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  #1  
Old 08-18-2008, 11:14 AM
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AKPilot AKPilot is offline
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Default Estes, Shrox, and the Disappearing Act

Okay, let's hope someone can weight in on this - preferably the RD himself.

1) After months of waiting and empty promises, Estes finally admitted they were cancelling their catalog.

2) Also, many of the Wal-marts and Targets have eliminated Estes rockets from their shelves; allowing us to pick up some stellar deals (can you say motors for $1.24 a pack). Typically the clearing out has occurred immediately after Christmas, but in this case they whole kit-n-kaboodle's been removed and there's absolutely nothing to be found.

3) B.T. promised to a member of this board that he'd send Estes reps. to NARAM, and neither himself nor his employees ever showed.

4) It was announced elsewhere that the Shrox designed rockets have been shelved and may never be released. Thereby, if I understand licensing right, means Shrox will never be allowed to sell these designs on his own.


So, what's the deal then? There's a lot of facts here and little knowledge of what's really happening inside of the "E-Empire".
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2008, 12:16 PM
foose4string foose4string is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKPilot
There's a lot of facts here and little knowledge of what's really happening inside of the "E-Empire".


...Which is clearly how they want it.

Hard to say what the deal with WM is. Perhaps they are severing rocketry ties with the big box stores? So many times people have been bashing Estes for catering to WM, which was not exactly something I wanted to participate in. Sorry, but I like buying discounted motors, so I didn't complain. Sure the selection could have been better...but so what? They aren't a hobby store and weren't trying to be. And now, when things start disappearing off the shelves, we feel slighted? If Estes is trying to downscale their rocketry dept. and move away from the large box stores, is that necessarily a bad thing? Seems like they are ****ed by us if they do use WM for marketing and ****ed by us if they don't.

I also had a feeling they wouldn't be at NARAM. It's almost a good thing IMO. First off, it already seems as though there is some bad blood between (BT's)Estes and NAR. Plus, it also allows some of the smaller vendors more time in the spotlight, more sales, etc. Would it change peoples opinion after being absent so long? Maybe a little. It would be a good start, but I'm not convinced it would have been the be all to end all. I can't say I missed their presence all that much. It would have been a nice bonus, but ALL the other vendors made sure everyone was happy and well taken care of. Special props to Quest, Semroc, Fliskits, Launch mag, BMS, etc.

When Shrox started asking for pics of his designs in flight, I knew then that things weren't going according to plan. Time will tell. When an artist sells off their design, they take that risk of never seeing their idea being used. Ideas get shelved all the time unfortunately. It's a crying shame if we never see these designs released.
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  #3  
Old 08-18-2008, 01:03 PM
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JRThro JRThro is offline
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Hey, I loved buying motors at $2.48 and then $1.24 a pack, and I took every advantage of Target's motor clearance that I could. Visiting at least 6 stores, some more than once, and buying every motor I could find, I now have dozens of B6-4's and C6-5's that I wouldn't have bought otherwise.

I sure hope Estes stays in business, but if they don't (and I see no indication that that's coming), it won't be the end of the world.
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  #4  
Old 08-18-2008, 01:39 PM
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kurtschachner kurtschachner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRThro
Hey, I loved buying motors at $2.48 and then $1.24 a pack, and I took every advantage of Target's motor clearance that I could. Visiting at least 6 stores, some more than once, and buying every motor I could find, I now have dozens of B6-4's and C6-5's that I wouldn't have bought otherwise.

I sure hope Estes stays in business, but if they don't (and I see no indication that that's coming), it won't be the end of the world.


Well, no, not the end but it would hurt. A lot. Not for the kits but for the motors. For all the engine types that Estes has discontinued over the years, they still sell a LOT of types that simply aren't available anywhere else. Nobody else sells 13mm and 24mm black powder engines, nor does anyone sell some of the types of 18mm that Estes does.
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  #5  
Old 08-18-2008, 03:25 PM
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Doug Sams Doug Sams is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurtschachner
Well, no, not the end but it would hurt. A lot. Not for the kits but for the motors. For all the engine types that Estes has discontinued over the years, they still sell a LOT of types that simply aren't available anywhere else. Nobody else sells 13mm and 24mm black powder engines, nor does anyone sell some of the types of 18mm that Estes does.
Truth of the matter is that Estes' motor selection is about as healthy as it's ever been. If you count up all the types they currently offer, the total is quite close to the max. You might need to exclude the overlap year when they were selling off the last of the shorties after introducing the T motors, but otherwise, it's a pretty high number.

I can think of several types I'd like to see offered - from Estes or elsewhere - but their current selection is still pretty danged good.

