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Why are there so many iconic cars that have never been kitted ?


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#41 Dragline

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 10:08 AM

Is Art's reasoning the actual story behind no new NHRA kits being offered today? Drag Racing is very strong right now, ticket sales are up, coverage on ESPN is solid  and they even play it twice for those who miss the live show.

 

 

Is it really just licencing that is keeping them from being made? When was our last crop of NHRA kits? The vintage stuff seems to be selling. If not then the reissues from present and near future seem ill advised. Yet I suspect they are selling well. How many kids watched Garlits race his last FE digger? It's coming in a couple of months. The Malco Gasser got a revised nose, decal sheet and the whole retro package treatment from Round2.  How about the Deals Wheels stuff? I realize the parts count is low on those but they are fussy kits and not really Kid worthy or even first kit worthy IMO. I love them but they take skill to be presentable.

 

 

I realize those were reissues and the molds exist, so is it bankable for small runs in this regard? Art? What's your take on NEW NHRA kits and the reissue market..

 

 

 

Bob



#42 Greg Myers

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 10:47 AM

 

Greg, Mainly because it's taken almost 60 years for large numbers of now middle-aged and older model car builders to grasp the appeal of those Hudsons (and to an equal extent, the '55-'56 Chrysler 300's)?  Seriously though, were it not for the tremendous racing heritage of both of those subjects, I wonder if they'd ever have had the interest they do now.

 

Back when we 50-70yr olds were teenagers, you might have gotten some of us to buy a C300 or 300B kit, but a Hudson Hornet--I don't think so.

 

OK, take that same logic and put it on the cars in the original post.  :lol: Back when us 50-70 year olds were teenagers we would have jumped all over those if there were kits, just as we would now. :D


Edited by Greg Myers, 06 July 2014 - 10:50 AM.


#43 Greg Myers

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 10:51 AM

Did some one say racing heritage ?  ;)  Tony%20%20Nancy%20%20%20%20%20Sept.%2019 AMT/ RC2 ya still got the molds ?  :huh:


Edited by Greg Myers, 06 July 2014 - 10:52 AM.


#44 ToyLvr

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 11:45 AM

Did some one say racing heritage ?  ;)  Tony%20%20Nancy%20%20%20%20%20Sept.%2019 AMT/ RC2 ya still got the molds ?  :huh:


Say, is that a '59 Pontiac wagon in the background of the photo? ;-)

#45 Art Anderson

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 11:50 AM

Is Art's reasoning the actual story behind no new NHRA kits being offered today? Drag Racing is very strong right now, ticket sales are up, coverage on ESPN is solid  and they even play it twice for those who miss the live show.

 

 

Is it really just licencing that is keeping them from being made? When was our last crop of NHRA kits? The vintage stuff seems to be selling. If not then the reissues from present and near future seem ill advised. Yet I suspect they are selling well. How many kids watched Garlits race his last FE digger? It's coming in a couple of months. The Malco Gasser got a revised nose, decal sheet and the whole retro package treatment from Round2.  How about the Deals Wheels stuff? I realize the parts count is low on those but they are fussy kits and not really Kid worthy or even first kit worthy IMO. I love them but they take skill to be presentable.

 

 

I realize those were reissues and the molds exist, so is it bankable for small runs in this regard? Art? What's your take on NEW NHRA kits and the reissue market..

 

 

 

Bob

Unfortunately, I suspect that just about any current race car of today, save for say perhaps Nascar, is risking producing a "one hit wonder", meaning that once a particular year/version is kitted, then what?

