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What is the #1 thing you hate about Tamiya?

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34 minutes ago, tim.senecal said:

I hate that they design things to use e-clips instead of something else,  not sure what, but at least one of those e-clips is going to zing across the workshop while i am trying to get it onto a shaft.

I guess that's why Tamiya always include surplus e-clips in each kit, which I've always seen as a positive!

35 minutes ago, tim.senecal said:

This is not Tamiya's fault, but I also hate that none of the local hobby shops actually carry the Tamiya r/c cars anymore.  everyone wants RTR, which, to me, is sad.

Happily that's not the case here, the hobby shop in Cardiff (Antics) always has a reasonable range of Tamiya RC and static kits along with paints and painting equipment. But, ultimately, limited compared to online. The same can be said for most hobby stores I poke my nose into on my travels, though it is also true to say it's nothing like it was when I was a teenager, when a trip to Beatties was just an awe-inspiring experience 

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51 minutes ago, Juhunio said:

Happily that's not the case here, the hobby shop in Cardiff (Antics) always has a reasonable range of Tamiya RC and static kits along with paints and painting equipment.

Happily, my "local" model shop is this one. 

Unhappily, it is a 300+ miles journey to get there! (TTM is 20 odd miles further east). 

yFMjajf.jpeg

Even more unhappily, they will not ship to me without charging me an arm and a leg. 🤬

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The “Japan first attitude “

This all ties in with releases, spare parts , importers, stock levels and distribution.

Its the 21st century Tamiya, become part of it………

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On 8/10/2022 at 5:47 PM, Snappy1 said:

The “Japan first attitude “

This all ties in with releases, spare parts , importers, stock levels and distribution.

Its the 21st century Tamiya, become part of it………

That's a tough one..  watching Tamiya's Official YT channel, I feel that you really need to be in Japan to fully enjoy and capture the Tamiya culture.  With the shrinking industry flooded with RTR's and folks that value different things out of the hobby, Tamiya is kind of doomed outside of Japan.  In the last 25 years I have NEVER seen a kid driving a Tamiya car in front of their parent's house.  I live in a suburb of a major city so it's not like I'm out in the sticks either..  :wacko:  (rewind 40 years, there were a bunch of kids including me at my parent's neighborhood driving Tamiya cars all the time).  All while Tamiya is consistently reporting strong interest from new locals and kids in Japan these recent years.  Their races this year have like 500-800 participants per event..  which I am guessing is a fairly strong number..?

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So I was bored and decided to read the whole thread again and catalog all the complaints.  My initial reaction is it's a miracle anyone older than 12 and anyone outside Japan buys a Tamiya RC kit at all.  But, with a little more reflection I guess what this list really represents is the union/sum of all feedback.  I doubt every person in this thread holds every item against Tamiya; depending on who you are, some of these are quite negotiable.  If I was a manufacturer and tried to balance all the subject matter, licensing, features, designs, capital investments, raw materials, manufacturing, documentation, distribution, sales, build process, and support issues (with a backdrop of economic cycles, currency fluctuations, shipping variability, and geopolitical stability) to satisfy everyone, I'd go crazy with as wide an offering as Tamiya has.  I'd have to focus on a more specific offering, like what Fenix and CRC do.  Anyhow, here's the list:

The Kit Itself

  • Need more model diversity (see other threads on body wish lists)
  • Lack of chassis diversity (same chassis over and over)
  • Inaccurate details (chassis, suspensions, motor placement)
  • Toss-together packaging (decal damage, parts damage)
  • Half-baked kits require hopups (want a higher standard base kit)
  • Established model names used for cash grabs (Astute, Avante, for example)
  • Expensive prices especially adding hopups

Design/Features

  • Friction shocks
  • Non-standard wheel sizes (buggy/truck wheels?)
  • Lack of 12mm front hexes (bearings in front wheels)
  • 26mm width wheel compatibility (touring suspension arm design)

Hardware

  • Press nuts
  • Self-tapping screws
  • JIS screws (hex instead)
  • Plastic bearings/bushings (standard ball bearings)
  • Alloy pinions (standard steel pinions)
  • E-clips

