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Two hobbies, two demographics. A view from the middle


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#21 Blown03SVT

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 02:13 AM

I really do not believe the hobby is going to die anytime soon. As Craig mentioned, now is a great time to be a model builder. We have better kits, the aftermarket, better supplies, great new kits from Mobeius and RM and companies like Round 2 keeping the old stuff alive for you nostalgic types. We all have our reasons to build, Like alot of folks here, my dad passed it on to me. Over the years I have come and gone from the hobby but I still enjoy it while I can. I will share it with my sons, nephew or anyone else for that matter that has a interest in learning more. I try meet with my local model club once a month if time permits to learn from them, as well as hanging around on this and the "other" forums to learn more from the seasoned vets.

 

 

IMHO, kids today really just need to be instilled with creativity. Get them to put down the cell phone and video game controller and go stone age on them and sit with them, and draw, build a model, sculpt clay... whatever. The little ones in my life do not need to carry my torch on.But it makes me smile that they have an interest in what I am doing.  And as for adults, you never know who is a model builder out there. There is no accuate representation of who is building out there. There is no modelers census. But the manufactures are doing well enough to bestow new stuff on us that most of us want to spend our hard earned dollars on. The health of our beloved hobby seems to being doing well. There is light at the end of this tunnel and to me it's bright.



#22 Harry P.

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 02:43 AM

So that I am not confused, you edit this magazine, yet you could care less of what happens with the hobby??? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, and that is not a good attitude for a magazine editor in this hobby to have. 

 

The original post talked about manufacturers catering to kid's interests, to assure that the hobby is picked up by the next generation. What I said was that I couldn't care less what happens to the hobby after I'm gone, that I didn't feel any sense of duty to "pass on" model cars to the next generation, or was worried that manufacturers aren't catering to the kids. Let the next generation decide what it likes on its own. If models are among their interests, great. If not... so be it. I'm not saying that I don't care about the hobby... obviously I do, because I'm involved with it every day!

 

But I have plenty of stuff to deal with now... I can't spend time trying to affect the behavior of future generations.



#23 Harry P.

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 02:51 AM

Now, I don't know when exactly I began to pay real attention to what the younger generations prefer, probably about the time my oldest boys became of building age. The genres I pointed out are however based on my own observations online, at car shows and cruise ins and in the aisles of hobby shops themselves in addition to paying attention to what the owners of 1:1s of the younger crowd tended to own themselves. It was not meant to be all-encompassing but certainly what they are drawn to more often is greatly underserved.

 

Here's another question to think about: When (if) a young kid is attracted to model building, do you think the attraction is due more to the subject matter available, or is it the process of building a model that's more of a factor? IMO, a person is going to be drawn into the hobby more because he enjoys the process of building, rather than the specific subject matter. In other words, I don't necessarily think manufacturers have to put out certain subjects to appeal to younger builders. Maybe I'm wrong, but my gut feeling is that it's the process, not the product, that is the reason a person would get into the hobby.



#24 clovis

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:19 AM

I'm no fan of Walmart or corporate America. 

 

But, in my opinion, the loss of a mass merchandiser/retailer of models hurt this hobby pretty bad.

 

Most kids bought a model because they thought the subject was cool. Those who enjoyed it bought more models, and those who stuck with it graduated to higher end models found at the LHS.

 

The model building hobby is losing generations of kids each year, mostly because models are "out of sight, and out of mind".   



#25 freshawk

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:20 AM

imho , this forum has an excellent mobile device interface. 



#26 Rob Hall

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:59 AM

 

 

The model building hobby is losing generations of kids each year, mostly because models are "out of sight, and out of mind".   

That's also because the primary focus of Round 2, Revell and Moiebus is the older builder....as long as they focus on subjects that appeal primarily to an older crowd, they aren't going to gain younger builders...a topic that has already been hashed over ad infinitium.   Only a small niche of younger builders are going to be interested in subjects their grandparents would have been interested in.



#27 sjordan2

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 04:03 AM

I haven't kept up with it, but I think a big blow to the hobby happened when models were removed, or drastically reduced, at Toys R Us, a natural source for the craft.



#28 Jeff Johnston

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:32 AM

Interesting subject.  These are good posts...

