Round 2 for Ertl’s American Muscle Series

Round 2 for Ertl’s American Muscle Series

Auto World licenses tooling for AMT, MPC & Polar Lights model kits, American Muscle/ Ertl Collectibles die-cast        


South Bend, IN – Auto World (a division of Round 2, LLC) has signed a licensing agreement with RC2/Learning Curve Brands, Inc. of Oak Brook, Illinois. The contract will allow Auto World to produce and market plastic model kits under the well-known brands of AMT, MPC and Polar Lights. Also included are the rights to manufacture 1:18 and 1:24 scale die-cast replicas using the trademarks of American Muscle and Ertl Collectibles. In addition, Auto World will now be handling production of Custom and Premium promotional die-cast vehicles for RC2’s current C&P customer base, with sales continuing through established representatives.            

          Thomas E. Lowe, President and Owner of Round 2, is now assembling a team of knowledgeable plastic model and die-cast specialists who are excited about this license opportunity and passionate about reintroducing these brands to their respective communities. Lowe states, “Our goal is to bring back many sought after vintage kits of all types from the AMT and MPC tooling banks, some that haven’t been available for decades. We’ve recruited model kit expert and creative designer John Greczula from Retro Hobby, Inc. to work with us. The American Muscle tooling bank has great potential, too, and Craig Flickinger, who was the Product Manager for American Muscle for several years, is on board to ensure that collectors are kept as priority one. Using our own production facilities, we will have the capability to adjust quantities of the model and die cast lines to satisfy market demand. We will not rely solely on old tooling, but will develop new tools as well.”       

       Further, Lowe states, “2008 is going to be a roller coaster ride for us as we prepare our game plan and get things moving. There is an incredible amount of information to be absorbed and organization that must take place. We understand the modeling and die-cast markets have changed and that several large mass-retail chains are beginning to turn their backs on stocking these products. We will try and slow that down by introducing new and innovative products, hopefully enticing them to support our brands. I learned a lot when I ran my previous company, Playing Mantis, and I intend to use all of my knowledge and contacts to the maximum. For me, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime.”        

          Tom Lowe and RC2 Brands, Inc. are no strangers to each other. Lowe, an entrepreneur known for his expertise in collectible automotive subject matter, sold his first company, Playing Mantis, Inc. to RC2 in 2004. Lowe founded Playing Mantis in 1994 and resurrected the classic Johnny Lightning brand, producing small-scale die-cast replicas and electric slot cars catering to the adult collector. Enthusiastic response resulted in phenomenal growth of the brand, and spurred Lowe to venture into other areas, including Polar Lights plastic model kits and Memory Lane seasonal product.     

          Round 2 was established by Lowe in 2005 and reintroduced electric slot cars under the Auto World brand, an iconic hobby catalog trademark which Lowe purchased from Auto World’s founder, Oscar Koveleski.            

          Round 2 is an innovative collectibles company located in South Bend, Indiana. Its family of brands includes Auto World, currently featuring X-Traction, ThunderJet and Super III 1:64 scale electric slot racers and racing sets; Forever Fun Holiday Collectibles, featuring detailed recreations of favorite holiday characters and EarthGlow Candles, featuring unique licensed candles and candle toppers. Round 2 is proud to add AMT, MPC and Polar Lights model kits, American Muscle and Ertl Collectibles die-cast to its portfolio of brands.



Updated: March 13, 2008 — 10:00 AM
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