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New AMT slot car kit review


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#26 TSR

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:48 AM

Could it be, that they have just penny pinched the design to utilise it for both 1/24 and 1/32 scale cars?

The chassis is too wide for even the widest true 1/32 scale car. But even if that was the plan, the rear end could have been a full 1/4" wider and still fit very wide 1/32 scale tires. No, there is simply no excuse there. It is a dumb design by a dumb designer.




#27 Jairus

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:26 AM

Calling people names and insults are not helpful. The design is naive at worst. It would have been nice if they had asked someone within the industry asked but they didn't. So we go on from here showing them how to modify the chassis to make it better. Hopefully someone will listen and the next generation of kits improve.

You have a copy there Philippe, I challenge you to modify it to handle better. Put your ideas where your mouth is!
(I plan to soon as I get these two drawings off the board.)
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#28 TSR

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:49 AM

Jairus,
I am building one and will send it to them as an example of what the same money invested would have provided, something that a five-year old can put together in minutes with a single small screwdriver, and that once on the track runs smoothly, with gears that mesh perfectly, plastic wheels that are running true and a body mount allowing it to be actually removed.
No rocket science.

#29 MSwiss

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:55 AM

Any five year old?

Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
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#30 Jairus

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:59 AM

Yes, even you Mike! :)

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#31 marc

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:00 AM

so lets see if i have read this correct ... NICE BOX AND PLASTIC BUBBLES
SO WHAT DO I DO... all i need is to build a nice brass chassis or fix up a fcr car
chassis to put the body on add some nice tires and wheels a decent motor and a real guide
. now put all the parts and nice box less the body on a shelf in the garage

phillipe whats the problem ???
Marc Ronhock

#32 Mopar Rob

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:21 AM

I see nothing wrong with this kit.

It's all relative, dad and son buy a pair based on thier personal body choice. They assemble them together with the dad having some bonding time with his kid, and the child learning some basic mechanical reasoning. After that they put them on their SCX, Carrera, or whatever plastic track they own and have fun. Regardless of the kit, the perfomance should be about the same? The kid get some extra excitement seeing something he "built" go around, especially if he beats his dad.

I guess you guys who are 90 years old and it's been too many years since your kids were young or never had them, your expectations are different?
Rob Hanson

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#33 MSwiss

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:43 AM

Any five year old?


Yes, even you, Mike! :)


I think PdL is getting slightly carried away with the hyperbole.

I think guys would be happy if any 55-year-old could build it and it ran properly.

If the guide doesn't turn, I don't see how anyone could have fun, even slow fun, with these cars on a roadcourse.

Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

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Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#34 James Wendel

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:48 AM

They assemble them together with the dad having some bonding time with his kid, and the child learning some basic mechanical reasoning.

AND... a few new words. :o
You can't always get what you want...

#35 marc

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 12:15 PM

Rob: if the kit is hard to assemble and runs lousy it defeats the bonding issue.

It's very nice to see that AMT at least made an effort to make a slot car kit in the first place. Kudos for their effort and stinky for their lack of effort to do research and do it right.
Marc Ronhock

#36 TSR

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 12:32 PM

Any five year old?


Scott's children will be four years old in a month or so and have no problem racing their TSR cars, and in one year will need no one to show them how to put one together, and likely to fiddle with actually constructing new chassis from wire and brass. Of course these children DO benefit of having thousands of slot cars around them and a super track to run them on, so they do have an advantage.

However, I would assume that the vast majority of five-year-old children are smart enough to put one and one together to form the number 2, and if a kit provides parts that actually FIT on each other because there was sound engineering and thinking behind the concept, that would never be an issue.

The problem with the parent "bonding" with his child at this time is that in the attempted assembly of this AMT kit, the child may learn a litany of new four-letter words that he generally only would only hear from watching educational movies spewed by the Hollywood moguls and splashed on HBO.

The problem is that this AMT kit CANNOT be assembled without altering parts of it and literally making assembly fixtures just to mate some of the parts, something utterly unacceptable today.

And even then, once on a track, it runs so badly that a one-dollar plastic slot car made in Hong Kong, Malaysia, or Bangladesh will run circles around it in a much lesser frustrating experience.

There is mediocrity, then there are truly crummy products. It is very unfortunate that this great-looking kit (when left in its pretty box on the shelf) can be so bad when one simply attempts to... build it.

In the 55 years that slot cars have existed as a commercial product, I am at a loss to think of a worse one from ANY country, and Lord knows that there were some out there that competed for the dishonor. Try some of the recent Fly cars where the gears, as in this AMT product, simply won't mesh.

AMT is one of the great model companies ever, advancing the art of model kit making in the 1960s to an incredible standard along with Jo-Han, MPC, Monogram, and Revell. What happened here???

Is not this sad? Doubt me? BUY one of these kits and try assembling one ONLY with the parts enclosed, and without any other tools than what a father and son would have, meaning a Phillips screwdriver and a pair of pliers.

