There's a really hot thread going here about what would and what wouldn't sell.I wonder . . .

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. . . has there really been any hard data done on this subject ? I know there have been many threads here and every other model car board about what you would kit. But, has anyone really done the math? I remember a model magazine in years past used to do an annual poll on the subject with some results from the model company's, but then they stopped doing the poll.

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I'm not sure whether a poll in a model car related environment would be that representative. You'd miss out on hundreds of thousands potantial 'occasional' buyers.

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I'm not sure whether a poll in a model car related environment would be that representative. You'd miss out on hundreds of thousands potantial 'occasional' buyers.

Yeah, sites like this are truly representative of the fringe..the 1% of builders...

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Greg, I am sure that information is privy to the model companies. I am sure REVELL has some marketing research and some pretty sound figures. Maybe.

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Greg, I am sure that information is privy to the model companies. I am sure REVELL has some marketing research and some pretty sound figures. Maybe.

Of course they do.

They don't just pull names out of a hat, they do their homework. It would be insanely shortsighted not to do research.

Of course, market research doesn't always result in a popular product (New Coke, for example). But basing new tooling on the best information they have is a lot smarter than tooling up kits at random. And I'm sure no model manufacturer tools up new kits randomly.

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Ed Sexton was at NNL East, and I know he goes to several other large shows throughout the year. So they have their ear to the ground, and from the looks of things he had his bent nearly off from the line of people that were there speaking with him. I took a peek at the legal notepad they had out with "What Do You Want to See Revell Make", and the ideas ranged from the ridiculous not to do it, to the ridiculous that someone actually wrote that down.

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I just wish Revell would release the 80s Cutlass....they planned to release it and then scratched the whole thing.... Real dissapointing...

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I agree with Harry . They may do research but how often do they release the same old kit in a different color . I have heard about the money it takes to bribe the Automakers into letting them produce a plastic kit of their car .( I blame my generation for buying all the nike shirts and other stuff for causing this problem. We paid them to let us advertise for them !) Anyway this part of my rant is to say that the model companies have a large bill to pay before they even consider what car or truck to produce.

I would like to see a late1930 Ford Closed Cab Pickup done in 1/25 scale ! Just saying. LOL The 80's Cutlass is a great idea, The Oldsmobile camp is not well taken care of in plastic land.

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Ed Sexton was at NNL East, and I know he goes to several other large shows throughout the year. So they have their ear to the ground, and from the looks of things he had his bent nearly off from the line of people that were there speaking with him. I took a peek at the legal notepad they had out with "What Do You Want to See Revell Make", and the ideas ranged from the ridiculous not to do it, to the ridiculous that someone actually wrote that down.

I would love to know what Revell learned from the 1/12 GT 500 sales and what is next in that scale.

joe.

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What did Revell learn from the 1/12th '67 Corvette, '69 Camaro, '57 Chevy ?

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have a few old scale model mags with that poll in it,, Could make copys and mail them to everyone.. Welcome to 2012,, big bussiness will do what they want, when they want, and we have no say,,like government,, Sorry, but thats the way it is ..You can lead a horse to water, but you cann't make him drink...

** my point of view. hope no one gets upset, **

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I am saddened by the negativity that sometimes creeps into these conversations because some of us feel their needs are not respected. I have had years where I feel the models coming out are nowhere near my interests.

As regards to getting feedback from existing and potential customers, the model companies go through a lot of avenues. That is what both Revell and Round2 professed at IHOBBY when I made the rounds. They both indicated they get a huge amount of requests from a rash of sources for a variety of different topics. Some avenues are “trolling” the message boards, go to major contests and conduct surveys. For obvious reasons, they did not go into how many new tools they really can do in a year, but it not many.

