I ordered only my 3rd First Response car--off Ebay, this past weekend. I got it today. I said I would not buy FR again after how disappointed I was with the first 2 that I bought, but I wanted this car and ordered it (VA State PD Charger). While the paint quality was much improved, the overall craftsmanship--mainly the wheels--was even worse than before. Additionally the lightbar was so far back, it is just weird looking. But the wheels are the worst part. The back axle just about turns and forget about the front tires--not to mention one of the tires itself was half off the rim.
Bottom line.....3rd times a charm.....yeah, not so much. Nothing (aside from a much better paint job) changed other than I'll keep my $$ in my pocket. I won't buy anymore of those cars. Period.
Any reputable FRR dealer or FRR themselves would be happy to exchange the car if you are not happy. Yes quality issues do happen, but since the last batch of FRR cars arrived in early October (VA included) I have heard only positive comments... just my 2 cents.
Jeff @ www.policecarmodels.com
I bought it off eBay. The usual dealers Manny's, Diecast Direct, were sold out so I didn't want to miss the boat.
The lightbar is sloppy and poorly placed, but I can fix that.....
The wheels are my issue. How do you fix the front tires?? They are loose and flop around in the wheel well not allowing them to rotate. I can see that they are scraping against a fastener of some type in the upper part of the wheel well.
Any suggestions on how to fix this would be appreciated.
Agree, the paint/graphics are night and day compared to the first batch that came out.
JOHN - I am not sure what to tell you on the wheels. I have honestly never looked at a car that closely, have barely had one out of the case for more than a minute or so! I will see if I can get an answer for you...
FYI, the Va Stae Police Charger John mentioned is done in the old graphics. I checked with the VSP and only one Charger was done that way and it is stationed in the Covington, Va area. The next VSP release is supposed to be done with the new graphics. I have one of the first release and purchased it for a retired VSP Trooper. I hadn't paid that much attention to it but John is right, the lightbar is to far back and looks unusual. Since I have not removed it from its base, I can't comment on the wheels. f7up
It is kind of foolish why they produced so many Dodge chargers when these cars are not popular in every department.
I know that here in Montana, we do not use Dodge Charges. The motor poll has only purchased Ford Crown Vics and Chev Impalas. The only Dodge charger in the fleet was donated by a Lithia Dodge dealer hoping to gain business and since nobody wanted it, it was put done on the indian reservation for patrol. The state here has said it will be switching all cars to Impalas only because of fuel cost.
It would have been better if they had produced a Impala and a Silverado. Almost every department has Silverados since the roads are so bad.
In Wyoming HP, the troopers get to choose their vehicles every 2 years, and most guys choose the Tahoe. Nobody wants to get caught in a Wyoming desert or mountains with a Charger, on a snowcovered highway that's not plowed.
These diecast companies need to expand outside the box and produce more vehicles to choose from and stop making the same charger for everyone.
"Truck stop", just an FYI for you and other collectors, FRR DOES have plans for the new Tahoe and Impala in 1/43 - its just a matter of time and money---I think its great that FRR is investing in new tooling, as well as making the deal with Motormax to bring the Magnum into the FRR line ... Jeff @ www.policecarmodels.com
FYI, the Charger has been an extremely popular model and many departments do use them, especially large departments in populated demographics. Did you know North Carolina has bought 900 of them and by next year the NCHP's entire patrol fleet will be Chargers? When Dodge reskins this in 2010 you can bet we'll do the new version as well.As for it not being popular have you noticed the number of large departments using them we have done?
Our offerings aren't isolated to just what's in Montana. If you paid attention rather than just pontificate about what we should be making you'd see on our website that we're doing the Tahoe and Impala. In fact, just to demonstrate the level of my research, I've already got a complete set of photos featuring a Montana Highway Patrol Impala.
As for a Silverado, (all most every department has one) maybe in your area but not in the rest of the country in any significant numbers. I'd have to have my head examined to invest in that tooling. I'm sure the rank and file collector would rather have the forthcoming Caprice PPV (which I've already photographed in extreme detail) and the new Ford once it's released.
