Where's The New Estes Catalog?

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Dale

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anyone know why Estes has not released a 2017 catalog yet?:confused2:
 

K'Tesh

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It was announced that one wouldn't be released this year.

Estes doesn't have the manpower it used to, and they were/are too busy to be able to put one out. Financial trouble with the parent company might also be a factor.
 

Daddyisabar

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All that is left for us old farts to do is to cry in our beer:( It is a paperless world now. The end has come to the dusty collection on the shelf. All we can do is to get on the Information Super Highway. Or just fade away and look at all those notes we scribbled in our catalogs as youngsters. The catalog era has ended circa 2017, just a footnote in history.
 

Dale

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how in the hell are we to know when new kits are out?,lol.they hardly ever update their
website.
 

K'Tesh

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how in the hell are we to know when new kits are out?,lol.they hardly ever update their
website.
Jumpjet, their designer, often tells us what is coming out.
 

Dale

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does jumpjet have a website?.just did a google search and found nothing.
 

rharshberger

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does jumpjet have a website?.just did a google search and found nothing.
He posts here about about Estes stuff, any other Estes official information usually is off their website. John does have a website but its a personal bio and non-estes related stuff webpage.
 

Trident

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how in the hell are we to know when new kits are out?,lol.they hardly ever update their
website.
No true. New kits in the pipeline are listed in Coming Soon. Once available, they are listed in What's New. And frequent changes are made in pages that show if products are available to Add to Cart, or if Out of Stock.
 

Woody's Workshop

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I am willing to bet, if every single user (member & guest) goes to Estes website and uses the "Contact Us" link and sends them an Email...
On how much they really, really! Want a catalog;
We as Estes Rocket Enthusiasts might show enough interest in the catalog that they might make efforts to put one out later this year. Or for future years.
Evan at a cost, I know I would buy at least 3 for my 2 son's and my collection.
And probably a 4th so my grubby, greasy, sweaty paws can clear the pages of it's ink.
They have the Estes Model Rocket Technical Manual for sale at 2.99.
I bet they would sell way more catalogs for 2.99 than the Tech Manual!

EDIT:
Below is the Email I just sent them. Who will follow?

Greetings,
I've been involved with Estes Model Rockets since the Summer of 1970.
This is the first year I have been highly disappointed with Estes's offerings.
Without the catalog to put on the shelf with all my others, it's almost like loosing a family member.
Please reconsider your position on putting out a catalog for later this year, and for future years.
You obviously are not in the "Know" how important the Estes Catalog has become to the follower's of Estes Rockets.

Best Regards,

Since they posted their address as well, I am going to go ahead and mail them a letter.
Perhaps if enough of us do this, it will make it to the powers that be, and we can convince them we NEED that Catalog.
How's with me?
 
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modeltrains

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If the situation is money and/or man hours, and there isn't enough, then there isn't enough. And after my 23 years in and out of retail I understand not spending the money to manufacture print copies without guaranteed sales of enough merchandise to come out ahead.
Would print on demand make a difference? I don't have enough information on that other than it would be necessary to contract with a supplier or purchase the machinery.
What's that contract going to cost? How many expected sales are required to qualify for that contract? What's the machinery going to cost for doing it yourself?

I do find their website to be updated at reasonable intervals: it's not like they create a new product every fortnight.
 

EXPjawa

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I doubt the issue has much to do with the printing costs, though that is still likely a factor. Rather, the bigger issue is the time and resources to go into the graphic design of the catalog. If it were just about the printing, they could still have it as a PDF on their site. Sure, once upon a time, Vern stapled together a couple xeroxed sheets with some hand drawn rockets on them and called it a day. You can't expect a business, especially a lager company, to find that acceptable today. So, the thing has to be designed, updated, revised, etc, and it includes 100+ items that all need to be reviewed. All before any printing happens, and if there are errors, well, that sucks...

