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Is Model building going to die off after our Generation goes?


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#21 Peter Lombardo

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 04:57 AM

Peter... remember, the social change you talk about has been happening throughout history. Every generation sees their time as "the good old days." I'm sure people a hundred years from now will look back on our time as quaint, innocent and old-fashioned, too.

Harry, I am not lementing the "good old days" and I certainly understand how each generation moves to it's own beat. I remember how my father reacted to the "Rolling Stones" the first time he saw them on TV. I was enjoying "Not fade away" and he was horrified. All I am saying is that during our youth and early teen years, model building was the cool and new and accepted pastime..............not so today. And because of that, I see a steady decline in the hobby, like it or not, it is "Our" thing......not "Their" thing.



#22 Guest_Johnny_*

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 04:57 AM

If the model companies put out more kits that are of relevance to the current generation, they might have put some money into it.

The Japanese model companies have been developing kits that can be sold into different genres and even age groups, and the modelling scene seems to be much younger over here.


They tried that and the kits sat on the shelves while the old reissued a million times kits still sold.

Yes the Japanese have done a great job on releasing newer more "relevant" to your generation as you say.
Look at the high prices. You do understand why those prices are so high? The lower the sales numbers the more they have to sell them for. The market for the newer cars just is not there. The kids are too busy with something that doesn't take much more effort than pushing a button these days!

#23 Harry P.

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:02 AM

As far as comparing the Japanese and American kits being released... the reason that the Japanese are releasing so many more new kits than the American manufacturers are, is that model car building, for whatever reason, is much more popular and "relevant" in Japan than it is here. In other words, Japan has a larger (per capita) group of people active in the hobby than the US does.

#24 iBorg

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:02 AM

I think model building will remain among a certain die hard group of high quality builders. Look at the growth in the aftermarket. We have resin do-dads that I didn't know even existed in real life. We can get decals for so many cars that some of us have such a decal collection, we'll never get around to using them.
The hobby will follow model railroading. I think that is the model (no pun intended) the hobby will need to follow. I do agree that more modern cars are needed but how many new cars excite. If it doesn't excite most builders will ignore it.

#25 John Goschke

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:15 AM

Seems to me folks have been having this discussion about the impending death of the hobby since the '70s, but we're still here and talking about two great new kits from a new manufacturer elsewhere on this forum and others.

#26 Dr. Cranky

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:16 AM

And Harry, they picked that fever up from us, from watching us in the 60s and 70s go crazy over cars . . . they love cars, and are crazy about them as model subjects, but the Japanese love everything miniature. They love so many different types of model building, and that all helps keep the numbers going.

#27 Peter Lombardo

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:23 AM

Guys, we ARE the market that the manufactures are catering to. This, it appears to me, is a "Baby Boomer" hobby. Harry, what is the median age of the members on this forum? I think that will give an indication as to where the hobby is going.

Edited by Peter Lombardo, 25 April 2012 - 05:27 AM.


#28 High octane

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:23 AM

The "heyday" of plastic model building WAS in the 50's & 60's as men came home from the war and wanted to build ships, tanks, and planes, the "Space Age" was starting up and kids built rockets, and cars were catching on and the model car industry "exploded." I've enjoyed model building since the mid-50's and even had a 7 or 8 year hiatus in the 90's. I still enjoy it and really DON'T care what happens to the hobby when I'm below the earth's surface. There are WAY to many other things for younger people to be doing than building models like we were when I was a kid.

#29 Peter Lombardo

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:27 AM

Today, there are 5 birthdays listed and the average age of them is 40.....not 20, or 18, or even 30.....and that is only because one age listed is 18, so that keeps the average birthday today age from being even higher.

#30 Harry P.

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:31 AM

Guys, we ARE the market that the manufactures are catering to. This, it appears to me, is a "Baby Boomer" hobby. Harry, what is the median age of the members on this forum? I think that will give an indication as to where the hobby is going.


Don't know for sure, but my guess would be 40+.

#31 fumi

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:33 AM

They tried that and the kits sat on the shelves while the old reissued a million times kits still sold.


They will have to do better than their half-hearted attempt at tuner kits that are in the wrong scale, have mounting pins right in the middle of the head and tail lights, and can't interchange wheels with existing compact car kits nor take the aftermarket wheels already on the market.

