Joined: February 28th, 2005, 11:15 pm

June 9th, 2018, 10:55 pm #11

@bookmark460 . . . yes, I researched and the yen traded in the low 300s to the dollar throughout 1972.  So the Tamiya Z kit at 4000 yen would be about $13 or roughly four times what I was paying for a 1/48 Monogram or 1/25 Revell.  But then your local hobby shop was able to mark up from $13 to $40?

Well, a price of $40 would have made the kit "Unobtainium" as that would have been a month of throwing newspapers (my first job).  My junior high school bike was a Schwinn Continental I bought used for $20, so $40 for a model kit would have been way out of my comfort range.

Just for perspective, the current Consumer Price Index is about seven times higher than 1972, so your $40 kit would be about $300 now.  Most Hyperscalers would balk at that, even though they are adults with adult income (as opposed to a kid throwing newspapers).   
Last edited by dvsun on June 10th, 2018, 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 17th, 2006, 1:18 pm

June 10th, 2018, 5:43 am #12

CPI 7x early 70s to now eh? I wudda guessed 4-5x. 60s being 5 to 6x.

I can recall as if just yesterday seeing a new 65-66 Mustang rag top, lite blue-green metallic, med blue vinyl interior w/ galloping Mustangs stamped onto the seat back, stick, spl chrome wheels (kinda looked like Cragar mags), being pushed into the showroom of my local Ford dealer, on my way home from grade school, AND the $2,600 window sticker. So 6-7x of say $3000, 21G? But a nice well equipped 2018 Mustang, not a spl limited prod factory hot rod one, don't they go for 35-40G, 10-12x of a '65? Guess w/ many things it's not an apples-apples thing. And I know an '18 Mustang is a much better all around car than a '65.

I pulled out my Tamiya 48th 1st release Lanc Dambuster/Grand Slam boxing. Prob released a yr after the original Lanc S-Sugar. Copyright molded on the spl bomb sprue says 1975. Box code has 3500 in blue. I'll take that as the Jpn Home Mkt 1975 Yen price. So 10-12 bucks. I bought new from a LHS (San Antonio Hobbies near San Jose Calif) in the mid/late 70s and it has a $37 price tag! Now I know middle men have to be paid and a profit made by the LHS, but still, 3x Home Mkt price?? Not a US Tamiya release tho. No English instruction sheet or such. Maybe the LHS imported direct. That would def add to his costs, esp if he had some airmailed ahead.

There have been cases here in  the US recently that are close. Hasegawa US dist's pricing was nuts. 2-2.5x Jpn prices easy, if not more! Thank the model gawds for the www, eBay and esp big Jpn onlines like HLJ! The recent 48th Fine Mold Claude fighters show 3400 Yen on the box but are sold in the US for 'only' $50-ish. That's not too bad I guess. HLJ sells at a discounted 2800 Yen or so. And if ya get a credit card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees (mine is Capital One and also has '1-2% money back on all purchases'), you save that otherwise 2-3% hit when you pay HLJ. Remember too that PayPal's hit to you is 3-4% when you pay HLJ!! It all adds up, sometimes quickly.

I think in 2018 there are some cases, Russia, PRC, Middle East, where the cost of a MBz, Porsche, BMW are 2-3X of Euro/USA pricing, for the same car! Greed, tariffs, lux tax, dealer support, port master's/political bribes, whatever.

AND, hows about that plain Jane SF Bay Area house bought in 1960 for 30G now selling for 1.5+ mil?!! What's that, 50x?!!! Supply-demand. Wacky.
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Joined: November 17th, 2006, 1:18 pm

June 10th, 2018, 12:17 pm #13

"A bonus would be 16-17" Panasport wheels on modern low-profile tires,".

There are some 1/12 Panasport wheels available at ShapeWays 3D printing. I was looking for some for the recently re-popped Tamiya  1/12 Lotus (Caterham) Super Seven kit. Couldn't find 'em in 13" there so I may buy something close (14-15"-ers), perform some surgery (remove the 3D printed rims on a lathe) and add the Pana's wheel web to the kit's 13". I don't want low profile tires, or 14-15" wheels, on my Seven build. Want it to look 60-70s correct.
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Joined: February 28th, 2005, 11:15 pm

June 10th, 2018, 5:55 pm #14

@bookmark460 . . . I agree the 7x inflation factor does not work for specialty products like a high-performance Mustang, or for real estate in overheated markets like the Bay Area in California.

However, it does work for a lot of commodities.  The typical entry-level car was about $2500 in 1972 (think Datsun 510, Pinto, Vega).  Multiply by 7 and you get something in the high teens which buys a number of entry-level cars in the year 2018.  Plus, any 2018 car is far better in terms of build quality, low emissions, passenger safety, and reliability.

The 7x inflation works for other commodities like model kits.  If a 1/48 Monogram kit was $3, multiple by 7 and you get $21 which buys many 1/48 offerings in the present day, especially on the web.  Plus, you now have far better accuracy and fit.

