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Early re-releases - classics in their own right?

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I just spent a couple of hours piecing back together a re-re Lunchbox chassis, mainly just because it was there and it looked so sad, and I wanted to assemble something. I have a brand new body set for it, and I plan to paint it... and then... I'm not sure. It may actually end up being a shelfer for now.

As I worked on it, it occurred to me: I bought this model, and another one just like it, back when we lived in Pasadena, thirteen years ago. My wife and I spent Christmas assembling them, and I added an original Midnight Pumpkin body to hers, which it still wears (it's been a shelfer for many years now). In fact, the story of those two models was one of my earliest posts on this forum, back in 2007.

What I'm really doing, if you think about it, by reassembling this old Lunchie and painting up a new body for it, could be seen as restoration. It's not "vintage," to be sure, but it's definitely old at this point, and has a story to tell: it's been run hard, in many different guises, for many years, and has the scars to prove it. And then I look up on the shelf at my Grasshopper re-re, the very first one I ever got, a year earlier in 2006. It has also seen some things, and is in desperate need of a new body shell. I'll probably end up "restoring" it too, and it will likely enjoy retirement on the shelf too. I can't sell either one; both have too much personal history at this point to ever change hands. And that puts them on equal footing with the "real" vintage models I have, which aren't going anywhere either.

And I can't help but think: is this the future of the re-res? They can't keep making them forever; at some point even the long-running ones will likely go out of production. And time will pass like it does. In 30 years, will NIB re-re models command the same prices as NIB originals do now? Will restorers need to hunt down parts trees or buy wrecks to restore re-re models? And will it matter, by that point, whether a Lunchbox was made in 1987 or 2007, since both will by that time be "vintage"?

It also makes me think: maybe I should buy that re-re Bigwig I keep looking at, just to keep in the box...

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I got a fairly clean Re-Re midnight pumpkin this year and and have lbs of wondered many I FG the same questions you are positing in this thread.

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I've had my first Hot Shot re-re in service since I bought it in 2007. That's a pretty long time when you think about it. The original came out in '85 and likely would have been forgotten about by their original owners long before 13 year went by considering the pace RC was evolving at back then. I was still living in my first house and was discussing its impending reappearance with actual people in an actual hobby shop back then. Now there are no hobby shops left and I've got a ton of memories with that rerelease Hot Shot making it just as important to me as an original.

As far as the future, I stock up on spares for the chassis I love the most as best I can because I do want to be running these things when I'm 70. I have a few kits like a spare Monster Beetle and Fighting Buggy NIB so I can put one together in my "golden years".

The Bigwig? Buy it! Its 25% off at Tower for a very limited time now. I was running mine to day and enjoying it. I'm half debating getting one at that price just for spares in the future but the SMT10 builders kits is also beckoning so I'm debating...

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21 minutes ago, Saito2 said:

The Bigwig? Buy it! Its 25% off at Tower for a very limited time now.

Oh no... I almost wish you hadn't told me that... that makes it $150. Still too much to just spend without asking, but there is Xmas and my birthday coming up... maybe I can convince SWMBO to let me buy myself a present early...

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I suspect Tamiya will continue to cycle their re-res for the foreseeable future. They might produce it for a year or two, discontinue it and then bring it out again a few years later. At least I hope this is the case because there are a few that I missed that I still want to add to my collection! Quite a few of their models have had multiple runs already so this brings me hope!

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I think the rere's will become classics like the originals are now. If they hadn't done reruns of the Hotshot since 2007 then the NIB would be commanding high prices. I don't think RC is going anywhere (if anything its growing as drones and RTR and prices have made it more accessible) and like with 1:1 cars, people will still be interested in classics, even if they didn't grow up with them. I was born at the end of the C3 Corvette model cycle but would buy one in a heartbeat (bit hard to hide that one with my chips). 

The demographic here is older, but there are some young members like @Bash who wasn't born when these first came out and he found Tamiya (I'm guessing the internet? Parents?) then the @mud4fun mudlets and my son who all grew up with Tamiya rere's and they will keep them going. I think people will buy the latest Armma 8S 100mph whatever and then get interested in the history of RC and discover Tamiya.

Also, while $1,000 for a NIB whatever is a lot for a toy car, its also not that much in absolute terms for a classic, especially when a XY GTHO Falcon is $250k. No matter how expensive Tamiya's get they are still pocket change compared to other collectibles/classics.

