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soyverde
2006.04.13, 11:26 AM
Is it just me, or is there something more than vaguely familiar about our favorite Chinese knock-off company's latest offering (their new 'imat' tracks)?

h ttp://www.toy east.com/v3/pdtdetail.asp?pdt_id=A02102468

It looks like it is a bit less modular than an RCP track (as the inside walls are mounted on full squares), and the tile dimensions are slightly different, but for all intents and purposes this appears to be a near wholesale rip-off of RCP's patented design. Between their lack of QC and shipping prices I can't imagine this will affect RCP's US sales much, but it seems pretty fishy nonetheless.

briankstan
2006.04.13, 11:48 AM
it looks like a knock off to me. they changed a few little things but the overall idea is the same.

the pins connect the same and all. the bumps and bridge do look interesting though. Maybe RCP should do something similar too???

Draconious
2006.04.13, 01:47 PM
It would still be more cost effective to purchase the 2 RCP L tracks... Its already listed at almost $400, and shiping that overseas would more than likely be anotehr $100, wich means they will more than likely charge $200 for shipping... and it would more than likely take 3 months to get it via a ship... and once it was recieved by US customs... it would be confiscated and destroyed due to US copy right laws... :) so who ever buys it from there would lose their $600 and get nothing in return... 100x better to just buy an RCP.

briankstan
2006.04.13, 02:01 PM
It would still be more cost effective to purchase the 2 RCP L tracks... Its already listed at almost $400, and shiping that overseas would more than likely be anotehr $100, wich means they will more than likely charge $200 for shipping... and it would more than likely take 3 months to get it via a ship... and once it was recieved by US customs... it would be confiscated and destroyed due to US copy right laws... :) so who ever buys it from there would lose their $600 and get nothing in return... 100x better to just buy an RCP.


I'm sure that Kyosho had a US patent on the Mini-z. That didn't prevent Iwaver from copying it and selling them in the states.

it's shouldn't be allowed I agree. but it happens all the time. The only way to beat it is to support the originator of the product. RCP for me and my club.

RCPMini-z
2006.04.13, 02:23 PM
If you go by the dimensions on their webpage, the tracks are mini-tiles measuring approx. 12". The price for the largest track which contains 80 tiles lists for $327. The RCP Mini-96 contains 96 tiles and costs $199 shipped to your door. I am not sure there are many ways to change the layout seeing how they have the inner rails set up. I can't imagine they have any custom tecture on the mats and are most likely using the standard smooth side, which doesn't offer much grip characteristics with fast 1/24 scale cars.

rharris
2006.04.13, 02:53 PM
This is a clear knockoff and was bound to happen.

I do not think RCP has anything to fear in the US market. Shipping something of this size of going to double the cost of the track.

I've been working with Herman in an attempt to get an RCP track over the pacific. It's going to cost around $375 to ship two Large L's thru a third party shipping company. And this is taking the same route that imat would take to get to california, let alone accross the US. Unless you are dealing in bulk, the price is not going to come down much. iMat will need a US Distributer to get this cost down. And they will need to prove US interest to gain a US Distributer. It's a chicken and egg problem.

Also, if you take a close look, you will notice that iMat has attempted to cut corners (literally) by not including all of the side rails. The advantage is you get built in wide radios turns. The down side is that the track is much less configurable. Even if you had two tracks (160 tiles), you would not have all the options available to you if you had 4 large L's (160 tiles).

I think RCP has added a whole new dimension to our hobby. We would not be able to have an event like HowFastAreYou if everyone was not on the exact same track. It has also made small clubs like mine possible.

Product competition is a good thing. But remember that consumer loyalty is important when you are trying to build a small business. I for one would like to see RCP grow.

If folks jump ship from buying RCP, then that will hurt all of us.

Just my 0.02$

HaCo
2006.04.13, 03:11 PM
The borders and the humps look interesting... I have predicted this when the IWaver Video was released a few months ago... You could see the track on those vids...

machine
2006.04.13, 03:37 PM
and once it was recieved by US customs... it would be confiscated and destroyed due to US copy right laws...

thank goodness i live in canada.

Something like this was bound to happen sooner or later. Remember Lakeshore? Only difference (other than design) is this companies in China, they may have a good market in asia and europe as RCP is sold there. I betcha they read the copyright extremely well and found the loop holes. oh well....

Our club runs on a RCP and I have an mini-96 in my garage and my shop has a foam tile mat track, I'd like to see a Imax track and compare the 3. I'll probably get a rail system to adapt to my shop foam track.

imxlr8ed
2006.04.13, 04:31 PM
Well, I know you sure as heck won't see any Imats on HFAY !

briankstan
2006.04.13, 04:44 PM
Well, I know you sure as heck won't see any Imats on HFAY !