Electronics

  • Poor LiPo support (battery trays, ESC cutoffs)
  • Mechanical speed controllers
  • TEU ESCs (use HobbyWing instead - actually happening!)
  • Servo saver never centered at 0 radio trim

Bodies

  • Hard shell bodies
  • Mold lines
  • Polycarbonate bodies
  • Prepunched body post holes
  • Discontinued PC bottle paints
  • No paint in the kit, especially for very small details
  • Unrealistic sponsors/brands
  • California license plates
  • Lack of die-cut stickers (historically some don't want die-cut, though)
  • Masking tape dispenser

Quality

  • Sloppy suspension joints
  • Play in bearings and joints

Sales/Distribution/Support

  • Japan-first attitude permeates the whole experience
  • Limited editions and pre-orders
  • Not much local hobby store inventory or support
  • Lack of parts support
  • Buying whole trees of parts for one part

It's their company and their product; patronize them or don't.  To me the bottom line is it's a hobby; try to have some fun with it.

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4 hours ago, speedy_w_beans said:

So I was bored and decided to read the whole thread again and catalog all the complaints.  My initial reaction is it's a miracle anyone older than 12 and anyone outside Japan buys a Tamiya RC kit at all.  But, with a little more reflection I guess what this list really represents is the union/sum of all feedback.  I doubt every person in this thread holds every item against Tamiya; depending on who you are, some of these are quite negotiable.  If I was a manufacturer and tried to balance all the subject matter, licensing, features, designs, capital investments, raw materials, manufacturing, documentation, distribution, sales, build process, and support issues (with a backdrop of economic cycles, currency fluctuations, shipping variability, and geopolitical stability) to satisfy everyone, I'd go crazy with as wide an offering as Tamiya has.  I'd have to focus on a more specific offering, like what Fenix and CRC do.  Anyhow, here's the list:

//LONG LIST

It's their company and their product; patronize them or don't.  To me the bottom line is it's a hobby; try to have some fun with it.

Well, yeah. I mean you buy a Tamiya and you know what you're getting - you don't go to McDonald's expecting fine dining! Could they do things better? Yes. Should they do things better? Yes. Will we keep buying their product regardless? Probably.

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I know this isn't really about "thing you hate about tamiya" and probably because I've just realised the the only rc printed magazine (rc racer) hasn't popped through the letter box:unsure: I had 7 months left of my annual subscription and they've closed, I'm not annoyed at all about the waste of money I'm just very sad the fact that in the UK there is no printed media of our hobby which in my opinion is very sad indeed:(!!!

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This "Japan first" approach by Tamiya is how traditional Japanese companies operate. The cater for their own (and perhaps Asia) market, which is actually their main market. I think it had been mentioned before that 70% of this forum is British and 10% American? I am Asian and I normally have no interest in American muscle cars (just for example) but I like most of the designs released by Tamiya while the designs of Absima or Traxxas (for example) do not turn me on. Most westerners will not get how Asian companies operate. They actually cater for home or regional market first before expending. Honda being perfect example, and they were quite successful when they expended to the west with their domestic designs and products. Those who got it buy it, those who didn't, don't buy it. Tamiya is still very strong in the Eastern world, and their static kits (which actually are their main business) are very strong everywhere. 

Tamiya have no real desire to compete directly with other companies, if possible. It makes no business sense. They are out to create a slice of the market for themselves, and are doing very well. In every Mini 4WD thread, there will be someone saying they don't get it, it will be great if the cars get speed and/or directional control. Well, it was not created to compete against the Scalextric or Mini-Z which has all the control you desire. Tamiya created a completely different class of hobby that not everyone will get. 

Now as for the ones that say Tamiya is perfect, nothing is wrong with it and if you want to moan about anything about it, then get lost and go elsewhere. Well this is called making conversion, anyone with a common interest will normally do. Nothing is perfect, well, except to fanboys. For example, I had been making static models for decades and during the early part of the lockdown, I decided to try out Gundam. Now having built Tamiya for ages, I do enjoy their well thought out ease of building experience. Gundam are not so well thought out, requiring much more cleaning up. I mentioned this to my friend who is a fanboy. He told me to dump my Gundam in the trash, quit modelling and should take up gardening instead. (for context, gardening is not a common hobby where he is and where I was from as most people live in a pigeonhole in the sky with no garden. So gardening is considered a wealthy person's hobby, so he was in fact being sarcastic.) Now, I actually do gardening, plating fruits, vegetables and flowers, and if I am to talk to a fellow gardener, I will probably moan about weeds, snails, slugs and all the neighbours' cats using my garden as a toilet. 