I didn’t publish this when I did the report out because I was concentrating on getting as much info on what was coming out. Fortunately I had not thrown out my notes and went back through them. Here are some highlights:

New Issues:

  • To break even on a new issue, they need to sell 50,000 kits. In the 60’s and 70’s, they would sell way more than that, up to ten times.
  • Licensing is a big hindrance. Often time manufacturers will want a cut. On race cars, the sponsors on the decals all want a cut. This has been a big limiter on doing a lot of topics.
  • A really successful new tool can be done in multiple variants with some tweaking. This gets more mileage off the base molds.
  • If an older model, say a 1968 Bopmobile, is being done, there are not necessarily any manufacturer plans (paper or CAD) to rely on, so they need to reverse engineer. This involves taking a “boatload” of photos of a prototype. And, hopefully, that prototype is really accurate (not modified or repaired in any way).
  • The price point target nowadays is mid-$20 retail for a kit. People such as Art Anderson and others have waxed eloquently enough on why this is so.
  • They only have enough R&D money for a few new issues in any year. So, they have to be very careful on what they decide to produce. And they go through a VERY rigorous vetting process to get the approval from corporate parents

    What sells:

    • In general, at this time, there is still a bigger demand for older cars than newer ones.
    • On new cars, the overwhelming desire (across the potential market) is for Camaros, Mustangs, Vettes and a couple of others. Hence, if you look at recent post 1995 car models, you will see predominantly that type of offering.
    • Snap (or simple glue) kits sell better than full detail glue kits. Revell indicated their biggest sellers up to IHOBBY were the Snap Camaro Concept and C-6 Corvettes. If you look at what new issues came from Round2, they are simple 2010-11 Camaros and Corvettes. I asked Revell on the new-tool snap Enzo and was told there is a demand and the market need is not interested in their glue version (actually RoG) or the more complicated Tamiya kit. I interpreted that as younger builders.
    • Die casts restrict the market. Sometimes, die cast manufacturers will market a particular car that makes it extremely difficult to meet the profit guidelines.
    • Reissues are done because there is enough renewed or constant demand to keep in the catalog and repop. Sometimes they will tool in some new goody on a tree (example the upcoming Revell Chevy pickup with snow plow).

    I don’t profess to know all the workings of the industry and I left a lot of other stuff out as this is getting too winded as it is. There are some things the manufacturers would not relate to me as I don’t work for them and they don’t want published. Their livelihood depends on offering the best mix of models they can with the resources they have. One fact that I can leave is that at IHOBBY, the Revell Make and Take segment (automotive) which my club supported had a Revell marketing rep there doing a survey of all participants. There was a huge mob in the two days of the public part of the show. Even though this was automotive oriented, the “winner” in the survey of model types was Military. I’m not sure what to make of it as the kids were carrying off their completed cars as they were stopped for the survey.

    I know I have been frustrated in some years with, from my interests, lean pickings on models that interest me. That said, new kits are still coming and there are many of us who want those offerings. I feel glad for them and hope that someday my wish list may get a hit or two. Perhaps I can feel more cavalier about this since I have a large stash in the basement that I can catch up on until a model I want shows up. I would like to think more that it is a hobby and a fun thing and to quote a modeler whose work I greatly admire, “there is a lesson in every kit”

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Oh, I forgot to add some of what I would love to see from the manufacturers (WARNING, it is eclectic):

  • 1953 Buick Skylark or Riviera
  • 1957 Oldsmobile Hardtop
  • Retooled 1957 T-bird with detail to the level of the AMT 1956 T-bird
  • New tool Jaguar XK-E roadster and coupe, the V-6 not V-12
  • Retooled 289 Cobra
  • Ferrari 250 GT Lusso
  • New tool and accurate 1968 Z28 Camaro
  • 71 Boat tail Riviera
  • 2012 BMW 6-series
  • 2012 BMW M5
  • 2012 Audi S6
  • 2012 Maserati Quartroporte
  • 2012 Maserati GT
  • Ferrari FF (preferably full detail)
  • Ferrari F12 Berlinetta (preferably full detail)
  • Any current Chevy or Ford super duty pickup with diesel engine (for hauler and other purposes)
  • Airstream motorhome
  • Newell or Monarch motorhome

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As regards to getting feedback from existing and potential customers, the model companies go through a lot of avenues. That is what both Revell and Round2 professed at IHOBBY when I made the rounds. They both indicated they get a huge amount of requests from a rash of sources for a variety of different topics. Some avenues are “trolling” the message boards, go to major contests and conduct surveys. For obvious reasons, they did not go into how many new tools they really can do in a year, but it not many.

