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Kit Prices... Too High?
staff_Jim
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#002
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Posted: Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 05:31 AM UTC
I was in my local hobby shop yesterday and could not believe some of the prices on recent releases. $37 for the Tamiya M4's, $325 for the 1/16 Tiger. Wow... That's about twice what they were 12-14 years ago.

How do you feel about kit pricing? A rip? Better detail these days? Hurting the industry?

Jim
Kencelot
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Posted: Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 07:22 AM UTC
As far as the "new" kits with alot better molds, I thought the prices are a little too high. After buying one I thought not too bad considering the detail levels. Not to mention I'm just getting back into it after nearly a ten year hiatus and the kits look much better. When I see the "older" kits rereleased with no updates to molds, the prices are way too high. It's frustating for me with limited moneys to allocate to my hobby.
Now , as for luring "new" kids into the hobby, yes it's hurting the industry a little. You must consider all the other costs that go along with building a model. Paints, brushes, glues, knives, etc... . I know most of the initial expences will last through a few models, but most kids or parents are not so willing to pay, say, close to fifty dollars for one kit along with it's "extras".
But than again what do I know? I'm not a parent, just a big "kid", who will, regardless of some of the costs, buy the one I want anyway.
staff_Jim
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Posted: Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 07:45 AM UTC
Ken,
Yeah, it seems to me that most kids will be just be making cars. No ships, planes, or armor. Sad.

Jim

PS: I am testing a new version of this Forum module. There are some improvements over the current version.
Kencelot
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Posted: Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 08:03 AM UTC
Sad indeed. I have 5 brothers, all used to build models. We each had our own genres. I'm the only one who picked it back up. One of them though, whom I'd sent to this site...well lets just say he's grinding gears on it now! And a collection of "unbuilts".
Even when I was growing up, I had so many friends that built. Now most are into PC games... I like em too, but wow! Talk about expensive hobbies! Another time.
And yes, as you said, most are into cars. Most forums for model building are for cars, at least what I've found.
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
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Posted: Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 10:24 AM UTC
Yes, my feelings are the same for the re-releases. Too high, it appears they are going back to pricing by box size. Meaning if they put the newly reissued kit in the same size box as a new tool kit, then they can charge a comparable price for it.

I don't mind too much to pay $30+ for a new, high-tech kit, but $30 for the reissued M7 Priest is ridiculous, especially when newer kits from the same manufacturer released in the same size box go for $10 less.
Kencelot
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Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 04:49 AM UTC
Very good example Rob. The M7 Priest. I was looking all over for it about 6 - 8 months ago. Someone mentioned e-bay, so I went, I found it, and got sick when I saw what the bid was up to...$65!!!! Ouch! it seems as if Italeri and the retailers took a cue from this, rereleased it, and jacked the price as per e-bay payees. Not quite as high, but...Hmmm.
In the end it's their own foot they'll be shooting if this becomes a trend.
Sabot
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Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 11:13 AM UTC

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the re-release of older kits and series like Monogram's "Classics". I just think that kits that were developed 30+ yrs ago and the molds long paid for have a huge profit margin. I mean, the kits originally were sold for $1.98 and the classic reissues are $15, that's a big markup for squeezing new plastic, reprinting decals and instructions. Well, at least it keeps the original ones in the hands of collectors and gives builders inexpensive ones to glue.

HunterCottage
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Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 04:17 PM UTC
I can only agree with the forgoing. If I take it to another level, the prices you pay are ridiculous, just think of what the prices are outside of the US. R/C dominates the market here in Sweden. There are maybe 4 good hobby shops in all of Sweden! Even Airfix is losing its standings, not that doesn't bother me, the hobby is losing people, kids included.

Now it was about 15 years ago I bought a kit in the US. I remember wanting to buy Tamiyas 1/32 F-14, but no way was I going to pay 70.00 USD, that was way to much. But 70.00 USD today is pricy, but not unthinkable. Actually I am a bit of a vulture now, I case stores that I know are having problems with model sales and wait untill they sell them out and capitalize on the situation.

For father's day I was given a gift certificate to buy a model or two. A local hardware store has started to take in Tamiya models so I bought a M8 Greyhound and 2½ ton Deuce 6 for a diorama. I payed 35 USD for the M8 and 25 USD for the Deuce 6. I later went to the main modelshop in Stockholm and saw that they offered the same models for 10 USD more each!

A good friend of mine has just recently gone over to a company in the plastic business. They basically do pipes and things for the housing industry, but he was saying that for a three inch pipe it costs about 1 USD to make a six foot section. That same pipe out in the store goes for about 20 USD. The price difference is the distribution costs! If the model buisness could cut out the distribution costs maybe we could get models cheaper. If I remember correctly 1 ton of polystyrene costs about 35 USD!

