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Inquisitor

Trumpeter ridiculous prices for new 1/72 kits

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Like the title says, WTF?

First was their 1/72 Su-24 Fencer kits at $33-34 USD.

Now their new 1/72 MiG-31 kit cost $44 at hobby easy, that's as much as their Hobbyboss 1/48 flanker kits!

The Su-34 isn't available at the usual HK or Chinese stores yet. But HLJ had pre-orders for 7840 yen. But if you simply calculate the same price increase ratio from other trumpyboss kits due to japanese import taxes, like the 1/48 one, it comes out at the $40's ballpark.

 

We're talking about 1/72 kits, geez.

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It's the new reality for kits in that scale.  Large parts counts, complex construction, new molding technologies, kits that contain full weapons suites when you used to have to buy separate sets, details that rival larger scales, etc.  There's no putting the genie back into the bottle.

 

Rick L.

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i didn't notice this has became a trend. recently built their mig29 and the price was indeed steep, i thought it was the exchange rate but looks like not. otoh ditto Spruemeister, 29 came stuffed with weapons, lovely detail, ease of build and a very nice poster (same as boxart).

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Nothing special to Trumpeter. New kits are getting more and more expensive but they are getting better too. Also we have many more options nowadays. My wishlist is getting seriously shorter compared to 5 years ago. So, overall I am ok with it. 

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To put this into perspective, check the price for AMK's 72nd Kfir once it's out!

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20 hours ago, foxmulder_ms said:

Nothing special to Trumpeter. New kits are getting more and more expensive but they are getting better too. Also we have many more options nowadays. My wishlist is getting seriously shorter compared to 5 years ago. So, overall I am ok with it. 

Sounds like excuses to me. More options by themselves is not an argument for that 44USD is an ok price for 1/72 MiG-31 from Trumpeter. It is costing almost as much as 1/48 AMK MiG-31...

Edited by Berkut

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Just a couple days ago was reading a discussion among local modellers how companies are starting to price the kits out of the reach of young modellers.

 

Yes I know there are the old kits at more affordable prices. Those are cheap because those companies have maintained that price and haven't overtly increased them while pumping their old molds, but molds aren't forever, neither old cheap kits on ebay or yard sales. Once they're gone or discontinued they're gone.

 

Just looking at Trumpeter price strategy, I don't know what's their plan. Do they think all people will buy their kits at that price? Will it turn into a vicious circle, when the market deems a kit too expensive and it doesn't sell as well as they thought, so the next kit they increase the price again in hopes of recouping their cost with fewer kits? Will the vicious circle lead them to price themselves out of the market?

 

Like Berkut said, Trumpeter's Mig-31 is just $11 from the AMK MiG-31. I can see someone arguing, "But I'm exclusively 1/72". If it was $50? $55? and both next to each other? I build 1/72 too but if I was going to buy a new tool MiG-31, I'd say f@#$ it I'd pick up the AMK.

 

On the other hand I see the appeal of kids staying with videogames. In fact if you account for inflation, videogame consoles and games are 'cheaper' than two decades or three decades ago, with the price tag in the $300-400 and $50 range respectively for so many decades.

Edited by Inquisitor

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8 minutes ago, Inquisitor said:

Like Berkut said, Trumpeter's Mig-31 is just $11 from the AMK MiG-31. I can see someone arguing, "But I'm exclusively 1/72". If it was $50? $55? and both next to each other? I build 1/72 too but if I was going to buy a new tool MiG-31, I'd say f@#$ it I'd pick up the AMK.

 

If I check e.g. in a certain German webshop, I can see the Trumpy MiG-31 going for 36 EUR, while the AMK BM is at 57 EUR in the same shop. So, perhaps it's not up to Trumpeter, but to that particular shop's margins on new releases or whatever.

Edited by ijozic

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Just now, ijozic said:

 

11 USD? That doesn't sound fair. If I check e.g. in a certain German webshop, I can see the Trumpy MiG-31 going for 36 EUR, while the AMK BM is at 57 EUR in the same shop.

