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Any guess on re-re 2019?

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Some random offroad re-re facts while I’m waiting for Falcon to happen.

(These numbers are not 100% accurate, mostly due to the wild inconsistencies in the Tamiya nomenclature. While the facts are easy to collect, putting them into perspective is not, as some re-res have retained their original kit numbers, while some have gone thru several new ones, while others were never classified re-res despite obviously being re-res, and still others had stand-alone part numbers despite being nothing but a “Special Color” release, and so on.

And of course, these numbers blatantly ignore the fact that meaningful predictions of future developments simply cannot be derived from the very limited data that is the 35 Tamiya re-releases.)

In any case, I want Falcon. If that takes the somewhat shady use of somewhat shady assault statistics, so be it. Here’s what will, with absolute infallible statistical certainty, happen next in the Tamiya re-re universe:

- There have been 35 Tamiya offroad re-res to date, not counting multiple re-releases of the same model, not counting “special editions”, not counting models (bodies) re-released on new platforms.  

- Out of the 35 offroad re-res, 22 were buggies, 13 were trucks.

- The first re-release was a truck, the XR311 from 1977, re-released under the original kit number in 2000, re-re-released again in 2012, still retaining its original number.

- While all re-res until very recently had 58xxx kit numbers, 2WD buggy Dyna Storm (1992) did not. When re-released in 2001, it had a 49xxx number.

- Yearly Tamiya offroad re-release average since 2000 is 1.84 models.

- There were no offroad re-releases in 2002, 2003 and 2006.

- 2005, arguably the starting year for mainstream re-re, had 6 re- releases.

- 2011 and 2012 had 5 re-releases each, not counting re-re Super Clod Buster, which has a 2012 kit number but seems to have actually been re-released in 2013. In turn, 2013 either had 3 or four re-releases, depending on where you count Super Clod Buster.

- 2011 had 14 (!) “classic” releases – if you count all “special editions”, alternate chassis re-releases and the Blackfoot III. By the same count, it’s 12 releases in 2012 (including the Bush Devil II), and 5 in 2013.

- Statistically, the 2005 and 2012 peaks in re-res will be followed by another peak year in 2019.  

- Offroad truck and buggy re-releases have been, very roughly, alternating. Right now, trucks are overdue.

- All original buggies up until 1986's Falcon have already been re-released.

-  Re-re activity since the peak in 2012 has averaged 1.5 releases per year – up 0.3 from the “slow” years 2006-2010. No recent slowing down in Tamiya re-re efforts, not statistically anyway.

- Peak years have always included oddities like new models based on re-released kits, re-re-res, just plain weird stuff and even re-releases of special editions based on re-releases, which makes them… re-re-re-res?

- “Classic” releases (including “editions” and alternate chassis re-res) have averaged 3.84 kits per year since 2000.  

- July is re-re-month, with 7 of the 35 having July re-release dates, followed by December with 5 re-releases over the years. February, September and November are sharing  third place with 4 re-releases each.

- No re-release came out in May, ever.  

- August and October are unlikely months for re-res, with only one re-release each in the past.

 

Based on this, 2019 will be a major re-re year. Statistically, we’ll see around 5 re-releases and another 5-6 “classic” themed kits.  Following established practice and moving along the 1976-2018 Tamiya timeline, this will include Falcon, either Sonic Fighter or Striker, one of the Avante family cars, possibly Top Force Evolution and a reappearance by one of the Dragon cars or maybe Dyna Storm.

But first up will be a new truck re-release or two, most likely one of them ORV based, either long overdue Mud Blaster or one of the advanced ORV designs, while the other is going to be either a “lower” 3-Speed or King Cab/Monster Racer. This is also the year where the impossible is actually statistically likely to happen, and that means Wild Willy or 959/Celica. Yes. Certainly. (Statistically certainly, so not exactly real world certainly, but stilll...) Last but not least, a Ford Escort Rally car, probably on a late-model platform. And of course, one oddity like a… um… no, hang on, oddity, that would be Comical Grasshopper, and that already DID happen in 2018.

See? Infallible. It’s coming. In fact, it’s already begun.

Expect the big stuff to happen in February, July and toward the end of the year.  

Statistically.

 


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None of these big explanations mention 1 important factor, profitability. Tamiya has been in business for decades. That doesn't happen by making poor business decisions. Just because we want to see every car re-re'd doesn't mean it will happen.

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4 hours ago, S-PCS said:

See? Infallible. It’s coming. In fact, it’s already begun.

Statistically.

 

Love all of this!!!!

