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


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#141 Harry P.

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 07:50 AM

I bet the original MPC Dukes of Hazzard Charger is in the top 10, maybe the MPC '78 Trans Am (Bandit style).

 

Makes sense that TV/movie cars would be good sellers... millions of people would have seen them. I have to wonder how a 1/25 scale Batmobile would have sold back in the '60s if one had been on the market at the height of the Batman TV series' popularity. We'll never know...



#142 cobraman

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 07:52 AM

Just to satisfy my curiosity... does anyone know what the top selling model car kits of all time are? I assume the General Lee must be one of them, but what others are on the all-time best selling kit list? I don't mean "1932 Ford" or "1957 Chevy," but specific kits. Anyone know?

The 1968 release of the Red Baron is said to have sold over 2 million in a couple of years. Don't know if that is the best selling for all time however.



#143 Art Anderson

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 07:52 AM

In one of the magazines back several years said the General Lee Charger was the best selling kit up to that point. This I do believe was in the mid 90'S when I read it. 

That, I believe, was MPC's hype, quoted.

 

I would submit that it will be hard for any model car kit mfr.  to equal the overall production numbers of the original AMT 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air HT, which was first released about February 1962, and remained in AMT/Lesney AMT/AMT-Ertl continuously through 1996.  That is quite likely the longest continous "production run" of any model car kit, bar none.

 

Art



#144 Harry P.

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 07:54 AM

The 1968 release of the Red Baron is said to have sold over 2 million in a couple of years. Don't know if that is the best selling for all time however.

 

If that number is correct, it would have to be high on the all-time list.



#145 Brett Barrow

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:05 AM

TV/Movie kits (and show cars, too) are sort of the model equivalent of the clean-up hitter.  They swing for the fences, and boy, when they connect...   but there's a lot of swing-and-misses mixed in there too...   

 

I've often heard a survey Testors did back in the 90's cited that said that the MPC Dukes of Hazard General Lee was the #1 car kit of all time. I've also seen several references (on the internet, so you know it's true) say that AMT's Red Alert Chevelle was the #1 AMT model kit of all-time, but I find that really hard to believe.  But it is one of those "hey I had that as a kid" kits where every one seems to have had one.  the Knight Rider KITT is probably up there too.  I gotta think the Monogram Big T is in the mix, that's also one of those "I had that!" kits.    

 

If you expand to "automotive" kits then #1 has to be the ex-Renwal 1/4 Visible V-8.  You'll go 11 months without selling one, but come Christmas...   Those things move!!!  Probably been like that every Christmas it came out, has there ever been a time it wasn't available?  



#146 Luc Janssens

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:09 AM

I bet the original MPC Dukes of Hazzard Charger is in the top 10, maybe the MPC '78 Trans Am (Bandit style).

About the T/A, Could be, didn't they have to cut a second tool, to keep up, seem to recall something like that, but don't know for certain..

 

Think the last run of the Charger showed so much potential that it warranted an all new tool, I'm buying a copy for me and my son, I know it's a kid's show (tried to watch an episode a few years ago and had to turn it off) but the General Lee is part of my childhood memory...thus making it special.

Just like the A-Team Van KITT and the S&H Torino


Edited by Luc Janssens, 14 July 2014 - 08:19 AM.


#147 Rob Hall

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:14 AM

Could be, didn't they have to cut a second tool, to keep up, seem to recall something like that, but don't know for certain..

 

I've read that..  also--about the '78 Firebird, it seems there may have been two tools of that one also?  Or I'm misremembering something.    I seem to remember it badged as an AMT at one time in the '90s and having some differences from the MPC annual (t-tops molded in or not) ?   I have 3 different '70s vintage MPC '77-78 Firebirds-one annual w/ a red car, one with a blue, the 'Blackbird' (Bandit style) version...and there have been several reissues of that one since then.


Edited by Rob Hall, 14 July 2014 - 08:23 AM.


