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Andy Robbins

Are you serious, Hasegawa?

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Hasegawa has priced themselves out of the now small Oz market apparently.

They used to be well priced but now along with the other Japanese Mfr's they are now out of reach for modeller's on very small budgets.

My local model store hasn't had a Hasegawa kit for over a year (not that I'd buy one), the proprietor told me that not only doesn't Hasegawa sell it is now pulling out of Oz due to poor sales. He can't get any kits from the Oz distributor said he 'cause there ain't none.

Considering how over expensive the kits are for what you get compared to, say, Airfix (my personal faves) it's no wonder there are "poor sales". Fujimi is gone from Oz and possibly Tamiya soon, not that I'm overly worried as Tamiya kits have been unaffordable for over a decade here.

I'm afraid we are seeing the gradual destruction of our hobby due to greed.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not surprised at that, and I think the same is happening in Europe.

 

Personally I love their kits; they are my favorite manufacturer. Great fit and detail, interesting reboxes and (at least more recently) good decal options. 

 

Still, I have to admit I don't think the European importers have made any money of me in decades. I get my Hasegawa kits straight from Japan, ebay or shows. 

Edited by sroubos

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I`d love the Coastal Command Liberator, especially as it now includes the glazing for the Boulton Paul tail turret,.......but that price is just too much for me,.......as people have said. Hasegawa is just too expensive in the UK now. 

I believe that Eduard were going to release the same kit in their box with Czech markings,.....I wonder how much this will cost?

 

Cheers

          Tony

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I don't think it's greed as such - more that there are too many handlers of the goods and too small a destination market.

 

The novelty things are generally imported by one company who pays the taxes and sells directly to retailers. Japan isn't a cheap place to live or do business. Toyota literally fills ships with cars and their market is everyone of a driving age anywhere in the world. Hasegawa's market is some aging nerdy sorts like us. The importer often doesn't sell directly but rather to other businesses. Everyone has to apply a mark up - that's how trading works. You'd have to be an absolute idiot to sell something on for close to what you paid for it - and frankly you won't be in business long if that's what you do. You'd have been better putting your money in a bank account than spending a few grand on shop stock to sit there and trickle away over months with each sold unit netting a few pennies more than it cost. You'll run in to cash flow problems very fast if you can't liquidate your investment quickly and for a decent return. Even the time it takes for a boat to get from Japan to the UK means someone needs a big cash buffer to tolerate the transit times.

 

The problem is what the model industry in this country looks like. People expect to walk in to a bricks and mortar shop and see boxes of dead cash sat on shelves - and often they want a discount too. By the time a Hasegawa box has ended up on a retailer's shelf consider how many hands it's passed through. Hannants is both a direct retailer and wholesaler. If they undercut their own trade customers there won't be any trade customers.

 

That Hasegawa is vanishing from certain markets is a result of customers not liking the prices, and the traders realising the products are a bad investment because they can't sell them. Perhaps the Japanese manufacturers need to change their business models if they want to continue selling overseas. Perhaps though, they make enough to be content with the Japanese domestic market and North America, which combined together absolutely dwarfs what they're missing by not doing so well in Europe and Australasia.

 

Again it's not greed, but evolution. If it cost someone here the same money to commute to work as they made everyday they'd resign and get another job closer to home. It's unrealistic to expect anyone - business or private individual - to put a load of effort in to something that doesn't benefit them in some way. A business turning over a load of money in sales is just a foolish vanity project if there's no profit in the sales.

 

Given the choice of doing nothing and having £x in the bank, or putting in a load of work and still ending up with £x in the bank, I'd rather do nothing and have the time and energy free to consider doing something else with my very finite time in this world!

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Italeri has an arrangement with Tamiya whereby they rebox each other's products in their home markets. Airfix of old borrowed Academy and Otaki mould a amongst others to rebox themselves. Surely there must be something in the Hasegawa catalogue that would be of interest to a European manufacturer to rebadge. Even a few thousand units of (say) their Avenger would make them a few yen in a market that is otherwise rapidly closing up to them? 

 

Trevor

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Max Headroom said:

Italeri has an arrangement with Tamiya whereby they rebox each other's products in their home markets. Airfix of old borrowed Academy and Otaki mould a amongst others to rebox themselves. Surely there must be something in the Hasegawa catalogue that would be of interest to a European manufacturer to rebadge. Even a few thousand units of (say) their Avenger would make them a few yen in a market that is otherwise rapidly closing up to them? 

