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sapperastro

Has Airfix gone Hollywood?

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Hi all,

 

Apologies as I am not sure if this is the right forum for this.

 

I have recently seen various new stock of Airfix 1/72 and 1/48 kits coming down under and...the prices...

 

I will give one example here; Airfix 1/48 Hurricane: $45. I probably could get it cheaper, yet further down the aisle, 1/48 Tamiya aircraft kits, $30-$35 dollars. The difference between the twin engine and above is even greater with Airfix being much more expensive. The same is applying to the 1/72 kits.

 

Two years ago, the situation was reversed, with Airfix being the cheaper option. Not anymore, unless we are talking about older mould stuff. Tamiya prices have been fairly static, yet Airfix seems to inflate more and more.

 

Is this happening in the UK/elsewhere?

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Yes, price of Airfix kits is ridiculous.

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It is not just Airfix... But at least Airfix delivers more details with their new and higher priced kits. Take a look at Revell: F-16 and Hunter kits were a lot cheaper when they first came out.

I know from other areas that raw material and labour increased, not to speak about exchange rates., inflation,... The good news is - the regular asking price is something which I almost never have payed the last couple of years.

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Kits in general seem to have got more expensive and I'm not convinced Airfix is worse than the others. It isn't the cheap brand we all remember from years ago but, as Caerbannog says, they deliver more with their new and higher priced kits. They may not be perfect (lets not get into more discussions about vents on Phantoms and Sea Fury fins) but the ones I've built recently (Defiant, Meteor and Walrus, all in 1/48) have been very nice kits. I'm also not sure the comparison with $30 Tamiya kits is the right one - sure, the going rate for most 1/48 Tamiya kits is about $30 these days, but those are comparatively old tools now (the P-51s are over 20 years old) - Tamiya would have long since covered the tooling costs and can afford to sell them cheap(er). Whereas the new Tamiya 1/48 Bf109G is around $60.

 

It sounds like you might want to shop around. I'm amazed at the variation in prices between different shops in Australia. The Airfix Hurricane can be found much cheaper than $45 - for example Metro Hobbies has the Hurricane I at $38.99 and the tropical and Sea Hurricane kits at $36.99 on its website. Or you could go for the Italeri kit at $59.99 - now that's what I call expensive!

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Remember that in USA as elsewhere (except UK), Airfix sell to Wholesalers/Distributers who then sell to Retailers.  It follows that they can't really be held accountable for Store Prices.

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On first sight of this thread, my thoughts were to an extent Hasegawa in reverse. But then i dont know how much a comparable Hasegawa kit is in Australia. 

Arabest,

Geoff.

 

 

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1 hour ago, zebra said:

 

It sounds like you might want to shop around. I'm amazed at the variation in prices between different shops in Australia. The Airfix Hurricane can be found much cheaper than $45 - for example Metro Hobbies has the Hurricane I at $38.99 and the tropical and Sea Hurricane kits at $36.99 on its website. Or you could go for the Italeri kit at $59.99 - now that's what I call expensive!

Noticed this the last time I was in the Country. Prices  for Airfix kits at a well known Sydney shop were pretty high compared to Europe and were not competitive with the likes of Tamiya. Then I found a model shop in Campbeltown with very good prices on the same kits, easily comparable to the ones I saw in the UK

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Airfix seem stuck in that cycle that all struggling businesses seem to fall into, push up prices to raise revenue like the punters will keep buying the same amount of product at the new prices but it doesn't work, we still have the shockingly bad quality control seen in india produced kits and now they are slowly or already have priced themselves out of certain markets-- if you want a 1/48th bf 109E tamiya or eduard weekend for £15-£18 or airfix for £22.99 with unusable canopies .

 I feel very sorry for the situation airfix find themselves in but i dont think price increases are the answer, when series 2 kits were £7.99 i got every new release but now at £10.99 i have to think about it, find a review and usually talk myself out of buying .

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4 hours ago, Denford said:

Remember that in USA as elsewhere (except UK), Airfix sell to Wholesalers/Distributers who then sell to Retailers.  It follows that they can't really be held accountable for Store Prices.

This is correct.

 

Compared to a Market where Airfix distribute direct. The price will be higher as the Distributor has to include a margin for themselves.

