# So no Estes catalog 2017

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#### Tramper Al

##### Well-Known Member
As one very interested in years and models past, I will say that the existence and availability of 50+ years of Estes catalogs in pdf forms is HUGE. It's the most reliable way I know to work out roughly when each model appeared and disappeared from production, as well to have common understanding of the traditional paint/decal presentation, even decades later. If they are just skipping a year, as in 1999, 2009, that's fine.

But if there won't be any more catalogs, pdf or otherwise, that will be a real shame for future rocketeers. A short pdf file of the newest models, organized annually and placed alongside past catalogs on the Estes site would be good. But it would not give any lasting record of when models were removed from production.

Honestly, if it weren't for catalogs from Centuri and Enerjet, for example, I would know very little about those great past models, or even know enough to realize what I was missing.

It will fall on collectors to document all of this going forward - new model introductions, specs, photos, etc. - and maintain the record for the next 50 years.

#### samb

My new year's wish is that Estes transfers the catalog budget "savings" to R&D. I trust Jumpjet would put it to good use. He's been killin' it so far.

#### Cabernut

##### Well-Known Member
I'll store my extra 2016 catalogs in a cool, dry place if they're the last ones...

Is it just 2017 where there will not be one, or permanently? Are they going to still be producing them in electronic form(pdf)?

#### samb

Show of hands... how many people paid retail ($2.99) for a 2016 catalog ? I didn't. #### Todderbert ##### Well-Known Member I paid for one, not knowing I could get it free from my local hobby shop, and that they also come with a rocket order from Estes. #### Tramper Al ##### Well-Known Member Show of hands... how many people paid retail ($2.99) for a 2016 catalog ? I didn't.
You know, it's there to click and order but Estes just tosses one in my shipment without any input or payment from me. I think I have 3 from 2016 and will have to save them for the kids. This year Estes sent an ornament free with my couple of December orders too.

Maybe a solution would be to charge \$5, and not send them out otherwise. And make a pdf available of course. If that would pay for the catalog continuation program, I mean.

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#### Nytrunner

##### Pop lugs, not drugs
TRF Supporter
I also got a couple unintentionally through orders last year.

Older members may think it sacrilege, but I'm not really concerned with the shift away from catalogs. I've been using the website to see what they've got available since I started ~4 years ago. At the end of the day the company is going to produce model rockets, and the serious collectors will still manage to add to their compendium of releases and production runs. Boggles my mind that there's probably someone that could tell how many kits with PNC-55 nosecones were produced in 1985. I'm willing to bet there's a good number of hobbyists (like myself) that aren't particularly interested in the info.

[of course I'll leave myself the option of caring in ~30 years when no young whippersnappers remember what a Leviathan was]

#### Tramper Al

##### Well-Known Member
Boggles my mind that there's probably someone that could tell how many kits with PNC-55 nosecones were produced in 1985. I'm willing to bet there's a good number of hobbyists (like myself) that aren't particularly interested in the info.

[of course I'll leave myself the option of caring in ~30 years when no young whippersnappers remember what a Leviathan was]
Yes, they are helpful resources when looking way back, remembering a simpler (!) time. For me sometimes I am interested in a model that's 30 or 40 years old, an extremely expensive "collectible" that no one would open, but I could clone it beautifully if I only knew that the nose cone and/or fin can was sold in another mass produced kit 5-10 years ago - and can be found for peanuts.

#### samb

I paid for one, not knowing I could get it free from my local hobby shop, and that they also come with a rocket order from Estes.
1 !!! :wink: I wonder how many boxes of 2016 catalogs they threw out last week ?

I have fond memories of the catalogs of my youth. But they are a click away.

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#### hobie1dog

I just called Hobby town and they don't have any of the 2016 catalogs, bummer, I wanted to get one.

#### samb

I just called Hobby town and they don't have any of the 2016 catalogs, bummer, I wanted to get one.
You might give Estes a call. Maybe they didn't throw them all out yet ?

#### K'Tesh

##### OpenRocket Chuck Norris
TRF Supporter
Where has it been announced that they are not releasing a catalog this year?

#### dmgrime

##### Well-Known Member
I just called Hobby town and they don't have any of the 2016 catalogs, bummer, I wanted to get one.
I have a couple 2016 catalogs if you want one. PM if interested happy to send one your way!

