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Kyosho's Future

Old 07-27-2020, 09:35 AM
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Default Kyosho's Future

Does anyone know what Kyosho has planned for the future of RC racing? I noticed they are no longer in the on-road electric scene and they are losing sponsors drivers like crazy. Even Jared Tebo left them. Why are they losing all of their drivers?

I asked about them coming out with a replacement for the RT6 and SC6 and they said they don't have any plans on coming out newer versions. I know those classes are becoming less popular, but there are still a big desire for them.

Now, here's my biggest concern, my two kids, and myself, are going to start racing again. I just purchased my son an RB7ss and I my daughter, and I, are still thinking for what we want. I'm getting a 2WD and 4WD buggy while my daughter wants a stadium truck and my son still wants a 4WD buggy. I am looking at going with Kyosho, but I don't want to be buy new units and then they end up dying out in all areas. Also, they don't have a truck for my daughter. I like Kyosho because they make a good product and I don't like having the same thing as everyone else. Also, another big push is, they have a vehicle for just about all the classes. I will be racing 1/8 off-road next year. If Kyosho isn't planning on getting back into the game, I guess I will be leaning towards Losi.

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Old 07-27-2020, 10:13 AM
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Kyosho has been struggling since 2013 and had a slump in 2017 then bought by a Japanese Investment bank in 2018. They have been restructuring since.

Now they are struggling because shipping docks, labor and unions problems on both ends, International shipping and pandemonium.

I am not 100% sure what is going on with them, the main reason I did not buy a kyosho was parts availability and spotty support, lots of backorders
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:14 AM
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Well Gil is back with TLR and Losi so.. IMO get Losi
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Juglenaut View Post
Well Gil is back with TLR and Losi so.. IMO get Losi
It looks like I may be going that direction. As for parts, I'm 40 miles from the nearest hobby shop, so I get my parts from on-line retailers. I still see a lot of parts available, but not the cars. They are sold out of all the trucks and Lazers. Losi looks like they need to start picking up the pace also. I can see that their popularity is sinking. Especially with all of these new companies that are coming out with these extremely high priced cars.

Do you have any insight on why Kyosho is losing so many drivers? The only person I see here in the U.S. is Cody King. I think Kyosho will get back in the game if they started putting more effort into creating better teams and support.
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:30 AM
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Losi as well as most hobby based companies were not especially prepared for all the stock to fly off the shelves when all the people that started to work from home and got bored then started to buy all kinds of things.

A lot of hobby grade manufactures were on back order on almost all kits, tires, some motors, and popular batteries, until the end of July and few other things seem to be mid august.

Drivers that get constant delays in getting parts, kits, tires will get super frustrated and switch.

Agama makes some nice kits, however they seemed to have the worst timing ever for hobbyists, seems to only cater to team driverz.
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by OffRoadJunkie View Post
It looks like I may be going that direction. As for parts, I'm 40 miles from the nearest hobby shop, so I get my parts from on-line retailers. I still see a lot of parts available, but not the cars. They are sold out of all the trucks and Lazers. Losi looks like they need to start picking up the pace also. I can see that their popularity is sinking. Especially with all of these new companies that are coming out with these extremely high priced cars.

Do you have any insight on why Kyosho is losing so many drivers? The only person I see here in the U.S. is Cody King. I think Kyosho will get back in the game if they started putting more effort into creating better teams and support.
Keep in mind that Losi is split into two basically different companies. There’s Losi for the RTR stuff, run by Horizon. Then there’s TLR, that’s the race stuff.

All the brands are down on stock. As a lot of the parts production was shutdown. And while parts production might been back. The places that package the kits might not be.
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Old 07-27-2020, 01:45 PM
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Very true.. Seems Taiwan supplies a lot of the parts for both losi and tlr. Would be nice to reign in some of the manufacturing that used to be well state side.

Losi/Horizon is ECX as well.
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Old 07-27-2020, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Juglenaut View Post
Very true.. Seems Taiwan supplies a lot of the parts for both losi and tlr. Would be nice to reign in some of the manufacturing that used to be well state side.

Losi/Horizon is ECX as well.
Also Vaterra. Horizon uses Losi as their top of the line models. There’s been a at least one that was probably a Vaterra, but released as a Losi to justify the price
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Old 07-27-2020, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Juglenaut View Post
Very true.. Seems Taiwan supplies a lot of the parts for both losi and tlr. Would be nice to reign in some of the manufacturing that used to be well state side.

Losi/Horizon is ECX as well.
With Xray building everything in house in Slovakia, I wonder how well production and shipping to the rest of the world is going
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Old 07-28-2020, 06:16 AM
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I will be Practicing and racing this weekend. Several racers have xray, will ask.
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:06 AM
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Hey hey,

I'll provide some updates on Kyosho. My info is based on my conversation with Kyosho drivers and the LHS (Kyosho).

