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ARF prices going up?

Old 04-15-2013, 05:50 PM
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vertical grimmace
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Default ARF prices going up?

I was looking on the Tower site the other day, looking at some of the Great Planes offerings and such. When did the prices go up for planes like the Viper and the Kaos? It looks like all of those smaller planes have gone up by $30 or more. I do not shop ARF's much, but thought it might be nice to grab a Kaos. Has this been a trend?
Old 04-15-2013, 06:01 PM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?


ORIGINAL: vertical grimmace

I was looking on the Tower site the other day, looking at some of the Great Planes offerings and such. When did the prices go up for planes like the Viper and the Kaos? It looks like all of those smaller planes have gone up by $30 or more. I do not shop ARF's much, but thought it might be nice to grab a Kaos. Has this been a trend?
Yes this has been the trend as the U.S. Dollar continues to be devalued. Foreign imports (including ARFs made in China) will cost more and more dollars.
Regards
JC

I don't always fly R/C...but when I do, I fly FASST. Fly well my friends.
Old 04-15-2013, 06:15 PM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

Soon the only cheap arf, will be a foam arf I am afraid.
Old 04-15-2013, 07:16 PM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

So I guess it will get back to the way it was in the early to mid 90's? Hmmm...... more kits in the future? I can get a .60 sized Killer Kaos kit for $90. $140 for the .40 sized ARF seems to be getting to be not such a good deal.
Old 04-15-2013, 07:37 PM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

Without trying to start a war.. on any arf topics....

I have always wondered if the built up arf planes get really expensive what percentage of arf flyers will quit the hobby,pay the price, or start to build ? I have seen some nice arfs that were around 350 or so climb in price to nearly 500. I would not be surprised to see the same planes reach 650 .

Who knows if anyone will continue to pay it at that point. I think its an interesting question ...when does it just become to much, and certain planes stop selling and go out of production.

Anyhow, I find this an interesting subject on the future of the hobby, and I am in no way trashing arfs. Even though I do build, I still fly and like arfs..

p.s. I sure wish I had stocked up on a few good buys when they were at there cheapest...
Old 04-15-2013, 08:00 PM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

Being predominantly a warbird flyer now, I have been eyeing the Top flite Gold Giant Corsair kit. It is only $299, which I feel is a bargain for a kit of that size. The new Arf's are coming out in the $700 range. (Giant FW 190, Spitfire etc.) Warbirds are more expensive to manufacture though.

It is interesting in that it could be a type of regression. Back in the day building was the only option. Now, most have ARf's, at least in my club. I wonder if have to build would be the tipping point for some. Crating a situation where they will give up the hobby?

As of now, my club is showing a healthy drop in membership. A trend that is showing a fairly steady decline. We are trying to put our finger on it. Park flyers, bad economy, or just lack of interest. Then beyond that, what to do to reverse the trend.
Old 04-16-2013, 02:30 AM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?



It's not only the dollar value, I think that as China and South East Asia countries like Vietnam continue to explode, the cost of manufacturing ARFs of anything else there will also increase. I always wonder how can they buy the materials, have someone build and arf, ship it all the way from China, have a distributor put it on the shelf and all this for $150. This means the factory owner is probably selling it for about $60. This is crazy low price. It is not that they are becoming more expensive, they are getting to the right price. They will continue to increase without a doubt.



As the price start going too far, you will see a new style between ARF and kit. Something in the middle like "ready to be covered" or something. Half kit, half ARF style will prevail in a near future.





Enjoy them while they are at this price. I think any ARF under $200 is today a great bargain, and this will not continue.

Old 04-16-2013, 05:48 AM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

I don't see it, at least not that extreme. Currently they are offering Free Shipping. I bought a Tower Razor last year in Feb. for $142 and now they are listing it at $99. I bought another just for parts, maybe. I think you just have to keep an eye on what you are looking for. Would be nice to be able to set up a price alert like you can at Hobby People.
Old 04-16-2013, 12:08 PM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

Right after the beginning of the financial crisis, everything started going up, and has continued to do so. I agree, it is amazing that they could sell them for such low prices, but I sure enjoyed it. Now, most ARF's are getting priced out of my range. But, I've been doing RC for 40 years so I guess it is back to building. Not all bad, except that the kit prices are getting awfully high as well.

