STATUM ATLANTICUM ANNO MMXXII
First of all happy new year to all of you and thanks for joining us on the crazy adventure that is Wargames Atlantic! I wanted to take a moment in the first days of 2022 to reflect on where we’ve come from and then look ahead to what lies in store for 2022 (although we’ve all learned not to count our chickens when it comes to predictions!)
Since launching our first two hard plastic box sets (Classic Fantasy Skeletons and Death Fields Raumjäger) in June of 2019, we’ve gone through quite a transformation as a company. Now, 2 1/2 years later, we are about to release our 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 25th sets…from our plastic production facility in the USA!
When we started putting the pieces into place over 3 years ago the world was a very different place. Although our dream was to one day produce ultra high detail hard plastics in the US, we just didn’t see that as a possibility. The tooling expertise to create our highly detailed, very small, organic parts had long since dwindled or been lost in America. Decades of outsourcing to first Taiwan and Hong Kong in the 1970s and then mainland China had resulted in plastics operations moving on to medical devices and industrial parts and losing the knowledge base required to create the incredibly sophisticated and unique kind of tooling 28mm plastics require. We resigned ourselves to a future of having to outsource to China to get that level of quality.
The pandemic and it’s ancillary nightmares (materials shortages, inflation, shipping madness, Brexit, political uncertainties, and the rest) created a perfect storm that could have resulted in a small company like ours to founder and sink swiftly down to the depths while lashed to the wheel. Instead, we saw opportunities.
First we partnered with our good friend John Hayden of Altera Industries and took a larger stake in his China operation and then moved plastic production back here to the US. These moves allow us to control hard plastic miniature manufacture from concept through to engineering and tooling…and with our three warehouses in Australia, the UK, and the USA…distribution and fulfillment.
The move has just completed with the arrival of all of our legacy molds and mold bases and we are now “fully armed and operational” here. We’ve even been able to shave a few seconds off the cycle times on the new injection press (compared to China) in order to produce more plastic shots each day.
Obviously, a move of this magnitude has caused some rejiggering of processes and also delays but we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and plastic is piling up waiting for the new box printer (who was a little delayed from a slight covid outbreak over the last two weeks!) In the very near future the first US-produced sets (WW2 Italians and Panzer Lehr and Conquistadors and Aztecs) will start shipping out of our new facility and winging their way to you.
For those of you in the EU, we also had to wade through the complexities of Brexit (as our fulfillment for direct orders to Europe is taken care of by our friends at Sarissa in the UK) but with their help we have now put in place IOSS so that all direct orders (under €150) ship VAT paid so you don’t have to deal with any additional tax or handling fees. Super simple and easy and cheap with free shipping when your order value is over $50USD/£35.
All this disruption and reinvention means one BIG thing: more plastic sets! By the end of 2022 (knock on wood, salt over the shoulder, fingers crossed) we will have at least twice as many hard plastic sets out for you. At least.
We are also in the midst of restock madness. You guys are buying so many of our sets that we can’t keep them in stock! Now that we have the US operation up and running, a big push this month will be to top up the 3 global warehouses. It will probably take another 3 months to get everything over-stocked everywhere but we’re hopeful that this will be the last time anything is ever given the dreaded “out of stock” label. As Taylor Swift says, “Like, ever.”
We will continue to do Outsource work for companies needing hard plastic sets with our partner Altera. RGD Gaming, Firelock, and some others we’re working on are just the beginning. And the best part is that we can now offer US-based production!
2022 will also see the launch of several more partnerships similar to the one we have with Mark Mondragon and his Iron-Core range (and several more sets from Mark will be coming as well! Valkir up next.). We’ll be bringing out hard plastic versions of great sets by some of your favorite sculptors. We also have a few games in the works but SHHHH…that’s all secret…for now. And for those of you who worry that putting out games will take away from us making more plastic sets, don’t! We can walk and chew gum at the same time…and we’re adding smart and talented folks who know what they’re doing!
Speaking of plastic sets. We mentioned above that because of the new US-based operation we’re going to be making a LOT more. We’re talking multiple new sets in EVERY range we already produce along with some new ranges being launched this year. We haven’t talked much about where we are going with things but the main thing you need to know is that we are committed to going very, very wide and covering as many topics, genres, and historical periods as we can BUT at the same time we are focused on going deep. Way, way deep into each of those ranges. All in hard plastic. Only in hard plastic. We’re 2 1/2 years old. We’ve only just begun.
On that note, we need to wrap this up to get back to cracking on with making the plastic! Shortly the Conquistadors and Aztecs will go on preorder as the plastic is starting to run and the boxes are being printed. Italians and Panzer Lehr plastics (and the Death Fields Weapon Upgrade Sprue 001) are all produced and we’re just waiting to pack them all up in the boxes (because covid outbreak -see above) Boxers, Goths, Afghan Cavalry, and Generic Horses molds are all finished and those will be the next new sets. Space Brits (Bulldogs) for Death Fields next. The 0200 sets have just finished layout and ready for tooling. Ditto on the Warring States Armored Infantry set (first of four Warring States sets). #2 and 3 are in file prep now. Cannon Fodder 2 - the all female set - is in file prep as well. And we’re about to send five sets worth of files into prep to flesh out one of our existing historical ranges. It’s busy! Sculptors are hard at work on more WW1, WW2, Napoleonic, Sci-fi, fantasy, and loads more.
So in closing we hope you are surviving and thriving during these mad, mad times. We appreciate and thank you for following along with us on this journey. Sign up for the email (at the bottom of this page), Like us on Facebook, come hang out in the new Legion forums on the website. Keep an eye on the Release Schedule to see what’s coming next. Tell your FLGS about us and get them to stock us. Let us know what 28mm plastic sets you want next. If you fancy yourself as someone who can develop a visual design brief that our sculptors can use to make a new set, drop us a line. Here’s to a great 2022!