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Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

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Old 01-31-2013, 04:06 PM
  #51
Chris Nicastro
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

Ok-A?

couldn't resist...
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:20 PM
  #52
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

OK EH
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:25 PM
  #53
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

I let Canada Post to do that... LOL

Quote:
ORIGINAL: lposter

Well I hope the Canadian customs guys dont have the Norwegian habit of kicking your package around the storeroom on their lunch break.........or forgetting to send the notice of its having being impounded and then just returning the packet to sender. Then sending you the bill for having returned it....

p
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:28 PM
  #54
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

A more important question would be "Do Tamiya hold their value"?

The answer apparently is no... A finished Tamiya that comes with complete system to operate is worth less than unopen... Or so people seem to say.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:38 PM
  #55
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Chris Nicastro

Ok-A?

couldn't resist...
Coeur D''Alene? Hey, I grew up in Spokane. Anyway.......

Like many here I have both. Enjoy them both. It does seem like Tammy is stuck in time though. HL/Matorro/etc seem to have a current business model of constant improvement (baby steps one might say) and new targeted marketing with kits and upgrades and what have you. Tammy seems intent to rest on laurels and customer loyalty. Perhaps they can afford to as they have so many other products out there. I think there will be a market for both though. Different people have different resources to invest in the hobby. People buying Kia's doesn't make BMW go out of business.

So to answer the OP question (which we should focus on), No Tammy is not irrelevant. You can't make that blanket statement. They are irrelevant to some, they will be very relevant to others. So maybe it's a win win.

Perry


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Old 01-31-2013, 04:50 PM
  #56
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

It's a win win for US.

More tanks and greater price ranges = more people in the hobby.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:18 PM
  #57
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

Well coming from having worked in the industry for many years, designed and produced radio control platforms, I can say I do not see the cost of Tamiya tanks justified. The cost of the molds which are pretty simple is very minimal by design. The mechanics, gearboxes, are very simple straight cut gears, nothing special. The stamped parts are more expensive to produce. But lets look at their resources. Tamiya is a specialist in injection molding and radio control. They understand high volume production in plastics, metals and electronics.
Also, how many of these tanks are officially licensed models? This ads a small percentage to the cost of production.
If you take all of these things into consideration a Tamiya Tank should not cost more than $100 to produce per unit, all in. Multiply that by 4 and the full retail price should land around $400. Their current price model suggests their cost per model is roughly $150 or more which jives with their range of prices per model.
The clone tanks and Chinese tanks which are very cheap do point to the possible prices we should expect in the category. I would agree that a premium product deserves or even requires a premium price to be viable as a product however is the jump between Tamiya and the rest realistic? I think they could make their tanks less expensive and keep a high degree of quality. I suspect the majority of their cost is in their electronics. Tamiya does offer a "static" model of some of its tanks but there should be a basic running model for a lower price point between static and full option. This way they claw back some of the market share taken by clones. Their static kits retail for around $300 and for $400 it would be ok if it was functional. The gearboxes are figured out, motors are Mabuchi, the rest is well inside their scope to make the same product affordable for an entry level yet high quality RC tank.
Heck even their 1/35 rc tanks are ridiculous! I built 2 M1A1's from their fork lift kit gearbox and started a Tiger before they released their first mini rc tank. These are plastic model kits which are years old just modified with RC which shows how expensive their RC tech is to produce. The radios are FM 72 mhz old out of date technology too! In China this type of radio system is a few dollars on the high end for a 4 channel radio. You can buy 2.4 very cheap now.

Anyway, having insight into production costs does spoil you.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:34 PM
  #58
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

Do Tamiya Tanks hold their value?

Well there was a time when all Tamiya RC products did. That eroded in two ways in the last 20yrs. 1) Tamiya themselves re-released their older models which killed off the exclusivity and market value of the cool stuff that was preserved. 2) the rise of interest by Chinese companies figuring out who the leaders are in every segment then copying their product and selling it at a fraction of the price. This goes across the board in RC.

I have original 80's and early 90's cars very hard to find but now you can buy a "new" one which made me lose a lot of money.

