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Old 2018.04.16, 04:44 PM   #1
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Kyosho sold

Kyosho has been sold to a Japanese investment bank. We will need to see what plans they have in restructuring for the mini-z future. Hoping that they don't drop the line, and try to expand on it instead.

Source: http://www.redrc.net/2018/04/kyosho-...vestment-bank/
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Old 2018.04.16, 06:50 PM   #2
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Lets hope the 'Mini-Z' isn't a casualty of the sale. Regardless, the scale exists well beyond Kyosho now thanks to the multitude of aftermarket platforms now available.
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Old 2018.04.16, 07:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arch2b View Post


Lets hope the 'Mini-Z' isn't a casualty of the sale. Regardless, the scale exists well beyond Kyosho now thanks to the multitude of aftermarket platforms now available.
I agree that the scale could continue... but, the biggest loss would be the autoscale bodies. Although, they've been a little lame as of late. Which was a hint to the financial woes they were facing.
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Old 2018.04.16, 08:04 PM   #4
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from the site...

"Japanese business website nikkei.com has reported that long-established manufacturer Kyosho has recently been bought by the Shinsei investment bank. It is understood that the move also means greater internal restructures over at Kyosho, as the company ran into financial difficulties following decreasing domestic sales. Former Kyosho president Akihisa Suzuki is understood to have retired, but will stay on in an advisory role, with Katsumi Watanabe now taking over at the helm. We will bring you more information on the subject as it becomes available.

Source: Nikkei [nikkei.com] via Kentech"
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Old 2018.04.16, 08:22 PM   #5
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hmm... dunno what to make out of this... could it be a + or - ? investment banking usually dwells on the bottom line... so from that standpoint, what doesn't contribute, usually will have to go...

it mentions that there is "decreasing domestic sales"... but makes no mention of international sales... and no mention of what particular lines are "decreasing"

i'm still hopeful that they will keep and expand the mini-z line as i believe it does have some good points into entry level remote control cars, (small size, can be run indoors, relatively good entry price point - compared to other scales, ready to run, autoscale detail and collectablity, relatively high fun factor) that may or may not eventually lead to bigger scales... and consequently bigger sales...

as this is a hobby... we are most dealing with expendable / disposable income... the money that is available after taxes and after you've spent on basic needs and necessities - food, clothing, housing/rent, basically the cost of living... so it would also depend on what the economy is like or how healthy it is... so developing or struggling economies, may find it hard to buy into something that may be too costly (like a hobby), as they might just want to purchase or buy more of the basic necessities that they might need, or rather save it or put it into a fund for a rainy day...

just hope all goes well for the mini-z and the new owners...

Last edited by herman; 2018.04.16 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 2018.04.16, 10:06 PM   #6
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Pretty much nailed it Herman. If it's not a money making product, it might be axed. Makes me nervous about the mini-z. It has always been treated as collectors items, with very limited production runs. Which increased value for the items after they were no longer available... but the fact that Kyosho never really embraced the competitive racing scene with the mini-z, restricted its general growth at its peak, and they focused on such niche segments in the market (body choices that were not competitive but beautiful).

With no real competitor in the market until recently, they could really milk the scale market. Which is what I feel that they did with the sports. Getting dropped by KO for electronics didn't help their case either.

I really want to see them recover, and expand... but I don't know whether would want to increase investment into the scale. In the last few years, it really has been a very low production amount for mini-z.
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Old 2018.04.16, 10:36 PM   #7
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Kind of a shame. They say that their domestic sales were down. I'd be surprised if international sales aren't down as well. In Austin TX, I cannot find one local shop that sells mini-z's. They have such a poor reseller/distributor presence here, it's pathetic. Also sad that the only hobby shop here is hobbytown. the R/C shop here, no indoor racing.no clubs here. Really jealous of some of the stores I see in the northeast and cali with regular clubs meeting and racing.
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Old 2018.04.17, 12:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottGTO View Post
Kind of a shame. They say that their domestic sales were down. I'd be surprised if international sales aren't down as well. In Austin TX, I cannot find one local shop that sells mini-z's. They have such a poor reseller/distributor presence here, it's pathetic. Also sad that the only hobby shop here is hobbytown. the R/C shop here, no indoor racing.no clubs here. Really jealous of some of the stores I see in the northeast and cali with regular clubs meeting and racing.
There aren't many places to race anymore in the northeast... used to have 8 tracks to choose within an hour drive from Manhattan. Now there is one with a table top track for mini-z.

Kyosho lost a lot of racers with the switch to the sports electronics, but the real culprit has been the economy and stagnation of production for the scale from 2012 to present. Few racing oriented bodies to choose, and no development on Kyosho end for racing mini-z.
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Old 2018.04.17, 01:18 AM   #9
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in other news... a new track just opened in Tokyo...

Here's that link to the new track
Click here ---> PASSAGE
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Old 2018.04.17, 04:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herman View Post
in other news... a new track just opened in Tokyo...

Here's that link to the new track
Click here ---> PASSAGE
Looks pretty cool. They have 3 tracks...
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Old 2018.04.17, 12:25 PM   #11
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Kyosho has always embraced the competitive racing scene with their JDM Mini-Z Cup. It had a brief appearance here in NA only to disappear just as quickly and can only guess it was in part due to poor distribution relationship with retailers (they were tied to Great Planes at the time I believe). It was no secret that retailers did not like the distribution Kyosho used. I really wished they has simply stuck with it until it got to K.USA distribution. By this time however, NA economics were on the roller coaster plummet and retailers were disappearing at alarming rate. Those that have survived, have found that while it may be easier to get the product, they have missed the boat in building a solid base. If it were not for aftermarket racing series pushing ahead, I think the scene were be drastically different, in a far worse way. NA market still doesn't get a lot of competitive racing series support despite pockets of intense activity.

