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#1 flatheadgary

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 02:02 PM

i don't really know where to put this but maybe you know. why is it that
amt and revell don't just drag out all there molds and reissue them on a monthly bases like a production shop? i know if they want to keep the price at a certain level in the hobby they keep them in short supply. kind of like everything else in this country. supply and demand. i just get irritated by the price of old kits i would like to have but are just to expensive. i am not talking about worn or broken tooling. they must have quite a few molds they haven't reissued yet too. if they are worried about selling them, you know, like issue 23,000 kits of say, the little coffin every year. i know they do issue these kits every so often but why so long between issues. i know we modelers will buy 10 of the same thing when it is available to build or for parts to kit bash. so why are they so stingy about reissues?

#2 Jairus

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 02:44 PM

It's all a because of marketing and possibly stupid people in charge who don't understand what's popular.
Before HobbyCo purchased Revell most of the guys in charge just wanted to collect a paycheck and do as little as possible. A lot of that was corrected after the buyout.

AMT, on the other hand, fired anyone who showed initiative or made too much money.

While it is true that many molds are damaged or too worn for further production.. It is also true that some molds are simply LOST! They just don’t know where there are….

Another reason is, or could be, because the bean-counters don’t think an available mold will sell well enough to justify production of 20,000 kits. Sure a lot of the adult market would buy one or two kits each but frankly that might only be a couple thousand kits. What is AMT or Revell going to do with the balance of the kits if the big box stores fail to sell it? Production and storage costs $!

Best course of action is to post your wishes on this and other forums. Then maybe someone at Revell or AMT will read it. I personally have sent links to this forum more than a half dozen times to the cool guys at Revell. I am pretty sure that they watch MCM Forums and Hobby Heaven at least once in a while…..

#3 flatheadgary

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 03:55 PM

thanks jairus. the amount of the reissues was just an arbitrary number though. i always wonder why it is so hard for any company to find what is selling when there is so much computer communication in the world. they could have someone check ebay for instance and see what sells and a good marketing dept could surely keep track of what sells at lhs or swapmeets and such. i mean this is there livelyhood. why be so incompetent at keeping up with the market. don't they want to stay in business or what?

#4 Billy Kingsley

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 05:08 AM

It's too bad that kits can't be made on a made to order basis.

Just imagine, now, if you will...

A kit is announced. This would only work with reissues due to the high cost of new tools.

Orders are taken, through the various shops and whatnot. The usual channels.

Say the order total is 7382 kits. Just random numbers, but those are the paid order Company X recieves before the kit is first run.

Since those are already paid for, Company X wouldn't have to worry about not recouping their money there because the orders would already be paid.

Now, with the way this hobby works, that would not be a perfect solution because there would sure be people who either don't have the connections we have to learn about this kind of a deal (believe it or not, I think there are far more modelers who do not visit the message boards then those that do) and there may also be people who cannot afford to place a preorder but want them...

SO....

Company X runs 5000 extra kits OVER the initial orders, which would then be split up between the mail order houses, LHS's, etc.

That does not leave a place for Wal-Mart. Perhaps, since the presells would, or at least should, pay enough to get the kit running, Wal-Mart et all could then be given a list and they could opt-in to kits they want to carry.

Of cource, on the downside of this, is that if there are NOT enough preorders, the kit then would not be run, leaving those who wanted them in the lurch...But, since they would be reisses anyway, it would not be a big deal because there are plenty of old kits still floating around.

#5 flatheadgary

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 08:08 AM

bill, now that would be an interesting situation. i can't see why we as modelers can come up with workable marketing plans and the companies can't. maybe it wouldn't work but one would think they would at least try something. it could be we don't know all the problems they have but if they don't start acting like they want to prosper they are gonig to go the way alot of companies that wouldn't adapt to changing times went.
thanks for the replies.

#6 bob paeth

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 09:46 PM

This is a very interesting question that has more than one potential answer. It has been a long time since my direct involvement with the manufacturering or atleast re-issues. Re-isues are not a new idea. Revell was doing them even back in the mid 60's. I grant you that there were fewer re-issues then because of two reasons: # 1 new kits were coming out every month and #2 there were fewer to choose from. Revells problem was finding time to put the molds in the machines. These molds ran atleast two full shifts 5 days a week.