Suddenly, preparing a print catalog is a lot of work, with relatively little return. Sure it looks nice, but the average customer doesn't care about print media anymore for this sort of thing. The website (which requires a surprising amount of work as well) essentially replaces the catalog, as is relevant to the modern consumer. Why print a paper catalog, when most of your target demographic is going to look it up on their phone? For what its worth, Woody, you have to keep in mind that you aren't the target audience that Estes is trying to appeal to here. I would argue that the catalog is not as important to their target customers as you think it is.

So a business finds it has to make a choice as to what its going to spend its time, effort, and money on: product development, investing in tooling and hardware, maintaining a web presence, creating a catalog, certifying product, general advertising, customer service, paying its staff, etc. Which of those would you drop first, keeping in mind what it takes to run a business in today's market?
 

kyle

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I always found the catalog to be an annoying waste of my space. I ordered kits and got them, now I have this other pile of crap to toss in the recycling bin with the other advertising crap that comes daily.

Give me a good website and I'm happy.
 

JumpJet

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Everyone at Estes would love to see a printed paper catalog. I for one hate reading stuff off my computer screen. I kill as may trees as possible each year so I can read STUFF off of paper.


John Boren
 

MALBAR 70

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As a printer for a large commercial company I can say that print is not cheap. Although I am not privy to the sales aspect of the industry, I do know that time and paper on my particular press is incredibly expensive. The cost for one hour of time on the press I run (a 5 color Harris M1000A web press) is approximately $350-$490 depending on the amount of colors and length of run. One roll of paper (about 2,500lbs) equivalent to the type Estes used for their catalogs (60#/35" Willamsburg Gloss) runs about $3,000.
This is just the cost for time and paper, other materials are also needed plates, ink(s), odds and ends chemicals and makeready time as well.

I can totally understand why Estes dropped their paper catalog.

That being said, I do miss having a catalog to leaf through.
 

JStarStar

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They should certainly do a PDF version online that can be printed out by the user.

Transfer the printing cost to the customer.
 

Zonie

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They should certainly do a PDF version online that can be printed out by the user.

Transfer the printing cost to the customer.
Totally Acceptable in this day and age...
 

Nytrunner

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They should certainly do a PDF version online that can be printed out by the user.

Transfer the printing cost to the customer.
There's still time and labor in the graphic design work.
Unless of course you're satisfied with simple right angle images of rockets with basic descriptive text.
Which pretty much can be had for free by printing out the product listing online.
 

Daddyisabar

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Back in the day (70's) they would would send out a supplement for Christmas! Two catalogs a year! I never got one but I can just imagine all the happy children running out through the deep snow to the mail box, uphill both ways, with plastic Wonder Bread bread wrappers covering their old worn shoes. Sitting by the coal stove they would slowly read every word, page by page, dreaming of launching a MIGHTY D motor when Spring would finally arrive.
 

scsager

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Times and technology change... The 71 Catalog, that was my favorite. Now-a-days Estes updates the website all the time - works out perfect.

2017-07-11 21.27.20.jpg
 

scsager

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EXPjawa

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...which brings it back to being a graphic design expense issue. If you want a well-done catalog, on par with the standard they evolved into, then there is likely considerable expense in not only designing it, but updating all of the relevant information. That takes time, it takes resources. If it didn't or was easy, I'm sure they would've done exactly that, making it PDF only. But since that didn't happen, that should tell us something...
 

K'Tesh

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That's strange... The Estes website I visit has a downloadable PDF copy of every catalog they ever produced going all the way back to 1963. Print them if you want to...

>> https://www.estesrockets.com/customer-service/full-catalog/
However, there is no catalog (print or .pdf) for 2017. It's not much help for those who like researching kits for whatever reason. I should know, I use the catalogs all the time to help me with my .ork files, and wishlists.

FWIW, I hate the way their website works. It's a PITA to search, and I often get pages and pages of unrelated kits when I am looking for something specific.
 

