View Full Version : What are sources for inspiration for autoscale selection?

2007.08.14, 10:33 AM
I have to preface this segment with a pat on the back to Kyosho. After years of consumer complaints about not seing any domestic offerings, Kyosho I think has make a large leap forward in adressing the U.S. market. availability is a topic for another time ;)

I will assume the following:
1. kyosho Japan still makes all the decisions.

That being said, what sources does Kyosho use for future autoscale selection? In the past we have seen offical polls released by Kyosho which included such noteworthy autoscales as the Forgt GT, Ford F150, Ford Mustang and Chrysler 300. On a side note, we never did see the C6 Corvette which was also in the poll(s). :confused:

These are totaly my opinions but as a marketing strategy i woudl say sticking with tuner cars is a dead end. The market is defined and leaves little room for outward growth and appeal. Kyosho has since deviated a tad from that march with the American car offerings as well as the seemingly huge deal with NASCAR which I still do not see any main stream advertising for btw. If i had any influence or could offer suggestions that would be really taken in, it would be to follow the most pretigious of car shows. These are prime examples of millions if not billions of dollars of investment in brand recognotion and devoted to generating brand/vehicle excitement and desire.

I may be wrong in my assumption that car manufacturers would see the benifits in using brands such as Kyosho to each others benifit. You have a wide range of markets here to deal with, Concept cars, Muscle cars (new, not old), Luxury cars, Trucks/SUV's and ofcourse Sports cars.

Again, I am reluctant to use XMODS as an example but I feel they realy struck a good balance in thier lineup with a nice range of cars to choose from. It's far more limited than what Kyosho offers but in scale, it's a much more diverse range.

Kyosho really hit the nail on the head with the DTM, GTC and JGTC lineup. In all the years they have been around there has always been a constant demand for more of these.
Kyosho made a huge leap in representing the U.S. market with the Domestic autoscales. while they may not be the most pratical 'racing' autoscales I would venture to say tons of people have then none the less. I know i do :) One note of particular was the introduction of the F150 to the Overland lineup. Sadly this line has seen little development in the past couple years other than repaints. The F150 was the first pickup which MANY who had an overland were clamoring for vs. more SUV's. Sadly we don't see any more of the Dakar series autoscales. The pickup and SUV market is still the largest possibly in the U.S. despite gas prices and nearly every manufacturer has an entry into these classes. There is no shortage of potential sources for new Overland autoscales.
Kyosho also breathed new life in my opnion with the new F1 lineup. although limited in offerings, the new autoscales and upgraded boards/readysets has produced a noticeable increase in F1 traffic here. You've heard it a million times but there is no shortage of demand for more F1 team autoscales.
Kyosho also made the leap of faith into the NASCAR market which I applaud while also not being a NASCAR fan per sae. It's a gamble for sure and I hope it pays off. I still beliee it will take a more main stream approach, i've alluded to many of XMODS examples before. Focusing on established RC media will not succeed in my opinion. I would venture to guess a good majority of hard core RC types who read those magazines and race don't follow NASCAR due to the left turn nature of the sport. The only NASCAR I will ever watch are the road course events like Watkins Glen for example. Still not as exicting as U.S. and European road course racing but entertaining none the less.

I'm not so much interested in specific discussion about whats in development as it's clearly not going to get discussed before it's allowed/cleared. I am interested in however, in more indepth discussion and information on how choices are made and what influcence if any specific markets have on product direction, etc., etc.?

Thank you for reading and take my opinions for what there worth... I by no means claim to be an expert business person or RC product developer, etc. Just a long term hobby fan which has spent thousands of dollars on Kyosho products since I stumbled into the Mini-Z scene.


2007.08.14, 12:24 PM
very well written,the point you made about advertising by kyosho(or lack of it)baffles me :confused:
i have managed to promote mini z on another forum(xmods)and managed to get quite a few xmodders into them from various pics and info.
some of the guys over here(uk)had not really heard of them!!!
its kind of similar with the nascars,a huge market for them but i havent seen them being pushed anywhere :eek:
we have a huge following for f1 but hardly any over here for sale,the occasional one shows up on e bay(all three me and a buddy own from ebay)
it seems kyosho are loosing quite a few sales,we do have some dealers that can get cars,parts and tracks(@ 2x the price)but they seem to be very underground :(

2007.08.14, 01:37 PM
I think from purely a business/profit aspect that Kyosho realizes the mini-z following pales in comparison to that of the larger scale items it sells, especially the 1/8th scale gas vehicles. Not only is the market smaller, the profits are much smaller. Race bred gas vehicles can cost you upwards of $1000 or more to stay competitive, and I think that anybody who has experienced this type of racing will agree. Even when I raced 1/10th electric stadium, the price got to the point where I just couldn't keep up. While I agree that Kyosho has made leaps and bounds in terms of improving the overall line-up and spread of the mini-z, I have to think that there just isn't the huge market needed for constant innovation in this category. Large scale racing is very competitive, and hobbyists will go to no ends to stay on top. Mini-z type folks generally (though certainly not always) don't like to dump that kind of money into racing, which honestly, is good for the hobby but not for business. I know that I personally will likely never go back to larger scale, because mini-z is cheaper, and to me anyway, just as fun. Like arch, I am certainly no business expert, but I have studied marketing/business/etc, and these are just my opinions. On a final note, I would love to see mini-z take over 1/10th and 1/8th racing :D

2007.08.14, 02:22 PM
very well written,the point you made about advertising by kyosho(or lack of it)baffles me :confused:... (
me or kyosho? Their advertising certainly baffles me. Xmods did a much better job at marketing an inferior product (quality wise).