#148 mnwildpunk

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:17 AM

You want them to kit this ? 8-8-08-MOPAR-NATS-429.jpg

yes release it as a 2 n 1

#149 1930fordpickup

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:18 AM

That, I believe, was MPC's hype, quoted.

 

I would submit that it will be hard for any model car kit mfr.  to equal the overall production numbers of the original AMT 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air HT, which was first released about February 1962, and remained in AMT/Lesney AMT/AMT-Ertl continuously through 1996.  That is quite likely the longest continous "production run" of any model car kit, bar none.

 

Art

Art that is a long time for a run,  must be the all time sales king with that long of a production run. 



#150 Art Anderson

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:28 AM

TV/Movie kits (and show cars, too) are sort of the model equivalent of the clean-up hitter.  They swing for the fences, and boy, when they connect...   but there's a lot of swing-and-misses mixed in there too...   

 

I've often heard a survey Testors did back in the 90's cited that said that the MPC Dukes of Hazard General Lee was the #1 car kit of all time. I've also seen several references (on the internet, so you know it's true) say that AMT's Red Alert Chevelle was the #1 AMT model kit of all-time, but I find that really hard to believe.  But it is one of those "hey I had that as a kid" kits where every one seems to have had one.  the Knight Rider KITT is probably up there too.  I gotta think the Monogram Big T is in the mix, that's also one of those "I had that!" kits.    

 

If you expand to "automotive" kits then #1 has to be the ex-Renwal 1/4 Visible V-8.  You'll go 11 months without selling one, but come Christmas...   Those things move!!!  Probably been like that every Christmas it came out, has there ever been a time it wasn't available?  

Monogram's Big T, even given that it was the first of that company's exciting 1/8 scale car kits, really didn't outsell anything 1/25 or 1/24 scale, due to its price--something like $9.00 when first issued (that's 4.5 times the price of a then 1/25 scale AMT kit, in an era when most model car kits, indeed the majority of plastic model kits in general, were bought and paid for by kids themselves!)  AND it's sheer size.  In addition, Monogram's entire lineup of 1/8 scale model kits in the 1960's came and went pretty quickly--the market seemed to fill up, and that was it.

 

Art



#151 Brett Barrow

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:31 AM

yes release it as a 2 n 1

The H&M is totally cool in my book, and I'd be all over a plastic kit like a monkey on a... well, you get the idea...   But there's literally nothing left stock on the H&M.   Top's chopped, wheelbase is altered, frame is shortened, rearend is a narrowed 4-link, interior is totally gutted, body is slid forward on the frame...  Would take 2 separate kits or a dedicated H&M kit to do it properly.  And who wants a stodgy ol' Plymouth business coupe, anyway? Give me one of the fastback sedan or the pre-war 5 windows (AMT already did that one) if you want to do a 40's Plymouth.  



#152 Art Anderson

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:32 AM

 

I've read that..  also--about the '78 Firebird, it seems there may have been two tools of that one also?  Or I'm misremembering something.    I seem to remember it badged as an AMT at one time in the '90s and having some differences from the MPC annual (t-tops molded in or not) ?   I have 3 different '70s vintage MPC '77-78 Firebirds-one annual w/ a red car, one with a blue, the 'Blackbird' (Bandit style) version...and there have been several reissues of that one since then.

AMT Corporation's management people told me, in the late 1970's, that their all time sales leader, to that point, was not a model car kit--rather, it was their original sized "USS Enterprise", from the original series of Star Trek.  Originally, they did the tooling in aluminum, figuring the kit to be a one or two year "one hit wonder", but within a year or so of its release, several tools had been cut in hardened steel, and it was produced in the millions by the end of AMT as an independent company in 1978.

 

Art



#153 Brett Barrow

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:34 AM

That, I believe, was MPC's hype, quoted.

 

I would submit that it will be hard for any model car kit mfr.  to equal the overall production numbers of the original AMT 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air HT, which was first released about February 1962, and remained in AMT/Lesney AMT/AMT-Ertl continuously through 1996.  That is quite likely the longest continous "production run" of any model car kit, bar none.

