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1 minute ago, peteski said:

I'm convinced that many of those smart-phone movie watchers don't care.  They prefer the convenience of watching (on a tiny screen) any place or time over the large screen, and full sound experience.  Probably the same people who will just as happily will eat a hamburger instead of a juicy steak.

Maybe, but the billions of dollars that keep getting thrown at Hollywood would seem to suggest that there are still a lot of people out there who want the real deal.

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2 minutes ago, Richard Bartrop said:

Maybe, but the billions of dollars that keep getting thrown at Hollywood would seem to suggest that there are still a lot of people out there who want the real deal.

Lots of streaming video is pay-per-view.

And just like with plastic modeling hobby with mostly older folks who like the '60s muscle cars over modern cars, there are still plenty of older people who prefer the full movie experience. But we are getting older, and older, and older . . .

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2 minutes ago, peteski said:

Lots of streaming video is pay-per-view.

And just like with plastic modeling hobby with mostly older folks who like the '60s muscle cars over modern cars, there are still plenty of older people who prefer the full movie experience. But we are getting older, and older, and older . . .

No, that's just the members of this group parroting each other's bad information, and convincing themselves that they speak for the hobby as a whole.

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15 hours ago, Justin Porter said:

Speaking as a hobby shop owner, and one in their 30's no less. You're wrong. Dead, dead, dead wrong. 

Young people DO want to build models. They want to build them as adults who've developed unique tastes and disposable income and free time. No. Kids don't want to build models. They have free time that's structured within an inch of their lives between school and extracurricular and when they do engage in creative play it's with virtual toys that allow total freedom of creation like Minecraft or Lego rather than model kits. 

But young adults? Young adults LOVE model building. Look at the popularity of Gundam. Look at the rise of armor and aircraft building tied in closely with the popularity of games like War Thunder or World of Tanks (the latter of which has pushed companies like Amusing Hobby and Takom to release more and more "Paper Panzer" i.e. tanks from the drawing board that never saw combat) or even the effect Gran Turismo has had on the popularity of subject matter in automotive building. 

No. Young people don't want AMT's unassembled dealership promo toys from 60 years ago. Why would they? They come into my shop and for nearly the same price as those Round 2 reissues they can walk out with Tamiya's Ferrari F40 or Nissan R32GTR? 

The hobby as a whole has changed. Better tools. Better paints. Better kits. No doom here. Just progress. 

As a builder that is in my late 30's,  you are basically speaking for me, well said.

Edited by martinfan5
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1 hour ago, Richard Bartrop said:

No, that's just the members of this group parroting each other's bad information, and convincing themselves that they speak for the hobby as a whole.

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15 hours ago, Justin Porter said:

Speaking as a hobby shop owner, and one in their 30's no less. You're wrong. Dead, dead, dead wrong. 

Young people DO want to build models. They want to build them as adults who've developed unique tastes and disposable income and free time. No. Kids don't want to build models. They have free time that's structured within an inch of their lives between school and extracurricular and when they do engage in creative play it's with virtual toys that allow total freedom of creation like Minecraft or Lego rather than model kits. 

But young adults? Young adults LOVE model building. Look at the popularity of Gundam. Look at the rise of armor and aircraft building tied in closely with the popularity of games like War Thunder or World of Tanks (the latter of which has pushed companies like Amusing Hobby and Takom to release more and more "Paper Panzer" i.e. tanks from the drawing board that never saw combat) or even the effect Gran Turismo has had on the popularity of subject matter in automotive building. 

No. Young people don't want AMT's unassembled dealership promo toys from 60 years ago. Why would they? They come into my shop and for nearly the same price as those Round 2 reissues they can walk out with Tamiya's Ferrari F40 or Nissan R32GTR? 

The hobby as a whole has changed. Better tools. Better paints. Better kits. No doom here. Just progress. 