FWIW, I did some totalizing a few years ago. I don't remember the exact numbers, but it was something like ~20 different types currently available, and a comparable number as the most ever.

Doug

.
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2008, 06:12 PM
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dwmzmm dwmzmm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Sams
Truth of the matter is that Estes' motor selection is about as healthy as it's ever been. If you count up all the types they currently offer, the total is quite close to the max. You might need to exclude the overlap year when they were selling off the last of the shorties after introducing the T motors, but otherwise, it's a pretty high number.

I can think of several types I'd like to see offered - from Estes or elsewhere - but their current selection is still pretty danged good.

FWIW, I did some totalizing a few years ago. I don't remember the exact numbers, but it was something like ~20 different types currently available, and a comparable number as the most ever.

Doug

.


Agree.

I personally enjoy having the option of getting Estes engines at the various nearby Wal-Marts in my area. Much of the time, I can usually find what I need, whether it's for sport
and/or competition flights. Add to that, having Estes engines at Wal-Marts in the Houston
area has even pressured Hobby Lobby to bring their engine prices to comparable levels.
And, from time to time, I can find great deals on some kits; once bought a Sizzler/Star Dart
combo in a blister package for only about $5. When they had a good selection of the
X-Prize kits on the shelves, the prices on most were only $8.88 (a bargain for some of the
X-Prize, but a bit more for the Gauchito, which was cheaper at Hobby Lobby). Yes, it would
be a bad omen for all of us if Estes was to pull out of Wal-Mart all together. I, for one, did
what I could to support them (Wal-Mart/Estes) when I could as well as many of our other
outstanding vendors at the same time. Hopefully, one of these "other" vendor(s) will
have the capacity to pick up where Estes (should it come to this) left off. We'll see in
the near future.
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  #7  
Old 08-18-2008, 07:11 PM
Mikus Mikus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwmzmm
Add to that, having Estes engines at Wal-Marts in the Houston
area has even pressured Hobby Lobby to bring their engine prices to comparable levels.


Where? I paid $4.99 today for a 4-pack at HL with the 40% coupon. That's pretty close to the $4.97 at WM but not even close without that coupon.

That said, something seems to be up at WM. I saw 3 boxes (not packages, boxes of packages) on the clearance shelves at a WM today for $4 a pop and my sis-n-law called me from another one this weekend saying the same. There were a number of kits on "clearance" as well.
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  #8  
Old 08-18-2008, 07:59 PM
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STRMan STRMan is offline
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The time has never been better for Quest to expand it's engine line. Victory goes to the swift.

BTW, my local Walmart is devoid of ALL Estes products. Not just rocket stuff, but all of their R/C stuff too, as well as the R/C stuff from competitors like Air-Hog and Havoc Heli.
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  #9  
Old 08-18-2008, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikus
Where? I paid $4.99 today for a 4-pack at HL with the 40% coupon. That's pretty close to the $4.97 at WM but not even close without that coupon.

That said, something seems to be up at WM. I saw 3 boxes (not packages, boxes of packages) on the clearance shelves at a WM today for $4 a pop and my sis-n-law called me from another one this weekend saying the same. There were a number of kits on "clearance" as well.


The HL next to the Wal-Mart on 529 near Hwy 6 DID have their engine prices the same as
Wal-Mart, but that was a while ago. I haven't been there lately so I don't know what they're
selling now. I don't always look for the "bargains," since much of the time, when I'm shopping for engines needed for competition, I'm looking for specific engines that I'm willing
to buy at any reasonable price; as the saying goes, you go out to "win (the competition) at
any price."

I can say the Wal-Marts in my immediate area (Fry/I-10, Fry/W.Little York, 529/Hwy 6,
Katy Mills) all still have a fair selection of engines (at $4.97 per pack), some starter sets,
Astrobeams, etc. Not that much, but some are still on the shelf. Just recently bought another Gauchito so I can have a replacement capsule for the one I lost at JSC several
months ago.....
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2008, 11:06 PM
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LeeR LeeR is offline
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After hearing that the Estes 800 number went away, and other indications things were getting worse, I emailed Estes last week (from their website Customer Service form) inquiring about replacement decals for the Interceptors (I have 4 of each model). Figuring they might balk due to the quantity, I offered to send pictures of the kits, which I started buying about one year ago.

No word yet. Am I expecting too much to be emailed in a few days, at least to say they will follow up with my request? It would not be the end of the world, but I am amazed at the apparent downhill slide in the past few months or so (and probably for much longer).

I certainly will throw my support to Quest for BP motors, although I could live mostly with reloads. Problem is -- staging and clustering demands BP motors, unless you want to factor in a whole lot of extra trouble and expense.
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