With the recent barrage of strongly worded hints that Merit International gave fans on Facebook, it looks like they will be distributing the JSI 1:18 USMC AV-8B Harrier II sometime this year. We finally get some more information on what we will be looking forward to product wise this year.
Merit was at the AMPS (Armor Modeling and Preservation Society) convention in Atlanta, GA last weekend. They initially revealed the details to a select few on the 19th, though they got around to letting the rest of us know what’s up today through social media and enthusiast websites. They had slowly released hints as to what the new jet would be, such as “Single seat” or “American markings”, to finally telling everyone “Semper Fi”. They even mentioned that the mystery jet was stationed a mere “2 hours” from where I live (Los Angeles, CA!), which points to the jets coming from the USMC base Camp Pendleton near San Diego, CA.
Hopefully this release will be welcomed by the 1:18 military community at large, and will allow Merit Intl. and JSI to continue producing new tooling products at reasonable prices. The Harrier II is an iconic aircraft that has been serving around the world with the United States Marine Corps since 1985. It will be interesting to see how detailed the new model is, and if it is fully function with all moving parts. The size should be just about right for 1:18 fans, with the model running about two and a half feet long, by a slim one and a half feet wide. This jet will not dominate your entire living space like the JSI F-14 did!
Hopefully the price point on this jet will be something the 1:18 fan base will accept. I’d like a $99 price, but we’re not living in 2005 anymore! I’m guessing somewhere in the $149-$249 range. It’ll be interesting to see what armaments come bundled with the Harrier II.
Read more about the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II Here
According to reports, Merit also confirmed that they will be making a new WWII FW-190, though the paint scheme is yet to be chosen as of yet. They also showed off a 1/16 artillery piece, perhaps the same one they had on display at Toy Fair 2013. This artillery piece will retail for $89.99 and be available this summer. It comes as a model kit.
The Fighting 1:18th has reached out to Merit Intl. for additional information and pictures, and will update the story when we get more information.