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Here we go again... Similar topics spring up quite often, and it seems like many people on here do not understand the concept of inflation. Simply put, one dollar in 1970 did not have the same absolute value as one dollar today - it was worth much more.

Real cars back then cost a couple thousand dollars brand new! How much do they cost today?

Prices then and now cannot be compared directly like that, without taking years of global inflation into consideration.

Edited by PowerPlant
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I only got back into the modeling hobby about 10 years ago (after an absence of more than 50 years) so I really haven't experienced the "price creep" that has occurred from year to yeat. However, I have noticed the jump in prices these past few years and, for someone like me who's on a fixed income, it's come down to being very selective about purchases.

Many kits that were in the $20-25 range two or three years ago are now selling for over $40 and many do not even have engines. It may sound counter-intuitive, but lately I've been buying mostly the mid-priced Tamiya kits as they seem to be a better value. For one thing, the quality is exceptional and the more complex ones take me more time to build. Having no way to set up an airbrush system, I find that rattle cans meant for automotive use are less expensive than those meant for modeling and the color selection makes them more accurate for matching the actual factory colors.

I'm also an amateur photographer and if anyone thinks that modeling expenses have risen, they should compare current camera/lens prices to what they were only a few years ago. I've managed by simply not going after the "latest and greatest" in favor of getting the most out of what I already own. 

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3 hours ago, PowerPlant said:

Here we go again... Similar topics spring up quite often, and it seems like many people on here do not understand the concept of inflation. Simply put, one dollar in 1970 did not have the same absolute value as one dollar today - it was worth much more.

Real cars back then cost a couple thousand dollars brand new! How much do they cost today?

Prices then and now cannot be compared directly like that, without taking years of global inflation into consideration.

I can remember hearing people paying $8,000 for a new home. 

I was shocked when my dad told me that he bought our vacation house at the Jersey shore in Wildwood for $30,000 in 1974. Man, how times have changed.

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7 hours ago, peteski said:

The subject of current high kit and supplies prices seems to come up often here.  Does anybody bother to compare the incomes (salary) from when the $1.39 kits were available to your current income.  Doing that will lessen the pain of the high prices.

In 1970 my after school part time job paid me $0.90 an hour.

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1 hour ago, imarriedawitch said:

In 1970 my after school part time job paid me $0.90 an hour.

That's my point exactly.  Now it you get a entry-level job of making fries at McDonald's you will probably get $15/hr.  So that $30 price for a kit does not seem all that high anymore.  I wish people understood who inflation works.  No more penny candy either.  :)

Edited by peteski
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1 hour ago, Mike C. said:

I can remember hearing people paying $8,000 for a new home. 

I was shocked when my dad told me that he bought our vacation house at the Jersey shore in Wildwood for $30,000 in 1974. Man, how times have changed.

Yes, homes have gone up a LOT. But it's unfair to compare a model kit increase to a homes. Our first home in So Cal in 1962 was $10,000. I looked on Zillow the other day and the house is listed at HALF a MILLION! Does that mean a kit tooled in 1962 is a bargain today at $36??? It's a apple and orange compare.  Kit prices are more what the market will bare vs market size which is drastically smaller than even in the 1980's. Doubt we will ever see a model company needing to run a kit 7/24 like MPC had to do with the Duke's Charger, sold a million kits over the years. Now 5,000 in 3 months is a 'huge hit'. Face it.....kit prices match market size and it ain't going to change any time soon.  

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😀 So ironic that the inflation subject came up.

 I stopped for gas yesterday and while waiting to pay inside I got roped in from the temptation rack and bought a Twinkie for $2.69. When I was a kid they were a dime. A family pack box of 12 was 69 cents. 

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11 minutes ago, Dave Van said:

Yes, homes have gone up a LOT. But it's unfair to compare a model kit increase to a homes. Our first home in So Cal in 1962 was $10,000. I looked on Zillow the other day and the house is listed at HALF a MILLION! Does that mean a kit tooled in 1962 is a bargain today at $36??? It's a apple and orange compare.  Kit prices are more what the market will bare vs market size which is drastically smaller than even in the 1980's. Doubt we will ever see a model company needing to run a kit 7/24 like MPC had to do with the Duke's Charger, sold a million kits over the years. Now 5,000 in 3 months is a 'huge hit'. Face it.....kit prices match market size and it ain't going to change any time soon.  

Why would it be unfair to compare? I don’t see how the size of the market is relevant here. If a house that was worth 10.000 bucks in 62 is now going for 500.000, there is no logical reason why a kit worth 2 bucks back then shouldn’t cost 30 bucks today. People say it’s the same kit, much like your house is also the same… sure, the products are the same, but one thing that has changed drastically and isn’t the same at all is the value of currency, which has depreciated because of inflation, which happens when… and this is where I have to stop because the next word in that sentence is a no-no here 😎

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Although the  prices of model, cars, and houses are higher they are not higher for the same reasons.

