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Dudemeister
2009.02.19, 03:36 PM
This is going to be an informal survey.

I'm sure that by now some of you have already purchased or at least seen the new "Fine Hand Polish" ASCs. What is you impression of this new and "improved technology". Here is my take on it:

Yesterday I just received my Ferrari 430GT (Ecosse Scuderia), and I started to look at it in detail. Originally because I wanted to see how close to the original car they got (I have many detailed pictures of the real thing). However the more I looked, one thing became more and more obvious: the poor quality finish.

1. The high gloss is gone. The painted areas are glossy (not as glossy as before, but glossy), but the areas where the decals are are satin finish at best.
2. You can see the edges of the decals.
3. The decals no longer conform properly to the body details (bumps, grooves, depressions, etc). In fact they look very much like vinyl stickers.
4. I was able to scratch the paint with my fingernail (in an unconspicuos area). This means that these bodies will not take anywhere near the punishment that the previous bodies could take.
5. Altra fine details that we came to expect from Kyosho are now less defined, inaccurate and sloppy.

I then dug out the other "Hand Polish" models I bought, took the cover off and started looking at them in detail. Only the Aston Martins look decent, but even on those the decal surface is not glossy and I can see their edges. The new McLarens are a disappointment just like the 430GT.

So, here is the new line of product that to me is not as good as the previous one, and we are asked to shell out an additional $10 for it. That just sucks.:(:(

Anyway, I'd like to hear from you to see if you agree or disagree with my comments. Also have any of you put one of these bodies through the paces on the track? If so how well did they resist impacts, scratches, etc.

CristianTabush
2009.02.19, 04:33 PM
You are right about everything. We just have to understand about the Economic times. Much of it has to do with the strong Yen. Much of it has to do with inflation. These bodies look much like the older Mini-Z bodies that came with no Gloss coat. At Reflex We are taking half of the hit of the pricing on the AutoScales, I think pricing is getting a little bit high. Maybe it is time we all start considering lexan bodies for racing... :) Either way, the pricing is probably never going to drop again.

Jace1283
2009.02.19, 05:14 PM
^^^ C has it right with the yen and the dollar. the dollar is getting trashed hard with the financial issues and deficit, some are predicting hyperinflation which means someday you'll be saying "remember when kyosho bodies were only $40-$50?". Thanks to rr for the lower price, i saw that and once someone tells me the mclaren gtr is "tough as nails" i'll buy it. I just don't want to risk $50 and have it crack on its first hit like other bodies. I also noticed white bodies are available in Spain, hopefully here soon. I don't much care for the quality of the paint since i race any auto scale i buy, i dont collect or stare at them, but spending 40-50 is getting crazy for a race body.

arch2b
2009.02.19, 07:57 PM
much of this has been covered in the thread about the price bump on autoscales.

it's just a spin on a cheaper product while attempting to pass it off with a price increase. none of us are really happy with the results but what can you do.

Dudemeister
2009.02.19, 09:44 PM
It's interesting how most of the feedback so far has centered around the price. I guess that's what's concerning most of you.

For me the concern is more about the quality of the product, than the price. Yes, it suck that we have to pay more, but at least give me something as good as, if not better for the money. What we're getting here is an INFERIOR product, AND we're being charged EXTRA for the privilege.

A lot of us spent more money on the collectible aspect of this hobby, and we came to expect a certain value for our money. I for one got interested in mini-z's because of the quality and detail of the ASC bodies. But now I have doubts about collecting the new cars.

..."remember when kyosho bodies were only $40-$50?"....

I don't know about that, I think it will be more like "remember when Kyosho bodies were GlossCoat and were nearly indestructible?..."

arch2b
2009.02.19, 09:55 PM
there was plenty of discussion about what hand polished meant and how it looked in the other threads.

yes, i think everyone is disappointed in getting a cheaper quality product however yes, price hits you more than the quality does as your paying more for a lesser product. cost comes up as the first obstacle.

marc
2009.02.19, 10:29 PM
Are they nice enough to collect or not worth adding to the collection? What does one look like close-up? I've heard they have an orange-peel look to'em?

arch2b
2009.02.19, 10:41 PM
look at any of the pre glosscoat bodies.

marc
2009.02.19, 10:50 PM
Like the original Toyota Altezza?

Jace1283
2009.02.19, 11:56 PM
waxing is kind of relaxing though, and it makes you feel like you made that autoscale look good! haha. I do have a serious abundance of polish around as people give it to me as gifts often...

You could buy all the autoscales with glosscoat and not the ones without...it would only be a problem if you had every body...

I have my takata dome nsx here and must say the gloss coat is a wonderful thing, its chipping off my sc430 along with its decals... but once your used to it its hard to go back.

We dont really know whats up at kyosho besides what we can guess, economic reasons, performance reasons, who knows. The hand polish really isn't bad if you check out the pics hrdrvr posted:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v618/freekfornature/RCs/MiniZ/2009-01-26021.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v618/freekfornature/RCs/MiniZ/2009-01-16040.jpg

Pierro
2009.02.20, 02:50 AM
Hello,

I agree with your comments. For me the "fine hand polish" looks like the perfect opposite of a step forward!

To me it's much more like the old autoscales. I recently purchased two brand new Mercedes DTM (a D2 one and a Warsteiner) that aren't glosscoated and was amazed how the fine hand polish and the ancient finish are so close. If you come close to the three finish, I would assume the place would be third, ancient bodies, second, fine hand polish ones and first, glosscoat!

The major grief a have against the new fine hand polish is that the decals are not included in the coat anymore. Making them very exposed to scratches/hit. When first pictures of the aston came out, I couldn't believe kyosho could made such a mistake for all the following bodies... But they did.:(

Let's hope this is only about time to get the quality back for this...

Slipstream
2009.02.20, 06:15 AM
Are they nice enough to collect or not worth adding to the collection? What does one look like close-up? I've heard they have an orange-peel look to'em?


