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why are slot car prices so high, eg racer£199 uses slot it running gear same as their£40 sideways range, you would never even put this car on the track,a slot car destined for life in a box! nsr £70 put together in italy with high labour costs to ensure quality control, ask how many people on this forum have had issues with an nsr straight from the box. £60-£70 slot it nice models good running gear made from chinese parts.and so on down to the cheaper end. £35 for a scaly impact resistant car no insides black windows not high detail ,I mean £35 for half a car? right down to carrera£25-£28depending who you buy from. good looking cars, good body-wheel detail standard mabuchi and running gear.MADE IN CHINA. whats not to like about the price of these models. theres hard core club and home racers that wont leave any thing alone, down to the rugrat racers looking to change tyres first and so on. £200to£25 is quite a spread. nearly all the parts are sourced from CHINA maybe all in most cases, i dont know! but it makes sense to have the mould and the bodies made in china. so whats the [[[£175]]] difference in making a racer or carrera car. john
 

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DT
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It has a lot to do with the economics of production: demand, volume, labour costs etc.

Looking at the German Toy Fair this year, I see most of the smaller companies that make cars (or finish them off) in Europe are just not there.

Tough times, even Hornby today release a profit warning.
 

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I believe that Racers are short-run, so not much gained in the way of economies of scale, and aimed at collectors and once something is aimed at a perceived collector market the normal rules of pricing go out of the window. (My local Forbidden Planet is full of absolute tat at stupid prices which seems marketed to people who think that because it's Doctor Who or Star Wars it's an "investment" and will "obviously" be worth a small fortune in the future). But it's difficult to argue with because if you don't think the price is worth it you aren't really the market, and I'm not.

Scalextric high-impact cars are overpriced IMO, it's not too long ago that the first Boxsters and TTs appeared on the market at £14.99 to the approval of all. The worst price gouging here is in the £5 they slap on the RRP just for being in a real race livery, e.g. (RRPs from Pendle, this morning)

C3274 Porsche 997GT3R in orange - £29.99
C3277 Porsche 997GT3R in real racing livery - £34.99

Does it really cost £5 per toy car for license rights?

I haven't bought a Ninco car in years because I cannot see how the price differential can be so great over similar RTR cars. Yes, they might end up bettering non-mag club racing cars, but if anything there is less there as regards detail and interiors and lights than Hornby's offerings.

Coop
 

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Does anyone actually pay the RRP for slot cars, I bought a Scaley No.48 Camaro just before Xmas for under £25 including postage and a Ninco 911SC for about the same money, both were new for 2011 liveries of real racing cars.

My NSR 917 was £40 last summer, etc. etc.
 

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This is a thorny subject! Slot cars may seem expensive,but if you look at the prices of some statics (which tend to be 1/43rd and you could argue do nothing*),then perhaps they don't look so bad. I would also imagine actually assembling a mass-produced slot car takes a bit more work-soldering wires to motors etc. Having said that,I still think some "specialist" slot cars are silly prices-and yet they still sell. As with Forbidden Planet type products,If people will buy them,who can blame the makers for selling them?
TED...

*I mean no criticism of static collectors-if I had the space and the budget,I would have lots of statics!
 

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i,ve never paid full price for a new slot car. i wait untill their on special offer or come up on ebay, new or second hand doesn,t matter to me because there going to see a lot of track time and there going to be altered in some way. i wonder what racer would charge for a white body kit? if they did them. and thats what i,m talking about julian £40 for an nsr, thats about the right price for all nsrs new cars. john.
 

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One petunia in a field of onions
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Is it just my imagination or is this a constant cycle. Folks complain about all manufacturing move offshore to China. But won't pay the prices required of items not manufactured in China.

Coopdevil, count the number of sponsors on your real racing livery. They are each entitled to licencing fees. And each have lawyers that need feeding. I'm not saying that explains the 5 quid difference, but it is a good start.

We have been spoiled for a long time with the price of goods manufactured in China. And yet people will still complain that they are paying too much.

If you don't like something or it's price, don't buy it. Or buy it second hand. Or wait until it's on special.
 

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Ember,

just wait till the Chinese get organised, then it'll be the Walmart effect.

"Close out the little boys because they cant compete on price, then when theres no competition, ramp up the prices"

Time to learn Mandarin!

But I disagree on the licensing fee thing. They're not "entitled" to a fee, FFS the toys are extra adverting for them, surely they should be paying Scaley et al for the privilege.

Infact if the model is a good enough replica, they all should be paying (put in the name of your favorite slot car maker) to have it reproduced!
 

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Horlicks Hero
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I'm still confused as to why the sponsors would need to be paid at all. I can understand the vehicle manufacturer wanting a licence. After all, they spent time designing the car in the first place. The sponsors of race cars pay teams to get their names on a part of their rolling billboard. Why then would they want to turn around and limit further exposure of their brand by demanding a fee to reproduce the livery they originally appear on ? I know that these are businesses, and they want to maximise their profits, but how much is really to be made from pursuing licences in this way, especially when compared to the cost of dealing with the licensing issue ? Surely the value to the sponsor of the goodwill earned by being a good sport and the additional brand exposure of having thousands of model cars in front of thousands of potential customers far outweighs the cash in hand made from manufacturers already struggling to make ends meet.

If I was in the fortunate enough position to be a sponsor on a car in a major racing series, I'd be calling the toy manufacturers begging them to reproduce my car's livery.

