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Open Wheel-exact models are done IMO

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  • Open Wheel-exact models are done IMO

    Why I think we've seen the end of modern slot cars that are models of currently raced cars. We will see more modern shapes but they will be a standard (generic) body.
    Slot Car Nerd/Photographer/ Just a self-styled marketing guy on my back porch.
    Check out my YouTube channel for weekly slot car news

  • #2
    I was asked a while ago to do some videos that are the trends I see coming. This one isn't something that "will" happen it's something that "is" happening. Chasing the newest body for F1 has meant that F1s in general haven't made money for the company's. I support the idea of NOT chasing the latest F1 bodies for slot cars.
    Slot Car Nerd/Photographer/ Just a self-styled marketing guy on my back porch.
    Check out my YouTube channel for weekly slot car news

    Comment


    • #3
      Why not just produce current Indy or Formula E cars? They are all Dallara, all look pretty much the same, except for paint. One mold does all, then just paint and decal the thing.
      You could always make a Formula One car with the motor wires hooked up so it runs backwards, and paint it like the Haas.

      Comment


      • Paul (CMP)
        Paul (CMP) commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, I did. I was replying more to your comment "Chasing the newest body for F1 has meant that F1s in general haven't made money for the company's. I support the idea of NOT chasing the latest F1 bodies for slot cars."
        If it's too expensive to make multiple bodies that change year to year, why not just make the "generic" series bodies, if you're going to produce open wheel at all?

      • Dave Kennedy
        Dave Kennedy commented
        Editing a comment
        And as i say in the video that's what most companies have done... did you watch what the video?

      • Dave Kennedy
        Dave Kennedy commented
        Editing a comment
        I mentioned in the video several times I support the idea of making a generic open wheel body and not chasing the latest body shapes.

    • #4
      Carrera already produced Formula E cars. Not sure how many liveries were produced.
      No one jumped on Dallara’s Indy cars other than Auto World in HO scale. While the first cars were not very good runners, at least IMS was selling the sets at the museum.
      Anyone remember A1GP? Identical cars painted in liveries for the country. Scalextric produced cars of this series. I have the Swiss car. The cars seem to command a pretty good price when you find one.

      Now, forget modern. How about a ‘68/‘69 Eagle? While cars were predominantly Indy cars, the basic design was also used as a Formula A/5000 car that ran in North America, Australia, Great Britain, and Europe. One basic body with different rear cowls for Ford DOHC and stock block; turbo Offy; Chevy stock block for Indy and F5000; and AMC stock block. There may even have been a Repco. Then there are numerous liveries.
      I’ll bet the bean counters say it won’t sell.

      Comment


      • Dave Kennedy
        Dave Kennedy commented
        Editing a comment
        I know they started F-E when I was there and I argued really hard against it. They didn't really sell at all the first year.

        Yes there are lots of 60's and 70's cars that I'm pretty sure will be done in the next few years.

    • #5
      Formula E is boring. Minimum action. No driver you can name. No driver with a personality. Corporate shell mouth piece is about it..
      They should have done electric rally trucks part road coarse part rally with dirt and jumps. People love trucks, love big jumps and dirt spraying. At least that could draw in support from manufacturers and maybe build a series

      Comment


      • Dave Kennedy
        Dave Kennedy commented
        Editing a comment
        F-E to me looks like a "proof of concept" idea of 1. can we make electric race cars and 2.will people watch?
        As it turns out, 1. yes and 2. not really.

    • #6
      Another good video Dave. I enjoy F1. I watch it all the time. I watched yesterday’s race. The cars are amazing.
      Having said that, I can certainly see how modern cars are not profitable for companies to make. The little nuances year to year make it impossible and VERY expensive to produce new molds every year or every other year. If I owned a slot car company, I wouldn’t touch the modern open wheel cars. Pains me to say that. But, if I did .... it would certainly just be in the generic form the way things are trending. This is definitely the only way that they MIGHT be profitable for slot car companies.

      Comment


      • Dave Kennedy
        Dave Kennedy commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree about F1. I watch the races too and you'd think they could sell just gobs on them but really it's so hard to get slots in front of people even to a European audience.

    • #7
      Yeah, it’s crazy. Particularly slot car companies not being able to coax them into the hands of Europeans. If they don’t buy them buy the handfuls (where F1 is HUGE).........what the he** does that look like in the US? Not good! As big as slots are in Europe, I would think that F1 cars would do well there. It just seems odd.

      You’d think F1 cars would do at least as well as rally cars in Europe. That doesn’t seem to be the case at all.

      Comment


      • Dave Kennedy
        Dave Kennedy commented
        Editing a comment
        I can tell you from experience ordering for Carrera for the North American sales that we'd only order maybe 200 pieces of single cars and maybe 120 sets. And the F1 sets had a VERY high rate of returns because of failed solder joints.
        F1 does sell as well as rally in Europe but still it should sell in the 10,000's of pieces and it doesn't.