There will always be the purists who would only buy originals, and not use rere parts to restore an original etc, but I think most people won't be like that. I'm just happy I could buy a Boomerang but this time NIB and build it from new. The original may command a 10% - 20% premium over the rere, but the rere will still have a lot/most of the value. That $150 BigWig is probably as cheap as they'll ever be.

For me I wouldn't collect these things for the money though. Even a 100% gain on a $300 thing isn't a huge gain given the storage space, risk etc. I have them because I like them and my son and I use them together. The only cars I have sold are racers, I don't intend to sell the 6 rere's I have even if they are covered in a thick layer of dust. In saying that I am attached to my onroad racers (all Tamiya) but not my offroad racers (HB and Ae) and I think that goes back to Tamiya being what I knew as a kid.

I'm not so sure whether the modern entry level stuff like TT01/2, TT02B will be as collectible as the older cars though because they are identical except for body (and shock colour) and there must be loads out there. Its not like the old cars where there were differences between each model.

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3 hours ago, Jonathon Gillham said:

me I wouldn't collect these things for the money though. Even a 100% gain on a $300 thing isn't a huge gain given the storage space, risk etc. I have them because I like them and my son and I use them together. The only cars I have sold are racers, I don't intend to sell the 6 rere's I have even if they are covered in a thick layer of dust. In saying that I am attached to my onroad racers (all Tamiya) but not my offroad racers (HB and Ae) and I think that goes back to Tamiya being what I knew as a kid.

Yes, virtually same situation here. We are not interested in collecting them as investments, we run our cars as that is the aspect of the hobby that myself and my kids enjoy and is the most fun.

Most of my buggies are not actually re-re's though, they are originals, all my thundershots plus most of the spares are all vintage. Even most of my Avante class fleet are originals but have recently been rebuilt including some re-re parts and some after market parts.  I have no real interest in maintaining originality. I just need the cars operational so will use whatever parts I can find. 

I would not sell any of my thundershots or Avante class buggies, too many personal memories tied up in them. They have remained with me now over two generations of kids, their use waxes and wanes based on the kids ages. They all got stored in the attic unused when my eldest daughter (of the three) became more interested in boys than RC cars and while my two youngest were too young to use them, As the youngest mudlets got to age 8'ish the cars came back down, got rebuilt and were used frequently for a few years. The kids then lost interest for a while as games consoles took over but after a few years they got interested again and the cars once more were brought down, rebuilt and are now all running frequently again. If you include my late teen/early twenties, some of my cars have been in use for nearly 40 years with our family :) (I still have my original Sand Scorcher, my very first RC car)

Eldest Mudlet, who left home a few years ago, still has her Mad Bull which was bought new back in 2004'ish and I believe she still uses it occasionally and that will potentially be used by her children in years to come.

Middle Mudlet got a re-re Terra Scorcher this year and is using that for her postal racing and no doubt, like my cars, will be kept by her for many years to come. At some point when she leaves home it will get stored in an attic but I can see it being brought down in future, rebuilt and used again and the cycle continues with another generation of children. :)

For me personally I don't really look at a re-re as any different to the originals, would pay the same for a re-re as I would an original if both were NIB and actually in case of the Avante class I'd choose the re-re because of the re-engineered front hub carrier and UJ's.

 

 

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I suspect that what will be in higher demand in future decades will be the cheaper Tamiya kits from today such as the DT02/DT03 type buggies or the cheaper 4WD buggies. My reasoning is that in 20 years time people who want to re-live their childhood will be looking to get (potentially as re-re's) the cars they had as kids or aspired to have as kids.

The likes of the Avante are no longer looked at as something to aspire too as the engineering now is not as impressive as it was back in the late 80's and there is really nothing very impressive in Tamiyas current line up that my kids find attractive, there is no modern premium Tamiya 4WD buggy to aspire to. Most modern buggies from other manufacturers have more impressive engineering these days and are featured in the race videos that my kids watch on youtube (such as the IFMAR worlds and 'Come Drive With Us' national events). Middle Mudlet for example aspires to own and race an Associated, Schumacher or x-ray buggy. 

