Looking for original 1970s prices on Tamiya

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

June 7th, 2018, 3:15 pm #1

I just paid too much for a long out-of-production Tamiya 1/12 scale Datsun 240Z 🙂🙂🙂 It is kit number 12008, originally released in 1972.

After telling a friend how much I paid, he asked a good nostalgia question:  How much did it cost in 1972?  We speculated that an early "super kit' might have sold for $20-30 at a time we were paying $2-3 for 1/48 Monogram aircraft. 

Does anyone have a 1972 hobby magazine or Tamiya catalog that would show the original asking price? 

 
240Z 01.JPG
240Z 01.JPG
Last edited by dvsun on June 8th, 2018, 3:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: November 17th, 2006, 1:18 pm

June 7th, 2018, 3:47 pm #2

Is it inc'd on the tail end of the box side/end code? Back then it was the Home Mkt Yen price and US shops would just make it the USD price too, after moving the decimal point over two!

Yen vs USD was about 300-400/$ back then, so a 4000 Yen (10 bucks) coded on the box Tamiya kit in a Tokyo LHS would then be sold for about 40 here! At least that's how I recall San Antonio Hobbies down San Jose/Silicon Valley way use to price Jpn kits.

I think it sold for more than 20-30 when first released in the US. 50-ish USD? I think I paid 20 for the first (?) 12th Tamiya race car kit, the 66/67 Honda F1. And that was released 5+ yrs before the 240 rally car, and w/ way fewer parts and size too.
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Joined: October 12th, 2015, 3:27 am

June 7th, 2018, 7:21 pm #3

Keep in mind that an average wage in 1972 was around/about $2.00 / hour...so a $40 kit was half a week's pay. Pretty expensive.
In that time period, I earned $190 a month as starting pay in the USMC. 😏
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Joined: February 28th, 2005, 11:15 pm

June 7th, 2018, 7:48 pm #4

Great comments, guys.  It would still be fun to see a magazine ad or Tamiya catalog from that era.  
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Joined: November 17th, 2006, 1:18 pm

June 8th, 2018, 6:14 am #5

Slim_ShadyTwo wrote: Keep in mind that an average wage in 1972 was around/about $2.00 / hour...so a $40 kit was half a week's pay. Pretty expensive.
In that time period, I earned $190 a month as starting pay in the USMC. 😏
Maybe in your part of town. But in Calif, way back in 1967, wet behind the ears hs student, gas jock at the local ARCO gas station (nites/weekends), I was making $1.75-2.00! And free 25 cent gas for my daily driver Kawasaki dirt bike. Min wage laws in Calif (and NorCal supply/demand) of course prob varied vs other states. My hourly went up to $2.25 over the months. Then I moved on a yr or so later, still in hs, to flip burgers at a SF Fisherman's Wharf joint for $3! Free food, and more importantly LOTS of hot 16-17 yr old waitresses/counter girls! Summer or 'luv' and all. And got to take the Cable Car to work too, in the fog.

Mil pay, don't really count. The military are shamefully paid a quarter or third (less?) of 'pvt sector', pre benefits. Some good training, work exp, discipline tho.
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Joined: November 17th, 2006, 1:18 pm

June 8th, 2018, 6:15 am #6

OP, what's the kit #/code on the box end?
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Joined: November 17th, 2006, 1:18 pm

June 8th, 2018, 6:44 am #7

This may help. But don't know if this is a 1st, 2nd, etc, release price. I'm sure if Tamiya were to re-pop, it'd def be 150-200+ USD. I'd buy a re-pop at 200! Their 12th Porsche '934/935' race car kits too.

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10008252

I'm also saying 1st release $50 guess cuz that would have def not been in my comfort zone for a model kit (even a BIG hi Q one) purchase in '72, and I never did buy that kit back then tho the subject and kit interested me greatly. Very cool car, esp the Safari rally car.
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Joined: October 12th, 2015, 3:27 am

June 8th, 2018, 6:24 pm #8

bookmark460 wrote: Maybe in your part of town. But in Calif, way back in 1967, wet behind the ears hs student, gas jock at the local ARCO gas station (nites/weekends), I was making $1.75-2.00! And free 25 cent gas for my daily driver Kawasaki dirt bike. Min wage laws in Calif (and NorCal supply/demand) of course prob varied vs other states.
The Federal minimum wage in 1967 was $1.40 per hour. In 1972 it was $1.60. California has always had higher taxes and real estate prices as far back as I can remember which impacted your wage in that state.
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Joined: February 28th, 2005, 11:15 pm

June 8th, 2018, 7:27 pm #9

@bookmark460 . . . the box end code is 4000 which ties perfectly with your explanation (see attached pic).

In addition to Tamiya re-releasing the 240Z rally car, it would be great to see an additional version with the parts needed for a U.S. market car:

* Bumper guards
* Datsun emblems
* Door-mounted rearview mirror
* Left-hand-drive dashboard, steering rack, and windshield wipers
* Side marker lights for the rear fenders
* Stock grill

A bonus would be 16-17" Panasport wheels on modern low-profile tires, instead of the 14" stock rubber.  I would be first in line and willing to pay $200.
240Z 03.JPG
Last edited by dvsun on June 10th, 2018, 6:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: November 17th, 2006, 1:18 pm

June 9th, 2018, 3:26 pm #10

Geez, so if my Yen/$ #s are close, 12 bucks in Tokyo and bumped up to 40 in the US!? That's why then, as now, I try to buy direct! WWW makes it so much easier now.

Back in the 60-80s my parents often visited Japan. They airmailed me the first release 48th Lanc as soon as a big Tokyo dept store got 'em. Carried home other Tamiya first releases for me like the 48th Rufe, Zero and 35th FAMO too. And from Hawaii in the 70s, airmailed a whole case (!) of those great greasy Maui 'Kitch'n Cook'd' potato chips.
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