 

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The following post is for entertainment purposes only. It's meant for those that like to read and guess wildly about future re-re development. It's not based on anything more than what it says. I'm just trying to pass some time here until Falcon is re-released, or at least till Super Astute and Black Avante show up in the mail.

Well, yes. Profitability as a re-re decsion factor shouldn't be overlooked.

However, virtually no information regarding Tamiya sales figures let alone profit margins is available, not to the wildly guessing consumer-level would-be analyst like me, anyway. The few figures commonly found on the internet all apply to certain models from certain eras in certain markets only, that's no help either.

So, more guesswork. I apologize. No other options available at this time. The alternative would be to not guess, I guess, but that would leave me with nothing to do until Super Astute shows up. And I do have a feeling that I am not the only one in this position, so I might as well try to provide some reading entertainment, at least to those who find wild speculations in early December entertaining, which, by the nature of this thing, are not all of those reading this. Again, sorry. Please skip down to the next post if you want. Where was I? Oh, yes, more guesswork:

Since this is all speculation anyway, I'll use real-world car manufacturing for comparison: US domestic car manucaturers typically need to produce somewhere between 20.000 and 30.000 units of a certain (mainstream passenger car) model to simply cover operating costs. Not development, not advertising, not research, just operating cost for that model's production alone. This is in no way comparable to making RC buggy kits, but nevertheless represents a number that will become useful if you bear with me.

Virtually no consumer product is more complex to make, distribute, sell, maintain and warrant than the automobile. Also, profit margins in the industry are typically low. Yes, there are products in this world that are vastly more complicated - but they are usually not mass-market items. Yes, there are also very simple products with nearly non-existent profit margins, still very profitable due to extreme scales of mass production. Again, by comparison, your average buggy kit is not all that hard to produce on an industrial scale, not that hard to distribute, isn't labor-intensive, but not a huge mass market item either.

Now add another set of real-world figures, this time from the niche world of classic car reproduction parts manufacturing. I can attest to this from first hand experience. Take the 1968 Dodge Charger's iconic grille, for example. Modern plastics and manufactruing techniques mean this grille, with all its moving parts, metal frame pieces and brackets, could be reproduced and sold at a rather high, but still competitive consumer price of around $1750 dollars. IF, and that's important, you were to produce and sell at least 1000 units. I use this part as an example because it is the closest thing to a buggy kit available for comparison that I could come up with. No other reason. I'm making this up as I go along.

So, to sum this up, real cars need at least 20.000 units a year just to exist, while production break even (less advertising, distribution, and so on) for a semi-complex plastic assembly to be shipped as a kit, made by a small outfit with only semi-industrial production methods is 1000 units, if the price is to remain competitive. While these are both cases of "What's that got to do with anything", both examples, coupled with some common sense and an healthy dose of ignorance, serve to bracket the possibilities here, and quite nicely so:

Typical Tamiya kits will become profitable somewhere between 500 and 3000 units. That's a guess, based on the very flimsy facts above. Which I assembled myself. With zero industry insight. Entertainment. While I'm waiting for Falcon. Remember that.

(RC Kits are much more complex than the Charger grille, but Tamiya infrastructure is vastly more advanced than your niche manufacturer's. Also, real cars are vastly more complex and among the least profitable industrial goods out there. And, of course, re-res come with reduced development and advertising costs. They are based on products already developed in the past, and already firmly introduced into the market. Most of us are in this for the SECOND time, aren't we? Yes, I'm shooting in the dark, but I'm aiming at a clearly visible light.)

So, in any case, 500 to 3000 units. Now take some of the key Tamiya markets, Japan, the US, the UK, Germany. That's what... 600.000.000 people? I really don't know enough about the Asian markets, not even enough as to make more wild guesses, so I'll leave it at that number, though it could be significantly higher.

I really, really don't know what percentage of the general population of these four countries is into RC, but hey, even 0.01% would still be 600.000 people. Again, this is wild guesswork based on virtually nothing apart from a general feeling that this wouldn't be too far off and if it was, this whole guessculation still would end up roughly the same. 

Can you sell 3000 kits to 600.000 generally interested parties when you're one of the world's most well-known manufacturers and your target buyer is over 40 and therefore generally not in the lowest income class?

I bet you can.

Bottom line: I doubt that there can be such a thing as an unprofitable re-release. I have a feeling that ANY re-released kit will at least break even. Not guaranteed to make money, no, but break even certainly. At the very least, re-re kits are highly visible "new" products - free advertising.

In fact, I do believe on the strength of the Fire Dragon re-release only, that the Japanese market ALONE is big enough to support any re-release to the point of becoming profitable.

