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JohnNoack

Elimination of the IPMS/USA Make and Take Program

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Dear IPMS/USA Member:

As any member who has attended the past few Business Meetings at the National Convention could tell you, the Make and Take program has been an ongoing item of discussion in terms of cost and benefits to the Society. While the intent of MnT has always been to recruit new/young members, no correlation has been established between participation in a MnT and subsequent enrollments. In spite of this, the program was continued because of the local goodwill it was perceived to generate.

 

However, recent changes by our suppliers of Make and Take kits have severely limited the selection of kits, placed restrictions on their distribution, and significantly increased our costs. In fact, for the past several years, these costs have averaged around $10,000 annually, or looking at it another way, almost 10% of your annual dues spent on what is at best generating local goodwill. These costs were simply too high for the benefits received and could no longer be justified because of the increasingly high costs to the Society.

 

Due to these changes the Board has decided that IPMS/USA can no longer support the MnT program. While existing requests in the pipeline will be honored, no new requests will be accepted.

 

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Jim Brooks for all his hard work managing the MnT program for IPMS/USA. Jim told me tonight that the thing he'll miss the most about managing the program is the friends he made during the process.

 

Thanks for your understanding in this matter,

 

(for the Executive Board) John Noack, Director, Local Chapters

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I know of many people who will lament this. However, I have to agree with the decision.

 

The bottom line (for me) is that the model manufacturers have eliminated MnTs, as well as most all other attempts to try to get the "youth" of today interested in building plastic models. If they themselves don't see the merit in spending money to promote and develop a next generation of model builders; why should IPMSUSA?

 

If we were flush with cash (and we're not), or if we received enough help from the manufacturers to offset the costs (and they no longer do that), or if we could point to massive interest by the participants in MnT that has lead to a growth in our membership (and it never has) then I could see continuing the MnT.

 

I look at our hobby as a product of the technology and time era of our own youth. When you combine the emerging cheapness of plastic kits with a closer attachment to the (at the time) almost recent history of WWII; that drove the hobby of plastic modeling.

 

The kids today have totally different technologies to attract them, and with history generally de-emphasized in the schools, they have nothing to drive them towards the subjects we hold so dear.

 

I view this as inevitable change; albeit a change we may not like.

 

GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges

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Well....that sucks but that's the way it is. My son loved it both times he got to build something at the first two shows we attended last year. He asked about it at the San Antonio show this last weekend and missed it. Fortunately there were 4 Tuskagee airmen at the show to make up the difference. We love these guys and he shook hands with 3 of the 4 guests. He's on and off about the hobby so we'll see what happens.

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"... with history generally de-emphasized in the schools, they have nothing to drive them towards the subjects we hold so dear."

 

I'm going to wander just a bit off topic and say de-empasizing history in our schools is the understatement of the year. I asked my daughter's HISTORY TEACHER to tell me the name of the Confederate ironclad (hint, hint) that fought the Monitor at the battle of Hampton Roads (hint, hint). She thought I was setting her up (I was, but I couldn't resist), smiled and reluctantly said; "The Merrimack?" I said, "The ship's name was the Virginia." She just smiled and walked away. The fact she took so lightly her ignorance of the most important battle in American naval history just amazed me.

 

Back to the topic at hand. While the M&T is a great program to have, I understand the reasoning behind suspending our support. Hell, if the model companies won't even support/promote their own product lines as Gil says, why should we? When it's all said and done, it comes down to money, which IPMS/USA can't afford to spend without some noticeable return on our investment. It just isn't financially feasible for IPMS/USA to bear the full load.

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Totally agree. I belong to 3 clubs here in MA and NH and at the last contest hosted by one of the MA chapters we had exactly 2 MnT builders, and absolutely zero entrants in the junior categories. In addition, at almost every event I have been at where they had a MnT it was the kids, or grandkids of members of the local clubs who participated. Further, I have been a member of my local club for over 35 years, and cannot tell you of a single member we got from a MnT event. Save the money and put it into something more productive to the actual members.

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For clubs that still want to host a M&T, check with your local hobby shops and see if they will support you. Our local Hobbytown USA provides snap kits at cost. Maybe not as cheap as the M&T program was, but still an economical way to host an event and promote the hobby.

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Good decision.

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"... with history generally de-emphasized in the schools, they have nothing to drive them towards the subjects we hold so dear."

 

I'm going to wander just a bit off topic and say de-empasizing history in our schools is the understatement of the year. I asked my daughter's HISTORY TEACHER to tell me the name of the Confederate ironclad (hint, hint) that fought the Monitor at the battle of Hampton Roads (hint, hint). She thought I was setting her up (I was, but I couldn't resist), smiled and reluctantly said; "The Merrimack?" I said, "The ship's name was the Virginia." She just smiled and walked away. The fact she took so lightly her ignorance of the most important battle in American naval history just amazed me.

 

Back to the topic at hand. While the M&T is a great program to have, I understand the reasoning behind suspending our support. Hell, if the model companies won't even support/promote their own product lines as Gil says, why should we? When it's all said and done, it comes down to money, which IPMS/USA can't afford to spend without some noticeable return on our investment. It just isn't financially feasible for IPMS/USA to bear the full load.