The running joke about Tamiya is to wait a couple of years they will re-release it. They try to create exclusivity by limiting production and bringing old models back in new colors, etc, but this has also hurt their business and loyal customer base.

Bottom line is they need to adjust their program to compete against rivals better and leverage their name to drive sales in their direction... more frequently. The volume increase should help decrease their prices so they can make money with higher volume sales. Right now they want to pay the rent with each tank sold!
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:40 PM
  #59
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

Tamiya has amazing techonology and funding... but sometimes they go nuts with their pricing...

Have you visisted the Tamiya plant in Shizuoak? Crazy!


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Old 01-31-2013, 08:58 PM
  #60
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: lposter

Sorry karel

Before you infer Iam lying ...... be careful. The prices Ishowed, with links, were 100%correct for the places Ishowed...two of thebest knownUKdealers.

Outside of UK Inever said anything. Ihave no idea about europe but it seems to me that Heng Long and derivatives are more popular in Europe than the US. Probably because of teh exorbitant prices.


As Ihave to buy from outside of Norway and usually use the bigger dealers as the support is better......Iam looking at about 1000 dollars for a Tamiya.

p
am not saying you are a lier, just pointed out that the retailprices in germany way lower as you guy's point out
i normaly buy with Axels Modelbaushop in germany , he has all the spares too

http://www.axels-modellbau-shop.de/k...-Kit::225.html
http://www.axels-modellbau-shop.de/k...-Kit::172.html
http://www.axels-modellbau-shop.de/k...-Kit::161.html
http://www.axels-modellbau-shop.de/k...-Kit::139.html
http://www.axels-modellbau-shop.de/k...Kit::7946.html

as you see the pershing and the king tiger are raised again, i bought mine for 499 €


here in belgium the prices goes for a tiger 1000 euro , no shop is selling one frequently mostly occasionaly on new guy's into the rc tanks

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Old 01-31-2013, 10:09 PM
  #61
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?


I'm curious Chris, not that I'm doubting you; perhaps I should recognize your name but I admit I don't. Which manufacturers have you worked for?
You mentioned you designed RC platforms; was that a model or the electronics behind the actual rc system itself. Are you an engineer by trade?

I've priced 'simple' injection dies over the years and at least in this country that is an expensive proposition. I know technologies change and with global competition some production
technologies have plunged in cost but remain very costly. Design staff, marketing, artwork departments, distribution channels, IT systems not to mention obtaining
market certifications/ access all cost. Some of the less formal companies might be able to dispense with some of these niceties but there is a minimum.

If you consider the cost of some of the latest all metal offerings from Mato, Asiatam they aren't exactly giving them away at prices in the USD 300-600 range.
And have they researched proper zinc alloys, preparation? What will their models look like in 10 years? I have Heng Long, Matorro, Asiatam products and while they
are most definitely improving by leaps and bounds they just aren't as inexpensive as when the first arrived on the scene either. And still these lower cost products invariably
require some attention to make them " all they can be". Years back when I bought the PzKw III, StuG III and KV-1 they were cheap at under 80 bucks; as it turns out
the only parts I actually ended up using are the upper hulls everything else having been replaced with Asiatam, Impact or self made parts....definitely NOT the bargain they
started out as.

With a fairly extensive collection spanning several decades with tank models from just about every major player in the hobby I say they all have their place.

Are Tamiya models still relevant at their price? Of course they are; they're as relevant in relation to all the others as they ever have been. No one forces anyone to buy them.
If you don't like what they cost buy something else. If Tamiya's pricing structure makes them fail in the marketplace so be it but I have to believe they aren't stupid they will price
their products according to their accounting and business plans. I continue to feel that model tank folk today are largely spoiled, count your blessings and just enjoy what's out there.

It could be a lot worse than an expensive model.

Jerry
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:22 PM
  #62
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

I think it depends on who's selling the tank and the circumstances at the time it was sold.

For example, i bought a used Tamiya Tiger 1 for only 100 AUD from ebay.Indeed I was very lucky.
I rebuilt this tank by adding Impact TU2+permax 400 with Impact battle unit inc shipping (240 AUD), a Turnigy 9x (70 AUD), Tami rattle cans (30AUD)= all in 450 AUD (inc my time at 5AUD)






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Old 01-31-2013, 10:35 PM
  #63
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

@Tanque I hope you realise that prices in Japan for this stuff is VERY different than in Europe and in the US.

