Is Model building going to die off after our Generation goes?

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Posted · Report post

After us old builders kick the bucket, is model building going to die off,? I,ve noticed a lot of stores stop stocking models, or what they do have gets small and small,, wal-mart use too, AC Moore had a hole row, now its a down to a couple feet,,What do you think??

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Posted · Report post

Well if the model company's keep wanting to issue kits that are 50 to 60 years old, then yes the US manufactures are going to go bye bye, the Japaneses ones wont, why because they keep newer kits coming, meaning, cars that are only a few years old.

I am sorry, but in 10-20 years, I hope that we will see kits from the 70's and 80s and newer coming out, how much longer are they going to continue to re re re release kits for the 30's - 60's

I know they do issue kits that are newer, but they focus so much on the older era subjects , which is fine, that just means I buy from non US kit companys for newer stuff.

All I can say is I hope that there long term business plans include sifting what era of cars they kit.

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Posted · Report post

As a younger modeler (31) I think there will still be modelers but that the hobby is moving more online. The days of the LHS are most likely numbered in all but the most densely populated areas. The ever increasing cost of models has driven a lot of people to look online for affordable kits. Also, as Jonathan mentioned, it would be nice to see some kits from the late seventies and early eighties done right, I would love a 73 Chevelle, a 77 Cutlass, a 78 Monte Carlo, a 76 Corvette, and tons more. I hope that in twenty or thirty years the US manufacturers aren't still issuing kits that are considered ancient by todays standards. It's fine for nostalgia, but that doesn't need to be the whole lineup.

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Posted · Report post

Problem being , the age group that is still heavily involved in the hobby grew up within the years of these latest releases . Simply put , it's where the money lies for the model companies .

If your generation had put the money spent on video games into the hobby , it would be a far more equal balance , kitwise . Please understand , this is merely an observation , not an accusation .

The days of the big model companies absorbing losses are over and done with , they simply can't afford it . They are going to cater to the wants and needs of those who are going to spend the most money on their product .

For the older modelers , this is truly a golden age for us . The kits that are being put out right now are fantastic , something we've all been waiting for , most of us , for a very long time .

Hopefully for the young guys and girls , there will be a resurgence of interest in the hobby by your generation and you'll see the kits released on your wish lists !

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Posted · Report post

There will always be some I think. The problem is we live in an instant society. The kids I see in the hobby aisle look at the kits that everything is already done, and all they have to do is assemble it. I see a few actually looking at the kits. But I also don't go every day either.

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If your generation had put the money spent on video games into the hobby , it would be a far more equal balance , kitwise ...

If the model companies put out more kits that are of relevance to the current generation, they might have put some money into it.

The Japanese model companies have been developing kits that can be sold into different genres and even age groups, and the modelling scene seems to be much younger over here.

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I just don't understand what some people expect of the model companies anymore. You have to take a step back out of your own wish list and deal with the cold reality of what would actually be marketable. There is a tiny, albeit exceptionally vocal, group of people here that for whatever reason want to see 1970's land-yacht barges kitted. O.K. fine after you 7 buy a '77 Caprice, what is Revell supposed to do with the other 49,993 of them?

With the exception of the current line of Revell Ferrari kits, and the two Audi R8's nearly every current supercar kit out is Japanese. Why would Revell bother to kit up a Nissan GT-R, when three of the four major players there kitted up multiple variations? The main reason Tamiya can afford to release an Aston-Martin DBS or a Lexus LFA is because they charge you for it. They can afford that licensing fee when the model costs $50-75. If Revell decided tomorrow to kit a Bugatti Veyron but then told us it would cost $65, everyone on this forum would be in Illinois with pitchforks and torches. Bottom line is, American automotive modelers are notoriously and pathologically cheap.

You get what you pay for, and Revell isn't going to kit something they aren't sure with their multi-variation tooling policy that they're not going to get back their investment return. Even though the false Wal*Mart price ceiling isn't there, a lot of people act like it should be, and that models should still be $12. Therefore it sets up the inevitable Catch 22. Model Companies on one side saying "We can't make that for the xyz price point", and modelers on the other side claiming "Well if you made xyz we'd buy it!". Moebius caught a lot of static when they announced the MSRP on their new kits was closing in on $30, but even though none of their kits have been homeruns (somewhere between fielders choice and ground rule doubles) people seem to be willing to pay more for the subject matter being offered. (It should be noted here that I paid all of $18 for the C 300 I bought at the NNL on Saturday, and $19 for the Hudson when it came out.) I'd like to see what kind of numbers Moebius is selling once the initial rush wears off and their stock lingers on the shelves at that $22-28 range. I know my LHS hasn't moved any Hudson kits at $22.95 since the first case came and went.