I also believe, simply from looking at continued availability in the past, that Monster Trucks were indefinitely more profitable than buggies, at least after around 1991, that's why Bullhead remainded on the market for nearly one-and-a-half decades, that's why Clod Buster and the Lunchbox platform never really went away, and why the Stadium Trucks went away last and came back early. And still, by numbers, re-re is mostly a buggy thing, raising more serious doubts to the importance of profitability in re-re decisions.

And, if you look closely at the list of the Missing 13 buggies yet to be-re-re'd, you'll find Madcap there, all-time Tamiya buggy availability leader with more years on the market than any other Tamiya buggy platform. How could THAT buggy not be profitable? Also, there is Super Sabre - Boomerang wit a different body. How could making Super Sabre be not profitable, when everything but the body and the box are in production already? On the other hand, Tamiya re-released both the Sand Rover and the Holiday Buggy, which in my opinion, missed the re-re target by a wide margin. Do they appeal to me, your average re-re-enthusiast? They sure don't, the messed-up proportions and the modern chassis saw to that. I figure if historical appeal is not their key sales point, then their low price must be... And, if something like that can be profitable at that price, then really, anything can. 

And then, there's Falcon. Which defeats any arguments contrary to its re-release just because it's Falcon. In fact, Falcon's mere existence proves my point: It WILL be rereleased, if only for the simple reason that if it wasn't, I couldn't get one, and that, as you will certainly understand, is unacceptable. Therefore, by extension of above logic, re-release decisions can't be based on facts, which in turn proves my point entirely.

At least I hope so.

Yeah... more than likely it doesn't, but that doesn't matter, because Black Avante hit the shops today, and it's only two more weeks 'til Super Astute.

 

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I predict the below re-release for 2019.

In the Hotshot platform, Hotshot 2 & Super Sabre & Winger  (Body Shell).

In the Thundershot platform, Thunder Dragon & Terra Scorcher.

In the Frog series, Rally Lancia 037.

In the Avante platform, Vanquish.

 

 

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@S-PCS I hope it’s not the falcon... so i can read your hypothisys next year.

Here’s my thoughts..

As mentioned above, target market is 40 something males 1/10th scale mid life crisis.. so what would appeal to those types?

I’ll tell you what, the 1/10 scale Cadbury creme egg car. 

 

 

744829C3-A122-42E5-89E8-C94BCE06DE88.jpeg

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7 minutes ago, Lee76 said:

@S-PCS I hope it’s not the falcon... so i can read your hypothisys next year.

Here’s my thoughts..

As mentioned above, target market is 40 something males 1/10th scale mid life crisis.. so what would appeal to those types?

I’ll tell you what, the 1/10 scale Cadbury creme egg car. 

 

 

744829C3-A122-42E5-89E8-C94BCE06DE88.jpeg

LOL!!!

I am 47 and my "Tamiya mid-life crisis" is on-going lol  

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I used to always want a Top Force Evo, 959 and a Super Astute,

I got my Super Astute this week, so Top Force Evo, 959 and a Hotshot II

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Yet another attempt at predicting the future based on what’s happened so far. This is basically the same stuff I went on about at considerable length in earlier posts, just from yet another angle. This continues to be an absolutely theoretical exercise. All I’m doing is rearranging the known re-re  facts over and over again in the hope that a pattern might emerge…  It’s all speculation.  There were 36 buggies among the First 100. In Order of appearance, they are listed below. Re-re'd kits are Black, un-re-re'd kits are Red

1979: Rough Rider, Sand Scorcher

1980: Holiday Buggy

1981: Sand Rover

1982: Super Champ

1983: The Frog

1984: The Grasshopper, Fast Attack Vehicle, The Hornet

1985: Hotshot, Wild One, The Fox

1986: Super Shot, Boomerang, The Falcon, Bigwig

1987: Striker, Hotshot II, Super Sabre, Thundershot

1988: Sonic Fighter, Avante, Thunder Dragon, Grasshopper II, Terra Scorcher, Vanquish

1989: Fire Dragon, Egress, Astute, Madacp

1990: Saint Dragon, Avante 2001, Manta Ray

1991: Bear Hawk, Super Astute, Top-Force

 

Now let me try to group these 36 buggies together in a few meaningful subgroups:

 

THE EARLY YEARS 1979-1982

1979: Rough Rider, Sand Scorcher 1982: Holiday Buggy, 1981: Sand Rover 1982: Super Champ

 

You could also call these the SRB years. All three SRBs have been reissued, and none of them needs an explanation. These are kits from another era, from the heavy metal scale era, and honestly, I think they have crossed the line from collectible RCs to collectible toys, appealing no longer just to the RC enthusiast, but to anyone into “historic” toys. After all, no toy has been constructed like that, not since 1982, when the age of metal ended and the age of plastic began. I can see the re-issue potential here, many times over.