Yes the Japanese have done a great job on releasing newer more "relevant" to your generation as you say.
Look at the high prices. You do understand why those prices are so high? The lower the sales numbers the more they have to sell them for. The market for the newer cars just is not there. The kids are too busy with something that doesn't take much more effort than pushing a button these days!


Back when I was still living in Toronto in the late 90's, my LHS can sell the same officially imported Japanese kit several dollars cheaper than other hobby stores, and they were doing great business. Now that I'm living in Hong Kong I can get the same officially imported Japanese kit at 70% of the price I'd have to pay back home, even when our dollar is pegged to the US dollar and have the same crappy exchange rate to the yen.

So I'd say the market for new car is definitely there, and greed is the factor for those high prices, from the distributor to the shop owners. These days people who wanted a new car kit would probably just get it online, leaving those unrealistically price import kits on the shelf of the hobby stores.

#32 plowboy

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:34 AM

I think as long as us older builders are willing to share the hobby with the younger generation,that it will continue to survive. Maybe not at the level we see now and in the past. A lot of older builders have the mindset that ALL kids care about are video games and they don't build models. :rolleyes: That's simply not true. Just because they don't fill up a table at a show doesn't mean kids aren't building. Heck, I was 33 years old before I attended my first show. Does that mean that I didn't start building until I was 33? Of course not!

My 8 year old son absolutely loves to build anything! It doesn't matter what it is. If it's something he can build with his own hands, he's into it. He can come up with some amazing stuff for an 8 year old with those new Lego sets when he mixes sets together. I think the reason he likes those so well is that he can build them,take them apart and build something totally new. He also builds model cars (not many so far),planes and tanks. He'll take something he can build over a video game anytime.

If model companies are going to survive,they are going to have to start making a transition from old to new/newer subjects and not just supercars. I'm 45 and I would love to see a kit of something new or newer besides Mustangs,Camaros and Challengers! Seems like the only ones staying up with the times now are the die cast companies.

#33 fumi

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:39 AM

As far as comparing the Japanese and American kits being released... the reason that the Japanese are releasing so many more new kits than the American manufacturers are, is that model car building, for whatever reason, is much more popular and "relevant" in Japan than it is here. In other words, Japan has a larger (per capita) group of people active in the hobby than the US does.


Kids in here cut their teeth on modelling with Gundam kits. Many of them will continue building Gundams, some will progress to other form of modelling, and when they have kids they'll build Gundams with them together.

I don't see the parallel of that in the West.

Edited by fumi, 25 April 2012 - 05:40 AM.


#34 sjordan

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:58 AM

Who knows where the hobby may be going? One of these days, you'll be able to afford your own Rapid Prototype printer, and download and modify software for almost anything you want to build, at whatever scale your printer is capable of producing.

#35 mickey1938

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:02 AM

The price new Models is unbelieveable, the price of Oil is unbelieveable, and today there's so many Video Games Etc, I myself believe that the World of Minature is in fact slowing way down, my Son got into modeling up until he met some Girls then he got into Drumming, self taugh, then it was Nascar 2003 Racing on line then he started into Computer PAINTING! then theres the new 3D drawing which isn't cheap, Photo Etch is really rising in price, Models are more costly, I got a 1/16 Cobra off from Evilbay, I paid a good buck it, when it got it had a price tag from 1996 on it the price was $6.99, so with the high cost of College and everything, I do see the Hobby going to the Dogs, that is for the non-scratch builder.
Scratch Builders are a Fantastic bunch of Artistes, that will do what ever it takes to make the Hobby stay alive, us poor people will take hand me downs till there gone, then what?
mickey1938

#36 Ramcharger

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:10 AM

I was talking to the local hobby shop owner the other day about sales and stuff, he mentioned how the trend has become the hot new kit is released, it sell like crazy, then after a few guys buy the one or two they want, sales drop to almost zero. Not a good sales model as far as keeping kits in stock and not a great way to have R. O. I. for kit manufacturers. Reissues are just cheaper to do. If you tool up for 5000 kits and sell 1000 in the first week of release and then sell nothing after that, why on earth would you spend money on a new tool with the same result? (Moebius Hudsons come to mind) The hobby is dying out because we are getting older and our society is not as car centered as it once was. Cars are just transportation, with a few guys that are car nuts. I my opinion, I need to build what I have in the basement, not buy more.