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Posted · Report post

How can you expect new tools of today's cars when the model manufacturers are busy retooling either bizarre "showrods" or subjects that have been done a thousand times already?

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The reason that you see so many subjects from the Pre 70s is the fact that the cars from the thirties through the late 60s are the cars the majority of Modelers want to build! From 73 to the nineties the Automotive manufacturers were producing very bland and under powered cars. There were only the sports cars, mostly from Europe that were being built with style and decent proformance, with the only exceptions being the Buick GN, and GNX. There are very good kits available for most of the Sports Cars, and the GN/GNX. Starting in the Nineties GM, and Ford started building new models that had some style and proformance, and after awhile Chrysler followed. Problem is that most of the Sedans look like each other.

There are some very good Drag, NASCAR, Indy, and IPMS Racers for the Seventies and Eighties available.

I believe that the main problem actualy comes from the Video Game fixation the younger people have. They would rather set and play Video Games than putting the effort into creating something. We need to get the younger people to see how rewarding creating a model car can be!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Well if the model company's keep wanting to issue kits that are 50 to 60 years old, then yes the US manufactures are going to go bye bye, the Japaneses ones wont, why because they keep newer kits coming, meaning, cars that are only a few years old.

I am sorry, but in 10-20 years, I hope that we will see kits from the 70's and 80s and newer coming out...

They should have started this already. I haven't bought a new release American kit in what must be five years.

What the US model industry fails to realize is that I am the generation they are currently losing, despite I'm alive,

well, and have spendable income for at least another quarter century (statistically speaking).

My money goes to Japan, and China (for diecasts). And the American model industry does bugger all about it.

Edited by Junkman

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Posted · Report post

I would like to be (and stay) more optimistic about the hobby in that yes, it's a gold age for some of us older builders, but I think the hobby will survive because people will always look for ways of entertaining themselves that has nothing to do with new technologies. Geez, television was a new technology not so long ago, right?

Model building parents need to continue to expose their children to the beauties of building model cars. Or models, period. It doesn't have to be cars. As long as people are building models, model cars will be around as a subject matter.

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Model building parents need to continue to expose their children to the beauties of building model cars. Or models, period. It doesn't have to be cars. As long as people are building models, model cars will be around as a subject matter.

The Doctor tells the truth. People have been building models for tens of thousands of years and it will never stop.

I think we are too focussed on car kits when we refer to 'the model industry'.

The big profits come from other categories of models. And it isn't even airplanes, tanks, or ships, either.

I once read, the best selling plastic kits of all time are buildings for model railway layouts. This is a billion Dollar business

worldwide every year (no wonder the Germans are in it big time).

Edited by Junkman

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Posted · Report post

I love this hobby, so don't get me wrong. But why should I care if this hobby fades and dies after I'm gone? I won't be here to enjoy it, and if those who are here don't enjoy it, what's the point?

There are probably dozens of hobbies that have faded away since the start of the 20th century, and most people don't even know that they're gone.

I just want to enjoy building models cars and anything else that catches my fancy while I'm still here and can still enjoy it.

David G.

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I think Martinfan and Lonewolf both make some great points . In looking at the current demographics , I see kit makers ever so SLOWWWWWWWWWWly taking some chances on us , the older builders . That's generous and could well backfire on the manufacturers as tool and die costs are ever increasing . I site Revell's Oldsmobile , the 62 Corvette , the 57 Ford sedan as examples . Hey Mobius is probably the MOST adventurous with Hudsons and Chryslers . I'm very curious as to what if anything will ever come out of the ashes of A M T , Linburg-Hawk ,and I M C . Ed Shaver

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Posted · Report post

I agree with your sentiment, David, but if we stop for a moment and think about it, plastic kits and model building (in plastic) is a relatively new hobby . . . and I know chances are it could in fact disappear in the next 25 years or so but many folks here have taken it into an art form (yes, I said ART) and I think that work will last somewhere for a good long time. Again, I am staying optimistic and hopeful here.

Not arguing but trying to keep the discussion going . . .

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Posted · Report post

It could well die off if the kit makers keep ignoring a complete demograhic for much longer.

A few artists don't keep an industry humming.

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I love this hobby, so don't get me wrong. But why should I care if this hobby fades and dies after I'm gone? I won't be here to enjoy it, and if those who are here don't enjoy it, what's the point?

That's exactly what I was thinking.

If the hobby disappears after I'm gone... so what? I won't be around anymore to mourn the loss. I'll enjoy it while it's here, and while I'm here... but I'm not going to waste time worrying whether or not the hobby survives after I'm gone.