Marc you can see the edges of the decals and they are not as shiny. :(

marc
2009.02.21, 11:21 AM
That suck's. That kind of makes you want to loose interest in collecting AutoScales. Sure we can collect the older ones that we can find, but we like to add more and more to the collection. Don't understand why if price has gone up quality has gone down. Sure economy sucks right now, but that's no excuse for going back in time with quality.
What made the newer bodies so apealing WAS the high-gloss coating and the smooth disapearing decale lines.
I think this may have been one reason for my loss of interest. Kyosho, get with the program, bring back the gloss-coat!

marc
2009.02.21, 11:24 AM
Oh! And if the finish is like the original AutoScales, why the tag-line Fine Hand Polished? When I first saw this label, I thought it meant that they took the gloss-coat further and polished it for even shinier appearance like a real show-room look!

arch2b
2009.02.21, 11:35 AM
because, they have to dress up the switch some how. you can't just drop the gloss coat and drop the label and increase the price without trying to draw your attention to some distraction. so, fine hand polished is the new buzz word for the same old thing you used to get, only now it costs you more.

what i find most frustrating really is there is no response to the outcry. just about any other company would issue a statement that would attempt to explain away the issue. rather we get continued silence. it would be an easier pill to swallow had they simply issued a statement that due to blah, blah, blah, we were forced to change tactics and pricing. it' atleast provides the consumer with some level of justification for the change vs. feeling like we are being duped into buying a cheaper product at a higher price by slightly altering the product description. call it what it is... don't put a bow on a terd and try to call it something fancy. i respect honesty and being forthright, not gimick advertising.

briankstan
2009.02.21, 11:53 AM
I've got both the Aston Martin bodies, both Mclaren GTR bodies, the BMW Mclaren body as well as the white, and Scuderia Escosse F430. I also have the Nissan GT-R. I will say that the only difference in them is the lack of gloss coat.

My opinion is that they look good, but not great. you can see the the decal lines and the is really the main difference between them. they look exactly like the bodies did prior to the gloss coat being added.

I have some of the older CLK's, Porsche, NSX, Viper's, etc. and they all look just like the new "Fine Hand Polish". Am I happy paying more for it? no way.

I wonder it the price increase has some more to do with licensing, because the new McLaren GTR's are $10 more than the new Aston Martins. when they are the same in quality and finish.

look at this picture. (click for full size pic, you can really see the difference)
http://www.saltlakemini-z.com/forum/gallery/2/thumb_1_20_02_09_2_05_59_2.JPG (http://www.saltlakemini-z.com/forum/gallery/2/1_20_02_09_2_05_59_2.JPG)

now compare it to this picutre. (click the pic) you can see it's not perfect, especially when blown up to this size, but you can see that you don't see the decal lines. and the finish is more glossy.

http://www.saltlakemini-z.com/forum/gallery/0/thumb_1_19_02_08_5_43_21_1.jpg (http://www.saltlakemini-z.com/forum/gallery/0/1_19_02_08_5_43_21_1.jpg)

arch2b
2009.02.21, 11:59 AM
i have no doubts at all the licensing pays a very important factor in the end price. look at f1 bodies for example.

marc
2009.02.21, 02:24 PM
I can fully understand the need to increase the price on liscened bodies such as racing cars and drift cars. But increase in price for the normal every day street cars?
How come our friend Tim hasn't chimmed in on this conversation?
Makes me all the more interested in Dnano's and not so much in 1/28 scale AutoScales now.
I suppose if I really wanted to, I could purchase the new drift Trueno bodies and clear-coat theme myselfe!

Dudemeister
2009.02.21, 02:27 PM
Hey Brian,

Nice macro on your camera What are you using for these closeups? I wish I could get some macro shots like that. My camera, a Kodak Z712IS, has a great optical zoom (12:1) but has no macro capability to speak of.

Anyway, I tried to take some closeup shots to demonstrate the kind of flaws I see in the Ferrari F430GT. Click on each pic to see it full size:

The decals covers physical details like the door panels grooves and the door handle depression. Also you will notice that in places it doesn't line up with the paint line (lower left and upper right circles). At the bottom right the decals seem to float over the checkered pattern instead of blending in.

http://digistealth.com/Public/RC_Cars/hand_polish/F430_Flaws_4sm.jpg (http://digistealth.com/Public/RC_Cars/hand_polish/F430_Flaws_4.jpg)

The first image below is rather dark, but it shows the actual surface detail best. You can see how the decals are on top, and make the panel groove appear to break up. You can also see the texture. The second image is the same but the other side of the car.

http://digistealth.com/Public/RC_Cars/hand_polish/F430_Flaws_5sm.jpg (http://digistealth.com/Public/RC_Cars/hand_polish/F430_Flaws_5.jpg)
http://digistealth.com/Public/RC_Cars/hand_polish/F430_Flaws_2sm.jpg (http://digistealth.com/Public/RC_Cars/hand_polish/F430_Flaws_2.jpg)

The next 2 pictures show general sloppiness. The edge of the decals are not trimmed, they don't follow the paint lines, rear panel grooves are botched.

http://digistealth.com/Public/RC_Cars/hand_polish/F430_Flaws_6sm.jpg (http://digistealth.com/Public/RC_Cars/hand_polish/F430_Flaws_6.jpg)
http://digistealth.com/Public/RC_Cars/hand_polish/F430_Flaws_3sm.jpg (http://digistealth.com/Public/RC_Cars/hand_polish/F430_Flaws_3.jpg)

And to make matter worse, after closely inspecting the car, I don't think the car is completely painted. I think the base red is the actual color of the plastic, not paint. The white is paint, the flat black trim is paint, but the rest is either the base plastic or a decal. Without using some destructive method I have no way of proving it at the moment, but I'm about 95% sure I'm right.

This is very disappointing to say the least. I also have the 2 Aston Martins, which look better and while they suffer from the same lack of GlossCoat, they certainly look better built. The 2 LeMans McLarens don't look that good. I'll take some pics when I have more time.

marc
2009.02.21, 02:32 PM
Well thank's Dude, that really less'ns my interest in the new AutoScales. I suppose in a good way that saves me money! I'll just stick with the Dnano's for now! Seem's like we're all better off getting the white bodies and doing our own painting, decals, and clear-coating!

briankstan
2009.02.21, 03:01 PM
Hey Brian,

Nice macro on your camera What are you using for these closeups? I wish I could get some macro shots like that. My camera, a Kodak Z712IS, has a great optical zoom (12:1) but has no macro capability to speak of.