 

Trevor

 

Tamiya reboxes Italeri kits for the Japanese market but Italeri do not rebox Tamiya kits.

The same Italeri though has recently reboxed a small number of Hasegawa kits, the Typhoon a couple years ago, then the Mc.205 and very recently the F-104, all in 1/48 scale. There is the possibility that this agreement will result in more Japanese kits in Italeri boxes in the future.

Then there's Eduard who have used Hasegawa kits as starting point for a number of their limited edition kits

Edited by Giorgio N

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The Revell 1/48 Stuka is a Hasegawa moulding too.

 

The reboxes are a good thing generally I think, but they look particularly strange when, say, Hasegawa reboxes an ICM Ju88 then it gets imported back to the UK in the Hasegawa box at double the price of ICM's own boxing.

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This topic comes up every now & again, and the end result is usually the same.  People explain that it's a combination of exchange rate, import duty, the increase in shipping rates, and the importer's cut, and that the only thing one can do about it is try to shop around for a bargain, vote with your wallet, or try personally importing an item yourself.  I've seen a few things from the Far East (and Eastern Europe) I've fancied recently, but by the time you've factored in the inflated shipping prices, plus the chances of being "got" by HM Customs on higher ticket items, which in itself attracts the "gotcha" from ParcelFarce of around £13, it takes all the fun out of personal imports. :shrug: You're damned if you do, and damned if you don't, and what that illustrates is that the wedge taken by the importer for their expenses and profit margin?  Well, it's not as usurious as we thought.  It costs money to import containers from thousands of miles away, there are costs involved, and people need to earn a wage/profit.

 

inflation is rampant at the moment, and as model kits don't feature in the RPI shopping basket, they don't count toward the headline rate.  Neither does anything else my household commonly buys by the looks of it, as it stands at 3.6% at the moment :blink::cwl::suicide:

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To throw my two cents in. I live in Chicago USA. The American market is shrinking. Hasegawa’s Market is shrinking here as well. Ive been modeling since 1979 with a 10 year hiatus from 2005-2015. Until 2005 when i left modeling there was roughly 10 Brick and Mortar mom n pop hobby shops in the Chicago area and Suburbs. When i came back to the hobby in 2015 that number was two ! There are a few hobby/craft stores that have a single aisle with models. The one local shop has only old dusty Hasegawa models mosly 1/72. More Tamiya and hobbyboss than anything. The other shop has a better selection but its the only shop in that area for about 20 miles in any direction.

      Most modellers now buy there products online and Hasegawa seems content with that. And like others have said the hobby with few exceptions seems to be on a downward slope. Its been left to the older generations to keep buying and building. The young for the most part aren't interested. The hobby is losing because it doesn't have the instant gratification of video gaming or social media. Thats why Hasegawa seems to be pulling back to Japan and the safety net of online purchasing. 

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9 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

The young for the most part aren't interested. The hobby is losing because it doesn't have the instant gratification of video gaming or social media. Thats why Hasegawa seems to be pulling back to Japan and the safety net of online purchasing. 

 

I agree that there aren't as many young people interested as there were even in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when I was a small boy. But, and perhaps I'm prejudiced, as I work in the field, but I think social media (like this message board) is vitally important for preserving the hobby. My perception is that thirty or forty years ago, there might be as many as 20,000 scale modellers in a big city like Chicago or London, including teenagers and other casual builders. That's the total population of this board now. But now anyone wanting to get into the hobby can come here and get all the information they need to make informed choices about kits, paints, glues, rigging, you name it. Anything. And if you live near a public library or have access to the internet another way, it's all free, in essence. Back in the day you had to subscribe to a magazine or buy a book (if you could even find them, or knew what they existed), and it was a huge struggle to obtain different brands of kits or supplies. The social media era has brought us much closer; I've made great friendships through this site and had wonderful aviation experiences with people I met on Britmodeller.

 

Now, that said, one thing that does concern me a little is that I'm ten to thirty years younger than many of the other modellers here. But (1) hopefully scientists will abolish death, and (2) I can raise my kids to build models with me in my dotage.

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Procopius im sorry you misunderstood or i misrepresented my point. I wasn't trying to slap social media. I enjoy this site like everyone else. I was just pointing out that most younger people would rather bury their face in a phone/tablet. Instead of putting in the sweat equity to build a scale model. 