    • #8
      The heart wants what the heart wants, even if it makes no business sense. Don't expect a major toy manufacturer to care what a relatively few old guys want.

      Of course, there are modern solutions available. I wanted a Shadow DN4 and after finding out none were available from the normal sources I ended up buying the CG Slotcars 3D printed one. Since it's pretty much a one of a kind hand made car it cost $130. I love it and because I really wanted that car it was well worth it for me. Point is that we can pretty much have what we want these days but you have to be willing to pay the cost or make it yourself, which is now possible.

      For me to expect a major manufacturer to make something I want but isn't going to be profitable is illogical. When I was a kid and wanted something that wasn't going to happen my mother used to say - "don't hold your breath".

      Comment


      • #9
        Oh, ok. Wow, F1 and rally sell about the same in Europe. Just not in nearly the numbers you’d expect.
        The numbers for F1 cars/sets in US doesn’t surprise me at all. I had a couple failed solder joints as well. No big deal, I fixed that. But, your average family getting that car/set for “little Joey” certainly isn’t going to figure it out or much less fix it.

        Comment


        • slothead
          slothead commented
          Editing a comment
          I knew a single mother from church who would not buy her son any sort of mechanical toy. Why? Because when it broke he'd end up bringing it to her to fix and she couldn't do that. I remember her telling me how angry it made her to buy something as simple as a fan and then find out it needed to be assembled. This also applies to many 2 parent families and contributes to the popularity of video games where the reset button or a reboot solves things.

      • #10
        Bad solder joints would be a QC issue, not indicative of the public’s dislike of a car style.

        Only European country I get to is Switzerland. Toy chain Frank Carl Weber has stores in most large cities. Every one of those stores had a large selection of Carrera sets, cars, and track. That’s getting the product out to the public (in a country that banned auto racing years ago). They must buy those cars, too, as I don’t see old stock on the shelves.
        Has anyone seen slot cars in a US toy store?

        Comment


        • dinglebery
          dinglebery commented
          Editing a comment
          When I lived in Plantation, Florida (2006-2009) I would visit Warrick's Hobby Super Store to buy paint for my 1/5 scale RC cars I was racing, and parts (sometimes). One day I noticed, off in the far corner of the RC section, slot cars! I never bought one from them because the prices were more than I could pay online at the time, but they did sell them!

        • Dave Kennedy
          Dave Kennedy commented
          Editing a comment
          yes that comment is more of an aside, not about the video's topic as such. But just generally speaking.

        • Mickey thumbs
          Mickey thumbs commented
          Editing a comment
          The guy that owns the local toy store is a car guy and has run in SCCA events in the past. He has a section of his store set aside for models with a small Carrera track for kids to play on. Carries a nice selection of Carrera cars and sets, and Scalextric and slot.it cars. Only parts are replacement Paul Gage tires he sources from SCC. Great guy who gives me a “racer’s discount “ after I shared pictures of my new wood track with the first couple of slot.it Classics I bought from him.

      • #11
        Yeah, I agree slothead. I certainly understand and see the side of the average consumer. Here on the board, we aren’t the average consumer for sure. We get and understand how all aspects (for the most part) of the hobby works......because we enjoy it and it is our hobby (or one of them). Having said that, I’m an average consumer on most things I purchase. So roles could easily be reversed.

        Comment


        • #12
          Thanks Dave, great points and another great video!

          Comment


          • #13
            A question for Dave - if a major manufacturer knew they could sell 1000 units of a car for $100 retail, would they make it? I know that's making outlandish assumptions about demand, but I'm just wondering if that amount of demand at that price point (in the realm of NSR, Thunderslot, and CG Slotcars) would justify production?

            Comment


            • waaytoomuchintothis
              waaytoomuchintothis commented
              Editing a comment
              Slothead, ol' bud, how many slot cars would you buy in a year at $100? I'm so glad you brought this up. For me, that's absolutely zero. At $40-$50 per car, I have a long history of buying 6 or 8 per year, every year. When we start seeing slot cars above $50 each, I start scratch building and marking manufacturers off my list. There is no way to justify a retail cost of above $50, no matter what anyone says. That price point is where slot cars become a dead hobby. This comes from a guy with 3000 plus cars, and a history that goes back to 1962. I look from time to time at the common price for my $35-$45 cars, some of the best ever produced as RTR, and they haven't increased in value anywhere near that much. Comparing apples to apples, my cars should be worth $150 each by the standard of $100 RTR slot cars today.