I'm using a Canon S1IS Camera with attached Macro lens. it gets me great results. you should check out my gallery for shots of most of my cars. Brian's Gallery (http://www.saltlakemini-z.com/forum/index.php?action=gallery;su=user;u=1)

After closer inspection on my F430, I have the same flaws present with decalse overlaping door lines, over shooting body lines,and not lining up with paint lines. some are also not trimmed and overhand the body. There is also a small wrinkle in one of them.

I also agree that is body isn't painted red, but it is the plastic color. It may be the case on earlier bodies, but with the gloss coat they at least had a clear over the plastic so it resembled paint.

Here are the pictures, again click each one for full size.

http://www.saltlakemini-z.com/forum/gallery/2/thumb_1_21_02_09_12_55_51_4.JPG (http://www.saltlakemini-z.com/forum/gallery/2/1_21_02_09_12_55_51_4.JPG) http://www.saltlakemini-z.com/forum/gallery/2/thumb_1_21_02_09_12_55_50_3.JPG (http://www.saltlakemini-z.com/forum/gallery/2/1_21_02_09_12_55_50_3.JPG)

http://www.saltlakemini-z.com/forum/gallery/2/thumb_1_21_02_09_12_55_49_2.JPG (http://www.saltlakemini-z.com/forum/gallery/2/1_21_02_09_12_55_49_2.JPG) http://www.saltlakemini-z.com/forum/gallery/2/thumb_1_21_02_09_12_55_48_1.JPG (http://www.saltlakemini-z.com/forum/gallery/2/1_21_02_09_12_55_48_1.JPG)

http://www.saltlakemini-z.com/forum/gallery/2/thumb_1_21_02_09_12_55_47_0.JPG (http://www.saltlakemini-z.com/forum/gallery/2/1_21_02_09_12_55_47_0.JPG)

marc
2009.02.21, 04:29 PM
If you compare this with the previous Ferrari GTC cars that had the gloss coat, there seems to be less care taken with these new ones. Really disapointing to see these flaw's on what was considered a highly-detailed collectible model. These new ones look more suitable for bashing on the track than displaying on the shelfe.

Dudemeister
2009.02.21, 09:58 PM
I'm using a Canon S1IS Camera with attached Macro lens. it gets me great results. you should check out my gallery for shots of most of my cars...

I did check your Gallery before and is most impressive. I expecially love all those Supras. I'd love to get my hands on a couple of them, expecially a white one so I can do the car from the original Fast & The Furious Movie.

...After closer inspection on my F430, I have the same flaws present with decalse overlaping door lines, over shooting body lines,and not lining up with paint lines. some are also not trimmed and overhand the body. There is also a small wrinkle in one of them.

As you can see, my experience is not isolated to a single bad example, it's the same all over. I wonder if we could start a writing campaign to make Kyosho aware of how displeased we are.

On the other hand, I deal enough with Japanese companies in my line of business to know how they look at things and how generally arrogant they are, and even if we started a letter campaign they would probably not give a rat's a*s about it. The only way to show our displeasure that they would understand, is to stop buying the product, or manage to get a scorching article in some magazine that would hurt their sales.

marc
2009.02.21, 10:03 PM
Like I said before, where's our friend Tim? He's our closest link to Kyosho right now and it would be nice if he'd chat to Kyosho about our complaints.

herman
2009.02.25, 03:30 AM
hmm... just picked up a bunch of cars for my collection(dbr, gtr, mclaren f1, 430, subaru wrc, autobacs & evo 10) ... looked pretty ok... but after seeing the posted close up pics, i might want to take a closer look myself... :D hope to post pics soon...

arch2b
2009.02.25, 09:52 AM
Like I said before, where's our friend Tim? He's our closest link to Kyosho right now and it would be nice if he'd chat to Kyosho about our complaints.

i'm sure tim reads this and i'm sure he catches enough grief from us here on this and i'm sure he passes on our responses. lets give tim credit for coming here and taking all the lumps as the kyo rep on our forum and still coming back.

marc
2009.02.25, 10:20 AM
....................agreed.

briankstan
2009.02.25, 10:48 AM
I'd say that of all the new bodies that I have received that the F430 SE body is by far the worse, maybe they had a rookie put the decals on this body :eek:

mleemor60
2009.02.25, 11:14 AM
Japan is a country with virtually no natural resources save their ability to copy almost anything as good or better than the original. For them to produce a product so dear to all of us at the prices they do is incredible within the current economic climate. Japans economy is only marginally better at best than our own right now. At least they are trying to get us what we want within a price structure that is reasonable given our state of affairs. Has the big K done some things that we don't agree with? Yes. Is the finished product a little less than we have become accustomed to? Yes. Have they exhibited a different marketing strategy to reduce inventories of what appears to be some obsolete stock? Yes. Has the universal cost of liscensing increased for whatever reason? Most likely, yes. Have profit margins been cut to retailers? Yes. Overall it doesn't seem to me that Kyosho is out to break it off in us as some of you might think but more of an economic reaction of the times. Here when things start going south the first thing we do is reduce the work force, then reduce the hours of the remaining work force and then finally close down. What if the Auto manufacturers could keep more people working by reducing the amount of clearcoat that covers their paint work. Do you think they would do it? No. Would we be happy with the finished product. No. That isn't what we have become accustomed to and I don't think we would accept it right up to the point that it costs us our own job. If you don't like the finish on a new ASC clearcoat it yourself. It is what you do when you start with a white body. One among us has gone to great detail about which paint to use with which coating method so our result will be as good as his and his results are astonishingly good.