The fact that some molds are is lost is true, believe it or not. Worth many thousands of dollars did not keep the various companies from misplacing them. Unless someone clearly painted of the mold what it was for, no one new what it was. If a warehouseman put the "mold" on a shelf and subsequently covered it it with another one...........consider it lost. Storage was another problem. Many of Revells old molds were stored on an outside loading dock, subject to the weather ( not a good idea even in sunny southern California )

Due to inflation I would imagine that the cost to put a mold into a machine borders on several thousand dollars. This start up cost, plus the labor in production, box costs, advertising, shipping and accounting "eats up" some of the profit right from the "git go ". In the mid 60's an arbitrary goal of 50,000 kits was looked at as the break-even point. Of course this took into consideration the initial cost of development. but, even when the mold has been amortized many thousands of kits must be sold to realize a profit.

Jarius, I must disagree with you on the "responsible" people at Revell before this latest sale of the company. Two of the people who have been responsible for the development of new kits are personally known by me and I can assure you and everyone else that these two people are "model " people , not just bean counters. So far as I know their responsabilities have not changed in accordance with the new owners. I have not always agreed with their decisions but they have been backed by a learned background.

What Revell does in the future, will ultimately depend on how much the new ownwers wish to spend. Whether its new development or re-issues, that all of us would like to see, we will just have to wait.

bob

#7 Modelmartin

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 02:52 AM

I have heard many stories over the years regarding lost tooling and they are pretty typical.

I am sure everyone has heard about the trainwreck and the Aurora molds. The train that all of the Aurora molds were loaded on when Monogram bought them derailed in the winter and the molds sat out in the snow for weeks and got rusted and then were scrapped.

A lot of very old molds from the 50s and 60s were made up of dozens of pieces of tool steel all clamped and shimmed together. They didn't have the technology then to make them from one piece of steel like now. Corrosion would creep in to the joints and distort the mold. It would be very expensive to fix and the old school machinists and mold makers are mostly retired now.

The AMT molds were in somewhat of a disarray after going through several ownership changes and nobody kept track of the different inserts that were swapped in and out and it was all a jumble and nobody knew how or cared to figure out what belonged to what. apparently it sits in a big pile in Dersville.

I thought I read on one of the forums that disgruntled employees at one of the companies(Jo-Han?) sold molds off for scrap value. Ouch!

What truly surprises me is that so much has actually survived for 30-50 years. That is truly amazing! The other thing is that costs of making molds has come down so far in adjusted dollars through CNC technology. I would guess that it costs about 1/3rd as much in adjusted dollars to make a new tool now as in the past. You can skip the pattern and use a CAD file and cut right into the steel.

Regarding the Wal-marts, Targets, etc. I know a few people who are buyers at Target (HQ in Minneapolis) and the way they operate is pretty cut-throat. Vendors pretty much have to say "How High?" when thay are asked to jump. If some thing falls below a certain level of profitability they are just axed. If the profit requirement is 30% then 29% means it is dropped and now! I heard that Wal-mart is 50% of Revell-ograms business now. If Wally determines that the plastic is not profitable ENOUGH then Revellogram's doors close! That decision would be made by one person - the senior toy buyer! Let's hope that person builds models! That would partly be Revell-ograms fault for relying on one customer for so much and not adjusting their business model a bit.

#8 m408

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 03:43 PM

Andy, from what info I have, Wal-Mart is more around 60-70% of Revell's business, which is suicidal in the extreme. I'm betting that AMT is/was roughly the same. Letting basically one company dictate your profit margin, (based on what they will pay for your product), which in turn dictates your capital & how much of it you can risk to produce more items, while neglecting the actual core of your steady customer base is a recipe for disaster. Especially when it's a company famous for making suppliers go to razor thin profit margins, & even as far as a profit loss per single item, in the hope of them buying enough of the items to actually give you a taste of profit, (which causes you to cut cost to the bone, even as far as reducing quality), & you see where we're headed.
I know that when I worked for Hobby Lobby, while we department managers did hand write each weekly order, it all came from a centralized warehouse, & was overseen by basically one buyer, similar to the Wal-Mart situation. This is not healthy for the hobby as a whole either. 8)

Not related to the model business, but to highlight the problems facing Revell and AMT. Years ago, IBM was notorious for eating up 90% of a suppliers capacity. Great for the supplier at the start, but not so good later. IBM would dictate thier own pricing and many small shops went out of buisness because they had no other customers.

#9 GonzoTx

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 04:45 AM

I hope it is not true that WalMart was 60% to 70% of Revell business because as of Jan.1 WalMart no longer carries Model kits or model paint.This has forced me and I'm sure many other small town model builders to turn to the internet for their kits.For my part, its a 150 mile round trip to any store that sells models.I wish there was something to be done, but when the profits falls, the ax isn't far behind . Sad but true...