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On ‎01‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 2:05 PM, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

The Japanese domestic market is very large. The Japanese manufacturers are not easy to deal with and aren't particularly interested in Europe.

Really, large commercial companies not interested in increasing their sales? If I was a share holder I would expect the Sales Director to be fired with an attitude like that!

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8 minutes ago, 3DStewart said:

Really, large commercial companies not interested in increasing their sales? If I was a share holder I would expect the Sales Director to be fired with an attitude like that!

Try them!

 

Fujimi's website is only in Japanese.

 

They will sell to you, of course, IF you can find a point of contact and convince someone you're not wasting their time trying to buy two kits cheap - but the minimum criteria to meet to be worth their while is prohibitive for small businesses.

 

Even HLJ will sell trade, but again the minimum monthly order value these manufacturers and Japanese bulk sellers require is typically a mid-four figure sum and that's before all the shipping costs - which most of them you have to organise yourself. Your container turns up, they let you have your cartons of kits, and your container leaves. That means having a freight forwarder to do export / import paperwork too.

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I get the best prices by buying online - from forum like this one and online hobby stores. Prices have gone up recently but so have the prices of even commodities of everyday use. 

 

Oil prices are same as they were 12 years ago but the price at the pump is not what it was then. I take this analogy for the dearness of everything around us. 

 

But it also is a concern for all of us that our hobby consumer base is shrinking or conversely not expanding. I see children around me who are more enthusiastic about new devices and video games. I look back when I was as young as they are now, I was more enthusiastic about this hobby, looking forward to building a new model kit. 

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On 10/2/2017 at 11:39 AM, FAAMAN said:

Hasegawa has priced themselves out of the now small Oz market apparently.

They used to be well priced but now along with the other Japanese Mfr's they are now out of reach for modeller's on very small budgets.

My local model store hasn't had a Hasegawa kit for over a year (not that I'd buy one), the proprietor told me that not only doesn't Hasegawa sell it is now pulling out of Oz due to poor sales. He can't get any kits from the Oz distributor said he 'cause there ain't none.

Considering how over expensive the kits are for what you get compared to, say, Airfix (my personal faves) it's no wonder there are "poor sales". Fujimi is gone from Oz and possibly Tamiya soon, not that I'm overly worried as Tamiya kits have been unaffordable for over a decade here.

I'm afraid we are seeing the gradual destruction of our hobby due to greed.

Where are you at Lowie?

My bricks and mortar dealer of choice is Modelsports at Dapto (south of the Gong)

They are well stocked with Hasegawa and Tamiya plus a few of the more esoteric manufacturers as well.

Their prices dont make your eyes water (cept for the 1/350 Tamiya Yamato but I still bought it anyways)

I dont use any of the others around especially those well known theives that have a name that ends in "co"

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Here's a low cost tip for all/most kits made in Japan - https://www.plazajapan.com/categories/Plastic-Model/Hasegawa/Aircraft/

 

I've just filtered it for Hasegawa aircraft models, however they also sell well priced Tamiya and some Fujimi.

I've used them a few times and cannot fault them at all. Kits are well packed and postage is quite reasonable (I think) 

I do not wish to promote any webstore over the LHS's however if the local chaps cannot supply what you're after, then it's hard to look past mail order.

 

Cheers.. Dave.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm not convinced our hobby is declining. I've been building kits since the mid-1980s when I was five years old. I went on a hiatus from the mid-90s to 2009, and when I got back into it I was surprised to see how much stuff was available. I don't have numbers, but if I look at what's available nowadays and I compare it with what we had in the 90s the difference seems huge. More manufacturers, more kits, much higher quality. 

 

There is of course the trend away from brick and mortar shops to online trading, but this is hardly unique to our hobby. Pretty much every shop owner is now competing with some form of online trading and you can see it in the high street. I'm into music and film as well, and it's sad to see that most major record stores like HMV, Tower Records and Virgin have ceased trading. Sure, I can still get the stuff online, or even digitally, but there is nothing like browsing through stacks of CDs or DVDs and finally finding what you were looking for. The same applies to model kits. Every toy store used to have kits, but now it's just a few specialty shops and unless you're lucky you need to drive two hours to get to one. Still, all that doesn't mean there is less interest in the hobby and in fact I think I buy more stuff now that so much is available online as it's easier to find - no brick and mortar shop can stock that much content.