That doesn’t explain the Holiday Buggy / Sand Rover re-release, though. The Sand Rover I can see, as the body style itself could be proclaimed “iconic”. In fact, the Meyers Manx, the real-life buggy the Sand Rover is based upon, became available again in 2000, after almost 30 years out of production. If the real thing can be re-released, why not the scale model as well?

Still, I wonder. Were these two ever popular, back in their days? They were cheap, entry-level buggies, much like the later Grasshopper, but unlike the Grasshopper, they are from the early years, before 1983’s Frog Boom, before RC went mainstream, if you will. And on top of  that, the modern DT-02 chassis takes the “historical toy” aspect away from both buggies. Maybe they are aimed at the really cheap re-re enthusiast, who wants the cheapest way to relive his childhood. Or maybe the idea was to dress up a cheap platform with a timeless, iconic body? I’ll give you that for the Sand Rover, but it just doesn’t apply to Holiday Buggy. Yes, the Hoilday Buggy has real world roots, to, but unlike the Manx, the Corsair Stripper was never built in any significant numbers, with Manx and Manx-type buggies outnumbering the Strippers roughly… 1500:1, I think.

 

 

TH E BUGGY BOOM: 1983-1987

1983: The Frog 1984: The Grasshopper, Fast Attack Vehicle, The Hornet 1985: Hotshot, Wild One, The Fox

1986: Super Shot, Boomerang, The Falcon, Bigwig 1987: Striker, Hotshot II, Super Sabre, Thundershot

 

You’d really have to break down this era into further sub-categories, but for the time being, I’ll try to deal with it all at once. 1983 is Frog year, the year that apparently saw RC become a worldwide mainstream trend . Everybody knows this, despite the fact that real sales figures are all but impossible to come by. What we do know is that there was just the Frog in 1983, and then the buggies started happening so fast that you’d have a hard time keeping track of them all.

The Frog, if you remember, felt like the industry was shaking off it’s heavy metal past and stepping into a bright new lightweight future. “Space Frame” is a word used easily these days, but in 1983, it sounded much like… I don’t know,  just hink “Tesla” here, then compare that to the common 20th century idea of an “automobile”. See the difference? One is the future (or a stepping stone en route to said future), the other is clearly the past, and something is happening here, right now, and that’s what it felt like when Frog hit the market back in ’83, at least to a kid, I guess. Or maybe I’m retroactively dressing up my memories here, but in any case, Frog must have been a hit, and then they just kept on coming.

Grasshopper was the one affordable kit for that entire Generation of RC enthusiasts who had mainstream- rather than electronics enthusiast roots, and like the Frog, it basically screamed for a re-release. Everybody had one, back in the days, and that goes for the Hornet as well. If you could afford one. After all, it came with a Lexan body, the mark of the true racer! 

FAV I don’t know. It is based on a real vehicle that saw service with the US Army. Does that explain anything? I’ve always felt that it was a bit out of place in the colorful racing livery world of Tamiya’s dune buggies, and I’m not sure if the RC enthusiast/military scale model crossover idea that has been written about a lot really worked all that well for Tamiya. Must have, one way or another, seeing how the XR311 is on its third release, but then again, where’s the Hummer?

Then came 1985, and with it came 4WD Hotshot, and if you were there, you remember that it looked, sounded and drove like something that had just been rolled out of some wild experimental prototype shop, not like anything you’d ever seen before in the Frog-Grasshopper-Hornet universe. It had a brutal utilitarian look to it, and you didn’t even have to see it in action to know that resistance was useless. This was a race car, and yours was a toy. Looking back, it probably really was experimental to a certain degree, and it wasn’t all that good, and didn’t last long on the market, and did you really wish for it to be re-released? Yes, you did, and there’s a green Hotshot and a blue Hotshot parked next to my boxart red Hotshot, just like you saw them back then, and it still looks scary to this day. Ok, got carried away there for a second. Sorry. Hotshot, re-released for obvious reasons.

Wild One, the odd two-seater dune buggy. I was in love with it as a kid, and still, I’m not sure if it was a major seller back then. Compared to its Frog-Grasshopper-Hotshot contemporaries, it almost seems to be closer to the SRBs than to the new buggy age of 1983-up. I loved it for its scale realism, and that is not something that kids in the mid-80s generally were paying attention to. I’m somewhat surprised it was re-released before a lot of other, more likely candidates.

