Re: Sunshine downsizing

Tom Madden

Al Westerfield wrote:

Ryan, I know from experience that age limits your ability to
continue full time physical activity. You have to cut down
somewhere. Martin is following my example of not ordering special
OEM parts and decals or making new molds as they run out.
Personally, I don't know how he kept at it for so long. He's older
than I. We had our business up for sale for 4.5 years before it
sold. If you wanted specific kits you should have bought them
years ago. There are no guarantees in life.
Martin is in his mid-70's, and as Al infers, production resin casting is a very physical business. It would be selfish indeed to insist that Martin maintain a full product line in anticipation of undefdined future sales, when experience shows that 90% of resin kit sales come at introduction and in the first few months following. It seems to me that Martin is merely formalizing a policy he has been following for several years - discontinuing inactive kits when the custom OEM parts and decals run out. If his purpose is to give himself a more manageable and predictable workload, more power to him. A more compact product line might also make the business more attractive to potential buyers.

My concern when businesses like this change hands is that the body may transfer, but the heart and soul do not. Someone else can certainly do the casting, order the parts, and pack & ship the boxes, but the real value in Westerfield and Sunshine kits is the research, product selection and pattern making. Will a new owner expand the line, or just reissue existing kits? Static product lines don't do well. The saving grace for would-be customers is that a large percentage of all resin kits ever sold are still sitting, untouched, on our "to do" shelves. It's a good bet that many of those will become available as we, or our heirs, have to dispose of them.

Tom "always a cheerful thought" Madden

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