Jump to content


How much are the manufacturers spending on tool and die for a new model?


  • You cannot reply to this topic
18 replies to this topic

#1 clovis

clovis

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 591 posts
  • Location:Indiana
  • Full Name:Jeff Jackson

Posted 26 March 2013 - 05:56 PM

I am curious to know how much the manufacturers are spending on tool and die for a new kit.

 

I am sure that the tooling must be astronomical. Years ago, back in the early 90's, I got an estimate on a single plastic part (not model related), and the tooling costs were $20,000 for a single cavity mold, and this was not a highly detailed part.

 

I know that, as a general rule, that tooling costs have dropped quite a bit with the competition in China, but they are not cheap. As a side note, I am told that the much of the quality coming out of China can be poor, and often requires reworking before production can start.

 

And, for the record, I have no dreams or aspirations of getting into the model business...I am just curious. 

 

Does anyone know?

 

Thoughts?

 



#2 niteowl7710

niteowl7710

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,706 posts
  • Location:FayCoPA
  • Full Name:Doing the grunt work so the U.S. Postal Service can deliver your mail.

Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:02 PM

I believe the consensus estimate that gets floated around the most is $250,000 to get "in the door" as it were.  I imagine you can apply the old "how fast you want to go depends on how much money you want to spend" from that first quarter mil when it comes to how complicated the molds are, number of parts, etc.



#3 lanesteele240

lanesteele240

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 943 posts
  • Location:north carolina
  • Full Name:Gary Steen

Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:25 PM

I figured in a age of 3d scanning and 5 axis cnc machines, tooling cost would go down. Guess i was wrong.

#4 mikemodeler

mikemodeler

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,047 posts
  • Location:NASCAR Country!
  • Full Name:Classified

Posted 27 March 2013 - 01:21 AM

I think that we would need someone connected to the industry to give an accurate estimate. While advances in technology may have reduced the tooling costs some, licensing fees and a smaller market can still play a large factor into the cost of developing a kit. 

 

It would explain why there has been 3 versions of the Revell Nova and also why we are getting yet another version of their 69 Camaro, , the COPO , which appears to be using parts from the COPO Nova kit. More kit sales without having to create new tooling!

 

I wonder if the folks at Mobeius have some data they could share on this subject, in light of their recent all new tools, that would better help us understand what it costs and why certain vehicles get released.



#5 heinz74

heinz74

    MCM Friend

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 132 posts
  • Location:netherlands
  • Full Name:henry van meer

Posted 27 March 2013 - 01:52 AM

kinda have to comment on this...

maybe the license from manufacturers is the problem..

but more or less the same subject..overhere in Europe ,France to be excact we have a company called OttoMobile

basicly it was 3 students trying to get a degree in 3d scanning..which they did

they started out with cars..meaning the makes and models from everyday cars..give or take some faster versions of them

all of them are resin models in 1/18-1/12 scale..

finishing a Renault Clio Williams in 1/12 scale which is-was downright frightfully accurate for their graduationproject..

it was recieved amongst collectors so well they started designing other cars as well ,more or less on demand

Now 4 years later they have a lineup of al sorts of Euro cars ,all more or less limited to 2000-2500 units.

i have some of them ..

afbeelding154.jpg

as you can see ,they are not thrown together..the paint is flawless.and all the badges are on there..

yet the price for a 1/18 resin is 'only' 65 euro's..

the only thing i can think of in terms of low cost ,is maybe the simplified boxart with these ,just plain white carton..

i reckon you pay about 20-30 euro's for a 1/24-1/25 modelkit which is just a lot of molded styrene with a decal sheet..and fancy boxart..

so is it all down to the rights then?....how does this work?..

 

btw..check http://www.otto-models.com/...you'll see what i mean..



#6 wisdonm

wisdonm

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 546 posts
  • Location:Brookfield (Milwaukee), Wisconsin
  • Full Name:Don Mueller

Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:59 AM

That is very interesting. Unpainted 3d printed kits are being sold here for hundreds of dollars.



#7 Ace-Garageguy

Ace-Garageguy

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,627 posts
  • Location:Down two, then left.
  • Full Name:Bill Engwer

Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:23 AM

Rather than speculating, why not google "free quotes plastic injection molding" and call some of the companies. Though some don't have time for tire-kickers, some will talk to you to give you an idea...if you REALLY want to know.

 

Just a thought.



