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2005 Year in Review: 1:18 Segment


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#1 Guest_DiecastX_*

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 11:00 PM

2005 - What a year!


If I had to describe 2005, I think I would use the analogy of a roller-coaster ride. We had some fantastic models and we had some VERY bad ones. Many collectors had some great expectations for the year, but not all of them were fulfilled. I feel as if 2005 was some sort of water divider for the hobby. I think that in the future, when we look back, we will see a distinct difference between the hobby before 2005 and after. We’ve seen some major brands change company policies this year, and that combined with world economy, unpredictable as it is, will have some profound effects in the hobby as we know it.
Some well known brands have jacked-up their prices, because labor costs in China have been tremendously going up these  last years. Besides, raw materials, like the metals that go in the alloy used to make our little models are also more expensive nowadays. Add all that up and we collectors will end up paying more for each model that we buy from now on. This will be especially noticeable with the premium brands, since their models are more expensive per unit than the models from budget brands that are made by the thousand. Budget brands will obviously have to raise their prices too, but the increment won’t be so noticeable.
These price increases, though necessary, obviously are not what we collectors want. Since we live in a global village, even diecasts cars are affected by what happens in the economy of many countries. And unhappily, there’s nothing we can do about it. The problem is that with higher prices fewer can afford the hobby. Budget brands so far seem to be immune to this, but I think it’s a matter of time before the whole process catches up with them. And with higher prices for budget models, less people will get into the hobby.
Though economy and finances were an important factor in the hobby this year, maybe what was more meaningful were the different roads that some established brands decided to trail. Some of these new roads were welcomed and even expected, but some made us collectors think about the future of the hobby. I guess the best way to talk about all this would be saying a few words about each brand, in alphabetical order:

AUTOART
Without a doubt, Autoart has become one of the most important brands in the hobby, because of their extremely diverse model line and the detail level that they are able to cram into a 1:18 car. Autoart made a reputation of making the models we collectors want, with the detail level we deserve and for a price that we can afford. Can it get better then that? I can count no more then two or three brands that can also do this, but NONE with the diversity of models that Autoart offers. The brand may not have the most glamorous models ever made in 1:18, but 7 or 8 out of 10 collectors would probably say that Autoart was their favorite brand. And that was how it was until 2005…
In the end of 2004 there was supposedly a change in the upper management of the brand, and all of a sudden the brand “was supposed to make money” (what were they doing for the last 5 years?). The good news was that some very important models were announced, and basically the to-be-released list had something for everybody. Then came the bad news.
The 1st blow to us collectors came in the form of the so-called “Motorsports Line”. This line, launched in 2004, consists of sealed models, i.e., curbside models that don’t have opening trunks, doors or engine bays. The line started with a Le Mans winner and some cars from the JGTC, that so far no other brand had ever offered. Why sealed? Because this way Autoart would be able to offer some very up-to-date cars and release them now, since being sealed there would be no time wasted with engineering of the oh-so-many parts that a normal car demands. Plus, being sealed it would be less expensive then the normal “openable” models. The first cars in the line were cheaper then the normal models, but just some 20%. These cars were very popular, and just flew out of the shelves in stores around the world.
A very clear message was sent to upper management: curbsides sell. In 2005 we had a few more models released as Motorsports cars, and currently a whole bunch of cars announced for the near future, from Corvettes C6-R to BMW M3 GTR, will all come out as curbsides. And it gets better: they will come out at the same price as normal cars. Is anyone thinking about collecting 1:43s yet?
But that’s not all. I can try to understand that the brand needs to make more money, so they will try to interest other types of collectors. Fine by me. I truly believe there are collectors that don’t think much about being able to see the engine in a 1:18 diecast. Ok, that’s understandable. But then comes the second problem.
The second big problem with Autoart in 2005 was quality control. In the first paragraph, I wrote that the brand was famous for their detail level. Not so anymore. We had a MUCH anticipated Porsche GT3 R that ran in Le Mans coming out with decals for fog lights. Decals! Many Porsche GT3 racers were released, but not one did the brand make in the right R or RS model. We had a Mercedes (190E Evo II) come out with “Merceds” written in the engine block. We had a Dealer Edition of the Mercedes S Class come with one of the cheapest interiors I ever seen in premium model–land. And the list goes on.
I write all this heavy-hearted, because I was one of those collectors that had Autoart as the BEST brand out there. They may be catering to a new type of collector, but what about us die hard ones that spoke so highly of the brand in the past? Only the future will tell if they’re not aiming at their own foot here.

