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World's Strangest Modeling Related Question?


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Hi All,

 

I just added a post to the Tamiya P-38H thread, and I'd noted there that I didn't plan on breaking the box cellophane seal, at least until I plan to begin the build.

 

My question to all of you fellow modelers is this.  I have a reasonably significant stash of model kits, somewhere in the vicinity of 100-120, between airplanes, helicopters and armor (mostly tanks).  I am 61 years old, and there is no doubt in my mind that I will never, EVER even place much of a dent in that huge number of kits before I head off to the great model bench in the sky.  I've promised my wife that at some point, I will do an inventory of all the modeling 'stuff' I have, which would include kits, aftermarket stuff, tools, paints, etc.  I figure, presuming I go before she does, which is likely as she is almost 8 years younger than me, that she'll want to divest herself of all the model stuff, and I want to leave her well situated to do that.  My question is whether you, as fellow modelers, are, or would be, willing to pay more for a model kit if that kit was 'factory sealed', rather than the factory seal/cellophane being broken or removed.  It seems like a lot of kits these days don't come like they used to, that is, completely sealed in cellophane or shrink wrapped plastic.  Some kits are just sealed with circular tape seals at 2 or 4 locations, and some not sealed at all.  But my wife, love her to death, always gives me good-hearted crap about opening the boxes of fully sealed kits, thinking that somehow, that model will be worth more when she goes to sell it after my demise.  What say you, folks?  Are factory sealed kits worth more to you in the 'secondary market', or does it not matter to you?  I rarely ever open any of the sealed sprue bags, even if I open a kit box, so, does that matter to you?  Sealed bags, in the event that the box seal has been broken?  I'm just curious about what you have to say, so I can either agree with my wife's good natured cajoling, or tell her it doesn't matter to the folks who are the likely recipients of this mass of plastic?  

 

Thanks for your thoughts.

Edited by Curt B
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The problem with "factory sealed " kits is that you don't know whether everything is in the box there have been cases in the past where stuff is missing or damaged, so it doesn't add value in my opinion actually might detract. 

Ken 

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If I was buying a used kit, I wouldn't care if it was sealed or not. My LHS sells used kits and I prefer to take a look inside if I can before purchase just to be sure everything is ok, and also see what the decals look like (especially older kits) before buying. Obviously I can't do do that for long distance online purchases, but I wouldn't worry.

 

 personally, I love opening the boxes and fondling the plastic. Seeing what the surface finish and detail is, sometimes is the factor that decides what kit I build next.  A kit that I really want to build, but I know will have extra work to bring to completion, may go back on the shelf until I have more interest and/or time. Especially now with young kids, the less effort a kit needs means the more likely I will get it finished. don't want to spend hours and hours sanding if I only get an hour or two a week at the bench!

 

 Sean

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Many kits from Japanese companies aren’t shrink wrapped from the factory, so having it simply means that it was wrapped somewhere along the distribution channel.  Worst case, it could have been done by the seller to hide an incomplete kit.  They do, however, put the parts sprues in sealed bags.  The parts bags still being sealed are what people care about.

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If it came down to choosing between an unwrapped kit where the seller stated no missing parts, good decals etc. and a sealed shrink-wrapped box with unverified contents, I'd go with the open one every time.

 

I immediately open new kits to verify contents and place the decals in a ziploc bag.  I don't want a disappointing surprise months/years down the road.

 

.

Edited by habu2
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Really the only time I care about a kit being factory-sealed is when I buy one from the LHS. The amount of times I've seen customers opening boxes and manhandle the sprues and decals to look at them, only to force them back inside the box..... yeah, thanks, but NO THANKS. Some kits are so jam-packed that it's difficult to get them back inside even when you're taking care while sitting at your modelling desk. But standing in a cramped LHS aisle with no place to lay things down? Not looking good. The way I've seen some folks - modellers! - handle kits in stores was hair-raising. It was all but guaranteed to result in broken or lost parts. One of the arguments for brick-and-mortar shops - being able to look inside the box - is IMHO actually an argument against brick-and-mortar shops. I mean, they might not intentionally break or loose parts (although some of the guys I've seen obviously didn't give a hot damn), but with some kits it's almost guaranteed if you don't replace the sprues in a certain order.

 

2 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

Many kits from Japanese companies aren’t shrink wrapped from the factory, so having it simply means that it was wrapped somewhere along the distribution channel.  Worst case, it could have been done by the seller to hide an incomplete kit. <...>

 

Had that actually happen to me once. Bought a shrink-wrapped Heller Mirage F.1CR. Don't think Heller usually did that. Opened it and found out it was missing the sprue(s) with the fuselage halves. Bummer.

Was in an LHS. Go figure.

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks to all of you who have replied thus far.  I honestly will use your responses to explain to my wife that keeping the kits 'factory fresh', so to speak, isn't going to fetch a better price when she goes to sell off the stash to you guys.  The points you've made really make a lot of sense, the logic is great.  Thanks again for your thoughts on this matter, which I've been thinking about for some time now.

 

Another thing that I think is in favor of having an open box is that ability to put any aftermarket items in the box with the rest of the kit.  Granted, sometimes the aftermarket stuff is too bulky to fit into the box, but oftentimes it's not, and being able to put everything together in one place is a benefit, especially if/when it may be years before I get around to actually building the model.

Edited by Curt B
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Some kits I buy to collect some I buy to build.
If its a collector then sealed is best, if its build then open is a way to know for sure if its complete, a lot of older kits were not 100% on the QC front...

 

If its factory sealed dont open it for the sake of "checking the contents" just sell it as new sealed. caveat emptor always prevails on auction sites, if you describe it as sealed then you do not know if its complete because its sealed.

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Every kit I buy I open as soon as I get it in my hands. I want to see the parts, to enjoy the craftsmanship (hopefully) and, of course, make sure everything is in good shape. I don't make in depth inspections, but I look over everything to make sure there are no broken parts, especially clear parts. If it is an older kit, I want to check the decals. Then I put the cover back on and place it on the shelf with the 60 or 70 some kits in my stash (I haven't counted). If possible, I put any aftermarket in the kit box too.

 

All this reminds me of when the LHS's were the only place I bought kits (well before the Internet). When I was a kid, I would pace around the shop for up to a hour, trying to make up my mind. I was always glad when a model was already unsealed so I could look at the parts to see what the kit was like. Shop owners were often loath to break open a sealed box, unless they knew you.

 

Now, we have reviews with closeup photos of parts and build reviews. What a modern world we live in. :thumbsup:

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I will always pay a premium for a kit in its original wrap, and my casual, informal observations of eBay sales suggests other people feel the same way.

 

Curt, I applaud your planning ahead. She will appreciate anything you can do to help her sell off your stash. You might include suggested prices for each item, should she decide to sell the items herself or with the help of a friend. Here are some suggestions.

 

LINK

 

Steve

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20 hours ago, ElectroSoldier said:

If its factory sealed dont open it for the sake of "checking the contents" just sell it as new sealed.


Do “factories” actually seal kits?  I mentioned earlier most kits I buy from overseas distributors are unsealed. The practice of shrink wrapping kits is done at the retail distributor level to prevent pilferage in the store. I know many retail hobby shops had their own shrink wrap machines for just this purpose. They would also shrink wrap kits bought at estate sales for resale in their shops. 
 

I see no value in shrink wrapped kits  over non shrink wrapped. 

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23 hours ago, thegoodsgt said:

I will always pay a premium for a kit in its original wrap, and my casual, informal observations of eBay sales suggests other people feel the same way.

 

Curt, I applaud your planning ahead. She will appreciate anything you can do to help her sell off your stash. You might include suggested prices for each item, should she decide to sell the items herself or with the help of a friend.

 

I'm in agreement with Steve here.  Personally, I tend to lean more towards older kits so I don't really mind if they've been opened before.  I can't even tell you the last time I bought a new kit.  However, if someone is selling an old kit that is still wrapped in plastic, sure, I'll admit that it makes me perk up even a bit more.  I'd stop short of saying that I'd pay a "premium" for them.  That kind of makes it sound like I'm willing to pay some exorbitant price over and above the value of the kit, but I am willing to pay a buck or two more for a kit that is sealed over one that has been opened.  I think Curt's wife is correct.  One with the plastic still on would fetch extra money, but we model builders sure do love to open a kit once we get it!  Amiright?

Also, in my 42 years of model building, I have never ever EVER had a brand new kit that is missing anything.  Yes, I know it happens, but that has never been a concern of mine between buying something new and opened vs a used open kit.  The main driving factor for me is the condition of the box; plastic or no plastic.  I've seen more than my fair share of unopened model kits that are still in the plastic but the boxes have been crushed due to "shelf wear".  "Shelf wear" is just our way of saying "gross neglect" when we can't bring ourselves to actually call it what it is.

 

Lastly, I want to commend you for being a good guy and planning ahead for the sake of your wife.  We all see those people who can't help but brag about how they've got hundreds and thousands of model kits that they'll never get around to building.  We all guffaw and laugh and slap the guy on the back while saying "Wooo boy!  What a great stash!  It's only a fraction of mine, though."  Then you see the stories about how the guy kicks off and now his grieving widow, who just planted her hubby in the ground, now has to deal with all his crap.  No thank you.  I'll never do that to my wife and kids.

 

Eric

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Personally the only time I find it "neat" that the factory seal is still on it is if there is an obviously old price tag from a hobby shop or drug store with something like $1:50 or such price on it. But that's just a "hey cool, look how old this kit is and it survived in good shape" kind of thing. I don't think I'd actually pay more for that nostalgia. But I'm sure there are some collectors that would say otherwise. I would say it probably depends on the kit itself as far as rarity, collectible value, and if it's pretty obvious it's REALLY a factory seal and not a basement seal hiding missing items. Otherwise, I don't even care if it has a box. Sealed bags, instructions and MAYBE good decals. That's my concern mainly. 

 

Bill

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In a word; no.

 

In my experience, it seems only to be the mass-produced, mainstream stuff that comes shrink wrapped, and the kits that are going up in perceived value (monster facepalm) arent shrink wrapped from the factory.

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14 hours ago, niart17 said:

Personally the only time I find it "neat" that the factory seal is still on it is if there is an obviously old price tag from a hobby shop or drug store with something like $1:50 or such price on it.

 

Man, does this bring back memories. Getting a whole dollar bill from my parents, then a quick walk to the "corner store". It might have had a pharmacy, don't know, It did have a soda bar where they mixed the soda pop right there. You know, squirt the cola syrup into the glass, then add the seltzer. Now THAT was real soda. Nothing we have today tasted like that. They had the best root beer floats too. But I digress. I would hurry to the the back of the store where you went up a couple of steps and there on the left were a couple of shelves with nothing but model kits. Mostly Aurora. Most of us kids on the block liked the WWI airplanes or the WWII tanks. I'd pick out one, pay for it  and hurry home. Get out the glue and start putting it together. Trying to hold the wings and struts together on those biplanes while the glue dried was always frustrating.

What a memory (sigh). Thanks Bill.

 

Mark

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On 8/4/2020 at 5:51 AM, habu2 said:


Do “factories” actually seal kits?  I mentioned earlier most kits I buy from overseas distributors are unsealed. The practice of shrink wrapping kits is done at the retail distributor level to prevent pilferage in the store. I know many retail hobby shops had their own shrink wrap machines for just this purpose. They would also shrink wrap kits bought at estate sales for resale in their shops. 
 

I see no value in shrink wrapped kits  over non shrink wrapped. 

 

Yeah I know but sealed by the disty is pretty much the same thing, the factory doesnt wrap it up because of localisation.

Tamiya paints for instance, when they arrive in the UK the disty has to put a sticker on the paints...

 

Saying its done by the disty is just being pedantic and is rather pointless.

 

You might not see any value in it but that doesnt mean others dont. I have sold some Hawegawa F-111D/F kits and the ones that were shrink wrapped went for more than the ones that were not shrink wrapped.

An oddity only maybe, but Ive done it myself, I bought an old Citadel paint set for £90, I passed up a set that was exactly the same, all 10 pots still had the seal band still on them and it was £60. I passed it up in favor of one that was still sealed. And thats not the only instance I can give of the sealed version being worth more.

 

It doesnt mean anything to some people, while others wont consider buying it if it doesnt have it.

So you are statistically better off having it than not having it.

Edited by ElectroSoldier
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  • 2 weeks later...

Huh, a buddy of mine shrink wrapped a lot of his kits. I even seem to remember a shop that shrink wrapped Hasegawa boxes.

But I do get that there are people collecting kits never intending to build them at all. So a "collector" value would go up if it was in original shrink wrap.

OTOH, I always open a kit, just to "feel" the parts, look at them a bit, or ehem, check for missing parts 😉

I used to have a list of kits with approximate re-sell value. Wife said she'd just throw them out.

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Some kits are not shrink wrapped at all, they come with the boxes taped closed...

 

It doesnt really matter who seals it, it is that it is sealed.

Like it or not, believe it or not it does add value.

 

Hasegawa dont shrink wrap their kits, and they dont tape them closed either. But the spures are bagged...

I suppose that is done by the store too?

Edited by ElectroSoldier
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I sold an Aero Detail book on ebay for $150 a couple weeks ago. It was "factory sealed" which is the only reason i would demand this high price but to be honest i did not believe anyone would pay that much...but they did and when talking with the buyer, this guy was only interested in sealed up examples. I realize the place i bought the book most likely sealed it to keep it pristine while sitting on their shelf until it got sold. I suppose that is the only reason we have products being sealed up like that. For some kit collectors, having a sealed box is imperative. I love the artwork on my Hasegawa kits so i prefer to keep the cellophane to keep the box tops in good condition. I just got a load of 30+ year old Airfix kits in the mail and a couple of these were indeed still factory sealed which is a good indicator to me the kit is complete (end opening type boxes are prone to small parts getting lost) Maybe the box "wrapping" also plays a role with the quality & longevity of the decals which are known to go bad over time. If selling on ebay you should consider asking a little more for sealed up boxes as you are approaching a larger audience, but know your customer. Some people just don`t care about those things and would not understand why the price was set high.

 

In this time of Coronavirus, some people may be super paranoid about buying used items so maybe this is the perfect time to ask for a little more for sealed up boxes, lol. 

 

Edited by breadneck
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3 hours ago, Bounce said:

peeling the cellophane is truly one of life's finer gifts

 

 

Yep...I just snagged a factory sealed 1/48 promodeller B-17 for $40 and opened it sitting in the car in the parking lot!!

 

 I really wanted to see the decals and the crew members included in the kit..I should have a youtube review of the kit online soon...

 

 

Sean

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13 hours ago, martin_sam_2000 said:

opened it sitting in the car in the parking lot!!

 

This!! When I was a kid I couldn't wait till I got home to open the box and look at all the wonderfulness inside. :thumbsup2:

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