I for one and very thankful Kyosho did not focus soley on performance models/autoscales. Their hook has always been the autoscale (as they have attested to in many interviews) to begin with and within at least JDM and other markets, there is much lager support for what the NA market considers non-performance models. I can only offer the opinion licensing would also be much higher for racing liveries vs. road based models. (I'm a huge fan of the racing livery models!) If Kyosho failed to expand the line and devolved, yes the word choice is intentional, into pan car bodies it would have just as likely suffered as well as I would argue a majority of the market doesn't competitively race. My disdain for generic pan style classes is no secret and never shy about it. I bought into the product line for the diecast quality autoscale RC experience. If that goes away, I go away. I am certainly not anyone important to the scale but I believe I am also not the only one that places some measure of importance on the scale appearance and not just performance as part of the experience. Mini-Z has been marketed for the experience, for better or worse. The performance based side is, I believe, well supported now via aftermarket leaving a path that in many cases overlaps and in some cases divergent. There remains room for all I believe, it's just up to us, as it has been since the beginning in the NA market to keep it going. For a product that was never distributed well, almost completely bereft of advertising and marketing, it's still here.

Food for thought, I believe the scale would survive the loss of Kyosho. It is, always has been and will remain a niche market but the aftermarket product is so good now, it's challenging what it means to be 'Mini-Z' as this has been the sole term synonymous with the scale. I think this is already changing. My only hope/wish is that the autoscale isn't a casualty of this change. I firmly believe we need to discard the notion that it must be Kyosho to be 'Mini-Z'. There are simply far to many other avenues, pathways in the scale to refer to Kyosho only when using the term 'Mini-Z'. Most of which simply did not exist 10 years ago.
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Old 2018.04.17, 10:05 PM   #12
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I think the aftermarket is in a good place to handle chassis and electronics... but the Autoscale bodies and tires would be the biggest loss if Kyosho were to cease production.

The bodies are what got me hooked, and what would also help differentiate classes. The narrow and short wheelbase bodies can be very competitive amongst each other when leaving the larger race livery bodies and supercars off the table.

The waters would get muddy at the point of entry, where a near stock class works very well to have close racing at minimum cost. With an open chassis and electronics, that level of racing will be difficult to achieve.
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Old 2018.04.18, 12:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I think the aftermarket is in a good place to handle chassis and electronics... but the Autoscale bodies and tires would be the biggest loss if Kyosho were to cease production.

The bodies are what got me hooked, and what would also help differentiate classes. The narrow and short wheelbase bodies can be very competitive amongst each other when leaving the larger race livery bodies and supercars off the table.

The waters would get muddy at the point of entry, where a near stock class works very well to have close racing at minimum cost. With an open chassis and electronics, that level of racing will be difficult to achieve.
I agree about the autoscales, not as much about the tires. (We don't use them and it seems their are a couple extremely viable aftermarket brands) The bodies, however, are probably the most important aspect of Mini-Z racing for me. I'm not sure I would ever be willing to put a generic, undetailed, and not scale appearing Lexan body on my Mini-Zs. I love that different bodies and wheelbases have differerent handling characteristics, and it was what drew me into the hobby.

I realize there are some exciting platforms for micro-racing, but I don't think any of them care about making scale-looking racecars like Kyosho. I hope they get it sorted out. Personally, I am not skilled enough to keep a 2 cell Lipo car on the 2 Wide-L RCP Tracks that we race on. We get our best racing that is plenty fast for me with old school 70 t PN racing official stock motors and 4 AAA NiMH batteries. . .
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Old 2018.04.18, 03:09 AM   #14
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There may be plenty of viable tire options. But, in 15 years of racing mini-z, no tire that I have used has been as consistent from batch to batch and had as long shelf life and usage time as the Kyosho tire.

The last race that I attended a few weeks ago, I used Kyosho tires that were mounted and prepped 6 years ago. There is no dry rot, or change in grip in the Kyosho tires. While you may be giving up a few tenths ay peak grip, the consistency of the Kyosho tire makes it easier to have a consistent car that doesn't require as much maintenance.

The only other tire that comes close was the old atomic tires, which were known to have silicone in the mix... and became an illegal tire for rcp use.

The loss of the bodies would be major, while the tires would be minor. Both would be a loss.
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Old 2018.04.18, 07:10 AM   #15
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I'm in agreement on Kyosho having the scale standard to follow with regard to tire consistency. A 20 from 5 years ago is the same as today. This obviously cannot be said for any other brand. Doesn't mean they are the only game in town, just the baseline to work from as you know what your getting each and every time.

Is Firelap/Iwaver still making autoscales? TRP and PN have their own but the former is the only other company releasing a variety.

Speculative discussion...
Also in agreement with tricky business of establishing consistency of what a stock class is in a world without the Kyosho platform. Larger scales have figured this out however in 17+ years, it eludes the 'Mini-Z' scale even today (no sanctioned rules/classes).

Lets try to be optimistic though, assuming the line isn't on the chopping block and remains, even in a paired down lineup, costs will certainly rise and one would hope they limit the frequency mashups to a minimum. It seems like they are already moving toward this shift with the FHSS/MHS lineup moving forward given they no longer offer FHS/ASF (you can still easily find them in the supply chain however). Very happy that to date, MHS and ASF are compatible. How much farther can autoscale prices go before they are priced out of the market? Assuming the opinion is they are not already so... I buy significantly fewer autoscales now than I did 5-10 years ago simply due to the doubling of price. I'm willing to accept a whitebody only market over a $70-90 autoscale price.
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