Battlefront Miniatures announced on August 1st that it would be discontinuing production on some of its product lines due to COVID related lockdowns affecting suppliers in Malaysia.
In a press releases regarding the issue, Battlefront representatives stated:
“Malaysia remains in a strict nationwide lockdown in response to the COVID-19 surge they’re experiencing. This includes the Battlefront factory where we make all our 15mm ranges, which has now been closed for over two months, and will remain so until it is deemed safe to re-open by the government. We have always had a long lead time for production so our stocks on hand have been able to cope, but with the length of this closure, we have already started seeing the impact hitting the range on the delivery of new items and the restocks of the current range.”
“When we re-open, we’re going to have to prioritize the flow of product as we simply cannot make it all in one go so we will concentrate on getting our upcoming new releases finished, packed and on their way to the warehouses, stores and yourselves as the top priority. As well as the new products we will work on the core lines as our goal is to see that the entire Late-War and WWIII ranges fully stocked.”
“To enable us to do this, and catch back up, we’re going to TEMPORARILY suspend orders for some of our ranges so that the factory can focus their efforts as with over three thousand codes the exercise of making replacement stock for them all will take the plant some time to catch up. NAM, Great War, Arab Israeli, Early War and Mid War will be suspended in their entirety. All special / direct order codes, as these are made to order, and some of the BIAB terrain range will also be suspended.”
“We understand this is sad news and might disrupt some of your collecting and building plans, and we heartily apologise. Please be reassured this is temporary, and we will get those ranges back into production, as soon as we have caught up with the amended release schedule.”
Military Miniature reached out for further comment from Battlefront, and spoke to Libby Montague-Brown via email, who had this to say about the actions being taken by Battlefront and how the global logistical crunch is also affecting the company, as well as the hobby at large.
She stated that “…this [the factory closure] remains as such until we’re given the go ahead from the Malaysian Government that it is safe to re-open. Obviously, our staff and their families are our number 1 priority.”
Ms. Montague-Brown went on to state that in reference to the global logistical crunch:
“The pandemic has brought with-it large-scale disruption throughout the supply chain for many, many industries, and tabletop games haven’t been an exception. There are VERY few international flights meaning there is little to no air freight, so all transport is done by ship. With everyone suddenly turning to this, it’s lead to a shortage in containers and ship space compounded by port congestion on arrival at destination. We’ve largely been able to respond to these, by factoring the time in to our production flow, with small delays. The factory being closed altogether for so long presents a very different problem. We really feel for our community, who have been very supportive and have waited patiently for so long for the new releases, and as such have made the decision to concentrate on these when we re-open. We will return to production of our popular older lines again after we have caught up.”
In follow up questions, we asked if Battlefront had an inkling of a timetable for any relaxation of the lockdown, and if there was any chance Battlefront might be increasing its prices due to the logistical issues, as well as other contributing factors.
Ms. Montague-Brown stated that they had no indication on when the Malaysian government would relax the lockdown at this time, and they were taking the situation on a “day by day” basis. But she added that, “We’re going to be very transparent with our customers, and all updates will be conveyed on our social platforms / websites when we have an indication of time-frame or are given permission to re-open.”
As for price increases, Ms. Montague-Brown stated that, “We have been impacted by the international shipping crisis, alongside pretty much every other publisher, but we don’t currently have plans to raise our shipping costs to our customers.”