speedy_w_beans

Tamiyaclub USA Members

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BTW, the post makes me wonder what's the proportion of TCers in the world. Actually, after reading this I am starting to think there's more TCers in the UK and Australia than in the States?

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BTW, the post makes me wonder what's the proportion of TCers in the world. Actually, after reading this I am starting to think there's more TCers in the UK and Australia than in the States?

You likely correct. Just flip through Radio Car Action Mag and see the ads, which are mostly non-Tamiya. I think most Americans like them big, RTR and can take a pounding. I've see some brand guarantee its product with not questions ask, you break it we give you replacement part free for one year. Somehow I don't Tamiya can offer this type of guarantees. You break it, you buy the replacment part.

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Anaheim, CA here....and yeah you're correct most RC mags here don't have much Tamiya advertising in it. Tamiya does still have a large following here in the US but it's mainly from people who are already familiar with the brand. Most newcomers and casuals to the hobby go for RTR so that automatically excludes most Tamiya products carried by hobby shops. Given that hobby shops need to stay in business, it's better to stock more of what most people buy. With that said Tamiya does have the most variety of cars to choose from and very scale looking bodies, but imo the prices are too high on many of their kits. Some places do have competitive prices though that's why I will continue to buy Tamiya kits.

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Long Beach, CA here.

I grew up in NC though (WInston-Salem) and still make it out there frequently to visit family. Still got a stash of VW stuff out there too... :lol:

I was thinking it would be cool to have a SoCal R/C bash, vintage show, swap meet type thing. The model car guys do it, why can't the R/C guy do it too?

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I grew up in NC though (WInston-Salem) and still make it out there frequently to visit family. Still got a stash of VW stuff out there too... :lol:

Small world -- I've been living in Winston Salem for the past nine years! So you know about Hobby Park on Clemmonsville Road, right?

-Paul

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Burbs of Chicago, anyone ever do any vintage racing/running? I would love to see a few vintage tamiyas running around.

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New Joisey - about 20 minutes from MRC HQ. Even tried stopping in to see if there had any old dusty Tamiya stuff. I left disappointed...but it was pretty cool to see the actual place. an anonymous looking beige concrete office building with a tiny MRC sign lost amid a sea of similar structures in an Edison, NJ industrial park.

I've also been fascinated by the fact that Tamiya seems to have become far and away more popular in the UK commonwealth countries (Canada to a lesser extent). It's also apparently widely popular in France and Germany. And...of course...Japan, the Philippines, etc. I was trying to deduce why this might be, other than just basic entrepreneurial enthusiasm, etc...but there was always plenty of push to sell products in the US as well.

I came up with a few observations, some of which might be part of the answer...

a) building and maintaining tamiya kits is half about model building and half about running. places where static model building already is widely popular could signify some cultural appeal to model building in general. clearly model building was huge in japan, i know it was also fairly popular in the US around the 40's-60's especially (my dad's childhood and a little before). not sure how this compares to the UK, AU, NZ, FR, DE.

B) factors that may contribute to an interest in scale models could include things like inherent cultural tendency toward patience (not broadly true in the US), an appreciation for small things (ditto of the US), cultural tendency toward attention to detail ( " ).

c) it recently struck me that the finely detailed work we do (with varying degrees of success) to try to perfect our small creations is not unlike the hobby of maintaining and pruning bonsai trees. in fact, it's very similar...and can have a zen-like quality involving a peacefulness, concentration and quiet. on the building and maintaining side.

d) the existence and availability of other options for those predisposed to an interest in cars and mechanical toys and the like. in the US i am confident that it is and was much easier than in the UK, europe and NZ (not sure about AU here) for a kid to get their hands on a dirt bike, 3/4-wheel ATV, go cart, etc. due to availability, cost of equipment, cost of fuel, need for permits, places to ride them, etc. in most of the US all of these things are in abundance and as i recall boomed around the same time as the R/C craze. relative to the cost of owning and running a dirt bike in the UK, r/c cars was probably much more affordable and easier to come by.

e) as others have said, when tamiya first hit the market the only option was build-it-yourself kits...which may have steered some people into a love of building things, but might not have been the chosen option in the presence of an RTR option (instant gratification!). in the US and perhaps to a lesser extent in the UK, europe and elsewhere, traxxas, nikko, radio shack and others started vigorously competing with tamiya and offering mostly RTR models. also, to whatever extent in the US an interest in competitive r/c racing took precedence over the joy of building and primping these models, AE/RC10 and other companies started to draw a huge percentage of the racing customer base. so you've got RC10 siphoning the racers on one side, and traxxas siphoning the dabblers or instant gratification folks on the other side. again, i'm sure some of this was also true in the UK but maybe to a lesser extent. we yanks are a hyper-competitive, impatient bunch.