There are methods available to us if we aren't satisfied with a purchase. Return it for a better one. Invoke the lemon law so to speak. take it back to your LHS and swap it for a better one. Let him ship it back to the big K for credit or another unit. Oh. You didn't buy it at your LHS? You bought it from Ewho on Ewhat. Well email them and ask for a different one. Go ahead pay the shipping both ways and hope that the replacement is at least equal to the one you got in the first place at now nearly half again the cost. I'm just spit balling here but I wonder why the very first of everything is available some place that we can't walk into and shop. A company that goes as far as they do to properly liscense and produce as Kyosho does might just cull the junk off to the etailers and keep the first line pieces for themselves. If that isn't the case then why not just go ahead and bootleg it like so many others do? The fact remains that so many of you gotta have it now gen X&Yer's are being hard on somebody because of your own impatience. I'm as guilty as the next guy sometimes but I'm working on it. My LHS devotes about 30% of his floor space to RCP for about 10% of his overall business so I can race my investment. I wonder frequently why we haven't been blown down the road for outwardly showing off our E purchases while we are in the store.

On the other hand why do you suppose that The re sellers, even the ones that we all know and love here in the States seem to have the product before the LHS does? The LHS has a dealer agreement with the big K that says it will buy K products from K not the reseller. The last in line for product is the LHS at most levels. By the time his shelves are stocked we all have them already which means less sales for him and a growing un willingness to maintain an inventory of useable product and in a lot of cases a place for us to race. I am not advocating that any one of us do something differently than we do. Impatience is bred into us. We gotta have it first so we can show it off to our gotta have it first too friends. That is evident in our present economic state. None of us like the red licked off of our candy. There are options to the concerns we all have with quality. I have listed some of them. The choice is up to each and every one of us. Be part of the problem or be part of the solution.

Nuff Said

arch2b
2009.02.25, 11:42 AM
while i agree with just about everything you've said, i don't exactly agree the sentiments expressed regarding ecommerce vs. lhs. it is a subject that has been covered very passionately by many. suffice to say, ecommerce is among the fastest growing retail segments. get on board or get left behind basically covers it all.

personally, i have found very few lhs that even support the product i want. more and more ecommerce sites are now buying via kyousa vs. resellers. it used to not be that way but that has been changing as the market has been changing.

i will happily buy what i want from an lhs when they have it and they don't give it with a dose of smug attitude about buying a 'toy' rc. not saying that is always the case, just a majority of the time in my personal experience. i will buy from reputable ecommerce sites just as quickly and with zero guilt, as i don't feel there should be.

what i do suggest is that those purchasing from ecommerce sites, if within the u.s., at least try to buy from u.s. sites. i do not buy from egr, hobbylink, etc. as i'd rather give my business to support another u.s. business. others simply do not agree and that too is their right.

is there really something wrong with those that got to have it first buying globally? i offer my response is no. 10 years ago, it wasn't really possible however with the growing global economy and explosion of opportunities, it's the consumers right to make whatever choice they want. i don't prescribe to the belief that they deserve grief or guilt for having done so. most of the time, these purchases have reprocussions such as invaild warranties, etc. it's a trade off the consumer has to make and thier risk.

in general however, i agree completely with the logic and rational behind the changes being made as a product of the times. what also disappoints me at the same time is that it has to come from a devote fan such as yourself vs. the manufacturer.

in the end however, it is what it is. we can stop purchasing, slow sales for u.s. retailers whom would in turn be forced to cut back on inventory and well, you get the picture. it's a self fulfilling cycle that only goes down hill and in the end hurts us the consumer the most.

i encourage everyone to honestly and respectfully express thier opinions at all times. part of the service we provide as consumers is product feedback etc. to the manufacturer. i think our message here on this is clear. at the same time, be understanding of the situation deal with it in the most appropriate manner for yourself.

for those that are lucky enough to have an lhs that carries the prodcut you want, has enjoyable staff, please show them your support when possible and as you see fit. to the rest of us whom are left to scour the web, make your choices count, means more now than ever.

Slipstream
2009.02.25, 12:16 PM
I don't understand how buying ecommerce vs. LHS got into this thread. Isn't this about someone noticing the lower quality of the new bodies while there is a price increase?
To me Kyosho is doing the opposite of what it should be in this hard economic time. People already have enough reasons not to pay for this hobby. Lowering the quality while increasing the price will just push some over the edge. In the past I would not think twice about picking up new bodies but now.......
I'm pretty sure Kyosho moved it's manufacturing to China. Labor costs should be lower. Now Kyosho needs to step up the education and QA of that work force as to what is acceptable.

marc
2009.02.25, 12:18 PM
If you ask me, if the price goes up, so should quality!

benmlee
2009.02.25, 03:06 PM
The cost of AutoScale bodies has not increased as much as it appear. In 2006 when I started, a body cost $25. The yen to dollars exchange is 120 to 1. Now in 2009 yen to dollars exchange is 97 to 1. Thanks to trade deficit debt etc. That accounts for 23% increase. Inflation is another 5% base on CPI. Now you are at $32. If you look at Chinese yuan, you are at about $31. Autoscales now are $40-$50. Some of the remaining difference may be explained by inflation in China which is much higher than in US until recently. Also, Kyosho may be making up for lost revenues due to recession by charging more for bodies.
Regardless, cost of bodies are still too high for healthy growth of this hobby. Many beginners will be shocked at the price of bodies. On the brighter side, there are other options besides Kyosho. Iwaiver bodies are still cheap. They may become more popular. There is always pan cars, and the Renault aftermarket body will be coming from Europe. Hopefully, competition will keep prices to reasonable levels. The only thing I hope will not happen is migration to polycarbonate bodies. They are just too cheap looking.

Dudemeister
2009.02.25, 04:13 PM
...To me Kyosho is doing the opposite of what it should be in this hard economic time. People already have enough reasons not to pay for this hobby. Lowering the quality while increasing the price will just push some over the edge. In the past I would not think twice about picking up new bodies but now...

Dito... That is exactly what I'm talking about.