Tim Johnson
2007.08.14, 03:42 PM
That being said, what sources does Kyosho use for future autoscale selection? In the past we have seen offical polls released by Kyosho which included such noteworthy autoscales as the Forgt GT, Ford F150, Ford Mustang and Chrysler 300. On a side note, we never did see the C6 Corvette which was also in the poll(s). :confused:

To start, I will begin with this. I don't remember a C6 in any poll, although there was the C5, in which if you take a peak at the production list i have posted the C5s are coming :) Also new versions of the Ford GT

This essay :) you have posted will take a loooooooooong time to answer. Some of which I am not allowed to answer, some of which is in mid process.......

me or kyosho? Their advertising certainly baffles me. Xmods did a much better job at marketing an inferior product (quality wise).
This is where Radio Shack succeeded with their product. They made something really cheap and short lasting, and put most of their money on marketing. Kyosho is representing the high end market of R/C, not the toy market.

How, can Kyosho compete with Radio Shacks marketing dollars? It really tweaks me when I see people say that Kyosho America is not advertising Mini-Zs. I have worked with our marking director and we have had at least one Mini-z ad in the two industry major american magizines. We have sent industry mags product for review, which have made it into the mags.........................

2007.08.14, 04:42 PM
I would imagine that cars that have had the die cast treatment from Kyosho would have a better chance of seeing light as an autoscale body. It just seems to me that issues like licensing, research, design and all that would be easier to deal with if they were just 'porting' a design into Mini-z scale. Of course, this is just speculation on my part. I don't presume to know how Kyosho's autoscale selection works, just giving my thoughts here.

As for marketing matters, if we take Arch's assumption that Kyosho Japan still makes all the decisions, we can also assume that a lot of their marketing for the Mini-z's are concentrated over there. Your home market will always get special attention. We've all seen what looked like TV spots, nice looking magazine/pamphlets other media things like the Mini-z Time (http://www.mini-z.jp) website for the Japanese market. From the number of youtube race videos posted (see here (http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=kyoshotube&p=r) ), it seems like Kyosho holds several cup races a year in Japan too. Kyosho USA probably won't have the same kind of resources to throw around, stuff like these take a lot of marketing $$$'s. I think Mini-z's are doing great at a grassroots level here right now, that's a big positive. We're still small fry compared to the larger scales unfortunately.

2007.08.14, 05:20 PM
me or kyosho? Their advertising certainly baffles me. Xmods did a much better job at marketing an inferior product (quality wise).

Their cheaper product allowed theme to spend money on advertisements. Noticed Kyosho never advertises on tv? At least I've never seen television commercials. I have seen one or two for Xmods, especially around Xmas time.

2007.08.14, 08:30 PM
I my have been mistaken but I thought I recalled the C6 being in one of the poll's. Will kyosho be doing more of these?

As always, thank you very much for the Mini-Z product updates. It is very useful and valuable information for all of us fans. :)

yeah, iIm sure there are many aspects which comment is just not appropriate or possible. Any insight you can shed on the behind the scenes business would be appreciated. Think of it as taking us on a tour of Kyosho verbally :cool:

It's not that I expect K. to spend equivalent dollars on marketing on what has been pointed out as a small market item, it's just that in my opinion, the majority of Mini-Z fans/consumers don't read major RC magazines as those are 98% commercial fluff and large scale oriented. I will argue 95% of hobby shops and thier staff see these as toys despite the level of quality and detail presented. It's not that you have to convince us (fans/consumers) as we are already aware but you have to start higher up the food chain. For example, EVERY singe Hobby Town I have ever entered has never taken me seriously when asking about Mini-Z products, nor were they very excited in stocking/selling them (prior to formation of K.U.S.A.). I would further argue that if the retailers don't understand the potential of the product, Kyosho will have a much harder time selling these as anything more than toys.

I will say progress is being made however. One clear example is the Hobby Works in Fairfax, VA. Our racing club began holding races infront of thier shop for a couple months and the shop people really took note of the interest and potential of the Mini-Z. In the 6 months or so since we began holding races there, they have since started to carry Mini-Z products and have included Mini-Z activities into their store expansion. Success is possible but I challenge that it's more a result of people like my club than any one page write up burried in a magazine that rarely features this scale.

One of the points to my soapbox chat was to also point out where Kyosho has done some really good things in the last couple years. It should have been more compliment than complaint. ;)

2007.08.15, 09:30 AM
Arch is right on there... people just don't see what we here all know they really are. (tiny little performance monsters!) The Htown didn't sell squat of their Z inventory until we started racing there every Sunday, then they really started moving off the shelves.

(we don't race there anymore, and of course... their inventory is now near stagnant again)

There's no easy solution here though... I've proved to many in my area that these cars are not toys, but getting them to show up to race is a whole other story. I guess some people just love to spend tons of dough on 10th scale to get the exact same racing that the Zs can provide for a lot less $$$. (and it's indoors, anywhere, put a track in your basement if you want... etc...)

It's obvious we all love the product. I bet if you told us to hand out Kyosho flyers in our spare time... a few of us probably would. (yes... we believe in the Z that much) I guess we're just very eager for it to break out somehow.

2007.08.19, 08:57 PM
I think one issue with America, is the average American likes things BIG. The Mini-Z certainly isn't. Maybe big in fun, but that's about it.

2012.12.25, 10:38 AM
I saw on the official blog that the whole mini-z team gathers to decide which body they will focus on; it takes in general 3 years to complete a project.
They debate about the bodies, the mouldmaking and the licensing issues and then they split the work (licensing, designing, documenting, merchandising, etc.). Some bodies are quicky done; others can take 3 times more to be done. The DS3 is a good example of the latter case.