The current prices of the likes of the VQS and Avante re-re's are aimed at older collectors and will mostly sit as shelf queens, I can't see many kids being given them as xmas present at those prices. This means the kids will not look back in 20 years with the same fondness for them as my age group does today. If the VQS was sold for £200 then my mudlets would potentially have got one each for xmas and it would be a whole different story but instead they are asking for DT02/3 buggies as they are priced within their xmas budget,  with budget left over for warhammer and lego etc. This is different to how I remember my childhood and late teenage years, the Terra Scorcher and Vanquish were not too different in price and both were within my xmas budget (as was the Sand Scorcher many years earlier) or were priced so that I could afford them on my apprentice wages.

 

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When i see a re re wild one on ebay for £365 and an original nib for £500 i know what you mean.

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8 hours ago, mud4fun said:

Yes, virtually same situation here. We are not interested in collecting them as investments, we run our cars as that is the aspect of the hobby that myself and my kids enjoy and is the most fun.

Most of my buggies are not actually re-re's though, they are originals, all my thundershots plus most of the spares are all vintage. Even most of my Avante class fleet are originals but have recently been rebuilt including some re-re parts and some after market parts.  I have no real interest in maintaining originality. I just need the cars operational so will use whatever parts I can find. 

I would not sell any of my thundershots or Avante class buggies, too many personal memories tied up in them. They have remained with me now over two generations of kids, their use waxes and wanes based on the kids ages. They all got stored in the attic unused when my eldest daughter (of the three) became more interested in boys than RC cars and while my two youngest were too young to use them, As the youngest mudlets got to age 8'ish the cars came back down, got rebuilt and were used frequently for a few years. The kids then lost interest for a while as games consoles took over but after a few years they got interested again and the cars once more were brought down, rebuilt and are now all running frequently again. If you include my late teen/early twenties, some of my cars have been in use for nearly 40 years with our family :) (I still have my original Sand Scorcher, my very first RC car)

Eldest Mudlet, who left home a few years ago, still has her Mad Bull which was bought new back in 2004'ish and I believe she still uses it occasionally and that will potentially be used by her children in years to come.

Middle Mudlet got a re-re Terra Scorcher this year and is using that for her postal racing and no doubt, like my cars, will be kept by her for many years to come. At some point when she leaves home it will get stored in an attic but I can see it being brought down in future, rebuilt and used again and the cycle continues with another generation of children. :)

For me personally I don't really look at a re-re as any different to the originals, would pay the same for a re-re as I would an original if both were NIB and actually in case of the Avante class I'd choose the re-re because of the re-engineered front hub carrier and UJ's.

 

 

I see you are a big thundershot fan,i am thinking of getting one,what are pros and cons of this buggy.

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1 hour ago, Super ally said:

I see you are a big thundershot fan,i am thinking of getting one,what are pros and cons of this buggy.

Yes a huge fan. The Thundershot itself has no special memories for me from my youth so it is not for that reason I chose to standardise on that platform. It was neither my first buggy or even a specific xmas present or anything like that. I did however use to race them at my local club and amongst friends in my early 20's and then in my 30's raced them with my eldest daughter and more recently with my youngest daughters.

I like them because:

  • They are rugged and reliable
  • Have strong gearboxes capable of taking a wide variety of motors including some very pokey ones
  • Have a good range of pinion options to allow you to tune the motors for different terrain and track types and run times
  • Bathtub chassis keeps the electronics drier and clear of dirt far better than many modern buggies
  • Suspension is easily adaptable and the buggies can be setup to run on either extremely rough terrain or tarmac with only simply quick and cheap changes
  • They were cheap to buy new and still cheap to buy second hand up to a few years ago
  • There are plenty of parts available (and cheap) to keep them going, more so since the re-re versions came out too
  • Repro shells are readily available which is ideal for a runner where shells get damaged often
  • The chassis is very capable and with terra scorcher hop-ups is reasonably adjustable. Far more capable than many people imagine.

Main negatives are:

  • The blue suspension arms and yellow shocks look a bit toy like when compared to buggies such as the Avante or anything modern from other manufacturers
  • The A5 is a well known weakness as are the gearbox moulded suspension mounting points. A5 is a simple fix and the gearbox mounts are a much reduced issue if you fit the adjustable upper arms that allow more flex and less impact stress to be transmitted into the mounts.
  • The stock wheels are tyres are junk. The wide front tyres are OK on rough tracks but for better handling we have fitted narrow wheels/tyres to the front of all ours. We also use 12mm hexes and 2.2 inch wheels and tyres - I would advise against getting deep dish wheels though because the tyres sit out too far from the C hub and in an impact they transmit far too much stress into the steering arm on the hub which will just snap off. We use DF03 wheels which keep the centre of the wheel almost directly over the kingpin which not only helps in handling but minimise impact forces on the steering arms and mounts.
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I can't argue with the pro's of the thundershot chassis above...your negatives I would comment as......

