If you’re subscribed to Tommy’s War emails then you’ll have noticed that I’m running a “countdown” to 31st December 2024 when Tommy’s War closes. The last email sparked a flurry of questions, so I thought it would be easier to roll them into this blog post:
Question; is it true you’re closing Tommy’s War?
Yes, Tommy’s War closes permanently on 31st December 2024
Why are you closing Tommy’s War?
I started Tommy’s War in 2011 with very modest ambitions. It was my aim to produce a few WW1 subjects as there wasn’t a lot of figures on the market for that period at the time. My plan in 2011 was for six figures, that soon expanded and now 13 years later we’re at over 100 figures plus other items.
Life has changed since 2011. My work is more demanding as I’ve had several promotions and job changes and some things in my personal life (my parents are now elderly) mean my focus is on other things.
Ultimately, running a business part time is very demanding and the time is right for me to concentrate on my career, my family and where I have spare time to relax and chill.
Could you employ people to run Tommy’s War?
Simply put, no. Tommy’s War has had a turnover of around £40,000 – £50,000 GBP per annum and runs at a very small profit or just breaks even. Any profit has always been invested back into the business and I’ve taken no money out in thirteen years. There simply isn’t enough in the business to pay a salary.
Will you sell the business?
I’ve looked into that and have explored this route. However, initial discussions with two people didn’t go anywhere. One person offered just £500 for the business (and wanted all of the painted figures included), the other was slightly higher – but businesses are sold on profit, and I’ve always kept the profit low by reinvestment so ultimately the business isn’t worth much.
Will you be releasing more figures?
Will you return to Tommy’s War one day and re-release everything?
Will you be having a closing down sale?
There are no plans for any sort of sale.
What happens on 31st December 2024?
My current plan is to close the website and dispose of any remaining stock.
Will I be able to buy Tommy’s War figures in 2025 and beyond?
Certainly not new, there will be collections for sale on the secondary market such as Ebay from other sellers, but everything will be effectively out of production in 2025.
Will you be keeping some stock back for 2025?
Will you be attending any model shows?
As a trader, no.
What does all this mean?
I sense that most people accept and understand that Tommy’s War is closing and understand the reasoning. There does remain a small number of people who are only just seeing the news that I’m closing the business and perhaps there is some element of denial. But the fact remains that the business closes in December 2024 and the figures will be out of production from that point.
What will you be doing from 2025?
I’ll continue to do the things that I do now. I’m going to focus on my family and my career. I’ll continue to keep fit as I think that’s important and in my spare time I intend to pick-up on my own modelling hobby and concentrate on that.
One of the frustrations of running a business is that it means time is limited, and my own modelling has taken a back-seat for a decade. I enjoy modelling and painting and I want to pick that up. I want to enter competitions and enjoy model shows as a customer and see the event in a more relaxed manner.
Don’t believe the rumours…
Rumours abound this small hobby. Generally, my advice is to ignore them.
I’ve heard them all over the years; apparently figures cost 50 pence (not true), I’m giving up because I’m either bankrupt or I’ve made millions from Tommy’s War (neither of which are true).
Essentially, I’m giving up Tommy’s War because it takes a lot of my time and I want to use that to do other things. Yes, that’s a less sexy answer, but the truth sometimes isn’t that interesting.
I constantly get told “there must be more to it than that” and there really isn’t. Running Tommy’s War has consumed 20-40 hours a week for thirteen years, one top of that I work and have other commitments. I simply want to do some other stuff.
To sum it all up…
The 13 years I ran Tommy’s War has been a fantastic adventure and one I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, but it’s time for me to move-on and focus on other things. Work, family commitments and running a business (even a small business) consume any available time, so with some of that back I can enjoy the hobby a bit more.
Tommy’s War will close in December, please don’t think you’ll be able to pick-up any figures post this date because you won’t. I won’t have stock as I’m planning to get rid of my storage unit (that I rent) and I don’t have much room at home.
It’s been a heck of a journey though and I’ve made some amazing friends and hope to meet up with them at model shows as I become “Darren the painter” rather than “Darren from Tommy’s War” (or “Tommy” as some people seem to insist is my name).
In essence, my time in modelling is evolving. But if my intention was to help highlight World War One as a viable era, then in a small way I hope I achieved that. There are some wonderful company’s producing wonderful Great War themed models and I know I’m leaving trading with the subject in a good place.