Nope, You sure won't. We at HFAY have a great working relationship with John (RPC) and are happy to use and promote the use of the RCP tracks. All tracks will be designed using only original RCP products.. :D

Thanks to RCP for provide prizes for the HFAY OLPS. There is more to a successful product than just the product itself. The customer service that I have received from RCP has been first class all the way.

rlc77
2006.04.13, 06:15 PM
There is more to a successful product than just the product itself. The customer service that I have received from RCP has been first class all the way.This is an understatement. I cannot express my gratitude enough regarding the service I have received from John@RCP. I will never own another Track. If you don't have one.....get one. RCP ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!
:D

rharris
2006.04.13, 07:10 PM
There is more to a successful product than just the product itself. The customer service that I have received from RCP has been first class all the way.

I could not agree more.

MiniEnzo
2006.04.14, 09:11 PM
RCP is the best investment that I have made in Mini RC. I own a MIni 96 with an Expansion pack. There are so many ways it could be set up. Plus the customer service from John is absolutely top notch. Support local companies like RCP. For all of you that own mini 96 write to RCP and tell them that you would be interested in 45 degree and wide turn tiles. I will but them as soon as they make them. But without demand they will not make them.

cdog4w
2006.04.21, 06:06 PM
Yea, I love RCP too. I've been trying to pickup some interest in HFAY with epoch (since I don't own a mini-z), and its finally starting to show!

There are a few things I'd like to see RCP add to their lineup though. A bridge (tho the iMat bridge looked like crap to be honest), and a smaller mini-96 set (since apparently they can mate up with the wide kits?) so those of us with wide kits can add tighter sections.

machine
2006.05.02, 07:05 PM
i got a few sample pieces of the imat track and it's kinda the same but it isn't....if you know what i mean.

It has a different interlocking pattern, textured on one side smooth on the other, firm foam about 1 inch think and a decent size tile. The biggest track set offered would have wider lanes than a mini-96 RCP, but i'm not sure on the layout possibilities yet. I only have a tile and a rail to go on. With the canadian dollar it's alittle more expensive than a RCP track, i may get a track set in to test this summer.

If folks jump ship from buying RCP, then that will hurt all of us.

Hogwash, bring on the competition!!! The more the marrier, brand loyality is only as deep as the next lastest and greatest choice or option. Having another track to choose from will push both companies in new directions and make the prices more competitive.
Now don't make me out to be a anti RCP guy, I have a mini-96 and expansion (bought from the shop here) and our club has 3 wide L's. I'm more of a anti monopoly guy, well that is unless it's my monopoly!!

imxlr8ed
2006.05.02, 07:12 PM
i got a few sample pieces of the imat track and it's kinda the same but it isn't....if you know what i mean.

It has a different interlocking pattern, textured on one side smooth on the other, firm foam about 1 inch think and a decent size tile. The biggest track set offered would have wider lanes than a mini-96 RCP, but i'm not sure on the layout possibilities yet. I only have a tile and a rail to go on. With the canadian dollar it's a little more expensive than a RCP track, i may get a track set in to test this summer.

Huh ?... nooooo !!!... He's a witch !!! Burn him at the stake !!! He bought one of the evil tiles !!! Sinner ! Blasphemer !!! :eek:

Just kidding Machine ! :D It's still good to know what the other guy may or may not offer.

Message brought to you from the Church of RCP ! :rolleyes:

rlc77
2006.05.02, 07:32 PM
Message brought to you from the Church of RCP ! :rolleyes:
Amen....Brother....... :D

RCPMini-z
2006.05.02, 08:29 PM
Not sure how you get around the $230 shipping charge + customs fees and 2 month delivery time for (80) 39cm tiles.

I really don't see EVA mat pricing to go down anytime soon, no matter the competition. EVA and rubber raw stock prices are directly related to the price of oil around the world. The raw material costs have sky rocked in the last year and a half. I think If people knew how much profit we truly make after manufacturing the tracks, shipping them to the US, storing them in a warehouse, you would probably think we were crazy to be in the track business.

Clanure
2006.05.03, 11:06 AM
I've got to agree with RCPMini-Z on this one. I'm actually impressed that we haven't seen an increase in prices on RCP tracks due to the rise in oil prices. Higher oil prices hit every aspect of his company. The mats themselves are an oil product and the higher prices of energy affect both the transportation and storage aspects of his chain.

I'm all for competition, but it won't do us, as enthusiasts, any good if two companies compete themselves to extinction by shrinking the profit margin to the point that it isn't worth staying in business.

