Kits for the Computer Generation
April 1, 2003
manufacturers are working through challenging times, but enthusiasts
of assembly kits believe there are signs that the future will be
Lindberg's® Build N' Play™ model
Thrasher, spokesman for Craft House International,
manufacturer of the Lindberg line of models, said
many factors have hurt the industry.
the major retailers take model kits anymore," Thrasher said.
"Ten years ago you'd go into one of those retailers and you'd
see 12 feet of models. Today, you're lucky to see four feet."
the decision to cut back on model inventory is heavily influenced
by a fundamental change in the traditional model builders -- children.
computers and all the other things available to them [kids], it's
difficult to get them to sit down for three or four hours to put
together a model,” Thrasher said. "Kids don't have the
time or patience. Your average model builder today is a male between
the age of 25 and 55," he said.
while today's kids may find joysticks more appealing than model
glue, Dick Wessel, President of Cincinnati Auto Replicas,
believes the current state of the industry may just be one point
in a longer cycle.
seems with video games and stuff there's a lot more going on than
just models," he said, but also noted the selection and quality
of models has improved. "There are lots of snap kits and easy-builders
with the whole reason to get kids back into it. What they have now
far exceeds what we had when I started."
in material and a rating system detailing the complexity of the
model now offers consumers better choices than ever. Thrasher has
devised a series of low-rider models that, after assembled, offer
a remote control play function.
said he believes aging hobbyists are already sowing the seeds of
the next generation of modelers.