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Top Flite model kits

Old 11-11-2018, 11:11 AM
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Multi-Engine Guy
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Default Top Flite model kits

I talked to the Horizon guys at their booth at the AMA show
last weekend. I asked what the chances were of the Top Flite kits coming back.
The smirks on their faces were all that I needed to know.
They didn't need to say anything. They're gone.

So it's just gonna' be Chinese junk ARF's from here on out.
Let's see how long those stick around at the
prices that they're asking.
So long Top Flite Models! I miss you already.

Last edited by Multi-Engine Guy; 11-12-2018 at 08:24 AM. Reason: Misspelling
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Old 11-11-2018, 03:07 PM
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So it's just gonna' be Chinese junk ARF's from here on out. Yup, the excuses for not building are astounding. I always ask why are you rebuilding a new ARF? "Spending more time to get it right". Could have built one to YOUR specs in less time.
Old 11-11-2018, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by SIMCO View Post
So it's just gonna' be Chinese junk ARF's from here on out. Yup, the excuses for not building are astounding. I always ask why are you rebuilding a new ARF? "Spending more time to get it right". Could have built one to YOUR specs in less time.
As long as you can still buy balsa, glue, and servos there will be plenty of opportunities to keep building. There are (quite literally) thousands of plans available to download and just about any kind of hardware you can think of is just a mouse-click away.

So while I will definitely miss those Top Flite kits too, their absence from the market won't stop me from building (the stash of kits I have been collecting these last few years won't hurt either )
Old 11-11-2018, 04:30 PM
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I have a stash and crash collection to last a lifetime!👍
Old 11-12-2018, 04:43 AM
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That's OK with me. It will be a long time before Horizon sees any more of my money.
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:45 AM
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Default Rebuilding a brand new Arf.

Simco has got it right. I normally have to spend as much time making most ARF's as better as I can by modifying them Into something acceptable. Or having to re-engineer something.
Usually by the time that I'm finished, I'm thinking, damn,
I could have had a kit framed up and nearly completed with
the time that I've spent on this stupid thing.
Just finished one of those types recently.

I also have been collecting future projects to last me awhile. My wife just told me "Stop buying airplanes and kits, you have no where to put them!".
She's absolutely right. I have absolutely no where to put the last two kits that I just bought. Our garage is stuffed with way too much stuff!
We're gonna' have to buy a bigger house!

Last edited by Multi-Engine Guy; 11-12-2018 at 08:50 AM. Reason: Misspelling
Old 11-12-2018, 04:53 PM
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I would love to know how many kits Topflite was still selling? There had to be a few making them money.

Everybody please trace the cut out pieces on paper when building these ! Might be smart to pour a plaster cast on canopies and cowls as well...

Last edited by foodstick; 11-12-2018 at 04:56 PM.
Old 11-12-2018, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by foodstick View Post
I would love to know how many kits Topflite was still selling? There had to be a few making them money.
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
I wonder the same thing but was hesitant to ask,, sure would be interesting to see the actual numbers of how many kits have sold over the last say 10-15 years. Sure seems like there more guys wanting kits to be available to buy vs. guys who are actually buying and building kits.
Old 11-12-2018, 06:12 PM
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I think their Giant warbirds were still selling.. I have seen more of those kits built than any other at my field and others...

I would love to see how many thousands of all kits are just sitting in peoples homes ..forgotten or unwanted..
Old 11-13-2018, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by foodstick View Post

I would love to see how many thousands of all kits are just sitting in peoples homes ..forgotten or unwanted..
not forgotten or unwanted just keep moving in the to build list , the ones I thought I didn't want and sold I now wish I could get back ( 2 x seafury , P39 , giant scale P47 ) as I have now not got any flying models of them at all

andy
Old 11-13-2018, 10:08 AM
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Default Sold models that I wish I hadn't

Andy, there are tons of unbuilt kits out there.
I don't really consider myself a "Kit Collector".
I am a future projects Collector.
I have absolutely no intention of hanging on to kits in hopes
that their value increases, as I have no intention of ever selling any of them.
I'm going to build and fly them. (SORRY IF THAT MAKES ANY KIT COLLECTORS READING THIS SQUEAMISH, BUT I'M PRETTY SURE THAT, THAT'S WHY THEY WERE MANUFACTURED IN THE FIRST PLACE)
Don't buy from a kit Collector because they all seem to have illusions of grandeur. They usually ask waaayy too much for a kit.

Last edited by Multi-Engine Guy; 11-13-2018 at 10:15 AM. Reason: Misspelling
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Old 11-13-2018, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by foodstick View Post
I would love to know how many kits Topflite was still selling? There had to be a few making them money.
I just spoke to someone who was, up until recently, in the kit business. It quickly became apparent that while it is possible to make is money selling kits, it requires a lot of hands-on effort to produce, market, and sell them. It is not an efficient operation that can be easily scaled up in size. A company like Horizon has no choice but to grow, grow, grow, or it will get eaten alive (like Hobbico just did), so they need products that can be easily produced (typically by 3rd parties in China) and sold in large quantities through retail channels without a lot of hands-on activity. You follow the same formula over and over again so you can keep growing the company larger and larger.