#8 English Jules

English Jules

    MCM Avid Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 407 posts
  • Location:England
  • Full Name:Julian Hales

Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:31 AM

kinda have to comment on this...

maybe the license from manufacturers is the problem..

but more or less the same subject..overhere in Europe ,France to be excact we have a company called OttoMobile

basicly it was 3 students trying to get a degree in 3d scanning..which they did

they started out with cars..meaning the makes and models from everyday cars..give or take some faster versions of them

all of them are resin models in 1/18-1/12 scale..

finishing a Renault Clio Williams in 1/12 scale which is-was downright frightfully accurate for their graduationproject..

it was recieved amongst collectors so well they started designing other cars as well ,more or less on demand

Now 4 years later they have a lineup of al sorts of Euro cars ,all more or less limited to 2000-2500 units.

i have some of them ..

 

as you can see ,they are not thrown together..the paint is flawless.and all the badges are on there..

yet the price for a 1/18 resin is 'only' 65 euro's..

the only thing i can think of in terms of low cost ,is maybe the simplified boxart with these ,just plain white carton..

i reckon you pay about 20-30 euro's for a 1/24-1/25 modelkit which is just a lot of molded styrene with a decal sheet..and fancy boxart..

so is it all down to the rights then?....how does this work?..

 

btw..check http://www.otto-models.com/...you'll see what i mean..

 

I took a look, i liked the Sunbeam Lotus, very nice.   and the future E34 BMW too. i dont and wont own a French car.   I notice they are limited to say around 1500 pieces, why so low?  i know resin tooling gets worse through usage

 

Pity not 1/24th scale for me though



#9 Dave Van

Dave Van

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,076 posts
  • Location:Hills of West Virginia

Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:40 AM

A hard fast answer you will not get on model cars being tooled now. The model companies are all very small companies and this kind of info is not usually public. It's a lot!! But the total cost of research, planning, drawings in 2-D and then 3-D, tooling samples and then molds. But it doesn't end there. Moebius had to almost scrap the original Hudson mold as the green house was wrong....the bad one wasn't free! So the total cost will be a combination of all that.  More than you think...let's leave it as that.



#10 gtx6970

gtx6970

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,016 posts
  • Location:Northern Ky
  • Full Name:Bill Allphin

Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:46 AM

I've looked into having 1/1 parts made. And I can say, tooling is not cheap, not to mention the setup costs to run said tool.

And it REALLY depends on the size and complexity of the intended subject, how many revisions it has to go thru , etc etc

 

I was quoted approx 100K from start to finish to have a woodgrain shifter ball produced just to give you some idea. That was the manufacture retained the rights to the tooling. If I wanted exclusivity of said tool ? double that.



#11 Brett Barrow

Brett Barrow

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,267 posts
  • Location:Deep in the swamps of Jersey
  • Full Name:Genius billionaire playboy philanthropist Brett M. Barrow, Esq.

Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:11 AM

We talking just cutting steel, or we talking design, prototyping, manufacturing, boxes, decals, shipping etc... from first idea to kit on shelves?

 

New technologies haven't really brought the costs down, they've just changed the names of who you make the checks out to... And how many checks you send out... And where you send them to.



#12 gtx6970

gtx6970

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,016 posts
  • Location:Northern Ky
  • Full Name:Bill Allphin

Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:24 AM

The shifter ball I was ck'ing into was a simple 2 piece tool. Shifter ball is approx 2.5" in diameter. a simple plastic round ball molded around a pre-threaded brass insert . I was quoted $75K to $100K ( approx ) And that got me from my idea thru initial drafting design, prototypes, up to 2 tool revisions then to finished product. The clincher was , that once final tooling / finished product was approved,. Was the setup costs to run said tool for a production run was above and beyond that ........$$$ amount per piece depended on total item count of said production run .

That was 5 years ago and was going to be done in a Pacific rim country. needless to say it never went any farther than my idea.



#13 robertw

robertw

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 624 posts
  • Location:Saskatchewan, Canada

Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:49 AM

Some interesting cars available from OttoMobile too bad they appear to be available only in 1/18 scale.



#14 clovis

clovis

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 591 posts
  • Location:Indiana
  • Full Name:Jeff Jackson

Posted 28 March 2013 - 03:59 AM

Thank you for the replies. It has been an interesting conversation.

 

As a side note, I spent many years in the printing business, and while I never worked with box printing, I think most of us would be surprised to know how expensive the art, graphic design, set up, plates, and four color printing is for boxes.  



#15 Dave Van

Dave Van

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,076 posts
  • Location:Hills of West Virginia

Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:43 AM

Thank you for the replies. It has been an interesting conversation.