Thanks,

rharris
2006.05.03, 04:04 PM
I think If people knew how much profit we truly make after manufacturing the tracks, shipping them to the US, storing them in a warehouse, you would probably think we were crazy to be in the track business.

My point exactly.

I'm all for competition, but it won't do us, as enthusiasts, any good if two companies compete themselves to extinction by shrinking the profit margin to the point that it isn't worth staying in business.


Amen!

My comment about customer loyalty was meet with the term "hogwash". Hey, I'm all for capitalism. I think greed and the free market have done wonders for improving quality of life.

Please don't forget that small business is people. And if a business man can't make money then sooner or later he'll move on.

I have a ton of RCP track. I "evangelize" it to every R/C guy I talk to. And until RCP becomes a corporate giant that needs to be segregated by the government to protect us from it's strangle hold on the track business, I'll continue to do so.

Excerpt taken from
Brother Rod's sermon at the track

machine
2006.05.03, 04:58 PM
Please don't forget that small business is people. And if a business man can't make money then sooner or later he'll move on.

I'm a small buisness man myself and agree, I just like to keep my options open. Yes shipping is the killer on the deal for regular joes, big box = big bucks. (as a dealer I was given a set shipping price per track)

I'm in the plastics and rubber industry (manufacturing) and i've seen the prices hit the ceiling a few times already this year. Can't imagine them going down anytime soon. I'm not surprized that another company has come out with a track similiar to an existing one firnly established in the market place, happens all the time. I honestly don't think anyone in NA will be buying the Imat tracks, again shipping, but if your living in Asia or Europe it may be the only way to go. I'm sure we'll start seeing them pop up with the euro/asian members of this forum.

imxlr8ed
2006.05.03, 05:12 PM
I think If people knew how much profit we truly make after manufacturing the tracks, shipping them to the US, storing them in a warehouse, you would probably think we were crazy to be in the track business.

I thought you were in the U.S. ? Just curious really...

briankstan
2006.05.03, 05:16 PM
I thought you were in the U.S. ? Just curious really...

RPC is located in california, but the product is manufactured overseas and shipped in containers to the US.

imxlr8ed
2006.05.03, 05:30 PM
RPC is located in california, but the product is manufactured overseas and shipped in containers to the US.

Ok... just curious, thanks... gotta go bang my tamborine at the airport and tell everyone about the way of the RCP system.

pinwc4
2006.05.03, 06:07 PM
I would have purchased a few pieces of IMAT track myself but the pieces I wanted disappeared from stock. The humps and jumps really caught my interest.

I am really anxious to come up with a modular track that would accommodate up to 1/18th scale offroad vehicles. I have two RC18's myself plus an Overland and Mini-Z Monster and think that I could get quite a few people interested in this. Everyone seems to have a blast running my RC18's when I let them.

Someone mentioned RCP was going to have a track to do this eventually but there is only so long a person will wait without hearing or seeing anything. I saw the pictures of the rock crawling track which is interesting but my first RC love is still for stadium trucks.

If RCP were to release such a track I would buy it, assuming it wasn't crazy expensive.

I have been saving my money hoping a company will come up with a product for this market......

In the interim I may just have to buy some IMAT parts and rig something up.

Draconious
2006.05.03, 06:55 PM
you can use the RCP track, just buy more of it, and make the lanes wider... the width expander set.

machine
2006.05.03, 07:19 PM
I'm hoping that RCP will make similiar humps and jumps as the Imat track. I'd like to drop in a few humps and ripples section to an existing RCP track for some OL and MZM races. hint hint hint.....

:)

rharris
2006.05.03, 07:36 PM
..gotta go bang my tamborine at the airport and tell everyone about the way of the RCP system.

:D

Airport? I just stand in a crowded intersection. I don't need a soap box. I just stack up a few RCP tiles, stand on top of them and read passages from the Helios manual.

bda52
2006.05.03, 07:39 PM
Shouldn't this thread be in New Products instead of in the RCP Support Forum? I see RCP has replied in this thread and has not asked for the move but I think it should be done out of respect for his product and extra effort he has put forth for us Mini-Z enthusiasts.

imxlr8ed
2006.05.03, 08:36 PM
:D

Airport? I just stand in a crowded intersection. I don't need a soap box. I just stack up a few RCP tiles, stand on top of them and read passages from the Helios manual.

LMAO !

Yay, though I walk through the valley of strange frequencies... I shall fear no interference...

soyverde
2006.05.24, 11:19 PM
Shouldn't this thread be in New Products instead of in the RCP Support Forum? I see RCP has replied in this thread and has not asked for the move but I think it should be done out of respect for his product and extra effort he has put forth for us Mini-Z enthusiasts.

Good point, bda, I've asked Arch2b to move it... :o