I also agree with what benmlee said about inflation, but lowering the quality while at the same time charging more, that just goes against normal reasoning.

marc
2009.02.25, 05:12 PM
Polycarbonate would be crap material and quality that we've come to love. It may work great and best for 1/10 scale where weight is more of an issue and detail quality not as important.
My other question is if the newer bodies are same as older pre-gloss coat bodies, then why the fancy term "Fine Hand Polish"? When I first saw this badge, I thought it was going to be even fancier than gloss-coat!
Anyway, I'll still collect AutoScales, simply cause I love the display factor, but I'll be even more selective for the newer models. One I'm most interested in is the white Ferrari F34 GTC test car. Sorry if I have the numbers wrong, but you know which one I mean. The pure white beauty.

marc
2009.02.25, 05:25 PM
Ferrari F430 GTC! :D

arch2b
2009.02.25, 07:55 PM
I don't understand how buying ecommerce vs. LHS got into this thread. Isn't this about someone noticing the lower quality of the new bodies while there is a price increase?
To me Kyosho is doing the opposite of what it should be in this hard economic time. People already have enough reasons not to pay for this hobby. Lowering the quality while increasing the price will just push some over the edge. In the past I would not think twice about picking up new bodies but now.......
I'm pretty sure Kyosho moved it's manufacturing to China. Labor costs should be lower. Now Kyosho needs to step up the education and QA of that work force as to what is acceptable.

in part reading into mleemore60's post
There are methods available to us if we aren't satisfied with a purchase. Return it for a better one. Invoke the lemon law so to speak. take it back to your LHS and swap it for a better one. Let him ship it back to the big K for credit or another unit. Oh. You didn't buy it at your LHS? You bought it from Ewho on Ewhat. Well email them and ask for a different one. Go ahead pay the shipping both ways and hope that the replacement is at least equal to the one you got in the first place at now nearly half again the cost. I'm just spit balling here but I wonder why the very first of everything is available some place that we can't walk into and shop. A company that goes as far as they do to properly liscense and produce as Kyosho does might just cull the junk off to the etailers and keep the first line pieces for themselves. If that isn't the case then why not just go ahead and bootleg it like so many others do? The fact remains that so many of you gotta have it now gen X&Yer's are being hard on somebody because of your own impatience. I'm as guilty as the next guy sometimes but I'm working on it. My LHS devotes about 30% of his floor space to RCP for about 10% of his overall business so I can race my investment. I wonder frequently why we haven't been blown down the road for outwardly showing off our E purchases while we are in the store.

On the other hand why do you suppose that The re sellers, even the ones that we all know and love here in the States seem to have the product before the LHS does? The LHS has a dealer agreement with the big K that says it will buy K products from K not the reseller. The last in line for product is the LHS at most levels. By the time his shelves are stocked we all have them already which means less sales for him and a growing un willingness to maintain an inventory of useable product and in a lot of cases a place for us to race. I am not advocating that any one of us do something differently than we do. Impatience is bred into us. We gotta have it first so we can show it off to our gotta have it first too friends. That is evident in our present economic state. None of us like the red licked off of our candy. There are options to the concerns we all have with quality. I have listed some of them. The choice is up to each and every one of us. Be part of the problem or be part of the solution.
it's not really relevant to the exact topic on hand but i got caught up in the moment i guess:o

Jace1283
2009.02.25, 11:56 PM
to help understand the hard place Kyosho is in we have:
-20% approx inflation of yen vs. dollar(makes more expensive for us)
-Kyosho is facing rising raw materials costs
-Sharp jumps in labor cost in China
-Yuan also gained on the dollar
-licensing
-Increased shipping costs(Kyosho bodies are still cheap if you live in Japan!)

unless you read quite a bit and really try to get an idea about why everything is rising in price, its tough to understand. Just yelling at kyosho about how your little rc bodies aren't shiny anymore may be the natural response of less informed people, but try to understand that there's far more than you know going on here. If you're young, you will long for these days again. It is unlikely you will see prices drop, they've always been on the increase after all!

I know Kyosho would not put these prices on us just for the heck of it, it is out of necessity, and they still have my support and understanding. They aren't growing their ego in these economic climates. Hmmm, toys or mortgage hmmm....

This isn't just RC car bodies, these price jumps are all over the place. Bike prices have jumped 20-30% for this year over the last because of associated production costs.

The price jump is for the new year, every year companies have to evaluate where theyre at and make decisions for the year ahead, and probly no doubt due to cost, K has had to increase their prices.

No one likes paying more for "less", but it isn't Kyosho you should be trying to reach on forums it doesn't read, it's just not their fault. There's new players on the global market, USA isn't the only big dog anymore. On top of that you have general resource shortages(lack of abundancy) driving costs up...really one could write a whole paper and more on the issue but hopefully you get it...There's little Kyosho can do, it costs what it costs them.

mleemor60
2009.02.26, 08:12 AM
Extremely well put. Thank you.

arch2b
2009.02.26, 09:22 AM
yes indeed, very thorough review of the situation. again, it's unfortunate kyosho leaves this to us to explain.

yes, they do read this forum, to be more specific, persons employed by kyosho do read this forum and others. most major manufacturers do keep an eye on forums for consumer sentiment, response, etc.

Knacki
2009.02.26, 10:06 AM
yes indeed, very thorough review of the situation. again, it's unfortunate kyosho leaves this to us to explain.

yes, they do read this forum, to be more specific, persons employed by kyosho do read this forum and others. most major manufacturers do keep an eye on forums for consumer sentiment, response, etc.

...and they should keep in mind that we are - after all circumstances and explanations - "just" customers.
Customers that finally just look at the price, quality and what they can afford.

"Fine hand polish" means polishing something else than the quality for me ;)

No one of my clients is asking me to produce lower quality for higher prices due to economic circumstances.
Guess what they would do if I would follow this route?
Even if I would explain them:

"Yes, I built a very thin roof on your house for the 20% more than last time. No, I don't think it can stand rain and of course no snow. Ha ha ha, what do you expect, mate?! Listen! The chinese Yuan, the Yen and me.....bla bla bla bla....."