In the post-Hotshot mainstream buggy world, 2WD just wasn’t all that prestigious. You knew that the Hotshot outclassed any and all 2WDs, period, any real world experience notwithstanding. Until the Fox came along, with gold wheels, lexan body and futuristic single-shock front suspension, and you realized that 2WD was not necessarily just the class below 4WD, but an alternative, a choice you could make. It’s the 2WD Yin to 1985’s 4WD Yang, if you’d be so kind as to allow me an equally 80s themed comparison, and therefore needed to be brought back alongside Hotshot. Balance of the universe and such. Wouldn’t want known reality to come to an end just because we didn’t re-release the Fox, that sort of thing.

1986. Super Shot. Super Shot, quite obviously the outcome of the instable experiment named “Hotshot”, just wasn’t within reach. In a way, to your average hobby shop enthusiast 10 year old, Super Shot was so over the top that you didn’t even ask if you could have one. Hotshot might have separated the racers from the toys, but Super Shot separated the racers from the professional racers, even though in hindsight, that might have been not even remotely true.

So you went and got Boomerang, which didn’t feel so out-of-your-league, and wasn’t as expensive, and that justifies the re-release of both buggies very nicely, if you ask me. Bigwig, however, released  that same year, was something different altogether. Bigwig, as I remember it, was never seen as a serious “racing” buggy, but not as a playground basher either. It seemed to be about ”design”, and if you take a quick look at real-world supercar design in the 80s, it’s plain to see why something like that would have worked back then, even on a 1/10 scale. I guess there were kids back then who didn’t care, but from my perspective, Bigwig was a grown-up buggy. How it turned into a desirable 80s RC icon I have no idea, but somehow it did. Look at it. With all that design it has going on, it makes no sense to paint it in any other color but boxart, that’s why owning one is enough, but that one is a must have.

 But where is Falcon? I have several theories as to why I’m still waiting for Falcon to be re-released. My favourite is “because it will be re-released in February 2019”, but we’ll see about that. Another is “it was Tamiya’s first and only serious attempt at a 2WD buggy in the post-Hotshot era (other than the glorious Fox), that wasn’t aimed at the lowest level entry beginners call-it-what-you-will class”. No, seriously. 2WD took the next step forward with Astute in 1989, one year after the Hotshot/Thundershot platform had finally been rendered obsolete by the advent of the Avante platform. Everything between the Fox and Astute was either 4WD or entry level. Everything – but Falcon. Falcon is in a class of its own. Not quite down there, not quite up here. It doesn’t matter if Falcon is classified as an entry level buggy nowadays. It wasn’t back then, not if you were a kid with intent to bash. Racers, maybe. But kids, no. On the street, Falcon was a big step up from Grasshopper, and even from Frog, which despite it’s early popularity, was becoming outdated rather quickly. This, as you might agree, is absolutely no reason to not re-release the Falcon. Neither is its unique suspension. If the Fox is possible, so is Falcon, and if I had to guess, then Falcon did outsell Fox back then. Which brings me back to the first theory: Falcon is about to happen, as Tamiya moves along the original timeline.

1987 brought Striker, which was quite an achievement, as it is the one buggy that outdid Grasshopper, Falcon and Bigwig all in one go. In a negative sense. It was an odd cross between a Falcon-like rear suspension and gearbox, combined with a Grashopper-style front end, and a unique chassis inbetween, topped with a body that… well. That was probably conceived along the same lines of thought that brought Bigwig into being. Again, this is the 80s, and an iconoclastic approach to traditional automobile design might not have been all that unpopular at the time. So there you go, another racecar-turned-offroad-buggy body, just like Bigwig, but minus all artistic skills. It’s a grafted-on F1 body. On a buggy. And really, that it was makes it stand out. It’s easily the most 80s buggy in the entire Tamiya lineup, and clearly deserves to be re-released.

The other three buggies for 1987 were all 4WD. If re-re followed any logic principle besides the general timeline, Hotshot II would be a sure candidate for re-release at this point, since Hotshot and Super Shot are already back. Can’t have just two out of the three now, can we? I know I can’t and I’m pretty sure you’d go for all three, too, if you had the choice. Everything else would be ignoring the “collector” aspect of the whole RC re-re thing. I’m sure you are aware that Hotshot II is sort of an in-between Hotshot and Super Shot design, while Super Sabre uses Boomerang’s chassis. Impossible to say, at least for me, which one was more popular back in 1987. Memories seem to be affected by personal preferences. I liked Boomerang better, so in my mind, it was the more popular of the two. Certainly no logical decision prevents Super Sabre from being re-released, I’d say.