 

So you get: Airfix export price + Distributor Margin + Retailer Margin = Retail price.

 

Which is why buying Airfix from a mail order retailer in the UK often is cheaper than buying off of a LHS in your local market. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Plasto said:

Which is why buying Airfix from a mail order retailer in the UK often is cheaper than buying off of a LHS in your local market.

In Australia I find it's only marginally cheaper, if at all, thanks to the shipping cost. Bearing in mind I also have to pay 10% GST if I buy from the LHS here and don't pay VAT if I buy from Hannants I actually think that's pretty good. For the Hurricane we've been talking about in this thread, once shipping is included the saving from buying from the UK is tiny. I've sometimes bought new Airfix releases from Hannants because I wanted them quickly and they don't always hit the shops here quickly. Sometimes that works for me, sometimes it seems a bit silly - whilst I'd built my Airfix Walrus before I saw it in the LHS, I've seen the Phantom in the LHS at a not unreasonable price compared with the UK price, and not touched it yet. But I'm more likely to buy from the UK because I'll buy something else from Hannants that I can't get locally at the same time. 

Edited by zebra
forgot to say something!

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I guess shipping from Japan is less and there are local taxes? 

I actually think Airfix prices are Industry typical and less in the UK than say Tamiya. The quality detail and passion for the product is really imprestive these days. I think only Revell are better on price but in my view do not deliver quite the quality.

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6 years ago I bought a Spitfire MKI for $5.99 AUD - at the same shop the last time I saw one it was $12.99 more than double the price.  I still bought it but I'm not sure why they have doubled in price.  The problem is I can now get the Eduard Spits (albeit a different mark) for a similar price - add discounted shipping and Airfix seems expensive.   My go to now, unfortunately, is o/s online stores. My LHS has all but got rid of their kits - Airfix was always cheaper there than anywhere I travelled to in NSW.  

It's like Airfix have taken lessons on pricing from the oil companies 😊

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I'm a member of a little group which, every now and then, whacks in an order direct to Airfix. We make sure that the value of the order is more than 125 quid, so that we get free shipping. We can land our stuff for a good deal less than we would pay in local shops - I know that it harms the locals, but when you're modelling on a budget, needs must ...

 

And the price of Hasegawa here is just as ridiculous as elsewhere - being closer to the source makes no difference. I've forgotten when last I bought a new Hasegawa kit here.

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50 minutes ago, Cammer625 said:

6 years ago I bought a Spitfire MKI for $5.99 AUD - at the same shop the last time I saw one it was $12.99 more than double the price.  I still bought it but I'm not sure why they have doubled in price.  The problem is I can now get the Eduard Spits (albeit a different mark) for a similar price - add discounted shipping and Airfix seems expensive.   My go to now, unfortunately, is o/s online stores. My LHS has all but got rid of their kits - Airfix was always cheaper there than anywhere I travelled to in NSW.  

It's like Airfix have taken lessons on pricing from the oil companies 😊

In the last 6 years since the kit was released Airfix added an across the board approach 10% increase in their kit prices (a coupleof years ago). Also six years ago the exchange rate between the UK and Australia was a lot more favourable to us in Oz.

 

There has also been a change to the Australian distributor which has affected the 'middle man' cost.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/16/2018 at 12:26 AM, Giorgio N said:

Noticed this the last time I was in the Country. Prices  for Airfix kits at a well known Sydney shop were pretty high compared to Europe and were not competitive with the likes of Tamiya. Then I found a model shop in Campbeltown with very good prices on the same kits, easily comparable to the ones I saw in the UK

The model shop in the city is probably paying five times as much rent as the one in the wild west of Sydney. That has to be paid somehow

 

Shane

Edited by Shane
spelling

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3 hours ago, Admiral Puff said:

I'm a member of a little group which, every now and then, whacks in an order direct to Airfix. We make sure that the value of the order is more than 125 quid, so that we get free shipping. We can land our stuff for a good deal less than we would pay in local shops - I know that it harms the locals, but when you're modelling on a budget, needs must ...