#### K'Tesh

##### OpenRocket Chuck Norris
TRF Supporter
I have a couple 2016 catalogs if you want one. PM if interested happy to send one your way!
I'll take that offer

#### Woody's Workshop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
K'Tesh, someone posted in another thread that it was announced on the NAR Facebook page.
I Emailed my bud that works at Estes.
He confirmed there would be no catalog for this year. Nothing about a future catalog, or a pdf version only.
He gave no explanation why, but did want to know how that info got out.
It appears that info was not suppose to have been released just yet, or something.
I did Email earlier today to find out if there was going to be a pdf version.
No reply as of yet. I'll post it here, since this is more or less a dedicated thread for the catalog.

#### K'Tesh

##### OpenRocket Chuck Norris
TRF Supporter
K'Tesh, someone posted in another thread that it was announced on the NAR Facebook page.
I Emailed my bud that works at Estes.
He confirmed there would be no catalog for this year. Nothing about a future catalog, or a pdf version only.
He gave no explanation why, but did want to know how that info got out.
It appears that info was not suppose to have been released just yet, or something.
I did Email earlier today to find out if there was going to be a pdf version.
No reply as of yet. I'll post it here, since this is more or less a dedicated thread for the catalog.
They need a catalog, or at least a .pdf catalog.

Estes's search function is a PITA, and scrolling or going to page after page to scroll some more gets old... FAST!

#### K'Tesh

##### OpenRocket Chuck Norris
TRF Supporter
I just sent this:

[FONT=wf_segoe-ui_normal]You NEED to produce a 2017 Estes Catalog

[/FONT]
[FONT=wf_segoe-ui_normal]

To whom it may concern,

Estes desperately needs a catalog, or at least a .pdf catalog.

Your websites' search function is HORRIBLE, and scrolling or going to page after page to scroll some more gets old... FAST!

Go and see for yourselves. On a computer that isn't inside the company try this: Go to your website, and enter the following in the search feature:

My search results puts the first direct match as the 29th item found, that was on the 3rd page. That's AWFUL!!!
[/FONT]
It's an embarrassment!

You need a catalog to help us find what we are looking for. Attention spans are short these days, and without it, I fear your sales are going to tank.

Please, put out a catalog (and fix the website). Your customers will thank you for it.

Sincerely,
James Parsons
[FONT=wf_segoe-ui_normal]

[/FONT]

#### Woody's Workshop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I agree, their site could use a light overhaul.
I'd like to see the pdf catalog with the function to click on what your looking at and have it open to the buy page.

#### Lowpuller

##### Well-Known Member
I would love a copy of every year. If you have any extra catalogues please send them my way.

Here is what I have so far

2007, 2012, 2013

These are tougher, 1968 (I think), 1985ish, 1998, this one has a cover over the cover.

Miscellaneous not catalogues

#### walterb

##### Well-Known Member
many years it is not until February that they show up. It might be that there won't be one, but lack of one today does not mean that. They surprise us pretty often with new (or re-released) stuff throughout the year.

#### Scott_650

##### Well-Known Member
I don't bother using the website's search function. - [term] site:www.estesrockets.com using Google works much better. Fully agree that a .PDF catalog would be better than no catalog, you'd think whomever does their web design work would be able to produce .PDF file of the contents at a pretty low cost.

#### gdjsky01

##### Whoosh, pop: life is good
TRF Supporter
While the catalogs I see sometime from years gone by make me nostalgic... I couldn't care less for them now.
A good web site.. or even here... or rocket reviews... is worth far more.

I mean if it's a make or break thing, then Estes is in bad shape and this is just a smoke screen. Making a catalog, esp PDF??? I mean most of the copy from year to year must be the same.

Nonetheless the catalog has not been anything worth looking through for years since they removed most if not all of the descriptions that used to make me dream.

Jeff

#### TangoJuliet

##### Well-Known Member
While the catalogs I see sometime from years gone by make me nostalgic... I couldn't care less for them now.
A good web site.. or even here... or rocket reviews... is worth far more.

I mean if it's a make or break thing, then Estes is in bad shape and this is just a smoke screen. Making a catalog, esp PDF??? I mean most of the copy from year to year must be the same.

