Prepainted Snap-Together Kits... WHY?

LrdSatyr8

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Who suggested to Revell that releasing a model kit that was prepainted and snap together was a good idea? I mean COME ON! Most of the fun of this hobby is gluing and painting and now they took that away from us? I know I could deal with some of the snap-together kits that AMC/Ertl put out awhile back because you couldn't get the model any other way (eg: AT-ST) but lately it seems as if every Star Wars model that Revell has put out lately (not including that first Rebel Transport Carrier) has been prepainted snap-together non-sense. And while I'm at it, who told them that smaller was better? I mean really? They came out with a 3" inch Falcon (of course prepainted and snap together). Have these companies been fed a line of BS that smaller and easier is better and costs less to make and people aren't as intelligent and skillful as they think? At least Fine Molds had the right idea. We want detailed kits that you have to actually glue together and paint. Not these knock-off preschool canon fodder! And now that Fine Molds lost their license, we've got Bandai picking up the reigns. Lets hope we'll see some better quality kits in the SW line in the future... but comon Revell... we expected alot more that what you offered! OK... I'm done ranting... just had to get it out of my system!
 

Elm City Hobbies

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LrdSatyr8 said:
Gundamhead said:
Because it gives the instant satisfaction video gaming kids a intro into model building.

And yet sales drop.. it isn't working

Who says sales have dropped?

The kits are aimed at kids 8 and under. They are called "Build & Play" because that's what a kid under 8 (and some older ones) are going to do with it anyway, build it and play with it. As well, it serves as an entry level into the regular snap kits and then onto regular glue kits.

If you think of a regular Revell Snap kit as being a lvl 1 kit, these new Build & Play kits would be lvl 0.5
 

Quaralane

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And, if those kits don't sell, they're going to be less interested in putting new glue kits on the market anymore,
Remember, a good portion of the mainstream hobby industry still looks at what we do as being for kids.
 

LrdSatyr8

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Hey... Sometimes I just gotta rant. You stop and think about all the people that are involved in the hobby these days and when the hobby was most popular back in the 60-80's... Now you factor in all those people that were into it during that period and what their age range is today you're looking at 40-60 year olds that have been doing this most of their lives. Now I can understand that appealing to a younger generation isn't a bad thing, the problem is, it's usually the older generation that teaches the younger generation how to do it. So by making these fast easy no brainer kits that take all the fun out of the hobby itself, they are basically shooting themselves in the foot as they say. Its up to us, the older generation to show these youngins just how much fun this hobby is and not let the kit makers try to determine what we want. We didn't want the change of how kits were made... we just wanted more kits, kits that appealed to the kids but kits that *WE* can show them how to put them together properly! We shouldn't be pandering to the instant gratification of this new generation, we should be showing these kids that life exists outside of video games, facebook, and TV. How many times has someone looked at one of your models that took you awhile to build just right and was simply amazed? How did that make YOU feel to know that all the work you put into that model paid off? Good right? So, what are we teaching our kids about when all that work is basically done for them and all they have to do is slap together a couple of peices of plastic in a couple of minutes? You might as well just give the kids some legos and say here ya go. Sure with Legos if they have enough and put enough time into it, they could actually create something impressive, but these simple little prepainted snap together kits don't even do that. Its more like a toy company didn't want to spend the time to put the toy together so they threw the pieces in a box and said, you want a toy, make it yourself. That's not what this hobby is all about. Its about the journey getting there. That's all I'm trying to say. When you take away that journey, you take away the creativity, the imagination, the entire joy of what it is we all do. I don't mind a few of these make it yourself toy kits, but the entire line of kits shouldn't all be just that. I mean comon... when they first came out with the first line of TPM kits I was stoked... here we had some great models... the Stap, the Jedi Star Fighters, the Arc, the Pod Racer, and then you had these 3 little snap together prepainted tiny kits (Darth Maul's ship, the Lander, and the Transport) each were no more then maybe 2.5-3 inches and all of them took about 10 minutes to assemble (not build). For some reason, Revell has gotten it into their heads "This is what people want, the wave of the future!" and it's not! Gimme a break here people... you're gonna sit there and tell me that you prefer to have these prepainted snap together assemble yourself kits over the ones you actually build and detail out yourself?? Maybe we all need to write Revell and let them know that not what *WE* want! Ok... ranting over... we now continue with your regaluraly scheduled broadcast!
 

