And just like that, Pack 1 containing Stages 01-08 of our new Agora Models 1:8 scale Lamborghini Miura partwork build is now online. In these stages, we complete the Left Door, a Wheel, and most of the Dashboard. So far, this is a fantastic model!
Pack 1 containing Issues 1-4 of our 1:200 scale RMS Titanic from Agora Models/Hachette starts off with a lot to do. Not only do we start construction of the port bow hull section, but we add decking and details to the Forecastle and begin assembly of a massive steam engine!
July 12, 2022: In the last few days, there have been very disturbing things happening regarding Eaglemoss Collections and their brands Hero Collector and Die-Cast Club. They stopped taking new orders on their US and UK websites. Their eShop in the US is down. The Customer Service and Die Cast Club Facebook pages have disappeared. The Customer Service phone lines and emails in the US and UK are no longer answering.
I tried to find out anything I could from my contacts at Eaglemoss. I then tried to connect to other staff at Eaglemoss via LinkedIn. None of them responded. Then, today, an insolvency trustee from InfolinkGazette posted this to LinkedIn:
This is not good. It means Eaglemoss Limited in the UK (the partner company of Eaglemoss Inc. in the US) has basically declared bankruptcy. It is worth noting that there is a distinction between ‘administration’ vs ‘liquidation’:
“In simple terms, liquidation brings about the end of a company by selling – or liquidating – its assets before dissolving it entirely. Administration on the other hand, is typically utilised when there is a chance of saving a business which is currently experiencing high levels of financial or operational distress.” – Thomson Reuters
This is similar to the difference between a Chapter 11 and a Chapter 7/13 bankruptcy in the US. This ‘administration’ means that a trustee will attempt to resolve the debts of the company via reorganization and try to save the company. I really hope this is the case.
Based on public filings with the UK Companies House, Eaglemoss Limited and its parent company Eaglemoss Capital both appeared to be struggling financially and were saddled with millions in debt. They appear to have received a loan from Santander in April 2022, but now it seems they might have simply run out of money and needed creditor protection. And, if they owed money to the manufacturing companies in China, that may explain why it has been so hard for them (and us) to receive any parts lately.
What this means for my own Eaglemoss builds is that they are effectively put on hold until further notice. This includes the following models:
There is always a possibility that Eaglemoss comes out of ‘administration’ a stronger company or becomes a entirely new company. Another partwork company could also buy all or parts of the Eaglemoss assets, licensing/IP rights, or manufacturing and finish the builds we have already begun. Many builders, like myself, have sunk a huge amount of money into these builds and we all truly want to finish them. Otherwise, we have some very expensive paperweights.
Regardless to what happens, my heart goes out to the entire partwork community, from my fellow customers to any affected Eaglemoss staff and the various partwork modding companies.
As I learn any new information, I will share it here if I can. Stay tuned…
UPDATE July 20, 2022: I have confirmed that Eaglemoss is definitely in administration and most of the staff have been laid off. The US Customer Service phone number is now disconnected.
On a side note, I have also been doing my best to chase down the logistics chain used by not just by Eaglemoss, but all of the major partwork companies. It has not been easy, but I have finally found the company in China that actually manufactures our 1:8 Ghostbusters Ecto-1 model. This same company also makes the partworks U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D, Back to the Future DeLorean, Willys Jeep, F&F Dodge Charger, Knight Rider KITT, Nissan GT-R, and Mercedes 300 SL.
I opened a line of email communication with them and they have been very upfront and honest with me so far. I got to the point of asking them ‘what now?’ and I feel it is important to share their response:
“Be sure that, following the Eaglemoss problem, we are doing all efforts to find solution in order the collectors can finish their model. It may takes a few weeks but we are confident to find solutions with the help of licensors and alternative distributors.”
I am reluctant to share the company name as I do not want them inundated with queries. They are just a diecast manufacturer doing their job and have little to no other information regarding the happenings at Eaglemoss.
As I learn more about the inner workings behind partworks, I feel all of this could be sorted out soon. Not next week, but soon!
