I dread starting new threads if something has already been covered (we really need to start aggregating threads round here ), but here's 3 pressing questions I had about the re-releases that have been bugging me....
First I was wondering if someone could post a nice, concise list of all modifications/differences in the re-release versions of each kit? So...the Grasshopper, Hornet, Frog, Thundershot, Manta Ray, Top Force. And feel free to include any other previous re-releases if you've got the knowledge (Lancia, Tyrell, etc)...
Or if someone has already done this, can someone post the URL?
I just think this would be really handy, as it's a bit of a grey area in some respects. In my case, I'm familiar with the differences in the Frog. But for the more recent cars like the Top Force, I assume there must be very minimal differences between the original and re-release kit, in which case the value of the original kit may be more inclined to fall?
Secondly, has anyone noticed a difference in the quality of materials in the re-releases? I had a look at the Frog kit last weekend in Sydney, and I got the impression that the plastic parts trees in the kit might have had more 'flashing' (offcuts caused by leaks in the mold) than in the original kit? I'm only speculating, and I hope I'm wrong. It's easy to trim it all off, but it gives the impression of falling quality standards...
Thirdly, how on earth do we now determine whether a set of vintage tyres on eBay are really vintage tyres or simply re-release tyres put in vintage boxes? And should we care? i.e. Are the re-release versions of, say, the Buggy Spike Tyres exactly the same as the ones that came in the original kits? Or are there differences to look for in the labelling or compound? I for one hope they are exactly the same - it will save a lot of headaches and help to simply bring the price down.
And fourthly - are all the re-releases still Made In Japan? Tamiya just wouldn't be Tamiya to me if they moved their manufacturing offshore to some second-rate-manufacturing hovel (not naming any names, but eventual manufacture in say... CHINA.... would pretty much destroy a lot of Tamiya's mystique for me, especially when that's the place pumping out cheap Tamiya clones and ripoffs). I had trouble finding "made in japan" on some of the Frog parts I looked at in the re-re kit. And we know that some stuff is made in the Phillipines (some RTR kits or something?). So here's hoping it stays in Japan where it was born, evolved and belongs.
Thanks in advance lads and ladies.