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Old 12-06-2016, 10:53 PM   #1
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Is 1:500 Dead/ Dying?

It feels like over the past decade or so, it is becoming harder and harder to find models in 1/500 outside of ultra-mainstream American European major carriers (AA UA Delta Lufthansa KLM AF...) The impression I get is that nobody really makes 1/500 models anymore, and even when they do, they make them in such a small quantity that they almost instantly sell out. It really irks me when I look over across the fence at 1/400, they get all the great models in huge numbers, and we get none of it. What is your impression on 1/500's state of health? Is the scale dying?
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Old 12-06-2016, 11:17 PM   #2
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Re: Is 1:500 Dead/ Dying?

1:500 is being kept alive by Herpa only...
Other manufacturers are too small!

Damn, why can't we have Starjets back?!
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Old 12-07-2016, 12:09 AM   #3
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Re: Is 1:500 Dead/ Dying?

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Originally Posted by Leonardo Mello View Post
1:500 is being kept alive by Herpa only...
Other manufacturers are too small!

Damn, why can't we have Starjets back?!
Herpa is barely keeping 1:500 alive. Of the all the manufacturers they have raised the prices the most. When I 1:500 costs the same or more than a 1:400 scale there is a real issue. Herpa has no competition the last competition was Starjets. I totally agree bring back Starjets they were better quality and at a better price.
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:43 PM   #4
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Re: Is 1:500 Dead/ Dying?

It was StarJets that many years ago got me into this hobby. StarJets was the first and only manufacturer that at least for a brief time seemed to question the herpa dominance in 1:500-scale and significantly improved mould and printing quality. After StarJets there were some important stimuli by Witty Wings brands »Big-Bird« and »Inflight500«, other manufacturers made less consistent (Aero500, Netmodels, Sky500) or exclusive contributions (Hogan, JC-Wings) but none has been glorified as StarJets, because with the rise and fall of StarJets 1:500-scale not only headed to new shores but demonstrated its limitations.

As I can recall (from my European perspective) at some point after the turn of the millennium German toy brand Schuco came to the conclusion that aviation was the next big thing in the die-cast model market. They were impressed by the amount of details Gemini-/Starjets were achieving with their models and thought that it was a good idea to restart a Schuco die-cast aviation-line in cooperation with Gemini- and Starjets. Sadly right from the beginning the mutual understanding between Gemini-/StarJets and Schuco was poor. Schuco was unhappy with production costs and delays in China, Gemini Jets failed to understand why Schuco (or their parent company Dickie) had many livery and model-wishes but made little if no efforts to promote the new product-line in Europe. Schuco labelled Gemini- and StarJets models were inter alia offered in the toy/hobby-sections of department store chains where they proofed to be non-sellers for many years until they finally had to be cleared out way below price. On the other hand StarJets models were not that successful in Asia and the U.S. either. Shortly after Schuco finally pulled the ripchord at the end of 2002 new StarJets releases were stopped. What had ended as the result of a wrong market decision (the die-cast aviation scene never really took off as expected by Schuco), poor promotion and poor proximity to customers was never clarified neither by Schuco nor by Gemini-Jets. Schuco announced a new die-cast aviation-line but that did not materialize until a brief and unsuccessful cooperation with Inflight500 some years later. The name StarJets resurfaced for a short time as StarJets II with a new mould in 2003 and a few more StarJets labelled models popped up until 2004 but it was unclear if these descendants had still any relations to the people behind Gemini-Jets. Gemini-Jets on the other hand had not been seriously affected by the departure of its European distributor Schuco and continued to play a main role in the 1:400-scale market.

While Gemini-Jets still relies on slogans they once shared with StarJets (Made for Collectors … By Collectors) the die-cast aviation scene changed considerably in the last 15 years. The feeling of being in the move from 2001 has been over for a long time. Primarily the smaller scales have suffered from a thinning out of manufacturers and were affected by rising production costs and prices while production runs had to be limited to much smaller numbers. To assume that Gemini-Jets or anyone else should be tempted to »bring back« under the current market-conditions a StarJets-like product-line in 1:500-scale is sadly completely unworldly.
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Old 12-07-2016, 03:23 PM   #5
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Re: Is 1:500 Dead/ Dying?

Been collection most of my life and I am old! collected 1:600, 1:400, 1:200 & 1:500 and I have seen so many manufactures like retailers come and go.

Starjets was an interesting story, but it failed! These are business and business are there to make money which many collectors sometimes forget! I choose Herpa 1:500 models to collect as it was and I still think is a popular choice. I loved the OG models as they had varieties especially for the early days, which unfortunately today's much younger collectors do not understand or simply are not interested in.

For many manufactures these were toys that turned into a serious hobby. I loved it when Herpa changed their manufacturing to limit or state production numbers so we knew how many models were made. As a collector I like the lower and stated production limits!

Collectors have to accept some responsibly for the state of the hobby, supporting unauthorized manufactures, fraud etc. it's not a cheap hobby and yet because of perhaps for economic reasons or ignorance we see models for sale at $10 and so we see buyers expecting models to be bought for $10!!!! The knowledge among some collectors today is a head scratcher for me.