BBR
Previously known for their premium models in 1:43, the brand debuted in the 1:18 world with the Ferrari Enzo. And what a splash they made! The Enzo is a US$ 200,00+ model, with all the bells and whistles you expect in a premium model. Maybe because it was their first model or maybe because the brand hasn’t yet made a reputation among 1:18 collectors, the Enzo was received with only a warm feeling, and some say that despite it being a great model, it’s not worth the price charged. So far there hasn’t been any rumors about new releases.

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#2 Guest_DiecastX_*

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 11:01 PM

BBURAGO
It came as a shock to many collectors, but in the end of 2005 the diecast world was shaken by the news that venerable Bburago went under. The company that basically invented 1:18 filed for bankruptcy. The world economy is a very dangerous place, and the only companies that survive are the ones who stay ahead of their times. Bburago unhappily parked themselves in the 1980’s.
The last models they produced had the same sort of details that their first ones had. Everything in life evolves, and so did the hobby. Dog leg hinges, bad chrome and poor engines were ok 20 years ago, but nowadays it’s not acceptable anymore. I have the impression that slowly Bburago transformed itself from a diecast model company into a toy company producing toy cars for airport stores. Airport customers are not as loyal as diecast collectors, so to make a profit the brand would have to make cars by the thousands, and that isn’t very easy. Another issue that had a play in the company’s demise was the decision to keep at least part of the production on Italian soil. Very nice for the townsfolk and even romantic, but not smart in the financial world we have to live in, with the huge labor costs that that decision caused.
If you ask collectors what was the brand of their first model, many will say Bburago. It’s sad to see such an icon fall, but unhappily the world moved on and Bburago’s time came to pass.

CAROUSEL 1
Last I heard about them was that the company was having some very serious financial problems. In 2004 they released some very nice Porsche 935 models, with a great level of details for the price. In 2005 a couple of Lotus Grand Prix/F1 racers were produced and at the end of the year the much anticipated McLaren M16B winner of the Indy 500 in 1972 was released. But that was all for the year. A shame if they stop at that, because the 935s and their L88 Corvettes were very good models.

CMC
In 2005 CMC celebrated their 10th anniversary. The brand that started out as hobby to an elderly German couple has now become one of the powerhouses of the diecast business. If you have the chance to examine CMC’s first model and compare it to their latest, like the showstopper Maserati 250 F, any collector will be dumbfounded by how much the brand has evolved. With every new release they’re able to surpass their last release, in terms of number of parts, materials used and opening features.
CMC has two big problems. Being a premium brand, even regarded as the best brand of present days, the price of their models are in the three digits. Very few can afford to pay 200 bucks on a model. Yeah, they’re worth it, but they’re too darn expensive! That of course limits a lot their penetration throughout the diecast community. The second problem is their line up. So far, in 1:18 they only made German Grand Prix cars of the 30’s to 50’s, the 250 F (1957 Grand Prix car), a 1924 Targa Florio Mercedes and the Mercedes SLR. Except for the SLR, very few collectors are interested in vintage racecars. For the end of 2005 or beginning of 2006, the brand has promised to release a Ferrari 250 GT SWB, and if they do venture into other Italian brands they will become more popular in the diecast world.
I just hope that they don’t do as what they did with the SLR: some faulty engineering made the wheels on the model too small, fact that made the car unbearable to many collectors. A beauty of a model, but with bad wheels.

