Why are there so many RTR cars and trucks nowadays??

When it's R/C related, but doesn't fit anyplace else.

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SmallScaleSmitty
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Why are there so many RTR cars and trucks nowadays??

Post by SmallScaleSmitty »

The last time I was into R/C was about 12-15 years ago and even then RTR's were a minority and kits were the majority. IMO, building them is half the fun! It build and improves mechanical skills and finger dexterity as well as the ability to follow instructions. And probably more important than anything, the project building/rebuilding an R/C can bring parents and their kids together. Provides a sense of accomplishment and shows that some hard work can provide a very fun reward.

A few months ago when I got the itch to delve back into the hobby, I was surprised to see the many RTR, Pre-Build and Expert Built setups while scaning around Tower Hobbies website. So I'm currious what others think of this trend. Have we gotten that lazy that we have to have instant gratafication of 'open the box and away you go'? Is it an excuse for manufactures to jack up prices? Have we lost faith in our youth and other newcomers to not have the mechanical skills for the hobby or is it just merely to appeal to a wider audience? Do you think R/C's in kit form will be a thing of the past eventually? What says you? :)

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Re: Why are there so many RTR cars and trucks nowadays??

Post by aconsola »

Apparently it is cheaper for companies to produce a single complete RTR than it is to bag all the separate parts into a kit, and to make sure that everything is there. Even some of the high end stuff like 1/8 scale pro-level buggies are now factory assembled.
The cost overall for RTR is much less as everyhing is bundled together, so it is not manufacturers jacking up costs. Modern society is very much into instant gratification.

I tried to get my lhs to carry kits. they refuse to keep anything in stock that is not RTR as "that's what people want" according to them. The RTR seems to have turned the hobby into just another line of toys to compete with video games.

I do my best to not Buy RTR's. When there is something that is only available RTR, I usually buy it used to get it cheaper and to give me a good reason to take it completely apart and rebuild.

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Re: Why are there so many RTR cars and trucks nowadays??

Post by Bongo Fury »

I'm with you guys. Sorry for being an obnoxious braggin' parent, but I can't help but be proud that my teenage son doesn't like RTRs too, likes the building. Always liked models and such, so it's no big surprise I guess.

And to be fair, the kid spends waaayy too much time sitting playing shoot 'em up videos, so no parent awards for me!

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Re: Why are there so many RTR cars and trucks nowadays??

Post by vwjuice »

I think the rtr is the way of today and the future. It started with Traxxas for the most part. They started offering a lot of artr rc's and that morphed into the rtr's. Too many people are just not patient enough to build the rc's themselves. It's the same with the automotive industry. Most people will not work on their cars anymore, not like 15-20 years ago.

The way I see it the "hobbyists" are the ones looking for kits, and the "noobs" are the ones looking for the rtr's.

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Re: Why are there so many RTR cars and trucks nowadays??

Post by mrlexan »

People are lazy and want things handed to them..... simple at that for me when you break it down to the core principle.
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Re: Why are there so many RTR cars and trucks nowadays??

Post by THEYTOOKMYTHUMB »

Try to look on the bright side. People buy 'em, break 'em and don't know how to fix 'em. Then you can pick 'em up cheap on ebay. I'm with most people here though. It's a shame when a nice rig comes out RTR only. A kit would be a nice option on a lot of vehicles. Not to mention when there is a car you want, but don't want to pay extra for the cheap electronics they put in it when you have tons of nice electronics just collecting dust. There's no way they're turning back now though. :(
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Re: Why are there so many RTR cars and trucks nowadays??

Post by aconsola »

Used losi RTR's are a good source for otherwise expensive Spektrum receivers. I have bought a couple of the losi 1/18 sliders for racing oval at specefic events. It is kinda funny that the car is $169 new, usually $115ish used, but the receiver in it sells for $75. I buy a complete car used before an event, race it, then re-sell it as a roller with the electronics listed seperately. The 2 times I did this it worked out to be ~$20 for renting the car and getting a spektrum RX to add to other vehicles ;)

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Re: Why are there so many RTR cars and trucks nowadays??

Post by SoloGraphix »

aconsola wrote:Used losi RTR's are a good source for otherwise expensive Spektrum receivers. I have bought a couple of the losi 1/18 sliders for racing oval at specefic events. It is kinda funny that the car is $169 new, usually $115ish used, but the receiver in it sells for $75. I buy a complete car used before an event, race it, then re-sell it as a roller with the electronics listed seperately. The 2 times I did this it worked out to be ~$20 for renting the car and getting a spektrum RX to add to other vehicles ;)
We all know those receivers are only worth about $30 bucks, since thats what Losi was selling them for when they first started with their 2.4 ghz RTR's. Then when everyone realized they were Spektrum bindable, bam they were $70. A shame actually. I wish the new Tower 2.4 ghz stuff was Spektrum, their receivers are only 19.99. (hi-tec or futaba I suppose)

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Re: Why are there so many RTR cars and trucks nowadays??

Post by SteveK »

I was working in my LHS when this whole thing started to happen. Traxxas decided to only offer the Nitro Stampede as an RTR, before that a few kits were offered as both, but usually only real entry-level kits like the Kyosho Raider or the Arist-Craft Wildebeest. Traxxas' reasoning was that it only cost a few dollars more, and would entice people apprehensive about building a nitro truck to buy one. After that it started with nitro trucks like the Duratrax Maximum M/T, which the LHS sold HUNDREDS of, they'd get cases of a couple dozen at a time and be sold out within a few weeks. Great Planes said they couldn't believe it. The T-Maxx was the real tipping point.

