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Mechanic AH

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  1. MadInventor, deeply saddens me to read this. Best wishes and thank you for sharing your unique and inspiring builds. You will be missed.
  2. I've always been curious about what it looks like inside the Tamiya HQ/factory in Japan and I haven't seen a true insider video. I came across this one, quite old probably from very late 80s to early 90s (since the Avante, Vanquish, and early Astute development/TRF beginnings are briefly seen in the video). Anyway, quite interesting. I wish there's a present day video Japan tour (not the museum or one open to the public) to see how things have changed. Posting some images for those interested, and also a link to the video (it's in Japanese and about 16 minutes long). Late 80s early 90s? video of Tamiya Japan factory and HQ
  3. Most of my friends (and kids) I know think of Tamiya RCs as toy-grade and entry-level, or as a static model brand. Of course aside from the TRF car line (which is dead and most have never heard of). When I build Tamiya cars they think I’m an old geek, a hermit in a cave, and enjoy static model toys—and interestingly none of these applies to me. But that's only the perception when I start building them. When I run my old Yokomos or Kyosho on-road car, the perception is race related. When I start looking into an RC brand (or any brand at all) I have a habit of reading their about section or mission statement and that’s probably telling as to what kind of audience gravitate toward a brand and products. And what others think of other enthusiasts. Probably outside of Japan, Tamiya RCs are just misunderstood. This is Tamiya’s general mission (from their website) and I’m sure it trickles down to their RCs: “When it comes right down to it, Tamiya's main goal is to offer the world the most rewarding modeling experience possible. Grasping the various parts, assembling, and finally painting a finely crafted model is truly a special and rare experience in today's modern world. Tamiya feels that this hands-on experience is invaluable. So whether it's our careful attention to quality, or our commitment to ease-of-assembly, we are always striving to create truly fulfilling ways to spend one's time.” And compared to… Traxxas: Traxxas has been engineering and building the world’s fastest and most innovative Ready-To-Race radio-controlled performance machines since 1986. Traxxas models are fully assembled with powerful, feature-rich radio systems and are Ready-To-Drive in just minutes, including the 100mph Traxxas XO-1 supercar. Traxxas performance, durability, and world-class customer support all come together to deliver an award-winning radio-controlled experience that’s designed to last for years of fun. 
Arrma: ARRMA is a brand that defines high-speed super-tough RC action. With a wide range of exciting RC vehicles that provide the perfect opportunity for you to enjoy dirt-blasting RC driving, learn new skills, and inspire others to share your passion for the pulse racing world of ARRMA RC, your journey starts here. Whether you are new to the hobby of Radio Control, or a seasoned RC car or truck fan, ARRMA can offer you exactly what you need to take on new challenges, and set yourself the goal of becoming an ARRMA RC king. Designed from the ground-up by experts who understand the importance of strength, speed, and incredible value, ARRMA RC vehicles are ‘Designed to be Fast, Designed to be Tough’. Spanning a range of high-quality and stylish RC Trucks, RC Buggies, and powerful all-terrain RC Cars, ARRMA will put you straight into the action, with Ready-to-Run packages that allow you to hit the dirt now. If you are searching for the ultimate RC experience that will transform the way you choose to have fun, welcome to the world of ARRMA RC. Kyosho: "Serious about having fun." "Be true to your dreams." We want to show society the value of enjoying life through the model hobby. Since its foundation, Kyosho has lived by this philosophy. And, there is no end to the pursuit of this goal. From each generation to the next, our unceasing search for ways people can have fun leads to continuous idea creation that takes shape in the form of truly innovative products. Make products that inspire people through surprise and discovery. Cultivate an organization that combines imagination with the technological capability to successfully transform ideas into exceptional products. Axial: Axial is where RC adventures begin! With an Axial radio control rig, you’re sure to have the most exciting and enjoyable off-road RC adventures possible — whether you’re exploring trails while hiking with friends and family or joining other RC rock crawling fans for a club outing or radio control crawling event. And Yokomo focuses on drfit, on-road, and buggy competition; Team Associated and Schumacher on race, and so on.
