Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Chat With Round 2

As recently reported, model kit company Round 2 have recently acquired a license to reissue the classic 1960s Dark Shadows kits, originally produced by MPC. We caught up with James Hood at Round 2 to talk about the new range:

Tell us a little about Round 2...
Round 2 is an innovative hobby and collectibles company located in South Bend, Indiana. Round 2 and its creative team are dedicated to producing detailed, quality collectible items that appeal to the young and the young at heart.

How did the decision to revive these particular kits come about?
One of our objectives is to take advantage of the [classic kit manufacturers] AMT and MPC's tooling banks, to uncover and bring back long-out-of-production kits like the Dark Shadows models.

Have any release dates been set?
Our current plan is to bring out the Barnabas kit in April 2011, the Werewolf in August and the Barnabas Collins Vampire Van in December.

How closely will the new releases match the originals?
They will match the original kits almost exactly. The only changes we may consider are alterations to make sure the kits fit together properly. Some MPC kits from that era from lacked positioning pins or tended to assemble with noticeable gaps at the seams. We'll look at correcting issues like that. We also plan to use reproduction artwork from the original packaging, though we usually need to make compromises here and there to satisfy licensor demands for modern logos and trademarks.

The classic figures came with poseable rubber arms and glow-in-the-dark parts. Will those be reproduced?
We will be looking into the possibility of injecting the arms in standard hard styrene plastic as well as the softer PVC of the originals. We want to be loyal to the content of the original kits, but builders today want to make their models as impeccably as possible. The soft plastic would cause some problems achieving a perfect look, and we've found that the flexibility of the arms is rather limited anyway. If we can inject them in styrene, we will include copies of the arms in both materials. Optional glow-in-the-dark parts will be included just like the original release.

Where will fans be able to buy the kits?
The kits will be available through standard hobby stores. Bricks and mortar stores are becoming fewer and fewer, but there are many online retailers that also carry
our products, which
can also be purchased through our website.

And finally, if these reissues are a success, would Round 2 consider producing all-new Dark Shadows kits?
As we say to most inquiries we receive, anything is possible.

Update: The Barnabas Collins model kit is now available and can be ordered online by clicking here.

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