Thundershot was the last of the 1987 buggies, and first 4WD buggy to be re-released, ever. Why Thundershot? No-one outside Tamiya knows, of course, and from personal preference, Thundershot would have been #33 of 36 buggies to be re-re’d. I can’t remember anyone owning one of these, let alone wanting one of these. As always, that might have been different in your neighborhood. But let’s be honest, the moment Avante appeared, the entire Thundershot platform became obsolete, and it never could live up to the  Hotshot. Hotshot was the first 4WD, after all. Before Avante, all 4WDs were created roughly equal, but Avante introduced a new class, one that relegated the Thundershot platform to the same playground class that already held Grasshopper, Frog and Falcon. Yes, Thundershot is the link between the early 4WD cars and the Manta Ray/DF-01 platform, bypassing the Avante family, so it would be a logical kit to start with if you wanted to re-re all your 4WD kits… It is right in the middle of things. Technically. Technologically. Aesthetically. Maybe no-one’s favorite, but on the other hand, good enough for virtually all aspects of the job.           

I'll leave it at that, for the moment, as this post keeps getting longer and longer. 1988-1991: RISE OF THE AVANTE coming soon.

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Because of my age I remember all the tamiya from the early Porsche's of the 70s that were produced to be static models that could have radio gear Installed but back then they were expensive and very fragile then the holiday buggy/sand rover appeared with the 360 motor and basic construction which was successful but then very shortly after the SRB'S hit the shelves and about the same time the (holy grail) hi-lux and blazer got put on the top shelves then the final SRB the super champ graced the shops all massively popular!, I had a Saturday job in Beattie's and looking back the holiday buggy/sand rover could have been a lot more popular had the SRB'S and hi-lux not followed them in quick succession (but those days were ace times😊)

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Mantaray and thundershot were both re-released at the same time at the end of 2005, hobby show pictures show them aside by side, Mantaray model no 58360, thundershot 58361

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Don't forget about the jgsdf vehicle release, pre-painted lexan bodied army vehicle from 2004 (i think) model number 58326 based on hummer chassis setup, that would be a nice re-re !

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1 minute ago, taffer said:

Don't forget about the jgsdf vehicle release, pre-painted lexan bodied army vehicle from 2004 (i think) model number 58326 based on hummer chassis setup, that would be a nice re-re !

Yes I would love that one!!!

I could even have a go at a Fast Attack JGSDF lol

:rolleyes:

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2 hours ago, S-PCS said:

FAV I don’t know.

 

2 hours ago, S-PCS said:

Wild One, the odd two-seater dune buggy.

I've always had the notion Tamiya had a soft spot for military things. The Tamiya style book emphasizes this. To me, that's why things like the FAV, XR311, and Hummer (and possibly to some degree, the military-ish Wild Willy, depending on how you look at it) slip into the Tamiya off road catalog among the brightly colored buggies and trucks. A little passion project perhaps? I don't think, overall, military themed off roaders sell all that well (not counting the Wild Willy). The Wild One could possibly be seen as a way for Tamiya to amortize the cost of producing the FAV by repackaging it as a more mainstream colorful off-roader.

3 hours ago, S-PCS said:

while Super Sabre uses Boomerang’s chassis. Impossible to say, at least for me, which one was more popular back in 1987. 

I'm going to guess the Super Sabre wasn't that hot of a seller. The Super Sabre hit the shelves at roughly the same time as the Thundershot. If a buyer was interested in tech, racing or simply a more advanced model, why buy the the old Hot Shot-series car with a new body when for roughly the same money you could get the newer design? The futuristic styled Super Sabre always seemed to me to be a chance to cash in on the new "spaceship buggy" theme that was growing while getting just a bit more mileage out of the aging Hot Shot/Boomerang mechanicals.

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I would agree Saito2, when collecting the original Hotshot chassis cars the Super Sabre was by far the hardest to find a unmolested clean example

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10 hours ago, S-PCS said:

Thundershot was the last of the 1987 buggies, and first 4WD buggy to be re-released, ever. Why Thundershot?

There is a reason for that.  

Tamiya has a tradition of releasing what would be the least popular first (if they could afford the time).  It serves as an appetizer before the main course.  They don't follow this rule all the time (for example, if competitors are releasing something similar). 

