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
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
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...
(hopefully will be brewing with my decaffinator at NSL)