 

Of course, there's also the matter of licensing with regard to any race car:  Realize that not only will this be a consideration with regard to the driver (for a top-flight race driver, his name and/or face bring in a ton more money than he might get in salary from the car owner or even prize money!), but also the chassis builder, engine builder (who did the castings for that engine?), possibly most (if not all) the major speed equipment makers whose products are on the particular car being modeled, wheel manufacturer, tire company--then the major sponsors, PLUS all the accessory sponsors whose logo's appear on the real car--NOW, that can add up to some serious expenses, believe me (at least NASCAR licenses--or at least used to--the entire required accessory decal package, which is mandatory to be placed, in a set layout, on every Cup or GN car).  Add to this that while individual accessory part mfr's may be willing to let a race car owner place their decals on the car, even next to that of some other mfr whom they have no love for whatsoever--on a model or toy, they can, and have in my experience, FLATLY refused the use of their decal if "Manufacturer X's" logo is to be on that model body decal sheet!  All of this relates to potential new model kit subjects, but also is a big part of the equation for a potential reissue of an existing tool, for which the sales potential almost always is considerably less than the first runs of that kit when it was new.  In addition, the smaller the production run, the higher the per-unit costs associated with it, due to production set up costs, tooling repairs and maintenance, all the way down to new box art etc., and of course, the ever present licensing hungry bear.

 

Last, there is the marketplace itself to consider:  While there are probably several million model car builders currently active in the US these days, judging from the offerings of the various companies producing kits that are sold in this country, how many are race car builders, and of those, how many are drag racing enthusiasts, and then of those, how many are Top Fuel Funny Cars or TF Dragster enthusiasts (to the point of building those sorts of cars)?  I do attend several model car contests, all of them at least a day trip from home (including Classic Plastic and NNL-East, both of which are hundreds of miles away from here), and my observation has been, for literally years now, that race cars as a general, all-encompassing category often are rather scarce on the tables, compared to models built of streetable civilian cars and pickup trucks, of all categories, styles and types.  Now that has to be for a reason--certainly the supply/general availability of all race car models--but also a matter of interest areas.  30 years ago the last week of this coming January (2015) will be the 30th anniversary of the announcement by Revell of their model kit of Garlits' Swamp Rat XXX--has there been a new kit of a current for the day Top Fueler since then?  If not, why not?  I would submit that sales history spreads doubt on the part of not only model companies, but also the wholesale/retail buyers who are, in fact, the customers of model kit companies, the first tier of people they have to please.  And all of those can be a collective tough nut to crack.

 

Art



#46 Harry P.

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 11:58 AM

So then how did funny car and TF dragster kits sell so well in the 70s and 80s? A ton of big name FCs and dragsters were kitted, all with full decal sheets. I assume licensing was then, as now, in force. 

 

So what has changed so dramatically from the days when we had new kits of the Garlits dragsters, the Chi-Town Hustler, Gene Snow's Rambunctious, the Blue Max, and on and on and on?

 

They could (and did) do it then. Why can't they do it now? Is it really a mater of that much less interest in such kits?



#47 38 Crush

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:04 PM

 

More than almost gone. They're gone, at least as far as producing diecast model cars. The only way to get them now is on the secondary market.

Sorry Harry, But there is still one more to go. Danbury is still offering a '35 or '36 Ford stocker in 1/16th scale and that's it, no more !! I'm still trying to understand why? Must have been extra parts :lol:



#48 Harry P.

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:08 PM

Sorry Harry, But there is still one more to go. Danbury is still offering a '35 or '36 Ford stocker ...

 

Check their website. "We're sorry, this product is no longer available."



#49 38 Crush

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:26 PM

 

Check their website. "We're sorry, this product is no longer available."

 OPPS   !!!!! BUT they did send me a flyer!!! My bad :D



#50 Harry P.

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:33 PM

I got the flyer, too, but quite a while ago. DM is now officially out of the diecast model car business.



#51 Rob Hall

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:33 PM

So then how did funny car and TF dragster kits sell so well in the 70s and 80s? A ton of big name FCs and dragsters were kitted, all with full decal sheets. I assume licensing was then, as now, in force. 

 

So what has changed so dramatically from the days when we had new kits of the Garlits dragsters, the Chi-Town Hustler, Gene Snow's Rambunctious, the Blue Max, and on and on and on?

 

They could (and did) do it then. Why can't they do it now? Is it really a mater of that much less interest in such kits?