Much like MartinFan, I’m in agreement here 100% I do buy models of older kits, but I would like to have more modern options, especially on the US Domestic side of things. I don’t care if it’s a Widebody LX car, modern Unibody Jeeps some of these new EVs (I’m quite fond of Chevy’s little Bolt EV and would buy at least a few in kit form), or even just reissues of the 80’s and 90’s annuals!

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6 minutes ago, Joe Handley said:

Much like MartinFan, I’m in agreement here 100% I do buy models of older kits, but I would like to have more modern options, especially on the US Domestic side of things. I don’t care if it’s a Widebody LX car, modern Unibody Jeeps some of these new EVs (I’m quite fond of Chevy’s little Bolt EV and would buy at least a few in kit form), or even just reissues of the 80’s and 90’s annuals!

We are not alone, the want for more modern subjects is very strong.

Edited by martinfan5
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I built my first two models back to back when I was about 20 in the early 90s.. Saw some magazines on the subject as was blown away by how realistic people were making them.  I always wanted to come back to the hobby but life got in the way.  Thirty years later, here I am. 

Back then I built one of the Trans Am Mustangs and an Indy car.  I want to build race cars now but can't find them new.  Fortunately many people still sale these older kits in new condition.  However, as a newbie, I have realized that for me at least... Tamiya is where I need to focus for now.  I realized it this week.  Their kits are perfect for those like me without much experience because they fit together so easily and everything is drawn out very clear in the instructions.. plus they supply their own paint colors that match perfectly to the instructions and the car I build can look just like the box art.  I remember getting my first model at around 8 or 9 and after opening the kit I was disappointed in how much it didn't look like the box art.  I had no desire to build it.  It was even molded in an ugly brown and the green, testors paint I applied to the body with a cheap paint brush looked terrible.

I find other kit makers to be a little frustrating because they don't fit all that well.  As my skills increase I look forward to building these others but for now I want to build every Tamiya racing kit, box stock, that I can find.  Road race cars are my favorite but I also like drag cars, sprint cars and Nascars.  I also want to build Ferraris but after I'm satisfied with my race car building skills.

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1 hour ago, jchrisf said:

I built my first two models back to back when I was about 20 in the early 90s.. Saw some magazines on the subject as was blown away by how realistic people were making them.  I always wanted to come back to the hobby but life got in the way.  Thirty years later, here I am. 

Back then I built one of the Trans Am Mustangs and an Indy car.  I want to build race cars now but can't find them new.  Fortunately many people still sale these older kits in new condition.  However, as a newbie, I have realized that for me at least... Tamiya is where I need to focus for now.  I realized it this week.  Their kits are perfect for those like me without much experience because they fit together so easily and everything is drawn out very clear in the instructions.. plus they supply their own paint colors that match perfectly to the instructions and the car I build can look just like the box art.  I remember getting my first model at around 8 or 9 and after opening the kit I was disappointed in how much it didn't look like the box art.  I had no desire to build it.  It was even molded in an ugly brown and the green, testors paint I applied to the body with a cheap paint brush looked terrible.

I find other kit makers to be a little frustrating because they don't fit all that well.  As my skills increase I look forward to building these others but for now I want to build every Tamiya racing kit, box stock, that I can find.  Road race cars are my favorite but I also like drag cars, sprint cars and Nascars.  I also want to build Ferraris but after I'm satisfied with my race car building skills.

User friendliness is a huge part of Tamiya's business strategy and I do wish more manufacturers would take the lesson to heart. I have often said that the best way to ensure someone goes on to build their second model is to ensure that they enjoy the process and the RESULTS of their first. 

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17 hours ago, Richard Bartrop said:

No, that's just the members of this group parroting each other's bad information, and convincing themselves that they speak for the hobby as a whole.

Quoted for truth. ?

5 hours ago, Justin Porter said:

User friendliness is a huge part of Tamiya's business strategy and I do wish more manufacturers would take the lesson to heart. I have often said that the best way to ensure someone goes on to build their second model is to ensure that they enjoy the process and the RESULTS of their first. 

