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#51 MSwiss

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 01:10 PM

Foam,
It's pretty startling that a company, with a reputation for uber-quality (at least with their static models), and seemingly, unlimited resources, still markets a shoddy product.

Mike Swiss
 
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#52 Mattb

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 02:47 PM

I can solder (have for over 50 years), I can cast resin, I can setup a chassis,  WTH, I can full build a street rod!   I cannot solder a chassis together like I see on here.   I just don't have that talent and skill.  Not a lot of guys do.   Kit?    Maybe for guys that can't build anything.   Most of the guys I see locally can roughly put a car together with over the counter screw together parts.   Since they run breakout races, their cars do not have to perform  to their limits.   They consider it racing!     They would need really clear instructions and would still need somebody else to do it for them.     Kits might really be better suited to the basement racers that enjoy the modeling aspect a little more than the commercial track guys.   Just not sure there is much of a place in the  small commercial market for kits today,


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#53 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 02:49 PM

Most raceways should be able to pull all of the parts from their inventory to create a kit to race in their weekly program.  Even with all 'brand' parts as in a JK or Parma RTR, the individual parts are likely to exceed the RTR "LIST" price.   Many shops do not offer race classes for the RTR cars that are sold.  RTR does not always mean 'ready to RACE', but rather 'ready to run' and need fine tuning for local conditions and classes.

 

If you want to avoid the 'pin the body' issue, use a Parma FCR, Velcro, and any model car kit that fits the wheelbase and width requirement of the FCR frame - not all kits will.


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#54 Foamy

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 03:27 PM

Foam,
It's pretty startling that a company, with a reputation for uber-quality (at least with their static models), and seemingly, unlimited resources, still markets a shoddy product.

Their plastic choices leave a little to be desired. Moistly ABS but some are carbon filled but those are in a parts pack...sometimes.  The R/C cars are pretty bad compared to other brands.


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preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason."

 


#55 Justin A. Porter

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 03:57 PM

Both of the "model racing" 1/24th scale brands (Scaleauto and BRM) that offer RTR cars also offer their cars in kit form with unpainted bodies at a discounted price. Granted, these are still costly machines aimed more at an adult hobbyist but they do exist and likely would come down in price if they saw more widespread adoption by the racing community. 

However apocryphal this may be, though, I would also add that in the years I've operated my shop I have yet to have a first-time customer ask for an un-assembled car for their first car. For the most part, I have seen that folks that are new to slot car racing want to master the driving before they want to master the building.  


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#56 jimht

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 04:33 PM

So negative toward kits here and there in this thread when the cars today are simple as dirt.

Glancing at LASCM http://lascm.com/Slo...e=index&cPath=4 I see a huge number of kits from most of the Sixties manufacturers.

 

How hard can it be?

How hard is it to train someone to assemble a Flexi with a motor bracket at the factory?

 

So, nowadays, an instruction sheet with pics:

 

Painted trimmed .015" body vacu-formed with a dimple at the clip holes, stick a piece of paper between the gears during assembly and make sure it's checked before it's run. Wires already soldered to the motor (or really cute little Swiss clips included). Add 4 pieces of tape, 2 for the sides of the body, 2 of double stick duct tape to put between the braid and the guide to stop the braid from popping out. Use stickers, no front wheels to bother with.

The biggest problem I see is that most don't have the right nut driver or the Allen wrenches.

 

The knowledge of knowing how to do it is what's valuable. It makes the customer, old or young, a Hobbyist and not someone that bought a toy and ran it until it broke and they didn't know how to fix it so they quit.

 

To the response that there are no customers asking for kits, really? In my mall location I get hammered with that request every day "How much does it cost to "build" a car?  I say that's not what we do but I would still like the option of offering a kit.

 

Besides, how many people told Steve Jobs there was no market for the Iphone?


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#57 Mattb

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 04:37 PM

You know all those kits that were made int he 60's were bought by us!


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#58 jimht

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 05:32 PM

Slight edit:

 

"You know not all those kits that were made in the 60's were bought by us!

 

:D 

 

Right now I've got a father and a son having a good time racing rentals and neither of them are old enough to have done this 50 years ago.

They don't know this stuff is dead and gone.

 

We may never see those that played before and went away but there are twice as many potential new customers now than were around then.


Jim Honeycutt

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#59 MSwiss

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 07:37 PM

Their plastic choices leave a little to be desired. Moistly ABS but some are carbon filled but those are in a parts pack...sometimes.  The R/C cars are pretty bad compared to other brands.

Although there seems to be some "retro love" for their original 1/10 RC off road vehicles, I got one of their original, on road, R/C cars as a gift, as I was the buyer for Tamiya, for the wholesale distributor I worked for, for about 9 years.

 

The car was over complicated, and when I went to compete at an RC car race, with it, the MRC radio would not function around any other "normal" R/C car, and Futaba(?) radio.

 

I was basing my claim on Tamiya's quality, based on selling their awesome 1/24th, 1/20th and 1/12th static, race car kits, mail order, running ads in Autoweek, for 2 or 3 years.

 

So negative toward kits here and there in this thread when the cars today are simple as dirt.

Glancing at LASCM http://lascm.com/Slo...e=index&cPath=4 I see a huge number of kits from most of the Sixties manufacturers.

 

How hard can it be?

How hard is it to train someone to assemble a Flexi with a motor bracket at the factory?

