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talking about GSR MAG.....

1910 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Big Al
talking about GSR Mag........ (triggered by Nuro's mention of the new GSR mag)

Did anyone read the editorial comment in the July edition of GSR (latest one we have here in sunny South Africa).

The essence of the editorial article was that the Slot Market has reached saturation point. Too many manufacturers, too many new products MONTHLY, resulting in retailers having an overstock of common cars. The market can no longer cope with up to 40 new cars/reliveries each month....... (now if they are saying this in Spain- the centre of the slot car universe/reneisance, what about all the 'lesser' markets)

I believe that this is actually the case. There are just too many cars/products coming on to the market for us as enthusiasts to cope with. Sure the upgrade in quality in the last few years will have brought in new racers/collectors/people who simply use it as a toy, but the plain fact is that now there is just too much. Where will that leave the 'trade'? Where will it leave us as true blue entusiasts? Where will that leave the manufacturers?

Would like to hear your point of view as well as what you believe the situation to be in your locale/country.......

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I came back into this hobby about two and a half years ago after an absence of about 20 years.

After buying a starter set and getting a little extra track, I placed a succession of orders for a little of everything as I was overwhelmed with the choice and variety. I bought some old LM cars, some rally cars, DTMs, NASCARs, modern GT and GTS cars and a few others.

I now realise that I'm not interested in DTM, rally and some of the other types. I will keep those other cars, but I will only buy the cars that I really like and wish to drive and race.

I think the modern slot car market will rationalize itself. I don't think that it's out of control. It may grow some more or it may subside, but there are allot of guys out there with high disposable incomes that are still looking to add to the collection.

I also think we are seeing the emergence of specialist collectors. Look how the Australians go for their V8 racers, the Americans for their NASCARs and the Germans for their DTMs. There are rally fans that only collect rally and their are Le Mans gurus that only go for LM cars. The market possibilities are massive.
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In my opinion I believe a lot has to do with price. My hobby dealer can't unload his expensive fly cars and some liveries that no one in the states are familiar with. For what slots now cost I'll wait for the must haves and leave the I'll get that later stuff behind. The more popular cars in popular liveries have been done and some will not return any time soon (MFG mistake because newbies hate to find out their favorite car was issued a year ago and will cost a hundred on ebay to purchase). I am holding out for Chaparrals, Cheetahs, Jag X-types with a hardtop and Trans-Am cars of the 70's and 80's.(some of these are soon to appear or re-appear) I don't believe we've reached our saturation point yet, and when we do maybe the prices will adjust down to allow more purchases.
I happened to get the chance the read the article and thought it was quite interesting.

My local Slot Car dealer here in Australia is currently selling alot of his fly cars at near cost price just get rid of them and make room for new releases. Fly are so prolific but their sales here in Aus dont reflect that, this guy has got so many fly cars that just wont sell at the normal price.

Theres no douting fly's quality, but its a little hard to justify the purchase of one to a newbie when right next to it is a scalextric car of similar quality but nearly half the price.
There definately is something strange going on, and I am not sure how either shops or even internet dealers who carry stock are coping!

The local shop in Doncaster has a cabinet of slot cars - most of the Fly cars have been there for about a year. They certainly cannot hope to stock anywhere near the whole range. Having said that, it seems that the number of new models, and new manufacturers, is snowballing rather than drying up - so whilst the situation is causing logistical problems, I think there is still a lot of money in it and it is far from saturation point yet.

The manufacturers have a choice, because that is what us the buyers are demanding - new liveries and different cars.

Individual shops may have reached saturation point, but not the market.

I believe digital will add a boost to the already growing hobby - who knows how big or how permanent this boost will be, so I certainly don't think the hobby has reached its peak yet - although it is possible that we may have reached a detail peak if people suddenly demand smash-and-crashable cars that bounce!
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Fly have created their own problems in that their prices are high coupled to the fact that they do so many liveries of each car. If they still maintained their volume but offered more variety at a lower price then they could shift more.