Again, quoted for truth. First impressions make or break it. Kids won't beat head againt a wall twice. 

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Modelers who found Tamiya, have discovered the Holly Grail of model kits. I know, their models are of limited appeal to many American modelers (especially older ones who pine for American vintage or muscle cars), but if you want a precisely molded model, with perfectly-fitting parts, Tamiya is it.

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22 hours ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

Hey man, who needs drive-in movies when you can just call Uber to take you anywhere you can afford and watch a movie on your tiny little smart-screen while somebody else is responsible for controlling the vehicle?

Ever try to have sex in the back seat of a car while watching a movie on a tiny, hand held screen? Now, that'd be some accomplishment! ?

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1 hour ago, peteski said:

Modelers who found Tamiya, have discovered the Holly Grail of model kits. I know, their models are of limited appeal to many American modelers (especially older ones who pine for American vintage or muscle cars), but if you want a precisely molded model, with perfectly-fitting parts, Tamiya is it.

Yes.. even the plastic and chrome looks great out of Tamiya kits.

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1 hour ago, Straightliner59 said:

Ever try to have sex in the back seat of a car while watching a movie on a tiny, hand held screen? Now, that'd be some accomplishment! ?

Many a boomer owe their very existence to a double feature at the drive in.

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If the popularity of the hobby is measured by the presence of neighborhood hobby shops I'd say it is in definite decline....I live in Northern Virginia....outside DC...a major metropolitan area. In the last 25 years I've seen several hobby stores close up shop...we are down to just one now and it's out near Dulles and caters primarily to radio control. Hobby Lobby has taken up some slack , they carry paints and some modeling tools but their kit selection is very narrow...mostly a handful of truck and muscle car kits with a smattering of military subjects. What gives me some hope that the hobby survives is the attendance at the local model contests, here and in Richmond and the surrounding "ruburbs". Participation remains strong. And yes, Gundam is a coming thing. But attendance of the shows is holding the hobby together. Guess everybody is buying their kits and paints online. 

 

Edited by styromaniac
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16 minutes ago, styromaniac said:

If the popularity of the hobby is measured by the presence of neighborhood hobby shops I'd say it is in definite decline....I live in Northern Virginia....outside DC...a major metropolitan area. In the last 25 years I've seen several hobby stores close up shop...we are down to one now and it's out near Dulles and caters primarily to radio control. Hobby Lobby has taken up some slack , they carry paints and some modeling tools but their kit selection is very narrow...mostly a handful of trick and muscle car kits with a smattering of military subjects. What gives me some hope that the hobby survives is the attendance at the local model contests, here and in Richmond and the surrounding ruburbs . Participation remains strong. Guess everybody is buying their stuff online. 

 

I went to the new Hobby Lobby @ Fairlakes.  The kit selection is definitely better than Michaels and for ar kits probably better than the RC shop you mnetioned.  A this point I probably buy 90% of kits at the MAMA meetings or for more unusual or harder to find or discontinued ones I check EBay or go to the NNL's or IPMS shows.  The Midnight Modelers meet about an hour from us and I've been down there and stop into the Hobbytown down there.  Of course they have great supplies but the kits are pricey compared to the stores that an lure you in with a coupon.  Hopefully the Mid-Atlantic NNL show will happen in May assuming the COVID-19 cases has dropped off significantly by then.  The Fairfax HS IPMS show in April was cancelled so at this point everyone is just waiting for some good news in the coming weeks.

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12 hours ago, styromaniac said:

If the popularity of the hobby is measured by the presence of neighborhood hobby shops I'd say it is in definite decline....I live in Northern Virginia....outside DC...a major metropolitan area. In the last 25 years I've seen several hobby stores close up shop...we are down to just one now and it's out near Dulles and caters primarily to radio control. Hobby Lobby has taken up some slack , they carry paints and some modeling tools but their kit selection is very narrow...mostly a handful of truck and muscle car kits with a smattering of military subjects. What gives me some hope that the hobby survives is the attendance at the local model contests, here and in Richmond and the surrounding "ruburbs". Participation remains strong. And yes, Gundam is a coming thing. But attendance of the shows is holding the hobby together. Guess everybody is buying their kits and paints online. 

