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Thread: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

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Old 07-23-2020, 03:03 PM   #1
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Default Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

So, yes...I'm a frugal sort. I've also been in the machinery service industry for over 30 years. I've built lots of gear, designed gear, and can smell marketing hierarchies a mile away.

Sure, alot of us would love to get into the hobby in a big way, but let's face it...with the advent of kids in university, and important things in middle age like better steaks and tastier whisky, the sense of sinking 4 digits into a crawler, well, doesn't make much sense.

I'm all for some good old fashioned fun but it's hard to find the fun when I'm deciding whether to buy new snow tires for the real truck, or upgrade the set of axles for the RC. I'd like to think I could have both, maybe?

Last year my kid (who's in university as mentioned) and I started really shopping the crawlers. We laid out cost sheets, kit vs. RTR, and combed the world for components to see how much bang we could get for the buck.

What did we end up with? A few WPL's...that's right, the little 1/16 guys from across the pond. We got a 6x6, a Hilux, and a pickup for the less than the price of one Redcat...and that was with radio gear and everything!

Oh sure we did some upgrades (it's always a learning curve) but that price figure includes all those upgrades as well. We're talking ball bearing metal axles, full link suspension and even metal gearboxes with even a 2 speed for the 6x6. We have had a complete gas over the last year running these little trucks just about everywhere that would seem boring to a 1/10 scale. Even mama's flowerbeds aren't off limits to the little trucks (well, they are, but easier to ask foregiveness than get permission, right?).

So, back to the question...why are the 1/10's so bloody expensive? They break too, and everyone upgrades their RTR's (making them even MORE expensive), and the used market is still ridiculous...so why? I built my Dodge 4X4 (1:1 scale) for the price of a few Traxxas trucks...think about that. hahahaha
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Old 07-30-2020, 06:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

These prices are what the market will support and where the manufacturers can make a reasonable profit. If you are concerned about buying in at this level then perhaps this is not the hobby for you.
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

I see the little guys also drew you into spending more that you originally thought, 1/10 scale is the same but with many more possibilities.

Most of us dont start by dropping 4 digits but after years of getting drawn into it you may reach that point.

The micro and mini RC world also seems to be a ton of platform sharing where the same parts are used in many applications. 1/10 scale has much less of this so items specifically hop ups are niche products with small markets compared to a shared platform.

Last edited by HumboldtEF; 07-30-2020 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

Hobby - (noun) a place where you blow wads of cash in return for fun. Often frowned upon by the opposite sex.

Any hobby is just a black hole for discretionary cash. You name it and it'll be expensive. I once helped a co-worker build an extensive doll house and the cost to furnish it? Yikes! Makes the crawler world look cheap. At least with a crawler you can run it. A doll house you just look at it.

I also do R/C airplanes and helicopters. All airplanes and helis are not forever and they all have an expiration date (crash), you just don't know when it is. That's the big joke if you are a R/C pilot. With crawlers at least it's a little safer.

I also do photography. One decent lens and you just spent more than a decent crawler.

I also do N-scale model railroading. $100 a locomotive and $15-$20 for a freight car. Many run unit trains, 2-3 locomotives pulling 20-30 freight cars. Yeah, do the math.

I also dabble in astronomy and let's not even discuss telescope prices.

So for me it adds up BIG time. ANY hobby is expensive. It all depends on an individual's value system of spending discretionary money and what it brings in return.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

By a good RTR.

Drive it.

Enjoy it.

Learn from it.

Slowly upgrade it.

No need to dive into the deep end of the pool.

Stick your toe in and test the waters.
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Old 07-31-2020, 06:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

I started with an rtr bomber. Then the sickness started and Iím currently building two 4 digit trucks haha. Youíll get there, just have patience.
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Old 07-31-2020, 06:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

When you are first getting into this hobby it seems expensive, but once you are in it, and compare it to other hobbies, you realize that it isn't that expensive. If fact, if you look at the cost of the rigs over the years, the price of a new rig has not kept pace with economy. Every now and there is a price correction, last year Tamiya suddenly bumped all of the prices for their rigs.

