I know Estes is trying but...



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Here is my [ unasked for ] opinion...
The question of waterslide vs vinyl decal is not one of cost. It is a question of [ for lack of a better term ] "user ability".
I dont think anyone would disagree that waterslide decals look better than vinyl stickers. I also do not think anyone would disagree that the general level of "manipulative and constructive" ability among young people has gone way down.
Vinyl decals (stickers) allow todays' young wal-mart style builder to make something that resembles the box picture without having to think too much or learn the "new" skill of applying waterslide decals. Thus the "user friendly" rating of the product goes up. ( remember: often "easy" = "good" )
Don't get me wrong - I'm NOT saying that this is a GOOD thing....only that this IS how many products are designed for todays young mass market consumer.
I know there was quite a bit of discussion before Q went to waterslide decals on the x15... cost was of far less concern than the question of "do we take the chance of turning off some young customers (and their parents) who may pass on this product because they don't want to spend the time...?" OR (far more likely) "what if the consumer decides to NOT finish the model with waterslide decals... will they view this as a negative experience and buy a more "mass market" competitors kit the next time?"
In the end Q went with the waterslide decals. It was decided that if the buyer was willing to buy the kit (knowing that the extra fins would be more challenging) then learning how to use waterslide decals could be considered to be a reasonable challege also.
While waterslide decals may be best overall it is a fine line to decide when they are best for the kit at hand...
Sorry so long...just my unoffical opinion...
Matt Costabile (hopefully will be brewing with my decaffinator at NSL)
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Expect less, receive less, embarrass fewer unskilled kids by making more kids unskilled.
Export jobs.

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Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
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Like Jerry, I believe that stick-on decals are Estes' conclusion regarding youth-friendliness. Like others, I believe it doesn't generate any skill in the hobbyist. And like others, I believe it alienates skilled hobbyists.
Anyone can get waterslide decals made at about $0.50 - 1.00 per sheet by going to Microscale at this link. The small lot/end of run offer given here looks particularly sweet. : http://microscale.com/custom.htm
Has anyone suggested to Estes that you'd be willing to mail in $1.00 for a waterslide-equivalent decal sheet for any kit in the current catalog? That'd be a nice service if they'd offer it...
John Joseph NAR 32435 Tucson, AZ
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That's a practical suggestion because now THEY get 100% of the money not 35%.
I like that method for scale kit decals. The vendor gets 100% of the revenue and I get kit decals.
Jerry

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Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
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Silly rabbit...
For a company of any size, you can't make money selling something for a dollar even if your cost of goods is zero. 20 years ago when I was a retail manager, we figured it cost about $1.15 just to move an SKU through the system. More likely (assuming the decals cost a few tens of cents) you'll see them asking $2.95, plus $3.95 shipping and handling per order.
I much prefer the idea of putting both types in the bag/box - that way the cost is limited to the "actual" cost of the decals. Of course, this is the very first thing the accountants will want to stop as "waste"... which puts us exactly where we are today.
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Scott wrote: "Silly rabbit...
For a company of any size, you can't make money selling something for a dollar even if your cost of goods is zero. "
Candy bars, Carmex, lighters, matches, etc...
Not sure how the under a dollar logic works for a whole variety of industry then.
Ben
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BIC doesn't take your order for one lighter and ship it to you, individually. I doubt they even track anything smaller than a gross. Mail ordering a decal sheet from Estes would essentially force them to act as a retailer.
Once the sub-$1 item gets down to the retail level, you can sell it at a <small> profit because it can be tracked no closer than by the case. Even then, retailers will do anything to get their minimum sale up. That's the whole point of "X for $2.00 pricing".
Haven't you wondered why you can't buy just two or three screws? Go to most stores, and all you can get is an assortment of several sizes, for several dollars. In fact, just this week my neighborhood hardware store pulled all their loose screw and nail bins, replacing them with blister-packed, peg boarded assortments.
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I hadn't recognized the mail order part of the 1$ sticker sheets, somehow i overlooked that, and your right, that would not make sense business wise.
I'm surprised the hardware store by you has pulled bins. We just had 2 more hardware stores open up recently, with bin sections. One of which has multiple aisles of bins, and you can buy by the piece for any hardware.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

And in most all hardware stores I've been in, the stuff that is prepackaged is generally done up in individual sizes... assortments are available, but one isn't stuck with that if it's not what's wanted.
As for the original question, ISTR when I was into this the first time, most Estes kits didn't generally come with decals (or instructions on how to duplicate "the color scheme on the box")... it was more "paint in colors of your choice". (Something like a Gemini-Titan did come with a description of the original so one could make it realistic, but as far as Estes sport kits are concerned, at least, this whole business of the instructions telling the builder what colors he should paint the thing to make it look like the picture on the box seems to have come along more recently.)
-dave w
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On 22 Apr 2005 11:54:21 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Because nobody orders _one_ candy bar from the manufacturer.
--
Darren J Longhorn http://www.geocities.com/darrenlonghorn /
NSRG #005 http://www.northstarrocketry.org.uk /
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Matt, thanks for posting this.
just because all the old pharts here want real-olde-tyme decals doesn't mean it's better for everyone. there's a time & place for both stickers & decals.
when the kids were really little (fumble fingers) they liked stickers better (we built a LOT of Quick-Kits!). now most of the time they want decals, although there are times when vinyl stickers are preferred: occasionally a newbie friend will come over, large area to cover (big fins, big BT). stickers actually work OK with the trick of dipping them in water with a dot of soap.
El Chubbo wrote: ...

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Scott Schuckert wrote:

It was a general observation, but the crack about chinese life spans clinched it.
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"Crack?" How is that a crack? It's an objective fact. According to the most recent figures (2001) the average lifespan in China is a touch less than 72, while American lifespan for the same year was about 76.
If you'll forgive the OP for remembering slightly out of date information, the difference was more dramatic; they've made huge advances, probably due to Western influence. Just after WWII the Chinese lifespan was half of ours, and just 20 years ago it was 10 years less than today.
Not that I'm all that concerned with China. But there are some pretty smart people here on RMR, and it pains me to hear epithets flung based on the - well, idiocy - of the flinger.
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Not in Dave Grayvis aka Brian Teeling's world. Every utterance by me is a crack.

I predict Dave Grayvis aka Brian Teeling will assure the pain continues unabated.
Jerry
--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
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writes:

The internet is the great equalizer. It removes all discrimination based on nationality, race, religion, gender, orientation, age, looks, etc. The only thing left to base discrimination on is INTELLIGENCE.
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Der_Red snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

started
so
the
when
so you're saying you could have done a better job with a "waterslide" decal on the nosecone?...are you sure of that?
I'm not saying stick on's are better by any means but I have learned to use them because thats what they supply with the kits ..
with a little practice and after devising a technique ,I have had very good results with them. most of my "sticker"jobs are very hard to distinguish from waterslides.
don't give up,just work on applying them and they can blend just as well and they definately hold together much better than waterslides in most cases. all is not lost
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If he's not, I am. You can do a good job or a bad job with self stick; but no matter how skillful you are, the thickness of the media is working against you. On some smaller scale kits, the vinyl layer looks like they painted the markings on the original rocket an inch thick.
With a proper waterslide decal, the clear flash around the colored pattern is invisible once applied - this can never be the case with vinyl self-sticks.
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I see your point but disagree
mabey I put a little more effort into it,, I don't just stick the decal on and call it done and anyone who has seen some of my rockets will attest to that...
it's more work -yes ,,, but not hard to resolve, I preferr waterslide but sometimes it's not an option.
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