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View Full Version : What do you think of the prices of the new r/c cars/trucks?



Kmot
07-17-2004, 11:53 AM
The mean price of the current crop of trucks and buggies is $500 bucks. You know, that is a lot of money! For what amounts to a stamped sheet of aluminum and some injection molded plastic. Assembled in Asia by ultra cheap labor. And no environmental laws and costs to deal with.

Volume sales of units keep prices down. Unless they are artificially high. Since something like a T-Maxx probably sold in the millions and the Revo will do the same I would think the price should be 25% lower.

I love the stuff. The technology is cool and all the gizmo's are neat. But it seems to me we are being slowly indoctrinated to accept very high prices for our toys. Manufacturers will charge what the market will bear. If we keep buying at these high prices they will just continue to go up.

I can afford it. And so I buy it. But what about kids? Or parents strapped for cash? $500 just to get the box and then you need all the other things to go with it. Fuel, $20 a gallon. Glow plugs, $5 each. Starter battery and charger, $50. Etc, etc....

Is there greed in the industry?

Kmot (formerly Old Phart)

Windsorguy99
07-17-2004, 12:22 PM
You're callign youorself old Phart...how long have you been involved in the hobby? I'm not yet 30, but I've been involved with the hobby for 20 years with my first car being a Tamiya Hornet with an Acoms Techniplus radio back in 84...that is still running :D I took a 10 year absence from the hobby from '93 to '03....but now that I'm back I'm in awe...

The current crop of RC vehicles are using better materials and have more intense engineering and marketing than at any other point in history, while at the same time the prices are the lowest the industry has seen.

You can get into the hobby by spending as little or as much as you'd like. You can buy used kits to get higher level kits at lower prices, or you can buy entry-level kits that perform better than the competition level kits I was runnign when I got into the hobby at a price that would cover the cost of the kit alone at that time.

The price of RC has not kept up with inflation..it has gone down while the price of everythign else has gone up. Sure..a competition level setup is a lot of money, but it's a lot less than it used to be.

surfer
07-17-2004, 12:32 PM
i still remember my dad paying like a grand just for a basher RC10GT back in the early 90's, sheesh...atleast the prices have dropped a bit

DirtRacinFool
07-17-2004, 12:46 PM
I work in a industry where we sell products made of steel, aluminum and copper. Since the beginning of the year steel prices have climbed as much as 500%, copper 600% and aluminum 300 to 400%. The reason for these huge increases is due to China buying up all the metal products they can get there hands on. According to the magazines we receive, they are doing a huge project that is to help increase housing and jobs to a area that is highly overpopulated.
This has hurt every type of company world wide that produces products made of metals, hench the price increases we are seeing today. Speculation right now is prices for metal products will be back to normal within the next year, so hopefully we'll see a decrease in costs soon.

ExtremeMT
07-17-2004, 03:13 PM
Supply and demand. People want and by rc trucks, the hobby is ever growing...therefore the companies can raise the prices and make more of a profit. Get larger warehouses, pay for more R&D, better websites, more movies, and make more products....Its always about money..lol

DaFF
07-17-2004, 05:11 PM
DirtRacing, do you know what is the amount of steel & alum used in a r/c car???

Because even if you multiply the price of those material by 3, it will still be a ridiculous low increase on the overall price.

What cost is more likely engineering, marketing, machining and labour in general.

Only my 0.02 Euro.

DFF

racinlosi
07-17-2004, 05:12 PM
I say we don't buy anything for 2 moths, lol. Just kidding. That's too long if you break a part. But I doo see increasing and decreasing in the price. It is just like ExtremeMT said, Supply and Demand...

ApriliaRacer
07-17-2004, 05:13 PM
I've been in and out of the hobby since the 70s.

I actually believe that prices have remained pretty flat if not have actually dropped. I don't recall exact prices, but I could swear back in 84-85 when I bought the first version of the RC10 it cost me over a couple hundred bucks.

