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What happened to the lettering on tires?


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I haven't built a new model kit in a few years. Most of the kits I build come from my stash and the new kits I buy go into the stash. Recently I moved and my stash has been put into a storage locker. I have purchased several new kits of the last few weeks and started on a 69 charger last week. I just discovered there isn't lettering on the tires. I seem to recall that the tires were always lettered on muscle car kits.

What happened?

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I haven't built a new model kit in a few years. Most of the kits I build come from my stash and the new kits I buy go into the stash. Recently I moved and my stash has been put into a storage locker. I have purchased several new kits of the last few weeks and started on a 69 charger last week. I just discovered there isn't lettering on the tires. I seem to recall that the tires were always lettered on muscle car kits.

What happened?

The lawyers took them all away.

Edited by slantasaurus
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Licensing fees is what happened. The tire makers want more $$ to use their trademark than the kit manufacturers are willing to pay. So we get generic "no-name" tires now.

ONE of my pet peeves. ever since AA lines went after the model plane's ..It's in my mind Product placement they should pay us for using their logos or names on our models.

not the other way around.angry.gif

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ONE of my pet peeves. ever since AA lines went after the model plane's ..It's in my mind Product placement they should pay us for using their logos or names on our models.

not the other way around.angry.gif

I do see the corporate side, but I also see your side (and the side most modelers see)- Firestone logos (for example) on a model kit basically amounts to free advertising for the 1:1 tire. Licensing and liability issues aside. Isn't that pretty much how the model car hobby began in the first place, promotional models to promote the 1:1 product? But I guess the times have changed.

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I do see the corporate side, but I also see your side (and the side most modelers see)- Firestone logos (for example) on a model kit basically amounts to free advertising for the 1:1 tire. Licensing and liability issues aside. Isn't that pretty much how the model car hobby began in the first place, promotional models to promote the 1:1 product? But I guess the times have changed.

This is pretty much the way I see it, but it seems people think they should pay for tee shirts to wear advertising on their bodies. Those should be given away! I just don't understand people wanting to become advertising billboards. This same mind think has caused us to lose tire logos.

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I thought this would have something to do with lawyers and corporate greed.

Instead of looking at the bigger picture they want to cash in instantly. I guess I will have to dive into my stash to get the lettered tires.

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i some situations the lack of lettering is a good thing, like racing tires and musclecars. with companies like Slixx producing high quality tire decals with the common or popular companies represented the nice smooth sidewalls are a blessing. no need to sand of raised tire lettering before you apply your favorite decal.

where i think it becomes a problem is when sidewall detail is lost as well as the lettering.

I thought I read something somewhere about one or more tire companies clamping down on the makers of scale logo transfers. Maybe it was a hallucination. But I do know that on the truck section of this forum, a member who had a (very) small business making truck logo decals posted the cease-and-desist letter he received from Kenworth, telling him to stop making them and to destroy his existing inventory.

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I thought I read something somewhere about one or more tire companies clamping down on the makers of scale logo transfers. Maybe it was a hallucination. But I do know that on the truck section of this forum, a member who had a (very) small business making truck logo decals posted the cease-and-desist letter he received from Kenworth, telling him to stop making them and to destroy his existing inventory.

I seem to remember a similar story... I think it was Pontiac "Trans Am" decals? Apparently they couldn't use the "Trans Am" logo on the decal sheet, so to get around the licensing issue they gave you the individual letters and you had to put together the "Trans Am" yourself!

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x2. I've never had any luck whatsoever trying to paint-detail molded-on tire lettering and I think decals are a MUCH better way to go (despite some so-called "experts" continually preaching about how you shouldn't use decals on tires.)

I've had hit/miss results with both painting molded letters and using decals, but Shabo dry transfers have NEVER let me down. :)

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As an advertising agency professional, I've spent a good part of my career having to deal with "intellectual property" and licensing issues. I think this involves more than mere greed. Large corporations are very concerned with "brand dilution" (and certainly, not being able to collect licensing fees) for brands they've spent a lot of money to develop.

In a sense, this involves the issue of counterfeiting of logos and other brand-specific material. So, I would assume they have legal representatives and retain law firms who scour the marketplace looking for counterfeit products. This leads them to places like a true counterfeit hotbed, eBay, where even scale model usage could be found. Think of phony Rolex watches, Louis Vuitton bags, Mont Blanc pens, etc.

This could be as simple as finding unautrhorized T-shirts with logos. But also understand that these companies have legitimate licensing agreements with firms, and they are within their rights to protect those agreements and prevent illegal competition for their licensees.

So the lawyers snag someone, issue a cease-and-desist, and submit a report to their employers showing that they're doing their job.

Edited by sjordan2
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I wonder if some of the well-known 1:1 aftermarket wheel companies are also getting their piece of the money pie???

Huh... I've never seen an "American Racing" or "Cragar" Licenced Product blurb on ANY kit boxes I've ever laid eyes on. Then again... I have seen a few kits with no sidewall lettering on the tires at all, yet there was still a "Goodyear" or "Firestone" licenced product blurb on them. What's up with THAT? :)

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I seem to remember a similar story... I think it was Pontiac "Trans Am" decals? Apparently they couldn't use the "Trans Am" logo on the decal sheet, so to get around the licensing issue they gave you the individual letters and you had to put together the "Trans Am" yourself!

I think that was due to "Trans Am" being licensed by the SCCA to Monogram. It was an exclusive deal so when MPC came out with theirs they did the random letters on the decal sheet thing. I believe that GM had to license the "Trans Am" name from SCCA also.

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I think that was due to "Trans Am" being licensed by the SCCA to Monogram. It was an exclusive deal so when MPC came out with theirs they did the random letters on the decal sheet thing. I believe that GM had to license the "Trans Am" name from SCCA also.

So why can't the kitmakers have a decal sheet that includes the words... oh, let's see... say "Good" and um... maybe "year?" Or "Fire" and oh, let's say "stone?" ;)

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Huh... I've never seen an "American Racing" or "Cragar" Licenced Product blurb on ANY kit boxes I've ever laid eyes on. Then again... I have seen a few kits with no sidewall lettering on the tires at all, yet there was still a "Goodyear" or "Firestone" licenced product blurb on them. What's up with THAT? ;)

I would guess that has to do with expired licensing agreements that didn't get corrected on the printed material, or that it was simply easier to use newer, unbranded tires in the kit rather than reproduce the original ones.

Edited by sjordan2
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So why can't the kitmakers have a decal sheet that includes the words... oh, let's see... say "Good" and um... maybe "year?" Or "Fire" and oh, let's say "stone?" ;)

Because that could actually lead to nastier legal proceedings since it would imply an intention to deceive.

Satirical venues like MAD magazine can get away with playing with corporate brands because journalistic satire is protected under the first amendment. That's normal freedom of speech. Commercial usage does not have the same protection.

As to the question of why don't companies like Cragar and other suppliers get in a dander over unauthorized replication of their products, I would suggest that they don't have the resources of GM, Ford, Ferrari, etc. to track down the nasty miscreants.

Edited by sjordan2
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I seem to remember a similar story... I think it was Pontiac "Trans Am" decals? Apparently they couldn't use the "Trans Am" logo on the decal sheet, so to get around the licensing issue they gave you the individual letters and you had to put together the "Trans Am" yourself!

That wouldn't have been a problem with Pontiac, they had to pay a licensing fee for every car built to the SCCA who owns the name Trans Am.

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