This is a quick explanation of what the progress bars means; please keep in mind that development is not linear, a model being at a more advanced stage than another at a given moment doesn't necessarily imply it will be released first!
This is the very first step, the item is being considered for production and preliminary evaluation is being carried out. It doesn't yet means we are going to do it. At this stage we are still in the process of historical research on the subject, but also carrying out a basic technical overview of the practical issue involved with producing the item and a some market research to see if we can at least break even on the product, the aim being not going broken too soon!
This is the first stage of a new release, the concept sketches have been approved and the item has now begun the development process. We are now doing yet more historical research and trying out prototypes. Unless something real tricky comes out at this point we are most likely going to add the item to our catalog at some point!
This is the next phase, the concept is now being translated in an original sculpt. The result may still be modified several times until all requirements are satisfied.
The final model has been completed and approved, and the first test casts are being made. These may highlight some minor casting problem and the model may have to go back to the sculptor if it requires correction.
The master molds have now been completed, these are being used to cast a series of master models and from these we will prepare the production molds. "Limited edition" models are often cast straight out of the master molds and skip this phase, but generally go out of production (OOP) as soon as the mold wears out.
The production molds are ready and have been tested to satisfaction. Actual production may already have started, the first finished pieces are being packed while we're in the process of painting samples that will be used for advertising the new release.
Usually at this stage you can expect the official release within a short time, but there is still a lot of road left to go: the new item will need to be added to the online shop in our website, an updated catalog has to be sent to distributors who can add the item to their next order. Once we receive their order we will ship a stock to them who in turn will make it available to local retailers. Items marked in this way are probably already available if you ask directly to us for them, but may still be quite a few weeks before they are added to the online shop and maybe months before they'll be available in your favourite local shop...