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Sorry guys, the kits being, or not being, issued have little to do with the decline in model building. Back in the 50's and 60's, model building was a great indoor past time.....board games, black & white TV and reading were only good for so long. We needed to be using our hands and minds too.....so model building was great hobby and even a social event, as all of my buddies built too, so we all got together many Saturdays and built......remember, there were no forums to help share our hobby with others, so it was a social event.

Not so today, kids today have the internet, cable TV, DVD, DVR, cell phones, game consoles and drugs....yes drugs and booze were always there, but not like today.....and it begins when they are younger so it changes their priorities. There are way too many distractions and more "cool" things to do then build models for the adventurous youth of today. The last time I was in a High School I could not believe my eyes. If the girls dressed the way they do today, back when I was in High School, I never would have graduated......I would still be there today. Our culture in America is changing right before our eyes. Model building is basically a "wholesome" pastime, it is not as hip as internet sites (both soft and hard porn), computer games and partying.

Mark my words, even though we love this hobby and it will be around (I think), it will not grow and prosper....it will be slow decline, so enjoy these heady days of great new product. But I could be all wet, too.

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Peter... remember, the social change you talk about has been happening throughout history. Every generation sees their time as "the good old days." I'm sure people a hundred years from now will look back on our time as quaint, innocent and old-fashioned, too.

And as far as how people spend their free time (hobbies)... that has also been constantly changing as technology and society changes. In the past there have been all sorts of hobbies or crazes that had their "day in the sun," then slowly (or quickly) faded away. Back in the '20s dance marathons and flagpole sitting were two very popular fads that soon faded away. Bicycle racing was hugely popular back in the early 20th century... people would fill "velodromes" by the thousands to watch the races. And today? When was the last time you saw a velodrome? Apart from the Tour de France, bicycle racing as a spectator sport is virtually unheard of. I could list a dozen more examples of hobbies or pastimes that have come and gone. People will always be developing new interests and discarding old ones. Building plastic model cars is just another one of those things we do that may survive... or may not. But in the overall scheme of things, in and of itself it's no more significant or important than any other hobby people have enjoyed over the years. It only seems to be more culturally significant to us guys because we all have an interest in it. To the rest of society it's no more or less significant than any other activity people may participate in.

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I have been a model builder on and off for over 50 years. I have seen it in good times and bad. I felt in was dying several years ago but look at it now. Now is the best time that I can recall. Choices of not only kits but glues, paints not to mention the aftermarket has never been better. I do have my doubts that as us older builders either pass on or get to the point that building becomes difficult the hobby will suffer. I doubt it will ever go away but I do think the decline will begin in the not too distant future. I myself don't know of any kids or young adults building models. They seem to prefer the video games to building. We are all sad about the closing of Slixx which may not have anything to do about a decline in model building but unless someone picks up the slack on decals it will soon be hard to build a lot of the replicas we enjoy building.

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Peter... remember, the social change you talk about has been happening throughout history. Every generation sees their time as "the good old days." I'm sure people a hundred years from now will look back on our time as quaint, innocent and old-fashioned, too.

Harry, I am not lementing the "good old days" and I certainly understand how each generation moves to it's own beat. I remember how my father reacted to the "Rolling Stones" the first time he saw them on TV. I was enjoying "Not fade away" and he was horrified. All I am saying is that during our youth and early teen years, model building was the cool and new and accepted pastime..............not so today. And because of that, I see a steady decline in the hobby, like it or not, it is "Our" thing......not "Their" thing.

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If the model companies put out more kits that are of relevance to the current generation, they might have put some money into it.

The Japanese model companies have been developing kits that can be sold into different genres and even age groups, and the modelling scene seems to be much younger over here.

They tried that and the kits sat on the shelves while the old reissued a million times kits still sold.

Yes the Japanese have done a great job on releasing newer more "relevant" to your generation as you say.

Look at the high prices. You do understand why those prices are so high? The lower the sales numbers the more they have to sell them for. The market for the newer cars just is not there. The kids are too busy with something that doesn't take much more effort than pushing a button these days!

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As far as comparing the Japanese and American kits being released... the reason that the Japanese are releasing so many more new kits than the American manufacturers are, is that model car building, for whatever reason, is much more popular and "relevant" in Japan than it is here. In other words, Japan has a larger (per capita) group of people active in the hobby than the US does.

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I think model building will remain among a certain die hard group of high quality builders. Look at the growth in the aftermarket. We have resin do-dads that I didn't know even existed in real life. We can get decals for so many cars that some of us have such a decal collection, we'll never get around to using them.

The hobby will follow model railroading. I think that is the model (no pun intended) the hobby will need to follow. I do agree that more modern cars are needed but how many new cars excite. If it doesn't excite most builders will ignore it.

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Seems to me folks have been having this discussion about the impending death of the hobby since the '70s, but we're still here and talking about two great new kits from a new manufacturer elsewhere on this forum and others.

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