Author Topic: Wingnut Wings has been permanently closed down  (Read 21423 times)

Online Dave W

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Wingnut Wings has been permanently closed down
« on: April 16, 2020, 03:02:23 PM »
Sad news from New Zealand today indicates Wingnut Wings has been closed down permanently and its assets are to be sold off.

Details are yet to be publicly disclosed but it’s understood staff have been informed they no longer have jobs at Wingnuts, and all assets- the moulds etc- are to be disposed of.

Wingnuts, which was begun by Sir Peter Jackson in 2009, has like many NZ businesses been locked down recently due to the coronavirus shutdowns there.

The business issues affecting the decision to close the business permanently are not yet known but are not thought to be entirely due to the Covid 19 issue.

The Forum contacted Wingnuts’ General Manager, Richard Alexander yesterday and sought comment. He responded that an official statement would be forthcoming.

When we approached him today (Thursday) on this matter, the email diverted to a message referring all future Wingnut Wings matters to Clare Olssen and Kate Leppard.

Clare Olssen is Chief Executive Officer of WingNut Films and Kate Leppard is the company’s Chief Financial Officer.

We sought official comment from Clare Olssen and Kate Leppard. We asked about the status of the Wingnut Wings business, the employment status of staff and the situation re pending mail orders in their system.

There has been no response from the designated contacts for Wingnut Wings. Significantly Richard’s name now no longer appears on replies from his official email address.

Update: late Thursday Richard Alexander confirmed to the Forum that he is no longer at Wingnut Wings. Asked about the situation there he said "I am not able to comment at this time".

Further confirmation came from Bryan Wall, one of the Wingnuts designers, who posted on the Wingnut Wings Fans' page on Facebook: "Guys we are closed for good I am sorry to say, the whole team was made redundant on Wednesday".

By Friday morning the Wingnuts website, which had still been accepting online orders, has now been changed and all online orders have been suspended. The website message alludes to Covid-19 issues and still does not address the closure of the business but does assure customers that current pending orders will be processed " as soon as possible".

Significantly, the Wingnuts website on Friday had deleted all references to the kits in development. The Lancasters, Fokker DRl.1s, Hansa Brandenburg D.1, the Handley Page O/100 and O/400 and the "mystery kit" have all vanished from the website now. Only kits in stock and those sold out are listed.

It’s understood there are also major job cuts at the Vintage Aviator (TVAL) too with all aircraft production stopped, most staff made redundant and the company retrenched to a maintenance team for the existing aircraft collection.

Sir Peter Jackson has made no comment on the closure decisions.

More details will be posted when they are known.

Dave Wilson
Gold Coast
Australia
« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 11:12:35 AM by Dave W »
Owner and Administrator of ww1aircraftmodels.com and forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com

Offline rhwinter

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Re: Wingnut Wings has been permanently closed down
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2020, 04:01:53 PM »
Thank you, Dave! This is making me sad. I feel left alone. Good luck to all the (former) staff of Wingnut Wings; my thoughts and very best wishes are with them!

Offline Manni

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Re: Wingnut Wings has been permanently closed down
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2020, 04:02:51 PM »
So sad. A legend dies. I hope all the employees at WNW, TVAL and the chinese sprue casters and lots more of people linked to WNW will find quick a job to feed their families.
Lets see what the future brings us.
Bye,
Manni
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"Warum noch mehr Bausätze?!?": meine Frau

Offline GazzaS

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Re: Wingnut Wings has been permanently closed down
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2020, 04:15:53 PM »
Thank you for the information, Dave.  Very sad.
There are only two states to be in:  Queensland and blotto.

Offline Jeff K

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Re: Wingnut Wings has been permanently closed down
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2020, 04:16:43 PM »
i only hope that the staff find new work worthy of their talents.

Offline Borsos

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Re: Wingnut Wings has been permanently closed down
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2020, 04:53:08 PM »
These are sad news for us but even more sad for all those former employees of WNW who are now without a job. I hope they find another one quickly. I can’t help but wondering how these things ended up and I am keen on knowing more details.
Thank you Dave for letting us all know what’s going on before any statements on the WNW homepage are published. Although I would like to order some more accessories from WNW, I will wait until they clarified what’s going on there.
Andreas
"Deux armées aux prises, c'est une grande armée qui se suicide."
Barbusse.
"Ein Berg in Deutschland kann doch einen Berg in Frankreich nicht beleidigen. Oder ein Fluß oder ein Wald oder ein Weizenfeld."
Remarque.