I didn’t publish this when I did the report out because I was concentrating on getting as much info on what was coming out. Fortunately I had not thrown out my notes and went back through them. Here are some highlights:

New Issues:

  • To break even on a new issue, they need to sell 50,000 kits. In the 60’s and 70’s, they would sell way more than that, up to ten times.
  • Licensing is a big hindrance. Often time manufacturers will want a cut. On race cars, the sponsors on the decals all want a cut. This has been a big limiter on doing a lot of topics.
  • A really successful new tool can be done in multiple variants with some tweaking. This gets more mileage off the base molds.
  • If an older model, say a 1968 Bopmobile, is being done, there are not necessarily any manufacturer plans (paper or CAD) to rely on, so they need to reverse engineer. This involves taking a “boatload” of photos of a prototype. And, hopefully, that prototype is really accurate (not modified or repaired in any way).
  • The price point target nowadays is mid-$20 retail for a kit. People such as Art Anderson and others have waxed eloquently enough on why this is so.
  • They only have enough R&D money for a few new issues in any year. So, they have to be very careful on what they decide to produce. And they go through a VERY rigorous vetting process to get the approval from corporate parents

    What sells:

    • In general, at this time, there is still a bigger demand for older cars than newer ones.
    • On new cars, the overwhelming desire (across the potential market) is for Camaros, Mustangs, Vettes and a couple of others. Hence, if you look at recent post 1995 car models, you will see predominantly that type of offering.
    • Snap (or simple glue) kits sell better than full detail glue kits. Revell indicated their biggest sellers up to IHOBBY were the Snap Camaro Concept and C-6 Corvettes. If you look at what new issues came from Round2, they are simple 2010-11 Camaros and Corvettes. I asked Revell on the new-tool snap Enzo and was told there is a demand and the market need is not interested in their glue version (actually RoG) or the more complicated Tamiya kit. I interpreted that as younger builders.
    • Die casts restrict the market. Sometimes, die cast manufacturers will market a particular car that makes it extremely difficult to meet the profit guidelines.
    • Reissues are done because there is enough renewed or constant demand to keep in the catalog and repop. Sometimes they will tool in some new goody on a tree (example the upcoming Revell Chevy pickup with snow plow).

    I don’t profess to know all the workings of the industry and I left a lot of other stuff out as this is getting too winded as it is. There are some things the manufacturers would not relate to me as I don’t work for them and they don’t want published. Their livelihood depends on offering the best mix of models they can with the resources they have. One fact that I can leave is that at IHOBBY, the Revell Make and Take segment (automotive) which my club supported had a Revell marketing rep there doing a survey of all participants. There was a huge mob in the two days of the public part of the show. Even though this was automotive oriented, the “winner” in the survey of model types was Military. I’m not sure what to make of it as the kids were carrying off their completed cars as they were stopped for the survey.

    Guys, I gotta tell you, I really strenously object to the statement that the model companies just do not listen to their customers. That just isn't true. They do listen. But they also have to combine that listening with many other sources of data and their own past experience in determing what new tools to produce.

    Gerry's description reprinted above is a very acccurate depiction of what I have learned to be the case from my interaction with the model car companies, as recently as weeks ago, back to my first trip with Dennis Doty to the AMT Headquarters at 1225 E. Maple in Troy, Michigan, some 37 years ago now.

    Two examples of this are requests for completely stock versions of 1930's cars (in lieu of hot rodded versions), and requests for late model pickups. These are topics that have not justfied new tools for quite some time now. I think there are signs that the 10 year drought of new pickup kits may be underoing some fresh evaluation (based on the number of recent reissues of 1970's to 1980's pickup and van kits), but I doubt that we'll see any stock 1930's cars for a long time to come. Sorry 'bout that, but that's how I see it. (I'm not speaking on behalf of the model car compaines, just reporting what I have observed and concluded myself).

    Again, Gerry's thread above has a great deal of value in it. Worth a close read if you want to learn more about this subject.

    Best regards...TIM

Edited by tim boyd

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The licensing issue really frosts my kibbles! A conference room full of suits, with some marketing wiz telling them how much charging a licensing fee will add to the bottom line, and topped off with a bunch of baloney about “Protecting their trademark”, really smacks of their ignorance of the obvious… that is, it’s free advertising for them! At one time, this was understood. But along came the boardroom suit & ties, and with no one present to defend the flip side, well, the suits once again get their way to justify their bloated salaries. The tire manufacturers really brought this subject to the forefront of our hobby, and it has permeated into all forms of business.