            • slothead
              slothead commented
              Editing a comment
              I understand your point, but also think what something is worth is relative. When I got interested in buying a bunch of classic Can Am cars about 8 years ago there wasn't a lot of variety easily available especially since I wanted cars driven by top drivers. I ended up finding most of the models I wanted at Electric Dreams and paid $60 - $80 for them. The only Penske-Donohue Porsche 917/30 I could find was by Carrera and I probably paid $80 for it. Is a Carrera car worth $80 when Slot.It cars are typically less than that, no, but I couldn't conceive of a Can Am series without that car. That's also why I eventually spent $130 on the CG Slotcars Shadow DN4.

              If they were cars I wanted I'd probably buy one $100 car a month. But then I really don't have any competing desires. I know guys who spend much more than that on a meal with a $100 bottle of wine to impress the (young) lady they are with. Or who have a favored brand of hard liquor they spend big bucks on. Or who think nothing of spending a few hundred bucks going to a pro sports game. I almost forgot about guys who bet on games or go to a casino regularly. Slothead Joe is content buying and racing slot cars. Heck, our cable & internet bill is $182 a month. If I cut the cable I could buy two $100 cars a month. But Mrs. Slothead would move out if she couldn't watch '90 Day Fiance' or 'Say Yes to the Dress'.

          • #14
            Originally posted by slothead View Post
            A question for Dave - if a major manufacturer knew they could sell 1000 units of a car for $100 retail, would they make it? I know that's making outlandish assumptions about demand, but I'm just wondering if that amount of demand at that price point (in the realm of NSR, Thunderslot, and CG Slotcars) would justify production?
            You are making outlandish assumptions I agree.
            But no they wouldn't. I'll do a video about this next comment at some point but, here's a true story you won't believe and will likely piss you off (and frankly it should)...

            I had a very interesting conversation with the team owner of Corvette Racing, Doug Feehan one day at the Corvette Museum. He stopped by to check out the Carrera track and I recognized him and showed him the prototype of the D124 C7. He said he was impressed with the quality and that the diecasts they were having made in 1/18 weren't as good. He asked if we'd be interested in making a non-functional 1/24 slot car (essentially a plastic diecast) out of that D124 Corvette C7 body. They just wanted a car on a base with no electric guts... just a slot body/chassis.
            I told him I couldn't see any reason why we'd NOT want to do that. He told me he'd guarantee and order of... get ready for it... 5000 pieces!!! I just about lost my lunch and control of all bodily fluids at that moment.
            I emailed Austria 10 minutes later from the demo table (I had my laptop set up to take orders anyway) and I emailed the top guy who I thought would be interested.
            Boy was I wrong.
            Over the next few days I got a bewildering series of emails back from Austria asking me why I'd think that we'd do something like that. I said because it's a slot car with less stuff so we could even make more money and we'd get a massive amount of orders from this and exposure. Corvette also said they wanted to do co-marketing with us AT THEIR races.. .I mean this was too good to be true and NO ONE in a position of green-lighting this could understand why I'd even suggest we make a non-slot car... "but we make slot cars Dave... why would we make this?"
            I was almost sick thinking of how I could let this slip away. To this day I have Doug's card on my desk waiting for me to contact him and get some cars made.

            I just took this screenshot of Doug looking at the car, you can see his reaction to the quality of the car. This was about 5 minutes before we had that conversation.

            I swear on the life of my family this story is true.

            Click image for larger version

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            Slot Car Nerd/Photographer/ Just a self-styled marketing guy on my back porch.
            Check out my YouTube channel for weekly slot car news

            Comment


            • Dave Kennedy
              Dave Kennedy commented
              Editing a comment
              As I look at it, all slot companies are toy plastic car companies... to look at your business in any other way is to cut of a source of revenue. NO ONE should do that if you're in business. All they were asking for was to take out the motor and wiring and they were asking to give Carrera a metric ton of money in revenue and exposure. It's criminal that this didn't take place.

            • Rooster
              Rooster commented
              Editing a comment
              Wow. My thoughts on not doing that.

              That. Was. Stupid.

            • Fast Co.
              Fast Co. commented
              Editing a comment
              Wow. Missed opportunity for Carrera. Good sized order on the table. All the parts are already being made. Car can be made for less cost than comparable slot car. Why not? Seems Carrera is unable to think outside the slot.

          • #15
            Great video as always...and following the comments you posted, I sort of smiled when you shared this:

            ​​​​​​"but we make slot cars Dave... why would we make this?"

            Maybe the same reason someone made the "Sounds of Motors" clocks

            Click image for larger version

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            Always great behind the scenes information. Keep them coming.
            -Harry

            Comment


            • Fast Co.
              Fast Co. commented
              Editing a comment
              Ha ha! Great reply Harry! I remember those. Maybe Carrera got burned so badly by them that they don't want to ever venture outside the slot again.
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