LrdSatyr8

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Quaralane said:
And, if those kits don't sell, they're going to be less interested in putting new glue kits on the market anymore,
Remember, a good portion of the mainstream hobby industry still looks at what we do as being for kids.

Well maybe we need to change that image. Sure we were all kids once, but now that we've grown up, we're not playing with toys anymore (well some of use still hold our starships up and zoom them around and go Phew phew phew), but we're all still here. The hobby isn't a kids game any more. Most of the people in it are adults, and its us adults that have been doing it all these years that gain the interest of their kids to get into the hobby, but we show them. Sure if you've got a 4-5 year old kid, giving them an assemble yourself toy is all well and good, but when these kids get a little older and see what we're doing they begin asking things like "Why don't I need any glue?" or "Why can't I paint my own ship?" Our hobby isn't dead... its just under appreciated. I think its up to us to let these companies know what we want!
 

LrdSatyr8

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Just to prove my point... take a look here:

http://www.revell.com/model-kits/entertainment/starwars.html

This is Revell's complete Star Wars line. Every single kit is prepainted snap together nonsense. But what really gets me, is the fact that in order to look like they have more kits then they actually do, they've got 3 X-Wing Fighters listed (2 of which are the exact same kit, 1 is 3 inches), 2 Darth Vader Tie's (A big one and small one), 2 Anakin Jedi Fighters listed (both the exact same kit) and 2 Falcons (1 big and 1 small)! *grumble grumble harumpth*
 

Elm City Hobbies

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As someone that owns and runs his own hobby shop, I can tell you that the modelers aren't all 40-60yrs old, as I have a number of kids from 6-18 (and 20 and up) coming in here and they aren't overlooking the snap kits (especially the younger crowd).

These kits are geared specifically for the 12 and under crowd, which isn't as small as you would think it is.

Fact of the matter is that Revell has done the research, and the snap kits are what the research returned, hence why they went with it. It has been a few years since the last Star Wars movie has been out, but with it returning in 2015 (and another in 2017), sales should pick up on the classic Star Wars kits, as well as hopefully new kits.

Would it be nice to see a new full glue kit? Sure, seems like Bandai has that covered, and kits should be hitting the market soon, plus you can still pick up older Fine Mold kits, as well as even older AMT/MPC kits on the various places like Ebay and such.

As well I am sure Round 2 would love to re-issue some of the Star Wars kits in their mold inventory, but as it stands, Revell holds the rights to everything Star Wars as it relates to models in North America (Bandai license is for Asia, but they should make their way here as well), and I don't see them giving up the rights any time soon. Will they make new kits for the new movies, I would be surprised if they didn't (depends on who gets the license, if it is different from the regular license), will they be full detail glue kits, or more of the same pre-painted snap kits, who knows.

If you are that upset about it, then my suggestion would be to direct your comments towards Revell themselves. The only way to effect change is talking to the source, complaining about it on here isn't going to do alot to change Revell's mind in the way they do things.

I have one of he pre-painted Tie Fighters, it isn't that bad of a kit, and a good starting point to take the kit and make mods to it, give it a weathered finish, or just completely re-paint it. Good kit to throw together quickly when your modeling mojo needs a boost.
 

Gundamhead

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Well sit with a kid and teach them about building. Rant all you need, but that's the solution in the long run.
 

LrdSatyr8

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OK... I broke down and bought two of the new Revell snap-together prepainted models. I got the Anakin's Starfighter and Luke's Landspeeder. I gotta say I am a bit surprised. I'm an old school modeler, grew up with the AMT/Ertl Star Wars models, and was ready to be disappointed with these kits. But in all honesty I wasn't. The pieces fit together quite snuggly, althou there were one or two times the little pins snapped off, but a little glue helped. The pre-painting wasn't as god aweful as I was expecting (could have been a little more accurate, but I can always fix that myself). The only thing that I had to do and I recommend doing before putting the kits together (they took me about an hour a piece) is spray coat each piece (except the clear pieces) with a blast or dull coat to take away the shiny untouched plastic beforehand to give it a much more realistic feel. Here's my list of pros/cons from my experience with these two kits:

Pro:
- Easy to put together
- Don't really need any paint
- Pieces fit together snuggly and they were wise enough to hide any seams in natural places so seams are down to a minimum (unlike the AT-ST AMT/Ertl kit with the big seam on the head that was next to impossible to remove and you ended up having to cover it with a piece of sheet styrene).
- Detail was surprisingly good!
- Fast completion.