ERTL / RC2
A brand that is almost synonymous for American cars, Ertl provided us collectors with a fair share of goodies in 2005. They continued to invest in movie cars, so this year we had the Bluesmobile, K.I.T.T and K.A.R.R and of course, reissues of the Gen. Lee, because of the new movie version of the famous TV series “Dukes of Hazard”.
What really made the brand stand out this year were the new models that came out through their “Authentics” line. This new line, launched last year, consists of models with a very good level of details, basically models that could stand up to the likes of Autoart and Lane.
Until the “Authentics”, Ertl was regarded as a brand only capable of making budget models, with a quality level that varied immensely from model to model. No more! This line proves that the company can make some fantastic models. Just look at this year’s Camaro Z28, ’67 Impala or ’57 Thunderbird and you’ll see that Ertl means business!
         Another good news from them is the "Elite" series, that will be models with a level of details between the normal releases and the Authentics line. These cars will have opening trunks, real hinges and carpeted floors. They won't be as good as the Authentics' cars, but they will be a good improvement from the normal line.

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 11:01 PM

EXOTO
Last year, if you asked what was the best brand in 1:18 in detail level, Exoto would be the answer in 10 out of 10 replies. Not anymore. Exoto has some awesome models, with a very big line-up, but they almost didn’t release anything new the whole year, only repaints of ongoing cars. The cars totally new in the “Racing Legends” line was the Chaparral 2D, that just became available at the time of writing, and the Ford 999, released in the beginning of the year. Everything else was a repaint of an older mold or an older race car in a different livery.
For their so-called “budget” line, “Motorbox Gold”, the big news was the Jaguar XJR-9, a very anticipated model by collectors worldwide. First the model was released in a plain green version, offered as the “prototype version”. Some weeks after the car was released in the Silk Cut colors that made the car famous at Le Mans, but WITHOUT the Silk Cut brand written on the body. It looks mutilated that way, and many collectors got upset with this.
The other big news from the brand was the frequent price implements. No other brand in the diecast market had raised their prices so many times in a year as Exoto. Nowadays, the brand is asking US$ 300,00 for each of their cars. Their budget line, Motorbox Gold, is now costing what a Racing Legend model cost in the beginning of 2004. On eBay the fantastic Porsche 917/30 with rolling chassis was offered for sale by Exoto1 (Exoto’s eBay persona) for more then US$ 1500,00! I don’t know what’s going on over there but something isn’t right. Add to that that the same Exoto1 is selling parts of cars, like prototype pieces for cars that never came into production is somewhat disturbing.
A characteristic of Exoto that still hasn’t changed is their awful pos-sales support. Just try to get a spare part from them. What if you e-mail them requesting a missing part for your model and the VP of the company answers your e-mail in a very rude and offensive manner? I wonder what the people under him do all day, if the VP of the company has to respond to customers’ e-mails… And somebody please tell them that just announcing a gazillion new models and not releasing zilch does NOT make their consumer base happy.
The huge price hikes, bad consumer relations and the humongous to-be-released list with models that never are made took a toll in the company’s image. If nothing changes (and soon!), it looks like CMC will be King of the Hill in 2006 again.

GMP
Together with Lane and Ertl, GMP is almost a synonymous to American Muscle. 2005 was a good year for collectors of the brand, because they offered quite a few stunning models.
I think the 1st that comes to mind is the exclusive Pontiac GTO Judge produced in a run of only 228 pieces. Besides this Judge, we also had some great Camaros, Mustang LX, Ford Fairlane and others.
GMP also released 4 new and interesting dragsters, all at prices over US$ 120,00. The company continues with their accessories line, and new for this year was a set of figurines to use around your 1:18 garage. The sad news is that unhappily no new racer was released, only a few different versions of previously released cars.