Cabernut

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...which brings it back to being a graphic design expense issue. If you want a well-done catalog, on par with the standard they evolved into, then there is likely considerable expense in not only designing it, but updating all of the relevant information. That takes time, it takes resources. If it didn't or was easy, I'm sure they would've done exactly that, making it PDF only. But since that didn't happen, that should tell us something...
I think you've got it here. My Mother used to be an Art Director for various magazines and catalogs. Paying lots of money for someone do the layout/font & color selection for each page of a catalog gets hard to justify when someone is already paid to do the website. Especially in 2017 when all new customers are on the web anyways.
 

Woody's Workshop

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I think you've got it here. My Mother used to be an Art Director for various magazines and catalogs. Paying lots of money for someone do the layout/font & color selection for each page of a catalog gets hard to justify when someone is already paid to do the website. Especially in 2017 when all new customers are on the web anyways.
Except there is no online catalog for 2017. And Estes Search isn't the best thing in the world either.
 

EXPjawa

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I think you've got it here. My Mother used to be an Art Director for various magazines and catalogs. Paying lots of money for someone do the layout/font & color selection for each page of a catalog gets hard to justify when someone is already paid to do the website. Especially in 2017 when all new customers are on the web anyways.
Exactly!

Except there is no online catalog for 2017. And Estes Search isn't the best thing in the world either.
Obviously. That's sort of the point of all this discussion - the working hypothesis being that if the company put all that money into a website, why spend it (again) on a redundant catalog? Maybe they can improve aspects of the site (what site is perfect?), but on the whole, I've been saying right along here that print catalogs aren't relevant to the bulk of the demographic that Estes is appealing to, but the website is. From a purely business point of view, why would you dump thousands of dollars on both if only the later is likely to resonate with customers? All of mucking about here on TRF need to remember that we only represent a small, niche, segment of what's already a small, niche hobby. It isn't that Estes doesn't care about us (the existence of kits like the Conquest or Little Joe shows they do), but that they care a lot more about entry-level customers that aren't old-school, dyed-in-the-wool BAR types. I'm sure they represent a lot more sales than we do. It all comes back to what I said above - what would you prefer they spend their resources on? A catalog is bottom of the barrel priority.
 

Woody's Workshop

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I have to disagree. Estes sells everything at list price.
I'm willing to bet the majority of people buy from other online vendors where the same item is cheaper, but doesn't carry all of Estes inventory.
A catalog placed in an order can widen one's knowledge of Estes offerings.
Even if you purchase from the any surviving hobby shops, the free wish book begged you to spend more money on things you wanted.
I understand that in these times online viewing is only growing. But I don't think flipping pages is out of realm of reality...yet.
 

EXPjawa

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You can disagree all you want, but the fact remains that both websites and catalogs are expensive to produce and contain the same information. One is highly relevant in today's marketplace, the other is not. Many companies are choosing to only put money into just the website because there is little financial return in doing a catalog anymore. It used to be that it was the only practical way to get information out to customers. But now that's not the case. Again, most customers won't care. I think that its a lot more likely that if someone is shopping around a bunch of online vendors for Estes kits at the best price, they are far more likely to be referencing Estes' website than they are a paper catalog. Its just another tab open in the browser, rather than thumbing through a book while trying to type and mouse. So, that particular argument holds no water. I fully get that a printed catalog is a handy reference. I keep one of last year's in my rocket tool box for that purpose when on the field. But that still doesn't make it particularly relevant to the bulk of the customers that Estes is trying to reach. So, again, given the choice, what would you prefer they spend their time and resources on?
 

neil_w

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This whole discussion is a side show. What's important is that Estes remain healthy as a company and continue to output great kits, which they have certainly been doing during John Boren's tenure.

While the catalogs are nice, in 2017 the website is *way* more important. Certainly the website could use some work, but in its current state it is adequately functional.

This is a niche business, and I can't fault them for concentrating their resources where there's most payoff.
 

samb

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anyone know why Estes has not released a 2017 catalog yet?:confused2:

Printed catalogs (and a summertime musical interlude):

[video=youtube;YmPwYhHX_jY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmPwYhHX_jY[/video]
 
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