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HelicopterMain Discussion › R/C Helicopters Hobby Prices!! Are They Going To Stop Rocketing?
11-29-2005 06:17 PM  12 years agoPost 1
davehour

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Guayama, Puerto Rico 00785

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Gentlemen:

Lately, I have seen how the costs of our hobby have been rising like a rocket. I don't know about you, but I feel the manufacturers have taken a wrong route and have lost what the term “practical” means, where everything new and best cost a fortune. Some examples of what I'm talking about:

Arizona Regulator $65.00
Futaba 9ZWC2 complete with module $950
Futaba 14MZ $2200
Futaba 611 Gyro $330
Hatori SB50HP Jason Krause Muffler $120
Fury Tempest $1000 +

When I went into the hobby 5 years ago, I didn't feel it was like that. I know there is the phrase “you get what you pay”, but what or who establishes prices? Yes, us, the ones who still buy the overpriced items.

Thank you very much.

David

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11-29-2005 06:19 PM  12 years agoPost 2
davehour

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Guayama, Puerto Rico 00785

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Forgot to add that any of the things we use could be lost so easily in a crash... Oh, well.

David

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11-29-2005 06:23 PM  12 years agoPost 3
steph280

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Irvine, California

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Well let's see. a Futaba G-153BB mechanical gyro was about $150 when I got my first heli. Now we have $50 no name or $130 GY401 which are light years ahead and cheaper. And how much was a plastic entry level heli back then compared to the Raptors many enjoy now? So not everything is getting more expensive.

Expensive or not is all relative. Remember there is inflation. $100 now is a lot cheaper than $100 just 10 years ago. Plus the stuff you listed are all top of the line, which is not absolutely needed to get into this hobby. If you had to complain about the price then they may not be for you.

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11-29-2005 06:27 PM  12 years agoPost 4
RCHeliJim

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Orem, UT USA

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Yep its not all geting bad:
Futaba 9ZWC2 complete with module $950
You could buy a JR 9303 for $365 or so and get all the main (and actually used) features the 9Z gives you. So some things are getting better



Go Fly, Have Fun!!
-Team Quick UK

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11-29-2005 06:33 PM  12 years agoPost 5
z11355

rrMaster

New England

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when you decide to cherrypick the items to be the
most expensive, is it suprising?

No one is forcing you to buy 14MZ, 9Z, 611, etc.

there are many less expensive alternatives.

it's the neurotic need to have 'the best' or whatever Krause & Co.
are flying that drive it.

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11-29-2005 06:33 PM  12 years agoPost 6
shackscs

rrApprentice

Willow Grove, PA - USA

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I agree with Steph280. I think the problem is not that the prices have risen, but our current econmy has made lus ook a bit closer at how we spend money.

I love my hobbies, the expensive ones, and I have had to stop sometimes and take a look at how much I was spending on certain items. It's not that we can not afford them, but we are acutally working harder and sometimes longer for what we spend out hard earned money on.

But like every thing else, if we want it bad enough, we find the time, place or money or it.

Just my .2 worth, make that .1, need the change.

Tiger 50
9CHP
Hirobo XRB
G2 Sim

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11-29-2005 06:52 PM  12 years agoPost 7
rotor- shark

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uk

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well i have thought this for a long time,my opinion is this,if everybody keeps paying these prices then they will just do it more and more.people need to complain more,if somthing is too expensive,don't buy it.i notice in the uk that the price of the new futaba gy611 is about £270, now the old gy601 was priced at £315,why would they drop the price on this new one? ANSWER, because there was an influx of imported gy601 gyros being sold on ebay and the bmfa site at prices between £195 and £235 so they most likely had to drop the price of the new one to a more reasonable price.another example in the opposite direction is the robbe millenium helicopters.robbe have brought out the latest millenium 3 helicopter,priced at £850,yet the old one was only £699(i know it was probably more when it first came out,and had only a plastic canopy but if they can sell it at £699 recently,then in my book there's no justification for £850) why is this? ANSWER because they were so successfull and popular that the company probably thought they could make some more money out of them.i notice that rc market are selling the new millenium 90 kit for about £616 if they can sell this kit for £616,why are robbe trying to push the millenium 3 for £850.

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11-29-2005 06:57 PM  12 years agoPost 8
Coloradoheli3d

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Colorado USA

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Well since this fuel crunch we are having here in the states has put a rise in prices on shipping, the cost has to go somewere, and well its going to come out of the consumers pockets. But compared to my old hobby, this one is realy cheap. I could crash alot of heli's for one bad second of dragracing after blowing an engine. Oh and besides, new technology in electronics is allways high priced.

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11-29-2005 07:29 PM  12 years agoPost 9
shuttlepilot

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Mullins, South Carolina

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I agree as to what was stated before. I don't think the prices have gone up that much, if at all. Way back when I first started flying helis, it seemed that things were much more expensive than they are now. If you want to complain about prices.........take a look at the automotive industry. In the 80's, if you were to spend 20k on a car, it would mean that you were pretty well off. Now people routinely spend 40k or more on them......and don't get that much more now than they would have then.