 

As a side note, I spent many years in the printing business, and while I never worked with box printing, I think most of us would be surprised to know how expensive the art, graphic design, set up, plates, and four color printing is for boxes.  

And why some recent Revell kits are 'molded in USA, box printed in China'..... :D



#16 jas1957

jas1957

    MCM Friend

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 232 posts
  • Location:Northern Ohio
  • Full Name:John Strick

Posted 28 March 2013 - 02:40 PM

Thank you for the replies. It has been an interesting conversation.

 

As a side note, I spent many years in the printing business, and while I never worked with box printing, I think most of us would be surprised to know how expensive the art, graphic design, set up, plates, and four color printing is for boxes.  

I can remember back in the late '80s early '90s talking to people from AMT/Ertl  & being told the most expensive part of a kit was the packaging.   That was a real surprise at the time.



#17 clovis

clovis

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 591 posts
  • Location:Indiana
  • Full Name:Jeff Jackson

Posted 28 March 2013 - 06:57 PM

I can remember back in the late '80s early '90s talking to people from AMT/Ertl  & being told the most expensive part of a kit was the packaging.   That was a real surprise at the time.

 

Don't quote me on this, but I think that model boxes are printed using flexography. Talk about EXPENSIVE. I never brokered a box job, but flexo can be stunningly high.

 

I priced out a flexo job once, and the plates alone were well over $1,200, and this was a small imprint area, nothing even close to the size of a model box.

 

When you consider:

 

1. Preliminary art sketch for the box

2. A model has to be completed

3. That model is photographed, usually by a pro photographer,  

4. A graphic designer familiar to the box business has to lay out the artwork and typeset the job

5. Proofs have to be made

6. Touch up work/photo enhancing etc.

7. When the art is approved, the color separations have to be completed

8. On a full color box, 4 plates are made for the 4 color process ($$$$) 

9. Production begins

 

I'm sure I missed something, but this is the gist of it...and NONE of this is cheap.



#18 heinz74

heinz74

    MCM Friend

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 132 posts
  • Location:netherlands
  • Full Name:henry van meer

Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:13 PM

Is it just me who sees the scale tilting towards the wrong side?

I understand that a box or package can have something to do with the value of the product inside

but nowadays even a tube of toothpaste can somethimes be called 'limited edition' ,just for the hype of it

for me it counts what;s inside..like with the Otto's i've shown ..those boxes are all identical except for a small sticker on the side stating the make and model inside

frankly ..for me that's enough..

nice to have a huge promotional 'photo of said car with barely dressed women at a beach' on it ,but if the model doesn't even come close to the real thing....they mind as well keep it...

in the past a onetime 'run' of any product could lead to insane high value for collectors afterwards..

now however manufacturers seem to reissue everything every couple of years

for example..Erlt/Greenlight made a 1/18 diecast of K.i.t.t  back in early 2000's..(you know the talking firebird,driven by some curlyhead lifeguard with a alcohol issue)...prices on euro Ebay reached up to 200 euro's for one

 

and guess what....it's now available again..for around 65 euro's..sure it's not a 2001 ..but nobody would know any different ..

also by reissuing a kit over and over and over again ,one would think that the cost for a new issue would shrink drastically?

 

like i said at the beginning ,at least what i'm trying to say..if tooling and design is so steep..like many have said before...than why would a modelcompany throw  expensive box art on top of all that

can't be no fun in that..

and if designing (3d or not)..is so expensive..why is anyone making or selling transkits or resin models at reasonable pricing? 

have i lost the point along the way? 



#19 raildogg

raildogg

    MCM Avid Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 320 posts
  • Location:So. New Hampshire
  • Full Name:Richard A Rozzi

Posted 29 March 2013 - 05:28 AM

Having been a mold maker for some of my working years I'd like to add to this conversation. The costs of making a mold now is very steep. In the U.S. it is always prohibitive, so the Chinese make them at, one third the cost. Then, they ship back it to the mfg. ,he checks the accuracy and then, spends almost as much to repair or rebuild it as it would have, to have it done in country. Add to this the art work and offset printing costs, and there you have it, the $25.00 scale model. If it's a re issue then it's and old mold shined up for a short run, still expensive. I know there are ways to make economical molds for new subjects but, the old one sell like hot cakes just the way they are, bad to just fair. In closing, no they are not spending anything at all, we must remember in a democratic capitalist business environment, profit is king!, not customer satisfaction!