So in summary, not having a go at anyone, this is all just making conversion on a common interest. 

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My gripe:

I hate that Tamiya doesn’t get more respect.

If it wasn’t for those early 80s kits, there wouldn't be such a large and ongoing hobby. Certainly for us as BigT enthusiasts, but would the RC10 have been built if RC racing didn’t become such an accessible hobby with those Tamiya cars?  Jumping ahead in time, would Traxxas have built their own RC10 clone and begin their (unfortunate) dominance in the US market?  I posit that Tamiya took a weird hobby and made it mainstream and really started the RC hobby we have today.

It upsets me that their kits as looked upon as toys instead of serious RC.  Part of it is Tamiya’s fault for sure.  They need to think forward more IMO.  But the other part is the overall throw-away instant gratification macho society we have.  100mph truggies with 6” tires?  What the heck is that?!?

YMMV…

Terry

 

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5 hours ago, Willy iine said:

I’m just happy my masking tape dispenser at least made ‘the cut’ on @speedy_w_beans list..  :ph34r:

Didn’t make the cut when you needed tape though, did it 😂

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What bothers me about Tamiya kits is that they supply a nut for the balls on the steering servo that doesn't fit the nut driver they supply.  For 40+ years, to fit the nuts to the balls on the servo, they specifically show using pliers.  7mm, 5.5, 5 & 4mm on the driver, and those nuts appear to be 4.5mm.  Maybe they do it because the driver wont fit in that space because of the rest of the servo, but they also have available to them a cheap stamped metal wrench that would work, if it was the right size.  Maybe when I get home from work I'll check to see if it fits.

Do I hate, or get annoyed or mildy infuriated with thing that Tamiya does? yep, obviously.  I also like their product, and I will continue to point out issues with it in hopes they will improve the customer experience.

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The recent 10% price drop increase in the US.. when the Yen is down to $ by 20%

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6 hours ago, Frog Jumper said:

I hate that Tamiya doesn’t get more respect.

If it wasn’t for those early 80s kits, there wouldn't be such a large and ongoing hobby. Certainly for us as BigT enthusiasts, but would the RC10 have been built if RC racing didn’t become such an accessible hobby with those Tamiya cars?  Jumping ahead in time, would Traxxas have built their own RC10 clone and begin their (unfortunate) dominance in the US market?  I posit that Tamiya took a weird hobby and made it mainstream and really started the RC hobby we have today.

Amen. You don't have RC the way we do today without Tamiya.

Its interesting to follow just one thread of development. Without Tamiya, we might not get off road electric. Without that, Marui might not make the Big Bear. Without the Big Bear, we might not get the Blackfoot. Without the BF, we don't get monster truck racing. Without that, there's no RC10 truck conversions. Without them, Associated never sets up the stadium truck template (with the wheels hanging way out past the slammed truck body) with the RC10T. Without the10T and the huge Clod Buster, Traxxas never invents the T-Maxx (Traxxas will probably sue because I typed the word "Maxx") and then we never have the truggy monstrosities we have today.....wait, is this all Tamiya's fault somehow? Nevermind, just kidding. I NEED a time machine.

6 hours ago, Frog Jumper said:

It upsets me that their kits as looked upon as toys instead of serious RC.  

The funny thing is I remember RC10 guys calling Tamiyas toys BITD, while their RC10s were "serious" racing machines. Now we get that from the RTR crowd "sending it" (I feel dirty just typing that phrase, but alas...) over houses. Tamiyas are models at least. Seems like less of a toy than something yanked out of a box by someone who couldn't be bothered to learn how to wield a screw driver.

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1 hour ago, Saito2 said:

Without the BF, we don't get monster truck racing. Without that, there's no RC10 truck conversions. Without them, Associated never sets up the stadium truck template (with the wheels hanging way out past the slammed truck body) with the RC10T.