The only way to have a kit business today is for it to be a small boutique operation.
Old 11-13-2018, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Multi-Engine Guy View Post
Andy, there are tons of unbuilt kits out there.
I don't really consider myself a "Kit Collector".
I am a future projects Collector.
I have absolutely no intention of hanging on to kits in hopes
that their value increases, as I have no intention of ever selling any of them.
I'm going to build and fly them. (SORRY IF THAT MAKES ANY KIT COLLECTORS READING THIS SQUEAMISH, BUT I'M PRETTY SURE THAT, THAT'S WHY THEY WERE MANUFACTURED IN THE FIRST PLACE)
Don't buy from a kit Collector because they all seem to have illusions of grandeur. They usually ask waaayy too much for a kit.
You have just described my own personal philosophy on kits to an exact tee!!!
Old 11-16-2018, 07:12 AM
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i got one of the last spitfire and it will be built.
Old 11-16-2018, 07:40 AM
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Do you think the Giant arfs are all going to continue? I was surprised when the FW 190 went out of production..
Old 11-16-2018, 08:38 AM
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Default Giant scale Top Flite Arfs possibly going away.

Originally Posted by foodstick View Post
Do you think the Giant arfs are all going to continue? I was surprised when the FW 190 went out of production..
Foodstick, I hope not. But personally I think that they are too expensive. But, not having any idea what the profit margin is for Horizon is on these these, I am certainly not going to say that they're trying to gouge us.
I hope they start selling enough of them to make it worth their while, to continue having them produced.
And who knows, maybe we'll actually see some go on sale for Less in the future.
When that happens, I will probably have changed my avatar from "multi-engine guy" to "Mr. Blue".
As I will have been holding my breath.
Honestly, I never thought that kits would disappear entirely.
Old 11-16-2018, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by scale only 4 me View Post
I wonder the same thing but was hesitant to ask,, sure would be interesting to see the actual numbers of how many kits have sold over the last say 10-15 years. Sure seems like there more guys wanting kits to be available to buy vs. guys who are actually buying and building kits.

I can agree with this. From 1982 to 1994 I worked in one of California's largest hobby shop and stocked all the Tope Flite Scale kits. They never were a big seller, the Pilot kits sold much better. I think that at this point the kits that did sell were started but never finished and eventually tossed, are stashed away in someone's collection never to be built or among the maybe 20% that were sold having actually been built and flown.
Old 11-16-2018, 09:56 AM
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Default California's biggest hobby shop 1982-94

Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie View Post



I can agree with this. From 1982 to 1994 I worked in one of California's largest hobby shop and stocked all the Tope Flite Scale kits. They never were a big seller, the Pilot kits sold much better. I think that at this point the kits that did sell were started but never finished and eventually tossed, are stashed away in someone's collection never to be built or among the maybe 20% that were sold having actually been built and flown.
Speedracer, let me take a guess at which Shop's that you're referring to.....

???????

Last edited by Multi-Engine Guy; 11-16-2018 at 09:59 AM.
Old 11-16-2018, 10:16 AM
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Default 20% of top flite kits unbuilt and stored somewhere.

I think Speedracer is spot on about unbuilt kits still out there.
I am guilty of having unbuilt kits that I purchased over 14 years ago. One of them that I was right in the middle of building, when my wife and I decided to switch careers.
She went back to her job as an executive with her company,
and I left my job as a Science Teacher, to become a work from home dad, of a six month old baby girl.
Now after two kids, I still mostly work from home and our son is 10 and our daughter is 13.
And I just now in the last couple of months have started to find time for this hobby again!
And that Top Flite P-47 will finally be finished sometime soon!
But I am hoping that the percentage of unbuilt kits out there is even higher than twenty percent!
Old 11-16-2018, 03:07 PM
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The 20% figure I estimate was the number of Red Box kits that actually saw flight. I would estimate 40% of the kits sold never got started. Nope, not Hobby Shack although I did deal with their wholesale division Global Hobbies. I was a hobby shop located about 1/2 hour south of SFO called San Antonio Hobbies. We carried just about everything. All the Top Flite kits, Pilot kits and EZ arfs, almost the complete Byron line, our Sig orders would show up on a container. We had the whole line of Bridi scale kits, all the Multiplex and Graupner sailplane kits. Those truly were the good 'old days.
Old 11-16-2018, 05:56 PM
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Default Good old days!

Yep, things change. Mostly all good for the hobby, with the exception of mom and pop hobby shops.
And even the biggest ones.
Don't have any Bridi kits, he had some cool ones that the new people who are selling his kits aren't making.
Just missed out on one of his F7f Tigercats on Ebay.
Those pilot kits were ok, built a few. Jemco/mark's kits I really liked and just picked up a few,
And of course Royal and TF.
Yep, those kits are out there, very prevalent on ebay, but usually more than I am willing to go.
No wonder I see so many Red box kits.

Last edited by Multi-Engine Guy; 11-16-2018 at 06:04 PM. Reason: Misspelling
Old 11-16-2018, 06:49 PM
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The funny thing is how collectable the red box kits were, It used to be we considered those fairly large models...and anymore most of my friends ( that build) would think all those kits that size are to small to mess with.
Old 11-17-2018, 09:38 AM
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True,, anything under 50cc isn't cool any longer,, I see a lot i might build if it wasn't for the soft grass runway at our club, when I flew from assault those were a blast
Old 11-17-2018, 07:45 PM
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Its just strange that after seeing so many huge planes.. a 90 size warbird just seems like a 40 sized one now..
Old 11-17-2018, 08:19 PM
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Just a correction, a friend told me the FW 190 was canceled but I see it listed as order pending on tower, so maybe that is still coming back.

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