We have expanded outside the box beyond what any 1/43 police manufacturer has every done. A modern correct FCV, new Charger (we're the only one doing it in 1/43), Maganum (again the only one doing it) planned new Tahoe and Impala. And add to all this a selection of blanks and parts for the custom builders the likes of which has never been offered. Just because we're not making what obscure vehicle you want doesn't mean we're not planning a full product line.
However, since you know so much about what should be made why don't you go take a few hundred thousand dollars, set up vehicle licensing, insurance, customs brokers, customs bonding, a distribution network and make what you want. Be prepared to work. BTW, I've personally met Wyomings'Colonel at an IACP Conference he loved our Charger representing his department.
Dennis, as they are your cars, you and Diecast Direct can make any model you wish. As I have said in the past, you have a great product. But when you release a car, you need to think about the ratio of cars on the road. For every Charger in Wyoming, they have 10 Ford CV's. When I advertise these cars locally, people locally ask, why you make the Charger?
Then they say, I don't even see them. Then they ask for a Ford CV.
I only pass on to you what the public customers are saying.
Nobody is going to stock cars or inventory that does not move. A Ford that people have seen on the road for 10+ years is going to catch their eye faster, then a Charger that they will need to look for on the road.
The main reason the colonel likes the Charger model is because WY HP won the car graphics contest for 2008 and their charger was pictured on the cover of law and order mag. But in real life, the colonel and captain both have Fords, unmarked.
Regarding the Impala, I was unaware that you were in the production of getting one. That will be a great release, but I advise you, that cars in Montana are changing yearly and a new design just came out again for 2010 units.
The 2011 caprice will be a great release as most department who can't get a Ford CV will switch to the larger Caprice.
In your view, you might love the Charger, but there are guys who prefer the Crown Vic which is much larger and holds up better. There are many depts in my area that only order Crown vics and will never consider a Dodge.
FYI, Las Vegas Metro PD has pickups too, you only need to turn on COPS to see that.
We're not making models exclusively for Montana and Wyoming which are very small markets and can't stand alone. I consider the ratio overall, not in two of the least populated states in the country. I'm far more interested in what will sell in far greater numbers which is necessary to amortize tooling, licensing etc. which is something you don't have to consider when you want a particular model offered. Every company has these considerations.
Doing an vehicle such as a Silverado which has a miniscule overall utilization in law enforcement wouldn't be thinking outside the box, it would be falling off a cliff. The initial costs would never be amortized via sales.
We're doing a Charger series, not a Silverado or Montana/Wyoming series and the focus of this series are the versions that historially sell the best which are states, federal agencies and some major cities. The intent of this series was and will remain to do as many states that utilize the Charger because that's what sells.
I have absolutely no interest in pickup trucks and as for Las Vegas Metro they just contacted me to do Ford P.I. Premier, not a pickup.
Contrary to what you may think, I know police cars.I'm a retired trooper, taught prusuit driving at our academy and every year attend the annual police vehicle evaluations hosted by the manufacturers and the Michigan State Police at Chryslers' test track and a local road race course. This, along with attending the IACP Conference keeps me extremely well informed regarding new developments in police fleets.
We have done some Fords but the vast majority of collectors indicated interest in a new vehicle which we offered in the Charger. Again, our product plan matrix can't and won't focus on one state such as Montana. You're thinking your own backyard which is quite understandable but my perspective has to be much larger.
Overall, the Charger model out sells the Ford by a large measure especially when a particular department was done previously as a Ford by another model company. The vast majority of collectors didn't want a Ford if one was done previously, they preferred something different. Our Wyoming Charger enjoyed very good sales and the pre-orders for the Montana Charger have it almost sold out.Clearly, these were good overall product decisions.
There are instances if a department is popular and we've received substantial requests where I'll offer more than one car or one version. Once collectors realized Virginia had both the traditional markings on a Charger even if only the one car I was inunduated with requests to do them both. I tracked down the trooper assigned the Charger bearing the traditional markings and he provided photos. We sold out of the first version immediately and I've had to increase the order for the other version because of strong pre-sales. This is marketing and offering products in markets where there are stong demonstrated sales histories.Wyoming and Montana do not meet that criteria.