#10 Renwalfan

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 08:17 AM

I hope it is not true that WalMart was 60% to 70% of Revell business because as of Jan.1 WalMart no longer carries Model kits or model paint.This has forced me and I'm sure many other small town model builders to turn to the internet for their kits.For my part, its a 150 mile round trip to any store that sells models.I wish there was something to be done, but when the profits falls, the ax isn't far behind . Sad but true...

Yes i am in the same situation , i cant just run down to the local WalMart for glue,paints etc. I now have to go to mail order or inter net for my stuff. I do have a few good sources for old kits and parts (Fred Sterns and Goulie Motors) have been good to me,I hate looking at the high prices for old kits on EBAY and i am glad to see that Auto World is going to try and reissue some old stuff we havent seen in a long time! I have wanted tne MPC Rupp Super Sno Sport for years!!!!!!!!!!! Also does anyone Know if Revell still has the molds for the Renwal Revival kits and are the planning on producing them someday? Any one out there have any builts or unbuilts etc. they could help me out with ? thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#11 Biscuitbuilder

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 09:37 PM

This is a very interesting question that has more than one potential answer. It has been a long time since my direct involvement with the manufacturering or atleast re-issues. Re-isues are not a new idea. Revell was doing them even back in the mid 60's. I grant you that there were fewer re-issues then because of two reasons: # 1 new kits were coming out every month and #2 there were fewer to choose from. Revells problem was finding time to put the molds in the machines. These molds ran atleast two full shifts 5 days a week.

The fact that some molds are is lost is true, believe it or not. Worth many thousands of dollars did not keep the various companies from misplacing them. Unless someone clearly painted of the mold what it was for, no one new what it was. If a warehouseman put the "mold" on a shelf and subsequently covered it it with another one...........consider it lost. Storage was another problem. Many of Revells old molds were stored on an outside loading dock, subject to the weather ( not a good idea even in sunny southern California )
Due to inflation I would imagine that the cost to put a mold into a machine borders on several thousand dollars. This start up cost, plus the labor in production, box costs, advertising, shipping and accounting "eats up" some of the profit right from the "git go ". In the mid 60's an arbitrary goal of 50,000 kits was looked at as the break-even point. Of course this took into consideration the initial cost of development. but, even when the mold has been amortized many thousands of kits must be sold to realize a profit.
Jarius, I must disagree with you on the "responsible" people at Revell before this latest sale of the company. Two of the people who have been responsible for the development of new kits are personally known by me and I can assure you and everyone else that these two people are "model " people , not just bean counters. So far as I know their responsabilities have not changed in accordance with the new owners. I have not always agreed with their decisions but they have been backed by a learned background.
What Revell does in the future, will ultimately depend on how much the new ownwers wish to spend. Whether its new development or re-issues, that all of us would like to see, we will just have to wait.
bob



Most of the old Aurora tooling was cut in berylium copper, which was ( and may still be) nearly at the level of a precious metal on the commodities market.

People I knew at Monogram have told me that a lot of Aurora tooling simply did not meet the then-standards at Monogram, and when the deep recession of 1981 hit, the company sold off a lot of that tooling as scrap, which I am told essentially helped save the company from oblivion. If that is so, then so much the better, simply because it would have saved an iconic company that has kept us supplied with cool stuff for decades.

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#12 Biscuitbuilder

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 09:00 AM

thanks jairus. the amount of the reissues was just an arbitrary number though. i always wonder why it is so hard for any company to find what is selling when there is so much computer communication in the world. they could have someone check ebay for instance and see what sells and a good marketing dept could surely keep track of what sells at lhs or swapmeets and such. i mean this is there livelyhood. why be so incompetent at keeping up with the market. don't they want to stay in business or what?


Except for the simple fact that only the "big box" stores have any sort of computerized reporting capabilities, which they can use to provide this feedback. When one thinks of it, what LHS owner has that kind of time to begin with, or the $$ to invest in POP systems (cash registers) that will gather that information? And, even if they did, what about all the little stuff we like to buy at the hobby shop without the UPC bar thingie?

To draw conclusions from sales on eBay when considering a reissue, or new tooling of an old subject is pure and simple, the crapshot of crapshots, in my experience. The same is also true of swap meet collectors' pricing--those just don't give much information as to what might sell in the future.

Oh, and don't forget one of the cardinal rules of Computer Science 101: GIGO, or Garbage In, Garbage Out.

That said, when I was with Playing Mantis, specifically Johnny Lightning (and a bit of time once in a while down the hall at Polar Lights) we regularly got "sell through" information, compiled by a vendor of such information from sales data from the various -Marts out there. Trouble was, those retailers began quitting supplying that information. (sell through is the rate of sales, as a percentage of what was received at a particular store or chain, in a given period--generally 30-days).

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