EDIT - Looks like me and SplitRim are of the same mind. Spooky ? Or just plain scary ?
 

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QUOTE (Ember @ 27 Jan 2012, 11:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>We have been spoiled for a long time with the price of goods manufactured in China. And yet people will still complain that they are paying too much.

If you don't like something or it's price, don't buy it. Or buy it second hand. Or wait until it's on special.

You've hit the nail square on the head.

And SplitRim is right, as soon as someone said you need to pay for the logo the manufacturer should have said well we'll take it off then, these are after all toys.
 

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1 hp Trabant is not my real car
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I too am with SplitRim on this -
If someone were to put my company name on the side of a few thousand toy cars, I would say "Thank you"...not look for a licence fee.
Tom.
 

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It all depends upon what the individual contracts say I guess!

I remember that in the HO world an IRL slotcar livery had to be scrapped because the HO bodyshell did not have any "front" leading edge to the sidepods (a feature needed for clearance on an standardised chassis) yet the sponsor of the real car whose logo was in that place was contractually guaranteed that any reproductions would feature their logo in the correct place - hence ultimately no HO version.

For the record I do not believe that there is a real quantifiable extra cost in providing "real livery" Porsche 1 over "street colour" Porsche 2. It's simply a question of Hornby believing (rightly or wrongly - I don't have their sales figures) that somehow #2 has "added value" and that the market will support a higher price for that "added value" and somehow that figure is £5.

I would also suggest that old tooling such as the 996GT3 that Hornby are re-releasing for the 45th time have already paid for themselves and really these could be reissued at a far lower price but I suspect it's been chucked out again to try and snare the "Got To Catch 'Em All!" collectors.
 

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QUOTE (Flange @ 27 Jan 2012, 12:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>China labour is not as cheap as it used to be ...
Well, I am sure you heard how much it costs to make the mascot toys for the olympics!
 

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Tom Brown (Scorpus Flex)
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I imagine that even if the sponsors dont want money to have their branding reproduced, the actual race teams and drivers might want a bit. How much extra is a 'lewis hamilton mercedes mclaren F1 car' compared to 'generic silver F1 car with yellow helmet driver'. ultimately the same thing to produce but it is being sold as something specific.

People vote with their wallets. Look how popular scx nascars became when you could get them for a tenner. I didnt know anyone who had one before then. Now they are a staple club racing class in a lot of places.

As for the racer cars, they do look nice, they probably drive very nice, and for those that buy them im sure they enjoy them for what they are worth.
 

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Peter Rondel
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QUOTE (ironman @ 27 Jan 2012, 17:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>As for the racer cars, they do look nice, they probably drive very nice, and for those that buy them im sure they enjoy them for what they are worth.

and that's what it boils down to.

nb Stoner: you always come back with the argument: carrera looks good and drives good and that will be your benchmark. I dont mind spending a bit more on a more detailed car, so why bother to persuade me not to. You can buy a box of macaroni and cheese for 59cents or take a plate at Luigi's for 11 euro..........dont even try to compare that. but for an outsider, its just mac and cheese. the fact that they look similar doesnt mean they are really the same or even in the same league
 

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Some good points already in defence of slot car makers, so I won't double up on those too much.

License fees. Like or not, they are not under the "control" of the slot car maker unless, they want to be like the old Proslot who never paid any, then got shut down. The owner of the "brand" owns that brand and logo, and we actually WANT correctly appearing cars, [right down to them dang rivit counters] and the owner of the brand does not neccessarily gain value from our toy cars, but the slot car maker gains value from being able to use that brand to add value to the toy cars, hence . . . licensing fees.
Having spent 8 years in the recording and publishing industry when I was younger, I have some inkling of the machinations.
5 Quid at retail, well, the problem is, the license fee is paid up by the maker, he includes recovery in his distributor price, the distributors add a percentage margin, the retailers add a percentage margin, so it all multiplies from a smaller number to a larger number, and as someone said, the "perceived value" to the consumer is factored in to price differences from maker level upwards.

Slot cars over-priced . . . . given the tiny size of our hobby in world market terms, it is a miracle we get what we do to be honest. I can see many easier ways of making money than being a Salvatore, a Maurizio (x2) or a a Jules.

Look at how many slot car makers have gone to the wall in the last 6 years.....

You in Europe also need to consider that your currency has dropped in absolute value around 20% against almost all external cost inputs in the past 2 years. You are buying plastic and steel which are commodities bought and sold in world markets in USD, you are buying labour in RMB, that is linked to the USD, and the cost of Chinese labour is rising quickly in their native currency (RMB) as well.
You are buying shipping - in USD, and airfreight - in USD, and airfreight in many cases has increased by 25% or more alone in the last 2 years.

And in such a small market as we reside in, the makers are a real hodge podge of sizes, structures, market focus etc. Their internal cost structures are mostly unique.

And lastly, those who wait for products to be discounted, they are like people waiting for end of season to buy clothing on sale. A perfectly valid and neccessary part of the retail mix, but those sale prices represent lost profit opportunity to the retailer - and often distributor - where they committed to a product, so they are not making money, that hurts them as well - and we need them to make some money SOMEWHERE, so they can continue.
Our market is one which demands high service levels from the commercial providors. That means a lot of labour input at commercial level by someone. - no point in argueing that you don't require it - others do, and it has to be provided.
 
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