We did the SCHP Charger and their Troopers Association sold them out. Now, they want a Ford and have ordered a Premier run exclusively for them. Perhaps you should do the same and get the Ford you desire?
When we do the Impala I'll again reach out to my contact in the MHP and request updates on their fleet and, if the Impala is still being utilized may do it.
what a nice prospective you have on cars, you think that only major markets are important. seems like you don't care about the agency, but rather you care only about the profits you can make on these bigger agencies.
what about alaska???? oh thats right, we are in the not important, too small list with the rest of the red states.
mr retired maine trooper, don't forget, to forget your state, since maine is the least important state in the union. it is acutally closer to canada then then usa.
its sad that so many of your dealers are afraid of you that you will take away their only cars. but when hawk comes, your cars will be put to the retirement shelf for good and then kevin will hire someone with better ideas. he should hire walt, he knows more then you do.
maybe you can make some more chp cars that have been made a million times already and then say you dont make what has been done.
Mrs Palin (if that is your real name),
FR is a business. As such their first and really only purpose is to make profits. A company without profits is not a company. It may not even be a hobby.
I am sure if Mr Deal, thought he could sell those Plain Jane Maine models they would make them.
I think that many of us "collectors" forget what is a past time for us is a livelihood for others. Be they FR, Code 3, Police Car Models etc, their main purpose is to make money. Yes the almighty bottom line rules. You may not like us capitalistic pigs but we do rule the business world.
Your benevolent dictator
Location: Northwest PA
People would like to see other cars and not the same thing all the time
Obama, if thats your real name, all you will be seeing is the backseat of Charger when we arrest you for all the crimes you have commited.
Your not a collector, your only on here looking for trouble.
Location: Washington DC
I chuckle everytime I read replies such as this. You have totally misinterpreted what I indicated. First of all get your facts straight, I was a trooper in Maryland, not Maine. However, Maine,which borders New Hampshire, not only Canada is a wonderful state with alot to offer, I summer in my home there.
Secondly, cars from states with smaller markets have been done, i.e. Wyoming and the planned Montana car with other ones done or planned. The intent as has always been to do as many states as possible from the Charger and fill in with the Crown Vic. May I remind you that we're still introducing cars and states such as Alaska, Maine, Missouri, New Mexico just to name a few remain to be done.
The fact is these will be phased in but at a pace that doesn't place too much product on the market at one time.
If you were involved in this business you too would be making things that sell. We sell out of every CHP versions we make and it's one of the most often requested departments with the CHP Academy Store a constant customer. There is a reality to business you may not understand, businesses have to turn a profit and in order to do that they need to offer items that sell. We do that. And that we're successful I know irritates the heck out of you.
Mr. Webster has made a very valid point.
No matter how much someone begrudges us for making a profit the fact remains they must be made. Then, at some point the profits from those projects allow us to introduce newer models, i.e. Tahoe, Impala, Caprice PPV and the new Ford at a later date.
Alot of collectors and dealers have different expectations about what should be made, when, how much it should cost and the list goes on. But, the bottom line is I have to look at what is necessary to keep this going and thus far, the formula has worked.
Every state will be made from either a Charger or Crown Vic. But it takes time.It wouldn't be fair to introduce too much product in the market at one time, especially in this economy.
I find that the core of complaints come from a very small cadre of unhappy people that would complain anyway because that what's gives them satisfaction. I am neither guided or affected by this group but rather the collectors who enjoy collecting and aren't pre-disposed to lashing out just to be happy.
Most of the collectors I've come in contact with are super nice people who are a pleasure to communicate with. My postings aren't intended to be controversial but try to indicate the business reality of this business. Whether or not you agree is your option.
One last thing, I don't hesitate to place my full name in these postings, if I say something I have no need to hide.
Are all of the Magnums including the blanks limited in there run?
Thank you, I will make sure I stock up on the blank Magnums.