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Model Prices vs. Inflation


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After finding these Spiegel catalog pages for sale on Ebay, I explored 1971 prices against 2021 prices using an inflation calculator for US dollars. This obviously doesn't take into account advances and efficiencies in model production. The online calculator estimates a 574.1-percent increase in the cumulative rate of inflation. This list is drawn from the prices shown in the ads. Do you think todays prices are, on average, comparable to what was paid 50 years ago?

MODEL IN AD.                 1971 AD PRICE.       2021 INFL. PRICE                                            

Freaky Riders                $4.98                     $33.57

Wild Bunch                    $5.88                     $39.64

Corvair Trike                  $4.98                     $33.57

Super Digger Dragster $7.98                      $53.79

Snoopy Duo                   $5.88                     $39.64

Customized Fun Cars    $5.97                     $40.24  (or typical 1/25 kit)

Wankel Rotary Engine   $4.44                     $29.93

X-Acto Tool Kit               $5.98                     $40.31

16 Piece Testor Kit         $3.98                     $26.83

American LaFrance Fire Truck $7.98           $53.79

Fruehauf Tractor/Tanker $8.98                    $60.53

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Considering that the first five kits you listed were, in my opinion, essentially junk boxes with a couple of parts and weren't worth the 1971 prices. They're definitely not worth the inflated 2021 simoleons.

Edited by SfanGoch
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most of the stuff pictured above was multi kit packs like the custom fun cars by Revell and were $5.97 for all 3 now according to the calc would be $40.24 today its getting to the point were the same old worn out reissues are pushing 35-40 if you buy them in the wrong places 

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The Inflation Calculator

 

What cost $2.00 in 1966 would cost $16.21 in 2020.

There are a lot of kits still produced/available that I was paying $2 (or less at discount stores) for in 1966. So it looks like kits are outrunning inflation by about 100%. :angry:

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10 minutes ago, Snake45 said:
The Inflation Calculator

 

What cost $2.00 in 1966 would cost $16.21 in 2020.

There are a lot of kits still produced/available that I was paying $2 (or less at discount stores) for in 1966. So it looks like kits are outrunning inflation by about 100%. :angry:


You nailed it..

Edited by slusher
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Hmm. I didn't realize those were collections of kits.

The Super Digger Dragster seems pricey. I assume it's 1/16 or better and maybe motorized. It looks like it could be on an actuator box that maybe spun wheels and raised a wheelie? I'll bet someone here had one.

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13 hours ago, 1972coronet said:

Another consideration :  Back in 1971 , the kits were manufactured in the U.S.  -- that's all that I'm going to mention about that fact .

 

12 hours ago, Snake45 said:
The Inflation Calculator

 

What cost $2.00 in 1966 would cost $16.21 in 2020.

There are a lot of kits still produced/available that I was paying $2 (or less at discount stores) for in 1966. So it looks like kits are outrunning inflation by about 100%. :angry:

Two very true and revealing statements

Edited by Kromolly
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42 minutes ago, Snake45 said:
The Inflation Calculator

 

What cost $2.00 in 1966 would cost $16.21 in 2020.

There are a lot of kits still produced/available that I was paying $2 (or less at discount stores) for in 1966. So it looks like kits are outrunning inflation by about 100%. :angry:

It is true that the kit prices ate higher than just cost of inflation. However inflation is not the only factor that needs ti be considered.

The production volumes are tremendously different. There are fixed cost that occur regardless of the volumes produced. If you can make 1000 units vs 100 the cost is going to be kess per unit.

Licensing is another factor. Licensing costs are much higher today. Again higher cost per unit.

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22 minutes ago, Lunajammer said:

Hmm. I didn't realize those were collections of kits.

The Super Digger Dragster seems pricey. I assume it's 1/16 or better and maybe motorized. It looks like it could be on an actuator box that maybe spun wheels and raised a wheelie? I'll bet someone here had one.

The Tom Daniel Super Digger Dragster was a 1/12 model produced in 1971 by Monogram when the company was owned by Mattel. One sold for $499 on ebay in July.

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That X-Acto customizing tool kit looks like a junior version of the Christian Szell "Is it Safe?" Dental Interrogation Tool Collection endorsed by Larry Olivier and the Toy Council.

Edited by SfanGoch
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8 hours ago, DanR said:

I find a lot about today's kit prices to be insulting. Here are just two examples of what really irks me:



2) Round2Models releases tons of old kits, many of them based entirely on the original tooling. There are no new tooling costs. There is no add on for modifications. They're using the same instructions, often the same retro box art, and perhaps the only new things are printed tires and new decals, so why are these kits $30 to $33??? I don't think anything that is a straight reissue should ever be priced the same as a brand new kit. Now if they have to retool parts or add newly tooled parts to an existing kit, then I can get on board with a higher price. Tamiya is actually rather generous with the price of many of their older kits (mainly tanks and motorcycles) where reissues are not priced in the stratosphere. It seems that this only tends to be an issue for re-released racing subjects where licensing has to be obtained again and that likely drives up kit costs.

I'm at a point where I won't buy an old MPC or AMT kit unless I can get it for 40% off at Hobby Lobby. There's no value for money there. I'll make exceptions only for kits that I really want, like when they released many of their early 70's NASCAR kits for the first time in 40 years - I was willing to pay the price for those because the alternative was outrageous collector prices. The same would apply for most old racing subjects. I'm thrilled to see Atlantis releasing the old Revell funny car kits and even happier to see that the prices aren't completely bananas.

Okay, I'll shut up now.

There is a cost for the tooling because it was purchased from the previous owners. They have to get a return on that investment.

Second the older kit sales help pay for newer tooling and other product project. For example  round 2 and the chevy nova station wagon.

 

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People complain about not getting 40% off. Then greedy corporate guys. Lol. Bankruptcies, companies sold and resold, merged, and licensing, tariffs, logistics, etc. make the simple inflation calculator pointless.  All signs of people making a fortune. 🤦🏻‍♂️🤪

But, it pops up periodically here. 
Makes me SMH every time. 
Oh, and I forgot health insurance, liability insurance if some kid chokes on a part, plastic prices, CAD computers and scanners, new molding machines, depreciation, tool storage,….  
😱🤣💸
 

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1 hour ago, bobthehobbyguy said:

There is a cost for the tooling because it was purchased from the previous owners. They have to get a return on that investment.

Bingo! So many folks subscribe to the theory that old tooling is already paid for!

Following along those lines, used cars should be free!  Make mine a 56 Chevy convertible!

And there are carrying costs.  There is a mortgage on that tooling so we have interest paid, corporate tax on assets, warehousing costs of square footage and labor. That’s not only on the tooling currently used for production, but all the idle and broken ones as well!

In my business the benchmark is that it costs 1/3 acquisition value to maintain spare parts on an annual basis. So there is considerable costs to maintaining this inventory!

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44 minutes ago, Tom Geiger said:

Bingo! So many folks subscribe to the theory that old tooling is already paid for!

Following along those lines, used cars should be free!  Make mine a 56 Chevy convertible!

And there are carrying costs.  There is a mortgage on that tooling so we have interest paid, corporate tax on assets, warehousing costs of square footage and labor. That’s not only on the tooling currently used for production, but all the idle and broken ones as well!

In my business the benchmark is that it costs 1/3 acquisition value to maintain spare parts on an annual basis. So there is considerable costs to maintaining this inventory!

I agree. 

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