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Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

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Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

Old 11-15-2010, 06:22 PM
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ThunderbirdJunkie
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Default Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

ThunderbirdJunkie sees a lot of guys, presumably younger (14-18 sound right?) saying this hobby needs to be cheaper.

It's gotten so much cheaper than it used to be it's not even funny.

Back in the day, if you wanted a Stampede, you had to drop about 300 bucks for the truck kit, charger, batteries, etc, before you could run it.

Now, the truck comes assembled, ready to go, and most everything you need in the box for under 200 clams.

We've seen drastic price drops across the board. Where at one time, $80 bought you a lower-end speed control, we now have brushless systems for that. Want a matched 6 cell 3300 pack from Trinity? Cough up $60+ dollars, then assemble it yourself. Want a charger with lots of features? That'll be $150.

Now you don't even have to turn commutators.

And what about 1/8 scale buggies?

If you even wanted to look at one ten years ago, you had to have $800 in your wallet just to get going. Now? $300 (and cheaper?) RTR buggies that don't suck flood the market.

The real problem is, as the hobby gets cheaper and more accessible, those of us who choose and want the top-of-the-line goods in radios, speed controls, servos, and other peripherals are getting bitten by the cost-cutting actions of even the top-tier manufacturers' top-tier products, trying to bring their equipment down to a more palatable cost for the relative newcomer.

Is there really an advantage to RC becoming cheaper? Sure, it helps the new guy out to get into it...but please...stop cutting corners with higher end equipment as a result.

Discuss[&:]
Old 11-15-2010, 06:40 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

It's already super-cheap compared to the past. I can remember seeing a basic 2-channel AM radio with servos for about $250 back in the early 70s.

And there are lot of decent entry level RTRs that any teenager can afford (between $200 and $300) if he goes and mows a few lawns, or delivers papers, or even collects cans and bottles from the trash.

Only thing I would like to see a bit cheaper would be fuel. Not that it's unaffordable, but it seems priced too high for what it is. But there's ways around that such as making your own.
Old 11-15-2010, 06:48 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

The entry level has become incredibly cheap over the years, people have nothing to complain about. I'm pretty young so I don't remember "the good old days", but when I talk to older hobbyists they're amazed at how easy and cheap it is for people to get started with RC cars/planes/boats/helis these days.

I agree with ThunderbirdJunkie, cheap stuff is fine as long as it doesn't dumb down or replace the higher end stuff. Personally I'm a bit tired of seeing hundreds of cheaper entry level vehicles being released all the time but fewer new high end platforms for those of us who want them.
Old 11-15-2010, 06:56 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

I didn't offer an opinion on the having more higher level vehicles. Mainly because the hobby has sort of gone the hop-up route. Almost any vehicle can now be made "high end".

However, one must admit, that not everyone can afford a Baja 5B brand new, and I think some of those rolling chassis buggy kits are over $800 without electronics or an engine.
Old 11-15-2010, 07:19 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?


ORIGINAL: Argess

It's already super-cheap compared to the past. I can remember seeing a basic 2-channel AM radio with servos for about $250 back in the early 70s.

And there are lot of decent entry level RTRs that any teenager can afford (between $200 and $300) if he goes and mows a few lawns, or delivers papers, or even collects cans and bottles from the trash.

Only thing I would like to see a bit cheaper would be fuel. Not that it's unaffordable, but it seems priced too high for what it is. But there's ways around that such as making your own.
I agree; if nitro fuel was even $10 cheaper that would be a whole lot better.
I just bought a gallon about 3 weeks ago ($30) and it's gone and I estimate I am getting about 5 hours worth run-time with my Savage and I would run my Savage when I first got into hobby just about every other day for about an hour so that's $90 a month (maybe more considering I have another nitro truck) on fuel alone if I were to run the truck every other day for a month.
And I just want to point out that these are only estimates that pertain to the expenses I would spend on nitro each month; there's guys at a local run spot that say they go through 2 gallons every weekend during the warm season.
Nowadays I try and stretch a gallon of fuel as much as I can to just about a month which keeps me from running the truck all the time which sucks but then again it's better for me considering the engines wear out over time.
Either way you're gonna spend money; it's the nature of the hobby.
Old 11-15-2010, 07:21 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