Checking some sites today you can buy a new B4 for under 200 bucks.

Electronics and batteries are cheaper now too. Back in the day a decent pack of batteries was well over 50 bucks. You can buy a decent set today for much less than that.

Stock motors have gone up only fractionally. I remember back then a stock motor was 25 bucks. Today you can buy a P2Pk for 28 bucks and its rebuildable.

Now factor in the cost of living going up over the years, the price of RCs has actually dropped.

I mean back then a decent salary was 20k a year now its well over double that.....

rocknbil
07-17-2004, 05:22 PM
Where do you get $500?

AE 10T Plus RTR (http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXCLU0&P=0) $290
AE T4 RTR (http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXFSL5&P=0) $250
AE B4 RTR (http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXFBD5&P=0) $240
AE TC3 (http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXAHH0&P=0) $230


Losi XXXNT Sport RTR (http://horizon.hobbyshopnow.com/products/description.asp?prod=LOSA0880&pc=LOSA0880) $340
Losi XXXT Sport RTR (http://horizon.hobbyshopnow.com/products/description.asp?prod=LOSA0090&pc=LOSA0090) $270
Losi XXX-S Sport RTR (http://horizon.hobbyshopnow.com/products/description.asp?prod=LOSA0280&pc=LOSA0280) $270

I picked AE and Losi for competitive race-worthy examples onroad or off, and RTR for the complete out-of-the-box ready to go, radio and all gear included.

As one who has watched this hobby grow from the old days I say the price has DEFINATELY come down. You couldn't touch the original AE GT nitro for under $500 "back in the day." From one old Phart to another, I don't see how you're getting this. :D


EDIT: As for the revo - it's got many new innovations that are not just rehashes of the same old formulas, I'm sure there was quite a bit of R & D that went into just making it work, from the tooling of all the molds to the electronics involved in the optidrive, to the chassis press, which is NOT just your ordinary flat piece of aluminum. I am not a "Traxxas fan" per se, but keeping that in mind, I really hope the Revo does pan out for them. If it doesn't you can bet they are going to lose their collective butts. :D

LasagnaCat
07-17-2004, 06:03 PM
I'm not sure I agree with prices dropping...

Going back a while I can remember buying a Losi Jrx2 (Jrx2 pro se, optima mid se, ultima pro xl, schumacher cougar, lazer, Jrxt, rc-10, tq-10, the list goes on.. the prices were mostly the same) for not quite $200. A linear Turbocharger (either $100 or $200, my memory is failing me) and a $119 Victor power supply (which at least did go down to $90ish now.) Gonzo battery packs were in the $40-50 range. A Tekin charger was $70-80, no power supply. The Novak esc (T1X? it's been years) was $100-120. A Fantom mod motor (the *good* ones, aluminum endbell.. Mmmm) was almost $50. The mid-level Magnum Jr. radio was somewhere around $90-100 with the standard servos. My pricing may be off by a few dollars here and there on some of those items, but they're *pretty* darn close. My first trip to the hobby store for a race ended up with my mechanical RC-10 speed control almost catching on fire (how much smoke is TOO much in an r/c? lol) and me spending $80 on a Novak T4 or whatever it was. That seemed like a fortune at the time, considering I was 15 and working part time.

Other than the battery prices dropping, and the rtr kits that skimp on electronics and materials to cut costs (and they make how much of that back when people "upgrade",) I really don't see how electric racing has really changed at all as far as cost. The quality of the components may have gotten generally better, but really most things fall into the same price ranges they always have. I really feel like it would cost me the same amount today to start with what it would have 15 years ago for the same level of equipment. <shrug>

I didn't mess with nitro until about four years ago, so I won't comment on that.