 

It's also quite obvious that model shows, at least the big ones, are doing well. Telford seems to be growing every year, and Euro Scale Modelling in the Netherlands is getting bigger every year as well.

 

I think one of the drivers for all of this is that the baby boom generation is retiring and they have two very important assets: Time and money. My dad retired a few years ago and he has gotten back into the hobby in a really big way, cranking out kits at an amazing rate.

 

As for young people not getting into the hobby, again I'm not sure if that's the case. I hear from my local hobby shop owner that he sees a renewed interest from kids in recent years. Sure, the majority of them will keep playing videogames (heck, I play videogames) but there are some that are looking at other things as well.

Edited by sroubos

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I think the decline of shops is more to do with the amount of choice and information available to the consumer. The consumer gets what the consumer wants. It's neither possible nor even desirable that a LHS stocks everything on the market. Most half-way serious modellers nowadays rightly completely ignore box art and pre-select kits based on the wealth of information about accuracy.

 

In the 1980s most kits were rubbish, most decals were rubbish and paints were the wrong colour for almost every use - but nobody knew any better and therefore it didn't bother them. Not only that - but a manufacturer had a Fw190 kit. Modellers were largely unaware of differences between marks/model numbers. The aftermarket largely didn't exist.

 

Come forward to today and there are well known strengths and weaknesses about every kit. Serious modellers avoid the inaccurate ones and seek out the better ones. Some value fit and finesse above all else and avoid the difficult ones. Manufacturers often have half a dozen or more boxings of the same aircraft in a given scale with different parts to represent different marks - because the consumer wants to model an Fw190A-5 or Fw190A-8 specifically, and they want it to be right, with the specific markings they want, in the right colours, and often they want seatbelts, a nice instrument panel and nice gun barrels. They'll of course want to use clearcoats compatible with their paints and they'll want some weathering products.

 

An average modeller like me can achieve things fairly easily today that was technically very difficult for the best of modellers in the 1980s. That's a great thing because I'm rarely satisfied with anything at all in life and always want better. It's simply not possible for one retailer to stock everything I could want - and if they tried there wouldn't be a market to support two of them and monopolies are bad for the same consumer.

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Your view raises the question of why the after market has grown in the last few years. From my point of view the decline of brick and mortar shops and the rise of after market are both due to the same reason: The internet.

 

If you have a niche product like a Hungarian AF decal sheet or a 72nd scale brass pitot tube for a Boomerang you will struggle if your only sales outlet is high street shops. Few of them have the shelf space to accommodate your products, how many would they sell? Few if any. So they didn't stock them, and that's why they weren't very prevalent in the 1980s.

 

Fast forward to now. You can offer that decal sheet via your own website, which is cheap, or get some other internet shops interested, which is slighly more expensive, but still attractive for at least some of them. By doing so the whole world has access to your niche product, and selling a couple of dozen of them actually allows you to break even or heaven forbid, make a buck or two.

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16 minutes ago, sroubos said:

Your view raises the question of why the after market has grown in the last few years. From my point of view the decline of brick and mortar shops and the rise of after market are both due to the same reason: The internet.

 

If you have a niche product like a Hungarian AF decal sheet or a 72nd scale brass pitot tube for a Boomerang you will struggle if your only sales outlet is high street shops. Few of them have the shelf space to accommodate your products, how many would they sell? Few if any. So they didn't stock them, and that's why they weren't very prevalent in the 1980s.

 

Fast forward to now. You can offer that decal sheet via your own website, which is cheap, or get some other internet shops interested, which is slighly more expensive, but still attractive for at least some of them. By doing so the whole world has access to your niche product, and selling a couple of dozen of them actually allows you to break even or heaven forbid, make a buck or two.

 

Exactly my view of it. The internet allows niche suppliers to exist - full stop. The overheads can be minimum. If you don't sell anything one day it's no problem. That supplier can stick to what they're good at and sell to those who specifically want whatever that niche supplier does well.

 

We couldn't exist as a brick and mortar shop. Or maybe we could, but it would be a constant struggle to exist so we wouldn't. In the 1990s there was classical mail order of niche items but that was deathly slow and unreliable.

 

You're absolutely right. The internet we're using now allows worldwide market access that makes it feasible for anyone to do anything.