I enjoyed reading your examples of current prices for specialty products in Russia, PRC and the Middle East.  Typical restraint of trade = high prices, much like Tamiya super kits were being marked up from $13 to $40 in 1972, or your Lanc being marked up from $12 to $37 in 1975. 
Last edited by dvsun on June 10th, 2018, 6:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Joined: February 28th, 2005, 11:15 pm

June 10th, 2018, 6:02 pm #15

@bookmark460  . . . I did not see Panasport wheels or anything similar at Shapeways.  Can you send a link?

I saw the Caterham tires, and the 18" Michelin Pilot Sport (masters only).  Either one would be an improvement over the standard 14" tires in the Tamiya Z kit.

Can you measure the height of your Caterham tires, and also the rim width?  Thanks in advance!
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Joined: November 17th, 2006, 1:18 pm

June 11th, 2018, 10:40 pm #16

One came thru my hands a few month when I bought one (the new re-release green/nmf full fender boxart one) for a very henpecked modelling good bud of mine. All his hobby buys come thru me! Anyway, the tires were under blisters if I recall. I do have one coming for ME from a Jpn eBayer right now thanks to an HSer who kindly posted a 20% off eBay USA discount code a few days ago. Got it for $260 to my door vs about 400 for my bud's purchase! He who waits! I won't tear apart the box/inserts, but I can prob mike out the dia/width of the wheels thru the poly bags and perhaps get a close # for the tires. I don't tear kits apart (esp $$ ones) until I'm ready to build. Who knows, I may have to desperation sell stuff some time in the future! I learned my lesson from Hot Wheels in the 60s and Star War figures in the 70s! OH, if only!

Have you tried the keyword Minilite instead of Panasport at ShapeWays? Panasports are copies of the original 60s UK Minilites. I was at ShapeWays a few months ago and can't find the pg in my history. I do recall some 'designed by Chip Foose' rethinks of the Minilite design. They were OK looking but I'm looking to the true, original, MiniLite/Panasport look. About 50 bucks for four of the Foose ones in 1/12. Wheels only. But I do recall seeing other original look Minilites produced in 12th there. Try 'Chip Foose', 'Foose' or Minilite alone/in combo at ShapeWays.

Note too that one of the cycle fendered (I don't like those w/ the tiny ft fenders) Tamiya 1/12 Seven releases HAD Minilites! But I think they were 13s or 14s. Maybe you/we can buy those wheel sprues from Tamiya, Tamiya USA or eBay??
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Joined: February 28th, 2005, 11:15 pm

June 12th, 2018, 2:35 am #17

@bookmark460 . . . just for clarification, I have the Tamiya 1:12 240ZG (kit 12051) with the Watanabe 8-spoke wheels (see attached).  It is a nice wheel, but is designed for the vintage 14" rubber in the kit.

It would be great to update the kit with a 16-17" wheel and tire combination, but the pickings are slim indeed.  Per your suggestion, I searched Shapeways and found a Caterham tire (described as 15-16") and a Michelin Pilot Sport 2 (described as 18") but no clear dimensions for the rim openings.  I have requested that dimension from the designers of those tires.

I also searched Shapeways using the term Minilite per your suggestion, and found the Foose and something called the "Tapacubos Minilite 16" but prefer a more authentic Panasport design (if it exists).
Tamiya 1-12 240ZG stock vs Watanabe wheel.jpg
Last edited by dvsun on June 13th, 2018, 5:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: February 28th, 2005, 11:15 pm

June 13th, 2018, 5:31 am #18

@bookmark460 . . . through Shapeways, I contacted Russell Murray, designer of the Michelin Pilot Sport in 1:12 scale.  He indicated the rim opening of his tires is 41.3mm, which is much too big for the Tamiya kit's Watanabe rim at only 32mm.  Not surprising, since the Michelin is supposed to be an 18" tire and the Watanabe is only 14".

The good news is that Russell referred me to the Facebook page for Watanabe Shunsuke Rosso, where I found a magnificent 16" wheel set that will be a perfect upgrade for my Tamiya 240Z project.  I found available stock at raccoon-shop.com and the total price with shipping from Japan to California is $57.  The set is four resin tires, Watanabe wheel centers, machined aluminum rims, lug nuts and valve stem (see picture)   
srp_rsw1.jpg
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Joined: February 28th, 2005, 11:15 pm

July 15th, 2018, 3:18 am #19

@bookmark460 . . . while thinning out my collection of FineScale Modeler magazines, I stumbled across a May 2001 build of the Hasegawa 1/32 P-51D.  The author indicates when first released in 1973 it sold for $4.50, which is reasonable when compared to about $3 for a 1/48 kit at the time.  

Hasegawa's 1/32 kit is currently offered on eBay in a range from $25 - $50, so the Consumer Price Index multiple of 7 holds up in this example.
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