#37 Romell R

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:14 AM

Fellas lets face it our hobby is one that is dying, but its not the fault of the manufactors. Its modern techknowlogy 2 million things for a kid to do other than build models.

Kids today are givien the choice to drive race cars , kill invading aliens, explore new and fascinating worlds, Be the hero and get the girl. All of this they can do from the comfort of home thanks to video games.

In our day we didnt have all that so building models was our way of adventure. As a kid i could never have owned a 63 corvette , but if I had the model I could pretend I was the owner and driver of that beautiful car.

Will our hobby die off after we pass? .....it could but if each of us takes the responsibility to teach others what we know it could definatly survive. This is a hobby of hand-me-downs and if we stop handing down the knowledge it most defanitly will grow cold and die. I think taking new ones to model shows and showing them the intrest in the hobby will help people to see how much fun we have and how great model building can be.

On the flip side of that same coin the internet has provided a outstanding tool for young one interested in building, and thats model building forums like this one. Here is where we can shine and show. Most kids spend countless hours on the internet and I have fould it really easy to give a youngster the website address and from doing that it has sparked an intrest in building for that youngster. So if you dont have the oppertunity to teach ones directly, try giving a young one the web address lets try to build this hobby back up.

ps. sorry for writing a book..

#38 Harry P.

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:17 AM

The price new Models is unbelieveable, the price of Oil is unbelieveable, and today there's so many Video Games Etc, I myself believe that the World of Minature is in fact slowing way down, my Son got into modeling up until he met some Girls then he got into Drumming, self taugh, then it was Nascar 2003 Racing on line then he started into Computer PAINTING! then theres the new 3D drawing which isn't cheap, Photo Etch is really rising in price, Models are more costly, I got a 1/16 Cobra off from Evilbay, I paid a good buck it, when it got it had a price tag from 1996 on it the price was $6.99, so with the high cost of College and everything, I do see the Hobby going to the Dogs, that is for the non-scratch builder.
Scratch Builders are a Fantastic bunch of Artistes, that will do what ever it takes to make the Hobby stay alive, us poor people will take hand me downs till there gone, then what?
mickey1938


You sure have a unique system for capitalizing words... :blink: :lol:

#39 Guest_Johnny_*

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:22 AM

They will have to do better than their half-hearted attempt at tuner kits that are in the wrong scale, have mounting pins right in the middle of the head and tail lights, and can't interchange wheels with existing compact car kits nor take the aftermarket wheels already on the market.



Back when I was still living in Toronto in the late 90's, my LHS can sell the same officially imported Japanese kit several dollars cheaper than other hobby stores, and they were doing great business. Now that I'm living in Hong Kong I can get the same officially imported Japanese kit at 70% of the price I'd have to pay back home, even when our dollar is pegged to the US dollar and have the same crappy exchange rate to the yen.

So I'd say the market for new car is definitely there, and greed is the factor for those high prices, from the distributor to the shop owners. These days people who wanted a new car kit would probably just get it online, leaving those unrealistically price import kits on the shelf of the hobby stores.


The market is great for them, over there.
It never was here and probably never will be. Those older builders (not that many younger builders here by comparison) that would like to see them are far too few to make it profitable for the companies to tool up the kits. Remember, they DO have to make a profit to stay in business and producing nitche kits will not cut it.

#40 Greg Myers

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:35 AM

I would like to be (and stay) more optimistic about the hobby in that yes, it's a gold age for some of us older builders, but I think the hobby will survive because people will always look for ways of entertaining themselves that has nothing to do with new technologies. Geez, television was a new technology not so long ago, right?

Model building parents need to continue to expose their children to the beauties of building model cars. Or models, period. It doesn't have to be cars. As long as people are building models, model cars will be around as a subject matter.

What a great idea, instead of board games or a movie buy a variety of model kits and invite the family over to enjoy your hobby. Now, honestly, I did envision this. However I can't even get my family together for a birthday dinner. But still, it sounds like a good idea. I might try it.