Gil Hibben 2006 Fantasy Knife

After 15 years of faithfully buying each years edition of the United/Hibben fantasy series, I am shocked that United has decided not to release a 2006 edition. After repeatedly writing to United to express my outrage, I finally got a response.......

It is with great disappointment that I must report that there will not be a 2006 edition of the Hibben Fantasy Series thus breaking the original, most famous, and longest running (15 years) series of collectable knives. This was a decision by United Cutlery and NOT the wishes of Gil Hibben. United had the prototype (a large dagger) from Gil well in advance but simply decided not to put it into production. Gil and Linda Hibben were as surprised by this event as anybody.

I wrote to United Cutlery three times regarding this matter and finally did receive a response from their PR and Marketing agency, Images Group, Inc.

"Dear Michael:

My name is Dave Staples, President of Images Group, Inc. We handle marketing communications for United Cutlery. I want to sincerely apologize for the delay in responding to your initial email of December 17th, which was passed on to me by David Hall. In addition, I have been forwarded the email of January 6th and the two on January 9th.

The initial Gil Hibben Fantasy Series 1 began in 1990 and ran through 2005.

We failed to notify the cutlery community that there would be a one year hiatus and that Series 2 would begin 2007 with the inclusion of the 50th anniversary of Hibben Knives. The hiatus does not interrupt the consistency of the series. What it does do is allow us to make the anniversary much more special, as it deserves all of the attention we can produce.

We will be releasing press information on our plans for the Hibben 50th Anniversary in about one month. In the meantime, we wanted you to know our plans for the series and our celebration.

I, personally, have been a knife collector for 40 years and a knife writer for 30 years. I treasure makers like Gil and believe that we should be paying homage outside of the cutlery community. That is what we are going to do.

I am deeply troubled at the assumptions that you’ve made do to the lack of an answer over the Christmas and New Year's holidays. I agree with your thoughts about United breaking new ground with Fantasy and with Hibben. United is a strong and vital company, proud of its relationship with Gil Hibben and all other licensees that we work with.

I believe I understand your frustration and will again, but for the last time, apologize for failing to announce our plans. We expect to work closely with Gil and Linda to make this 50 year celebration one that will be remembered with the dignity that a maker of the Hibben status deserves. "

OK, so they are trying to play this off like they were planning to do this series 1 and series 2 thing all along. However, Gil Hibben had never heard anything about it. Obviously United screwed up and now are trying to put a pretty face on it. While I am thrilled that they are planning something special to celebrate Gil's 50 years of knifemaking, I still want the 2006 knife.

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