Blue arms give it it's distinct look and yellow cva's are nice are retro!

A5 is a weakness on impacts, some last year's, most only seem to take a couple of bad hits before they go, largely solved issue now though!

The upper gearbox mounts in my experience are more likely to crack than the lowers, this is much reduced/eliminated by replacing the screw pins with steel shafts and e clips.

Just to note unless the mounting points physically break away, the chassis still runs quite happily with cracked mounting points (ask me how I know this).

The stock wheels and tyres are great, I'm not doubting that different ones may improve the handling but I like to mostly run a stock setup and I'm happy and used to how the stock items perform.

After many hours running the stock tyres and wheels I have in the past ran a set of 2.2, hated it! Like the stock setup I could of persevered and for used to them but it wouldn't have looked like the thundershot any more! Driving a version of the box art around is more important to me than gaining a bit more performance...some tamiya's I could swap parts/wheels about but some like thundershot, boomerang, hotshot....I'd only want to run the original items.

As with most Tamiya kits, if you run them within the boundaries of their design they are fine to a point, but pushing them beyond it then expect to tinker and more, whichever way you enjoy the hobby I'm just glad your buying a Tamiya!

 

 

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@taffer agreed, most of my gearbox suspension mounts are cracked and the buggies are still running fine. Putting adjustable upper arms is a big improvement as they really do allow so much more flex that stress no longer go into the mounts. I've run thundershots with every suspension mount cracked for decades now and they are still going fine. In fact my 'Stig Eater' thundershot is running 35mph+ speeds competing in postal racing with literally every single mount cracked and it still keeps going :D

 

Funny thing is that I have shed loads of replacement gearbox casings but my philosophy is that I'll replace them when they finally let go....at this rate it could be another 40 years before I need those  new gearbox cases..... :lol:

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I just don't like the look of the adj mounts (they used to bend easily as well when I did use them).

Thundershot chassis buggies are pretty robust! 😁

Edited by taffer
Clarity

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yes, they do bend easily but that saves the mounts, effectively a crumple zone :)

We have found the adjustable uppers really useful recently, racing on tarmac requires significantly different setup to dirt and having the upper adjusters makes it a doddle to set loads of negative camber for tarmac racing which helps reduce grip rolling issues. Lowering is also key for tarmac and the CVA's have plenty of travel so also have plenty of tolerance for fitting spacers and lowering the car which improves performance on tarmac significantly too. 

I had never raced on tarmac until recently and I have been surprised just how dramatic the differences in ultimate pace and lap counts we can achieve with small changes to camber and ride heights. Often the opposite of what we needed when racing on rough dirt tracks back in the 80's :)

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1 hour ago, mud4fun said:

Yes a huge fan. The Thundershot itself has no special memories for me from my youth so it is not for that reason I chose to standardise on that platform. It was neither my first buggy or even a specific xmas present or anything like that. I did however use to race them at my local club and amongst friends in my early 20's and then in my 30's raced them with my eldest daughter and more recently with my youngest daughters.

I like them because:

  • They are rugged and reliable
  • Have strong gearboxes capable of taking a wide variety of motors including some very pokey ones
  • Have a good range of pinion options to allow you to tune the motors for different terrain and track types and run times
  • Bathtub chassis keeps the electronics drier and clear of dirt far better than many modern buggies
  • Suspension is easily adaptable and the buggies can be setup to run on either extremely rough terrain or tarmac with only simply quick and cheap changes
  • They were cheap to buy new and still cheap to buy second hand up to a few years ago
  • There are plenty of parts available (and cheap) to keep them going, more so since the re-re versions came out too
  • Repro shells are readily available which is ideal for a runner where shells get damaged often
  • The chassis is very capable and with terra scorcher hop-ups is reasonably adjustable. Far more capable than many people imagine.

