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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Armchair Quarterbacking: Thermold

There's a lot of products out there that I like that don't seem to get enough attention.  Thermold is one of them.

When I got into shooting, I ordered a lot of Thermold magazines from CDNN.  They were insanely cheap, worked well, and the helped me grow my stockpile.

As the years went on, I collected all kinds of magazines, USGI aluminum, steel, Magpul, Lancer, Hexmag, ETS, and many more were added to my collection, and I ended up giving away or selling a lot of my old Thermolds.  However, I was working with my AK recently, and realized that I really like the Thermold AK mags, and decided to write this.

I got rid of my AR-15 Thermolds not because they were bad, but because other mags looked or felt better.  A lot of the firearms community comes down to perception.  If you see a picture or ad with an AR with a PMAG in it, you think "oh, that's squared away."  But if you see some brand X mag in the gun, its easy to dismiss that as the weapon of a newer shooter, someone who is liable to have a big-ass bipod, vertical grip, Chinese rail, and backwards sights.
Like this.

I think Thermold unintentionally falls into the latter category. Facebook likes do not a successful company make, but Thermold has less than 900 and Magpul has over 400,000.  Just let that sink in.

So, what can Thermold do to catch up and be relevant in today's market?  Here's a few of my suggestions in no particular order.

This is an M1A.  With a Thermold.  Surprise!

Get some pics up of your products in use on your Facebook and website.  Currently all that's on there are links to your website.  You make a lot of cool magazines for weapons like the FAL, Kel-Tec RFB, AK, M1A, and so on.  Let's see them, show the customers you make them an rock them.

Did you know Thermold makes 22-round Glock mags?  Neither did I.  Get some out and get them tested, get some people who run guns to shoot them, talk about them, and get their pictures taken with them.  I'm serious.  I had no idea that you made these things until I went to your website.

Who knew?

Get rid of the sharp edges on your magazines.  You AK mags are much better.  Sharp edges are for metal mags.

Speaking of metal, offer a metal reinforced locking-lug AK mag.  Magpul did it.  And it'll help Rob Ski calm down and use your mags.  This is a good thing.  Trust me.

Lets talk colors.  Zytel comes in a huge array of colors, so lets get some colorful mags out there.  Tan, green, stuff like that.  Yellow for the AK banana mags, have fun with it.  You make a pink AR mag. Now make something that will sell.

Thermelts.  That rumor is still around.  I know what the deal is with it, so go prove to the world why its not a thing.  Mag dumps.  Hot guns.  You know the drill.

Keep the removable floorplates on your mags.  It makes the unloading and cleaning of your mags much easier.

Subsonic mag?  WTF?  Come on now.  You can do so much better than marking a mag with "subsonic" on the side.  Look at what Hexmag or Elite Tactical Systems is doing for marking mags.

Durability tests... lets see some drop and destructive testing.  Magpul is out there running their mags over with trucks.  Show people that Zytel is a good, strong material.

So that's about it off the top.  Most of the stuff is pretty simple.  Get someone at the wheel of your social media.  Most of the stuff you can do with a good digital camera and a laptop.  The design stuff, well, you've been in business for years.  The color stuff is simple.

Beyond that, it's just a case of reaching out and getting people on board with your product.  Send out samples, and get some serious shooters on your team.

This guy.  This guy can sell some serious mags.

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