In all fairness I'm trying to quote prices from chinese/HK stores, which I'd consider closest to origin and preferably from the same store. In this case you have the Trump MiG-31 for $44.52 and AMK MiG-31 at $55 at Hobbyeasy.

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Is not that I have bought both Su-30MKK for 30 euro and the Mig-29 9-12 for 20 euro shipped,I can easily wait and just purchase the aftermarket first then the kit itself,sadly I did something stupid for the Su-24D and paid it too much as I didn't want to cancel the order from Amiami.

 

I can wait for Su-34 fixes to show up,invested way too much money for the Italeri so I'm not in a rush,for the Mig-31 is another story but I'm curious about the Mig-31M so it's on the queue together with other kits

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21 minutes ago, Inquisitor said:

In all fairness I'm trying to quote prices from chinese/HK stores, which I'd consider closest to origin and preferably from the same store. In this case you have the Trump MiG-31 for $44.52 and AMK MiG-31 at $55 at Hobbyeasy.

 

And I'm checking prices in a same store in Europe which orders them both from HK or China and the ratio there seems more realistic. So, the Trumpy kit is overpriced at Hobby Easy, but that's one store, doesn't mean it's like that everywhere.

Edited by ijozic

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25 minutes ago, ijozic said:

 

If I check e.g. in a certain German webshop, I can see the Trumpy MiG-31 going for 36 EUR, while the AMK BM is at 57 EUR in the same shop. So, perhaps it's not up to Trumpeter, but to that particular shop's margins on new releases or whatever.

It is possible that HE price is inflated, but from my experience they are usually very good on price. I guess we just have to wait and see some more shops getting it to get a real feel for the price. 36 euro is more sane, but still almost 39USD which personally, i find to be too steep for a 1/72 kit. 39USD vs 44USD is basically splitting hairs imho. I am definitely skipping 1/72 Trump MiG-31 for a number of reasons, MiG-31M however will be a more difficult choice...

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It's because they can.

 

Trumpeter is a business.  They exist to make money.  And, on balance, they believe they will make more money selling their MiG-31 for $45 than for $25.  That is why their kits cost what they cost.  

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44 minutes ago, Berkut said:

i find to be too steep for a 1/72 kit. 39USD vs 44USD is basically splitting hairs imho. I am definitely skipping 1/72 Trump MiG-31 for a number of reasons, MiG-31M however will be a more difficult choice...

 

Well, the AMK kit is not at 55 here, but 60, so it might be splitting hairs, but it might also mean the difference to AMK kit jumping from 1/4 of the price to 1/2 in my example (which can also be just an exception and the kit is in fact more expensive everywhere else).

 

It does seem expensive for a 1/72 kit, but, on the other hand, compared to which recent modern kit of a similar size? I get the impression that kit MSRP prices in general are getting more and more expensive, but Trumpy seems to be the only one singled out here. For example, I paid more for the GWH MiG-29 9.13 kit on LM sale, than I did for HB and AMK MiG-31 kits (also on sale, but in EU shops) and it's like a much smaller kit. Yet, I don't remember any threads calling GWH out on their high price.

 

BTW, the 1/72 MiG-31B/BM comes with extra cockpit instrument panels and pylons for the late 90's BM prototype if that means anything to you. I might consider the HB 1/48 B/BM for that reason if I get a great deal on it later on. The M I'm getting for sure, though, if it's not some hack job like the Yak-38 dual seater. Though, that would make it 4 1/48 MiG-31 kits which who knows when I'll finish or worse yet, where I'd keep them afterwards. Perhaps I should get the BM in 1/72 (but not for 44 USD of course :) ).

Edited by ijozic

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Hi

Not trying to defend Trumpeter or anyone as I have no affiliation with them whatsoever, but checking Taobao (a chinese ecommerce site), I got the Trumpeter SU-24 at about $24 from taobao. I also notice that on both Hobbyeasy and Luckymodel, the prices of chinese kits are higher than from Taobao

 

https://world.taobao.com/item/523371756271.htm?spm=a312a.7700714.0.0.52jO7r#detail

 

Song

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1 hour ago, Berkut said:

Sounds like excuses to me. More options by themselves is not an argument for that 44USD is an ok price for 1/72 MiG-31 from Trumpeter. It is costing almost as much as 1/48 AMK MiG-31...

