Prices of different kits

Something I wonder is what makes the price differences between kits, for example If I want a Cyber-Hobby(Dragon) Orange box T-34, I need to pay about 45 euro for a reboxed older kit with no PE, while if I buy a Zvezda T-34 which seems to be newer (3686) and is also without PE, I pay half that price.
The Cyber-hobby one does not seem to be double as accurate and I can not see, besides the name (marketing), why I should pay double for that one. Is there another explanation, that I am missing, that justifies the higher price?

There can be lots of reasons.
The reasons not tied to actual costs

  1. A seller tries to get as much as possible -> high price and possibly no sales
  2. A seller tries to win a larger market share -> low price, possibly very small profit, may raise prices later
  3. A seller thinks that their brand name is worth a lot and will allow them to charge more. Those who don’t can usually be faound under nr 2 above.

Actual costs:
4. Cost to design and produce molds. Used to be large but has come down thanks to computers used in design (CAD) and machining (CAM). This allows for more complex models.
5. Manufacturing costs. Energy, raw materials, labour (wages), automation, clever design (Miniarts T-54/55 series)
6. Distribution costs.
7. Advantages of scale. If you produce a lot of identical products the price per unit can be lower

In the case of Dragon I would guess at nr 1 and nr 3. It could also be that they haven’t modernised their production flow lately so that nr 4 could come into the equation.

Thanks Robin. Think you are right. Plus I think they know they will sell to people like us anyway, so why not ask the
price they want. Still I think the higher price is hard to justify to SWMBO. (It is also a tank, it has the same name, it is the same scale, it is all plastic etc…) :grimacing:

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addition 4.5: Some sellers also keep their prices up to prevent eroding their market image as a high quality brand. What would happen if AUDI sold their cars at the some prices as Skoda or SEAT?

Yeah, marketing. But at the end AUDi, Skoda and SEAT are all the same (Volkswagen group). But even an Audi, although more expensive, does not cost double of a similar Skoda, AFAIK.

But with models, almost nobody recognizes the original kit when looking at a a complete build and painted model.


Short version…

Upstart DML aka Dragon battled its way to the top of the heap beating down the competition - first with low prices then with superior model kits. For now the Dragon can still reap the rewards of being #1 model kit provider.

There are a lot of hungry new companies out there (MiniArt, Takom, Border, RFM to name a few) and hungry wise survivors (Zevzda, Eduard, etc) that are making outstanding products at an excellent price.

What Dragon may have forgotten much like Tamiya did is that newer, younger high tech companies are more agile companies. With good leadership the smaller newer companies can always do it faster and better than the old slow dominant industry players.

One of them, maybe all of them are potentially Dragon Slayers. The Dragon isn’t making many new friends with the exisiting customer base these days.

Dragon charges high prices because Dragon can and lots of customers will line up to pay :slight_smile:


I haven’t bought a Dragon kit in a while. The newer companies are producing really good kits and my money is going there it seems. I suppose Dragon will eventually take note and up their game if others are also buying from the newer companies.