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Hasegawa newsletters 2020 - 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11 & 12


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Just more of the usual tired old re-treads and Japanese sci-fi stuff.....sad to see a company go from being the standard that others were judged by to an 'also ran'.

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Something totally new would be nice ... and exciting.

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Can someone tell me whether Hasegawa is doing well financially? Is its reputation in Japan solid or changing for the better/ worse? The answers to these questions may perhaps give some insight into Hase's future strategy. 

 

Jay

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3 hours ago, Mountain goat said:

Can someone tell me whether Hasegawa is doing well financially? Is its reputation in Japan solid or changing for the better/ worse? The answers to these questions may perhaps give some insight into Hase's future strategy. 

 

Jay

Looking at Hasegawa’s strategy, it appears to me that they’ve decided to concentrate on things of interest to the domestic Japanese market and not try to compete with manufacturers from China and Eastern Europe, who probably have a significant labour cost advantage. Hasegawa is a fairly small company, especially compared to others like Bandai or Tamiya. They can’t afford many, if any, disappointing product releases. 
The center of gravity for advancing the hobby with new kit releases has clearly shifted to China, Ukraine, and Czechia. In Western Europe, only Airfix is clearly committed to an annual program of new releases. In the US kit manufacturers are mainly selling nostalgia - old kits in new boxes (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

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Hasegawa,s back catalogue still has some great kits in there, the 1/48 F4U-5 to 7 corsair series are still arguably the best kits in the scale, and the A4 Skyhawk family are also decent kits

In 1/72 the B25 B26 and AD Skyraider kits are well regarded, the fact that Eduard periodically re box Hasegawa kits as limited editions with lots of extras suggests  to me that they think they are a good starting point at least

I feel Hasegawa might do well to take a look at that back catalogue and make some of those better quality kits more readily available

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Maybe Hasegawa are just re-inventing the way they sell kits, we have seen lots of hasegawa kits in hobby 2000, eduard and revell boxes and this must be a commercially safer route for them as there is no financial risk to hasegawa as eduard or revell orders and pays for the kits they want to rebox and hasegawa have already made their money- it is now eduard's or revell's problem to move the stock . We also don't know what kits represent good returns for hasegawa, such much wanted kits such as the f-111, beaufighter, b-26 marauder and skyraider were not available for many years despite modellers screaming for a re-issue, one can only  presume this is because they were not financially viable or they would have pumped the moulds for profit like they do with f-16's and f-14's

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Hasegawa still has strong development potential in existing kits, which require minimum investment to develop new versions. However, Hasegawa decided not to do that, but rather rebox as-is with new decal options only and even that not every time. This has little to do with their Asian competitors and is really not a good sign of this company's market future.

Edited by MarkoZG
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My guess would be Hasegawa feels like they can’t compete in the aircraft market anymore. With new companies showing up in China and Eastern Europe it is a logical decision to focus only on the Japanese market since hasegawa isn’t a household name like Tamiya.

 

It’s a shame to not see them tackle the world market but with foreign hobby shops price gouging their kits and them over charging for mediocre decals it’s no wonder they don’t sell too well these days everywhere else. 

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Hmmm 

Don't they sell?

 

 

Mist of their kit, especially in 1/48 are hard to get, and at least in Europe redicolously expensive...

 

And some of their kits simply have been superseded like F-15, F-16, most likely Hornet and Starfighter as well...

 

Sane goes for the WWII planes...  is there a single one where they are top of the line?

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3 hours ago, Web99 said:

With foreign hobby shops price gouging their kits and them over charging for mediocre decals it’s no wonder they don’t sell too well these days everywhere else. 

A lot of the 72nd combo kits have nasty decals! Aussie Spit viii springe to mind - the decal colors wern't solid but shaded/halfprint like you see in a newspaper!!

 

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Edited by Modelraynz
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14 hours ago, VMA131Marine said:

Looking at Hasegawa’s strategy, it appears to me that they’ve decided to concentrate on things of interest to the domestic Japanese market and not try to compete with manufacturers from China and Eastern Europe.

But I do wonder what their performance and reputation is in Japan itself. Are the shelves in shops full of Hase boxes that can't be sold, or are sales healthy? In the latter case, we might see the current trend continue and new aviation subjects might one day dry up entirely... and yet...

 

1 hour ago, exdraken said:

Hmmm 

Don't they sell?

If solely measured by HobbyLinkJapan's availability of Hase kits, then it would seem the monthly glut of Special Editions usually get sold out rather quickly. But that's admittedly more of a worldwide market. No idea what the home market as a whole looks like. 

 

4 hours ago, Web99 said:

My guess would be Hasegawa feels like they can’t compete in the aircraft market anymore.

Yet their recent 1/72 Emily flying boat and F-35 projects would have been sizable investments...  they can't have given up aviation subjects entirely. Perhaps their current motto stresses the importance of diversification.

 

I guess what I'm saying is: Hase's monthly release schedule would be more tolerable if we'd understand what their strategy is - what's on their office whiteboards... 🙂

 

Jay

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They have brought out new tools like the 1/48 Nakajima Dave and the 1/72 Emily (and the F35) in recent years, they are just a bit slow with their pace.

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7 hours ago, exdraken said:

Hmmm 

Don't they sell?

 

 

Mist of their kit, especially in 1/48 are hard to get, and at least in Europe redicolously expensive...

 

And some of their kits simply have been superseded like F-15, F-16, most likely Hornet and Starfighter as well...

 

Sane goes for the WWII planes...  is there a single one where they are top of the line?

Yes: quite a few actually.  Excluding Japanese subjects (where in most cases there is no competition), Dauntless and Avenger come immediately to mind with Buffalo and (without going through the catalogue) probably a few more.   'Adequate' though no longer of today's standards, to say nothing of the price...

