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Old 07-30-2008, 02:30 PM   #1
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Default Kits and RTRs

I've gotten back into Radio Control lately, and I have to say I'm dissapointed. I was in it in the late 80s, and it used to be a hobby. there was nothing as a ready to run high end radio control car or truck. If you didn't want to build, you had to get someone to build it for you.

Now high end radio control is mostly RTR. I feel depressed about that. At my local hobby shop that just opened, he got in one kit of about 50 cars, trucks, helicopters, and planes. What happened?

This used to be a hobby. You had to put these things together yourself, and learn about your vehicle. I mean c'mon, these aren't complicated at all. I used to know 10 year olds that would put these together. Are we that lazy?

What happened to the thrill of assembling, and running it? Every time I see someone with an RC that's an RTR, I have to laugh. These people are not in a hobby, they're along for the ride.
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:36 PM   #2
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I don't know what hobby shop you were at, but as a general rule, the RTRs are usually two things:
1. Cheaper than equivalent kits + radio + servo + motor + battery + charger that are bought separately, assuming you have nothing.
2. Weaker/slower, as in include more cheap plastic parts rather than upgraded Factory Team kits and such, as well as slower due to including stock electronics compared to most racing cars out there with brushless/Lipo.

A few exceptions is that some recent 1/8 scale buggy in Factory Team form now come pre-assembled, as far as I know RC8 FT edition is one such example. So is the new Losi 8ight race-roller. This has been a controversial topic already.

Of course, there are some RTRs with better-than-stock electronics, i.e. brushless, but they're still usually not as technologically advanced as the expensive kits made for serious racers.

In any case, most RTRs are made for entry-level people who want to bash first and race second, if at all.

Serious racers rarely buy RTRs, unless they have no choice, or just to take it apart and re-build it with half the original components...

P.S. Are you sure it was a hobby shop you walked into, and not a toy shop? :P
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:48 PM   #3
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Well said Craze. There is no better fealing, than watching the car you just built run, and run well. I know I get a feeling of accomplishment when I take a box full of screws, plastic and misc parts, and put them together to make a vehicle that I can just bash around with or compete on a race course.
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:13 PM   #4
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I think his complaint is that he wants to assemble a kit if he buys it. Most kits come partially preassembled. A lot of people feel the way he does if in fact this is what he is saying... I think that Losi is voting over what to do about this.

I know we are thinking about going back to bags for the pro kits even though it won't save hardly any money on our end (I don't know why)

It is a double edged sword as some like the idea of buying something assembled and others like to do it themselves to make sure it is assembled to their individual specifications.

The advantage of bags on our end is that if a customer calls and says that something is stripped out, well, obviously you did it....lol... but we would still try to help out the customer... Another reason of course, is that the box that it comes in can be much smaller which takes up less floorspace for a warehouse or a hobby store...
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:16 PM   #5
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Generations lost...

R/Cs are a great hobby.. I personally love to tinker and build stuff.

The problem is that for the last 20 years people have gotten so used to instant gratification. They want to buy it and play right away.

I used to run a hobby shop about 15 years ago... so many times kids came in with Grandpa and not dad to buy stuff to build... So many parents at Christmas time would come in and want something ready to go...

Sad.

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Old 07-30-2008, 03:31 PM   #6
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I got a b4 for Christmas (ft kit) and had to build it. My dad said he got it for me just because it would be fun to build and it could teach me something. We built it together and I think that building the car and getting it all setup and ready for the track is almost half the fun as driving it.
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:57 PM   #7
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First of all, I just wanna say that putting together a kit is half the fun for me. Unfortunately, saving money is a bigger priority for me.

Quote:
I know we are thinking about going back to bags for the pro kits even though it won't save hardly any money on our end (I don't know why)
I'm just guessing here, but I guess making user-friendly and easy to follow instructions, making sure people will not mis-understand them or assemble the car improperly is one of the reasons. It's a lot easier to teach your workers to assemble cars once, rather than working on paper instructions that will teach thousands of people to do it.

I wonder if they have to offer support for kit assembly problems, and how much that costs them.
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:50 PM   #8
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The simple economics of this situation are that RTRs outsell kits by a wide margin. Because of the profitability factor RTRs are out there.

However every major manufacturer that I am aware of offers kits at the higher level for competition.

Everyone should be able to be happy with a choice they want.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:55 PM   #9
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Craze, I understand your dissapointment in lack of kits but this hobby is a ton better than it used to be.


I was racing 25+ years ago and a full race setup was about what you will pay for one now but man has the quality changed.

Lipo batts that have a ton of power and run time,
Brushless motors the same,
Radios where you don't even have to care what channel you are on,
Chargers that charge anything, automaticly (No 15min. timer required)
And man the cars, All race cars I know of are designed on high end CAD programs simmular to full size race teams and are ton more durable and adjustable.