Nitro fuel is absurdly expensive. I highly doubt it needs to be that pricey, someones profit margin is probably just too high.
Old 11-15-2010, 07:22 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

i think the hobby has a nice price range.
one can spend $150 on a RTR truck or $600(evader DT or flux)
same for planes, a mini super cub is $100 RTF, while higher end parkzone RTF's cost over $200
same with batteries and chargers. one can buy a cheap imax B6 and some hong kong lipos, or a fancy charger and brand name lipos.
all depends on budget and preference.
i have recently gotten a few redcats. while they do have some weakeness, they are great for the money IMO. to me, its worth it to do a few mods and make them stronger. while others would choose to spend twice as much and get a HPI/Tamiya/traxxas and have aftermarket support..ect. one of the guys at my LHS wont touch a redcat. but mine is a ton of fun running a novatech ESC and 2s lipo, but cost me $125 used.

i have been helping a couple of my school-aged friends get into the hobby. having been in the hobby for awhile i know about sites like nitrorcx where you can get a RTR drift car for under $100.
i wish cars like that had been around back when i was spending $180 for a tamiya that had the same performanc!
Old 11-15-2010, 07:58 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?


ORIGINAL: Argess

I didn't offer an opinion on the having more higher level vehicles. Mainly because the hobby has sort of gone the hop-up route. Almost any vehicle can now be made ''high end''.
Agree completely.
What makes more sense from a business perspective?
Make a RTR, sell it cheap, and sell the upgrades separate.
OR
Make a RTR, and a kit of their product, sell them at different prices with different packages, and put more cash out upfront for something that might not sell as much.
I'd say the 1st option, because you no longer need to have 2 separate packages in stock, and the person can customize it to how ever they want with aftermarket parts, and hop-ups.


Only thing I would LOVE for them to do is put better servos in the RTR's seriously why do they put servos in the 1/8ths for steering that crap out before the thing is even broken in. The steering servo I got in my RTR Jammin X1x CR was so poor it died after 40 minutes in a stampede. I can't imagine how long it would have lasted in a buggy that weighs probably 2X more than the pede does.
Old 11-15-2010, 08:00 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

Dunno about you guys, but ThunderbirdJunkie would rather buy a $350 kit with all the options than a $200 RTR, throw the motor/ESC/servo in the garbage, then spend $200-250 on upgrade parts that are needed.

Just sayin'.
Old 11-15-2010, 08:08 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

The price of stuff is ok, but I would like to see wage's go up. I make like $6 an hour less then I did 12 years ago at 24 and have to work twice as hard for it...
Old 11-15-2010, 08:12 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

I'll agree and say the economy of scale and the proliferation of RTRs has made the hobby much more affordable than it ever was before. For example my first nitro buggy, a OFNA Pirate M1 I built back in 91 was $350 for the rolling chassis, $350 for a Paris Picco P5, and $350 for a Futaba 3PB radio. Granted they were among the best you could buy but that car was over $1100 when all was said and done... and that was 20 years ago. I paid less for my Baja. Now for under $500 you can get a great nitro or electric RTR from a number of excellent companies. I just picked my son up a SC10 Brushless RTR for $279 and it's an awesome value for the money. I was going to build another SC10 but it didn't make sense, the motor and ESC were much better than I expected for an RTR. We use 3PKS radios so I recycled the SC10's radio by putting it in a Losi Mini that we gave to one of my son's friends to get him into the hobby.

Often times his or our friends will ask what it costs to get into the hobby and I'll usually say "around $350 plus some accessories" and in turn they say "wow that's a lot". I'll say "well how much did you pay for your XBOX or PS3? " and they'll say "yeah I guess that's not too bad" Once they drive one they're hooked and the price of admission doesn't seem so bad.
Old 11-15-2010, 08:14 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?


ORIGINAL: ThunderbirdJunkie

Dunno about you guys, but ThunderbirdJunkie would rather buy a $350 kit with all the options than a $200 RTR, throw the motor/ESC/servo in the garbage, then spend $200-250 on upgrade parts that are needed.

Just sayin'.
well kind of agree.
It all depends actually. Like I got a Jammin X1x CR RTR the only parts I upgraded that came on the kit(that I wanted) was the center CNC'd braces, and the Z-brace. If I remember right the kit would have cost me a fair bit more than the RTR with those parts (think I spent $35 on them), along with no engine. But those 2 parts is all I wanted that the kit had in them.

