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FIELD BLADE REVIEWS
Camillus has built one of the best reputations in the world of blades over the past hundred-plus years. It's been sad to see the events that have transpired over the past ten years or so. Through a series of bad marketing and product decisions on the part of their management and even worse decisions by their union workforce, they officially closed their doors in early 2007. In September of 2007, the Camillus name and all patents and properties were purchased by Acme United for a scant $200K. Unfortunately, my educated guess is that Acme will make even worse decisions, and begin marketing sub-par blades produced in China under the once-proud Camillus name. Let's hope I'm VERY wrong about this, and let's hope the operating officers of Acme United read my open letter (below).
If Acme United approaches this from a corporate outlook, and without a thorough understanding the blade market, this venture will fail miserably. Blade collectors buy certain brands because most of them understand what makes a quality blade. Camillus has always been known for producing quality blades at a very fair price. Had they played their cards right, they would never have tried to compete with China in the cheap blade market. That's a bafflingly stupid recipe for failure. Instead they would have begun producing even higher end blades. The market is there. People spend many hundreds of dollars on well-made working blades. Superior steel along with better fit and finish is the hallmark of a quality American blade. When compared to Asian production blades... well... there's absolutely no comparison to be made. If I could speak directly to the folks at Acme United, I'd tell them the following.
AN OPEN LETTER TO ACME UNITED
Officers of Acme United,
Please, I implore you... do not tarnish the 100+ years of excellence that is signified by the name Camillus. Please, please, PLEASE... do not try to compete with China using the Camillus name. Never, never, NEVER... stamp the name "Camillus" on an inferior product. In short, compete UP, not DOWN.
Find a few highly qualified blade smiths and master craftsmen who are willing to take on a challenge, and have them design and produce high quality blades at whatever price needs to be levied to produce a fair margin. The other business model (competing at the low-end) was what ran Camillus into the ground in the first place. The high-end blade market is thriving and dynamic. The buyers are there, and they spend untold billions annually. Here's a simple question... how many millions of veterans carried a Camillus blade on their hip... trusting it through thick and thin? How many would spend hundreds of dollars on a really high-end edition of that same blade that was issued to them many years ago? I know I would... and there's millions more like me. There lies your market.
HERE ARE MY TERMS:
- If you uphold Camillus' good name, I will give you all the kudos and free advertising here on this site that I can possibly muster. If you return the name to it's once proud status, I'll do my best to promote it. Millions of others will follow suit, and through web chatter and word of mouth, the blade community will be there for you.
BUT I PROMISE YOU....
- If you EVER stamp the name Camillus on an inferior turd of a knife, I will make damned sure that my site is the first thing people find when they query the name, "Camillus". I further promise that you won't like what I have to say about Acme United, their officers or their practices. I will rip those inferior blades apart for the world to see, exposing every cheap and shoddy manufacturing and design flaw, and I will make sure that there's no future for the name, "Camillus" (or Acme United). I'd rather see Camillus gone forever than sullied by corporate stupidity and greed. In short, if you think you're going to turn a quick buck at the expense of the proud name "Camillus", you're freakin' dead wrong.
Now that I've made my intentions clear, remember that I (and millions of other blade aficionados) are watching and waiting. The blade community is very vocal, and word spreads quickly. Make the right business decisions here and profits galore await you. Make the wrong decisions, and we'll all make sure your venture fails. We'll make sure your stockholders know exactly why it failed, and that blame lands squarely with the operating officers of Acme United. Finally, remember that veterans everywhere behold this name with extreme reverence. Piss on the name, "Camillus", and you'll be pissing on a crowd that you really don't want to tangle with.
M40 - 2/27/2008
For more information on Camillus' blades, contact: Camillus.firstname.lastname@example.org
( Please let them know how you feel about the Camillus name! )
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