Totally right about the BF, but the RC10 (buggy) casts a long shadow!

In the "Hobby Shop News" I have from winter 1990, there is an article comparing the first three racing trucks to hit the market, and Tamiya and Losi won that race with the King Cab and JRXT. The JRXT was directly based on the JRX2, with only a few parts differences.

Traxxas wasn't far behind with the TRX-T, quickly renamed the TRX Eagle, then later on the Blue Eagle. The Hawk used a different molded tub chassis, and eventually everything got mixed together into the Rustler. The first Traxxas trucks used similar style 2.2 wheels as the BF, with bearings in the front and the same 5-stud hub adapter interface in the rear.

The sidebar in the article says "Where's Associated's Truck?" and stated that there was only a single prototype in existence at the time the other three were already being reviewed.

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2 hours ago, El Gecko said:

Totally right about the BF, but the RC10 (buggy) casts a long shadow!

In the "Hobby Shop News" I have from winter 1990, there is an article comparing the first three racing trucks to hit the market, and Tamiya and Losi won that race with the King Cab and JRXT. The JRXT was directly based on the JRX2, with only a few parts differences.

Traxxas wasn't far behind with the TRX-T, quickly renamed the TRX Eagle, then later on the Blue Eagle. The Hawk used a different molded tub chassis, and eventually everything got mixed together into the Rustler. The first Traxxas trucks used similar style 2.2 wheels as the BF, with bearings in the front and the same 5-stud hub adapter interface in the rear.

The sidebar in the article says "Where's Associated's Truck?" and stated that there was only a single prototype in existence at the time the other three were already being reviewed.

Your right. I did skip a bit of pure racing truck history in all honesty. Truthfully, once again, Tamiya was first to the market with the King Cab. The King Cab was the first kitted racing truck and drew praise for its ability to run with the conversion trucks which were running the old Blackfoot racers out of town. That spotlight was brief as the Losi JR-XT came out shortly thereafter and folks went nuts for it. The Eagle, Blue Eagle and budget Hawk followed. This is unique as most trucks would be spawned from previous racing buggy designs but in Traxxas's case, the Eagle series came before the TRX-1 buggies. Even Schumacher got in on the action with the Shotgun truck.

Associated was noticeably absent, not immediately jumping on the racing/stadium truck bandwagon. In audio interviews with Cliff Lett, it was alluded that Associated wanted to take their time and bring a truly unique and thought-out truck to market rather than rushing it. It paid off, The RC10T, despite sharing the aluminum tub/Stealth trans with buggy was completely different and introduced the lower, slammed, wheels-out look that would shape stadium trucks going forward. They even introduce narrow front tires that were quickly banned. The later Tamiya Stadium Blitzer would mimic this look, if not performance.

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Where's the Associated truck was a good question, but Associated started in on-rosd nitro, before moving into 12th electric.

The RC10 buggies only got their first international debut at the first IMFAR off road world's in 85 and at that time Associated only had about 3 staff members (and 1/10th off road was quite new then at the competition level) - it took about 4-5 years to refine what we know now as the RC10 (3 gear "stealth" gearbox etc) and it was only when that matured (closest comparison would be an RC10 world's ReRe) that the truck development really moved on. 

Buggies were a modern class back then, Trucks were so new that very few manufacturers had them at that point - even to this day it's a niche class. They get a decent showing in the states and at certain EU / UK clubs - but it's a tiny class compared to buggies globally and though there's been big swings in popularity/attendance at truck events, it's never surpassed the buggies.

Trucks as a class never really took off in Japan either which helps explain Tamiya and Kyoshos relatively weak showings in the early days as well. Even today Tamiya never released a competitive short course truck for example - despite its admittedly temporary (relatively) popularity in the US and Europe.

 

 

 

Love a bit of RC history!

 

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I think most have pointed out the individual kit issues or concerns.