Yup, they do break, but that is normally due to putting them into an extreme environment.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

Everything is relative. Hobbies can be a money pit. (who am I kidding.....they're all a money pit)

I use to compete in RC scale aerobatics. At that time a competitive plane in the upper classes was at least $5000-7000 before pit equipment, overnight hotel stays, trailer to tow because planes are too large to fit in a pick up or most SUVs, pit equipment, EZ-UP and yes, some guys had a similarly equipped back up plane. etc.

If you enjoy the 1/16, that's cool. The 1/10th stuff will GREATLY outperform the 1/16th stuff. Notice I didn't say it's better. That's subjective based you and your family and what's fun to you. Either way, welcome and enjoy the hobby and learn from this site. I know I have in a short time.

Last edited by OnTheTrail; 07-31-2020 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

I started out looking for something around a couple hundred dollars. Bought a E-Revo 1/16 but never used it, then sold it. Few months later I’m buying a Losi Tenacity DB Pro with a bunch of upgrades,$$$. Traded the DB for a Bomber and just put down a deposit for TRX-4 Defender. It adds up quick but what a blast researching and figuring out what mods to do. I’ve had road bikes, instruments, this is something that requires mental and physical aptitude like my other hobbies, but much more fun. For me it’s a good time without getting into trouble, and I can crawl most of the year where I am. This forum is full of great people and great info. Glad to be part of all of this.

Last edited by Uncle Pete; 07-31-2020 at 11:24 AM. Reason: Error correction
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

I must be crazy then cause I’ve got 5 trucks and all but 1 of them are from RC4WD ( the most expensive 1/10 scalers out there ) . If you look at it from a scale point of view I’ve paid 1/10 th the price I would’ve paid if those were all full sized lol ��
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Old 07-31-2020, 02:13 PM   #11
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingmeow View Post
Hobby - (noun) a place where you blow wads of cash in return for fun. Often frowned upon by the opposite sex.

Any hobby is just a black hole for discretionary cash. You name it and it'll be expensive. I once helped a co-worker build an extensive doll house and the cost to furnish it? Yikes! Makes the crawler world look cheap. At least with a crawler you can run it. A doll house you just look at it.

I also do R/C airplanes and helicopters. All airplanes and helis are not forever and they all have an expiration date (crash), you just don't know when it is. That's the big joke if you are a R/C pilot. With crawlers at least it's a little safer.

I also do photography. One decent lens and you just spent more than a decent crawler.

I also do N-scale model railroading. $100 a locomotive and $15-$20 for a freight car. Many run unit trains, 2-3 locomotives pulling 20-30 freight cars. Yeah, do the math.

I also dabble in astronomy and let's not even discuss telescope prices.

So for me it adds up BIG time. ANY hobby is expensive. It all depends on an individual's value system of spending discretionary money and what it brings in return.
Great comparison! I have had a camera bug for close to 50 years, Most all of my current glass costs double the body it's hung on. I can get good quality budget zooms cheap because they are slow and plastic. A quality fast prime lens is an arm , leg, and a few extra parts with accessories.

As in Cameras, model RR, and Astronomy, you usually get what you pay for.

Cheap fun can be had as noted, but satisfactions aren't met usually.
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:22 PM   #12
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sb4pro View Post
I must be crazy then cause Iíve got 5 trucks and all but 1 of them are from RC4WD ( the most expensive 1/10 scalers out there ) . If you look at it from a scale point of view Iíve paid 1/10 th the price I wouldíve paid if those were all full sized lol ��
Sold my 1:1 telling myself I'd replace it with a 1:10... Pesky pandemic has kept the wife unemployed and away went the $700 hobby budget. Thank God the 1:24's are rising though. $250 for a hopped up 1:24 version of the old truck still stupid compared to a $300 Gen8, but it's all I can do now.
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