 

I done this as well. In addition I joined the Airfix Club. This gives you an extra 10% discount and the Club fee is reimbursed in the shape of a voucher. This brings the Hurricane down to Pounds 17.50 which is around A$ 31, so still a bit of a saving. But unfortunately Airfix increased the free shipping amount to Australia - it is now 250 pounds :(

 

LuckyModel in Hong Kong also has some good prices on Airfix kits and I normally buy some when they have a 10% voucher in conjunction with US$ 2 international shipping (about twice a year). The Hurricane there comes to US$18 with a 10% discount which is A$ 23 :D But unfortunately not all Airfix kits are in stock.

 

Cheers, Peter

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1 hour ago, Basilisk said:

 

But unfortunately Airfix increased the free shipping amount to Australia - it is now 250 pounds :(

 

Shows how long it is since we sent an order! Looks like fewer orders, bigger numbers from here on ... Our group works well because we're all in striking distance of each other, so no additional postage involved.

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On ‎15‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 4:27 PM, gavingav said:

Airfix seem stuck in that cycle that all struggling businesses seem to fall into, push up prices to raise revenue like the punters will keep buying the same amount of product at the new prices but it doesn't work, we still have the shockingly bad quality control seen in india produced kits and now they are slowly or already have priced themselves out of certain markets-- if you want a 1/48th bf 109E tamiya or eduard weekend for £15-£18 or airfix for £22.99 with unusable canopies .

 I feel very sorry for the situation airfix find themselves in but i dont think price increases are the answer, when series 2 kits were £7.99 i got every new release but now at £10.99 i have to think about it, find a review and usually talk myself out of buying .

Inclined to agree with you. Some Airfix kits are already priced out of my market - the Victor being a prime example. I only got mine thanks to the generosity of my partner (bless her!!) who presented me with a very large box containing two of same last year!!:thumbsup:. £ 22 for a Lightning F6 when the original issue is still around for about £7 less? £19 for an Me-262 with a few extra bits? Sorry! No thanks. There are certainly cheaper 262 kits around. I now seek cheaper alternatives (Revell B-17G and Heinkel He-111 for example) where I can and, simply choose not to buy where I cannot find an alternative. Like you, I used to snap up all the series 1 & 2 kits. Not any more My choice of course and, more importantly my budget. I have to be practical

 

Of course, one can find bargains if one shops around or, we can wait a bit till prices drop.I got a couple of Meteor F8s for less than £25 each a year after release so, will prob do the same for the reissued Meteor and, new Hunter. In fairness to Airfix though, I think some kits are still very reasonably priced. The long overdue reissue Martin B-26 , Sea Fury and Mustang are, in my view very good value.  Regardless of the reasons for the large price hikes ( I am sure they are valid) , the customer will ultimately decide and, if sales drop substantially as a result then I fear for the future of Airfix

 

Allan

 

ps - I take it your Airfix Bf-109E kits were more victims of poor quality control. It's a lovely model and, I had absolutely no problems with any of mine. On the other hand, I nearly binned my Blenheim and had to beat the Shackleton into submission!!:think:

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I have commented on this subject previously and after a lifetime in the hobby , find the current situation disappointing. The initial buzz from the announcement of a new kit is now negated by the realization that I probably wont be able to afford it any way. As a yard stick, the A-Model Dh Dove, a type that many collections could stand a couple of examples, sells in Adelaide for A$ 60.00 and the Airfix SEAC Dakota, again a type to be built in quantity is around the A$ 100.00 mark. Unfortunately in this country there has been a culture of "How much can we get for this"  irrespective of what it cost them. When this attitude is also applied to paint, masking tape, cement and decals etc, the hobby becomes something for the well heeled. Once upon a time , buying overseas was the answer but with world prices rising and the ridiculous cost of postage nowadays to where it can exceed the price of the kit, kills off that option. I cannot deny that the average quality of kits has never been higher, but the manufacturers could help here by not packaging them in huge boxes of mainly air which when ordered from Hannants etc. brings the warning  "Cannot be shipped by normal post".