Whew! Glad I got that off my chest. Now, where did I put my meds?

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The licensing issue really frosts my kibbles! A conference room full of suits, with some marketing wiz telling them how much charging a licensing fee will add to the bottom line, and topped off with a bunch of baloney about “Protecting their trademark”, really smacks of their ignorance of the obvious… that is, it’s free advertising for them! At one time, this was understood. But along came the boardroom suit & ties, and with no one present to defend the flip side, well, the suits once again get their way to justify their bloated salaries. The tire manufacturers really brought this subject to the forefront of our hobby, and it has permeated into all forms of business.

Whew! Glad I got that off my chest. Now, where did I put my meds?

Shakespeare said it many years ago. First thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers!

:lol:

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Shakespeare said it many years ago. First thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers!

:lol:

Throw a dollar into a storm drain... throw the grate back on after they jump in. :D

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Q: What do you call 10 lawyers laying on the ocean floor?

A: A good start!!!

:lol:

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I'll say this. Fringe or not, we have excellent tastes. Let the public bask in our fantastic understanding of what is beautiful in the car and model world.

They'll thank us certainly.

Bob

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I'll say this. Fringe or not, we have excellent tastes. Let the public bask in our fantastic understanding of what is beautiful in the car and model world.

They'll thank us certainly.

Bob

Now there's a positive attitude if I ever heard one.

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Oh, I forgot to add some of what I would love to see from the manufacturers (WARNING, it is eclectic):

  • 1953 Buick Skylark or Riviera
  • 1957 Oldsmobile Hardtop
  • Retooled 1957 T-bird with detail to the level of the AMT 1956 T-bird
  • New tool Jaguar XK-E roadster and coupe, the V-6 not V-12
  • Retooled 289 Cobra
  • Ferrari 250 GT Lusso
  • New tool and accurate 1968 Z28 Camaro
  • 71 Boat tail Riviera
  • 2012 BMW 6-series
  • 2012 BMW M5
  • 2012 Audi S6
  • 2012 Maserati Quartroporte
  • 2012 Maserati GT
  • Ferrari FF (preferably full detail)
  • Ferrari F12 Berlinetta (preferably full detail)
  • Any current Chevy or Ford super duty pickup with diesel engine (for hauler and other purposes)
  • Airstream motorhome
  • Newell or Monarch motorhome

Nice list! I'd love to see any and all of those.

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  • 2012 BMW 6-series
  • 2012 BMW M5
  • 2012 Audi S6
  • 2012 Maserati Quartroporte
  • 2012 Maserati GT
  • Ferrari FF (preferably full detail)
  • Ferrari F12 Berlinetta (preferably full detail)
  • Any current Chevy or Ford super duty pickup with diesel engine (for hauler and other purposes)

I would buy those

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Go back and poke through SAE's annual 'most wanted new release' polls, then do a quick inventory of what has actually been introduced over the last couple of decades. In fact, I posted something about that a while back- http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=49545&hl=lunatics&fromsearch=1

Obviously, the kit manufacturers DO listen... they don't just pull subject matter out of thin air. And at least one kit manufacturer takes what online forum members have to say quite seriously (cough, cough, Moebius), as they have formed a habit of posting test shot photos and asking the forum members for their input.

And quality is much improved- lack of tire lettering aside, the kits introduced the last decade or so pretty much blow away the stuff we were getting even in the late '90's as far as detail and accuracy go. That would never have happened if the manufacturers had not paid heed to the 'serious' adult modelers. I think the kit manufacturers deserve a great deal more credit for listening to what we have to say and following through than we may give them sometimes.

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Chuck, you bring up some great points, you are right, we do tend to, at times look at what we dont have more then what we do have. Other then the lack of side wall detail, which does not bother me all that much, the new kits are better then 10 years ago. I think Moebius is setting the standard on how model company's should interact with the customer base, I think its great that do that.

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  • A really successful new tool can be done in multiple variants with some tweaking. This gets more mileage off the base mol

Which is surely why Mobius chose the Hudson and Chrysler, and Revell the 49 Olds and 57 Ford sedan. All have a racing pedigree.

So a 52/54 Lincoln can't be that far off, right?

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