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  #1  
Old 06-17-2014, 07:34 PM
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Default What happened to the descriptive text in Estes catalogs?

Recently I was thumbing through a recent Estes catalog and noticed that I wasn't looking over the contents with the same enthusiasm as a kid. Sure, I'm a lot older now, and not the kid that I was back then. The newer catalog seemed heftier than I remember from the old catalog -- so it's not the volume that didn't make me feel not so enthusiastic. After getting back home, I dug up some of the old catalogs that I had as a kid -- and looking over the items listed, I felt the same sort of enthusiasm I felt as a kid -- then it dawned on me -- the newer catalog picture of item, and the specs, but none of the descriptive text. Okay, so when you really look at things, the text is essentially a sales pitch -- but then a bit more. for certain subjects it helps to convey the concept behind of the particular model (e.g. especially the "scale-like", fantasy, and exotic types).

scans of some old catalogs can be found on Ninfinger's site:
http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/rockets.html
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:09 PM
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Good question. One thing they might say is the catalog is so crammed full of stuff that they don't have any room for descriptions. *I* might say that it is so crammed full of similar rockets that they are tired of making new stuff up, but that would be a little too cynical, since I understand why they have so many similar looking rockets (i.e. they sell). It probably has to do with something like they've found through market research that the marketing descriptions don't really help sell rockets (particularly through retail).

At one time (1980 or so), I was a little cynical about the descriptions themselves (I thought many were too cutesy) and I suggested that they tone them down a bit. I don't think they listened to me (I'm sure Mary Roberts would have let me know!) because it took thirty years for them to tone them down by eliminating them all!
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:13 PM
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What I miss is the descriptive text in Estes instructions.

I ordered several times from Estes recently. Though it was still exciting to receive a box from Penrose, a bit of the thrill from my childhood was not there: the "free with order" hardcopy catalog. While I have already picked it up from the LHS, a kid without a nearby retail outlet is missing out.


Bill
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
What happened to the descriptive text in Estes catalogs?

It moved to the web site.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill
What I miss is the descriptive text in Estes instructions.

I ordered several times from Estes recently. Though it was still exciting to receive a box from Penrose, a bit of the thrill from my childhood was not there: the "free with order" hardcopy catalog. While I have already picked it up from the LHS, a kid without a nearby retail outlet is missing out.


Bill



In my last order from Estes there was a catalog included. Even in the replacement part (kit) order I got a new catalog. These were shipped this year.

+1 to the instruction descriptive text. There have been steps that even though I've been around the block a few times, I've guessed on.

Seems especially true in motor mount "pictures" (sure as heck aint instructions). They will show marking off distances on the motor tube, then later show inserting the mount up to one of the marks.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernomatic
In my last order from Estes there was a catalog included. Even in the replacement part (kit) order I got a new catalog. These were shipped this year.

+1 to the instruction descriptive text. There have been steps that even though I've been around the block a few times, I've guessed on.

Seems especially true in motor mount "pictures" (sure as heck aint instructions). They will show marking off distances on the motor tube, then later show inserting the mount up to one of the marks.


If there were descriptive text in the instructions, it'd be in Chinglish, or Engrish, whichever you prefer... They CERTAINLY wouldn't pay US rates for a technical writer to write the instructions...

Later! OL JR
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:29 PM
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I wrote a few descriptions for the Quest catalog. I wrote like the fond memories of yesteryear.

And I totally frakked up some instructions I hear....
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill
Though it was still exciting to receive a box from Penrose, a bit of the thrill from my childhood was not there: the "free with order" hardcopy catalog. While I have already picked it up from the LHS, a kid without a nearby retail outlet is missing out.

That "kid" would probably be bemused and befuddled by the whole concept of a paper catalog. The tactile experience appeals to people like us above a certain age, but other than that, the listings on the Estes web site, and on Amazon where they're more likely to do their shopping, do everything a catalog does and do it better, with multiple photographs, a couple paragraphs of descriptive text, technical specifications, customer reviews (which are generally useless, but if nothing else people seem to like writing them), and a video clip. What's that kid want dead trees for?
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  #9  
Old 06-18-2014, 08:45 AM
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I miss the Estes catalogue having every part for every rocket available individually.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Holmes
That "kid" would probably be bemused and befuddled by the whole concept of a paper catalog. The tactile experience appeals to people like us above a certain age, but other than that, the listings on the Estes web site, and on Amazon where they're more likely to do their shopping, do everything a catalog does and do it better, with multiple photographs, a couple paragraphs of descriptive text, technical specifications, customer reviews (which are generally useless, but if nothing else people seem to like writing them), and a video clip. What's that kid want dead trees for?


"Dead trees" works without power, at school or in areas where technology access is restricted (such as in school), and in areas where you don't have wifi or net access...

1's and 0's, not so much...

Course most kids, like my nephews, are ready to sit down and cry and don't know what to do with themselves if they lose access to their technology for more than 10 minutes nowdays... sad...

Later! OL JR
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