Japan has the best equipment to manufacture those products. Between Bandai, Tamiya, Hasegawa, etc, the equipment is already there and so is the people 'attach' to it.

Tooling and retooling doesn't cost a fortune when you have been doing it for ages and you do EVERYTHING in house. To add you do it large scale too... and your Japanese customer base ALONE is enough to support you (hence why their's so many Japan-releases only) you have it pretty good.

Tamiya is stuck in the past and frankly doesn't care. Those companies always put Japanese customers first and since the prices are quite less there for this stuff, it doesn't bother them.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:47 PM
  #64
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: karel47


Quote:
ORIGINAL: lposter

Sorry karel

Before you infer Iam lying ...... be careful. The prices Ishowed, with links, were 100%correct for the places Ishowed...two of thebest knownUKdealers.

Outside of UK Inever said anything. Ihave no idea about europe but it seems to me that Heng Long and derivatives are more popular in Europe than the US. Probably because of teh exorbitant prices.


As Ihave to buy from outside of Norway and usually use the bigger dealers as the support is better......Iam looking at about 1000 dollars for a Tamiya.

p
am not saying you are a lier, just pointed out that the retailprices in germany way lower as you guy's point out
i normaly buy with Axels Modelbaushop in germany , he has all the spares too

http://www.axels-modellbau-shop.de/k...-Kit::225.html
http://www.axels-modellbau-shop.de/k...-Kit::172.html
http://www.axels-modellbau-shop.de/k...-Kit::161.html
http://www.axels-modellbau-shop.de/k...-Kit::139.html
http://www.axels-modellbau-shop.de/k...Kit::7946.html

as you see the pershing and the king tiger are raised again, i bought mine for 499 €


here in belgium the prices goes for a tiger 1000 euro , no shop is selling one frequently mostly occasionaly on new guy's into the rc tanks

I suggest you take a close look at that website....... because those tanks with the "low"prices are all marked as "out of stock" (auf Deutsch). Which is actually what one finds with many sites offering the "cheap"tamiyas (which usually end up as being the Tiger and the Sherman).

Even though some are trying to make this a HL vs Tamiya argument (which ceased to be a valid one about 7 years ago), its isn't....its about Tamiya being relevant in relation to its price in the face of increased competition.

Tamiya arent even high end anymore....the high end is Metallbox, that metal tiger kit from China or any of the specialist European manufacturers.

They are not middle ground either as any number of suppliers in Europe can provide heaviliy modified Taigen or similar for a lower price than a basic Tamiya.

They were never entry level.

The electronics which have partially ensured their position (due to their being used as standard in battling)are no longer so unique with a number of cards/systems offering similar/better quality.

SO one wonders....where do Tamiya fit in at all and wherever that is....... are they really the best in that position?

p


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Old 02-01-2013, 12:30 AM
  #65
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Ronan87

@Tanque I hope you realise that prices in Japan for this stuff is VERY different than in Europe and in the US.

Japan has the best equipment to manufacture those products. Between Bandai, Tamiya, Hasegawa, etc, the equipment is already there and so is the people 'attach' to it.

Tooling and retooling doesn't cost a fortune when you have been doing it for ages and you do EVERYTHING in house. To add you do it large scale too... and your Japanese customer base ALONE is enough to support you (hence why their's so many Japan-releases only) you have it pretty good.

Tamiya is stuck in the past and frankly doesn't care. Those companies always put Japanese customers first and since the prices are quite less there for this stuff, it doesn't bother them.
Yes, while I'm not an expert I know the prices are different. I would expect indigenous products to be less expensive in their home country.

I remember going to Germany in the early 1990s. Levi jeans were selling for outrageous sums; those and Marlboro cigarettes were prized items to stuff my suitcases with....lucky
I wasn't caught with excess smokes( I don't smoke either!).

I will also admit I don't purchase as much main line stuff as I used to. I tend to purchase second hand or self made items as my primary scale interest is 1/10. I'm just grateful it exists.