Jeff
Agreed. A strong web presence that's user friendly is much more cost effective, with a greater return, these days than a printed catalog, IMO. Though I also get quite nostalgic for the old catalogs. I think at one time I probably had every one of them through the 1980's. Certainly a pdf. format wouldn't be difficult for them to produce. I imagine the hardest part is actually the photography part and attaching those files. If Estes wants to send me 1 of everything they have, I'll gladly photograph it for them. :grin:

#### samb

I just sent this:

[FONT=wf_segoe-ui_normal]

You NEED to produce a 2017 Estes Catalog

To whom it may concern,

Estes desperately needs a catalog, or at least a .pdf catalog.

Your websites' search function is HORRIBLE, and scrolling or going to page after page to scroll some more gets old... FAST!

Go and see for yourselves. On a computer that isn't inside the company try this: Go to your website, and enter the following in the search feature:

My search results puts the first direct match as the 29th item found, that was on the 3rd page. That's AWFUL!!! It's an embarrassment!

You need a catalog to help us find what we are looking for. Attention spans are short these days, and without it, I fear your sales are going to tank.

Please, put out a catalog (and fix the website). Your customers will thank you for it.

Sincerely,
James Parsons
[/FONT]
I'll be interested to hear what response you get, if any. A little too much angry klingon for me. John Boren mentioned this in a comment on the NAR Facebook page. I think that was the first info on the 2017 catalog issue.

#### Tramper Al

##### Well-Known Member
If I were only ever interested in current models then yes a good web site would be fine. Remember, though, that when a model goes OOP is will typically just disappear from the website forever, so as resource it is pretty limited.

Most of us older rocketeers float in and out of active hobby participation over the decades, so some kind of window to the (missed) past is very helpful. That and the availability of huge numbers of past models on secondary markets and auction sites makes a definitive record with photos, specs, etc. invaluable. It doesn't have to be printed on paper, but it should be downloadable and not dependent on a web site that is only focused on selling current models or an archivist who may one day suddenly lose interest or just not be there.

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#### Woody's Workshop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Copy/Paste the full Email I received this morning...

&#8230;Hi John&#8230;no PDF&#8230;no e version for those that like to peruse what&#8217;s new.

#### Tramper Al

##### Well-Known Member
Copy/Paste the full Email I received this morning...

&#8230;Hi John&#8230;no PDF&#8230;no e version for those that like to peruse what&#8217;s new.
Hi, just to be clear, is this a response regarding 2017 or henceforth?

#### neil_w

##### Ennui poster child
TRF Supporter
Although I love the catalogs, I think a beefed up web site is a perfectly fine substitute. For historical purposes, it would be very nice if Estes kept OOP kits on their site, with relevant info. In other words, make their website a proper historical reference in addition to a current catalog. I don't know how much interest they have in doing this, though.

#### Tramper Al

##### Well-Known Member
Although I love the catalogs, I think a beefed up web site is a perfectly fine substitute. For historical purposes, it would be very nice if Estes kept OOP kits on their site, with relevant info. In other words, make their website a proper historical reference in addition to a current catalog. I don't know how much interest they have in doing this, though.
No business lasts forever, though, and websites get overhauled and "improved" all the time. What would I know about Centuri models if the only information provided was on their website that disappeared when the product line ceased? I only know Centuri because they left behind easily scanned (now pdf) annual reports featuring photos, specs of their rockets made that year. Where did Semroc and more casual cloners get their information, to begin to think about what they'd like to build?

I don't spend any time looking at the current Estes catalog, but you can bet I've saved a pdf copy for future reference - in the same folder with about 50 others going back to 1962 or so.

If they are just skipping a year, no big deal. If permanent, this is not a good thing.

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#### Woody's Workshop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Your guess is as good as mine. That is all the info that was sent.

I'm going to stick my neck wayyyyy out here.
The release of the news from Hobbico, this is most likely a trickle down effect of a financially bad year.
I would guess that if the decline (across the entire industry as a whole) keeps going, it will be permanent.
If however, the plastic model division, all the remote control stuff (especially the flying ones[dips in sales are obvious due FAA Rules], Rockets and items related to these hobby's come back up...
I would suspect it would be a one or two year diversion in a cost cutting strategy. Better than cutting pay check and/or benefits for employees.
Take it for what it's worth from ME, just a hobbyist, not anyone connected to Hobbico or Estes, this is just my opinion based on what I know (or don't know) and history of what has happened in the past.
As for a history on the web site, Estes does have a large collection of the instructions. Hard to find, missing some key kits, but it looks like they are trying.