Space is usually the biggest challenge for serious collectors who have a sizable collection or airport and in my humble opinion the 1:500 size is perfect and with the improved quality and detailing it works.
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Old 12-09-2016, 04:29 PM   #6
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Re: Is 1:500 Dead/ Dying?

I complained for many years with Herpa and their choices, but now i must say that, despite being the only important manufacturer of 1:500 models, Herpa is trying to realize good models and new airlines.
Some parts of the world are still underrepresented and some moulds must be perfected (or completely changed), but i am quite happy.
StarJets: of course this manufacturer was great and i also suffered from its demise. Today still nobody is able to compete with Herpa, we need of a new, great manufacturer like Herpa!
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Old 12-18-2016, 03:52 PM   #7
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Re: Is 1:500 Dead/ Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by junglehunter4 View Post
It feels like over the past decade or so, it is becoming harder and harder to find models in 1/500 outside of ultra-mainstream American European major carriers (AA UA Delta Lufthansa KLM AF...) The impression I get is that nobody really makes 1/500 models anymore, and even when they do, they make them in such a small quantity that they almost instantly sell out. It really irks me when I look over across the fence at 1/400, they get all the great models in huge numbers, and we get none of it. What is your impression on 1/500's state of health? Is the scale dying?
I have actually been wondering about the Japanese Precision Models (ANA Precision Models and JALUX items). There used to be re-editions coming out at a steady rate.

Sure, we got the Peach models in one batch, but no Vanilla Air? How about the regular ANA and JAL items? It seems the whole 1/500 Japanese market "died," except for the rare JC or Aero500 release...
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Old 12-18-2016, 05:03 PM   #8
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Re: Is 1:500 Dead/ Dying?

I hate to say it, but with the 1:400 scale and the 1:500 scale being fairly close in size, one of the scales will have to go. Right now the strength of marketing and manufacturing lies in 1:400 so I don't see a profitable reason for manufacturers to introduce more 1:500 models.
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Old 12-18-2016, 10:02 PM   #9
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Re: Is 1:500 Dead/ Dying?

Simple answer Yes. Its dying.

If I was betting man, I'd put my money on 1/400 completely taking over at some point in the future.

I made the switch from 500 to 400 many many years ago. Over 10 years ago 1/500 had an amazing selection of regional jets, Russian metal and everything in between. 1/400 has since closed the gap in offerings and the price difference is almost non-existent depending on the mold. The detail and quality is better as well. There's just not much of an incentive for some collectors to stay with 1/500. Other than say, the model airport builders.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:27 AM   #10
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Re: Is 1:500 Dead/ Dying?

same for me too.. i stop buying 500 scale mode and switch to 400 two three years ago.. i still dont know what to do with my 500 collection so im holding both.. but no more new addition for long tome
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:55 PM   #11
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Re: Is 1:500 Dead/ Dying?

I just read this thread and found it to be quite interesting. I do not believe that 1/500 is dying as it is a scale that most collectors can display well in their homes. I started with 1/500 in 1996 when I came upon a store called Executive Toys in Calgary (long gone by now) and I built up quite a good collection. When Dragon came in with 1/400, I was quite taken with that scale and built up a collection of 1/400 while selling my 1/500 - I did like the Dragon models a lot but others in that scale not so much (personal preference only). Then along came 1/200 and I started with that while selling my 1/400. Good grief, you'd think I would decide!

There are now so many models in every scale that it is impossible to collect them all and, if you did, to enjoy them as individual models. It becomes a kind of a blur to me. Now that I have retired, though, I am going back to the beginning with the 1/500 scale. I am selling my remaining 1/200 planes. Because of the large number of models, though, I will specialize in the early Herpa 1/500 models that I started with and the special Herpa and Hogan planes that have display cases, resulting in a collection of probably 150 models or so.

I think 1/500 will continue as long as our hobby continues and there are new airlines as well as new liveries. Herpa is well established and challengers come and go.
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Old 12-22-2016, 06:06 AM   #12
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Re: Is 1:500 Dead/ Dying?

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Originally Posted by paddle562 View Post
I hate to say it, but with the 1:400 scale and the 1:500 scale being fairly close in size, one of the scales will have to go. Right now the strength of marketing and manufacturing lies in 1:400 so I don't see a profitable reason for manufacturers to introduce more 1:500 models.
Quite agree! About time Herpa woke up to that fact and converted some of their 1:500 moulds to 1:400. Especially the Tupolev Tu-114.
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Old 12-22-2016, 06:42 AM   #13
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Re: Is 1:500 Dead/ Dying?

With a 737-800 now costing a ludicrous £25 I think it's time I stopped collecting 1:500.
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Old 01-18-2017, 10:51 AM   #14
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Re: Is 1:500 Dead/ Dying?

I switched from 1:400 to 1:500 once, 1:400 is for kids. 1:500 is a lifestyle!
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Old 01-18-2017, 11:17 AM   #15
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Re: Is 1:500 Dead/ Dying?

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I switched from 1:400 to 1:500 once, 1:400 is for kids. 1:500 is a lifestyle!
1:400 is for kids? Well if you say so...
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