HOT WHEELS
Mattel’s empire is still strong in the diecast realm. The brand still detains the exclusive rights (with a few exceptions) to produce Ferrari replicas and they’re milking the opportunity to no end. The brand also turned their eyes to the American Muscle crowd, and quite a few of these cars (like the Corvette C6, Dodge Charger and Chevrolet Camaro) were released this year.
After Autoart, maybe they’re the biggest source for modern Porsches and the only other source for modern F1 cars other then Minichamps. And of course, they’re big into the tuning scene, with the “Whips” line.
Nothing changed in their cars in terms of quality from last year to this, and no new lines or segments were started. Looks like Mattel is very happy as a budget brand, and the powers that be don’t feel the need for upgrades. And except for the F1 cars, no racer comes out from Mattel. I always wonder about that.

KYOSHO
Together with Autoart and Minichamps, Kyosho is one of the three brands most famous for what they deliver. Their prices are in the premium territory, but almost always you get the detail bonanza that you pay for. Their Ferraris, as an example (sub-licensed from Mattel), are one of the best models in 1:18.
Like last year, Kyosho was extremely economic with new models. Too economic in fact, to the point that there are rumors circulating that the brand is in its last days in diecastland. Hopefully not, because they have some outstanding models. Their new Lancia Delta Integrales are showpieces, so is the new version of the Shelby Cobra 427.
Kyosho’s range of models is quite broad, but they offer very few models for each theme. Their detail level is at least as good as Autoart’s, so they have everything to be a big name in the 1:18 premium scene. But for the last 2 years the brand simply doesn’t deliver a whole lot. A true shame, because the 1:18 world needs right now brand to be used as a standard.

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 11:02 PM

LANE
A heavyweight in the American Iron department, 2005 was a calm year for Lane. They had quite a few new models, like a few versions of the Z28 Camaro, Oldsmobile Cutlass, Shelby Mustang GT350 and Chevelle SS, but all these are reissues of models previously released. I can’t think of any totally new model that the brand turned out this year. Still, they have some impressive models!

MAISTO
The second biggest of the budget brands, Maisto was kind of shy in 2005. Their excellent GT line was practically abandoned, with only one new racer this year offered to the market. Worthy of mention, as new models in 2005 we had the Polizia Gallardo, Porsche Cayman, the “Dark Dog” Mercedes and one or two American vintage cars and that was it.
Since last year the brand is investing heavy to interest the bling crowd, especially with their “Playerz” line. The line came out last year, and continues strong with the humongous wheel rims and chrome in excess. Let’s face it: the “tuning generation” was born one or two years ago, they invaded the world like a tsunami and they’re here to stay.
What was expanded was their 1:18 Moto GP line, with racing motorcycles that participated in the Moto GP and Superbike Championship. Biker collectors are having a ball with these bikes.

MINICHAMPS
Maybe the only brand with a line-up as extensive as Autoart, Minichamps (Minichamps) is one of the big boys in the diecast universe. They have an extensive line in 1:18, but their strong point is still the 1:43 scale, and the brand is the best for F1 cars.
This year we had quite a few exciting new cars from them, like the Mercedes 300 SL 1954 and the highly anticipated Porsche Carrera GT (a special edition with leather seats, selling for over US$ 100,00). The brand also launched a budget line, where a few models will be produced with a detail level inferior to what collectors normally expect from the brand, but at a price point at only 2/3 of the normal models. Is this the way they will deal with the new financial demands of the hobby?
Their 2005 models were quite good, and undoubtedly their greatest asset is the diversity of their line-up. Besides, Minichamps is THE brand if you’re thinking about F1 cars. But I feel that they aren’t evolving much with their models. If you compare a spanking new release to something released 3 years ago you probably won’t be able to say which is the oldest model. Some things are constant with Minichamps’s models: race cars will have poor interiors (like having molded seat belts) and a lot of decals instead of graphics painted by tampo-printing, and almost all models will have head lights with ugly plastic studs behind the lenses. What I call the “Three Capital Sins of Minichamps”
I think it’s about time that the brand walked a bit forward detail-wise. With Autoart going through some kind of crisis, now would be the time for Minichamps to step up the game and occupy the place in the market that Autoart is (unhappily) leaving vacant.