Cons:
- You will need a hobby knife (or a good pair ot clippers) and some sandpaper. (When cutting pieces off the sprue, many of the joins were left to be sanded or cut off, but most of the sprue joins were craftly placed where they weren't seen which was a good thing).
- Small pieces are difficult to snap-in without breaking. (In the Starfighter all the handles in the cockpit are separate and have to be snapped in, and being really small and thin, had a tendancy to break off if you applied too much pressure, but a little glue goes along way.)
- The figures weren't the same type of plastic as the kit, they were like a soft plyable latex instead which even thou they were painted and look better detailed then the old AMT days (thinking the gorilla pilots for the snowspeeder), they should have kept the same type of plastic for easier modding. The C-3PO figure had small plastic peices that were difficult to insert into it's arms.
- Over too quickly. You go from opening the box to having a complete model in about an hour. Althou I'm sure that's too slow for this generations ADHD world, it takes away from the joy of building and patience you learn to let it dry before you touch it or you'll end up having to start over again.

All in all, the quality is better then I expected. Especially the Landspeeder, all the little wires were separate and had to be put into the exposed left engine pod. Very nice! I'm sure with some extra love and TLC the extra details can be brought out even more. The body damge to the Landspeeder for example. But I may end up having to get a couple more of these kits to add to my collection... at least until the Bandai kits become more available. Been hearing the detail on them is insane.
 

WebbyNZ

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Im looking for a cheap snap snowspeeder as I dont see the point in spending ages on a good kit to then cover it in snow for a diorama i have in mind based on this scene from Empire

Luke_crashed_snowspeeder.jpg
 

LrdSatyr8

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I know Fine Molds made a Snowspeeder kit of this, but it wasn't cheap. Your best bet is go on eBay and do a search for Snowspeeder Model Kit... The cheapest you'll find is probably gonna be the AMT/Ertl version. They made a ton of those kits. Matter of fact, you might be able to find them at a local hobby store or Big Lots still.
 

WebbyNZ

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I have a couple of amt MPC ertl era kits but they are almost 2 good to then bury in snow. Hence he want for a snaptite but the ones on eBay etc have crazy shipping costs to this part of the world.
 

LrdSatyr8

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WebbyNZ said:
I have a couple of amt MPC ertl era kits but they are almost 2 good to then bury in snow. Hence he want for a snaptite but the ones on eBay etc have crazy shipping costs to this part of the world.

Try looking for some of the old Micro machine snowspeeders. They are a bit smaller, but they should work
 

the Baron

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I agree with ECH. These kits are intended to appeal to young people who are probably not modelers, yet. This is not a new concept for model companies. Revell and Monogram both had snap-together kits in their catalogs back in the Sixties and Seventies, for the same reason. Heck, the plastic kits we build were developed to appeal to a broader audience than their predecessors did. Those predecessors were mostly wooden kits, and you needed woodworking skills to make those models. I'm sure there were guys who built ships and planes from blocks of wood who sneered at plastic kits, too, but injection-molding was a revolutionary step in making modeling appeal to the broadest possible market.

You've also mentioned the other amusements that are available to kids, and if these snap-together, prepainted kits help interest some of them in building, then they're a net positive.

I have the same opinion of the models sold by 21st Century Toys/Blue Box, especially the 1/32 and 1/18 scale aircraft. Sure, you just fitted a couple of prepainted pieces together. But then you had something a kid could play with, and something that a modeler could superdetail, if he had a mind to.

Again, anything that gets a kid interested in the hobby is a net positive, be it a simple kit, or a book, or a movie or video, or a trip to a museum, or anything else.
 

WebbyNZ

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Another pro for 'snap' kits, in this case Gundams was that I was able to take some away over Xmas and only needed a small table, cutters, knife, sanding stick and a panel line pen to create 3 kits in a week while just sitting round in the sun w the in laws. Easy to assemble and I did not need a full blown bench of tools so was able to be part of all the discussions etc while not being bored during the quiet times while others might have been reading etc.
I know people have had similar experiences with the new airfix easy kits in the Orange boxes which have Lego like connectors and stickers but say they had a great time w grandkids etc assembling them at holiday times.
 

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