Gas is Great
Camper Fuel is Better!!
QWW Helis

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11-29-2005 07:46 PM  12 years agoPost 10
RCfan

rrKey Veteran

Longwood, FL USA

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davehour has many good points. Prices are ridiculous and have risen faster than the technology itself. A good example for me was the V1 Century Hummingbird e-heli. $150+ for a heli that never flew well ... and I wasn't alone. You wanted a flying hummer, you'd better be prepared to spend a lot more money in battery and motor. The 14MZ, as much as I love both my radios and the ease of programming and great flying experience they provide, are excessively priced. No amount of development work justifies their price tag.

It is pretty sad but vendors in this hobby have come to expect to charge any price without customers complaining or boycotting their products. Even sadder still is the fact that we don't do anything when we get crap from expensive models, that have to be tweaked and redesigned to enjoy properly. Even the T-Rex, in it's "deluxe" and "superior" models have many, many issues with these problems, e.g. XL CDE canopy that doesn't fit well. In a little over a year, Align has developed way too many versions/variants of the T-Rex while ignoring some of the many issues, i.e. swashes that come apart.

Another perfect example of overpricing ... LiPo batteries!!!

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11-29-2005 07:53 PM  12 years agoPost 11
JoeB1

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Ireland, Wicklow

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I cannot disagree more!!
Of course its getting cheaper.
More people in the hobby. Better manufacturing/technology techniques. The list goes on. Oh...and the net helped.
There would also be a big difference in the handling of a typical begginer helicopter of years ago and one now. Not just from better mechanics but electronics also.

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11-29-2005 08:05 PM  12 years agoPost 12
Salty

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St. Augustine

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while I cant argure the inflation point I have three other words for you all....

Supply and Demand

if you look at the grand scheme of things compaired to say....r/c cars where everyone and their dog has one....and the fact that out tolerances have to be much tighter with more variables (IE heli's like to try to fly apart every time you fly em.....full scale and hobby heli's) I think for the amount of R&D and technology your getting crammed into a small package its not a bad deal.....do I think they could do better in some areas? sure....but heck look at a few different high end cars (early 90's jag's and late 90's caddilacs) that had all sorts of problems...just goes to show you dont always get what you pay for....

the 14 MZ is not for everyone, therefore for the amount of work they put into it the price is high to recoup their costs of production seeing as the smaller volume thats sold....

Ask your Doctor if getting off your ass is right for you.

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11-29-2005 08:28 PM  12 years agoPost 13
JuanRodriguez

rrProfessor

The Villages, Florida

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Dave,

Part of the reason is because people always "need" to have the latest and greatest, even though their skill level does not warrant the use of such expensive equipment......the equipment keeps getting more expensive and people go out in droves to buy the stuff.....

I DO NOT put myself in that category....... I have decided to take the approach that cheaper is better __for me__ since I will never be at a competitive level nor do I want to be at such a level. I fly for my own enjoyment and I am very pleased with what I am able to do......

For those reasons, I have steadily sold off all of my expensive machines and equipment and decided that for me, a plain and simple Raptor (or two) with mediocre equipment fits my mediocre flying style quite well (and the wallet too).....

I dont need an Arizona Regulator for $65.00 cause I still use the good old fashioned NiCads which serve me quite well. At any one given outing I will put in 3 or 4 flights and that suits me just fine.....

I don't need a Futaba 9ZWC2 for $950. Although I have a JR 10X, it is quite overkill to be honest.... The reason I have it is because I sold my previously owned radio and it was an even swap up..... My backup radio is the JR 8103 and again to be honest, that radio would be all I would need to fly the helis and planks....

I certainly don't need or have any desire for a Futaba 14MZ @ $2200 or any other price, for that matter !!

I don't need a Futaba 611 Gyro @$330..... I am very content and satisfied with the Futaba 401/9253's that I currently own. Two of them I got used at a VERY reasonable cost..... Cheaper than the old Fut mechanical gyro, as someone already pointed out.

I don't need a Hatori SB50HP Jason Krause Muffler @ $120. The TT deluxe muffler (at a fraction of the cost) works very well on my 50's and as well as any genuine Hatori muffler that I have ever used.

I certainly don't need a Fury Tempest @ $1000 +. After the first crash, I would be spending another $500 on top of the original cost in repair parts to fix it.......... and another week of building and tweaking....

Please don't get me wrong. I fully understand that some have the need for all that fancy stuff.... as the old saying goes, "to each their own"...."whatever floats your boat", etc., etc., etc........

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11-29-2005 08:58 PM  12 years agoPost 14
Leif

rrElite Veteran

USA

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Actually, both sides are right.

Heli-related stuff is overpriced. Even with advances in technology, most of this stuff is more expensive than it has to be. Comparing the technology to older equipment and claiming you're getting more is offset by massive advances in manufacturing automation, plus the availability of cheap labor in emerging economies.