 

Too many other factors effect hobby shops to say that it's strictly whether or not modeling is still a popular hobby. My shop is holding steady because it's a specialist shop that stocks the tools, paints, and kits that places like Hobby Lobby or Michael's would never bother with, but also because it has a tiny storefront in a small city with good highway access from neighboring areas. All the same, the same things bite us that bite most hobby shops: the margins are horrible, the product availability vacillates wildly, effective advertising is shockingly expensive when trying to reach the primary consumers, and any time the economy hiccups leisure time spending is the first thing to go away.  

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I have meanwhile largely switched to diecast, because I just can't get model kits of the cars I like anymore.
No big loss, since I'm not really a modeller at heart. I rather view building plastic kits as an ordeal necessary to obtain miniature representations of American cars and actually always preferred to work with metal.
But if you wanted models of American cars in the 70s and 80s, 1/25 scale plastic model kits were the only game in town.
Sadly it was also the time when the American kit industry suffered its first big blow, from which it never really recovered, and obsolete kits began to be traded for big bucks. I still managed to amass a sizeable collection, the stereotypical stash I'd never be able to build before my call to the eternal drive in.
This is largely sold now and I only have a rudimentary kit stash left, comprising only the models I really do not want to part with. Yet. Because the day I received my Sun Star '60 Fury, I took a last look at the content of my Jo Han kit, sighed, and listed it on eBay.

Being more diecast oriented of course made me join several forums catering for those and here are the good news: Car modelling is alive and well among the young folks.
It's just happening on a different level. They buy the latest 260 Dollar AutoArt Lamborghini something, rip it apart and modify the living daylights out of it. Of course this is just an example, they do this with all kinds of 1:18 scale models. Another popular thing is to take those OTTO, BoS, or whatever resins and go berserk on them. And you should see what they are doing to those magazine/partwork models.
Them y00fs are not less imaginative, creative, or gifted than we consider ourselves, but they call 90s stuff "retro" and if I mention plastic kits to them, they want to help me across the street to the care home.

Seeing all this going on, I think the wrong question is being asked. The question is not what the future of plastic model car kits is, its why are they still struggling for survival.


 

Edited by Junkman
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2 minutes ago, Junkman said:

I have meanwhile largely switched to diecast, because I just can't get model kits of the cars I like anymore.
No big loss, since I'm not really a modeller at heart. I rather view building plastic kits as an ordeal necessary to obtain miniature representations of American cars and actually always preferred to work with metal.
But if you wanted models of American cars in the late 70s and 80s, 1/25 scale plastic model kits were the only game in town.
Sadly it was also the time when the American kit industry suffered its first big blow, from which it never really recovered, and obsolete kits began to be traded for big bucks. I still managed to amass a sizeable collection, the stereotypical stash I'd never be able to build before my call to the eternal drive in.
This is largely sold now and I only have a rudimentary kit stash left, comprising only the models I really do not want to part with. Yet. Because the day I received my Sun Star '60 Fury, I took a last look at the content of my Jo Han kit, sighed, and listed it on eBay.

Being more diecast oriented of course made me join several forums catering for those and here are the good news: Car modelling is alive and well among the young folks.
It's just happening on a different level. They buy the latest 260 Dollar AutoArt Lamborghini something, rip it apart and modify the living daylights out of it. Of course this is just an example, they do this with all kinds of 1:18 scale models. Another popular thing is to take those OTTO, BoS, or whatever resins and go berserk on them. And you should see what they are doing to those magazine/partwork models.
Them y00fs are not less imaginative, creative, or gifted than we consider ourselves, but they call 90s stuff "retro" and if I mention plastic kits to them, they want to help me across the street to the care home.