NOREV
Norev is a small brand that so far has made a name in the diecast world by producing some 1:43 models with an intermediate level of quality. In 2005 they took a step into 1:18 territory, with a few French vintage cars. They’re aiming for a very restricted public, so it’s hard to gauge the impact they’ll make in the hobby.

RICKO
Ricko started out as a very promising brand, with some cars scheduled for production that no other brand had ever touched. In 2003 they released the superb Mercedes 300 SLR Carrera Panamericana, and every collector thought that we would be treated with many more outstanding models in the future. A few months later the brand released their Alfa Romeo models, and especially with the T33/2, the brand proved that they had a LOT to improve. From then on it’s been a hit and miss, but nothing truly good has come from them.
In 2005 the brand released a few very nice 30’s cars (Austin Seven Deluxe Saloon and Cadillac Aerodynamic Coupe) and a few others that were hideously made. Cars like the Lamborghini 350GT, Maserati 3500GT Vignale and the Maserati A6G CS Berlinetta would have been a huge success among collectors, but the models turned up to be horrible.
The brand is an enigma. They propose to make some great cars in 1:18, but in the end only a few of these models are truly good. What a shame.

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 11:03 PM

SHELBY COLLECTABLES
The new kid in the block this year. Shelby Collectables so far is only producing models in 1:18 of cars that the great Carrol Shelby had a participation in, like the Cobra 427, Cobra Daytona Coupe and Shelby Mustang GT350. Their models are totally oriented to the American Muscle market, and at the price charged they’re considered to be budget models. But despite being in the lower price range their models are very accurate and have a nice set of details.
Right now their models are pretty hot, since few other brands had offered these cars with a decent level of details (except for Exoto, but with prices in the triple digits). I wonder though how long they will be able to catch collector’s attention with only Shelby cars.

SOLIDO
I’ll be honest: until this year, I thumbed my nose at Solido. I had the impression that the brand was only capable of making very poorly detailed models or cars that were out of scale. But then, by chance, I happened to find one of their new rally models. I had to look again to be certain it wasn’t a car from another brand reboxed as a Solido. These new rally cars consists of quite a few cars never made in 1:18 before, like the Citroën C2, Skoda Fabia and Mitsubishi Pajero  (in Paris-Dakar livery).
Flawless paint job, NO decals, rotating disk breaks and static calipers are common traits to all these racers. All is not flowers though, since the rear doors and trunks are sealed, and engines are still in the poor side of the detail level, but all in all it’s a very good model for the price. If these rally cars are just the tip of the iceberg, Solido will be a very popular brand in the coming years.

SUNSTAR
To my eyes, Sunstar is following the same path as Solido. The brand is diversifying their line-up by releasing some vintage rally cars and more American muscle cars. They’re even producing some buses, but in 1:24.
A very curious fact about the brand is that they have planned an Aston-Martin DBR-9 to be released in June 2006. The DBR-9 is a modern racer, a car that normally is not associated with the brand. But the interesting part is that Autoart promised this same car for 2006, but sealed.

YAT MING
There isn’t much to write about Yat Ming. The brand is the same as it has been for the last 3 or 4 years: producing models by the ton with a general disregard for overall quality. I think that the brand is the definition of a budget brand, a company that is more worried with quantity then with quality. Being honest, I can’t recall one single model from them this year, but I know there were some new releases.


Of course these above are not the only brands around, but these are some of the most popular among collectors, and except for Yat Ming, all had some interesting stories to tell. Just to cite two others, Biante and Classic Carlectables continue going strong, but since their market is specifically directed towards Australia, the rest of the world isn’t much affected by them.
As you see, 2005 had a lot of ups and downs. I sincerely think many of the dramas that occurred this year will affect the future of our hobby for years to come. I’m sincerely curious to see if Autoart’s new marketing strategies will be successful for the brand and if the hobby as a whole may benefit with this. Likewise, I’m anxious to see what CMC will bring us in the future and if Exoto will fight back for the crown lost. And let’s see if Minichamps will finally improve their models and if Kyosho will finally start to broaden their horizons.
Yeah, 2005 was interesting, but the future has a lot stored for us collectors.