Edit: Just saw the post under this one and it reminded me of one more obvious thing I should have remembered buying. Three words: Custom Works Dominator. Dirt oval is (by far) the most expensive form of r/c racing I've ever tried. The car alone (no body, no tires, no anything.. lol) was $400-500 at the same time as the ones listed above. And if you wanted to run a sprint car, you needed the sprint car "conversion kit" and half of an rc-10.. also costly.. and.. and... this is *not* a cheap hobby if you want to race. If you want to bash, it can be (relatively) inexpensive and (some people will say) more fun. :)

And while there weren't RTR kits 20 years ago, there WERE a boatload of Tamiya type kits that were under or near $100. You could buy one of those, a sport radio, sport battery pack, and 15 minute timer charger for about what RTR's run for now.

Kmot
07-17-2004, 06:36 PM
Where do you get $500?



OK, I'm not talking about entry level stuff. I'm talking about the upper end stuff.

Revo: $479
Losi Monster Truck: $549
AE Monster GT: $480
Hot Bodies Lightning: $560
Savage: $420
XTM X-Term Deluxe: $460
Kyosho Inferno: $450
Mugen Buggy: $590
Ofna Titan: $580
Ofna Hyper Buggy: $460
Tamiya TNX: $430

Etc.......

Add tax and or shipping and all are $500 or more. And that's for the basic version and nobody wants that, right? Gotta get some hop-ups, lol.

I agree that some things have dropped in price dramatically, specifically radio gear. It's far better and far cheaper than when I started r/c in 1975.

It's also unrealistic, IMHO, to compare todays prices to prices from 20 or 30 years ago just at face value. The explosion of RTR has brought hundreds of thousands of more hobbyists into the field. That is what I meant by unit cost bringing the prices down. I figure that all the extra people involved would make the prices even lower than what they are.

I think a lot of you hit the nail on the head, though, when you said marketing costs. We pay for all the fancy ad's in the monthly magazines.

Kmot (formerly Old Phart)

-=ADA$=-
07-17-2004, 06:38 PM
you say its expensive if its $500. Whats normal sallary in US? Where i live most people get equivalent of $1000 a month, and i mean adults with good education, so if you considder that a car costs $250 shipping it from US is $50 it gives 1/3 of monthly budget, and they would have to pay rest for living!

LasagnaCat
07-17-2004, 06:55 PM
Advertising costs are built into almost anything you'll buy though - cars, food, toilet cleaner, booze, charcoal, lawn chairs, etc. Bars of soap get advertised on tv regularly, and they're not $10 a bar. Gallons of nitro get advertised in print media only, and they're $25ish a gallon. Look at how much you pay for e-clips or locknuts or screws in your r/c branded pack compared to how much you buy them for from McMaster or somewhere similar. Granted they do need to make their money somewhere (movie theaters could GIVE tickets away, the $5 pop and $6 popcorn are where the cash is) and it's a free country and all, nobody is making us buy any of these toys... :)

What I don't get... people complain about the high price of gas at $2ish a gallon, and then they go in the gas station to pay and buy a little 16oz. bottle of *water* for a dollar something. :)

DerekB
07-17-2004, 08:06 PM
Price for what you get ahs dropped. How can you compare prices of big RTR trucks to anything. Since they've only been around for 5-6 years.

I'm sorry to inform people that a hobby isn't going to be affordable for everybody. It's not a "right" it's something people spend extra money on if they have some cash. If at this point of your life $500 means living on the street or a REVO...I'm going to say that RC isn't for you. There are some cheap kites or Yo-Yos to pass the time. I got into this hobby at 12. Got a Falcon for Xmas. Everything I got after that was from my hard work. Delivering papers, whatever it took. If you want something you have to work for it.

RC is as expensive or as cheap as you want. Considering you can pay 40-100 for a round of golf, there are more expensive things you can do.

ApriliaRacer
07-17-2004, 09:15 PM
It's also unrealistic, IMHO, to compare todays prices to prices from 20 or 30 years ago just at face value. The explosion of RTR has brought hundreds of thousands of more hobbyists into the field. That is what I meant by unit cost bringing the prices down. I figure that all the extra people involved would make the prices even lower than what they are.
Kmot (formerly Old Phart)


With respect to your opinion, I believe it is realistic to compare prices between years ago and today again based on the "cost of living".