 

So, nowadays, an instruction sheet with pics:

 

Painted trimmed .015" body vacu-formed with a dimple at the clip holes, stick a piece of paper between the gears during assembly and make sure it's checked before it's run. Wires already soldered to the motor (or really cute little Swiss clips included). Add 4 pieces of tape, 2 for the sides of the body, 2 of double stick duct tape to put between the braid and the guide to stop the braid from popping out. Use stickers, no front wheels to bother with.

The biggest problem I see is that most don't have the right nut driver or the Allen wrenches.

 

The knowledge of knowing how to do it is what's valuable. It makes the customer, old or young, a Hobbyist and not someone that bought a toy and ran it until it broke and they didn't know how to fix it so they quit.

 

To the response that there are no customers asking for kits, really? In my mall location I get hammered with that request every day "How much does it cost to "build" a car?  I say that's not what we do but I would still like the option of offering a kit.

 

Besides, how many people told Steve Jobs there was no market for the Iphone?

My clips are geared more for inlines.

 

Any person that wants to learn anything, slot car related, at C/R, we have a welcoming atmosphere.

 

If I'm too busy, guys like Bernard Powell or Jim Crider, are always super-encouraging.

 

They are mentoring new racers, constantly, for which I'm grateful.

 

And they have 2 drill presses, a band saw, a belt/disc sander, a small 6 ton press, a chassis tumbler, and any number of power supplies, tire cutters, etc., at their disposal, to use N/C.

 

As far as putting together a kit, that's something for a manufacturer to devise(especially when you talk about features like a pre-trimmed, and dimpled body)

 

I'm too busy hustling birthday parties, mail order, manufacturing, etc., all stuff required, so I can pay my less than cheap rent, and they can have an  affordable place, to enjoy their hobby.


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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-time G7 King track single lap world record holder
17B West Ogden AveWestmont, IL 60559, ( 708) 203-8003
mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#60 Robert BG

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 08:54 AM

I think a simple menu so to speak could even work instead of a kit.

 When  customer inquires about cars you could show them the RTR stuff or offer them a list/menu of options all laid out for them to build their own(or have it shop built).It would cut the fear factor way down and satisfy those looking for a kit all while getting a customer a lot closer to racing in one step.Even if they're not interested in racing the fact that its close to race ready is a strong selling point to most since race parts are equated to quality.You would also be selling them a car that has options and room to grow later on vs most of the outdated RTR crap I see.The customer with a  few different ages could put a cheap Chinese motor in the youngest car and faster one in the older kids car.Or they could start with the slower motor and work their way up but at least for once there'd be a affordable,upgradable option that they can grow with..As a parent that would be a great selling point to me.Knowing that once my girls mastered the slow motor the rest of the cars would be capable of handling a faster motor and its already listed on the list of upgrades etc would be nice.Also having something the customer can take with them is great,they can read,learn and plan upgrades from home and budget them accordingly.I personally use things like this as a chance to let my girls earn things and could see others doing so too.

I really could see cars leaving with a Hawk/cnina motor and then later coming back in for a level 2-3 upgrade to say a china 16D with better gears etc.Or maybe they'd opt for the full race ballistic missile pro built race ready motor,red fox pinned guide,and offset 72 pitch gears etc........but that price might be best left as inquire sort of like when seafood is listed as market price on the menu lol  ;-)


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#61 JimF

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 02:41 PM

Building stuff.............seems like a bit of a lost concept.

 

I always loved models. Cars, ships, planes, tanks.......whatever. One time, I worked for a couple weeks on a pretty large scale ship (PT boat IIRC) I was so proud of myself I almost couldn't stand it. Then I discovered slot cars at Republic Raceway in Hermosa Beach in the mid sixties. I was that kid with a RTR car and a cheapie controller in a little plastic box and would sometimes ride my bike there after school. I was just playing and didn't think too much about it. Then, I happened to be there one night when they had a race. I thought wow!....those cars are a lot faster and better than mine. And that's where it started for me.

 

Within a couple of years, I was racing as an amateur in major SoCal races. I was building frames, winding motors and painting bodies and even winning some races. Within another year or so, I was an occasional visitor at MESAC. The building thing was just in my blood....don't really know why, it just was. These days, I just about only race retro but that is largely due to time constraints. That......and I just love to build stuff. I have zero disdain for flexis but I just don't have the interest that I once did.

 

Point of this ramble being.......I started with an RTR. I worked on it and fixed it myself. Then I put some stuff together from parts and along the way discovered that motors were not all the same. Then I learned to solder and made some scratchbuilt racers. Then some folks noticed me and started taking me to races and others took note. Then came motors because I wanted to do it myself. (btw.....I didn't have to do motors b/c a guy named Lee Hines was a neighbor). And so on.............

 

I think it is the nature of some to want to do it but it is also the nature of some not to and perhaps these days, the pendulum has swung towards the not. But there will always be some for whom a hobby is making something. But there is probably a larger number for whom a hobby is the doing rather than the making. Congrats to all of them for at least taking an interest in something. I think that RTR cars are great. For those that want to race, I think an RT-Race is a great idea. Parts are of course always there for those few that are like I was.......and I guess still am.


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#62 Rob King

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 10:18 PM

The R/C cars are pretty bad compared to other brands.

 

This is not true in the last 15 years.  They are 5x IFMAR touring car world champions.







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