My point was and is, probably should have just stuck to it, that all the makers' items are increasing in cost not just Tamiya and obviously not as spectacularly. $1,000 for any
toy is substantial but then it's also better than a lot of other ways folks might spend their income. When you consider that none of us really need any of these things any amount
we spend could be considered obscene by some... it really just boils down to what you want to get in return I suppose.

"Tamiya is stuck in the past and frankly doesn't care. Those companies always put Japanese customers first and since the prices are quite less there for this stuff, it doesn't bother them."

There's a simple solution to send them a message: don't purchase their products. Tamiya and any other businesses exist to earn money for its owners and shareholders. They aren't there
to make people like them. They care if the buying public buys their products. They don't care if you like their prices and policies or not. That's pretty much true for any business. The companies
any of us work for could care less if the public loves them or not. They just want everyone to use their services and products. The smaller the business the closer they are to their customer
so naturally they'll be more concerned about their customer base. But even their concern has boundaries. I suppose if Tamiya really wanted to they could build a manufacturing plant here in the US
but I doubt their products would be any less costly...

Jerry
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:03 AM
  #66
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

Tamiya has a line of cheaper (and smaller) tanks that are IR battle capable.

But I don't think they've caught on. Perhaps its the lack of a working suspension, maybe its just the size.

Tamiya really needs to drive the price of their 1/16th kits down by a couple of hundred (retail). But the Japanese have a funny way of thinking as well - they want to retain some exclusivity to their high-end product line at the expense of volume sales. Tamiya still maintains the product packaging of their tanks like they used to do for all their kits (individual dividers, individual boxes and display windows) which they used to have with their 1/10th cars but have all but abandoned nowadays.

I have to say, though. Metal tanks don't seem to have fine detailing like is possible with plastic injection molded kits. And I like detail...

Where's Tamiya fitting in? In the world of RC tanks, their tanks simply work. All you have to do is build it and run it. It comes with the necessary adjustable track tensioners, metal hull where durability is need, bearing-supported suspension swingarms and everything pre-wired and mounts ready to accept motors. The amount of fiddling and adjusting to get a Tamiya tank to work properly is largely minimal.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:23 AM
  #67
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

Ok now I understand your argument mr lposter. I guess to get a Tamiya to Norway is an expensive proposition, but most things are in that part of the world compared to the rest of Europe and the US. All I was arguing was in the context of the thread "are Tamiya tanks relevant at their price" I was saying in the us and in most of Europe you can get a Tamiya for under $1000 even with duty and shipping included. This makes them relevant compared to a similarly priced HL. I also argued you could get metal tracks cheaper, tankzone is pretty much the most expensive for metal tracks, asiatam, rctank.de and mitosal will do them well under that price, again it's not an attack on what your saying, if nothing else maybe itll mean you save money on metal tracks in the future.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:48 AM
  #68
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

Also I'll stick to buying second hand tamiyas, I have a king tiger, Porsche king tiger, panther and Leo. Purchaced for less than £300 all full option.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:33 AM
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

Fair enough Tom...Iprobably should have been clear from the start as to where Iwas talking about.

What hasnt been mentioned yet and is something Ithink is worth saying is that Tamiya does not contribute much to creativity.

You get your Tamiya, build it, paint it and thats it. Aside from the paint, the creativity gone into it is relatively little. Maybe a fancy grease recipe for the wheels or the gears and thats about it.

The cheaper tanks often seem to be used as the bases for other builds..... everytime Isee something on here and go "hmmmm....that was clever" it seems to have been done on a non-Tamiya tank.

I wish more people would scratch build entire tanks.

p
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:11 AM
  #70
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

Tamiyas are too nice and work too well to butcher up. :P
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:36 AM
  #71
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

So your selling one of your Tamiya Tiger I's. Got a photo of it? I love Tigers.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:18 AM
  #72
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

As I understood it, injection molds are the single biggest cost in producing a model, even if new technology brings it down. That's why companies sell them off to each other (Italeri buying Accurate Miniatures or Polar lights and Moebius releasing the old Aurora kits).

