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TOPIC: What Killed Die-Cast?

What Killed Die-Cast? 9 years, 1 month ago #1

Fresh Boarder
Simple question. Not trying to start a flame war but NASCAR Die-Cast has taken quite the nose dive over the past decade. What's to blame, was it greed? And do you think that the powers that be have learned their lesson? Will it get better?

Re: What Killed Die-Cast? 9 years, 1 month ago #2

Platinum Boarder
One possible factor could be tv-coverage (or lack thereof) outside the USA. Some years ago Eurosport had regular coverage of every NASCAR race, many of them live. At the same time Quartzo (by Vitesse of Portugal) made some excellent 1/43 diecast models of the (then) current cars.


Nowadays there's no european tv-coverage (that I know of), so we have no way of following the sport anymore. Naturally this also means, that NASCAR models are practically unsellable here, so there's no market at all for Action etc.


Of course, the USA has always been the primary market for NASCAR models, but in the past, at least there was a smaller market worldwide. With that market now gone, it's bound to influence the releases.


I've bought quite a few models from european eBay-sellers, almost every single one of the auctions have been uncontested, even if the prices were very low. Many get relisted over and over and over without anyone 'biting', so it seems to me that the european market, at least, is 'as good as dead'.

Re: What Killed Die-Cast? 9 years, 1 month ago #3

Fresh Boarder
Was there ever euro interest in NASCAR? I did not know that.

Re: What Killed Die-Cast? 9 years, 1 month ago #4

Platinum Boarder
Debates about NASCAR usually ebss up in a biased position compared to much more exciting endurance races like le mans, grand prix, Bathurst... Personally more interested in Bathurst myself.

Re: What Killed Die-Cast? 9 years, 1 month ago #5

Moderator
NASCAR was never really of interest in Europe and I myself wouldn't buy models.. It appears to primarily an American sport... Some things don't travel well.. A bit like Guinness.. 


I prefer motorbike road racing... but each to his own....


 


 


Niall

Re: What Killed Die-Cast? 9 years, 1 month ago #6

Platinum Boarder
NASCAR is not what it used to be. Stock cars from the facory, minor mods and then it was off to the races. Back in the day you had a whole different feeling for NASCAR races. Now they are all governed by saftey and a govening body and all cars are pretty much the same set up. It is up to the driver to make a difference now and the Car does not have much to do with it anymore if it holds together to the end of the race. It is all the driver now.

Re: What Killed Die-Cast? 9 years, 1 month ago #7

Platinum Boarder
Kinda reminds me of the joke how to lose a NASCAR driver...

Simply turn right.

Re: What Killed Die-Cast? 9 years, 1 month ago #8

Platinum Boarder
Just to add some 'photograpgic entertainment' to this thread, here's my latest NASCAR model, just arrived today. Made by Quartzo, ref# 2017b, it's the #1 Ford Thunderbird as driven by Rick Mast. It's a rather unusual model: note the 'b' in the ref#...


As far as I know there are only two 'b'-numbers in the entire range (2001-2058, possibly more) - both of the "b"s carry advertising considered non-PC. While 2017b advertises Skoal, 2020b is Ken Schrader's #25 Lumina advertising Kodiak. This meant certain sales restrictions and the decision to also produce more 'innocent' liveries of the same reference numbers. So there's a 2017a (Hut Stricklin's #27 Thunderbird, McDonald's) and a 2020a (Terry Labonte's #14 Lumina, Kellogg's) to complement their nasty b-brothers


Another difference compared to the Quartzo standards is, that the boxes of the 'forbidden ones' carry no reference at all to the maker. Where the standard boxes are bright orange and black and with the Quartzo-name on all sides, the nasty brothers come in plain white boxes, with just a drawing of the car and a sticker with the ref# and model name.


Re: What Killed Die-Cast? 9 years, 1 month ago #9

Platinum Boarder
I am from Europe and I do like Nascars. But the problem for me is the lack of differentiating between the cars (the "They all look the same" of modern cars is possibly to blame?) even between several years. To me that limits collectability.

I am not into the older Nascars though, unlike F1 or DTM or Le Mans. That is most probably due to my European vision on motorsports. Indycars however don't hold that limiation, I like those!

