Greenlight Precision Collection Launch

             It isn't every day that I would view a die-cast launch with such mixed emotions, however,  Greenlight's release (or as they call it) a re-launch of the 1:18 Cadillac ambulances, limousines, and hearses formerly produced by Precision Miniatures has put me in this position. Having spent the better part of a decade tracking down and obtaining the original Precision Miniature ambulance, hearse, and limousine offerings I am not sure how to feel about Greenlight's product line development policies. I have conversed with the founder of Precision Miniatures on several occasions over the years and I know the passion and high standards of quality that went into the original line. I know that being unable to continue the production of the Precision Miniatures line due to the inability to continue those standards at the same price point was devastating to a man who was truly passionate about his creations. I cannot imagine Greenlight being able to re-produce the same level of quality today with a MSRP of $149.00. Those who have longed for the chance to own items from the highly respected original product line are surely jumping for joy at the prospect of doing so at a MSRP point only $50 dollars above the original PM price point. If you read the "in" forums of Legacy Die-cast and the like you will hear how Greenlight's Precision Collection of these models is great news!   ....But is it?  Those who own the original Precision Miniature releases might not be so quick to throw a thumbs up. A collector reading this blog may have invested in the original releases via the secondary market. These items typically sold for two to four hundred dollars and more depending on the rarity of the model, the '59 Cadillac Superior Coupe De Fleur Flower Car not being the least of them.  How many of us have items in our collection that are noteworthy because of the subject matter or the length of time in which they were available. Now imagine a company coming along a few years later and taking that line and producing it. As a collector, now how do you feel? Topper to Playing Mantis, Redlines to 25th & Vintage, Dinky to Matchbox Dinky; these line takeovers and reproductions were of a different order. They were no where as rare nor as detailed and the later manufacturer lines did not replicate with an eye towards not being able to tell the difference. It is true that Playing Mantis took a brand and lapsed copywrites and patents and they ran with it but, they did not produce in an exact copy manner and no one can say they didn't take Johnny Lightning it in a new direction. If you read the product release info on the Greenlight site pertaining to their relaunch of the models produced by Precision Miniature it states the following; and I quote, "When exploring opportunity to relaunch a model car brand or reintroduce dormant mold families that have experienced an extended absence from the market, we dedicate extensive time and effort to researching the state of the market for subject matter, quality expectation and price-point”, said Russell Hughes, GreenLight Collectibles President. “In the case of Precision, we saw a great opportunity to satisfy a starved collector community with highly detailed ambulance and limousine models”.     What?  I translate this to mean,"We watch to see what is rare and what we can capitalize on".  NOT COOL! Greenlight can surely stand on its own merit. I sincerely doubt they need to do this. Sure, it's great for those of you who can kick-back and phone your pre-orders in but if you think they did it for the collector who wants so desperately to own these models you are sadly mistaken.  They saw a great opportunity to benefit themselves at the expense of those who have had something special in their collections. The founder of the original line deserves the credit for bringing these awesome replicas into existence. The Precision Miniatures original releases were an outstanding accomplishment and the thought of Greenlight receiving recognition for and profit from these releases is disappointing at best. You may think I am off-base here but, as you relax among your collection tonight take a good look at what you are most proud of having, at what is most valuable, at what is nearest to your heart...... and pray this trend does not continue.

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