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4.3 Rocketry: Are my old rocket kits worth anything today?




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This article is from the Model Rockets FAQ, by Wolfram von Kiparski with numerous contributions by others.

4.3 Rocketry: Are my old rocket kits worth anything today?

With all of the BARs coming back into rocketry, many wanting to rebuild
some of their favorite kits from their youths, models rockets have
become 'collectable'. In fact, the demand for some classic kits has
gotten quite high. The explosive growth of the internet has helped
fuel several recent 'class kit' auctions. Model rocket kits from the
late 60's and early 70's can still be found, but be prepared to pay
quite a premium. It isn't unusual to see what was a $5 kit from the early
70's going for $50 or more in an auction. Remember the 1/70 scale Estes
Estes Saturn 1B? It cost $11 in 1970, $15 in 1977. If you bought one
today at a model rocket auction, it is doubtful that $200 would get it.
How about the Maxi Brute Pershing 1A, which sold for $17 in 1977?
That kit, in good condition, might bring over $150 today.

Old kits that are still in their unopened, original packaging, might be
worth something. Once you open the package, the value drops. Missing or
partially constructed pieces lower the value even further.
So, all you BARs with old kits up in the attic might want to think
twice before ripping open the boxes and finally building that
Orbital Transport you got on your 12th birthday.

Opinions about the collectibility of old kits varies on r.m.r. Some
frown on collecting kits, and feel the rocket should be built and flown
for maximum enjoyment. Some would consider building the old kit a
great loss.

Others take a middle road, and "clone" the kit - produce a duplicate, and
keep the original. Still others create scaled-up versions of old kits
for HPR flying fun. Regardless of what you do with it, old kits can be a
lot of fun, and there is even a magazine devoted to collecting old kits
(see Part 2 of this FAQ under books and magazines).

Those interested in cloning an old kit should check out the PLANS
subdirectory of the r.m.r. sunsite archive.

http://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/archives/rec.models.rockets/PLANS

Plans for old kits not in the archive are out there, usually for just the
asking. Post a request. Chances are someone has plans for that favorite
oldie.

 

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