After twelve years of trading, I need to inform all my friends and customers that Tommy’s War will cease to trade and close at the end of 2023 (31st December 2023).
This isn’t a sudden decision, and it’s not one of necessity and in this blog I’ll try and best explain the reasons behind this.
I started Tommy’s War in 2011 just to try the concept of whether there was a desire for World War One figures. Demand and the enthusiasm of the market went beyond my expectations. I never intended to create a business as large as it is now and I’ve certainly been pleasantly surprised at how it went.
But for some time now I’ve been considering when and how “to get out”. Running a business, even a relatively small business, is time-consuming and impacts on my life at home and work. It’s hard to juggle creating new figures, selling existing stock and running the accounts, website and myriad of things a small business owner does.
In short, it’s quite exhausting (but enjoyable) and I’ve been considering withdrawing from the market for some time. Those that know me well understand that I’m very close to my family, I enjoy my career and I enjoy aspects outside of the modelling world such as triathlon, distance running, skiing and sailing.
So, I’ve decided that now’s the time to stop, but I want to be fair to everyone that’s worked with me and supported me over since 2011 and give them a year to prepare.
Before I go into the detail of what’s happening, I want to pay tribute to the people that have supported and encouraged me over the last 12 years. It’s been a wonderful time and I’ve met so many brilliant people. There are too many to mention (and I don’t want to miss anyone) but thank you to everyone that’s bought a figure, given me words of encouragement or supported the range – without all of you Tommy’s War would have not been anywhere near the success it has been. A massive thank you to you all.
I guess there will be a lot of questions (and a lot of rumours), so I’ll answer as many as I can think of here;
Why are you ceasing to trade as Tommy’s War?
I’ve achieved more than I ever dreamt of when I started the business. I never knew if it would ever be more than half a dozen figures when I tested the concept.
I’m stopping because I want to do other things with my time and take on new challenges. Let me be clear, there are no financial reasons why the business needs to cease and in 2021-22 I had the highest turnover since starting in 2011. This is purely about time and feeling that I’ve achieved everything I wanted with the range.
My decision to cease trading is purely down to me effectively “retiring” from trading and giving me that time back to do other “stuff”.
When do you cease trading?
I will release six new figures in 2023 (or the equivalent of six) and continue casting stock and selling all of the range online until December 31st 2023. At that point I’ll make a decision whether to leave the website up and offer remaining stock for sale. My main thought at this point is to stop trading completely on 31st December 2023, but if there is still stock remaining and demand for that stock then I’ll keep the website open.
Will there be a closing down sale?
Some figures on your website are low on stock, will they be out of production?
I’ll keep casting well into 2023, so figures low in stock now will come back into stock
What about vehicles and artillery?
The Crossley Light Tender vehicle will come into stock in September 2022 and this will be it’s last production run. Once that allocation of stock is sold it is retired. However, I’ve cast a good quantity of the vehicle and anticipate that stock lasting some time. The motorcycle stock will be replaced in 2023, the artillery will run through 2023 and I’ll notify customers when that might change.
Why don’t you sell Tommy’s War as a going concern?
I believe that there is more value in selling the stock than selling the business (which would be at a lower value than the current value of stock held). I may be wrong and if a potential buyer comes forward and makes me an offer which matches my valuation then I would sell. But it would have to be a very, very, very good offer.
Which model shows will you attend?
I’ll be at IPMS Scale Model World at Telford on the 12th and 13th November 2022. This will be my last show as a trader. I will not be attending any further model shows in a trade capacity.
Does the closure mean just Tommy’s War stops but other figure ranges continue or might start?
I’ve done several model-related projects outside Tommy’s War but Tommy’s War has always been the biggest element. I’m stopping all modelling related projects.
Will you no longer be interested in modelling?
Part of my decision to stop is to allow me to spend more time modelling and painting. It’s been frustrating attending shows and seeing the fantastic work on display but not having the time to devote to the hobby. So, with some time back I’ll definitely be painting more and I’m planning on attending shows from “the other side of the table” as a punter.
After 2023 will I be able to buy Tommy’s War figures?
Unless someone comes in with a really good offer, I’m afraid the answer is probably not. I may still be selling some remaining stock, but the best way to ensure you’ve got the figures you want is to pick them up between now and the end of next year.
Once the figures are out of production could someone else cast them?
I’m answering this as it’s already been asked! No. Tommy’s War is still copyrighted to me and any recasting is an infringement of that.
How does this affect points (shillings) and postage?
The shillings promotion will end shortly, but customers will keep their points and be able to redeem them for the foreseeable future (I’ll inform customers when this will end). Postage will remain free for orders over £100 until the end of 2023 or notice will be given if this ends or changes before that date.