Dear Friends, Welcome to the

February Newsletter!

The Nuremberg Toy Fair started yesterday.

After a two year hiatus, we are coming back

to Nuremberg, and as hard as it may be to

believe, we have no idea of what to expect.

It’s like going back in time thirty-two years,

to the beginning of the nineties, when we

set out on our first such trip with six bags

of photoetched sets with the belief that we

would conquer the modelling world with

them. As it tends to be with such conquerors, the beginning ended up not particularly dazzling. No one much talked to us at

the other stalls and we were often politely

shown the door. With two notable exceptions. Mr. Ono of the Japanese firm Beaver,

and Chuck Harransky with Jerry Campbell

from the Texas based Squadron Signal, all

of which gave us several hours of their

attention and patiently worked towards an

agreement with us. To this day, I am extremely grateful for their efforts and long term

friendships, and I acknowledge the fact that

without these fine gentlemen and their attitude towards us, Eduard would not have

become what Eduard now is. We left the exhibition hall quite a bit of time after it had

actually closed with the feeling that the long

trip and the expended effort was for something instead of a waste of time and that success was an attainable concept. As you can

well guess, the road was not a smooth one,

and at times the dejection was intense and

incredibly discouraging, but ultimately, the

success began to manifest itself, slowly but

surely. Over all of the years that followed,

we attended the fair annually and we grew,

as did the Fair and its venue, and experiences grew along with them.

In 1993, we brought home the Model of the

Year award, which neither I nor Karel Padar

had any idea we were getting. It was thanks

to the efforts of Mr. Lacina , the long-term

editor of Modellfan magazine, who made the

effort back then to locate us in that massive

labyrinth of stalls. He took us aside and

presented us with the award in all its glory. This was in front of the Squadron Signal

table where two years prior we were able

to secure our first international agreement

and become the first of the former Eastern

Bloc countries to receive a Model of the Year

award from Modellfan. It was by a bit of a

miracle that I got it home at all. I almost lost

it among the toilets in the basement of the

exhibition hall, when its case fell from my

toilet roll tray. After hitting the floor, it opened for a fraction of a second and a bronze

medal came out through the opening, bouncing and pinging between the toilet to end its


INFO Eduard

journey in the only occupied stall between

the shoes of a gentleman sitting there, who

evidently had no intention of leaving anytime

soon. It was probably a shock for him, I don't

know what I would do if a mysterious white

box landed between my feet at that particular moment. I lay in wait for him behind the

entrance to the toilets for a good fifteen minutes, after which his head appeared, looked

around both sides of the corridor, and a man

with a medal in his hand emerged. I stopped

him with the question ‘Is that yours?’, and

after a surprised ‘No, it's not’ , I replied ‘So

it's mine’. The medal was returned to its rightful owner. But the war was not yet won.

At the bend above Ohří river just before the

village of Damice, for the first and hopefully

the last time, I spun out in a Škoda pickup,

which, after leaving the road, jumped over

a fence of a cow pasture, only to roll back

onto its wheels after hitting the roof and,

breaking an axle, coming to rest just before

a forest. There were no mobile phones then,

so Karel and I took the medal, stopped a

passing car and went to get help. When we

returned, we found the car had been broken into and stripped of its wheels. Well, the

nineties in the Czech Republic were rough.

At that time, the Czech Republic was barely

a month old, and the disintegration of Czechoslovakia was accepted by many of its citizens with embarrassment and uncertainty

as to what they could expect from further

developments. After thirty years, I dare say

that the result are looking very promising

for both Eduard and the Czech Republic.

In any case, we were at the Fair for some

very important historical events. The birth

of the Czech Republic for one, her entry

into the Schengen Group and the elimination of border crossings, which has really

served to ease our lives. I will never forget

the tragedy of the Space Shuttle Columbia,

which occurred exactly twenty years ago on

February 1st, 2003. I was coming home from

Nuremberg that day and the goodbyes with

our American friends are seared into my

memory and will be til the end of my days.

There were happier days, like when we all

wore some form of motif in support of the

presidential bid for Karel Schwarzenberg,

although it apparently didn’t help much, and

the following ten years were spent under

the extravagant government of Milos Zeman, and today, shortly after the last presidential election, we leave for Nuremberg

with the belief that better times lay ahead

with a better and more respectable president.

In 1995, we finally had our own table at Nuremberg, the first Czech model company to

do so since the old Kovozavody Prostejov.

We were on a waiting list, and the challenge was to be able to react to the phone

call we got on the morning of the first day

of the fair by coming to the event and setting up a table by evening. Our spot was in

the improvised inflatable exhibition hall full

of Chinese vendors, the way to which was

a temporary wooden sidewalk over a muddy

construction site, and no one even knew we

were there. But Mr. Ono found us nevertheless, just as he had done in 1991. We were

introducing our Tempest and Yak-3 at the

time, our first World War Two kits following

a series of WWI subjects, eventually leading

us to the quality of our current crop of releases. A year later, we had our table in the

new Hall 7A, and were not absent until covid

in 2020 when the gates of the Nuremberg

Toy Fair remained closed for the first time

since the Second World War.

This year, in a way, it’s a new beginning.

Among other things, I expect this year to

have a painfully low number of attendees, at

least in our field. For some years, it was dif-

February 2023