there may be other observations i'm forgetting...but it's striking how much less available, for example, some tamiya models are on ebay in the US compared to ebay in the UK. the bigwig was one big example for me...extremely rare in the US and almost as common as the blackfoot in listings in the UK. also, it's not lost on me that there are no large suppliers of tamiya spare parts in the US - they are all in the UK! whenever i need a vintage part or decal set i end up ordering it from the UK. it also seems like there were a number of chains of well known hobby shops that sprang up in the UK with multiple locations, etc. beatties for one, and several others i've heard mentioned. here in the US with few exceptions all the hobby shops were independently owned and operated. since RTR models were sold in a wider variety of stores like radioshack (i guess the equivalent of maplin in the UK), sears, etc...which were easier to find and even easier to make impulse purchases. in addition to the relatively low marketing power of all these LHS's. clearly MRC/tamiya issued their own TV commercials, but it doesn't seem like they could keep up using that approach. the legacy of all this is that here in the US almost all the spare vintage parts come from defunct hobby shop liquidations, estate sales (dead people), or garage finds from kids who abandoned the hobby soon after getting into it. in contrast to a seemingly much more vibrant situation elsewhere.

... and i'm spent.

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What he just said, plus this:

Recently I was running a few Tamiya models in my relatively small yard and having a lot of fun when I realized that it has been a long time since I ran some of my other models like the E-Maxx, Brushless Slash, Brushless TC4, etc. It made me realize how easy it is to run Tamiyas in a small area. Try that with your 75mph brushless monster truck. Not good.

Part of the appeal of my Tamiyas is that it is just so simple to grab the Hornet, the Lunchbox, the Clod or the Holiday Buggy and go play for a few minutes. No big open spaces or track required. Just a bit of dirt or grass or driveway and life is good.

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I think small spaces have a lot to do with size of the car and little to do with the brand of car. All of my 10th scale brushless cars are able to run in relatively small areas. Only my 5th scale Baja 5B needs a large area. Also just because a car is fast doesn't mean you have to run it fast.

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Also just because a car is fast doesn't mean you have to run it fast.

I keep hearing this, but I can't confirm the truth of this statement.... :lol:

PaPeRo, you are absolutely right that any brand can be run in a small space, but my (poorly stated) point was that I think the marketing that is most prevalent in the U.S. is really geared towards the "Go huge or Go home" market - Traxxas being the poster child for such adverts. I'm not necessarily bashing that marketing strategy because it seems to be working quite well, but (to me anyway) Tamiya just seems to be on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of its philosophy.

Or maybe the only philosophy here is my overthinking this point, LOL. Hmmmm, yup, that is definitely a possibility.

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I think you're correct too because having a fast car makes you want to drive fast and that may be hard to do in a small confined area even for 10th scale cars. Also Tamiya cars only come with stock silver cans to keep costs low so in stock form they're ultimately limited to driving slower which is more suited for small confined areas. It just happens that Tamiya makes so many different kits that are geared fairly slow in stock form. I think this is on purpose for multiple reasons. It's slow for beginners to drive and it also reduces wear on the drive components. For those who want more speed they have different pinion options or brushless if the specific car's drive train could handle it.

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Clitherall MN here Probably the only one on here from the northern midwest... been into Tamiya's for awhile - I just like the model aspect of them.. (I love building them almost more than driving them) ahaha

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Philly suburbs here. Been into Tamiya since I saw a Wild One being driven around an empty baseball diamond when my brother was @ little leage practice.. far too long ago. No longer have any of the models from my youth, sadly, now looking to get the ones that got away as well as some of the greatest hits.

And I'm glad I'm not the only one to feel the same way about the model building aspect... I find building a kit to be a calming excercise, and love watching the parts come together into a whole. I just cannot ever give a **** about an RTR, no matter how hard I have tried.

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Speedy w beans I'm just down 85 from ya in Charlotte.

I know we have another member who's in Gastonia.

Also I run my wraith with a guy who has some vintage Tamiyas.

We should get a little mini meet together.

Marcus has a cool spot, and there is a new track in charlotte.

I haven't made it out to the track yet.

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