UPDATE July 22, 2022: The main eaglemoss.com website and most of its subdomains (en-us, en-gb, en-au, es-es, pl-pl, fr-fr, de-de, etc.) are now offline displaying a 404 Not Found error. Interestingly enough, shop.eaglemoss.com is still displaying a maintenance notice. I had a feeling this might happen. Having the sites up continuing to promote anything could be misleading. The domain is still registered and the DNS entries still exist, the content has just been removed.
Additionally, Eaglemoss created a LinkedIn post saying the ‘news’ is travelling fast, thanks their staff, and attached a screenshot of some of their customer reviews:
This post resulted in many comments from upset customers. Later in the day, someone at Eaglemoss responded to many of these posts with the same answer – “Hi everyone, official communication will be coming soon for consumers, as we are working hard to find solutions.”:
About an hour later, the original post and all responses were apparently deleted.
UPDATE July 24, 2022: Someone who claims to be an ex-Eaglemoss employee made a post on a Reddit /r/startrek/ thread regarding their last days with the company. This was an anonymous post from a brand new account, so take this information as possibly inaccurate or false:
|“Not sure if someone will see this but I have worked for Eaglemoss for the last 5 years. It has been great for the first few years BUT the past year has been a total shit storm. Most employees care a lot and have been raising the ongoing issues for ages, from improving shipment issues to quality to communication. We have always been told to pipe down. Some of us worked until late nights/ 3 am time crazy hours at times, trying to troubleshoot during the pandemic until administration. So many people quit even before the announcement came out. We are so burnt out and we were so heartbroken when they told us …that’s it. They made the deal with Hachette to buy out and that looked like the best option for customers and staff at that time, but something changed within a few days and it didn’t go through. Not sure which party got greedy.
We are all blindsided. We all lost our jobs but what hurts more for me is I really liked the people and products I worked on. We are not getting paid, and they told us appointing administrations is taking longer than expected. They told us to stop working and not communicate anything at 5:30 pm UK time last week. All the partnerships, influencers, social media, agencies etc. NOT A WORD AS THE NEWS WILL BE OUT SOON.
The stakeholders/directors who made so many bad decisions can’t even take ownership of the mistakes they blame it on the pandemic, Brexit and “other factors out of our control”. There were so many things that could/would have been done or managed better but who knows now.
We can’t even move on because we have to wait for administrators to tell us if we even get some redundancy money. In the background, all the remaining stock has been sold off to private companies basically whoever wants it what’s left of it. The real heartbreak is there is no official statement out for customers, employers, or anything like that so we will never get closure, the place we worked through sleepless nights, tears and mental exhaustion. It hit me like a tsunami when I was interviewing for a company this week and they ask a very simple question ” You have been working in such a passionate industry and fun industry, what has motivated you and what makes you keep on going” I couldn’t answer. I am such a confident and optimistic person (so I have been told and I am there was my team cheering them on saying it will be fine) BUT I couldn’t answer a simple question. I told the interviewer; I am sorry I can’t do this, and I hung up and sobbed. That job could have been the next step I needed but felt like someone trying to find a way out in the middle of Tatooine. All the staff feel so bad for the collectors because just like the employees you won’t get closure.”
UPDATE July 28, 2022: I have tracked down the other manufacturers in China that make many of our other partwork models. This includes the James Bond Aston Martin DB5, Eleanor Mustang, Mustang Super Snake, Shelby Cobra, Mustang GT, Shelby GT500, FDNY Tower Ladder 9, Leopard Tank, Mitsubishi A6M Zero, Ferrari 312 T4, Star Wars X-Wing, VW Samba Van, and even the ’66 Batmobile. I have reached out these manufacturers to see what they plan to do with the builds affected by the recent changes at Eaglemoss. I will let you know…
UPDATE August 7, 2022: This is going to be a long one, so bear with me. I hesitated to share this information before and I ask again that people do not try and contact these companies with queries. If they could sell direct to consumers like us, they already would. They are likely not equipped to handle the warehousing, distribution, sales, marketing, CRM, and customs work needed to send packages to individual customers. Not to mention, someone still has to obtain and pay the licensing for each product – the factories build ‘Under License’ and do not hold the license themselves.
Accepting all of this, here is the data I have gathered so far related to where our partworks are manufactured. This information is based on available bills of lading and my conversations with them. Still, it may not be 100% complete so keep that in mind.