Authored by: Luciano U. Werner
November 2005


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#6 Guest_DiecastX_*

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 11:48 PM

Enjoy the read :cheers

#7 OFFLINE   Cuda Jeff

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 03:09 AM

Well....everything has been said.... :giggle

...excellent year review.... :nicejob
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#8 OFFLINE   alpkop

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 05:31 AM

Cuda Jeff, on Nov 20 2005, 03:09 AM, said:

Well....everything has been said.... :giggle

...excellent year review.... :nicejob

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:iagree  :iagree  :iagree


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#9 OFFLINE   JSB 33

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 06:18 AM

That was great Luciano :giggle

2005 was really a roller coaster type of year, thanks for laying it all out for us :cheers
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Posted ImageE Rod_017, on 23 July 2012 - 11:34 AM, said:

Reason why 1:43 scale cars aren't that popular because most people including me(sorry it I offend) consider them toys and not Collectable model cars. .

Should you collect 1:43?

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The Paladin

In my opinion, no if you can afford 1:18 models. First of all, most people will think of them as toys, while 1:18 models can look as something classy if you have a few.



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#10 OFFLINE   cobalt1959

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 07:31 AM

Great write up Luc.  2005 has been well, er. interesting. . .

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 03:39 PM

Thankyou for that LUW, it was very informative. You made a far better job of it than I ever could.

However I do disagree to a certain extent with your comments about Norev. Although they have made 1:18s in the past, 2005 was the year they really decided to expand that side of their business. It is true that the range is predominantly made up of classic French cars, but with 1:18s such as the VW Golf GTI V and Audi A6s (non-dealer) on the horizon things are looking good for them. It shows they are willing to be more open minded as to what they produce.
I sincerely hope they make a good go of it. New brands/manufacturers keep the hobby fresh and exciting.

:cheers

Edited by jwp79, 20 November 2005 - 03:39 PM.


#12 OFFLINE   LUW

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 04:02 PM

Thanks guys, I'm happy you liked it. :cheers

I poured my heart out while writing the review, so you can interpret as my own view of what happened in the 1:18 world around us. So don't forget it's my personal view of things.

Jim, I have the feeling that Norev will get a lot bigger in the comming years. Like Solido, I think they "woke up to the world", and hopefully we'll have some great stuff from them yet. let's us prey that they don't do like Saico and Ricko did in 2004: released some fantastic models and in the next year (2005) not a peep or just crap. Same goes to Solido, which in my opinion was the budget company of this year.
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#13 OFFLINE   mosteller

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 04:31 PM

Superb summary Luciano, your hard work is greatly appreciated! :nicejob  :nicejob  :nicejob

I think you're right that 2005 may proove to be a watershed year. It will certainly be interesting to see what 2006 brings. Lets hope for the better. :tempted
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#14 OFFLINE   Ronan

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 05:59 PM

Max Power, on Nov 20 2005, 12:18 PM, said:

That was great Luciano :giggle

2005 was really a roller coaster type of year, thanks for laying it all out for us :cheers

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


:iagree A superb job Luciano! Thanks!!! :cheers

#15 OFFLINE   Road Runner 72

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 08:08 PM

That was a very good read Luciano  :nicejob Thanks for taking the time to put all that together for us members.

Sunstar is looking good  :ok

:cheers
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#16 OFFLINE   ajrichar

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 03:26 AM

Luciano, that was a great read.  I really loearnt alot about some of the brands we don't get in Oz readily - Shelby Collecatables for instance.
My only suggestion would be maybe to note the best releases for the year from each manufacturer.  For instance, AUTOart's Cortina was a superb car, as was Kyosho's M5.