Is there anything we can do about it?
Kencelot
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Posted: Monday, January 07, 2002 - 04:14 AM UTC
"What can we do about it"? Hate to say it, but, shop online. Compared with the "brick and motar" shops, online beats em hands down. Heck, even with s&h!
As far as selections: online has em beat too.
The thing I see good about the b&m's is you can get "some" things now. No wait for delivery.
I was at our city's hobby store today, and was kinda saddened because of the prices...and selections. Not much and too high.
Seems they do have a huge section dedicated to RCs now.
I will still use them to purchace paints and blades,etc, though, other than that, it's online for me.
tankbuster
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Posted: Monday, January 07, 2002 - 10:54 PM UTC
I agree with you..especially when it comes to new and re-released kits.
I was lucky to fill my shelves with relatively cheap tamiya kits bought in czech republic but now good times are over as they are as expensive as the rest of the world. at least some
eastern produced kits and aftermarket parts are cheaper to get there.
but i also think that aftermarket parts are too expensive. thinking of only adding tracks or etched parts to a kit is raising the prize to an amount which my wife must never know...
I therefore started buying via the net a few years ago, trying to purchase the goods from the producer or from a distribution chain which is close to to the producer. an interesting but not neglectable thing to remember are custums, VAT and transportation or bank charges, things which are often forgotten. I had my bad surprises when the 10$ kit cost in the end more than in the shop after adding all the surplus charges...
living in the EU I now try to buy from vendors within the EU to get rid of customs, VAT amendments.
last but not least I purchase much stuff on fleamarkets.
I must not have the newest kit 2 days after release..I can wait and then buy it 1 or 2 years later for 30-50% cheaper on a fleamarket.
sounds unfair..but I paid my dues ( like anastacia )
over the years.

regards-werner
SEDimmick
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 02:22 AM UTC
Hmmm thing I wonder about is how much the importers are causing these prices to rise in the USA and Europe. You can get a newer Tamiya kit from say HLJ or Rainbow Ten for less then $30 dollars US after the exchange rate. I understand theres shipping from the Far East, but kits dont weigh all that much compaired to say TVs or Autos. There was a posting on Missing-lynx about plastic kit production and its cost and the fact that screamed out was that packaging materials cost more then the cost of the Styrene does! You have to figure that Tamiya makes $5-10 profit off each model it sells (hopefully) so that leaves us with a kit that should cost less then $20 a pop.

I know since Stevens Interational became the importer of Trumpter kits they are planning on raising the prices on their kits up to $30 retail price...when before they where at 19.99 or less.

Scott
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 02:49 AM UTC
Well, to put my 2 cents into this mix. I almost had a heart attack when I saw the price of the Tamiya Leopard 2A5. And to tell the truth, I really don't buy many kits from the local hobby shops, mostly paint and some supplies. I usually get the kits and aftermarket stuff at shows. I look for the dealers that are unloading some of their old stock, plus there is usually a wide assortment of PE and resin detail items.
Although my two boys got interested in modeling about 10 years ago when I stared again, they would come with me to the hobby shop but were put off by the pricing then. Although I would pickup kits for them to build, they decided fantasy figures were more in their price range. Considering for $15 or $20 bucks they could get 4 or 5 blister packs of figures.
I think that Tamiya and Italeri should keep the prices low on the re-releases, after all, the molds have alreasy been paid for. I can see the higher pricing on new molds, but some of the pricing seems ridiculous. You can get a new DML for $25 to $28 and at those prices I tend towards them. And some of the Dragon kits are even cheaper.
Is the retail of the re-release M7 Priest really $30?
GunTruck
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 03:10 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Is the retail of the re-release M7 Priest really $30?



More, unfortunately, I paid $34.98 for mine...

Gunnie
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 03:25 AM UTC
I wholeheartedly agree that kit prices are a bit pricey, especially if you want a kit that has good detail and goes together fairly easy with minimal cutting or sanding. Some of the price, though, is just like anything else you buy and that's because of the name on the kit. Tamiya kits, in my opinion, are the most expensive you can get but you do get a good product. I have a slight advantage because the base here has a full-time hobby shop where kit prices are anywhere from $3 to $10 cheaper than hobby shops in town and there is no tax. For manufacturers other than Tamiya, this makes their kits very reasonable except for the good, large kits like the 1/32 planes or some of the 1/350 ships which is understandable because of the size and detail. The Tamiya kits, however, are still quite expensive even without tax and reduced price. Case in point-I want to build a 1/48 A-1 Skyraider next but the only kit worth anything is the Tamiya kit and it's still $38 at the base. I think it's something like $45 out in town. This makes it hard to have a hobby where you can produce quality reproductions.

Then again, maybe I should just develope my skills, buy the lesser kits and enjoy refining them to a greater quality than they were out of the box.
Tin_Can
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 03:34 AM UTC

Quoted Text


I know since Stevens Interational became the importer of Trumpter kits they are planning on raising the prices on their kits up to $30 retail price...when before they where at 19.99 or less.

