Off the top of my head I remember two other official Ritchie Blackmore Stratocasters coming out of Fender in the last decade or so… there was a 1997 MIJ Limited Edition version with set-neck construction, and a lower-cost MIJ production version with a bolt-on neck.
This latest incarnation will feature a bolt-on neck as well, but other than the fact that the 2009 Ritchie Blackmore Stratocaster will be built in Mexico (as I understand it,) I’m not really sure if there are any other significant differences.
This guitar is expected to feature an Alder body (poly-finish Olympic White,) Maple U-shaped neck and graduated scalloped Rosewood fretboard (7.25” radius,) 21 vintage-style frets, vintage-style synchronized tremolo, and Fender/Schaller vintage “F” style tuners.
Among other things, the guitar will sport a pair of Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Flat SSL-4 single-coil Strat pickups (reverse wound/reverse polarity in the bridge position,) a disconnected dummy pickup in the middle, over-sized ’70s headstock, ’70s style decal, Bullet truss-rod adjustment nut, 3-bolt neck plate with Micro-Tilt neck adjustment, and a synthetic bone nut.
I’ve only found a handful of these online, but retail prices seem to be hovering around $1200. A bit steep to be shipping it with a Deluxe Gig Bag, don’t you think?