Main negatives are:

  • The blue suspension arms and yellow shocks look a bit toy like when compared to buggies such as the Avante or anything modern from other manufacturers
  • The A5 is a well known weakness as are the gearbox moulded suspension mounting points. A5 is a simple fix and the gearbox mounts are a much reduced issue if you fit the adjustable upper arms that allow more flex and less impact stress to be transmitted into the mounts.
  • The stock wheels are tyres are junk. The wide front tyres are OK on rough tracks but for better handling we have fitted narrow wheels/tyres to the front of all ours. We also use 12mm hexes and 2.2 inch wheels and tyres - I would advise against getting deep dish wheels though because the tyres sit out too far from the C hub and in an impact they transmit far too much stress into the steering arm on the hub which will just snap off. We use DF03 wheels which keep the centre of the wheel almost directly over the kingpin which not only helps in handling but minimise impact forces on the steering arms and mounts.

Thanks for all the info,you have sold me on getting one now.

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21 hours ago, Saito2 said:

I've had my first Hot Shot re-re in service since I bought it in 2007. That's a pretty long time when you think about it. The original came out in '85 and likely would have been forgotten about by their original owners long before 13 year went by considering the pace RC was evolving at back then. I was still living in my first house and was discussing its impending reappearance with actual people in an actual hobby shop back then. Now there are no hobby shops left and I've got a ton of memories with that rerelease Hot Shot making it just as important to me as an original.

As far as the future, I stock up on spares for the chassis I love the most as best I can because I do want to be running these things when I'm 70. I have a few kits like a spare Monster Beetle and Fighting Buggy NIB so I can put one together in my "golden years".

The Bigwig? Buy it! Its 25% off at Tower for a very limited time now. I was running mine to day and enjoying it. I'm half debating getting one at that price just for spares in the future but the SMT10 builders kits is also beckoning so I'm debating...

I have my Manta Ray from 1991 running after I installed an ESC and replaced the motor. I would like to find new tires. More recently I bought a Terra Scorcher and a Bigwig to build with the grandchildren. And yesterday I decided to buy another Bigwig for me. 

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27 minutes ago, MrBlz said:

I have my Manta Ray from 1991 running after I installed an ESC and replaced the motor. I would like to find new tires. More recently I bought a Terra Scorcher and a Bigwig to build with the grandchildren. And yesterday I decided to buy another Bigwig for me. 

The Manta Ray was an excellent buggy but for me I just found the parts hard to find and expensive compared to the Thundershot. On paper the Manta Ray is a superior buggy and my original one was excellent until it broke and I needed to find parts. Back in 2003 the parts were much more expensive than thundershot items so I settled on Thundershot chassis and sold the Manta Rays. Sort of regret it now after seeing a few Manta Rays done in stunning paint schemes. Mine was a bit boring to look at and I don't think that helped when making my decision as to which to keep or sell.

My primary Manta Ray runner back in 2003'ish:

mantaray (10).JPG

My Thundershot has now evolved so much that it is barely recognisable to the original design. Setup for tarmac racing it is low, fast and has a stupidly large wing!

stigeater (1).jpg

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17 hours ago, Jonathon Gillham said:

The demographic here is older, but there are some young members like @Bash who wasn't born when these first came out and he found Tamiya (I'm guessing the internet? Parents?)

I don't 100% remember how I discovered Tamiya, but the 2 earliest ones I remember wanting to own were the Lunchbox and one of the Euro race trucks. That was in 2016 when I got into the hobby-grade side of R/C and I got my first kit, the Lunchbox about 2 years later. I used to be a pretty hardcore basher with a stupidly overpowered Stampede 4x4 and almost pulling the trigger on an E-Revo 2.0 before Tamiya saved/ruined me. Ever since then I've been liking the older stuff due to odd yet appealing looks and design in addition to more scale looks over outright performance.

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2 hours ago, mud4fun said:

The Manta Ray was an excellent buggy but for me I just found the parts hard to find and expensive compared to the Thundershot. On paper the Manta Ray is a superior buggy and my original one was excellent until it broke and I needed to find parts. Back in 2003 the parts were much more expensive than thundershot items so I settled on Thundershot chassis and sold the Manta Rays. Sort of regret it now after seeing a few Manta Rays done in stunning paint schemes. Mine was a bit boring to look at and I don't think that helped when making my decision as to which to keep or sell.

My primary Manta Ray runner back in 2003'ish:

mantaray (10).JPG

My Thundershot has now evolved so much that it is barely recognisable to the original design. Setup for tarmac racing it is low, fast and has a stupidly large wing!

stigeater (1).jpg

Very nice.  This is my 1991

20200821_142818.jpg

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