Other than that, I really enjoyed your review.  I particularly liked your reference of the 'Three Sins of Minichamps' - it had me nodding in agreement.

Top stuff!
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Posted 22 November 2005 - 03:32 AM

very well written and superbly put  :goodpost

#18 OFFLINE   LUW

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 04:17 AM

Thanks guys! :cheers
Luciano

#19 OFFLINE   gerigo

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 12:39 PM

Wow what a great analysis. Do you work in a branding agency? Your knowledge of business and how to capture your audience is classic MBA stuff! Great read thanks. Anyway I hope that I don't get chastized for what I'm going to say but I guess its freedom of speech right?


I was reading somewhere that a local diecast store has closed yet again, I believe, in Australia. You know you should count yourself as lucky. At least there was one that you could go to albeit not for very much longer. I have not been in a diecast store for years now in my neighborhood and I live in a major American city. I believe the last time was maybe 10 years ago. Now all that's available to be is the pathetic selection at TRU or I have to make the trek to the last remaining non chain toy store, Talbot's, in San Mateo. I know that the alternative I have today is that I can order literally from anywhere in the world with a selection wider than any brick and motar store could ever manage. But nothing beats going into a store and shoot the wind with the store people and see the latest stock. It's sad but it goes to show the impact of the global community. No longer is there allegiance to any store when we can just shop at leisure at anytime anywhere.

I also think that this ability to have unlimited choices will directly impact the manufacturers themselves. Unless they can dial in and have a razor sharp focus on their target audience, they will go out of business. There is no doubt in my mind that unless the 4-5 players (Autoart, Minichamp, Kyosho, Exoto and CMC) that are the brands that we all collect, reorganise and really understand what they mean to their customers, they will disappear. The signs are quite clear. Autoart is floundering. I have not bought anything from them this year (the reason is another long story) but what I have are just jewels, the pinnacle of any model car collection. I really appreciate what they have done with the 1/18 field. I cannot imagine that this day would come when I started collecting 20 years ago with Bburago being the only player. But with the current state of disappointing customers, having too diversified a line and increasing prices, Autoart have to so something. I would hate to see them ride into the sunset prematurely.

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 01:00 PM

Really enjoyed reading this, Luciano! I joined the diecast hobby in late summer or early fall IIRC which means I'm not too aware of what's happened during the year that have past. Keep up the good work! Love your site too!

It's too bad about Exoto but didn't they release the FW14B this year too? Wonder if the MP4/6 and Porsche 956 will ever reach production...

#21 OFFLINE   LUW

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 01:12 PM

gerigo, thank yo for the kind words! :cheers My knowledge is purely from the collecting side of the hobby. What I wrote was all based on what came out this year. If you compare that to what was happening before, you can have a very good idea of what is going on on the industry side of the hobby. Unhappily I think you may be right. If companies don't get their act together soon, we may be a few brands short in the future. Right now I'm worried more about Exoto. The vibes comming from them are NOT good. And in second place, AUTOart. It looks as if somebody in management wants collectors to be mad at them. And it's working. :pullhair

induce, I'm glad you liked my analysis and MW! :cheers
As I said up above, Exoto's situation is worrying me. I'm anxious to see how things work out next year for them.
Luciano

#22 OFFLINE   winstoncds

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 01:25 PM

That was a great read Lu. Every word rings true. Real rollercoaster ride and it seems to be a brake fail for some companies on the way down.

2005 saw me buying the most number of AAs ever, both in 1:43 and 1:18. I dont think 2006 will see that kind of purchases. On the positive side, Minichamps might hit the shelves here by mid 2006 and I cant wait to hold some of the models that have been so sought after here. Even Hot Wheels, a brand I used to dislike, is making fresh inroads with collectors here. Reasonable prices and large selection. I think I might see a lot more HWs in my collection than I previously thought it was possible. I know we do not like budget model makers to make our supercars. But with the premium companies charging the sky and taking us for granted, I would rather have a budget model and feel happy for what I get for what I have paid.
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