by Larry LeMasters
A new company has arrived on the fire truck scene, creating museum-grade replicas using alternative materials and innovative techniques.
Fire Replicas, located in Cleveland, Wis., launched just this year, is the only company currently building fire truck replicas in 1/50 scale.
The replica fire truck market has seen several die-cast model fire truck manufacturers fall by the wayside over the years. Companies that built fire truck replicas in die-cast, including Code 3 and TWH Collectibles, have either ceased production or gone out of business entirely.
“We attribute this primarily to the nature of die-cast and the size of the market. Unfortunately, they don’t go well together in the case of high-detail fire truck models,” shares Nicholas Neumann, the president and owner of Fire Replicas. “This is a very difficult market to navigate successfully due to the intense capital requirements and high risk.”
So, Fire Replicas has implemented manufacturing processes to navigate the market.
“Our obvious goal is to stick around for the long term, so we must learn from the past and move forward more creatively to mitigate those same risks,” Nic adds. “Simply stated, we creatively use alternative materials outside of die-cast metal, to bring production quantities way down and maintain a commitment to the features that really matter.”
First, Fire Replicas plans to manufacture in limited quantities, with production quantities as low as 100 pieces, but usually around 250. Due to small production quantities, pre-ordering is necessary to be guaranteed a model.
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