But then on the Jammin .5 CRT I went the kit route which at the time cost more than the RTR cause I wanted the all the upgrades that came with it and didn't care about the engine in it.

Now it would be nice if traxxas, and HPI would sell almost ready to runs of their vehicles cause I really a fan of the electronics that comes with them.
I also don't like having to rely on ebay chop shops for having to buy rollers + most the other parts just to end up paying almost the same as a RTR in the end just not to have the electronics.
Old 11-15-2010, 08:16 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?


ORIGINAL: redfisher1974

The price of stuff is ok, but I would like to see wage's go up. I make like $6 an hour less then I did 12 years ago at 24 and have to work twice as hard for it...
agree.
Just recently I got up to making what I was making 10 years ago...
But after you figure in inflation I was way better off 10 years ago...
Old 11-15-2010, 08:20 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

The days of the high paying union jobs are done and the new low paying Japanese factories are the way of the future...
Old 11-15-2010, 08:30 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

Haha...union...

Blame it on the Japanese. At the root, the consumer is at fault. Period.
Old 11-15-2010, 08:36 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

No!
Old 11-15-2010, 08:37 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

Well the economy sucks, so you'll see cheap stuff everywhere, that's just a tiny piece of the puzzle. Pressure from direct ship overseas places is another factor (lipo's, chargers, 2.4ghz). Certainly better manufacturing methods (and volume) has a little to do with it. People attitudes have changed a bit to methinks. At the club racer level most would rather have a durable plastic chassis that doesn't break much over a carbon fiber unobtanium chassis that may be faster but breaks more often. (I haven't seen as much exotic materials lately in 1/10th scale)

Overall I like the current state of RC. Traxxas/HPI are mostly good models for how a basher type 1/10th scale vehicle should be made, then you have higher end stuff like Team Associated but its aimed a little more at the masses durability/performance than they used to be. Then there are some super nice 1/8th scale buggies, I think that's where the guys who spend the money go.

The only thing I'd really like to see cheaper at this point is personal transponders. $30 each would suit me better than $90 each. AMB pretty much has a monopoly there though.

I remember 1985, my first buggy with the cheapest of everything was $300 from Tower.
Old 11-15-2010, 08:49 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?


ORIGINAL: ThunderbirdJunkie

Haha...union...

Blame it on the Japanese. At the root, the consumer is at fault. Period.
Your not sucking me in that easy TBJ [&:]
Old 11-15-2010, 08:50 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

Not trying to suck you in, it's true. The consumer is at fault for all the trash on the market.
Old 11-15-2010, 08:51 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

I think newbies should be told that the minimum investment for this hobby is $2,500
I also think $2,500 should be / is accurate. Possibly more when it comes to airplanes.
This will help keep the riff-raff out of the hobby.
Old 11-15-2010, 08:52 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?


ORIGINAL: ThunderbirdJunkie

Not trying to suck you in, it's true. The consumer is at fault for all the trash on the market.

Companies sell what people buy, true enough!
Old 11-15-2010, 08:53 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?


ORIGINAL: ThunderbirdJunkie

Not trying to suck you in, it's true. The consumer is at fault for all the trash on the market.
You have a point, people are to blame for everything they do to themselfs.
Old 11-15-2010, 08:54 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?


ORIGINAL: Airplanes400

I think newbies should be told that the minimum investment for this hobby is $2,500
I also think $2,500 should be / is accurate. Possibly more when it comes to airplanes.
This will help keep the riff-raff out of the hobby.
You belong to a old boys club?
Old 11-15-2010, 08:59 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?


ORIGINAL: Airplanes400

I think newbies should be told that the minimum investment for this hobby is $2,500
I also think $2,500 should be / is accurate. Possibly more when it comes to airplanes.
This will help keep the riff-raff out of the hobby.
Interesting.

ThunderbirdJunkie will have far less than that into his P51 when it's finished.

Care to elaborate on your reasoning? Do you honestly think there isn't riffraff that can afford to drop $2,500 on a plane?
Old 11-15-2010, 09:14 PM
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Default RE: Does the hobby really need to be cheaper?

At least when we're talking wheeled 1/10th scale, $500 gets a pretty nice set up.

Maybe he was being a little facetious with $2500...

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