Re: What Killed Die-Cast? 9 years, 1 month ago #10

Platinum Boarder
PS, the title made me think that "the younger generation only plays computers" was being discussed here.

Re: What Killed Die-Cast? 9 years, 1 month ago #11

Senior Boarder
jclevering wrote:
I am from Europe and I do like Nascars. But the problem for me is the lack of differentiating between the cars (the "They all look the same" of modern cars is possibly to blame?) even between several years. To me that limits collectability.

I am not into the older Nascars though, unlike F1 or DTM or Le Mans. That is most probably due to my European vision on motorsports. Indycars however don't hold that limiation, I like those!
 


I would certainly agree with the lack of differentiation, but I also think that over-production by some of the diecast companies was also to blame. The key to making a "collectible" is ensuring that supply never meets demand, and some of the companies just didn't know how to do that (and still don't). If you have inventory left over at the end of the year....that's a problem.
The following user(s) said Thank You: blueduece23

Re: What Killed Die-Cast? 9 years, 1 month ago #12

Fresh Boarder
I think die cast in general has taken a nose dive but especially NASCAR.  The economic woes have become worldwide and people really watch their dollars and cents.  The retail cost of die cast models has skyrocketed in the past several years mainly due to production costs.


We have also seen a lot of lower quality die cast hit the market that when put in display cases does the trick and satisfies collector's urges.  I also think the the die cast collectors that fueled the market 10 to 15 years ago are all of retirement age and are doing other things with any extra money.


Now to specifically address NASCAR die cast and it's downward slide....  The biggest culprit of the slow death of NASCAR die cast is over production in numbers, special finishes and paint schemes. The collectors all know this.  It seemed as if LNC was correcting this but in the past couple of years it is clear they aren't.  Collector's won't be fooled again!

Re: What Killed Die-Cast? 9 years, 1 month ago #13

Senior Boarder
RVREVO wrote:
Kinda reminds me of the joke how to lose a NASCAR driver...

Simply turn right.
 


Lol. For some reason, this makes me think of the closing credits scene from Eric Bana's Love the Beast documentary, where he and his friend are driving the John Deere Gator and mocking NASCAR...."turn LEFT! Go straight! Turn left! Keep it straight! Another LEFT!"

Re: What Killed Die-Cast? 9 years, 1 month ago #14

Platinum Boarder
It sounds as if diecast makers are trying to please every possible taste... and end up shooting themselves in the foot by overproducing.


Maybe collector A would like a certain car in a certain finish, collector B would like the same car in a slightly different finish, and collector C would be really happy to se yet another finish. But when diecast makers take these wishes too literally it goes wrong: not only do they make all 3 variants, but they also make enough of each to make sure there's one of each type for both A, B and C...


Naturally A and B won't always buy the car made for C, so the company ends up with surplus inventory and prices drop. C feels cheated because the 'very special and rare collectible' he paid a fortune for is now being sold at a fraction of the price, so in the future he hesitates before buying another model from the company, hoping that he too will be able to get it at a bargain price. This leads to even more surplus inventory the next year and the company needs to either lower the quality or raise the retail price to keep profits up.


The obvious solution, at first glance, would of course be to produce less copies of each diecast, but if you do so, the price per piece will go up... sharply, if you reduce the numbers by any significance - development costs will not be lower just because you make fewer copies of the diecast, and the larger quantities you order from the factory, the less you'll pay per copy. So following this road would certainly lead to higher retail prices and, as we all know, they're already exploding and all this is happening in the middle of a deep worldwide financial crisis.


The other solution would be to not make seperate versions for collectors A, B and C! Just because A's favorite color is green, it doesn't mean that he wouldn't buy a blue car, if that was what he could get. If A, B and C all bought the same car, the company could not only sell 3 times more of that car, but also save on development costs. In other words, I think buyers are being spoilt for choice and this is - ironically - cause of the downward spiral.

Re: What Killed Die-Cast? 9 years, 1 month ago #15

Moderator
Excellent post...makes perfect sense and the very reason I do not buy any modern diecast...
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