Hi, I am around, although considerably less nowadays and I very rarely log in - if ever.
I haven't got out of the hobby, although of late I have listed about 50 kits on eBay, so to some it might look like that. Actually what I am doing is getting rid of duplicates, of which I have many, so there is a chance to pick up some Loaded collection kits. There is an element of truth to what has been said about being welcome - for example, receiving personal messages or emails from people laughing about the values of kits because of re issues (as if I care?) and general abuse which has gone down considerably since I took my sabbatical.
Tamiya have made some siginificant mistakes. In embracing the current desire for retro across all markets and in an absence of imaginitive design from their side, they have re issued some kits only for the purpose of making money, whilst at the same time, aggressively squashing core community members under the guise of protecting their copyright, or intellectual property. This website has been slapped on the wrist and forced to remove portions of it in order to comply. I know of some members who make custom parts who have been told not to. In doing this, Tamiya have failed to realise two important things. Firstly, the people that got them there - ie us. Were it not for Tamiyaclub and those minded collectors (I don't mean mega collectors, just anyone who likes old Tamiya models, not necessarily NIB) Tamiya would have very little basis to make this business work. Furthermore, when the current trend is gone, and it will go, then they will be left neither with collectors that revere their imaginitive model making, nor the trend followers that just wanted to run a Hornet or Fast Attack vehicle once or twice to relive a childhood memory, but are less enthusiastic about the brand than we are.
I thank you Swarm, for asking, you are a nice guy, we have had many chats :-) I would like to lay a couple of things to rest, though. No, I am not bankrupt! Although the business in which I am in has been hit by the recession, rather than fight the tide, I swim with it and there is always money to be made if you know how to ride the markets. I will come out the other end stronger. I haven't given up on collecting either, I have over a thousand kits, but I do wish to cut down my list of duplicates, mainly for reasons of space, but it would be arrogant to suggest they have little value, as clearly many of the kits do. I also do make some parts, which is mainly to keep me off the streets, because I have not been very busy for the last couple of years!
Tamiya's re issue program is nearing its end and there are kits they simply won't re issue, some of the recent and future re issues will be along the lines of the Sand Rover and Holiday Buggy, ie not really re issues at all. From a sanguine point of view, if we are to take values as important, neither the Holiday Buggy or Sand Rover re issues have affected values, simply because they are not re issues, but kind of tribute vehicles on a modern chassis. Either way, it hasn't been entirely bad. They have made parts available for wrecked models and helped rekindle the interest in the hobby. They have stepped on a lot of toes on the way and angered a lot of people. But they haven't angered me. They simply lost their way with regards to innovation and new models.