James Injection Molding Co., a Northbrook, Ill.-based custom injection molder that once molded Revell and Monogram brand model toy kits, has shut down, according to the company president.
Martin Silovich Jr., who took over the company in 1991 from his dad, said James Injection was hurt by competition from China.
“We did get some business back from China recently, yes, things got better. But Revell isn't investing in any new tooling,” Silovich said.
James Injection also lost another non-toy customer recently, when that firm took its molding in-house, Silovich said.
James Injection had 12 injection molding machines ranging from 300-650 tons of clamping force. The company had three full-time employees — Silovich, his wife, and a plant manager. Other workers, including operators, came from temporary agencies, he said.
Silovich said the company shut down this summer and sent all its injection presses and tooling to the scrapyard.
“The newest machine was from 1980,” he said.
At its peak in the late 1990s the company had annual sales of between $4 million and $5 million annually, Silovich said.
The company was founded in 1976, but actually has roots that go back a decade earlier, Silovich said.
His father, Martin Silovich Sr., helped found Supreme Plastics Inc. in Mundelein, Ill., in 1966. The company later moved to Waukegan, Ill. Martin Silovich Sr. had been a plant manager at Monogram, a Chicago-based toy company that once was owned by Mattel Inc., and merged with Revell Inc. in the 1980s.
Today Revell and Monogram are part of Champaign, Ill.-based Hobbico Inc., a distributor of radio-control and hobby toys.
Supreme Plastics folded in 1976 and Silovich Sr. started James Injection.
Silovich Jr. said James Injection once molded nearly all the parts for Revell's model kits.
Toy kit models have always been a big business for the company, but the company molded other products too. The company had hundreds of customers over the years, he said.
“Until the late 1990s we did a lot of videocassette boxes,” Silovich Jr. said.