Dudemeister
2009.02.26, 10:30 AM
to help understand the hard place Kyosho is in we have:
-20% approx inflation of yen vs. dollar(makes more expensive for us)
-Kyosho is facing rising raw materials costs
-Sharp jumps in labor cost in China
-Yuan also gained on the dollar
-licensing
-Increased shipping costs(Kyosho bodies are still cheap if you live in Japan!)

unless you read quite a bit and really try to get an idea about why everything is rising in price, its tough to understand. Just yelling at kyosho about how your little rc bodies aren't shiny anymore may be the natural response of less informed people, but try to understand that there's far more than you know going on here. If you're young, you will long for these days again. It is unlikely you will see prices drop, they've always been on the increase after all!

I know Kyosho would not put these prices on us just for the heck of it, it is out of necessity, and they still have my support and understanding. They aren't growing their ego in these economic climates. Hmmm, toys or mortgage hmmm....

This isn't just RC car bodies, these price jumps are all over the place. Bike prices have jumped 20-30% for this year over the last because of associated production costs.

The price jump is for the new year, every year companies have to evaluate where theyre at and make decisions for the year ahead, and probly no doubt due to cost, K has had to increase their prices.

No one likes paying more for "less", but it isn't Kyosho you should be trying to reach on forums it doesn't read, it's just not their fault. There's new players on the global market, USA isn't the only big dog anymore. On top of that you have general resource shortages(lack of abundancy) driving costs up...really one could write a whole paper and more on the issue but hopefully you get it...There's little Kyosho can do, it costs what it costs them.
Wow... I almost shed a tear for poor, poor Kyosho.

I've been working in the Hi-tech industry (computer manufacturing to be exact) for 14 years, and I see pricing trends coming out of Asia on a nearly daily basis.

Kyosho happens to have a niche product which has very little competition. For this reason they can maintain an artificially high price because they know their product will sell. Their tactic of producing relatively low quantities of an item and making it available for a short period of time, does 2 things: creates demand and insures that they will not have to worry about excess inventory.

Where I work, we deal with the manufacturing of plastic components and such, and while the price the labor and tooling and so on has been slowly creeping up, 1-2 percent per year, the price of raw materials has come down in the last 6 months. Improvements in tooling and machinery have also driven some prices lower as well. Plastics like most other petroleum based products cost less today than it did a year ago. Overall, if you were to go get a price quote today for a injection molded piece, it will be the same or a little less today than it was last year.

Bottom line is that Kyosho is asking these price because they think they can get away with it. If they had any true competition for their product you wouldn't see these price hikes. Take a look at RC helis, competition there is more intense so yo can now get a better helicopter today, for less money then you could just 1 year ago.

As far as the quality of the product coming from Kyosho, I think it's due to a change in manufacturing. Kyosho does not have a manufacturing arm, rather they sub-contract it out, and they probably moved from Japan or Taiwan to mainland China, and you can see the results.

If Kyosho indeed does read these forums, I invite a rebuttal of these statements, but unitl they chime in, I'm not going to make excuse for them.

Cherub1m
2009.02.26, 10:58 AM
Wow... I almost shed a tear for poor, poor Kyosho.

I've been working in the Hi-tech industry (computer manufacturing to be exact) for 14 years, and I see pricing trends coming out of Asia on a nearly daily basis.

Kyosho happens to have a niche product which has very little competition. For this reason they can maintain an artificially high price because they know their product will sell. Their tactic of producing relatively low quantities of an item and making it available for a short period of time, does 2 things: creates demand and insures that they will not have to worry about excess inventory.

Where I work, we deal with the manufacturing of plastic components and such, and while the price the labor and tooling and so on has been slowly creeping up, 1-2 percent per year, the price of raw materials has come down in the last 6 months. Improvements in tooling and machinery have also driven some prices lower as well. Plastics like most other petroleum based products cost less today than it did a year ago. Overall, if you were to go get a price quote today for a injection molded piece, it will be the same or a little less today than it was last year.

Bottom line is that Kyosho is asking these price because they think they can get away with it. If they had any true competition for their product you wouldn't see these price hikes. Take a look at RC helis, competition there is more intense so yo can now get a better helicopter today, for less money then you could just 1 year ago.

As far as the quality of the product coming from Kyosho, I think it's due to a change in manufacturing. Kyosho does not have a manufacturing arm, rather they sub-contract it out, and they probably moved from Japan or Taiwan to mainland China, and you can see the results.

If Kyosho indeed does read these forums, I invite a rebuttal of these statements, but unitl they chime in, I'm not going to make excuse for them.

Only thing I disagree with you on Dudemeister is "I almost shed a tear for poor poor Kyosho" :D...I may pull out the world's smallest violin for them, but I would not play it, they would have to play it:D. After that I agree with everything else you said:D

I to would love to hear a rebuttal from Kyosho. But you know, it's like the gas prices, the barrel prices are low, I believe the last I heard it was around $40 per barrel and the gas prices are still slowly going up at that price per barrel the gas prices for regular should be around $1.25 to $1.40 not $1.70 to $2.00.

XMDrifter
2009.02.26, 09:55 PM
in mini-z's, if people do switch to lexan bodies, it might not be as enjoyable to collect, but polycarbonate bodies are much lighter, shinier and durable than clearcoated hard plastic because they flex when hit, yet are stiff enough to retain shape even at crazy speeds that some modelers take them to (hint: 100mph electric 1:10)
i don't know what the future entails for the autoscales, but it might not be too bad to switch to polycarbonate. after all, some manufacturers can mold plenty of detail into a polycarbonate shell.

arch2b
2009.02.26, 10:08 PM
lets hope iwaver comes up big with their bmw and other new releases.

marc
2009.02.26, 10:21 PM
Weather or not they clear coat the thing is not all that important as we can do it ourselves. But what's up with the poor quality of decal work on these Ferrari's? I think Mr. Enzo would be cheezed if he saw this with his racing cars!

Knacki
2009.02.26, 11:45 PM
Weather or not they clear coat the thing is not all that important as we can do it ourselves. .......

Has someone figured out the colour type which harmonize with the actual clearcoat? What a pain of extra work! :(

Even the best looking lexan body is a piece of sh*t against the autoscales.