A big difference probably is that in the 70s (and the 80s to a lesser degree) a lot of kids up through high school age watched racing and built models...but from the 80s onward, I suspect that % has shrunk dramatically (blame video games, computers, the internet, whatever).   


Edited by Rob Hall, 06 July 2014 - 12:34 PM.


#52 Harry P.

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:35 PM

A big difference probably is that in the 70s (and the 80s to a lesser degree) a lot of kids up through high school age watched racing and built models...but from the 80s onward, I suspect that % has shrunk dramatically (blame video games, computers, the internet, whatever).   

 

Yeah, that must be the case... because the business model itself couldn't be all that different today than it was then.



#53 Rob Hall

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:38 PM

 

Yeah, that must be the case... because the business model itself couldn't be all that different today than it was then.

Though with licensing, the cost of producing a contemporary racing car subject may be higher?  I do wonder how kit makers handle the licensing for each of those sponsors on the decal sheet. 

 

I do wonder what the # of modelers in the US is today and how that compares to the # 40 or 50 years ago, or the % of the population.  And what is the average age? Seems the hobby skews towards an older demographic today and that many of those builders have been in it off and on for a long time.



#54 Harry P.

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:48 PM

But licensing was also in effect then, right?

 

Why is licensing such a problem now? Have licensing fees gone up that dramatically?

 

Maybe the higher licensing fees coupled with the smaller customer base is the problem.



#55 Longbox55

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:58 PM

Could be more of an issue of back then, it was free advertising for the license holder, but now it's more of a if you want to use our product name/image, you're going to have to pay us.



#56 ChrisBcritter

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 03:29 PM

I really can't see why AMT hasn't taken a crack at a '27 T roadster and coupe, unless they figured their '25 T was close enough. Considering the successful variations they came up with for their '32 and '39/'40 Fords, you'd think it would have happened by now.

 

As to why the Mantaray and so many iconic '60s customs weren't kitted - I'm guessing it was the luck of the draw, considering how many customs were kitted back then. Maybe that complex Maserati chassis was the deciding factor?

If it had been the Mantaray instead of the Silhouette, we'd probably be asking for the Silhouette today.



#57 blunc

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 04:13 PM

Aurora, in 1/32 scale?

yup, Mr. Myers got it also.



#58 Art Anderson

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 08:17 PM

Could be more of an issue of back then, it was free advertising for the license holder, but now it's more of a if you want to use our product name/image, you're going to have to pay us.

Actually, the requirement for "protecting" one's trademarks and logo's is the biggest reason for licensing--this was specified by the US Supreme Court almost 30 years ago, in a trademark/copyright dispute involving US automakers and the producers of foreign-made counterfeit repair and crash parts.

 

Art



#59 Art Anderson

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 08:19 PM

Sorry Harry, But there is still one more to go. Danbury is still offering a '35 or '36 Ford stocker in 1/16th scale and that's it, no more !! I'm still trying to understand why? Must have been extra parts :lol:

The Danbury Mint '35 Ford Coupe was a very short run, and the last run of any new diecast from Danbury.

 

Art



#60 Art Anderson

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 08:25 PM

But licensing was also in effect then, right?

 

Why is licensing such a problem now? Have licensing fees gone up that dramatically?

 

Maybe the higher licensing fees coupled with the smaller customer base is the problem.

Yes to all that you ask about.  Where years ago, a lot of product/brand licensing was handled in-house, almost with a nod of the head and a handshake, the costs have gone up for licensors.  Where once it might have been some minor management person, now the corporate legal office has to be involved.  Couple that with the rise of licensing agencies over the past 30-years or so, and now it's a profit-making thing for the agent(s) involved, plus a cost to the licensor to be charged to the licensee as part of the total licensing fee.  

 

Product/brand/trademark licensing costs are figured as a percentage of the model kit price, per kit sold, with an agreed upon "guarrantee" billed upfront when the license is granted, with an accounting provided by the licensor periodically for as long as they produce the licensed item in question, still using the same percentage royalty charge per kit as agreed on at the outset, as a general rule.

 

Art