BREAKING: Ben Robinson Offers Details On Eaglemoss Fate

Starships Collection

Eaglemoss A sampling of some of the 400 ships in the Eaglemoss line

Last month it was reported that Eaglemoss Ltd, the maker of a fleet of tiny “Star Trek” starships, had filed a “Notice of Intention.” This is often the first indication that the business is in trouble, soon to file for bankruptcy. The company, which is also often referred to as “Hero Collector,” has remained silent on the issue, offering neither confirmation nor denial as collectors wait with bated breath to learn the fate of their model and build-up subscriptions.

This week, Ben Robinson, the former head of licensing for Eaglemoss, has been making the rounds, letting the public know what’s up. Robinson has been involved with Eaglemoss since 1997, before it was Eaglemoss. Back then, a company called GE Fabbri was producing a “partwork magazine” entitled “Star Trek Fact Files,”  which offered an in-universe look at “Trek.” Robinson was the editor of the publication and continued to work for the company when Eaglemoss purchased it in 2011.

Robinson decided to end his silence because he felt his former employer had been “unwise and unhelpful” in their reticence to keep their customers in the loop. While his news is not good, he was able to offer some hope for Eaglemoss’ customers.

Robinson Confirms What We Feared

Speaking to TrekMovie, Robinson confirmed that Eaglemoss, which is headquartered in the UK, had entered Administration, essentially the equivalent of filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US. Cutting through the legalese, it simply means that Eaglemoss is now insolvent and they have been taken over by an outside administrator, who will do what they can to get the best result possible for the company.

The news comes as a surprise to many. By all outward appearances, it seemed as if Eaglemoss was doing well. The “Star Trek” ship model collection was selling well and new additions, like the Caretaker Array from “Star Trek: Voyager” and the Stargazer from “Star Trek: Picard” were in the works. The line of books, including “Star Trek Celebration” and “Star Trek Shipyards” was popular and there were plans to add to that collection. And “Trek” wasn’t the only license they had. “Back to the Future,” “Marvel,” and “Ghostbusters” were just a handful of the lines they carried, with plans for more.

And that, Robinson postulates, was the problem. While he is clear that he was only an employee of the company and so not privy to all the financial record-keeping that went into it, he believes their sudden growth spurt was too aggressive.

The company went for a very aggressive growth plan and wasn’t able to sustain it and toppled over. Basically what happens is you invest in more stock than you can sell. So you tie your money up in stock, you don’t then have enough cash to function and then things go wrong.

Incomplete Collections

One of the most popular subscriptions Eaglemoss had to offer “Star Trek” fans was the U.S.S Enterprise-D build-up. Like other build-up kits being offered, subscribers would receive several sections of the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” starship every month for two years. By the end of that time, they would have their very own model of the ship, complete with lights. Those who had signed up for the partwork model on day one are now only about two-thirds complete. Robinson commented,

The Build the Enterprise-D is the obvious one we are concerned about… Theoretically, CBS can go to another company and say “We will work with you to complete this collection.” And that company could then supply the remaining parts to all the subscribers and could continue to recruit new people… The first priority is the people who are left with an incomplete model, and CBS completely agree what we must try to do is sort them out first… There are a number of companies who specialize in this kind of thing. And I have reason to believe that several of them are interested in carrying on with the project.

As for all the other collections which have been left unfinished, Robinson offers some hope. Just because Eaglemoss couldn’t financially handle the sheer number of products they were releasing, doesn’t mean the collections themselves aren’t viable. The different lines could be sold piecemeal to other companies, who may be willing and able to continue producing them.

How the Fans Can Help

In the face of the total shutdown of a company for whom he’s been working for the past decade, Ben Robinson might be feeling a bit down. But despite the dire circumstances, he’s actually quite optimistic. Not one to sit on his laurels, Robinson is already jumping into action.

One of the things I’m trying to do with my life is to find someone who would be interested in making new model spaceships. If someone can arrive at the right arrangement with CBS, and CBS are very keen that the line should continue, there is every reason to think that that there will be opportunities to manufacture more of the stuff that’s already been done.

But it’s not going to be easy, and he’s going to need the fans’ help. Talking to Alex Perry on the Tricorder Transmissions podcast “Weekly Trek,” Robinson said,

I need to work out what we can do. And obviously, there are lots of things on GDPR [General Protection Data Regulation]. But whether we can set up some kind of subscription newsletter or something, [so that] we can demonstrate that enough people are interested in things. Because, youn know, GDPR is a good thing. None of us want to be spammed. But what it also means is that I can’t just email anybody who is a subscriber. There are restrictions on that. So getting the word out there and getting everybody to come together so that we could show a potential new investor that this is a worthwhile thing and there’s a real market still there.

There’s no easy solution to the problem, but Robinson is convinced it can be done, if public enthusiasm for the products can be proven. In the meantime, stay tuned to Robinson’s Twitter page for updates and to find out ways you can help rescue your favorite Eaglemoss product line.

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