If they could, Tamiya would release a naturally-aspired Renault 5 first.  People would prefer Turbo, but Tamiya sells only naturally aspired Renault 5.  You buy it anyway, thinking, "eh, why not non-turbo?"  When the sales figure drops in a year or two, then Tamiya would sell the Turbo version.  You wanted it from the start, so you buy the turbo one too.  This "double sales" won't happen if Tamiya released the Turbo version first.  You'd buy Turbo first and be done with it.  

But when other makers are releasing a new Supermarine Spitfire kit, Tamiya could not take time and start with less popular "North Africa version."  Tamiya would be buried by the more popular "Battle of Britain" version other makers are releasing.  In this case, Tamiya would have to directly compete by releasing the main dish first.  You just don't have time for an appetizer.  Tamiya would also want to benefit from the hype generated by other makers, and also reduce the sales of competitors.  "Dude, I waited all year for Dragon and Hasegawa to release Spitfires in December, but now Tamiya says it's releasing theirs in January too, I might have to wait and see who's the best!"  

In the re-release market, however, Tamiya can do things on their own pace.  So, they start with the least popular version first.  People who need parts for their vintage Boomerang, Hotshot, or Bigwig would pay for Thundershot, even if they don't necessarily want to complete the Thundershot.  It will also generate some news.  People will speculate that the Hotshot to be rereleased.  Not many would want Thundershot after Hotshot, Boomerang, Bigwig, etc.  The Tamiya logic seems to be, if the appetizer is too delicious, the main course would be less delicious.

 

P.S. It was entertaining to read, S-PCS.  In some minor parts, I had different impressions, but mostly the flow of Tamiya history was spot-on.  Tamiya doesn't seem to worry about what was popular.  If they can sell using the re-re wave, they will.  The original Sand Rover had a terrible "toy" chassis.  But I agree that the shell was iconic.  So, they took the shell and mounted it on the DT02.  Given the choice, I would prefer the DT02 anyway.  The newly-stiched Franken Rover was a welcome addition to my fleet.  Even though strictly speaking, it's a re-combined car (like the M06 Lowride Pumpkin) than a re-released one.  

 

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I'd also postulate that the reason folks are clamoring for the Falcon now is simply because it hasn't been re-released. From my perspective, the Falcon was not a popular buggy in my area. In the US, it came after the RC10 which forever changed our RC landscape not to mention the Ultima and JR-X2 that followed. As mentioned, there was a flood of off road buggies hitting the market. The Falcon was just another buggy in the mix. I'm not saying it wasn't good, just that unless you owned and loved one, it was overlooked. The Frog, as previously mentioned, had a bigger impact. I'll even go as far to say that, until recently, we here at Tamiyaclub haven't been shouting for a re-released Falcon like we did the SRBs, Bruiser or even something a bit more mainstream like the Monster Beetle. We're here because so much else HAS been re-re'd, that we're taking a step back looking at the back-catalog and saying "hey, wait a minute, where's the Falcon re-re?" This does not take into the account of the Falcon lovers (who likely owned the original) who would have wanted it all along.

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6 minutes ago, Juggular said:

Tamiya has a tradition of releasing what would be the least popular first (if they could afford the time).  It serves as an appetizer before the main course.  They don't follow this rule all the time (for example, if competitors are releasing something similar). 

Bingo. Spot on. Was the iconic Sand Scorcher the first SRB to return? Nope, we got the Rough Rider/Buggy Champ first. Why? We all ran out to buy it because who knows if the Sand Scorcher would return at that point? Better get AN SRB now in case they don't bring back THE SRB later. So some of us got tricked into buying basically the same model twice (not that we cared, we loved all of it). The trick was repeated with the Monster Beetle. As much as I love the MB, the Blackfoot was far more common in the States. In many ways it was THE RC truck of the 80's with only the Clod Buster to challenge it in popularity. So we got the MB first (which worked out for me) and the BF second.

Juggular's also right about competitors releasing similar items. Kinda funny how the Super Champ/Fighting Buggy popped up around the time Kyosho brought back the Scorpion.

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3 hours ago, Saito2 said:

folks are clamoring for the Falcon now is simply because it hasn't been re-released.

Now that I think of it, I definitely belong in that camp!  

I didn't care about the Falcon back in the days.  As you guys are saying, it was buried among other best sellers like the Frog, Grasshopper, Hornet, FAV, Hotshot, Bruiser, Wild One, Fox, Boomerang, Bigwig, Blackfoot, Porsche 959, Monster Beetle, Lunchbox, Clodbuster.  1985, 1986, and 1987 were the hottest 3 years for Tamiya, and the Falcon got buried.  The droopy nose was a turn off for me, just like the humpback of the Bigwig. 

