Unable to find a vintage Mandocaster (or to afford one)? Fear not; you can get the Fender name on a reasonably priced mandolin. The company is now importing electrics from Korea: the hollow, 8-string FM-52E; the semihollow FM-60E and FM-61E (5 and 8 strings, respectively); and the piezo-sporting FM-62SE, whose resemblance to a certain other (and, in my opinion, superior) brand of acoustic/electric mandolins has been well noted and may or may not be more than purely coincidental.
     Here's a sad tale: Early in 2002, the Arbiter Group, Fender's distributor in the UK, issued a very limited number of copies of the Mandocaster-ish SB-4. It was available in "Sonic Blue" as well as the "Fiesta Red" pictured at right; there was also an 8-string version. Do you think it's still being made? Ha! Do you think they'll make any more? Ha!
Do you think anyone at Fender UK or the Arbiter Group will even tell me how many of them exist? Ha! Then there's the FM-60S, an acoustic/electric that's available only in Japan.
    Back to the above axes: I've heard from several players, and the response is mixed. Some folks have reported intonation problems with the C string on the FM-60E. The FM-52E isn't much as an acoustic mandolin, but does hold its own as an electric, considering its very reasonable cost. If you can't find these at your local guitar shop, try Musician's Friend.