 

I can see both sides.  Ultimately I want ot build as many cool models until I die and then whatever happens happens.



#29 Jeff Johnston

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:34 AM

 

Here's another question to think about: When (if) a young kid is attracted to model building, do you think the attraction is due more to the subject matter available, or is it the process of building a model that's more of a factor? IMO, a person is going to be drawn into the hobby more because he enjoys the process of building, rather than the specific subject matter. In other words, I don't necessarily think manufacturers have to put out certain subjects to appeal to younger builders. Maybe I'm wrong, but my gut feeling is that it's the process, not the product, that is the reason a person would get into the hobby.

 

I agree with that.  If you like to work with your hands and you like cars maybe you'll like building models.  My son loves cars and has no interest in building models.  So I agree its the building process and the subject, not just the subject.



#30 Greg Myers

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:50 AM

Without new customer to support the companies, the hobby might die before you and I do.

I have seen this in the Stamp collecting hobby. It is a real consideration.



#31 martinfan5

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:52 AM

 

Here's another question to think about: When (if) a young kid is attracted to model building, do you think the attraction is due more to the subject matter available, or is it the process of building a model that's more of a factor? IMO, a person is going to be drawn into the hobby more because he enjoys the process of building, rather than the specific subject matter. In other words, I don't necessarily think manufacturers have to put out certain subjects to appeal to younger builders. Maybe I'm wrong, but my gut feeling is that it's the process, not the product, that is the reason a person would get into the hobby.

 

 

 

I agree with that.  If you like to work with your hands and you like cars maybe you'll like building models.  My son loves cars and has no interest in building models.  So I agree its the building process and the subject, not just the subject.

I 100% disagree with both, I love cars, I love building models of cars that I like,  I am not going to enjoy building something I have little to no interest in,   part, or most of my enjoyment comes from building subjects that I have interest in building.  I don't watch TV shows, or watch movies I don't like just to be able to do it, I don't play video games I have no interest in just to be able to play video games, I don't listen to music that I don't like, just to be able to listen to music, you get my point,  and to think that younger generations are going to build to something that they don't like, is just crazy, have you seen the younger generations ?,  the last thing I see them doing is wanting to build a model, more so something that is 70 years or more older then them.

 

Sure, there are exceptions to that, I am 100% sure there is a small percentage of kids out there would, but that is because they either have a dad or grandad that is building models. 

 

But, what do I know, I could be completely wrong at the same time,  as long as the hobby stays alive during the rest of my life time, I dont care what happens, or who is building at what age , as long as the Japanese company's stay in business, then I will have some kits to build of current subjects


Edited by martinfan5, 14 May 2013 - 12:15 PM.


#32 Greg Myers

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:53 AM

I haven't kept up with it, but I think a big blow to the hobby happened when models were removed, or drastically reduced, at Toys R Us, a natural source for the craft.

That and their removal from other big box stores.

The casual chance discovery of  a young builder or the Mom, Grandparent (or other relative) or someone else buying for a birthday party etc. :)



#33 bbowser

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:05 PM

It's not just models but working with your hands in general.  With the reduction of music, art, and shop classes in schools and ever more reliance on computers (of any type) to do your thinking and interacting I see an alarming trend in the coming generations.  Modeling is as much about problem solving, patience, and discipline as the end product, be it plane, train, or automobile.  Young people need those skills and I'm afraid they're not getting them.  End rant.



#34 Tom Geiger

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:22 PM

There have been people building models of their transportation since the Roman chariots, so I don't see car model building dying all together. Recently we had a fellow contact us through the NNL East website, asking for a Tuner Class.  It was too late for this year, but at the show I learned that he and his friends, guys in their 20s, had started their own model car club.  These are nice respectful guys you'd want in the hobby.  We started to think that we need to invite younger builders into our fraternity on their terms. So I let these guys know we'd have a Tuner Class at NNL East next year, as long as they agreed to spread the word and invite more builders like themselves to the show.  Now it's up to the guys at the show to accept and encourage them! 

 

Heck, most guys in the hobby build hot rods and shiny replica stock cars.  And they all put up with me and my rusty old beaters.  So how far off is it to welcome guys who are passionate about their own subject into the group?  You don't have to be into the subject matter to appreciate nice builds and the passion of the younger guys!  In fact, we need to!



