closed the airports (wind gusts in excess of 120km per hour) but logic apart, they decided it would be more interesting to keep them open. The stunt capabilities of a Boeing 737 are TRULY a remarkable thing…

So, that’s it for another year. Although there were a LOT of new releases announced, no-one believes that’ll be the end of it. There’s a LOT still to come including some releases which will amaze and Max-out your credit cards in equal measure. Nuremberg may be over for another year – the releases aren’t!
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About the Author

About Jim Rae (jimbrae)

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...