People just don't seem to understand. When the price of gasoline goes up, virtually everything else goes up as well. Transportation of goods, raw materials, etc., etc., etc. I just can't believe the American people sit back and take it. During the early 70's there was consumer outrage about the gas crisis situation. Now, everyone just goes "Oh well.", and pays more for their gas. I don't think ever in history there has been a more clear case of collusion than there is right now with the oil company monopolies. Funny, I seem to remember being taught in school that there were laws preventing monopolies..... and the abuses they could accomplish.

Ok, off the soap box now!! []

AV8TOR
Old 04-16-2013, 03:50 PM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

I just wonder at when there will be a tipping point that clearly effects the hobby? Or maybe we are seeing it at our club already? I remember the days when everyone at the flying field were flying .40 and .60 sized kit built sport planes. Rarely did I see scale or a giant aircraft for that matter. Now it is the norm and much more difficult, and expensive to build these aircraft.

The funny thing is, I was looking at a cheap, throw around ARF like the Tower Kaos, to have just such a plane like I had in the 80's. Something to keep my flying skills honed for my warbirds.


Also, the thing that really sucks about many ARF's, is that they leave the market after a few production runs. I think GP has the most longevity, but many ARF's become unavailable quite soon.

Maybe it is wishful thinking, but I would really like to see the kit market see a resurgency. I guess we shall see.
Old 04-16-2013, 07:19 PM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

I would like to see a 100% Tariff applied to all Chinese imports. The less Barfs the better
Old 04-17-2013, 04:58 AM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

I think the low cost "barfs", along with similarly low priced engines and electronics are respnsible for MANY people getting into, back into RC. Say what you like, but from where I'm sitting, they might be one of the best things to happen to this hobby in a long time?

That said, I agree the price increases are getting hard to stomach. They're affecting my flying budget for sure. My "barfs" are getting smaller for sure - but I may be following the trend to smaller gas engines that still offer pretty good performance?

The electric foamies, with some very reasonably priced (bucks spent for bang received) performance is another "playground" I see many giving a second look as well! Not hard to put some pretty spectacular performance together with one of those - for 100. or so - and get 10+ min. flight times....
Old 04-17-2013, 07:43 AM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

For example:
5 years ago the Great Planes Super Stearman was $349.
2 years ago it was $379.
Today it is $429. The Waco, essentially same size, similiar airframe is $499. Why is the Waco so much more?

China has increased prices a little..........transportation might have increased a little............but, it sure hasn't gone up 20% in 5 years. I don't think the warehouse workers in Illinois have staged a strike and bent management over for a big pay increase.
Most of these increases are there to pad the bottom line. More profit, bigger bonus...........use your imagination. They will charge what ever the traffic will bare.........don't want to leave any money on the table.

I've managed companies, set prices, reported to board members and stock holders for 20 years. This is how it works.

You can still buy a good quality ARF cheaper than you can build from a kit so, I guess there is still room to raise prices some more.

Until it stops selling in volumes, the price will continue to go up. Dig up a 2002 Tower Catalog and compare prices with the 2013 catalog. You're reaction will be somewhere between surprise and shock.

Is it inflation or greed? Have your wages gone up 20 - 30% in the last 5 years?

I've been at this since the late 70's, I have gliders, electrics, helis and glow and gas planes.........20 plus built and some in the box waiting. I have a shop and enough inventory on hand to build whatever I want without placing a single order. I'm not getting out of this hobby alive. I don't like to see prices go up just to provide big profits and a big bonus but, that's capitalism. I don't think Tower or any other big distributor is going to lower prices so, either pony up for what you want to fly or sell your stuff for 20 cents on the dollar and take up knitting..........or buy some cheap stuff from the guy with the knitting needles.


Old 04-17-2013, 05:54 PM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

ORIGINAL: roknHS

For example:
5 years ago the Great Planes Super Stearman was $349.
2 years ago it was $379.
Today it is $429. The Waco, essentially same size, similiar airframe is $499. Why is the Waco so much more?

China has increased prices a little..........transportation might have increased a little............but, it sure hasn't gone up 20% in 5 years. I don't think the warehouse workers in Illinois have staged a strike and bent management over for a big pay increase.
Most of these increases are there to pad the bottom line. More profit, bigger bonus...........use your imagination. They will charge what ever the traffic will bare.........don't want to leave any money on the table.