Scott



I haven't built a trumpeter kit but I have heard mixed feelings about them. The 1/35 armor kits are $19 at the base where their 1/32 plane kits are about $50. I have heard very, very good things about their airplane kits because of the great detail, whitemetal parts and fit so a large-scale plane with that kind of stuff going for it seems somewhat reasonable at that price (especially compared to a 1/32 Tamiya plane that retails from $100 and up). If they were to raise the prices of the armor kits to $30, as you say, maybe that's an indication of how good the kits are or maybe it's just the greed factor.
210cav
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 03:37 AM UTC
Bryan--where you been? I would have invited you to my promotion party (just made Armorama 0-4),but could not find you. I believe you can find the models for reasonable prices only by shopping around. My local and great hooby store carried the M-3 Stuart re issue for $17. I thought it was a steal and nailed it. Then I found out that HobbyLand Japan had it for ten bucks. However when you add in shipping, I would have saved a few bucks. I'd rather grab it while I can. I did order the Marder III and (another) Sherman 75mm from them for bargain prices. I think the whole deal came to under $50. Now, if I can just sit down and build them.
DJ
GunTruck
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 03:46 AM UTC
I've read a lot of posts over the years about the prices of kits. In fact, they come seasonally - right after the winter thaw it seems. Just as the posts come, the prices rise a little more.

I think the manufacturers are charging what the market will bear - and we're paying for these kits. As the prices climb, we still pay. It's like asking which came first - the chicken or the egg - in trying to determine why the kit prices steadily climb.

If we as the consumer refused to pay the high prices in the first place - would the prices be lower today?

Or, if the prices were lower all along, would too many dollars chasing too few goods cause the prices to rise?

The modeling manufacturers are fufilling the demand for more diverse and better tooled kits (broadly speaking) - and they are testing the market to see what it will bear. The prices climb - and we're paying them - in some cases happily. Maybe the question should be at what cost are we willing to pay for a model? I agree with what's been said here, but at what point does a modeler simply say NO to that price tag?

My thoughts...

Gunnie
Tin_Can
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 03:46 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Bryan--where you been? I would have invited you to my promotion party (just made Armorama 0-4),but could not find you...



DJ, I've been incapacitated for a week or so with ankle surgery (had some bone spurs ground off). I may be incapacitated again tomorrow because one of the wounds has not closed up and they may have to go in and close it up again (which means no walking for a week).

Congrats on the promotion...does that mean your throwing a wetting down party?
Tin_Can
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 03:51 AM UTC

Quoted Text

...I agree with what's been said here, but at what point does a modeler simply say NO to that price tag?

My thoughts...

Gunnie



In my case, the modeler, it's not when I say NO to the price tag, it's when CINC House (Commander in Charge of the House), the wife, says NO to the price tag! :-)
Sabot
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 04:07 AM UTC
My thought on reissues is that they try to price them around the same price as new kits in the same size box. (the M3 Stuart, for example, is in a box about the size of the new Willys Jeep). I also agree that this is too much. That Willys Jeep is priced in the high teens/low twenties because the return has to be made on the molds as well as the licensing fees paid to Daimler-Chrysler and a profit has to be made. But for that Stuart, it all becomes profit. It also may be your local hobby shop. My better local hobby shop, who usually prices stuff high, had them for $14.50. Another chain hobby shop, Hobbytown USA, had them for $11.50, and they are basically in the Boston area.

Regardless though, reissue prices are high because of the secondary market for the older kits is high. Before they were reissued, you couldn't touch an M-7 Priest for $40, or an M-3 Stuart for $25. Even the old Tamiya M-10 and M-36 were going for more than $30 before they were reissued. All the manufacturer needs to do is reissue the kit and charge slightly less than the secondary market price. People will pay that amount.
E23C
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 06:03 AM UTC
Here is a couple of kit prices for you Tamiya M-4 Sherman early version $54 ,Tamiya Panther "Steel wheel "Version $76 these prices are in our sick Canadian dollar .Most Dragon Armour kits up my way are around $45 CDN.Shopping on the net usually brings somewhat cheaper prices,but I still like to support my local shop even if the prices are a wee bit high.
Chappy_ju87
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 06:32 AM UTC
The local hobbyshop I go to sickens me when I walk in. His prices go up every week it seems like. I have gotten to where i only buy paint from him now, the price on that has not gone up but he has warned me that it was going to. I have switched to buying my kits on-line or through e-bay.....Just my 2 cents worth
ArmouredSprue
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 06:43 AM UTC
Well,
If you guys think that´s too overpriced, let me tell you something...
If I want to buy a kit of, let´s say, US$35,00, I´ll have to convert it to Reais(the money here in Brazil...R$) in a rate of US$1,00 = R$2,50 more or less, then if I buy it from an online shop foreign, I´ll pay for the S&H + 60% of the total amount as Tax on Brazilian custom....
What do you think now!
Cheers
AndersHeintz
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 06:46 AM UTC
one word:

OUCH!!!
sgtreef
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 05:00 PM UTC
Yes prices are out of control and some are cheap kits paid $30.00 for a Isu -152 which is from zveda which is not worth the price around $20.00 would of been good with the bad fit and all. I think as of now Dragon is the best deal on kits and then again only mail order. I know that when new kits are released they charge high prices because of all the money that went into making of masters and molds. but on tamiyas 20 plus years panzer III it still is $27.00 what ,should be about $17.00 by now. Okay I vented.