It is the Mini-Z philosophy and the secret of their success.
Playing with realistic looking cars that are even realistic driving - a boys dream.

Mini-Z are poor technique in comparison to other cars. Slow driving and out of the box nothing. You have to invest a hell of money to make a real racer out of a toy - O.K. or a lot of us are just spending a hell of money ;)

So what is the reason driving those things?
They are really good looking!

And that is the real mess, that no reasonable manufacture is producing the same quality bodies for mini-z like kyosho.

If just the prices would have bumped up - O.K. we are used to this every day :( But quality down price up? No way!
I guess starting with the Le Mans series and the "real good looking bodies" they already changed plastic or just made thinner constructions.
The Porsches 962 crashed often the first day.
Now, the paint...
I can't say anything against decals. They are just fine on my DBR's.

I really just can recommend to over think some politics.
In the real world and in the model world ;)

Knacki- playing with Mini-Z since 7 or 8? years

arch2b
2010.05.22, 11:59 AM
most of us have by now seen that kyosho has brought back gloss coat on select autoscale by popular demand. what concerns me and should concern everyone is some of the information that has been posted about this.

I'll tell you, Gloss coating is a very difficult process and the cost of producing this body is much higher than other bodies, but we have tried to revive this finish to live up to your expectations! This project is for you who have loved Mini-Z for a long time!


Oh!, I've just found that a few of this car is left in our werehouse

this quote comes from the kyosho blog (http://ameblo.jp/kyoshoblog-en/).

why this is disconcerting? this post references the cost as being much higher for this coating. no big surprise there really. but when you consider we actually saw a price increase when they dropped gloss coat for the cheap fine hand polish, its disturbing. to cut costs, they moved to a cheaper finish yet the overall cost increased. and now, due to popular demand, they will be reintroducing a more expensive finish that i do not doubt will increase the price again. personally, autoscale pricing is verging on the edge of unreasonable already. we've sees some fluctuation in pricing which i believe has dropped a smidge.
i want gloss coat bodies plain and simple. i won't however pay $45-50 for it. shops have already taken a hit on autoscale sales in the last year with the cost increase that followed the fine hand polished finish. i don't see a rosey picture for shops if the price jumps up again. this could mean decreased asc sales, translating to decreased demand, down to smaller production runs (which have already been reduced in quantity) = harder to find and more expensive for the average consumer. not sure how this would effect introduction of new autoscales. kyosho has sub'd out some of this to their route 246 brand already with the M3 GTR's, Nissan 240 Z, etc.

right now, i'm concerned about where this is headed. may not end up as expected but little things are pointing in this direction.

nitrojunkie
2010.05.22, 12:18 PM
I have not bought a Mini-z yet but do have a dNano.I personally would like to see all bodies offered in a raw white plastic and unassembled option package.With all parts to complete. Decals can be made relatively cheap on your PC.I can paint, decal, clear and polish to my desire for the cost of materials and a little time and have exactly the car I want in the color scheme I want decaled as I want.

Eman
2010.05.22, 12:48 PM
I don't mind paying $50 for Glosscoat. I don't like paying the same for Finehandpolish. I agree it seems they are alluding to another price increase. I guess thats what you get when they have relatively no competition. I say that because I don't believe it cost anywhere near what they are asking to make an ASC. I will still buy them no matter what the cost. My/our choices are very limited currently.
Off topic: I would like to see a carbon fiber pan car body. Probably never see it. Be impossible to incorporate planned obsolescence into a body that would last forever.

arch2b
2010.05.22, 01:59 PM
i won't pay $50 for any autoscale. never have, never will. i ceased collecting with the move to fine hand polishing and the price jump that came with it. i've actually sold off most of my autoscales since then. even higher prices will mean even fewer asc purchases by me. i'm not rich by any means, nor is the economic outlook for my job market really pleasant to ponder on. while i'm happy to see gloss coat return, even if on a limited scale, i'll be dismayed if the cost makes it economically infeasible for me and i suspect the average racers like me.
dnano:rolleyes:. why were paying more than f1 asc prices for 1:43 is absurd. for the cost of a dnano autoscale and fitting parts you could nearly buy a new chassis kit. that pricing structure seriously hinders their growth in my opinion. who collects dnano asc's at that price? it makes more sense to spend the extra bucks and buy a new kit than an asc and fitting parts.

i realize this conversation is a bit premature but this is just a rant from a long time supporter than finds himself looking over the edge and begining to think about turning around.

yes, every body should be available in unpainted form. the sales for these i think speak for themselves. i think this would suit many people like myself much better as prefinished autoscales may soon be out of my price range.

Action B
2010.05.22, 02:29 PM
I'm glad I read this. I was under the impression that fine hand polish was superior to glosscoat. This is easy to imagine with the higher price.

I will not be purchasing any fine hand polish autoscales now.

nitrojunkie
2010.05.22, 02:58 PM
Yes the unpainted kits should be a very good sale for Kyosho and us as a whole.As for paint you can use model paints if you have to.I would use automotive Urethanes myself.You would be surprized by how far a qt of 4 part econo clear will go.I usually use less than an ounce total for a 1/24th scale model car.This stuff works well with decals also.

arch2b
2010.05.22, 04:01 PM
I'm glad I read this. I was under the impression that fine hand polish was superior to glosscoat. This is easy to imagine with the higher price.

I will not be purchasing any fine hand polish autoscales now.

fine hand polished is simple term for back to basics, pre gloss coat series. this is where you see the decal edges, paint chips and streaks, etc. fine hand polished likely weight less as well. it's hard to make a positive determination as they appear to have reduced the amount of plastic material used in autoscales as well.

you don't have much of a choice really. reintroduction of gloss coat is limited according to the blogs. so far, some of the supra's only. if sales are good or even remain even i'm sure they would bring it back across the board. it's apparent that they got a high volume of requests to get it back and they are willing to listen which is very nice to see.

Action B
2010.05.22, 04:16 PM
I would rather paint my own vs. have a non-glosscoat autoscale.

Really I only purchased the autoscales because they looked good for so long with the amazing glosscoat.