Kyosho is pushing to do well in the 1/8 scale off-road scene. They have the current MP10 nitro buggy which is doing relatively well and they finally updated the mp10T truggy earlier this year. Before this, their truggy was the strr which was a decade old. The mp10 E-buggy was released just last month.

With regards to Ep touring. A new car was slated to be released a few months ago, according to a factory driver. I don't know why it hasn't been announced yet but the covid situation is my guess. The factory driver also said this will be a limited production car and primarily for the Japanese market.

Nitro on-road seems to be completely dead with the inferno GT cars being the exception but these aren't really competitive.

EP offroad, the programme is still going strong in Japan. The cars are successful in Japan so they aren't too concerned with them right now.

They have a lot of retro kits for both onroad and offroad cars and "bashing" models lined up. Also their MiniZ series is highly successful. I race them too. Amazing fun for such a small package.

In terms of popularity, Kyosho is still prominent in Europe, Southeast Asia and of course Japan. It seems like they will continue to focus on these areas for the time being.

Since their primary focus is Japan, they are producing and selling the cars on a different pace than the other parts of the world. The TF6.6, ZX7.7 and RB7.7 seem to still be competitive in Japan so Kyosho is not in too much of a rush to update them. This was also why the MP9 car lasted over ten years before the MP10 came along. They just keep updating the cars and platform with time instead of introducing new models..

They still have sponsored drivers, but once again most of them are in Japan and they don't race in US/Europe much. Since Japan is their primary market, it makes sense for them to sign Japanese drivers.

If you are keen to find out more about how Kyosho is doing, you can join the kyosho offroad group on Facebook. It is quite active and provides a proper look at how the brand is doing around the world. CJ Jelin and Reno Savoya lurks there and they do live vids and stuff from time to time. CJ seems to be enjoying the ZX7.7 and the RB7.7 quite a bit and Savoya was full of praise for the MP10s... though I don't know how much of this is due to their sponsorship.

I'm still driving Kyosho 1/8 and 1/10 buggies but I've switched to Yokomo for EP touring. Waited too long for an update to their Electric touring car and it was a no brainer to change brands once I found out the car might only get proper support in Japan. Our LHS have no plans to bring them in once they are released either.

Last edited by tak4; 07-28-2020 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 07-28-2020, 09:23 AM
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I've never heard of a RB7.7 or ZX7.7, did those come out recently?

It does seem like Kyosho has always focused on the Japanese domestic market across the board from my experience with their products, Mini-z in particular. It just comes down to what makes business sense for them I suppose. They'll try things focused on other markets from time to time like the Mini-z 4x4 they released in the past year which I believe was concepted and designed by their US office. I think that is doing well but they've had a lot of poor performing product lines, especially in the past 10 years like the dNano, Mini Lit, Drone Racers, Moto etc.

I hope they stay viable. I've bought a ton of their product and I've always appreciated that they try lots of different things (surfboard, motorcycles, treaded vehicles etc), more so than other companies . Also my first kit was a Vintage Ultima so they'll always be a brand I try to support.

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Old 07-28-2020, 11:05 AM
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The only Kyosho I had was a triumph. Stellar buggy, out preformed my RC-10 until I upgraded it a lot

State side Kyosho always seem out of reach for me, cost was always more, imported is more most times and they always seemed more available for japan locale. Even when my triumph was new I had issues getting parts several times and there it sat waiting for an entire season. The best way to buy kyosho is through a Japan hobby shop, I would say but not necessary. I had more Tamiya’s then Kyosho’s.

Kyosho makes some awesome RC products, I just wish they would become a global contender and stay for awhile. Updating platforms all the time is fine and dandy however can quickly become convoluted as to where a update and a revision starts or ends sometimes makes it difficult buying a used kyosho.

It is good that they are reflecting on domestic sales and manufacturing.. Something a lot of companies need to take up some advice on.
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by tak4 View Post
Hey hey,

I'll provide some updates on Kyosho. My info is based on my conversation with Kyosho drivers and the LHS (Kyosho).

Kyosho is pushing to do well in the 1/8 scale off-road scene. They have the current MP10 nitro buggy which is doing relatively well and they finally updated the mp10T truggy earlier this year. Before this, their truggy was the strr which was a decade old. The mp10 E-buggy was released just last month.

With regards to Ep touring. A new car was slated to be released a few months ago, according to a factory driver. I don't know why it hasn't been announced yet but the covid situation is my guess. The factory driver also said this will be a limited production car and primarily for the Japanese market.

Nitro on-road seems to be completely dead with the inferno GT cars being the exception but these aren't really competitive.

EP offroad, the programme is still going strong in Japan. The cars are successful in Japan so they aren't too concerned with them right now.

They have a lot of retro kits for both onroad and offroad cars and "bashing" models lined up. Also their MiniZ series is highly successful. I race them too. Amazing fun for such a small package.