The majority of our partworks are produced by PREMIUM COLLECTIBLES & TRADING CO (PCT). PCT is the parent company of brands many of you will instantly recognize, such as: IXO Models, Premium X, IST, and J-Collection. Heck, the bottom of the BTTF DeLorean even has ‘Premium X’ stamped right on it. I have confirmed that PCT is responsible for the making these build-ups:
The next big manufacturer is ELIGOR. Eligor is based in France, but their Chinese factory EHK is responsible for these kits:
A third big manufacturer in China is GRANI & PARTNERS. They are responsible for producing the following builds:
A number of other China manufacturers created other smaller collections and gifts:
Strangely enough, I have yet to see any court filings regarding Eaglemoss’ administration proceedings, even so much as the official appointment of administrators. Regardless, I have been able to talk with a few different Eaglemoss people (including Ben Robinson). While there is much they either can’t say or don’t know, I feel that Eaglemoss/Hero Collector/Die-Cast Club as we know it will never return.
The good news is, more so than any of the other products Eaglemoss sold, the subscription build-up models were likely a relatively consistent income stream – they just never seemed to have the product to sell. Therefore, I believe some of the Eaglemoss partwork build-ups will be acquired by other companies. Most of these big Chinese factories already do business with the other big partwork companies including Agora Models, DeAgostini/Fanhome/Altaya, and Hachette, so I would not be surprised to see them involved in some way. There is even word that Round2 Models in the US might be interested as well. Round2 are already license holders to some of the biggest brands out there, so this possible option might have some real weight to it.
As of right now, I truly feel there are multiple companies looking to purchase and assume the licensing/production of various Eaglemoss product lines. Not only would these ‘buyers’ be able to acquire new customers, but it would probably also allow existing subscription customers to finish our builds. Of course, these new companies would need to obtain the licensing all over again and that takes time.
Whomever it may be, they would surely help restore confidence in the idea of a long-term model building commitment that Eaglemoss has inevitably tarnished. We all just need to be patient and wait to see what happens…
UPDATE Aug 8, 2022: For those that didn’t know, Ben Robinson was the Project Director for the Eaglemoss Star Trek, Doctor Who, James Bond, Orville, BSG, Marvel, and DC collections. When Eaglemoss first went into administration, he was not immediately laid off like many others and could not say much. Today, he was finally let go. What that means for us is that he is now free to speak and he has been quite active on Twitter. I will update this post with any new Tweets or relevant replies as he makes them.
Ben has also replied to a few Tweets which contain additional information:
Only a few minutes after Ben posted his tweets, I heard back from an ex-buyer for Eaglemoss that I have been in contact with. He has just received word that PCT (Premium Collectibles & Trading) has bought out the IP (Intellectual Property), customer databases, and web domains for most of the Eaglemoss build-up collections! Remember, PCT manufactures our Back to the Future DeLorean, Ghostbusters Ecto-1, U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D, Willys Jeep, Nissan GT-R, and Mercedes 300 SL builds, among many others.
It makes a ton of sense that PCT would assume the licensing and IP for the products their factories already make. What I hope this means is that the collections will be soon be available under one of the PCT brands, such as IXO models. IXO already sells build-up models so they are familiar with creating the instructions and related material. It is worth noting that PCT likely did not obtain the Eaglemoss build-ups that they do not produce such as the Eleanor Mustang and James Bond DB5. I am hoping to see something official from PCT soon.
NOTE: My contact also mentioned that many of the non-build-up Eaglemoss product lines have been purchased by Heathside Trading. It is unknown which collections they bought, but based on their current products, it likely to include the Eaglemoss figurines, busts, among others. This company does not appear to sell direct-to-consumer, so it is possible they bought whatever stock was remaining and will wholesale it out. At this time, I do not know if their deal includes the Starship Collection subscription models.
Overall, I think this is fantastic news! I will keep everyone posted as I learn more…
UPDATE Aug 9, 2022: I have heard from a second source now saying PCT did purchase some build-up partworks from Eaglemoss. I have asked PCT directly and am awaiting a reply. In the mean time, A few more tweets from Ben Robinson giving us a bit more information:
UPDATE Aug 10, 2022: I just heard back from PCT (directly from the founder/owner Bernard Peres) and he has confirmed their acquisition of some of the Eaglemoss build-up partwork assets. However, he said “At this moment, the transaction covers Europe, but not USA. We are still working on a solution for USA.” PCT has asked for customer patience as they will be contacting all subscribers soon (likely via email).