Now just boogie on down to the LHS and buy the car or truck of your choice, If it doesn't come as a kit send it to me, I will let B-Mag drive it a couple laps and he can "Re-kit" it for you.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutz4rcyktw View Post
The simple economics of this situation are that RTRs outsell kits by a wide margin. Because of the profitability factor RTRs are out there.

However every major manufacturer that I am aware of offers kits at the higher level for competition.

Everyone should be able to be happy with a choice they want.
Everyone except Traxxas!!!

Well they have a [rebuild Revo Platinum but that isnt a kit.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:12 PM   #11
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It cost less to pay a Chinese worker (about $0.80 per hour or less) to assemble and test run a RTR kit than it does to have a hobby kit returned because of supposed defective or missing parts that a hobbyist broke or lost.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:03 PM   #12
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Haulin79, where did you get your figures from? The hobby shops are careful to make sure they include everything in every kit they sell, anyway.

I understand that RTRs outsell kits because people want to be lazy, and don't want to be in the hobby. They just want an RTR, and run it. There's no fun in that.

When you look at it, kits are cheaper than RTRs. When you buy a kit for the first time, you need the kit + battery + charger + radio. Granted at this point, an RTR is cheaper. when you buy another kit, all you need is the kit. When you buy an RTR, you buy the radio again whether you need it or not. So, in the long run, you're spending much more than you need to. Also, you can buy a better radio with the kit for the same price as the RTR.

And, yes Shurcool, it was a hobby shop. It opened recently at the time.

And yes, I have a kit! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkpCmVtJQIU
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecraze View Post
When you look at it, kits are cheaper than RTRs. When you buy a kit for the first time, you need the kit + battery + charger + radio. Granted at this point, an RTR is cheaper. when you buy another kit, all you need is the kit.
Not just the kit + battery + charger + radio, but also motor, ESC, servo, paint for body, glue for tires, pinion gear... For another car, you will need a kit, and most likely another motor/ESC/servo/receiver unless you wanna strip out your first car.

When you have absolutely nothing, a RTR makes a much better buy if you just want to try driving an RC car and see if you like it enough to keep spending more WAY more money and time on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thecraze View Post
I understand that RTRs outsell kits because people want to be lazy, and don't want to be in the hobby. They just want an RTR, and run it. There's no fun in that.
It may not be fun for you, but it is for some people.

You seem to be upset that other people can spend less and have a RTR car that doesn't take any work to put together before they can run it. I can understand that, but if you think about it, is that really something you wanna be bummed about? That other people can have fun too?

Bottom line is, you have to take it for what it is. RTRs don't affect the kits/competitive racers out there negatively, in fact it's the opposite. RTRs support the companies financially and allow them to produce more stuff for us for less. If there were no RTRs to make them money, they might've gone out of business or priced their kits 2x as expensive.

Last edited by shurcooL; 07-31-2008 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:17 AM   #14
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I have kits and RTRs. I am not lazy and have as much fun with RTRs (Losi Slider, Losi Late Model) as I do with kits (Custom Works Sprint, Hyper 7 1/8th electric conversion, X-6 off road buggy). I have been in this hobby for close to 40 years and RTRs have probably saved many companies from dropping out completely.

As previous stated just because you don't have fun with RTR doesn't mean others can't.
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shurcooL View Post
Not just the kit + battery + charger + radio, but also motor, ESC, servo, paint for body, glue for tires, pinion gear... For another car, you will need a kit, and most likely another motor/ESC/servo/receiver unless you wanna strip out your first car.

When you have absolutely nothing, a RTR makes a much better buy if you just want to try driving an RC car and see if you like it enough to keep spending more WAY more money and time on it.

From what I've seen in the short time I've been back in the hobby, many RTRs have downgraded components (no oil shocks, no ball diffs, no ball bearings). Wouldn't you have to spend more on upgrades in that instance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shurcooL View Post
You seem to be upset that other people can spend less and have a RTR car that doesn't take any work to put together before they can run it. I can understand that, but if you think about it, is that really something you wanna be bummed about? That other people can have fun too?
you're right. I just got upset because I see this going the way of real cars. In the 50s (?) many guys would fix their own cars. Now, it's rare when a guy can do routine maintainence (oil changes, filter, plugs and wires, etc.).

Quote:
Originally Posted by nutz4rcyktw View Post
I have kits and RTRs. I am not lazy and have as much fun with RTRs (Losi Slider, Losi Late Model) as I do with kits (Custom Works Sprint, Hyper 7 1/8th electric conversion, X-6 off road buggy).
Well, I should make it a little clearer. No offense intended. I mean the people that are just getting into the hobby that get RTRs that don't know of the thrill of building. I saw a video on the Traxxas website on how to change a pinion gear I see it as people who never put these things together don't have the knowledge (or skill that comes with knowledge from assembling) to do a simple thing as that.

So, for kids are we going to see erector sets and lego sets already put together in the future?
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