In terms of popularity, Kyosho is still prominent in Europe, Southeast Asia and of course Japan. It seems like they will continue to focus on these areas for the time being.

Since their primary focus is Japan, they are producing and selling the cars on a different pace than the other parts of the world. The TF6.6, ZX7.7 and RB7.7 seem to still be competitive in Japan so Kyosho is not in too much of a rush to update them. This was also why the MP9 car lasted over ten years before the MP10 came along. They just keep updating the cars and platform with time instead of introducing new models..

They still have sponsored drivers, but once again most of them are in Japan and they don't race in US/Europe much. Since Japan is their primary market, it makes sense for them to sign Japanese drivers.

If you are keen to find out more about how Kyosho is doing, you can join the kyosho offroad group on Facebook. It is quite active and provides a proper look at how the brand is doing around the world. CJ Jelin and Reno Savoya lurks there and they do live vids and stuff from time to time. CJ seems to be enjoying the ZX7.7 and the RB7.7 quite a bit and Savoya was full of praise for the MP10s... though I don't know how much of this is due to their sponsorship.

I'm still driving Kyosho 1/8 and 1/10 buggies but I've switched to Yokomo for EP touring. Waited too long for an update to their Electric touring car and it was a no brainer to change brands once I found out the car might only get proper support in Japan. Our LHS have no plans to bring them in once they are released either.

Did your contact say anything about Japan trying to offer more support in the US? I know they have Jelin but that's about it, in the US. They are both very good drivers and I see Jelin getting better every year. I think he would kill it if he know a little more about tuning his buggy. I see they just put Cody King in as the new Team Leader, so I guess we'll see what he has planned.

Did you ask about a new stadium truck? I saw that they are supporting a lot of drivers in Japan, but what about the rest of the world. Kyosho needs to put some effort into getting some more top drivers. I haven't seen Japan win a Worlds Off-Road event since Masami Hirosaka. Why would anyone want to buy a race car from a company that you never see on the podium at a big Worlds race, or even in the top 5. When was the last time you saw Kyosho on the podium of a major race?

Kyosho makes a great and highly competitive product. They have lost a lot of sponsored drivers, but if you look at those drivers results with their new company, they are placing in the same positions as they were with Kyosho. That shows with any driver who changes sponsors. They don't perform any better. This shows that it's the driver winning the races and not the car. It's just like motocross racing, which I also love. The riders will change bikes and they still finish in the same position as they did before. It's not the bike, it's the rider. Kyosho needs to realize that. Why do you think Xray is putting so much time and money into recruiting the top drivers? It's so they can win races. If you win races, you become more recognized as a company who builds quality products. Xray is dong so got that they can come out with new cars every year, or two, and people are buying them as soon as they come out. Not even Associated can do that.

Well, I'll get off my soap box now. I just hate to see a good product not get the recognition it deserves. In order, here is what I raced with: Original Ultima, Triumph, Lazer ZX-RR, Pro XRT, and Pro ST. I quit racing in the mid 90's. I took them to the podium countless times. This is why I still have a soft spot for Kyosho. However, with the way it is looking, I'm looking to purchase a couple Losi's next month. 2 for me and one for my daughter. However, those Xrays really do look sexy!
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:02 PM
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Maybe a little off topic.

Interesting points brought up here. From my recollections of the past 25 years in the US, Kyosho has done VERY well in the 1/8th buggy and fairly well in the 1/10 on-road. Other classes have been run, but not the focus (or top results). Without knowing all the financial background maybe them focusing on what sells in Japan (and exporting some products the the US and Europe) makes the best financial sense. The US is a much larger market, requiring more production and shipping and administrative overhead. Bigger is not always better (when is the last time you saw an actual Xerox copier?).

Schumacher also makes a great product, but US availability is "limited" some mail order places carry their product and they will sell direct, but availability is not like Traxxas, Losi, or AE (or even Mugen and Xray) in the US. I would guess their focus on the European market has worked for them as well.

Having multiple good options to choose from is great for us, but supporting that on the backend must be a large task for each company.

As stated above, the international supply of parts can be an issue if any part of the supply chain gets disrupted. I miss the days of Losi/TLR and AE product being made in the US, but we all wanted lower costs. if the parts were made in the US the cost would be higher for sure (we complain about a $9 1/10 a-arm, would you want to pay $15-18 for the same but made in the US).

Tamiya and Traxxas seem to be doing "OK" with NO professional Off Road race program and a limited Tamiya on-road program. Racing is not the ONLY channel for RC companies to bring in revenue.

I have heard from a few stores over the years (and some manufacture reps at club races) that less than 1/10th of "race grade kits" see a track (I imagine that number is even lower for RTR's).

I would love to see Kyosho product be readily available and competitive in the US, it is fun to see 5-8 1/8th manufactures at the track and would be fun to see 4-5 manufactures well represented in the 1/10th off-road scene.
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