We stopped at Rodger's shop back in the late '90s on our way back home from the Mall of America. He told me on the phone that he was in a tiny town way out in the middle of nowhere and he was right. It took forever to get there because he was way out on two-lane backroads surrounded by nothing but farms. He actually had an old school building that housed the local post office boxes and he was the postmaster at the time. Either the gym or the cafeteria (I forget now) was his warehouse and I wish I had bought more than I did when we were there. He is a seriously nice guy and was fun to meet and to deal with. We also stopped at the Ertl outlet in Dyersville after we left there but there wasn't much to see except farm toys.
I understand re-popping someone's hand-work without any modifications, especially if they're still making them is wrong, but plenty of people are doing just that with out-of-production parts that were designed and produced by AMT/Revell/Monogram etc. so where do you draw the line? They still hold the license for the original parts and those licenses to Ford, GM & Chrysler aren't cheap. I would venture a guess that if they wanted to they could go after the entire resin community and they would put a lot of people out of business. And for what? As was explained by someone with legal knowledge recently it doesn't matter how much or little you change something, the original work still stands. I agree whole-heartedly that copying someone's original design like JF's figurines would be wrong, and ethically making copies of someone's resin parts and reselling is indeed wrong but let's not take it too far or I fear it will bite us in the rear-ends. It's a fine line in the copyright world that we all walk when we reproduce and sell parts that someone else actually created.
My wife and I spent most of a weekend in Toledo with Bob Paeth several years ago. We heard so many "inside" stories from him it was amazing. I wouldn't be able to recall most of the information but those guys that actually worked in the companies had a great time from the sounds of it. I just had a blast listening, I didn't bother taking notes but I did have him sign a box that he had a hand in making upper management mad about. That's one of my favorite pieces of memorabilia.
Stephen, we're looking at alternatives but between what the delivery service charges and the materials (boxes, labels, packing, printer ink, etc.) necessary for shipping, it costs us more than the $4 we charge for the lower 48 states so we just can't at the moment. We agree that shipping outside the USA is expensive, but the "global shipping program" from eBay is set by eBay, not us. We don't even see those charges as they are directly billed to you by eBay. We're definitely open to hearing alternatives for shipping if there are cheaper (but still reliable) options out there. On a side note, I was in Toronto a little over a year ago and couldn't believe the difference in prices - of everything! A $5-6 dollar lunch here at McDonalds cost almost ten bucks there. Crazy!
The website is under construction but we're concentrating on building up the product list first. We're both working on additional items so the website has to take a back seat (pun intended) for now but will let everyone know when it's ready.