I'd add that I wish Tamiya spent more time developing their crawlers chassis and getting crawler lexan bodies with better proportions. They've really drop the ball after coming out with gorgeous bodies from their Hi-lift range (like Hilux, F350 and Tundra) and for the CC01, the Pajero and Jeep. The Hi-lift and CC01 chassis were fine for the early 90s and arguably weren't that bad up till early 2000's as there wasn't much competition. Then you had the likes of RC4WD come out with chassis to fit the Hilux and then Axial and the rest is history. Tamiya plays little to no role in this space that is hugely popular.

The CC02 was their last recent dip into this space and it seemed to fizzle out faster than ever. And the bodies available now like the defender and cab hilux look really weirdly proportioned. So far removed from their on road bodies which are top of the market. 

I guess going back to the other posters who mentioned that Tamiya is focusing on their domestic market and 4WD's aren't really as popular as a guess as Japan focus is on smaller cars.

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I thought the CC02 was doing ok, loads of Tamiya parts released and they seem to be continuing to support the kit with new bits. Lots of third parts parts have showed up as well.

The chassis feels like a big improvement on the CC01 - but is definitely not a hardcore crawler compared to a lot of what's on the market (but I'm not sure that's what they are aiming for)

How many versions have they done now? G500, Unimog, Defender, and Bronco - any others?

 

 

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I sometimes feel that Tamiya is off doing their own thing and that we enthusiast, outside of Japan, sometimes try use their products in imaginative ways that they may not have intended at first. Take the CC01. It came about long before crawling but after the buggy-boom of the 80's. Tamiya was doing their "more realistic" thing at the time with touring cars, TA02T trophy trucks, etc. I think that's all the CC01 was meant to be, as possibly a smaller, less expensive version of Kyosho's old 1/9th scale Toyota 4Runner. When crawling/trailing came about, people began to use the platform for that. It wasn't until relatively recently (compared to its introduction date) that Tamiya even offered hop-ups for the CC01 to increase its trailing ability. The CC02 seems like a nod to what folks were/are doing with vehicles like this in this market segment. The CR01 is a different story, one where Tamiya was distinctly aiming for a particular market segment.

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The thing I hate most about Tamiya is the Juggernaut. Not the model itself so much, but how Tamiya went about it.  Being a "flagship" model that customers sold their Grandmothers to afford, it's inexcusable how poorly designed and tested the Juggernaut was. If they had cared to run one for 5 minutes, they would have discovered that the drivetrain was crap and the combination of high CoG and "bubbly" tires made the model virtually undrivable. As much as I love "everything" Tamiya, I don't think there exists any valid excuse for bringing the Juggernaut to the market.

And then the "Customer Care Package" that followed, which for many customers (depending on country) wasn't even free. Maybe not so important considering that the "improvements" of the Customer Care Package only fractionally improved the model.

Yes, I know, it happened 2+ decades ago, and the Juggernaut is the reason we have the great F350 Hilift and the Mammoth, but I still can''t forgive Tamiya for how they handled the Juggernaut-disaster.

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Hate is a strong word when thinking about toy/model cars, but I dislike plastic bearings. I'd rather pay £10 more and get proper ones, as it's just a waste of plastic otherwise. I don't think only having plastic bushings puts the Tamiyas back in anyone's budget - long gone are the days of bearings costing huge sums.

Also some of the extra plastic in the sprues, and the fact you often have to buy lots of extra pieces to get the one you want. It seems you end up with lots of unused spares, another waste of plastic.

Oh, and I wish you could get chassis without bodies or tires at a good price. It would allow a lot more of the custom market. I'm a tiny bit tempted with another GF01 (I know....!) but having to swap and sell off all the extra bits is a pain, when I could just buy the chassis. For older or more popular cars there are loads used, but something like the GF01 is much rarer on the used chassis market.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Nikko85 said:

Hate is a strong word

Well, there are some with strong opinions. I had someone telling me that I should go and kill myself because I cannot get lipos the usual way so... Go lipo or go dead? 

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Tamiya distribution model.

Here in Czech republic, their exclusive distributor doesn't care about R/C part of their products. Other retailers cannot import Tamiya kits or parts. As a result, there is nearly zero availability of TRF and mid-range Tamiya kits and parts. 

Most recent example is zero availability of XV02 kits - in a country with probably largest RC rally community!

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