Fly may have reached saturation point but other manufacturers offerings seem to be well received, except that too many produced the same model car although that seems to be changing fast.

In my experience I know that the hobby is thriving. The potential is huge as slot racing is loved. I have never worked so hard in my life as I have the past eighteen months or so and the number of events I run each week has reached current capacity. Overall I think that manufacturers have to scratch their heads and come up with some fresh ideas to raise the profile of the hobby. I certainly believe that in Uk, Hornby could have a high street presence rather like Games Workshop.
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When I came back into slots in Xmas 2002 I had NO idea how much it moved on.
I remember as a kid the excitement when the local shop had some new models in.
Now there seems to be a few a week released - its ridiculus.
It wouldn't be so bad if they were different cars , but they are the same cars
in 5-6 liverys , if you was running a shop it would be a nightmare as you would
ideally have to get one of each in , see which ones the customers like then
buy more - but then you left with the duffers.
As I pop into model shops in guildford and when I visit the folks up in Nottingham
I see the same cars sitting of the shelfs - the ones no body liked but they bought in
just incase.

If it carrys on this way places are going to stop stocking them or getting very picky.
I think digital is going to compound the problem , you got all these cars in stock and
suddenly the average person on the street will only buy digital ready cars as they can't
be bothered to fit chips into them. It just going to mean even more cars on shelfs.

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I find it interesting that when talking about saturation point that many of you specifically mention Fly. I own more Fly cars than any other make, but lately I've been snapping up releases from Slot-It, Revell/Monogram, and Scalextric. Why? Because the level of detail is just as good if not better than Fly cars, the cars often run much better and the prices are much more reasonable. I think we all have Fly to thank for raising the bar, but the market is never static and Fly would be wise to re-evaluate their competition and their pricing and their range of offerings.
[/QUOTE]here are allot of guys out there with high disposable incomes that are still looking to add to the collection.
I agree. I also think that the US is a "sleeping giant". The hobby is no where near as big here as it is in Europe and Australia and I think there is a huge untapped market here. When will we see those glorious, thundering V-8 powered Trans-Am cars from the seventies? Sorry Scalex, but the Camaro, Mustang and Greenwood Corvettes just aren't right. Glad to see that VMG is doing the Can-Am cars. Keep 'em coming. If there a little over-sized so what? As long as I can put a nice grid together. Fly did the 917/10 - but why did they stop there? What am I supposed to run it against? I'm also hungry for some Chaparrals.
Anyway, I'm rambling and I need to get going.
I'll chat later,
to me the crux of the matter will still lie with the manufacturers.

Sure, some of the less specialist dealers will be affected, but then you cannot expect to sell a lot of cars if you lump them with toys. (as per the Guildford shops - my old hunting ground
There will always (I hope and believe) be the big on-line sellers as well as second hand dealers, but eventually this backlog of the smaller shops not being able to cope will reach the manufacturers - thats when we will see a reaction in the trade/hobby in my honest opinion.....

the first hit will probably be the specialist accessory suppliers - there are an enormous number of aftermarket wheels, tyres, spares available - literally new suppliers each month, and these niche markets rely on the racing and upgrading market, which in turn in the main relies on the car market. Looks like there are lots of domino's all in a line that could be affected if the GSR editorial is marginally accurate...

for me I hope it stays as it is now for as long as possible
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This glut of new models has had a perverse effect on me. I simply cannot keep up with all the new product, or the cost. The only car I bought this whole year was the Scaley Maser.
I'm having too much fun making my own stuff. I hope the little parts and accessories manufacturers continue to thrive, but the rest leave me literally spoilt for choice.
I have to agree with John re: Fly,

My own (and others) sentiments are that Fly are totally overpriced, and need to review their retail status urgently..
The "detail" is easily equalled by other manufacturers, and the performance bettered in some instances as well.
I do love some of their models, but the operative word being SOME.

I'd LOVE to see their cars retail at least 15 to 20% lower than their current global prices, no matter where you buy them, because the pricing structure would be applicable and on par with other manufacturers..

My two cents..

Big Al
Slotcars South Africa
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