#35 ToyLvr

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:33 PM

I got kicked-off the board when I tried to post earlier today, so here we go again...

I suppose some folks think that we old geezers are selfish for trying to lure younger folks into the hobby. I don't see it that way.

I picked up the hobby from my older brother, who was into the hobby big-time back in the late 50s through mid-60s (what I refer to as the "Golden Age" of the hobby). It's been a passion of mine for nearly 50 years, and has brought great joy into my life. Why wouldn't I want to pass this along to the younger generation???

As you veteran modelers know, this is more than just a casual hobby. It involves exercising your brain in the process of planning a project, reading and following instructions, learning the use of basic hand tools, learning some basics of chemistry through the use of adhesives & paints, etc., etc. I remember reading a story where a young fellow was helped in overcoming his dyslexia by reading the instructions in his model kits. In short, young folks can learn some basic "life skills" through model building, and in some cases it even helps them in their chosen career. I also think it's great that this is a hobby where the whole family can participate if they choose to do so.

As Eric mentioned in his earlier post, I agree that it's a good thing to get the young folks to set aside their electronic gadgets for a while and do something *real*.

There are, of course, other "old school" activities such as sports, or maybe marching band for example, where we encourage our youth to participate because we know that they'll learn "life lessons" in team work, and stretching their physical limits.

While I don't think that we should force our hobby down the throats of our kids, I feel that all of the above can ultimately lead to good things for the participants, and make for a better society.

If the younger generation chooses to engage in this hobby, and by so doing encourages the kit manufacturers and aftermarket to give us more product, then it's a Win-Win for all of us.

#36 LOBBS

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:36 PM

Here's another question to think about: When (if) a young kid is attracted to model building, do you think the attraction is due more to the subject matter available, or is it the process of building a model that's more of a factor? IMO, a person is going to be drawn into the hobby more because he enjoys the process of building, rather than the specific subject matter. In other words, I don't necessarily think manufacturers have to put out certain subjects to appeal to younger builders. Maybe I'm wrong, but my gut feeling is that it's the process, not the product, that is the reason a person would get into the hobby.

Subject matter is huge with kids. With my kids, at their birthdays, I take them to the store and give them a budget. They are then free to pick anything they'd like as long as it fits into that number.

Having 4 kids, I could give countless examples of how this has played out to prove my point but for the sake of argument, I'll go with my older boys and their love of Lego sets. Lego, quite frankly, is run by geniuses of marketing. Nearly every blockbluster movie is followed shortly after with a full line of building sets. My boys, cash in hand, go in and work their budgets to the max to get as much as possible from each of these lines as they can. Being close in age and having b-days only a few weeks apart they've even been known to pool their resources to gain the bigger, more exclusive sets. Now, when they hit the aisles, there are no shortage of other styles to select from. Everything from un-themed basic brick sets to a half dozen other lines that run concurrently much less toys of a completely different nature they could pick. But, it is almost always without fail, the subject that drew them in that gets their dollar at the end of the day. If they go in and can't find a set they had in mind, I encourage them to save their money instead of wasting it on something that they don't love. There are always other stores or the internet to have another chance that it may turn up.

Edited by LOBBS, 14 May 2013 - 01:39 PM.


#37 DSHWoodworks

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:46 PM

I am not worried about modeling as a hobby going away in my lifetime. I feel the hobby does gain new builders just not as fast or as many as it did in the past. I do think that not having models in department stores has hurt the hobby by not exposing a would be builder to the hobby when they are just out doing their everyday shopping. That is one thing that I was surprised by when, getting back into the hobby after 20+ years and going into Kmart and not finding one model. I do have access to many "hobby" shops in my area and I'm lucky that even my local WalMart does carry kits and a few supplies. With out exposure to the hobby either by family, friends, etc... how do future builders even know about modeling?

 

  I agree with you completely Bruce!! I am afraid that we are losing, or have already lost, generations that do not know how to make anything by hand. Shop classes are being cut right and left and even when there are classes there is not the interest there once was. I am all for progress but its sad when I think that we have lost generations that have lost that way of thinking, skills, ability, desire to build something with their own hands. If you have a chance read the book "Shop class as soul craft" 



#38 mustang man

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:47 PM

I will put my two pennies in.I run a shop that has a group of the last of us baby boomers.

