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Old 12-20-2004, 08:58 AM
Tech Addict
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 634
Default Sedan Bodies

The posting by "seamus0g" pretty much nailed it. Its refreshing to know there is someone out there that understands the dilema I face every time plan a new PROTOform project.
There's another aspect to this whole body issue that in recent years has become increasingly complicated - "LICENSING"
No longer can a guy like me or you look at racecar photos, or after watching a race on SPEED tv just say, "wow, that was a cool looking car that might work really well in 1/10th scale - I think I'll start working on one of those" (body styles)
Now, the first question is, " I wonder if I can get it licenced. ?? "
I'll give you a little 101 on how we got to be at this point in our industry. Back in 1991 General Motors was losing billions of dollars a year due to stiff competition - mainly from foreign auto makers. They were closing factories and dealerships and looking for ANY way to increase profits. Someone realized that Revell/Monogram was making a lot of money selling the little 1/24th plastic kits of GM cars and actually making more profit than the big guys. A licencing arrangement was forced on Revell/Monogram so GM would get their share of the profits. Instantly, the cost of a $6.50 model went up 70 cents. Essentially, it was easy "gravy" money for GM. Shortly after that the other US auto makers got wind of the "free money" and did the same thing. They weren't satisfied with just plastic model kits after that, everyone became fair game. they went after hats, t-shirts, belt buckles, bumpers stickers, beer mugs etc and yes, RC bodies. Back in 1992 (before I even got my company up and running) I was getting faxes and registered letters from Ford, Chev, Pontiac, Buick and Oldsmobile. They wanted cash and wanted it NOW.
Soon "outside" licensing firms (like sports agents) started representing the auto makers and also started representing the various NASCAR, Indy, GTP, TransAm etc teams and the companies that sponsor the cars. (Bud, Kellogs, Dupont etc) All of this seemed to coincide with the phenominal growth of the die-cast industry. In a matter of a couple of years companies like Action Performance (the largest of the die cast car companies) became a $400.000.000.00 (four hundred million) a year company. It was like a shark-feeding frenzy as more lawyers and more licencing firms dove into the souvenir/dicast/model/ AND YES - RC CAR market to get their "easy money". There is now an entire industry of "licensing firms" and "brand managers" that have corporate offices in some of the most exclusive hi-rise suites in america. Many of them are not able to differentiate between a small RC company and a die-cast corporate monster like Action Performance, so they are sometimes very difficult to deal with. (Greed tends to make people blind to the truth)

So, here's what we face in 2004:
A - Companies that want so much $ for a license agreement, that you simply can't afford to work out a deal.
B - Some companies have given "exclusives" to other companies.
eg. Ferrari and HotWheels as well as some DTM teams.
C - Some companies will only give a licence aggreement if the finalized body is virtually identicle to the real car ( in the same way that Tamiya does those beautiful truly scale bodies)
D - Companies who for reasons unknown, do not return phone calls, faxes, e-mails and do not respond to any correspondence.
eg. - Alfa. If this apperent "they don't seem to care" attitude is somehow interpreted as a "green light - I guess its ok to do this particular body style" there may be a hefty lawsuit awaiting your company down the road. These guys tend to play hardball.

I wrote this because I wanted all you guys to know why our choices as body manufacturers seems sometimes limited. Some of the most awsome body styles and race cars might never be done for 1/10th scale racing because of these circumstances. However, I am still always open to suggestions.

Merry Christmas - Dale Epp - PROTOform Race Bodies

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