Offline bobs_buckles

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Re: Wingnut Wings has been permanently closed down
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2020, 04:54:14 PM »
Blue skies WNW.
Thanks for the best 10 years in WW1 modelling history.

vB



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Perfection is paralysis.

Offline MikeNZ

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Re: Wingnut Wings has been permanently closed down
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2020, 05:32:02 PM »
Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei*
(Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain)*

An icon in the modelling world created & led in a way only a Kiwi “Can Do” approach could achieve. Unsurpassed Quality, passion for getting it right & in a way with modellers at heart. Taking on projects others wouldn’t dare to do. We can celebrate what Sir Peter, Richard & his team gave us. They deserve to be incredibly proud of what they set out to do & the gift of history they leave with us.
Their kits & the market they built opened opportunities for us all.
Thanks team - NZ Legends! 🤓
Kia Kaha! 🇳🇿🙃

Remember how the dream became a reality. Have another listen to

https://podcasts.apple.com/nz/podcast/on-the-bench/id1262869310?i=1000414450000

_____________________________________________
*This whakatauki is about aiming high or for what is truly valuable, but it's real message is to be persistent and don't let obstacles stop you from reaching your goal.

Offline FokkerFodder

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Re: Wingnut Wings has been permanently closed down
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2020, 05:47:56 PM »
Sad news all round. It was WNM that enticed me back modelling seeing these beautiful ww1 planes that looked possible to build after a long, long absence. Dave J kindly responded in detail to my naive questions on what tools etc I might need as everything had changed so much from my teenage years and I have always found them to be generous and responsive . I hope that the dedicated employees find new jobs but it is a blow to our small modelling universe, including the small cottage industries that have grown around it. It really has been a rubbish 6 months starting with the drought and bushfires here in Oz. Take care all.  Cheers Matt

Offline Kit

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Re: Wingnut Wings has been permanently closed down
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2020, 06:25:52 PM »
 :'(  Thank you, good luck, and Kiha Kaha to all those at Wingnut Wings and The Vintage Aviator. 

Offline hiddeous1973

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Re: Wingnut Wings has been permanently closed down
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2020, 06:31:33 PM »
The first time I opened a WnW box and looked at the parts and then the instructons, I was sure I entered a new era in modelling.
No doubt the kits will live on, as they are and will remain amazing kits, so maybe all those long sold out items will come around again (HB w.29 to name but one)

But I feel very sad for all those at WmW and TVAL who are now without jobs, something they could do nothing about and in a time when job security is maybe more important then ever.

Online PrzemoL

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Re: Wingnut Wings has been permanently closed down
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2020, 06:37:34 PM »
A mere two months since my lifelong dream came true and I visited New Zealand - I still have those splendid views and memories passing in front of my eyes... And one of my two favourite NZ companies goes down... And yesterday I have just picked up from the post box two kits from their range - Taube and Roland C.II - still missing in my collection... And it looks they will be the last ones.
My sadness cannot be contained...  :'( :'( :'(

Thank you, Wingnut Wings, for turning the recent years into my best modeling years... Kia kaha.
Ash nazg durbatuluk, ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatuluk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

Offline Dekenba1

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Re: Wingnut Wings has been permanently closed down
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2020, 06:53:03 PM »
Devastating for the former employees.

All very confusing indeed. PJ has massive wealth, WNW & TVAL - in the big scheme of things - were comparatively small beans to him.

May be a pre-packed insolvency type of situation, perhaps?

Will watch as this develops.

Offline Pup7309

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Re: Wingnut Wings has been permanently closed down
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2020, 07:50:40 PM »
Speechless  :-[

Offline Pup7309

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Re: Wingnut Wings has been permanently closed down
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2020, 09:14:05 PM »
I guess it’s best not to put in any orders. If the staff have been laid off, can we assume there is no one to put them through?This is terrible for the Wingnuts people and modelling in general. Thanks though everyone involved there and PJ for bringing us on an amazing journey.