 

  Trev.  (vh-bob)

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1 hour ago, vh-bob said:

I have commented on this subject previously and after a lifetime in the hobby , find the current situation disappointing. The initial buzz from the announcement of a new kit is now negated by the realization that I probably wont be able to afford it any way. As a yard stick, the A-Model Dh Dove, a type that many collections could stand a couple of examples, sells in Adelaide for A$ 60.00 and the Airfix SEAC Dakota, again a type to be built in quantity is around the A$ 100.00 mark. Unfortunately in this country there has been a culture of "How much can we get for this"  irrespective of what it cost them. When this attitude is also applied to paint, masking tape, cement and decals etc, the hobby becomes something for the well heeled. Once upon a time , buying overseas was the answer but with world prices rising and the ridiculous cost of postage nowadays to where it can exceed the price of the kit, kills off that option. I cannot deny that the average quality of kits has never been higher, but the manufacturers could help here by not packaging them in huge boxes of mainly air which when ordered from Hannants etc. brings the warning  "Cannot be shipped by normal post".

 

  Trev.  (vh-bob)

Agree regarding postage costs - it does seem to negate the benefit of buying overseas, and you don’t have to buy a lot from Hannants to breach the size limit for normal parcel post. A couple of times now I’ve saved up my Hannants purchases and put in one big order, and did get some economy of scale - everything worked out a fair bit cheaper than it would have been here. There’s also Luckymodel’s $2 postage specials from tine to time, as someone else has pointed out, but they don’t seem to keep a lot of stock of some brands.

 

There does seem to be an odd attitude to pricing in Australia - used to be able to save 10-20% in the Melbourne CBD by walking 5 minutes between shops - it’s as if they don’t think people will compare prices.

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On 17/3/2018 at 1:35 AM, Shane said:

The model shop in the city is probably paying five times as much rent as the one in the wild west of Sydney. That has to be paid somehow

 

Shane

 

They sure do but at the same time they also have a sales volume way higher than the small shop in Campbelltown. I can accept a small price difference to cover for the different premises (and over the years I have spent quite a lot of money in that Sydney shop, so I'm overall a happy customer) but I am a bit more skeptical of wild variations. More so when these variations affect one brand and not others. Don't know if this is related to Airfix distribution in the Country or what.

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Since it has not been mentioned I am wondering if our Australian friends (don't mention the Ashes!)  have heard that your government have appointed us unpaid Australian tax collectors and soon we will have to apply your 10% GST at dispatch. You will still get our 20% VAT off. Sorry but there is nothing we can do about it.

David Hannant

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4 hours ago, 666nimrod said:

Since it has not been mentioned I am wondering if our Australian friends (don't mention the Ashes!)  have heard that your government have appointed us unpaid Australian tax collectors and soon we will have to apply your 10% GST at dispatch. You will still get our 20% VAT off. Sorry but there is nothing we can do about it.

David Hannant

I had been wondering when that would start. Must be a very unwelcome bit of extra admin for you. This is going way off topic for the rumourmonger forum and risking straying into the realm of politics but it’s aimed at pacifying some big local retailers who made a lot of noise about overseas online retailers and GST a couple of years ago but who should look at their own businesses to understand why we buy from overseas - their problem isn’t GST, it’s that we’re buying things from overseas because we can’t get them here or because we’re saving a lot more than 10% we often get them quicker than we would within Australia (like the oven I bought from Hungary which, including delivery, cost half what it would here and I had it in five days).

 

David, I’be been buying from Hannants for many years and the GST impost won’t stop that. It’ll probably still be cheaper and anyway most of what I get from you isn’t readily available here.

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1 hour ago, zebra said:

I had been wondering when that would start. Must be a very unwelcome bit of extra admin for you. This is going way off topic for the rumourmonger forum and risking straying into the realm of politics but it’s aimed at pacifying some big local retailers who made a lot of noise about overseas online retailers and GST a couple of years ago but who should look at their own businesses to understand why we buy from overseas - their problem isn’t GST, it’s that we’re buying things from overseas because we can’t get them here or because we’re saving a lot more than 10% we often get them quicker than we would within Australia (like the oven I bought from Hungary which, including delivery, cost half what it would here and I had it in five days).

 

David, I’be been buying from Hannants for many years and the GST impost won’t stop that. It’ll probably still be cheaper and anyway most of what I get from you isn’t readily available here.

What he said.

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couldn't agree more Zebra, and a question for David, I take it you then pass that 10% back to the Australian Govt? 

How often is that required, quarterly, weekly?  That seems like quite a deal of extra admin our Govt. is requiring of you, and I imagine there are costs to your business as well

 

Bruce

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