I've managed companies, set prices, reported to board members and stock holders for 20 years. This is how it works.

You can still buy a good quality ARF cheaper than you can build from a kit so, I guess there is still room to raise prices some more.

Until it stops selling in volumes, the price will continue to go up. Dig up a 2002 Tower Catalog and compare prices with the 2013 catalog. You're reaction will be somewhere between surprise and shock.

Is it inflation or greed? Have your wages gone up 20 - 30% in the last 5 years?

I've been at this since the late 70's, I have gliders, electrics, helis and glow and gas planes.........20 plus built and some in the box waiting. I have a shop and enough inventory on hand to build whatever I want without placing a single order. I'm not getting out of this hobby alive. I don't like to see prices go up just to provide big profits and a big bonus but, that's capitalism. I don't think Tower or any other big distributor is going to lower prices so, either pony up for what you want to fly or sell your stuff for 20 cents on the dollar and take up knitting..........or buy some cheap stuff from the guy with the knitting needles.


I agree with most of this.

The only thing is that I hear this "still buy good quality ARF cheaper than a kit can be built". I disagree with this. I have never seen an ARF assembled that can even come close to the quality of a properly built kit. It may cost a bit more, but that is because better materials are used in it's completion. Hardware, covering, etc. This is in particularly apparent with the Warbird offerings of late. A warbird just looks like crap covered in plastic coverings, like monokote. It is cheaper as well to fiberglass and paint, resulting in a much more realistic look and a more durable lasting finish.

So, while the ARF has expanded the hobby, it has not increased the quality. Now, the cheap gas engines have certainly moved many of us into bigger models. This seems to be a very timely occurrence as glow fuel has gotten to be way to expensive as well.

The Fokker DVII pictured received one of the most insulting comments I have ever had in my modeling career. A club member asked me "where did you get that ARF! That after working on it for 2 years.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:28 PM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

So, don't buy an ARF then.
Old 04-17-2013, 07:03 PM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?


ORIGINAL: Tom Nied

So, don't buy an ARF then.
I most likely will not, as the price for the plane I am in the market for has gone up so much, I may as well get the kit. That was the point of my thread.
Old 04-17-2013, 07:31 PM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?


ORIGINAL: vertical grimmace

ORIGINAL: roknHS

For example:
5 years ago the Great Planes Super Stearman was $349.
2 years ago it was $379.
Today it is $429. The Waco, essentially same size, similiar airframe is $499. Why is the Waco so much more?

China has increased prices a little..........transportation might have increased a little............but, it sure hasn't gone up 20% in 5 years. I don't think the warehouse workers in Illinois have staged a strike and bent management over for a big pay increase.
Most of these increases are there to pad the bottom line. More profit, bigger bonus...........use your imagination. They will charge what ever the traffic will bare.........don't want to leave any money on the table.

I've managed companies, set prices, reported to board members and stock holders for 20 years. This is how it works.

You can still buy a good quality ARF cheaper than you can build from a kit so, I guess there is still room to raise prices some more.

Until it stops selling in volumes, the price will continue to go up. Dig up a 2002 Tower Catalog and compare prices with the 2013 catalog. You're reaction will be somewhere between surprise and shock.

Is it inflation or greed? Have your wages gone up 20 - 30% in the last 5 years?

I've been at this since the late 70's, I have gliders, electrics, helis and glow and gas planes.........20 plus built and some in the box waiting. I have a shop and enough inventory on hand to build whatever I want without placing a single order. I'm not getting out of this hobby alive. I don't like to see prices go up just to provide big profits and a big bonus but, that's capitalism. I don't think Tower or any other big distributor is going to lower prices so, either pony up for what you want to fly or sell your stuff for 20 cents on the dollar and take up knitting..........or buy some cheap stuff from the guy with the knitting needles.


I agree with most of this.

The only thing is that I hear this ''still buy good quality ARF cheaper than a kit can be built''. I disagree with this. I have never seen an ARF assembled that can even come close to the quality of a properly built kit. It may cost a bit more, but that is because better materials are used in it's completion. Hardware, covering, etc. This is in particularly apparent with the Warbird offerings of late. A warbird just looks like crap covered in plastic coverings, like monokote. It is cheaper as well to fiberglass and paint, resulting in a much more realistic look and a more durable lasting finish.