Keeping in mind 1/16 RC armor is a pet project of Mr. Tamiya and that it's a privately held company, you have to think of the cost outlays in development vs the volume. How many 1/16 Tiger Is do you think they sell? I would hope it's hit the 10,000s, but I have my doubts. Contrast that with their mini 4wd racers that must sell in the millions (The racers retail for $8, the price of a beer in most US stadiums). It's Harry Potter vs a textbook.

And yes, they have the technology there, but labor in Japan isn't exactly cheap. I have yet to see Made in China on any Tamiya box, Phillipines, yes, China no.

Regarding the electronics and warranty: I could drop my DMD or MFU (as long as I didn't modify it or leave it in a puddle for a few months) in an envelope and get it repaired or replaced no questions asked. With HL there's no one to ask . As far as I know, none of the aftermarket systems have any warranty beyond it will work when you get it. I love my TBS mini, but if Herr Benedini crashes on the AutoBahn, there goes any future support.

One more point, that $675 for the Tiger I is the result of Tamiya, a distributor, a retailer and all the shippers in between taking their share. Tamiya-san is not getting a thousand dollar bill every time a JS-2 sells. I am regularly quoted mid 30s USD for HLs in volumes as low as 4, that sell for $130 and up in North America.

So yes, a quality product will always be relevant.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:19 AM
  #73
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?

I Definatly agree with you about people being less likely to butcher a Tamiya for large conversions. Jagdtigers seem to be the favourite conversion but this is an expensive piece of work to do and so a high quality base is desirable. I'm very grateful HL are around so we can make
Those berg panzers, tank destroyers and other ad hoc conversions. Often with these all you need is a rolling chassis and maybe a top. Buying a full option tank for this purpose is pointless!
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:37 AM
  #74
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: ausf

I'm not arguing that one route to a finished product is better than the other, I was simply stating the justification for Tamiya and the issues of entry level without help.

My analogy to musical instruments is based in fact. I can walk in any music store and pick up a $300 bass that I'd struggle to get a good sound out of and I've been playing for over 30 years. There are literally dozens of instruments for sale at any give time around here that parents have bought for their kids who lost interest. This past summer, I bought one for $70 (with an amp, the thing was never touched) just for laughs. I pulled the frets, dressed and adjusted the neck and went over the wiring. Right now my son is using it daily and it sounds and plays around the $500-600 level. If I put a new bridge and pickup, it would rival $1200 basses.

So whether you buy a $1200 bass new or put some work and money into $70 used one, if you end up sounding and playing the same, it's all good.

Tamiya 1/16 can be found for under $500, not necessarily $1000 and both of mine still run the stock tracks with no problems. My 11 year old is vitually unbeatable with the M4 and my 13 year old is pretty handy with the Tiger I. In our last battle, he rolled it off a 3 foot wall, it bounced off a rock, landed upright and he still beat my HL StuG.
Interesting analogy with the Instruments.

Actually, you can find a gem among stones depending on your needs.

For example the first ‘beginner’ bass I got was arguably one of the best playing instruments I have experienced to ones I have had costing 10 times more. Yes it had its limitations but for the purpose of play it was ranked in my mind as one of the best I have owned.

Similarly with tanks I have Tamiya, HL and Mellinium RC models and modified. The Tamiyas are generally better, but there are a few ‘cheap’ tanks that work very reliably and are quite robust. For instance the Leo2A6 is a wonderful machine but is very difficult to battle with because of its size, speed and barrel length. I actually like the 18th scale converted Mellinium ‘toy’ better for battle as it is very nimble and robust and has no breakdowns.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:51 AM
  #75
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Default RE: Are Tamiya tanks relevant at their cost?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: tomhugill

I Definatly agree with you about people being less likely to butcher a Tamiya for large conversions. Jagdtigers seem to be the favourite conversion but this is an expensive piece of work to do and so a high quality base is desirable. I'm very grateful HL are around so we can make
Those berg panzers, tank destroyers and other ad hoc conversions. Often with these all you need is a rolling chassis and maybe a top. Buying a full option tank for this purpose is pointless!
Used to be scarred to bash Tamiya, but starting with a great platform promises good results.

Guess which Tamiya kit was bashed for these!
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