We are trying to teach the people that mangement brings off the street to fill opening when they come up.These young people can't even check the oil.let alone put gas in,to mow grass,let alone something like ; paint, use hand tools,hammer nails,cut wood,fix anything,Thers no way I would let them use power tools,welding-Ha-Ha !...etc,etc,etc

I try to teach them something,there's " I have to work ? ", " I have no idea on how to do that" or the "I will get dirty doing that ? ".Got a whole list of things like that.

But they sure know all about the next smart phone ,I-pad thing , X-box computer game ,etc.

What is; I wonder about WHO is going to repair/fix all these machines that make modern life so great ? What is going to happen when the power gose out ?

In the end I do not care anymore.

I realy tried to teach them.I realy did.

When it is my time to go.I will shut off the lights and lock the door.

Thank you for letting me vent.  



#39 Blown03SVT

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 02:13 PM

i have a small rant about the big box and toys store sales... They say it killed the mom and pop hobby shop. I don't think they had nearly the impact as internet sales. Now junior might have been exposed to those brightly colored boxes in Walmart 15 years ago... He maybe might have even wanted to build one. But most parents won't sit down to spend the time with their kids, or the parents lack the basic abilities to put the kit together. SO much easier to sit them in front of a t.v. or video and blame it on electronics instead of lack of parenting and intervention. Also, lord forbid children play with HAZMAT. They might poison themselves. They might be stupid and try to sniff glue. So the politically correctness of our society  makes hobbies such as this as socially unacceptable...

 

As for the P.C. thing. It's even infiltrated children's sports, and academics. No one is a loser... no one is left behind. Tons of life lessons lost here

 

...end rant



#40 Quick GMC

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 02:56 PM

I have to answer mustangman, the Generation after mine, or maybe even my generation is what screwed everything up!
The kids today, grew up with all of the things that you mentioned, so blame it on the Mothers and Father who gave the kids the easy way out, all of these great inventions, that came into our lives, made by very smart people, there the ones to blame, they caused jobs to be taken away and they made Robots to do men's work.
How many Cars are built by men today? how many TV's do you have, who made the Micro Wave Ovens, Smart Phones, Computers, the list goes on.
We the American people became lazy, and that my friend you can take to the Bank, so don't blame the kid that doesn't know how to gun a mower, I only had a push mower, not Gas.
Now I*'m to old to cut my lawn or shovel snow, now we live in a town home, and pay dearly for those services.
The American people, made this world that we live in, and were all to blame for not careing enough to teach our own children how to do things.
I have two Wonderful Children, both were brought up under my heavy hand, being a former Marine, it was my duty to disapline our children, but my word of mouth was enough, never was ever a problem, and their much better off then I ever was.
Let us get up off our bottoms and gather your Family, and have a old fashion sit down talk, and treat them like company and treat your company as Family, you'll all feel better.

 

I'm 29, I'm a craftsman. I work with my hands. There aren't alot of people on this planet that do what I do. Not because they can't, but because they don't know it's there. The biggest blow, in my opinion, to industry in general, is the removal of any mehanical application in school. I graduated high school 12 years ago. Seems like a long time, but it was 2001. NO auto shop, NO wood shop, NO drafting, NOTHING. I had to spend $18,000 to get an automotive education. It paid off, although I am no longer in that field. The people in charge are the spoiled kids that had everything handed to them. People that make the most important decisions shouldn't be leaving the house without a helmet. The sad reality is if you don't have a smart phone, email, etc. you cant keep up, at least in my field. 

 

I honestly think I'am about 10 years behind where I should be, education and general knowledge wise. It's my own fault, I screwed around in school, but now I like to learn. Build things, etc. You can't blame it all on the parents. When someone turns into an adult, they must accept the responsibility of life, and get their act together. You can only be carried for so long before it's your fault. 

 

I swear I spend more time screwing around with my phone and my computer than the time it takes to hand write a proposal and pick up the phone and call someone. My most productive days are the ones when I forget my phone, or throw it against a wall. 

 

But why'd you have to drag microwave ovens into this? Hot Pockets are a life saver.