Using your "argument" and some examples cited, if an RC10 cost 250 back in '85 when a good salary was 20k and its cost 179.00 or even 200 bucks today, doesn't that bear out your argument that unit prices are down?

Its the argument you hear about "in today's dollars". So in "today's dollars" that 1985 RC10 would cost close to 500 bucks today.....

MurcielagoR-GT
07-17-2004, 09:42 PM
I think the hobby is very, very, cheap! If you want to talk expensive, I also race shifter karts. We spend about $1,500 a weekend! Add in the cost of a shifter kart: $15,000 :eek:

Our Porsche 911 is going to cost in upwards of $75,000 when we get finished building it!

A measly $500 for a Revo! :D :D

Kmot
07-17-2004, 10:35 PM
Considering you can pay 40-100 for a round of golf, there are more expensive things you can do.
That's just the liquor tab... :rolleyes:

FlashLCD33
07-17-2004, 11:31 PM
China is buying up all of our materials so they can bomb the crap out of the US and we can't do a thing about it. Supposedly the price of concrete is suppost to SKYROCKET next summer because of foreign countries buying it all up. The US is not making very good decisions sometimes. There are foreign countries training soldiers in the US in the southwestern part of the US. Guess what? They're inside of the defenses any time their home country desides to strike.

DirtRacinFool
07-18-2004, 01:49 AM
China is buying up all of our materials so they can bomb the crap out of the US and we can't do a thing about it.

Ummmm, yeah sure, whatever you say. :rolleyes:

FlashLCD33
07-18-2004, 01:59 AM
"You give a wizard his staff, he's an elite warrior. You take away his staff, he is a weak man"

You give the US materials so we can make bombs/weapons/tanks/helis/planes, we're an elite army. You take away all of the US's materials, we're sitting ducks.

[/rant][/rant]

I don't think the prices are too bad. Not all RCs are in the $500 range like rocknbil said. It's like saying 1:1 cars are expensive because a ferrari is 150k. Yet there are still the "lower" cars that you can get brand new for under 30k. There is a LOT of man hours of developing, manufacturing, designing, etc going into RCs especially like the REVO. A big company has a lot of workers, the workers need to eat too. They're not free labor. Paying a very skilled engineer to design toy cars isn't cheap either. The company still has to make some profit to keep running so they can produce more RCs.

rocknbil
07-18-2004, 02:13 AM
OK, I'm not talking about entry level stuff. I'm talking about the upper end stuff.

Well . . . like I said I chose those because they are competitive right out of the box, the examples you gave are all MT's and 4WD buggies. By your own statement you said "upper level stuff" one would expect to pay more.

Lasagna, the kits you're mentioning are all "back in the day" (dude I had a JR2 also lol :D ) and kits without electronics. While the overall cost has risen - so has gas, food, housing, and everything else along with the inflation, which is what's really reflected in the rising prices.

maxxamillion
07-18-2004, 02:23 AM
Well put flash, on political and hobby...
RC products are SO improved from years ago, its hard to compare.
But profit margins are VERY high, don't believe other wise.
At least were not playing stick ball in some third world country lol!

FlashLCD33
07-18-2004, 03:06 AM
Yes, the profit has to be up there. If the company just barely makes by, how are they going to research and experiment making new products? They have to have profit so they have plenty of breathing room to better themselves.