Model prices are a result of inflation and a smaller volume market.

Cars are inflation , safety and fuel economy regulations.

Houses are inflation and a limited supply of desirable locations.

 

 

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2 hours ago, PowerPlant said:

Why would it be unfair to compare? I don’t see how the size of the market is relevant here. If a house that was worth 10.000 bucks in 62 is now going for 500.000, there is no logical reason why a kit worth 2 bucks back then shouldn’t cost 30 bucks today. People say it’s the same kit, much like your house is also the same… sure, the products are the same, but one thing that has changed drastically and isn’t the same at all is the value of currency, which has depreciated because of inflation, which happens when… and this is where I have to stop because the next word in that sentence is a no-no here 😎

Homes in So Cal in area's people WANT to live in, are in an extremally short supply, are being bought up by investment firms AND foreign government for their use.  This has caused homes to WAY out run inflation.  Supply and demand. Side note: My brother in law passed back at the first of the year. When we put his house on the market we got 15 offers. 14 were investment firms willing to pay over market price. And this was in NC not So Cal. Home prices are driven by these firms, not demand alone now.

 

Model kits, if looking at inflation alone, should be $18 today. So there are other factors cause kits to cost TWICE today that the same kit cost in 1962. Supply and demand is NOT one of them. The size of the market is the main cause driving kit cost.  TWO very different market drivers. Homes and kit cost could be compared is there were 3 buyers for every kit made......but that is not happening. 

So you can say 'the cost of everything is up' and be true. The reason for cost increase is varied.  That is the statement I was making. Thx

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Real estate is at an interesting point currently, definitely.  My house I bought 5 years ago has gone up in value by $120k based on a recent appraisal.  
 

My family farm (130 acres in rural Ohio) recently sold and did very well..much higher than pre-sale estimates. 

 

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6 hours ago, Dave Van said:

Homes in So Cal in area's people WANT to live in, are in an extremally short supply, are being bought up by investment firms AND foreign government for their use.  This has caused homes to WAY out run inflation.  Supply and demand. Side note: My brother in law passed back at the first of the year. When we put his house on the market we got 15 offers. 14 were investment firms willing to pay over market price. And this was in NC not So Cal. Home prices are driven by these firms, not demand alone now.

 

Model kits, if looking at inflation alone, should be $18 today. So there are other factors cause kits to cost TWICE today that the same kit cost in 1962. Supply and demand is NOT one of them. The size of the market is the main cause driving kit cost.  TWO very different market drivers. Homes and kit cost could be compared is there were 3 buyers for every kit made......but that is not happening. 

So you can say 'the cost of everything is up' and be true. The reason for cost increase is varied.  That is the statement I was making. Thx

I appreciate the reply and explanation 🙂

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There is a house that went up for sale for about 3 months before they took it off the market. Asking price? $300k. Way overpriced for the neighborhood I live in. Guess either the realtor or the owners suggested that starting price. 

Don’t get me wrong, the house is nice but could use some updating (bathroom and kitchen). I guess folks thought they were gonna get some interests.

Housing prices have been ridiculous as of late. I got our first home for $68k in 1998. Have done a few home improvements over the years -remodeled both bathrooms, and a major kitchen reno, new furnace (will get central air next year), new electrical wiring/circuit breaker box, new fences, windows, basement mold removal, etc... you know the typical stuff most folks do over the years of home ownership.

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The Real Estate market has been in a "bubble" of extremely high prices for few years now.  As I understand it was due to the demand caused by (what else) COVID, and very low mortgage rates.  Similar bubble happened several years ago.  Buyers were in a bid wars offering to pay over the asking prices.  At least in some parts of the country. But the inflated prices were likely seen everywhere.  The bubble will burst (like it did last time this happened) and house prices will come down to a bit more reasonable level.  Actually the bubble seem do be deflating even now (partially due to the mortgage rates going up). As others have mentioned house prices should not be really considered when comparing prices from the past to now.

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If the prices of model kits today trouble you, then maybe you need to find another hobby. The price we pay is in direct correlation to manufacturing costs and distribution. Why can't the local hobby shop compete with Hobby Lobby? The local hobby shop is not buying at the same level as HL.

There are many other hobbies where prices have risen over the years and people have bemoaned the increases without realizing so much else had gone up too. Would I like to revert back to 1980 and get kits for $4.99? Sure, but then I was only making $3.25 per hour and there was other things my 17 year old self was focused on besides model kits so the real answer is no, I am better off today then I was then.

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5 hours ago, mikemodeler said:

If the prices of model kits today trouble you, then maybe you need to find another hobby. The price we pay is in direct correlation to manufacturing costs and distribution. Why can't the local hobby shop compete with Hobby Lobby? The local hobby shop is not buying at the same level as HL.

There are many other hobbies where prices have risen over the years and people have bemoaned the increases without realizing so much else had gone up too. Would I like to revert back to 1980 and get kits for $4.99? Sure, but then I was only making $3.25 per hour and there was other things my 17 year old self was focused on besides model kits so the real answer is no, I am better off today then I was then.