PCT further confirmed the transaction does include the UK. When I asked which Eaglemoss partworks they acquired, Bernard said “All of them!”. I followed up asking if this also included the Eleanor and James Bond DB5 as they are manufactured by other factories, to which PCT replied “There will be soon official information and there are a few aspects that we cannot disclose at this moment.“
I also learned from the ex-buyer from Eaglemoss that while PCT bought the IP and customer databases, they do not have the licensing agreements in place yet and will need to sort that out before they can market/sell anything.
This morning, Tricorder Transmissions on YouTube posted this video containing an audio interview with Ben Robinson in which he talks about the Eaglemoss bankruptcy. I highly recommend listening to this podcast.
Four hours later, Trek Central on YouTube posted their own interview with Ben Robinson.
UPDATE August 12, 2022: In one of his many recent interviews, Ben Robinson mentioned that Eaglemoss had gone into administration on August 5th. Today, the official filing by Eaglemoss Limited of Appointment of an Administrator has appeared at the UK Companies House gov.uk website. Two insolvency practitioners are listed, Adam Paxton and Paul Berkovi. Both are with Alvarez & Marshal Europe LLP. These administrators have 8 weeks to write a statement explaining what they plan to do with the company.
I have a meeting with Ben Robinson myself early next week to ask him about his experiences, the various Eaglemoss partworks, and more.
Many people, including myself, are in the dark about what will happen with the current subscribers of the partworks that PCT bought out. There is no news regarding how the current subscriptions will continue other than PCT is working on it. CBS, owners of the Star Trek licensing for example, have conveyed that the Enterprise D partwork continuation is their highest priority. Following that, the Starship Collection. I would imagine the other licensors are just as interested to see their IP not be damaged by half-built models they approved.
UPDATE August 15, 2022: I had a very nice conversation with Ben Robinson this morning via Zoom. We talked about Eaglemoss and the history and possible future of our partwork models. I have shared the Zoom video, but only to the Partwork Central Facebook groups related to the Eaglemoss builds. I am by no means a professional interviewer and don’t like seeing myself on camera. Not to mention, I might have been a little star-struck to be talking to the main guy behind so many of our favorite builds so I apologize in advance.
Mr. Robinson provided some insight into behind-the-scenes about how the various partworks came to be, what he feels the future holds for them, even what might products might have been. He also mentioned that any partworks that we have seen completed in photographs (such as the ’66 Batmobile) already have their tooling finished. These models have a very high likelihood of being acquired and released by another company since much of the work and cost has already been sunk. And, it is a high priority to allow existing customers to finish their builds from wherever in the process they may be.
He also feels it will only be a few months before we see our partwork builds resurface, not six months to a year as many previously thought. The longer it takes, the more people will lose interest in them, to which I completely agree. So much of this depends on the various licensors and being able to reach out to subscribers while not violating GDPR. Above all, he asks we please continue to show our interest in building these large-scale models. Follow @BenCSRobinson on Twitter to show support and be notified what he learns anything. He has been more than willing to share what information he can.
Fanhome has been selling a 1:8 scale Knight Industries Two Thousand (K.I.T.T.) partwork model build up over in the UK and Europe for over a year now, but it was not available in the United States. I always found that ironic as the car is from the late 80s American television show Knight Rider.
Well, it has recently come to my attention that this K.I.T.T. partwork is now available for order in the USA! Fanhome is even awarding this free T-shirt to the first 100 subscribers!
“For the first time ever, you can build one of the most famous cars in TV history. K.I.T.T. was more than just a car. He was a computer, a weapon, a friend, and a bit of a comedian.”
“Your fully accurate 1:8 scale replica has all of the special features that you remember from the show. With the included remote control watch, you can play the part of Michael Knight and control all of K.I.T.T.’s powers, including working lights, the famous red scanner and even his voice.”
The US-based subscription will also include four FREE GIFTS: A Power Bank, License Plate, Posters, a 1:43 KITT, and a Display Case:
I do not have any plans to build this partwork, but if I ever change my mind there will surely be a build site for it!