Great insight there, to justify spending cash! Personally, I think the "toy" mfgs are working at recovering all their mfg investment in 1 year, so put yourself in their shoes, I understand that. No different than motion pictures. 1/10 scale is way cheaper than the 1:1, unless you run the numbers like you scale weight, then its a wash. My gripe is tires. Not rolling on gold, feeling me??? I would love a Traxxas UDR, but can't justify the cost, no different than paying $1 million or better for the 1:1 its modeled after. Gotta pay to play, so experience in the game where you spot deals and jump on them is where you get to beat the house at the poker tables. Then you see stuff at great bargains and buy it simply because you beat the "scale" pricepoint and will eventually use it. Case in point, I just picked up a new 2wd Slash 272 tranny with 2 spurs and pinions for $46. I scratch build, so it will either go into a 1/10 buggy started, or a 1/7 buggy which really needs a FLM unit, or the 1/10 32 Ford I will eventually get to. To end my ramble, it look at it like this: I used to sponsor a class 1 SCORE buggy with any and all bodywork. Awesome car, about $250 K build. I couldn't see how they could beat the crap out of it racing it and then maintaining it, until I scratch built a rc car. The fun pill is expensive, and no cheap generic substitutions will suffice.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

My two cents. Any real hobby you get into really is going to be expensive one way or another. Theses hobby grade toys we play with is a bit pricey I guess. But it's the price we pay for nice things like this other wise we would all be shopping at Walmart for rc trucks lol. You get what you pay for.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:12 PM   #15
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Default Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

I paid $240 for a TRX4 Sport Kit, $20 for a motor, $40 for a Hobbywing 1080 ESC, and $50 for a used Flysky GT3C remote and reciever used on here.

So for ~$350 i have a very solid rig. It has been absolutely indestructible so far. And other than a $10 battery tray and $5 gears i have felt no need to upgrade it.

Last edited by mass-hole; 08-01-2020 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:35 AM   #16
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Default Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

Great replies here and I agree.

Iím brand new to the rc crawling hobby as of past May.

So aside from my Rtr purchase I also had incidentals.

I needed tools, batteries and a charger. So there was that. Since rc deals with such small parts, I went the buy once cry once route with the main hand tools. I didnít want frustrations because I went with harbor freight quality and I am 100% glad I spent the extra.

I also donít have the benefit of a local or even remotely local hobby shop.

So I have spares of spares of good electronics, motors and other parts that have flakey availability.

My next rig will be a much lesser cost because of what I have already purchased.

In the end it is what you make of it and how you want approach your goals.

Exactly like any other hobby.

Last edited by Benp; 08-01-2020 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:49 PM   #17
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

If you think RC cars are expensive dont get into motorsports in any kind...you will be devastated! ��
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:07 PM   #18
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

i budget my self $100 amonth on rc stuff and slowly gather parts to build my rigs its a vary slow way to build but you only pay for the stuff you want instead of buying a rtr and upgrading every stock part sure it cost more than a rtr but its alot cheaper than a rtr thats been fully upgraded

and at $100 a month its cheap

Last edited by ferp420; 08-01-2020 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 08-02-2020, 03:53 AM   #19
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspector86 View Post
These prices are what the market will support and where the manufacturers can make a reasonable profit. If you are concerned about buying in at this level then perhaps this is not the hobby for you.
What those who ask think the market will support IMHO. You can get by a lot cheaper and still have quality compared to what newer RTRs cost if you do your homework. Do not have to pay extra for increased scale detail out of the box, portal axles, owerpowered brushless setup etc if you never asked for it.
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Old 08-06-2020, 09:07 AM   #20
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Default Re: Why are 1/10th scale units so expensive?

To me, I love trucks and cars, but don't have the money to get the real thing and do performance add ons. Although 1/10 scale trucks/cars hobby is expensive, it's more realistic for me, and overall will be a LOT less cash than having a real 1:1 performance vehicle.

It's addicting too. First had a Gen 8 Scout, then bought a few more 1:10s. I enjoy the hobby the most because I get to share the experience with my son, who loves going crawling.
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