14 September 2013
Tamiya has discontinued their TRF 101 kit. We speak with Fred Medel, Tamiya USA Marketing Manager, to get to the bottom of it.
We were surprised and disappointed to see that the Tamiya website's now list the TRF 101 as "discontinued". We asked Fred Medel, Marketing Manager for Tamiya USA, to clarify for our readers:
RCformula1: Has the kit been discontinued?
Fred Medel: Yes. Item 42252 TRF 101 has been discontinued. The item was from the very beginning marketed as a “limited release” item. The box packaging even has a red label on it that reads: LIMITED EDITION.
RCF1: If so what are the plans for parts support?
FM: I can’t speak for all markets, but Tamiya USA has all the parts in stock to for the TRF101 to support it for the foreseeable future. All the unique carbon fiber pieces are in stock as well as the aluminum parts and newer carbon axle.
RCF1: Tamiya released the kit in June and discontinued it in Sept. Was this a planned limited release or have sales not met expectations?
FM: The item was announced and marketed as a Limited Edition item from the beginning. All markets purchased the amount they thought they could sell as did we in the USA. I can’t speak for all markets, but in the USA the item exceeded sales expectations. We are completely sold out. If more were available to purchase from our parent company I would have no problem selling them.
RCF1: Do you have any comments on the fact that so many manufacturers have now entered the F1 kit market?
FM: I think more manufactures have entered the market because they see it as the current popular trend, so they are trying to capitalize on the market situation. I’m just concerned the market will get over saturated with product that is not licensed or has no resemblance of real world Formula One cars.
RCF1: Does the Tamiya F104 v2 remain Tamiya's flagship F1 kit? Are there any plans for the end of life of this kit?
FM: TRF items are always the flagship model of any of our RC categories. Anything under that branding is something that has been tweaked to its limits with materials and performance tweaks. However, the V2 remains our staple PRO product that has been proven time and again to be the best baseline kit that works in most general running conditions. Right now there are no plans to end the V2. If anything I would expect to see the things that were learned from the 101 to be offered as Hop Up Options to the V2. That’s what I would expect given the history of our Touring Car line-up.