So, while the ARF has expanded the hobby, it has not increased the quality. Now, the cheap gas engines have certainly moved many of us into bigger models. This seems to be a very timely occurrence as glow fuel has gotten to be way to expensive as well.

The Fokker DVII pictured received one of the most insulting comments I have ever had in my modeling career. A club member asked me ''where did you get that ARF! That after working on it for 2 years.

All I can say to all this is that I have been modeling for 40 years or more. Having said that, I still buy ARF models because I can have an airplane that there is no way I would have the time, patience, and money to invest in creating. The compound curves of the models such as Extras, Katanas, Giles, etc. I could certainly do, but I just don't have the time to do so. So, due to the availability of affordable ARF planes, I have airplanes that I would never have had otherwise.

'Nuff said,
AV8TOR
Old 04-17-2013, 07:34 PM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

At what point would they not be affordable to you? If they were too expensive would you quit the hobby or start building? I am seriously curious.
Old 04-17-2013, 07:45 PM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

Thats what interests me as well, will expensive arfs drive arf flyers to kits, used planes, or out?

We have had a million arf war threads, and I don't think anyone really wants another...

I have both kits and arfs, and will probably never be able to quit building ..heck I have so many planes I could possibly fly 20 years without building another !
hahahahaha But build (slowly) I will...
Old 04-18-2013, 02:23 AM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?



One thing a lot of people who like kits are not saying is this: "I am retired and have time on my hands".



If I had time, a big room all by myself for building, then I would love to build kits.



Having kids and wife and a full time job leads me to ARFs.



Old 04-18-2013, 02:31 AM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

I am a builder at heart, just enjoy making something work. Having said that today I am much busier than ever before and I do have a few arfs, not my first choice. Small EDF's are a given that they must be arf's and that seems to be what interests me now. Expensive, yes and as out disposable income dwindles it will become more of a problem.

I do though hope the kits never go away. And as for the club membership ours continues to decline as well.[]
Old 04-18-2013, 03:56 AM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

ORIGINAL: markhamregular



One thing a lot of people who like kits are not saying is this: ''I am retired and have time on my hands''.



If I had time, a big room all by myself for building, then I would love to build kits.



Having kids and wife and a full time job leads me to ARFs.



To me, this is just an excuse.

We make time for what we like to do. Without neglegting my family and home, I found time to build. I did it on my kitchen table, too.

If a person truly wants to build, he will. If he doesn't, ARFs and second hand models will be the path followed.
Old 04-18-2013, 04:05 AM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

Tom that is hilariously dead on. When in my twenties and just getting started in life, wife and two boys, I picked up a second job on Saturdays just to buy my R/C stuff. All my building was done on the tail of my truck with a cord light for light late at night. Then packed back into a 4x8 utility shed until the next night. You are dead on in the fact that there is no excuse other than one just does not want to do it. As with many here I have, or have had, all of the above types of planes. As for price increases well it just a fact of life. It was amazing they stayed so low for so long. I would say price increases is a reflection of just how well our hobby is doing. If anyone wants to complain about something, complain about the guys that go out to the park or beside the highway to do their flying. In my opinion they are more detrimental to the hobby than anything else. And mark my words one of those "I'll fly where I want, I don't need no club" guys will help in causing some form of regulation (Federally)to our activities. It will happen! And the rest of us will pay the price!
Old 04-18-2013, 11:58 AM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?


ORIGINAL: TomCrump

If a person truly wants to build, he will. If he doesn't, ARFs and second hand models will be the path followed.
Many "truely want to fly" AND build too.

Time to build a kit IS a prohibitive problem, not an "excuse".

I manage it by doing both.... flying ARFs ( mostly ) and working on Kits without any hurried rush to complete... but that takes up a lot of space...

Old 04-18-2013, 12:21 PM
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Default RE: ARF prices going up?

I did not answer about calling it an excuse because each person is different and whoever said that have no knowlege of what I do and what is important to me in life.
I really enjoy building but flying is more important to me.
So, I would rather fly than staying at home for over 50 hours to build a kit.
That 50 hours, I would rather spend it with my children. This is not an excuse. This is real and important to me.

When I retire I will only buy kits.



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