Finally, if company investment still can't be justified on the models alone, I'd suggest embedding an RFID chip into the base of each ship (or a QR code on each card, to keep costs down) and creating a digital tie-in to support competitive play and global campaigns. I think that the toys-to-life trappings are wildly under-utilized in the tabletop wargaming space where it has the most potential for creative uses.
I had a similar idea. My thought was that World of Warships would be a suitable option for this because A. They have a history of endorsing models of their ships like with this Cobi brick built model and these Italeri model kits they have on their store front, B. It could tie into their game very nicely for example; With each pack you get, you can redeem a code for a days premium time and 500 doubloons or a low value premium ship, and C. Their ship models and designs could be used for model production, helping to limit costs. Of course, if WoWs ever pulled the plug, the whole operation would be dead in the water, but, alas, all hypothetical.
It’s happening! It’s happening! On the land side, anyway
Wargaming.net and Galeforce 9 partnering on World of Tanks miniatures game in 15mm Scale: