Estes knock-offs

I have noticed allot of knock-offs of old Estes stuff being sold by various vendors. I have been thinking about it, and to me it seems
less than proper.
When I got back into rocketry in 1997 or so, I was dismayed at the selection available. Little more than the same base 3FNC's with different stickers and colored plastic. Most of the classics where not available. I cloned a few from memory, and then I designed my own. People said "Hey cool, where can I get one?" Then I began selling my own designs.
Making a clone of a long time OOP kit for personal fun and flight is fine I think. Taking something that is known to be a design of a well known company is a little crass, especially if you call it the same thing! (A scale model is something different, using parts from a known company is acceptable too, so long as it is fairly generic, ogive cones, conical, etc...)
Honestly, it is an homage to build and fly a clone of a favorite kit, it is in bad taste to make and sell them.
shrox
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I feel the same as Shrox. Something doesn't seem kosher about it. It's one thing to get JimZ plans, or clone an old kit & make one as a blast from the past & it is a kind of homage, but selling kits of 'em doesn't seem right. Some recent mention of sombody selling a Mars Snooper kit, inspired to start on a 3x upscale of the original....so I went to JimZ. -- Richard "with all the scratch-building I've done, it just dawned on me that something that's BT-50 (24mm) is basically an inch , so a 3x upscale is a 3" BT....sometimes, slow on the draw, Hickok
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Here's my take on it.
If a company hasn't produced a design for 20 years or more, and there's no indication from them that they will EVER produce that design again, I would have to agree that it's fair game.
Estes is a company with access to lots of resources for product development and manufacture, as indicated by the pretty slick engineering and implementation of completely new products - their rocket racers, RTF's, and "launchables" come to mind right off.
If Estes had ANY interest, or if they thought there was a shot at making a profit from their older designs, they'd have re-released every major best-seller from the 60's and 70's. Their SINGLE re-release of a long-OOP kit, the Orbital Transport, was produced in extremely limited quantities and at a premium markup (compared to other kits with similar contents) over their "Wal-Mart specials". And despite a quick sellout of that run, there's been no indication from them that other classic designs will follow.
Bottom line - Estes doesn't care about the past of this hobby, only their current rocketry niche (extremely narrow, but very high volume), and their future ability to maintain shelf space in the nation's Wal-Marts with new toy products.
If a company wants to fill a niche demand by satisfying the desire for classic designs, before the aficionados of those classics get too old and feeble to build anymore, I say DO IT.
We're not getting any younger.
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On Thu, 05 Feb 2004 23:51:00 GMT, "BB"

Estes still holds the copyright on the designs so it's not fair game unless they say so.
Mario Perdue NAR #22012 Sr. L2 for email drop the planet
http://roci.indyrockets.org "X-ray-Delta-One, this is Mission Control, two-one-five-six, transmission concluded."
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Mario Perdue wrote:

I think I have read somewhere that Semroc and maybe Thrustline have asked for and received permission from Estes.
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Did Centuri and Estes have equal distribution at the time? Were the Astro-1 and Alpha sold side by side at most stores?
I'm guessing Estes had stronger distribution and appeared in more stores, making it the winner by default.
Brian Elfert
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Legal right or not, the best thing you could do is give credit where credit is due. Estes is a great company with great products in their own way for their own market. Making a big-ass clone does not infringe on their "market" at all and hopefully stimulates further Estes mindshare and sales.

--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
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No they're doing tens of millions of dollars a year because their product is crap.
You know what I just noticed?
People that post on the internet are clueless stupid morons :)
Jerry
--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
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Jerry Irvine wrote:

Pop goes the weasel!
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see?
--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
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http://www.disneyphenom.com/site/Disneyland/Tomorrowland/AmericaSings/ride/3.html
-- """Remove "zorch" from address (2 places) to reply.
wrote:

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BB wrote:

I have to give them credit where credit is due - in the past couple of years, they've come out with the C11, the E9, re-released the Saturn V and Orbital Transport, and added some 'interesting' build models (Outlander and Renegade come to mind). They appear to be far better in the past 5 years than in the 5 years previous to that.
David Erbas-White
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Outlander.
And their website works fine for me. It even has instructions and troubleshooting and tech manuals and the catalog. 2004 should show up any day now......
-Fred Shecter NAR 20117 http://www.geocities.com/fredeshecter/index.html
-- """Remove "zorch" from address (2 places) to reply.
wrote:

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What shelf space at Wal-Mart? The only Estes rockets at Wal-Mart are three or four starter sets. They don't have any rockets not in starter sets, RTF or kits, at least around here.
The only rocket stuff I would buy at Wal-Mart would be motors, maybe. I've gone there before trying to get some RTF stuff and come up empty every time.
Brian Elfert
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I agree with you shrox. I have gotten some "clones" of a few kits from an "independent" vendor, but he has gotten permission from Estes for limited production (usually l0 kits or less). I wonder if the other vendors have attempted to do the same? I doubt it...

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For those who approached Estes & got permission, as Flis & others mentioned, then it seems right. When others just start producing old Estes designs, it doesn't seem right (to me, at least). -- Richard "hmm....so you approach Estes about this" Hickok
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Here's an idea that could be lucrative both for Estes, AND a smaller kit manufacturer. We already know that Estes *has* given permission for certain small kit runs by 3rd party mfr's. So, Estes, if you're listening here's my idea.
Why doesn't Estes compile a list of classic, unique Centuri and Estes designs from the 60's and 70's, the ones which they have no intention of manufacturing ever again, and grant a 10-year licensing deal to another kit maker, one that will pay Estes royalties for each kit sold. The licensee would have full, exclusive rights to these designs for the duration of the agreement, and Estes would still retain ownership of the designs and profit from them.
Estes makes money, the licensee makes money, and we get rockets!
Thoughts?
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And Estes makes CASH when they sell the motors that will be used to launch these rockets over and over again.
-Fred Shecter NAR 20117
-- """Remove "zorch" from address (2 places) to reply.

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One thing we DO know is Estes does not object to clones because they are great advertising for the company. People install the Estes logo with pride and the sales of the sopecialty kit companies are so low it would not even pay for lunch for the Estes executives for a day.

--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
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