  4. I was just going thru some old RC magazines from the late ’80s to mid ‘90s and I miss that period's energy and feeling. Companies brand and market their products with a different kind of vibe/enthusiasm and excitement. The industry seem to market the hobby to every single generation. The community felt much larger and things always felt like they were going on an upward trajectory. There was noticeably a dynamic aura that was exciting. I enjoyed reading the articles and looking at the ads: the copywriting was fun; if there was any illustration or art it was cool or intentionally wacky; brushed motors not only had a lot character—they were marketed with a lot of it too; race spec cars were worth daydreaming and they had more individuality; there was an interesting range of aftermarket companies to choose from and they were almost on a different level when it came to ingenuity; and, the plethora of interesting wheels, tires, bodies, and so on. So much was happening. Interestingly today, with better technology, knowledge, and ways to market, things seem to be a bit mundane. The energy feels cold and pragmatic. I’ve read many articles about how the pandemic has brought back some interests in the hobby among consumers but I wonder if that’s just temporary. In some ways there are still exciting aspects about the hobby but it doesn't have that same charm. Do you think the hobby will ever get back to being that big or exciting? What's preventing that culture/excitement to come back? Or was it always there but never evolved?
  5. I never knew these could go for that much! One day I'll need to build a Wild Willy.
  6. Wow! I thought I saw one of these sometime ago on fleabay and it was soo temping. Great buy!
  7. Beyond retail price, what was the most insane/expensive single RC purchase you’ve made? Whether it’s a part or kit. New or vintage. I always find interesting parts/kits for projects but because of the skyrocketing prices in the last couple years or so, some of the things I’m interested in are starting to become unobtainable (whether new or vintage). There are times when I have to just go for it even if the price is higher because that opportunity rarely comes back again. But it makes me feel guilty. Curious to hear what are some of your acquired items that are above the normal price range.
  8. Thanks for sharing this article @speedy_w_beans . I might be wrong but some time ago I saw an article in a Japanese blog about how Tamiya's static model segment is quite a larger share than the RC segment. I always wondered what portion/percent that is. Now I wonder how big Mini4WD for Tamiya is. That seems fairly accurate across the board (not just with Tamiya), at least from what I've seen. So it's no surprise to me when Tamiya doesn't just go with the western trends or demands.
  9. I think the group seems to be aging and the hobby will probably die. Not because it’s like the tether vehicle hobby or other older hobbies, but maybe perhaps due to the industry and larger share of the community. Every generation is unique and marketing an idea to each will always be different. What worked for Gen X+ may not work for Millennials or Gen Zs. And every generation becomes more complex. I always think the larger issue is that a majority of the companies’ (and maybe even visionaries’) mindset in the industry seem to age along with the same group (Gen X+) that has been buying into the hobby since the ‘80s/‘90s. Most companies have never truly evolved in the correct sense especially when it comes to improving accessibility or outreach for a wider and younger audience. Or even understanding the difference when it comes to how generations socializes or value shared experiences. I think the hobby now feels more niche and exclusive compared to how it was ages ago. And the industry has mostly been marketing to the same crowd over and over. Whether it’s due to inflexibility or complacency (or for any other range of reasons and I hope it’s not due to just being clueless). I know there’s still some interests with the younger generation because I’ve been asked about the hobby many times. But I do see a few companies still focusing on that connection and with younger generations, like Tamiya (Japan/Asia market) and perhaps Axial. They both have community events where I’ve seen kids fully participate in. Access to the hobby experience is not like what it was before and these companies have gone out of their way to create these experiences. Tamiya in particular, aside from their products, have some really cool events and programs designed specifically for beginners and kids. They’ve got the RC school workshop, junior day, beginners circuit day, and beginners grand prix to name a few (https://www.tamiya.com/japan/rc/beginner/index.html) and in this video the kids are the stars (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpuuPRF6m9s). Of course, I would like to hear firsthand from Japanese natives/enthusiasts what the hobby is like in that region. Maybe if the majority of the RC industry did something consistent on that level it would create new interests among the general public. I think even with all the new distractions, kids will always want to have shared experiences with friends and so the companies have to find innovative ways to capture that new market. Maybe the demise of the hobby will not be directly caused by an aging consumer, but by the lack of accessibility. Or lack of evolution or adaptability by the industry when it comes to bringing ideas and designing products primarily for the next gen of consumers.
