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WTB Everything. Getting back to the game

Discussion in 'Buy, Sell, Trade.' started by Uncle__Drei, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Uncle__Drei

    Uncle__Drei Box Kit

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    Long story short, I was into the game before high school. Now, old and married, but somehow I saw this again thru the internetz so I will get back and this time, I will be able to customize my future car and race with it.

    So who is close to Hampton, VA?

    Is there even race events here?
     
  2. SignOfZeta

    SignOfZeta Spacer

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    At the moment I know of maybe three tracks in the US and none are close to you. :(

    My hope is the recent interest in Sega’s Yakuza franchise reignites the market but that’s clearly a fantasy. At the moment I don’t think Tamiya has US distribution for Mini4WD at all. My local hobbyshop can’t get anything anymore.
     
  3. Uncle__Drei

    Uncle__Drei Box Kit

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    The best sources of parts and cars I have so far are all Japan based,

    https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/

    https://www.ebay.com/usr/motivation_middle?_trksid=p2047675.l2559 (Seller from Japan)

    https://hlj.com/search/go?isort=globalpop&lbc=hobbylink&method=and&p=Q&ts=custom&uid=512796342&w=*&af=selectmanufacturer:tamiya category:aut

    I could get all I need from these sites, it's just a matter of saying yes to ridiculous shipping fee.

    And yes, I got the idea from Sega's Yakuza as well.
    This State sucks. LOL

    EDIT: URL was wrong
     
  4. Uncle__Drei

    Uncle__Drei Box Kit

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    Btw, where these tracks. I'm curious
     
  5. ltr74

    ltr74 Spring Cap

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    There is more than just three. There are 4 tracks and a healthy racing scene in So Cal alone, A place called Rui Yong Hobbies in New York, Somewhere in Vancouver. I've seen hints of stuff in Toronto and San Francisco as well.

    Also, Tamiya USA does import and distribute to the US. I don't know about availability, but Scott at DXN has literally looked up what is available while I was at the shop before. It may be that stuff is hard to find because SoCal shops order up like 100 of each new part once they are released. We often get stuff before they are available in Japan as well so it's not that they are not importing anymore. I do know they current Tamiya USA president is not as interested in promoting Mini4wd as previous so maybe that has something to do with it(though big display with track and parts for sale at the Long Beach Grand Prix this year).

    If you can't get parts locally, I know DXN ships worldwide and has the best stock this side of the Pacific. Figure out what you need and get in touch with them.

    Another option is Rakuten which is kind of like a Japanese Amazon. Shipping to the US starts at $20 but ordering a bunch of stuff can help alleviate that big cost when you are ordering a couple hundred dollars worth of parts. Note: They have different shops and each shop charges shipping so order everything from only one shop.

    If you don't care about how long shipping takes, there are some Japanese shops on Amazon that offer free slow(boat) shipping which will take a few weeks to arrive.
     
  6. SignOfZeta

    SignOfZeta Spacer

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    I guess I should have clarified that I don’t have any real problem getting parts myself. I get stuff from all sorts of places and there is something Mini4WD in my mailbox at least once a week. :)

    I just meant my hobby shop, which can order Tamiya RC all day and all night can’t get Mini4WD from any of their distributors. Tamiya have a small selection on their own US website but there’s jack for parts.

    The tracks I know of are LA, Toronto, and Madison, Wi. I haven’t heard much about the Wi one lately but the Toronto track recently announced it was closing but then changed their mind. If I was just a bit closer I’d visit that one for sure once in a while.

    There was also that weird gallery in NYC that Cadillac owns which for some reason had a really awesome track last year. I’m not sure it’s there anymore though.

    There was a small scene in Toledo Ohio in the late 90s but that Ryder’s is closed now.
     
  7. SignOfZeta

    SignOfZeta Spacer

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    So are you saying all those HK taxies used for the one make race at Dixon’s came through Tamiya USA?
     
  8. ltr74

    ltr74 Spring Cap

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    No, those came from someone Scott knows in Hong Kong. But parts like the new J-Cup motors, maroon low friction tires, 30th anniversary Emperor car, plastic ringed 5 spoke 19mm rollers, etc.. come through Tamiya USA and sell out quickly. Even though there's maybe 40 serious racers(and even more casual) here in SoCal, we go through a lot of parts keeping up with technology. Japanese started running independent sliding dampers, we're making them here and I think everywhere is now sold out of 13/19 popsicles because it takes 3 per end of the car to make the easiest version. Same with motors, one is not good enough, 2 or 3 is a small purchase because a 30k hyper dash is so much better than a 25k one. And here, you need that advantage as we have many racers who do travel to Japan to compete on a regular basis. I'm hoping to find at least a local race in Japan this summer when I visit.
     
  9. SignOfZeta

    SignOfZeta Spacer

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    That’s interesting. Is it possible these stores have special arrangements with Tamiya since they were heavy into Mini 4WD before Tamiya lost interest in promoting it? Or because Tamiya USA is relatively right down the street and they want to keep a test market alive for a future comeback?

    I’ll ask the guys at the biggest RC shop in town the next time I’m there. My normal place only does scale but they can get all the RC and science stuff if they order it.

    EDIT: also, how grossly marked up is the price? On eBay I usually pay yen price or less, HLJ is %15 off that if they actually have what you need. If you’re paying $8 for a 200yen set of low friction tires I’m better off without Tamiya USA. I ask because the list price on some of their stuff recently is BONKERS. Like $14 for a tiny little rattlecan of paint or $80 for a 1/24 Ferrari kit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  10. ltr74

    ltr74 Spring Cap

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    I don't think there much of a special arrangement other than Tamiya employees know of the shops. I would say it's more keeping in contact with the sales reps and knowing when things are supposed to come in and order accordingly. Even us regular racers keep track of what is being released soon like the new 2018 J-cup carbon should be here in the next couple weeks.

    I used to work at a hobby shop so I know some of the back ground of how ordering goes. I'm guessing your hobby shops are ordering through a distributor like Horizon, or any of the hand full of others I can't remember. That may be the issue because Distributor won't keep large volume in stock stuff that does not sell in decent quantities. I'm sure mini4wd does not sell well across all the hobby shops and they have low stock of the parts. Tamiya USA on the other hand keeps a bit higher stock because they sell to those distributors as well as individual hobby shops. When new parts come to Tamiya USA, the few specialty shops snap up everything since there is a ready market for the parts and 100 pairs of rollers will likely sell out in less than a week. Basically cutting out the distributor makes a big difference in when parts are available and in what quantity..

    Markup is not bad at all. Most of the places in SoCal are Tamiya USA MSRP for parts. the medium diameter super hard tires were $3.50 for a set of 4. The low friction tires were I think $3 for a set of 2. Motors are $4-5.

    Overall parts are cheaper in Japan, but not so much cheaper that it's not worth buying locally. I'll still come back this summer with about $500 USD worth of parts and tools since when you're buying a dozen motors, that $1.50 cheaper makes a big difference. But when I run out of something I mostly don't worry too much the cost of buying locally. Most race days I'll drop $30 or 40 on parts and race entry and on practice days maybe $20 or so.
     
  11. ap910

    ap910 Screw

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    There is a track at HobbyTown in New Jersey. The guy that owns the place said he will be running Mini 4wd events once every month (except for December). So far I’ve been to two. They are a lot of fun. The next one is August 26th. He also lets you use the track for free most of the time when you want to test your setup.
     

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