 

It's unthinkable that a supplier like Shapeways could exist without the internet - irrespective of whether or not the rest of the technology they and their vast numbers of e-shop designers use had evolved without it.

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On 10/3/2017 at 6:23 AM, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

Try them! Fujimi's website is only in Japanese.

They will sell to you, of course, IF you can find a point of contact and convince someone you're not wasting their time trying to buy two kits cheap - but the minimum criteria to meet to be worth their while is prohibitive for small businesses.

 

This is quite correct and the post previous to it is incorrect as to Japanese company methodology. We have had dealings with a small Japanese company that is trying to be co-operative and even that is more than somewhat difficult - it's a nightmare. It is a great deal of work to establish a relationship with a Japanese company as many of them (small, medium and large size ones) are truly not interested in making the effort to get into the export market. The common ones you see around (Mitsubishi, Toyota, NTT, Sumitomo) are more multinational than they are Japanese.

   
     
     
   

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Indeed: the Japan-based internet export retailer that really made the breakthrough into the US and UK markets was HLJ, founded by an American.

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I dared to attempt suggesting to Testors as well as the distributor for the old MPC/AMT/Renwall kit lines (Cannot now remember the name of the company,) that they begin doing re-boxings stateside once again. While I received responses neither side seemed particularly thrilled with the prospect of starting that up again. Then again, there are far fewer modellers in the states than there were in the '60s-'80s. I'm thrilled I managed to pass the hobby on to my lad as well as my darling wife but those prices are highway robbery in many cases. JP brands are not alone in this though. Revell of Germany and Italeri kits used to be conveniently priced through the '90s-'00s for the budget modeller too but this is simply not so any longer.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, SirTenzan said:

I dared to attempt suggesting to Testors as well as the distributor for the old MPC/AMT/Renwall kit lines (Cannot now remember the name of the company,) that they begin doing re-boxings stateside once again. While I received responses neither side seemed particularly thrilled with the prospect of starting that up again. Then again, there are far fewer modellers in the states than there were in the '60s-'80s. I'm thrilled I managed to pass the hobby on to my lad as well as my darling wife but those prices are highway robbery in many cases. JP brands are not alone in this though. Revell of Germany and Italeri kits used to be conveniently priced through the '90s-'00s for the budget modeller too but this is simply not so any longer.

Going back to other posts here, the thing that ruined Italeri in the US until recently was their choice of importer - MRC. MRC probably buttered up Italeri with tales of how much money they were going to make, until it all crashed and burned when they were charging top tier $$$ for Italeri stuff. And let's face it, while they have some unique subjects, for the most part, especially their back catalog, I consider Italeri a 'second tier' company. They make some decent stuff, but they're not Hasegawa or Tamiya, and they should not be priced the same. But that's exactly what they tried. Recently Italeri broke away, to be distributed by the Hobbico conglomerate...

 

Why anyone in their right mind would let MRC distribute their product is beyond me. I remember in the 70s and 80s they all but destroyed Tamiya in US with their insane pricing when they had the line. Without their bungling, there probably never would have been a Tamiya America - they started up that division mainly to get some control back and try to mitigate the damage MRC did to their brand here. Then MRC proceeded to ruin Fujimi in the US, worked over Italeri, and are presently raking Academy over the coals....it boggles the mind.

 

In short, while there are many factors in play, never underestimate the possibility of simply greedy, poorly run importers. 

Edited by Asmodai

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On 30/09/2017 at 4:40 PM, Richard Humm said:

The Hasegawa P-3C Orion didn't come out until 1980, and cost £4.95 at that time (according to the review in Scale Models, February 1980). A look at the July 1973 Airfix Magazine shows the most expensive 1/72 scale Hasegawa kits as the Martin Marlin and Shinmeiwa PS-1, both £3.68 from BMW Models or £3.50 from Modeltoys. The Marlin has recently been reissued at £56.99 and the PS-1 at £44.99.

 

Hannants actually have three different Hasegawa Orions in stock, for £36.99, £69.99 and £79.99. The cheapest one is the regular production kit, while the other two are limited run special decal schemes.

 

£3.50 in 1973 would be the equivalent of about £39 today using just the basic RPI figure. Calculated relative to average income (GDP per capita) that 1973 £3.50 would take as much out of your wage packet as £70 would today!

 

But back in 1973 you were buying a state-of-the-art kit...

 

Will

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