C.J.OO
07-18-2004, 05:55 AM
i still remember my dad paying like a grand just for a basher RC10GT back in the early 90's, sheesh...atleast the prices have dropped a bit

2nd hand RC10GTs go for $750 up in Auss..I sold a Pretty much stock NMT with a .18 only a few weeks ago and Got $450 for it...some people are asking $600+ for them I didnt have the heart to sell it for that much money..I bought it for $350 and All I did was put a stronger motor in and Bash it hard for a 8mths and made $100 on top...
I was At My LHS the other day and they Have a Hyper 8 port for $750..
I bought the Race version from the states and it still only cost me..$195 Aussy dollars...I have often thought about buying 10-20 motors from the USA.and selling them to my LHSs for Double What I pay for them and they still have plenty of room for a BIG mark up...I'd be richer than Scarface...I am still thinking seriously of doing it..I am in talks with 2 LHSs at the moment..fingers crossed all goes well.... :cool: :) :D

Marsh23
07-18-2004, 04:23 PM
not into the other stuff, but the prices are wrong on the 1/8th scale buggys.

Tower Now sells the 7.5 for $399.99, Ultimate Hobbies has the KE2 for $469 and the Mugen MBX5 for $499. Again, the KE2 and MBX is a high grade buggy, Your going to pay for it. If you can't put more then $500esh down on any r/c car, kit/batters/radio/motors.. Etc, your in the wrong hobby period. the only way to do that is to get RTR but then your not getting the best parts, look at the AE RC10GT RTR and the Inferno sport....... Been in the r/c sean for 14yrs, not alot, but i know the prices have come down, i remember when 2000mah's came out and where around 90esh and now you can grab them up for around $45 but that is also do to the new 3400nimh.. Just my .02

uncle_jo3
07-18-2004, 10:27 PM
ebay thats the answere ive been in for 4yrs and i have bought only 2 new one and the rest i boought used the point im getting across is that i bought a 2yr old rc10gt it needed some tlc but i paid 110$ for it and racing it and a pretty moded hpi rush with all the goodies and raced it, i also used both for playing around this goes to show you dont have to spend 500$ or even 300$ to have good cars/trucks just look for the deals!

LasagnaCat
07-19-2004, 10:18 AM
Lasagna, the kits you're mentioning are all "back in the day" (dude I had a JR2 also lol :D ) and kits without electronics. While the overall cost has risen - so has gas, food, housing, and everything else along with the inflation, which is what's really reflected in the rising prices.

The "back in the day" thing was the main point.. for the electric stuff, I don't think the price has gone down at all. I wasn't trying to say (or imply) that prices have gone UP at all. You'd just said that prices have "definitely" gone down - most of the electric stuff that I'd buy now is roughly the same price as the similar grade of item 15-20 years ago. (Although the CE chargers have *doubled* in price, which is kind of scary.) The quality of the products have in general gotten much better, so my two cents (as a whole) on the matter is that people shouldn't really complain about r/c pricing. As time goes by, we're getting much more bang for the buck.

24601
07-19-2004, 10:29 AM
I still can't figure out why I can get two tires for my mountain bike, and good tires at that, for less that a set of racing tires for my GT. It just blows my mind when you see a product in another arena using the same if not better materials costing a fraction of the price. There is enough rubber in a mountain bike tire to make 10 RC tires. Just one example of the many, many pieces that are artificially overpriced.

I also don't get battery prices. It is crazy what we have been trained to think is an appropriate price for a cell. All demand there--there are minimal extra production cost.

Windsorguy99
07-19-2004, 02:18 PM
Look at the size of the production runs for different products.

Mountain bike tire costs are lower because more are produced. They feed a much larger market than RC.

There's more to the cost of a product than just the raw materials. Looko at t he cost of machine time, R&D, mold work, etc, etc, etc...

Many of those costs are capital expenditures that get ammortized over the run of a certain product smaller batches mean more of those costs must be applied to each unit produced in order to maintain profitability...

Riley
07-19-2004, 10:34 PM
i think the prices are getting higher but so is everything else in the world. these companies need to pay for development and things to produce these vehicles. if u think about it we have come along way in the past 20 years of r/c. these machines are using a lot of technology and technology comes at a price, we should all know that with our computers and other little gadgets we have.

