Nobody takes up tennis and decides to buy the best racquet they can lay their hands on.
No, but many would be musicians are turned off by 'entry' level instruments that are unplayable.
It's really about quality control for HL. Same thing happens with RC planes. Tons of people fall for the cheap 'beginner' planes that inevitably end in disaster, driving potential enthusiasts away. Out of 4 HLs, I have yet to have one in perfect condition or function properly out of the box. It's okay because I can deal with it, but I bet for every one of me, there's 10 out there that either return it or stick it on a shelf, never to try again.
true true....but probably just as many are turned off by buying non-entry level instruments that they then find they have to assemble themselves and then find that they have to purchase even more stuff just to use!
An important point is that innovation is being driven from the bottom.......more and more variants of HL are being produced.....Taigen etc.
None are coming from Tamiya......there are no slightly less expensive Tamiya derived models appearing.
But plenty of upgraded HL's.
So one could argue that the appearance of cheap Chinese tanks has opened up an entire midlevel market as well. Tamiya cannot be said to have engendered that development at all.
Nor is Tamiya as bullet proof as is being argued....there are a number of threads with people having Tamiya trouble too.....and I suspect that there are more, but the chap who has built a Tamiya kit is probably savvy enough to fix them himself. Without going to a forum.
I dont think Tamiya is irrelevant....they are, in the scheme of things, higher end tanks.
But I dont think that the economy or the market is such that they can maintain their level of popularity forever while charging a grand for a tank you have to build yourself.
Its just illogical to assume they can.
Or maybe the economy in the states isnt as bad as it appears to be over here.