Seeing all this going on, I think the wrong question is being asked. The question is not what the future of plastic model car kits is, its why are they still struggling for survival.


 

Oddly enough, I have been buying more Hot Wheels, and the like, than Model Cars. Simply because I really like Hot Wheels and the kit makers are rarely making anything I want or they are re making what I already have. With the exception of the lone re-issue that has been gone for some time, the rest is regular stuff that is easy to get. 

And yes, having way too many models as it is does not help! 

I do still think that U.S. model makers should look at the Japanese model of making current vehicles that are mostly curbside style. The bodies are nice when the innards can be quite dull. But, most of us have had it ingrained in our heads that kits should be full kits and anything less is not acceptable. This mindset needs to change. 

I would rather have a well proportioned body in a curbside style kit than a half ass done one with full detail. But, that is just me. 

 

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My '13 Revell Camaro largely fits that description, and it even has an engine.
Still, for the young folks it's just a model of a used car at the bottom of its depreciation cycle, rendered with an obsolete technology.

Edited by Junkman
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On 3/20/2020 at 9:44 AM, Daddyfink said:

Oddly enough, I have been buying more Hot Wheels, and the like, than Model Cars. Simply because I really like Hot Wheels and the kit makers are rarely making anything I want or they are re making what I already have. With the exception of the lone re-issue that has been gone for some time, the rest is regular stuff that is easy to get. 

And yes, having way too many models as it is does not help! 

I do still think that U.S. model makers should look at the Japanese model of making current vehicles that are mostly curbside style. The bodies are nice when the innards can be quite dull. But, most of us have had it ingrained in our heads that kits should be full kits and anything less is not acceptable. This mindset needs to change. 

I would rather have a well proportioned body in a curbside style kit than a half ass done one with full detail. But, that is just me. 

 

I'm the exact same way.  I'll take a well-proportioned body that is curbside over a fully detailed badly rendered kit any day.  That was the beauty of Johan and the early AMT craftsman kits.  Of course, having access to the official blueprints from the auto manufacturers for the promo version, of which many of these models were based upon, probably didn't hurt either.

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I don’t  know ... I’m sorta sad I won’t be around to see the day when I’d be able to order online a specific serial number and have it 3D published as a one-off ... 

made from the exact specs from the actual car or tank or spaceship ... my pick of scale ... with precision that may require just two drops of non-toxic bonding agent 

... I could go on

 

In the meantime ... stay well everyone!

 

 

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6 hours ago, LaughingIndian said:

 

I don’t  know ... I’m sorta sad I won’t be around to see the day when I’d be able to order online a specific serial number and have it 3D published as a one-off ... 

made from the exact specs from the actual car or tank or spaceship ... my pick of scale ... with precision that may require just two drops of non-toxic bonding agent 

... I could go on

 

In the meantime ... stay well everyone!

 

 

Or, even farther into the future where we can experience a full on "virtual reality" of building a holy grail vintage old kit just like it was real.  Heck, we might even be able to take a old memory kernel we had of building a kit in the past, back when we were kids, and extending it to a full on reality happening right now experience.  Of course, we could all just be brains sitting in a fluid filled jar in some high tech facility experiencing "virtual" reality.  lol! 

   

Edited by the other Mike S.
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On 3/26/2020 at 2:16 PM, the other Mike S. said:

Or, even farther into the future where we can experience a full on "virtual reality" of building a holy grail vintage old kit just like it was real.  Heck, we might even be able to take a old memory kernel we had of building a kit in the past, back when we were kids, and extending it to a full on reality happening right now experience.  Of course, we could all just be brains sitting in a fluid filled jar in some high tech facility experiencing "virtual" reality.  lol! 

   

Haha ... Hell, I can do that right now with a few pulls on a good bourbon ... well ... maybe not this morning ... I gotta face the reality of weekend chores 

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