Fidelio
07-20-2004, 01:20 AM
i don't mind the prices on rtr or pro kits, but the prices on consumables is rediculous.

i'm talking fuel, tires (rubber or foam), bodies, paint, air filter elements, good CA glue, glow plugs, and RACE FEES!!

parts ain't cheap either.

HauntedMyst
07-20-2004, 02:26 AM
Think about any of those and follow the distribution chain and the prices don't seem so out of line. Look at bodies for example (this is just my estimate)

One Lexan Body $24

Proline makes and sells the body to distribution for I'm guessing about $9
Distribution makes $4 on the body, which means the hobby shop buys it for $13 and sells it for $24. When you factor in labor, equipment, packaging, its easy to see how a that $1 sheet of lexan can become a $24 body.

As far as race fees go, you have to be kidding right? Our track charges $5 for members, $10 for non-members. If we get 20 racers, 90% members, the shop owner pulls in $110. Out of the $110, at least $50 of it goes to pay an employee to run the track, which leaves $60. It cost about $3,000 for start up costs (computer, transponders, boards, etc...) with means with our 12 week schedule, it will be 4 years to pay off the costs of just starting the track. Some tracks expenses are much much more when you consider rent, carpet, lighting, etc. The $5 to $15 in entrie fees I've seen are more then reasonable for a day of racing.

Fidelio
07-20-2004, 04:02 AM
how does $20 hit ya, $15 with personal transponder?
and this is for a club level regular weekend race, no trophies, no nothing.

i know for club racing this track is a little higher than normal, but what about trophy races? most of the time they're $45-65. i'm talking cactus classic, watermelon classic, silverstate nitro challenge, snowbirds, rc pro series, nitrocross, multistate races, etc...

and you'd have a hard time justifying $60 for a set of 1/8th scale wheels/tires.

say this was you for a weekend of racing:
race fees: $15 for onroad saturday & $15 for offroad sunday
tires: $30 for a set of onroad foams
fuel: $15 half gallon

that's $75 a week without buying any parts or concessions.

MurcielagoR-GT
07-20-2004, 01:01 PM
how does $20 hit ya, $15 with personal transponder?
and this is for a club level regular weekend race, no trophies, no nothing.

i know for club racing this track is a little higher than normal, but what about trophy races? most of the time they're $45-65. i'm talking cactus classic, watermelon classic, silverstate nitro challenge, snowbirds, rc pro series, nitrocross, multistate races, etc...

and you'd have a hard time justifying $60 for a set of 1/8th scale wheels/tires.

say this was you for a weekend of racing:
race fees: $15 for onroad saturday & $15 for offroad sunday
tires: $30 for a set of onroad foams
fuel: $15 half gallon

that's $75 a week without buying any parts or concessions.

Sounds like a good deal to me....

HauntedMyst
07-20-2004, 04:37 PM
My monthly racing budget is pretty slim, since we race twice a month.

$10 entry fees
$10 in busted parts (I always bust something)
$8.33 in batteries (3 packs a year)
$8 in tires (rubber)
$5 in amortized motor and motor parts

$41.33 a month, plus an extra $20 because I get bored with the bodies I run so I change them monthly. Even if you count the body, $61.33 a month for a hobby is pretty cheap. I occasionally do photography as a hobby and thats what just 2 rolls of film cost, processed with pro grade proofs.

rocknbil
07-20-2004, 04:39 PM
You are very fortunate to have such a generous wife. That's a HUGE allowance!





:D

Kmot
07-20-2004, 07:03 PM
Roflmbo! :d

HauntedMyst
07-20-2004, 11:15 PM
You are very fortunate to have such a generous wife. That's a HUGE allowance!
:D

Yeah, but I have to dance on the table top when ever her mom and grandma come over so I'm pushing for a raise. :cool:

rocknbil
07-21-2004, 11:47 AM
Wow. The offset of the therapy required hardly makes it worth it.