 

Art

I'd agree, but it probably had several SKU #'s over that span, each one of them counted separately.  The General Lee could possibly be the top selling unique SKU#.  



#154 Luc Janssens

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:42 AM

The H&M is totally cool in my book, and I'd be all over a plastic kit like a monkey on a... well, you get the idea...   But there's literally nothing left stock on the H&M.   Top's chopped, wheelbase is altered, frame is shortened, rearend is a narrowed 4-link, interior is totally gutted, body is slid forward on the frame...  Would take 2 separate kits or a dedicated H&M kit to do it properly.  And who wants a stodgy ol' Plymouth business coupe, anyway? Give me one of the fastback sedan or the pre-war 5 windows (AMT already did that one) if you want to do a 40's Plymouth.  

Then release it as a snapper, I'm sure those who build Gassers will know where to source the parts for a full detail version, while the weekend modelers will end up with a decent looking shelf piece without much work.



#155 Art Anderson

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:57 AM

Yes, I would assume so...I wonder what decade had the most car makers...the 1910s or 1920s I assume.   By 1940 there weren't many independents left. 

I believe the first quarter of the 20th Century, 1900-1925.  That was still the era of almost unbridled entrepreneurship in this country, and virtually every town or city of any size had its share of blacksmith shops, even machine shops--a blending of which was all that was necessary (along with some $$ of course) to set up a factory to build automobiles.

 

Most makes of cars back then (well beyond the already establishing major companies) were in a sense, makers of what became called "assembled" cars--meaning that they outsourced at least certain major components, principally engines and transmissions, and as things progressed, body shells (GM, for example, produced none of their own bodies until the Fisher Brothers (name became Fisher Body Division in the middle 1920's, with Lawrence P. Fisher having been President and later Chairman of GM back then) merged into GM.   Chrysler Corporation built none of their own bodies until the buyout of Briggs Body Company in 1954.  Ford outsourced most of their closed body styles well into the Model A and early V8 years as well.

 

But, in a very real way, those early years were still the era of "Build a better mousetrap, and the World will beat a path to your door!" thinking.  Couple that with the simple fact that not until the middle 1920's did there exist a true integrated network of Federal highways, even some states in the Midwest and West not even having state highway routes until then.  That meant there was virtually no intercity nor interstate truck transportation readily available, and railroad shipment of built cars was somewhat erratic and certainly expensive (Ford could only ship perhaps 4 Model T's in the then standard 36' wooden RR boxcars of the day!).

 

So, it's little wonder that in so many small cities, even a few rather small towns, that some enterprising person would decide that his future rested on being the next automobile manufacturer.

 

Of course, the vast majority of US automakers did not survive--many of them lasted no more than 4-5 years, some failing after fewer than a dozen cars.  And of course, today, of all those startup automakers, the cars they made simply do not exist, or if they do, it's a rusty chassis here, a few vestiges of a body shell there, or an obscure engine laying around--their marques long forgotten in the dustbin of history.  And yet, for some of them, a pristine example still exists, in a museum someplace.

 

Art



#156 Brett Barrow

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:00 AM

Then release it as a snapper, I'm sure those who build Gassers will know where to source the parts for a full detail version, while the weekend modelers will end up with a decent looking shelf piece without much work.

If I'm doing a snapper I would have made it one of Polar Lights' Snap Draggins.  



#157 Lagib

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 01:01 PM

I must be hallucinating.  Okay, but there was a Kojak 4-door Buick Century model, right?  Looking at the box art of the S&H Torino, I've seen it before somewhere.  I'll have to read that post.  The '72 Torino was made in a pale blue promo, and, I think, butterscotch. 

The Kojak Buick box you likely saw was another Westphal job.  



#158 Greg Myers

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 03:49 AM

The Kojak Buick box you likely saw was another Westphal job.  

sucker and all  :P