 

Let me know when you complain about other companies' prices, too. Otherwise I cannot take you seriously because you take every single chance to attack Trumpeter/Hobbyboss and ignore what they brought to the hobby.

 

Many of the new releases from almost all companies are at the same ballpark when it comes to price. 

 

And for clarity, what I meant in my original post is overall I prefer current state of the industry than what it was 5 years ago. More expensive but I can built what I want in higher quality. My "pro-Trumpeter" argument is very simple as highlighted twice now. 

Edited by foxmulder_ms

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Doing a simple inflation calculation, that $44 kit today would have cost $20.52 in 1987 and $10.95 in 1977. Let's take a look at some other kits from back in the day. Remember the Tamiya 1/32 scale F-14? That ran around $100 when I was in high school in the 80's. Today that kit would have cost $226.40. Or how about the Hasegawa 1/48 F-18 Hornet. They hit $75 back in the early 90's. Today they would have cost $139.79. So you see, there have always been expensive models. The biggest thing to remember about our hobby is that instead of a run of 20,000 kits, a company may do a run of 2,000-3,000 kits. However, the cost of tooling doesn't go down with lesser kits. So, to cover their expenses, the cost must go up on each individual unit. That's the reality of our hobby. 

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6 minutes ago, Darren Roberts said:

The biggest thing to remember about our hobby is that instead of a run of 20,000 kits, a company may do a run of 2,000-3,000 kits. However, the cost of tooling doesn't go down with lesser kits. So, to cover their expenses, the cost must go up on each individual unit. That's the reality of our hobby. 

Exactly....

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Darren is completely correct. The reason for the higher prices is the smaller run that these manufacturers have to produce. There are less of us out there.

 

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I wish Zvezda would step up their game and start producing these Russian subjects more often.  I too don't wish to pay high prices to Trump/HB.

 

Zvezda SU-33 is at least US$10 cheaper than Trumpeter's version over at Luckymodel.

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Some food for thought in the differences in price associated with producing kits in different scales. Simplified in my mind it breaks down into several parts:

-Research

-Design

-Mold manufacturing

-kit production, raw materials etc

The cost of research seems like it would be a constant. Design I can understand a higher cost due to more complex the breakdown and parts count. But by how much? Molds would definitely cost more to manufacturer again due to size and complexity. Actual kit production seems like it would be almost no difference. I understand raw styrene is cheap. Cost of decals, cardboard and so on really change that much between different scales? Honestly I have no idea. Just something to think about.

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There is a lot of money being made by the distributors. At the shop level here in the states the MSRP is at least 40% above their cost. I believe that is 20% more than the actual distributor cost (>60% under MSRP).

 

Labor costs are cheap in China, and I would imagine a $200 kit probably costs under $40-$30 to produce.

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4 hours ago, Mr Matt Foley said:

There is a lot of money being made by the distributors. At the shop level here in the states the MSRP is at least 40% above their cost. I believe that is 20% more than the actual distributor cost (>60% under MSRP).

 

Labor costs are cheap in China, and I would imagine a $200 kit probably costs under $40-$30 to produce.

But it's not just in the hobby industry. That's in every industry that distributes. The distributor is in business to make money. They don't distribute out of the goodness of their hearts. Most companies focus on manufacturing, not distribution. Wingnut Wings is a perfect example. They did their own distribution for awhile, but have now gone to outside distributors. Another reason for the distributor is the stores themselves. If I own a store, I don't want to order from a dozen different manufacturers. I want everything in one place. Being a distributor is a very expensive proposition. For all the products that sell well, you have twice the number of products that just sit on the shelves, and that's revenue not being made. 

Edited by Darren Roberts

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As 1/72 kits become more complex, the scale is no longer the cheaper option that it once was (barring Airfix perhaps). The Trumpy su-24 is worth every penny though. It's a really nice model.

 

And it's not like Hasegawa, where they took a 30 year old model, threw in New decals and raised the price by $10. If you want to look at unfair pricing, look no further than them.

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