Eman
2010.05.22, 05:10 PM
...they appear to have reduced the amount of plastic material used in autoscales as well.
\

I've noticed this as well. Its frustrating to only have tough choices like do I continue buying ASC, get out of Mini Zs all together or start painting my own bodies. I'm in too deep to quit Mini Zs and painting would cost me more in labor (not as skilled as some). So I'm stuck. Which causes my frustration.....

Dudemeister
2010.05.22, 06:02 PM
It's interesting to see this thread come back.

I find it very ironic that Kyosho should now admit that the glosscoat finish is actually superior to the "fine hand polish" (FHP), when original they made every effort to convince us to the contrary.

I was an avid ASC collector prior to the FHP move and subsequent price hike. Since then I only bought 4 or 5 models, and almost stopped collecting altogether, which is sad for me because it was that very aspect that drew me to Mini-Z, more so than the racing part.

BTW, with regard to the dNano, I'd like to know how they can justify selling a simple basic plastic body with less than 10 parts for nearly the same price they sell their 1:43 scale die cast modes which have so much more detail, and moving parts (like opening doors and hoods, etc).

Anyway, as far as I'm concerned this trend on the part of Kyosho, shows nothing more than arrogance. What they're telling us is: "we know we're the only game in town, and you'll pay for the product becuase you really don't have any other choice".

I think that kyosho will soon price themselves out of the market, and eventually have to either drop their prices, or become a "boutique" brand. There are many competitors out there, and eventually their product will get close in quality and performance to t Kyosho. You will then begin to see some of the aftermarket part manufacturers support those alternatives, and the "real" mini-z just might end up a simple curiosity, and fade away.

briankstan
2010.05.22, 08:59 PM
I too collect (collected) the ASC bodies, I have about 200 of the race themed bodies, I don't really care for the quality of the "Fine Hand Polish" in essence they are skipping a step in the finishing process and in turn charged us more for them.:mad: I'd have to say that the bodies are now over priced and I've only purchased a limited few since the change happened. If the quality didn't get lower and the price went up, I could probably understand that, but to lower the quality and jack the price really turned me off on collecting them.

Skv012a
2010.05.23, 11:56 AM
you don't have much of a choice really. reintroduction of gloss coat is limited according to the blogs. so far, some of the supra's only. if sales are good or even remain even i'm sure they would bring it back across the board. it's apparent that they got a high volume of requests to get it back and they are willing to listen which is very nice to see.

I believe R246 stuff should be Gloss Coat quality. I'm pretty sure that white R32 I have is covered in the good old stuff. I'll double check soon.

arch2b
2010.05.23, 01:18 PM
please do. that would be good to know as r246 is releasing some nice autoscales. can't wait to get a 240z and would love to have it gloss coated.

dxm2
2010.05.24, 07:27 PM
I bought a R246 BMW M3 and am not impressed with it. Although the finish is pretty good, I don't think its as good as the older bodies. Also, the body seems to be thin and flexible. Much thinner than my other, older Glosscoat bodies like my Scuderia F360 or the Martini 935, which still look great even close up.

Skv012a
2010.05.28, 04:59 PM
please do. that would be good to know as r246 is releasing some nice autoscales. can't wait to get a 240z and would love to have it gloss coated.

Looks like its not the good and old, comparing my white R246 and old metallic gray R32s. Maybe a few manual coats of glosscoat could take care of things.

ysrgn
2010.06.13, 10:18 AM
nowadays.. there are cheap polishing methods but the best thing to do is not asking on how will it cost but how long will it last....

Mead
2010.10.01, 12:19 AM
That's just insane, what goes into an ASC that justifies $50???

Sure the wheels look nice but the hard tires are useless and bodies still pop off at the track :mad:

$35 - $40 is maximum for a nice quality ASC. I refuse to pay $50.

Gravyking
2010.10.01, 07:25 AM
Just got an Ford GT and it pop off at the smallest crash!
The body is way to soft. :(

hrdrvr
2010.10.01, 08:59 AM
Glueing the windshield to the body all the way around it will make a big difference in stiffening up the body flex. That'll solve the 'pop' problem with most bodies. Some just seem too wide, and cant be run without tape or body posts.

Mead
2010.10.01, 11:34 AM
Glueing the windshield to the body all the way around it will make a big difference in stiffening up the body flex. That'll solve the 'pop' problem with most bodies. Some just seem too wide, and cant be run without tape or body posts.
Great tip!

Now, how do we keep mirrors and lenses from snapping off? :o, even the rubberized side mirrors are no match against RCP walls :D

Just got an Ford GT and it pop off at the smallest crash!
The body is way to soft. :(
Ford GT is a great handling body. Low with small rear overhang. Mine's retired now because it developed two 1 1/4" identical horizontal cracks on L/R side, starts from front wheel well to the ribbed structure where the side clips mount.

Mead
2010.10.01, 11:36 AM
Glueing the windshield to the body all the way around it will make a big difference in stiffening up the body flex. That'll solve the 'pop' problem with most bodies. Some just seem too wide, and cant be run without tape or body posts.
Great tip!

Now, how do we keep mirrors and lenses from snapping off? :o, even the rubberized side mirrors are no match against RCP walls :D

Just got an Ford GT and it pop off at the smallest crash!
The body is way to soft. :(
Ford GT is a great handling body. Low with small rear overhang. Mine's retired now because it developed two 1 1/4" identical horizontal cracks on L/R side, starts from front wheel well to the ribbed structure where the side clips mount.

Oh and if you're using the ASC wheels, by now :p the lips on those rims are probably breaking off in chunks during impact especially the rear, too fragile the design is.

Skv012a
2010.10.01, 11:56 AM
Glueing the windshield to the body all the way around it will make a big difference in stiffening up the body flex. That'll solve the 'pop' problem with most bodies. Some just seem too wide, and cant be run without tape or body posts.

Perhaps they can be actually, if you add some reinforcement to the clips.

http://i452.photobucket.com/albums/qq249/skv0124/MiniZ/Z33brace.jpg

I used a thin aluminum rod/pipe. Stiffened the 350 3-4x compared to stock.