  10. That's a beautiful livery. I wish they did that Tour de Course 73 instead of the Jägermeister.
  11. Oh man thank you! I appreciate it :). Lots of amazing talent in this forum and it has been an example for me as well!
  12. Not sure if the "Be careful, generalising about Chinese manufacturing is probably racist (even though it's still quite common)." is directed at me. But I want to clear something up and want to make sure my post isn't taken out of context. First, I have not said a negative comment about Chinese manufacturing or the notion of "hate" on anything. My title does not indicate anything about that. I'm not generalizing. My point is, does it matter if Tamiya is still made in Japan? For me, the mid-range to high end kits do (and even some other products like static models and hop ups). I've never had an issue with their lower priced kits/parts/minis that are made in the Philippines because they are still very excellent and meant to be more affordable, and it has been that way for close to three decades. But if a re-re Egress or Avante will be made in China or the Philippines, will I pay the same premium price or desire it as much? At that level, Tamiya's made in Japan culture seems to be part of the brand and novelty. When an RC10 re-re came out I struggled to get it because it was more than the original that was made in the US. And when the original was on sale, it was 1/3 of what the re-re was that was made in China (even with China having lower labor cost). I'm specifically talking about Tamiya and RC cars and nothing beyond that. As for UK made 1:1 cars, I have no comment on that but I would've preferred the Cat XLS be made in the UK. And changing the question to yours about permitting poor quality products? It doesn't make sense as a business question, why would any decent brand want that? Unless you're making fun of it. I've been in Japan and worked there a number of times and I can't see a brand like Tamiya or similar that would do or think that. Perhaps you missed the title of the thread? I don't know how it turned into a British thing but what was wrong with title of the thread? It's genuinely a Tamiya + Japan specific question. I have RC parts made from other countries and I don't care as long as they are good companies with good products. And if the innovation starts from them, I don't mind paying a premium.
  13. I had started a thread somewhere and I noticed someone mentioned bringing the cost down—I guess in order to compete with other brands. And I've read many times about people being upset with how Tamiya prices their kits and products compared to what you can get from other brands. I agree that Tamiya can get expensive but I'm rarely bothered when it comes to their mid-range to high end kits because they're still made in Japan (and some of the hop-ups). Sometimes "made in Japan" can be the selling point for me. I can't think of prime American RC brands that are still made in the US. Team Associated and Losi may be designed in the US but then they can be made in China (even the re-re RC10), and this goes for crawler/truck brands. There might be aftermarket brands (like MIP) that are made in the US but they're relatively expensive. I recall my re-re Cat XLS and I don't think there were markings as to where it's made and I'm sure if it was made in the UK it would've proudly been noted—but also more expensive (is it made in the UK?). And then the Kyosho re-res that are now made in Taiwan instead of Japan. I think they had to upgrade the components to justify the price point and for people to be ok that it's not made in Japan anymore. Made me think that if the Egress or Avante re-re was made in China, obviously with a lower price point, would I desire it as much or care as much? Would it still be unique? I always felt that part of the novelty of Tamiya is that it can be made in Japan. How about for the rest of you? Do you care about the mid to high end Tamiya RCs (including hop-ups) being made in Japan?
  14. Loving the responses! After a long day at work, I'm sitting down and drinking, while reading and getting entertained. I'm with some on TRF and spare/hop up parts, better electronics, etc. I want TRF tools too. I do wonder if they will listen today or pay much attention to the market outside of Japan. Back then they did with the TRF line but now that's gone. It seems like they know their products will sell no matter what. I think Tamiya is in a very unique position compared to other RC brands.
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