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 Post subject: Airfix 'New Tool' Label
PostPosted: Sat 15 Aug 2015 12:01 pm 
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Just an idle question that arose from cruising the Airfix website, but one that had struck me before - how long does the "New Tool' label last (or put another way, when does a kit become 'old' tool compared to other new ones)? I noted that three kits I still consider 'new' no longer carry the label - Swordfish A04053 (introduced 2012, I think), NA Sabre A03082A (2010 release?) and Douglas Skyhawk A03029 (out in 2012?). Of course on ATF 'old' kits never die, and I'm sure we'll go on remembering (and building) all versions, but in the wider world, where yesterday's tech is old hat, is it just the marketing gurus that decide when something is no longer 'new'?

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PostPosted: Sat 15 Aug 2015 19:50 pm 
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I don't know. I recall Airfix in the 1970s saying that they manufactured kits on three year cycles (they appeared in the catalogue for three years and then were given a rest). That doesn't necessarily make sense to me, but if a new tool is used for a couple of years and then rested for a year, then when it comes into production again it certainly isn't a new tool anymore.

Good luck - I hope someone can let us know.


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PostPosted: Sat 15 Aug 2015 20:21 pm 
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The Sabre would have lost it's new tool marking when it was reboxed with new decals (hence the 'A' suffix), as for the others the website keeps the new tool marking longer than the catalogue (which only refers to new tools for that year), but not sure how long for, the oldest kits I can see still with 'new tool' on the website are 2013 releases. The website redesign may have influenced which ones were tagged with 'new tool' at that time, and so far they've kept the marking.

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PostPosted: Fri 21 Aug 2015 10:45 am 
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The catalogue seems to be quite reliable at leaving it for a year only. Online it seems that as soon as a kit is reissued with new markings it looses the new tool however this does create the situation where you have the older original issue showing new tool and the new issue showing nothing. It's a hard one really I don't think that they are 'new' tools if over three years old but it is a helpful indicator in cases where there are 'old' tools that could cause confusion.

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PostPosted: Fri 21 Aug 2015 15:28 pm 
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I'm with John. New Tool should be taken off the labelling after 3 years. It will have served it's purpose distinguishing it from any earlier tooling 8-)

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PostPosted: Fri 21 Aug 2015 18:32 pm 
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Interesting views/info people, thanks for taking the time to satisfy my idle curiosity. I suppose hiding behind the initial question was a bit of laziness on my part, wanting an easy means of telling at a glance which kits are 'current generation' and which are 'vintage' (if not quite old enough and forgotten enough to qualify for 'kitstarter' yet!). I know there is masses of detail on individual kits in the reference section - and I'm sure some people are sufficiently clued up to know just by the reference number when the original masters for a particular subject were first made - but I do tend to rely on the New Tool label to indicate that a kit is likely to be to modern standards rather than, possibly, originating from the Ark (i.e. about the time I first started modelling!). I guess I'll just have to be more careful in future if I've reason to think something might be more than 3 years old.

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PostPosted: Fri 21 Aug 2015 18:48 pm 
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I'd have said that a year would be reasonable amount of time for advertising something as a new tool, but compared to the life of a master it's perhaps a little short; the manufacturer will want to keep the new tool cachet for as long as they can to drive sales.
I expect it's been discussed lots before, but I think it would be nice to see a first year of issue on the box. Of course, that won't happen unilaterally since a date long in the past will not look well. In the end, if it is likely to bother you, I think the only answer is to do your research and read up on the kits. The reference section here is excellent and a really useful resource. I use it all the time when searching out new kits. Now off to check if similar exists for Revell, Heller, etc...

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PostPosted: Fri 21 Aug 2015 19:01 pm 
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Of course, the old kit in a shiny new red box with an A prefixed product code still stands a chance of confusing the impulse buyer :twisted:

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PostPosted: Fri 21 Aug 2015 19:09 pm 
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pandrew wrote:
The reference section here is excellent and a really useful resource. I use it all the time when searching out new kits. Now off to check if similar exists for Revell, Heller, etc...

http://www.scalemates.com is the site I use to check the history of other manufacturers kits & it provides links to reviews.

http://www.modelingmadness.com is good for reviews too.


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PostPosted: Fri 21 Aug 2015 19:18 pm 
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Thanks Tractorplovdiv, I'll check them out.

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PostPosted: Fri 21 Aug 2015 19:24 pm 
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:thumb: Glad to be of service.


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PostPosted: Fri 21 Aug 2015 23:16 pm 
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Ratch wrote:
Of course, the old kit in a shiny new red box with an A prefixed product code still stands a chance of confusing the impulse buyer :twisted:

It does! To my cost and pain.

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PostPosted: Sat 22 Aug 2015 11:53 am 
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I think there should be an indication on the box hinting to the age of the mould. A small sticker on the box saying:

"New tool" up to 3 years
"Standard" 3-10 years
"Classic" 10 -20 years
"Vintage" Over 20 years

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PostPosted: Sat 22 Aug 2015 12:27 pm 
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But what happens when a box sits on a shop shelf for an eternity :?:
I've seen some very old boxes on shop shelves :shock:

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PostPosted: Sat 22 Aug 2015 12:29 pm 
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The yellowed cellophane and dust usually give them away Ratch :)

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PostPosted: Sun 23 Aug 2015 07:18 am 
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The mould inside will still be a reflection of the age of the mould at the time of casting but a manufacturing date would surely not be difficult to include on the box.

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PostPosted: Sun 23 Aug 2015 08:58 am 
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No manufacturer is going to print the mould origin date on the box, they never have and they never will.

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PostPosted: Sun 23 Aug 2015 12:50 pm 
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Fair enough. It is probably not commercially viable to label their boxes with any indication of the qualiy of the mould except 'New tool' which obviously gets sales up.

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PostPosted: Sun 23 Aug 2015 14:01 pm 
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Ratch wrote:
No manufacturer is going to print the mould origin date on the box, they never have and they never will.

Airfix have been on the new tool releases since about spring this year, I don't know if they plan to do the same for older reissues, I guess the first one to look at will be the 1:48 Lightning when that's out:
Image
Image

The Swift doesn't have this, presumably due to the release delays as the boxart would have been finalised last year, but all the others I've seen in the past few months have the above additions.

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PostPosted: Sun 23 Aug 2015 15:23 pm 
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Good spot Tom!
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