I see from the latest Hannants email list that, (and I quote):
"...Also please note that the first production run of 10,000 has been
sold by Revell. This kit has the largest plastic part (one piece hull)
Revell have ever moulded and they have mis-calulated the price so it
will increase by £10.00 on February 1st. Please get it on order to be
sure you get one AND save yourselves £10.00 on the 2004 price."...
1) If they REALLY miscalculate the price by 25%, they deserve to go
2) alternatively, do they really think I am stupid? Theoretical
a) Announce big expensive kit
b) Get surprisingly enthusiastic response from modellers
c) Decide to screw them while they can.....
And what would you rather the alternative be,"1)": Revell to go bust and not
Modelers need to get real and understand that this is a business not their
cheap toy factory. If the price is too low due to miscalculation then it
must be raised
in order to make a 'profit'. That might be a dirty word in the UK, but it
is still the
only way we will see new releases next year.
Too many of you do not understand the economics of the current market. Mold
making companies raise their prices whenever they feel they can put it to
the manufacturers. Same is true for the companies who shoot the plastic,
make the decals, etc.
Why do you think many companies are looking to China for molds? Because the
South Korean companies have figured out they can hold Revell, AMTech, etc
over the barrel and demand higher prices. And China is not too far behind
given the cost of the rather poor products (wrt accuracy) that are coming
Last but not least let's look at the relative cost of kit prices in the UK.
Limited distribution, one BIG retailer, demand that is NOT price elastic.
Sounds like a great market to sell into. And, the manufacturer only gets
30% or less to cover ALL their costs. The rest go to the distributor and
Finally, I have a test shot of the U-Boat and it is indeed a very large,
thick hull molding with excellent deck and conning tower detail. I
congratulate Revell on the initial success of the kit. 10,000 pieces is a
great start on paying back the cost of the molding. Another 20 or 30,000
shots sold and they might pay for it.
The reason for the 10,000 initial limit is that the molds would not arrive
in time for the December release so the first 10,000 were shot in China and
the molds were shipped.
If it is too expensive then don't buy it. The price will eventually drop if
the kits do not sell, but in this case I would not bet on that happening for
quite a while.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Nigel Cheffers-Heard"
Sent: Tuesday, 02 December, 2003 01:40
Subject: Revell U-Boat
am curious. Ideas as to what the lead time would be for a kit this size. Did
Revell decide to make a kit of this size, 1-3-5 years ago?
Just wondering what the decision process, etc to make such a model.
totally OT, but if your into sci-fi, this is kind of kewl. saw a model on
some webpage. it had the rear of the u boat model, a piece of glass with
painting on it, and the seaquest, from the the show seaquest. rather kewl
kitbash. it looked like the ship entered a vortx and was transformed.
just another idea as to why to buy the model, again.
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I suggest, from the above quote, that it is yourself who does not understand
Profitable businesses understand that professionalism (includes basic
competence among other characteristics) is key to retaining customers who
provide the profit.
Professional companies around the world track costs, generate pricing plans,
etc. BEFORE release, not after. If they don't, they have bigger problems.
My question is, is the manufacturer really at fault, or are retailers
striking while they can?
It is usually about a three year lead time from initial look to final kit
for the larger companies. This is just a ballpark estimate based on my
limited experience from the outside looking in.
I helped AMT with the -135 series and it took about two years plus from
initial idea to develop the background and build the pitch, sell the kit to
the company decision makers, gather the info, decide on the versions to kit,
gather the info, make the drawings, cut the molds, produce everything else
and begin production and distribution. The final version was finally put
out by AMTech, a good 10 years after the molds for all the -135 versions
I would guess that Revell GmbH (formerly Revell AG) are now deciding on the
2005 production schedule and looking at possible releases for 2006-2007.
2004 is on the sked and will be announced at Nurnberg Toy Fair and other
venues early next year.
The Type VIIC U-Boat is in 1/72. Check the Revell.de website, it's been
there for months.
It's neither the retailers nor the distributors at fault here. The price quoted
was the wrong one. When I saw the original $25 US MSRP I knew it was wrong.
What appears to have happened is that the Manufacturers agent sent along the
incorrect price to the distributors and had to issue a correction after it was
noted. It only take one error on a fax to do this. Four of my distributors all
had the same incorrect pricing and all four have recently changed it to the $50
dollar figure. One of my distributors still has the original wholesale cost two
weeks after correcting the retail. I waiting to see how much longer before they
catch on. There buyer is the one who needs to correct this in there database.
This has happened before and was never a conspiracy or otherwise attempt to
manipulate the modeling public. It's a screw up plain and simple. Standard
computer "garbage in garbage out".
I see what you are saying, and I wholeheartedly agree that to keep
going they need to make a profit. No argument there. The point I am
making, eloquently put by SamVanga, is that you need customer trust and
professionalism. A company with this track record shouldn't be making
cockups of this magnitued. It simply breeds distrust that we are being
screwed just because the opportunity presented itself. You yourself
said that the lead time is enormous, and fixing the target price point
is a very early part of that process, so I still do not entirely buy
the "Oooops, we got it wrong" scenario. Still ooks like opportunism to
As for your cheap jibe about profit "might be a dirty word in the UK",
let me say one thing to you....
I rest my case.
That will never happen sadly......
Never forget being in my favorite shop, and getting into a discussion
with a couple of local club IPMS members. We all talked about what
we were building, and than I raise dthe subject of what they were
going to buy today. The both replied that they were just looking at the
kit's seeing which ones they were interested in, and than were going
home to order off the net. How nice for the pricks.....
(said within earshot of sales people)
Go to a show sometime, and see how fast grown men get into
pissing contests over the price of a $30 kit !!!!!!!!!
"Only a Gentleman can insult me, and a true Gentleman never will..."
I don't see what you're all upset about.
Let me see if I have this right...
Revell announced a huge kit for an unbelievably low price; a price so low that
there was discussion here, and elsewhere on the net, about what a ridiculously
good deal it was. Then Revell has higher costs than anticipated and raises the
price, but since they already have orders for the initial run, decide to honor
the initial price for those orders.
Sounds to me like they are giving everyone a fair deal. If they had increased
the price on the orders they already had I could see where one would get the
perception of dishonesty, but they didn't do that.
FWIW Enron wasn't about making a profit. In fact their problems lie in the fact
that they really couldn't make a profit. In short Enron was just about fraud.
John Benson ------------------------
IPMS El Paso Web Guy
I haven't followed the specific model in discussion so I don't know the
If they are honoring the original price good for them.
If costs go up over time, well, inflation, new taxes, etc. happen. However, I
hold that "oops, we made a mistake and forgot to carry the two" (or the
equivalant) is not professional and should not be tolerated by customers.
AMEN! And, it is a pity more can't be done to punish, severely, the
Well, I can definately appreciate a mistake (I know I'm not perfect, my models
prove that if nothing else).
However, I am still surprised that such a fundemental error was not corrected
within hours given its importance. I go back to my earlier comments about