Somehow the Bigwig grew on me over the years (thank goodness the hump didn't grow because I still covered it up with carbon tape).  Just as Saito2 said, the longer I wait, the more I want the Falcon!  

It's becoming "the one that got away!"  In reality, I simply wanted other cars more.  But now that I have most of the above cars, I'm fooling myself into thinking that I wanted the Falcon.   

It's like some girl walking up to you and says, "your friend says you like me?"  "Huh? I never said that. Who?"  "I don't know, I saw you with him."  And just as casually, she walks away.  You never paid attention to her before, but now, you kinda do... That's the Falcon.   

 

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Even though in the West the thundershot is maybe not overly popular, there's been a dozen or more versions in the mini 4WD range, so it must have been a safe bet for the domestic market back in 2005!?

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2 hours ago, taffer said:

Even though in the West the thundershot is maybe not overly popular, there's been a dozen or more versions in the mini 4WD range, so it must have been a safe bet for the domestic market back in 2005!?

Below the ones I know about, and there probably exist some more unnumbered "event item" versions. I think it's quite safe to say that the Thunder Shot was and is popular in Japan...

18009 Thunder Shot Jr.
18013 Thunder Shot Jr. Special Black Edition
18059 Thundershot RS
18620 Thundershot Mk. II
18702 Aero Thunder Shot
92008 Thunder Shot Jr. Mazda Version
92078 TKC Thunder Shot Jr.
92190 Thunder Shot Mk. II Momoi-Halko Special
92224 Thunder Shot Mk. II Evangelion Prototype Version
92240 Mikoto Misaka Thunder Shot Special
92252 Thunder Shot Excalibur (White)
92253 Thunder Shot Excalibur (Black)
92254 Thunder Shot Excalibur (Red)
92255 Thunder Shot Excalibur (Clear Blue)
92314 Thunder Shot Legend Style (Gold Chrome Plated)
92315 Thunder Shot Legend Style (Chrome Plated)
94624 Mini 4WD Pro Thunder Shot Mk.II (Finished Model)
94641 Thunder Shot Mk. II Black Special
94660 Thunder Shot Mk. II Pink Special
94740 Thunder Shot Mk. II Clear Special (Polycarbonate Body)
94814 Thunder Shot Open Top
94967 Aero Thunder Shot Japan Cup 2013 Limited Edition
94990 Aero Thunder Shot Silver Metallic Special
95212 Thunder Shot Mk. II Red Special
95273 Aero Thunder Shot Asia Challenge 2016 (AR Chassis)
95286 Aero Thunder Shot Black Special
95463 Thunder Shot Mk. II Clear Special
95465 Thunder Shot Mk. II Pink Special (MS Chassis)
N/A     Aero Thunder Shot Red Metallic Special
N/A    Thunder shot Mk.2 (Clear Red)
 

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20 hours ago, Saito2 said:

I'm going to guess the Super Sabre wasn't that hot of a seller. The Super Sabre hit the shelves at roughly the same time as the Thundershot. If a buyer was interested in tech, racing or simply a more advanced model, why buy the the old Hot Shot-series car with a new body when for roughly the same money you could get the newer design? The futuristic styled Super Sabre always seemed to me to be a chance to cash in on the new "spaceship buggy" theme that was growing while getting just a bit more mileage out of the aging Hot Shot/Boomerang mechanicals.

The Super Sabre was always a riddle for me and the model Tamiya shouldn't have released. Don't get me wrong, I like its look and appreciate it as a vintage model now, but I worked for the Tamiya distributor in my home country at the time it was released and the "pre sales" samples that Tamiya usually sent two of two-three months before the first real shipment arrived together with the Thunder Shot "pre sales" samples. At that time, we had more than enough negative experiences with all the flaws of the Hotshot series cars and were happy to get a fresh, new and superior design with the Thunder Shot. Of course the Thunder Shot chassis had its flaws too, but back then it was a cure for many of the problems of the Hotshot series cars and as such very welcome. Not only was it superior to the Super Sabre, it was cheaper too, so skipping the Super Sabre was a no-brainer. I really don't understand why Tamiya released it at all. It's possible that it was supposed to be released quite some time before the Thunder Shot, but was delayed for some reason. Anyway, I think the Super Sabre would have made a much bigger impact if had been Thunder Shot chassis with Super Sabre body. Imagine all the blue parts and the yellow CVA's in red instead and topped with the Super Sabre body! :wub:

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