I keep hoping that Airfix will oblige us with an Avenger, complete with folding wings....

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28 minutes ago, Denford said:

Yes: quite a few actually.  Excluding Japanese subjects (where in most cases there is no competition), Dauntless and Avenger come immediately to mind with Buffalo and (without going through the catalogue) probably a few more.   'Adequate' though no longer of today's standards, to say nothing of the price...

I keep hoping that Airfix will oblige us with an Avenger, complete with folding wings....

thanks!

those are a few, great! or not so great! none of them are top sellers I'd say.... :(

 

 

they could to a F-111 in 48th... no competition to  be taken seriously....

 

the F-35 would be another one... at least for the home market.... as long as they do not overdo the raised panels...

 

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The fact that every "limited edition" kit from Hasegawa sells pretty fast and that their standard editions are constantly available seem to be an indication that Hasegawa still keeps selling their kits without too many problems

Regarding quality or being "state of the art", some of their 1/72 kits are still the best around: F-104, F-111, Skyraider, Draken, F-86D, MC.202.. only to name a few that I know from experience. None is maybe to the level of what some other manufacturers have been doing recently in terms of detail level, however when it comes to mould finesse Hasegawa's 20-30 year old kits still beat most other brands, inc luding many of the newcomers.

In any case the Japanese market has always been the most important for Hasegawa by a wide margin (something like 90% of the whole production), and the Japanese market wants sci-fi and anime much more than all other types of models put together. If this is where the money is, it makes sense to them to follow this market sector (that is something I vaguely remember having already written a few times before...)

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8 hours ago, exdraken said:

thanks!

those are a few, great! or not so great! none of them are top sellers I'd say.... :(

 

 

they could to a F-111 in 48th... no competition to  be taken seriously....

 

the F-35 would be another one... at least for the home market.... as long as they do not overdo the raised panels...

 

I'd disagree on none being 'top sellers'. 

 

Those that Giorgio lists are still the best around (some by default), even if not all are to modern standards. More importantly, year after year, they appear in their lists which proves they continue to sell and will going on doing so (despite their prices) until something better comes along.

 

Wouldn't hold your breath for F-111 just because there's no competition. The same could be said of many, many other subjects.   For a very long time, their few truly new issues have all been types that have served, are serving, or will serve in the Japanese Armed Forces. After the retooled 'Emily' I'm hoping for a new G4M1: there are enough 'examples' (even if not all are fully assembled) around Japan.

Edited by Denford
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As long as they keep doing the special JASDF schemes, they are on a money earner and the kits are cheaper from overseas....

 

Regards

Robert

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23 hours ago, Acinonyx Jubatus said:

Hasegawa,s back catalogue still has some great kits in there, the 1/48 F4U-5 to 7 corsair series are still arguably the best kits in the scale, and the A4 Skyhawk family are also decent kits

In 1/72 the B25 B26 and AD Skyraider kits are well regarded, the fact that Eduard periodically re box Hasegawa kits as limited editions with lots of extras suggests  to me that they think they are a good starting point at least

I feel Hasegawa might do well to take a look at that back catalogue and make some of those better quality kits more readily available

Totally agree,

 

They still have quite a few kits in their 1:48 scale 'back catalogue' that are the final word in accuracy and quality in spite of others (F-4, F-14, F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-104 et al) being superseded by more accurate examples from other manufacturers. IMHO you can add the P-40 family, F-8 Crusader, F/A-18E/F Super Bug and quite a few of the Japanese subjects to the ones quoted above and let's not forget the highly sought after kits such as the Henschel Hs-129, for example. Its the same story in 1:72 scale. I think the F-4s are still probably the best around in spite of stiff competition from Academy and Revell and the F-111 and Saab 35 Draken are also highly sought after. It's clear that somewhat greedy importers have hiked the price up in recent years, particularly in Europe (when I compare today's prices with those I paid in Italy back in 2006-8) so I suspect they are focusing a lot more on the domestic market. I imagine some of the major MO outlets in Europe stock a much smaller quantity of kits than before due to the high prices when compared with the likes of Airfix and Italeri, not to mention Eduard (now very much a mainstream manufacturer) and the Chinese companies. 

 

I must admit it has always puzzled me why Hasegawa do not continue to pump out some of the more desirable (and almost exclusive) types such as the A-4 Skyhawk and P-40 Warhawk as Limited Editions with the vast array of markings and colour schemes. I know they have done this before but it does seem a while since I have seen a new boxing of either of these kits. One of life's mysteries remains the lack of a P-40F in their Warhawk series too ?. Never understood this.

 

       

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13 hours ago, Modelraynz said:

A lot of the 72nd combo kits have nasty decals! Aussie Spit viii springe to mind - the decal colors wern't solid but shaded/halfprint like you see in a newspaper!!

 

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I wish they could learn to print white! I have a nice 1/32 F-104 but the decals are usless as the white in the Italian roundels, and more of a deal breaker the large white code letters are unuseable as they are ivory and not white.

 

I have a kits with white backing patches which are actually white then ivory in the roundel to go over the top :( why?

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1 hour ago, Tiger331 said:

must admit it has always puzzled me why Hasegawa do not continue to pump out some of the more desirable (and almost exclusive) types such as the A-4 Skyhawk and P-40 Warhawk as Limited Editions with the vast array of markings and colour schemes. I know they have done this before but it does seem a while since I have seen a new boxing of either of these kits. One of life's mysteries remains the lack of a P-40F in their Warhawk series too ?. Never understood this.

Even if they do (as with the re-release of the P-40N earlier this year) those kits often don't make it to Europe.

Which makes me a sad puppy, now I'm getting fleeced with silly pricing and crazy P&P costs (70 quid in total for what would have been a 30/35 max kit)

 

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