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..
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.