I think it is more expensive to have a person build a car than it is to package it as a kit, but it's definitely more expensive to do both, so a manufacturer is going to offer it the way it will sell the most. These are assembled in Asia, where they only have to pay people a fraction of what they would pay even minimum-wage American workers (because the cost of living is cheaper there), so that's not a major expense.

There are some advantages, like radio gear that that ends up costing about 1/3 of what it would to buy separately (when a car is offered both ways, like the SC10), and I believe it has driven down prices of cars and trucks overall, since companies with lower-priced cars can sell more, which makes everybody else cut prices to keep up. The number of hop-ups for all vehicles has also risen dramatically, and it does open up the hobby to more people, some of whom will stick around for the long term.

It does drive the LHS nuts because people bring their trucks in to have the simplest things fixed, which wouldn't be TOO bad if they were willing to pay for it, which has been the policy in place for 20+ years, but they want it done for free. It is actually pretty entertaining if you aren't the one that has to deal with it LOL

Unfortunately, it likely won't change; the manufacturers obviously know what sells best, and they would sell kits if they would sell well. Reality TV/game shows may be terrible, but they are cheaper to produce than comedies and dramas, and people watch them, so TV networks keep putting them on the air.

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Re: Why are there so many RTR cars and trucks nowadays??

Post by mrlexan »

Understand that I don't have the experience behind the counter at an LHS and maybe most do want you to fix it for free. But, I have never understood why LHSs take the stance of "unless you bought it here we are going to touch it." Seems to me that if you educate/advertise to your customer that you are in the biz of fixing their mishaps, it would turn into another funding stream. Why turn that away? It is fact that most LHS can't beat the prices of say, Tower, etc., so think outside the box.

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Re: Why are there so many RTR cars and trucks nowadays??

Post by speedemall »

A friend and I were talking about this the other day and we came to the conclusion that it's because people are more lazy these days than they have ever been and it is all about convenience. These people that buy RTR's are always the ones that end up quitting the hobby because they break and are too lazy to fix the car themselves. Common sense would tell you to buy the kit so you can build it then you will know it inside and out. I truly believe that RTR's have single handedly ruined the true spirit of the hobby build wise. Would'nt it be cheaper to build a kit at the factory then an RTR? I figure it would cost more to pay people for assembly than it would to just put all the parts in the box.
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Re: Why are there so many RTR cars and trucks nowadays??

Post by aconsola »

speedemall wrote:Would'nt it be cheaper to build a kit at the factory then an RTR? I figure it would cost more to pay people for assembly than it would to just put all the parts in the box.
Nope, quite the opposite from what I've read and heard. It is easier to build and inspect a functioning device than to put parts in bags and to make sure there is everything needed in a kit box.
I built a traxxas stampede from a kit(last one the lhs had bitd before they went all RTR). I saved all the packageing to count up at the end, there was something like 80 bags total, sometimes with bags inside bags inside the big bag for the whole section. That's got to be expensive to package.

As for Mrlexans comment about service, that baffles me too. Service is money. They should agree to fix anything RC for whatever their standard labor charge is, assuming they are capable of making the repair. Turning away business in any form makes little sense. Seems it would be wise to charge for fixing whatever the customer brings in, while showing them potentially better products that they could upgrade to in the future.

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Re: Why are there so many RTR cars and trucks nowadays??

Post by mrlexan »

Hey my LHS has had an independent party building a dirt oval for the past 1.5 years and I haven't seen anything change in the past year or so. The LHS itself doesn't want anything to do with the construction and operation of the track..... another thing I don't understand. Racing = tires, parts, bodies, etc., etc. Why would you not support a track? I do understand it's a lot of work, but with hard work comes reward. :roll:

I don't understand the RC scene in this area.
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Re: Why are there so many RTR cars and trucks nowadays??

Post by aconsola »

mrlexan wrote:Racing = tires, parts, bodies, etc., etc.
Apparently our local oval track owner understands that. Somebody complained about the hard inner barrier breaking parts easily and was basically told that was the point. :roll:

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Re: Why are there so many RTR cars and trucks nowadays??

Post by Bongo Fury »

aconsola wrote:
speedemall wrote:Would'nt it be cheaper to build a kit at the factory then an RTR? I figure it would cost more to pay people for assembly than it would to just put all the parts in the box.
Nope, quite the opposite from what I've read and heard. It is easier to build and inspect a functioning device than to put parts in bags and to make sure there is everything needed in a kit box.
I built a traxxas stampede from a kit(last one the lhs had bitd before they went all RTR). I saved all the packageing to count up at the end, there was something like 80 bags total, sometimes with bags inside bags inside the big bag for the whole section. That's got to be expensive to package.

As for Mrlexans comment about service, that baffles me too. Service is money. They should agree to fix anything RC for whatever their standard labor charge is, assuming they are capable of making the repair. Turning away business in any form makes little sense. Seems it would be wise to charge for fixing whatever the customer brings in, while showing them potentially better products that they could upgrade to in the future.
+1. I’ve worked for an automotive aftermarket manufacturer, also for an original equipment manufacturer that did a fair amount of aftermarket, packing service kits is a giant pain in the gluteus maximus and stunningly expensive. Getting everything bagged up right, in the right quantity, checking it, still lots of warranty/returns. Seen lots of automation that wasn’t any better than good old tedious manual labor. And these were far simpler kits, maybe 5-20 items. That said, I still want a blasted kit!

+2 part 2. One of the guys I’ve raced electrics with, LOVES nitro RTR… he fixes them for a local shop. Pays for all of his electric racing, and yes, he has really nice stuff!

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