However, to a large extent, WE are at fault. It never ceases to amaze me how much money some people throw around. Just look at what people pay for antiques, collectibles, cars, houses, golf memberships, etc. I make a fairly good living (in my opinion) and have yet to buy a car that broke $20K. Even that hurt! These prices are there because people WANT the latest and greatest, and if they want it badly enough any price is justified because there are people out there who will gladly pay.

For me, it's a hobby. My best machine is an Evo 30, and I have a blast flying it. I can crash my heli and afford to buy a new one without breaking the bank. I don't mind spending money on this hobby, but there are other priorities to consider when you're supporting a family.

Leif

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11-29-2005 09:05 PM  12 years agoPost 15
davehour

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Guayama, Puerto Rico 00785

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Hi guys:

Thank you all so far for your comments and contributions.

As sad as it sounds, when a pilot is at a certain level of 3D flying, the use of good equipment is almost mandatory. As an example, a 601 or similar, is required to perform some maneuvers properly. I sure have tried to use a 401, a good gyro, but when you are into piroetting maneuvers you will see how much it lacks when you try to keep a constant pirouetting rate. Let alone when trying to piro into wind. So "they" are providing you the necessary gear but you have to pay for it, fine.

It's understood technology cost, but I still consider the prices too high for what we deal and what we have. I can't compare a R/C Heli to a car or motorcycle, because they aren't the same thing.

Guys, I really want to know your point of view about this, but please express your point of view not in a personal directed way.

David

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11-29-2005 09:07 PM  12 years agoPost 16
davehour

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Guayama, Puerto Rico 00785

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Hey Leif,

"Priorities" is an important word to have in mind. Thanks for mentioning it.

David

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11-29-2005 09:10 PM  12 years agoPost 17
Salty

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St. Augustine

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Leif you hit the nail on the head I do believe....(in that aspect) I consider myself luck to make the good living I do (and I'm fairly guilty of throwing $ around) but like you see limits, I own a modest nice house in my budget, a two daily driver decent but not high end newer vehicles that are paid off (did I want the chinchilla of autos? you bet! I just couldnt see spending that kinda scratch on one....I was happy with a semi stripped nissan SUV that I could pay off in one whack) just like you said, many have the I gotta have it cause its the new thing...and the credit card rules the decision making....anyway I do believe I got off topic.....off my soapbox...

edit: an R/C car is in the same bracket as a heli....for most its a hobby...but the amount of people owning a R/C car is many times greater than the heli hobby

Ask your Doctor if getting off your ass is right for you.

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11-29-2005 09:23 PM  12 years agoPost 18
whirlyspud

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USA

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Do they even sell cars for less than 20k anymore?

Mike

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11-29-2005 09:23 PM  12 years agoPost 19
wakeboarder2342

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USA

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i could have resisted commenting on this until i read the guy above that said " its our fault theprices are high because we need to complain more"


that is the most insane thing i have ever heard, its like the people saying the government should force the gas companies to lower fuel prices or housing prices ect ect.

I am always amazed at peoples lack of understanding of basic economic principles. Supply and demand works, plain and simple. Why does a heli manufacture sell a part that costs .15 cents to make for 5 dollars? why does the 14z cost 2200 when it probably cost 1/4 of that to manufacture it? why does the fury cost 3x a raptor? Why does a 611 cost $330?

its really very simple because the people that make or manufacture them have the ability to price them at whatever price they want. if they set a higher price they will sell fewer units, a lower price will sell more at a lower profit. The price of any good or service in a free market economy is the equilbrium price of supply and demand of that particular market.

Some companies sell certain products at a low price and try to sell alot of them, take walmart for example. Others want to sell few units at a high profit.

i hate to break it to ya but there isnt a company out there that is making helis for any other reason then to make money, they dont care about giving you a low price or being a nice guy. They are going to sell their products at the highest price possible that the most people will pay for it.

the bottom line is, if you dont like the price of a fury dont pay it, if you dont like the price of the 14z buy an airtronics rd8000. If enough people do the same or if another company comes out with a similar product for a lower price then the price will come down.

every product on the planet works the same, some to a lesser degree but all work on the same principle of supply and demand.

anyway there is economics 101 you should have learned that in 10th grade!!

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11-29-2005 09:54 PM  12 years agoPost 20
Leif

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USA

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Very nice lesson.

We also learned in Economics 101 that free market economies don't work unless the market is open to competition.

Gasoline is precisely one of those commodities that is controlled by a monopoly cartel, as are most utilities. The market may "influence" the price somewhat, but that doesn't mean these prices are market driven.

A relatively small number of large suppliers control most of the RC market. While these suppliers are not legally a monopoly, they can manipulate prices until smaller suppliers can break into the business. This isn't an overnight thing, so prices remain high until the competition can make a dent in the market.

This isn't pork bellies or coffee we're talking about. Just like the auto industry there is a pretty big investment hurdle for any manufacturer to break into the market. Fortunately there are such vendors for heli kits, so these are still quite reasonable. However, the electronics is still severely overpriced ($50 to $100 for a digital servo? Gimme a break!).

Leif

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HelicopterMain Discussion › R/C Helicopters Hobby Prices!! Are They Going To Stop Rocketing?
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