I have lego and car audio and building PC's as other hobbies so prices of model kits do not bother me.  What bothers me is when a person goes and marks up twice for no reason or explanation.  This old mans shop i can barely support because of what he does, because I'm not that stupid to pay almost twice the price for a kit when i know i can get it else where cheaper and i have.  I couldn't talk to the owner that day cause he wasn't there, but the kit was still in the same spot with a new price of $94 lol.  Like if i know i couldn't get it else where for cheaper and they were similar prices online with shipping? Than sure I would drop $94, but even tamiya has the kit on there site for $78 not $94. 

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I've noticed the price of a jar of Hellman's mayonnaise in one store is now well over $6, up significantly over the $3 and change a couple years back.

This old mans shop i can barely support because of what he does, because I'm not that stupid to pay almost twice the price for a jar of mayo when i know i can get it else where cheaper and i have. [sic;)

I'm looking for a sandwich-builder's web forum where I can belabor this endlessly.    :P

 

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
TYPO
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9 hours ago, mikemodeler said:

Why can't the local hobby shop compete with Hobby Lobby? The local hobby shop is not buying at the same level as HL.

 

Because there are no more hobby shops nowadays. A lot of them have closed due to retirement or economic reasons. In my area, we used to have at least 4 or 5 hobby shops. The last one closed down due to owner retirement in the early 2010s Now there are none in my area. The closest one is an hour’s drive west to Syracuse.

Hobby Lobby has the same old same old stock so I stop going there. Not worth the trip anymore. You’d think HL would substitute the loss of Model Master with Tamiya or Humbrol. I guess the need isn’t there since they carry Createx and small Testors enamel bottles.

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54 minutes ago, BlackSheep214 said:

Because there are no more hobby shops nowadays. A lot of them have closed due to retirement or economic reasons. In my area, we used to have at least 4 or 5 hobby shops. The last one closed down due to owner retirement in the early 2010s Now there are none in my area. The closest one is an hour’s drive west to Syracuse.

Hobby Lobby has the same old same old stock so I stop going there. Not worth the trip anymore. You’d think HL would substitute the loss of Model Master with Tamiya or Humbrol. I guess the need isn’t there since they carry Createx and small Testors enamel bottles.

Yeah the 3 shops i go too are a good hour away for myself as well.  I stopped going to hobby lobby cause like you said its the same ole same ole nothing different.  Eventually I'm gonna stop going to those shops, because half the time i travel over a hour to have no luck finding certain things.  90% of the time I'll find what I'm looking for online easily, and at a much better price.  

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I wonder if anyone from Tamiya has approached HL about their paints? Considering they had the primers and some supplies at one time, I am guessing they know about Tamiya.

I would have to guess that given the number of stores and the volume they represent, it would be a large undertaking for Tamiya to have inventory on hand to ship to HL. Considering their production is done in Japan and the lead times to ship from there as well as the cost to ship, I would surmise it is next to impossible to supply HL at a price and service level acceptable to both companies.

 

I have resigned myself to online shopping and buying at shows/swap meets unless it is a common kit at HL because there aren't any hobby shops within 40 miles of my house.

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12 minutes ago, mikemodeler said:

I wonder if anyone from Tamiya has approached HL about their paints? Considering they had the primers and some supplies at one time, I am guessing they know about Tamiya.

I would have to guess that given the number of stores and the volume they represent, it would be a large undertaking for Tamiya to have inventory on hand to ship to HL. Considering their production is done in Japan and the lead times to ship from there as well as the cost to ship, I would surmise it is next to impossible to supply HL at a price and service level acceptable to both companies.

 

I have resigned myself to online shopping and buying at shows/swap meets unless it is a common kit at HL because there aren't any hobby shops within 40 miles of my house.

They must have an exclusive deal with Testors paints. I see plenty of other stuff from Tamiya, just not the paints. I still can't figure out why they still have flat black in the tiny Testors bottles. I've brought it up with the staff on numerous occasions. I keep telling them the Testors rack has like 5 different blacks but never a single bottle of flat black. I tell them all the time that modelers ALWAYS need flat black. I guess the corporate big whigs  are just not too concerned with what their customers want.🤑

Edited by Mike C.
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2 hours ago, Mike C. said:

They must have an exclusive deal with Testors paints. I see plenty of other stuff from Tamiya, just not the paints. I still can't figure out why they still have flat black in the tiny Testors bottles. I've brought it up with the staff on numerous occasions. I keep telling them the Testors rack has like 5 different blacks but never a single bottle of flat black. I tell them all the time that modelers ALWAYS need flat black. I guess the corporate big whigs  are just not too concerned with what their customers want.🤑

They also carry Gunze Gundam colors too. No surprise since they do carry Gundam kits.

I’ve picked up their white and used it to paint headers. Something different than regular white. 

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