Then report, and you tell me.

#37 marc

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 12:58 PM

Philippe: i agree, next to impossible, won't cut it in today's plug and play world...
Marc Ronhock

#38 Mark H

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:00 PM

Where are these going to be sold... hobby shops? Even if the kit is sub-par, it's still a slot car and pretty cool they made one.

Couldn't they have just re-released the originals from back in the day, or is all the tooling gone?
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#39 Gator Bob

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:08 PM

I would think that we all would like to see this reintroduction by AMT be successful. Maybe they would be receptive to improvements otherwise this will not be around very long.
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#40 MSwiss

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:11 PM

I would think that we all would like to see this reintroduction by AMT be successful. Maybe they would be receptive to improvements otherwise this will not be around very long.


Ditto.

I was hoping it would be great.

I have father's and son's all the time walking in asking if they could make them.

Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

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Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#41 Jairus

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:12 PM

Mark, the hardest part of re-releasing anything old is finding the tooling. John Greczula is the product manager for Round 2 brands who now owns AMT, MPC, and Polar Lights. His job is searching out where the tooling is stored and what the condition of the tool is. When it comes to injection molding the tools are usually in multiple parts and if the chassis parts are found but the body mold is missing... the project will never be released. If even one part of the tooling is damaged or rusted beyond repair, the kit will never be released.

AMT was one of the first companies to move production facilities out of the country. First to Mexico and then China. That means tooling is stored overseas making the search even more difficult.

When slot cars died back in the '70s, many companies simply scrapped the tooling rather than store it.

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#42 TSR

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:18 PM

Couldn't they have just re-released the originals from back in the day, or is all the tooling gone?


Mark,

It is not the same company any more and the tooling is long gone, but was so simple that it would actually have been a lot cheaper to produce new tooling for the old chassis (two pieces of stamped brass, they could even have used plated steel like the new one) and one aluminum stamped motor bracket that could have been designed for the smaller modern FA-FC-FK motors. The wheels could have been made of plastic like the new ones, but using the two-step bore solution developed on the TSR wheels, that guarantee easy assembly and perfect concentric fitment. Why they not have done this simple revival way of getting their classic design back on the market is amazing to me and many others.

I would not even have minded if the thing was completely a new design, IF done properly. Which is unfortunately not the case here. :(

#43 Mark H

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:39 PM

Hmm, I figured that was the case, shame.
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#44 Duffy

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 06:38 PM

There's kind of a parallel in Flyers (gee, I feel like I'm channeling Prof. Fate here!)--the Guillows models have been around since before there was hair, and they have always been heavy, poorly-designed, unflyable as kitted and nearly unbuildable. --And sales reps for the company, ensuring that the horrible things are on every hobbyshop shelf in the land, will tell you the biggest slice of their revenue comes from wives of middle-aged guys, who've heard their husbands wax on about building as a kid, and think this is a good gift. The rep will openly state, 99% of these kits never get built.

--But they get sold, so it's okay.

I suspect that most craftsman-evolved hobbies are the same: the guys who actually do the stuff know what quality is, but the market doesn't need sell to them.

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#45 Gator Bob

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:39 PM

Ditto.

I was hoping it would be great.

I have father's and son's all the time walking in asking if they could make them.


I have not built one one of these but the pictures and the great posts by Jairus and Dokk step by steps tell all. Mike, if they are "that" bad then I guess you have to be straight up with your customers and say no. Make up some "kits" based on the stamped steel hot rod chassis you had made up while AMT gets their **** together.

Duffy makes a great point...(we are the one percent) but... if the guy was a builder then who can't build it now, oh boy, is she in trouble.

Dokk is right... it prob would have been easier and cheaper to (ah so) "reverse engineer" the tooling from sample of the original. Add FK power and setscrew wheels... done!
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#46 TSR

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:41 PM

Yep...

Hopefully next time around, assuming that there is one, the AMT folks might listen...

#47 Gator Bob

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:08 PM

Who did they ask?

A few Skype meetings with the "design team" at AMT and this kit can be fixed. If it fails I doubt there will be a next time.

BTW - how much are the kits listing for?
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#48 TSR

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:17 PM

A few skype meetings with the "design team" at AMT and this kit can be fixed.


Nope. These kinds of purchases from Chinese suppliers are a one-time thing (just like all "limited editions"), and a "fix" would mean that the remaining kits in stock would have to be opened, modified (how?) and that will never happen.

These kits will never be re-issued, but there will be new products. Maybe not slot cars...

#49 One27ray

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:20 PM

How much are the kit's ????

Looking good so far Jairus :good: good pictorial :clapping:
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#50 Mopar Rob

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:24 PM

How much are the kit's ????

Looking good so far Jairus :good: good pictorial :clapping:


Ray,

I think they're like $40?
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