You don’t have to go back three or four centuries to feel like a privateer. It is enough to get a gun from the Denix factory to imagine yourself aboard a ship in the waters of the Spanish Caribbean or as John Wayne in it Bravo River. The Menorcan company specializes in the manufacture of replicas of ancient weapons and offers more than 300 models, both white and firearms. His references cover all eras, from gladiator swords to medieval chain clubs, AK-47 rifles or revolvers like the Colt Python that the sheriff uses Rick Grimes faces zombies in the series the Walking Dead.
Denix reproductions are very reliable, which is why they are highly valued by collectors. Likewise, the boom that historical replicas are having around the world has boosted sales of their replicas. In the United States, for example, there are many reenactors (actors who participate in historical recreations) who don Confederate or Unionist army uniforms and recreate some of the most famous battles of the Civil War. And the same thing happens in Europe with the replicas of the Second World War or the Spanish Civil War. Another aspect lies in the staging of medieval tournaments.
“It is difficult to define the profile of our customer. Aside from being very diverse, it is a small, specific and rather opaque niche market. Many people do not like to admit their hobby guns. We can say that it would be that of a man aged 25 to 65 who likes collecting and military themes, a lover of antiques, a fan of weapons or historical re-enactments…” he comments Jaime Llull, commercial director of the company and representative of the second family generation at the helm of the company. Additionally, despite only accounting for a small percentage of its sales, Denix has found a niche in the performing arts. Its reproductions have been used in films such as pirates of the caribbean, The Three Musketeers and the series red eagleand even be used as props in various internationally staged theatre, musical and opera productions. “Our replicas are ideal for series and films because they are safe and non-hazardous. His appearance is enough to get the shots, because the specialists then do the appropriate special effects to make them look real,” he explains.
From Flemings to Kalashnikovs
The origins of Denix date back to 1967 when jewelers Sebastian Lull-Jaime’s father- and Jose Carter They joined forces to produce decorative figurines essentially intended for the souvenir market, such as figures from Don Quixote, flamenco, bulls… They later focused on the reproduction of antique weapons, finding the path that the company still has today tracked.
In the current catalog you can find reproductions of all kinds of weapons: daggers, swords, sabres, flails, axes, flintlock pistols, blunderbusses, percussion pistols, rifles, carbines, carbines, revolvers, automatic pistols, machine guns, assault rifles, hand grenades … But it also offers others Products such as letter openers, wall mounts for guns, replica coins of the Spanish Empire, miniature catapults or cannons, key rings, replica bullets, United States Marshal Sheriff’s Plates, military insignia, cartridge belts and more for portable revolvers.
Firearms make up the bulk of their sales. “There are fads. Currently, replica WWII weapons are the best sellers. It also depends on the countries. The great armed conflicts shape fashions. For example, in the United States, western-style firearms, such as rifles or revolvers, carry greater weight. Weapons for historical Civil War re-enactments also work well,” says the Commercial Director.
Denix handles the entire production process at its facilities in Menorca, taking care of design, moulding, casting, engraving, assembly, packaging and export. But it doesn’t sell directly to stores or to the end customer, but works through wholesale. And these dealers bring the replicas to specialty stores – physical or virtual – and to stores discovered in museums, medieval castles and historic city centers, and even to events like historical re-enactments. The company rules out direct sales via the Internet. “We are aware that this would be against the interests of our dealers. And we have no interest in hurting their margins,” explains Llull.
A well-established business
Denix has an interesting range to conquer the replica market.
High quality. Its reproductions are highly appreciated by collectors and history buffs. Although their replicas are significantly more expensive than products from Asia, they are of significantly higher quality. And their prices are not prohibitive either. A Western-style revolver, for example, costs between 55 and 70 euros; a pistol from World War I or II, from 50 to 90 euros; and a flintlock pistol between 35 and 60 euros.
Safe parts. One of the greatest advantages of these reproductions is that they are completely secure, which is not the case with a deactivated weapon or placeholder. “All of our production is made of zamak, an alloy of zinc, a white non-ferrous metal that melts at 400°C. Our weapons are safe because they cannot be rebuilt or modified to fire. And edged weapons will break if you try to sharpen them. This feature makes it an easier product to sell and move internationally. They are less risky to handle and easier to transport,” Llul specifies.
Little competition. The company has hardly any competitors in Europe when it comes to the production of weapon replicas. And as for knives, it offers a product that is very different from the production from the Toledo area, since its replicas are not made of steel. The main competition comes from China and India, with a much lower quality than their own.
Geographic Diversification. Denix exports its products to more than 40 countries, a strategy aimed at overcoming possible crises on certain national markets. Any drop in sales in one country can be offset by an increase in another.
Local Customization. The company’s close relationship with dealers in each country allows it to adapt its offer to the tastes and legal requirements of each market.
catalog renewal. Denix reviews its range every year, including new references and the discontinuation of the least sold. “It’s a way for us to get the consumer excited about what’s new,” says Llull.
to the onslaught of the world
Denix is a company with a clear international vocation. “We export about 98% of production. We mainly go to the eurozone – about half of our exports – particularly France, Germany and the UK. But also in countries like the USA, Japan, Australia or Russia. The national market is quite small,” explains Jaime Llull. The company works through agreements with distributors in each of the more than 40 countries to which it exports. And Denix is still looking for new targets. However, the international context is becoming more and more complicated. “There are countries where we used to sell, but now we can no longer work. Due to the recent terrorist attacks, there were legal restrictions for security reasons,” admits the commercial manager.