Rusty, I have to agree that history and a lot of other basics that those of us who are older grew up with are getting short shrift. However to take an obscure point from one minor engagement of the civil war and use it as a beating stick for a history teacher is not fair.

 

Considering that the history books(written by the winners as is almost always the case) for years taught it as the Merrimack, I think she was right on the mark. The fact that she could not differentiate between the USS Merrimack and the CSS Virginia is an enthusiasts(which you are) piece of knowledge that only a handful of general history teachers who specialize in the civil war might be aware of. In point of fact, I would guess that there are not a lot of people on this board that would know it. Oh, and yes, I did say it was a minor engagement. Yes, it was the first engagement of iron clads, but it was two ships duking it out to a draw. Yes, it signaled a change in construction of newer ships but it was hardly a major engagement which impacted the outcome of the war on the scale of say the battle of Midway(name without looking the major flat tops that participated) which significantly changed the momentum of the war in the Pacific or the battle of the Coral sea. Now those are important battles in USN history.

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Considering that the history books(written by the winners as is almost always the case) for years taught it as the Merrimack, I think she was right on the mark. The fact that she could not differentiate between the USS Merrimack and the CSS Virginia is an enthusiasts(which you are) piece of knowledge that only a handful of general history teachers who specialize in the civil war might be aware of. In point of fact, I would guess that there are not a lot of people on this board that would know it.

 

 

As I grew up on the winning side, I've always known it as the Merrimack, I guess I wouldn't have answered Rusty's question "correctly" either.

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Me neither. Thought it was the Merrimack. Still cool ships either way

 

Dave

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Here's an idea. Take that money and spread it around to current chapters who want to start a Junior IPMS Chapter. There's still only two in the entire country!!! Give maybe $100 to the club to cover supplies. Have the Jr Chapter meet once a week like ours does. You can meet at a hobby shop, library, museum, church, etc. All it takes is a couple of dedicated IPMS members to work up a club plan and go from there. Advertising can be word of mouth, flyers at hobby shops, schools, churches, libraries, etc. Some of our club members have been showing up for more than 5 years. It really works!!! All it takes is someone with a passion for teaching this great hobby to kids!!! If anyone is interested in how to accomplish this, please feel free to PM me and I'll be more than happy to help.

 

If the National officers are reading this...Why don't we do more to promote Junior IPMS chapters??? Perhaps we need a sit down at the National Convention to discuss this. What's the worst that could happen? Maybe we get hundreds of new junior members? Maybe we just might save this hobby from slowly fading away. Just my thoughts.

 

Bob Blevins

Founder and Chapter Contact - IPMS Motor City Kids

V.P. - IPMS Livonia

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Me neither. Thought it was the Merrimack. Still cool ships either way

 

Dave

 

Yeah I know it was a trick question, but a legitimate in that the Merrimack never fought the Monitor. For those who don't know, the USS Merrimack (a Union sailing vessel) was renamed the CSS Virginia after being sunk by the Union to prevent capture, then rebuilt into the ironclad CSS Virginia.

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This is the correct decision. The return was too little for the outlay of so much money. Those who ran the program deserve every credit for the goodwill it created but we must be fiscally responsible when deciding how best to spend the member's treasury.

 

Yes, that is a trick question but an old one. The Confederates should have remembered that it is bad luck to change the name of a ship.

 

Periodically, the Cassandras on this forum try to depress us with the impending demise of the hobby. Based simply on the number of new kits released monthly, the hobby is thriving. There has been modeling of miniatures since at least the Egyptians. It's in our DNA. It will always be part of the human experience. Our concern and goal must be the long term viability of IPMS. Nick Filippone

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In some ways this is a sad result for a well intended program. It is sad the intended result never came about. My local club hosted 6 or so MnT events over the past 6 or 7 years. We got

ZERO new members from our efforts. Mark Ford.

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No annual charter certificate stickers and now no MnT. What's next to get axed? Journal? Insurance? Reviewer Corps? National convention? Going to raise member dues and chapter dues next year? Is the IPMS treasury in that bad of shape?

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Jim:

 

No its not. The treasury is in good shape and the decision was not all motivated by money. It was motivated by the expense combined with a complete lack of return on investment and the fact that Revell wants to drop the program based on the fact they are losing money and also, see no return on it. Based on the combination of the three, that was why it was decided.

 

Dave

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Don't forget the logistical issues of shipping the kits to a hobby shop then to the club, adding an additional step and requiring the goodwill of multiple hobby shops which we fortunately have had...

 

Eric

 

 

Jim:

 

No its not. The treasury is in good shape and the decision was not all motivated by money. It was motivated by the expense combined with a complete lack of return on investment and the fact that Revell wants to drop the program based on the fact they are losing money and also, see no return on it. Based on the combination of the three, that was why it was decided.

 

Dave

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I agree completely with the decision, Over tha llast 25 years, we have done numerous MnT's and as with others, have had 0 members from it. We did them at events, at museums, boys & girls clubs, etc. andnot one person ever came back after several yeasr and said they had become interested in the hobby from a MnT and wuld now like to join the (any) club.

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Finally! This should have been ended long ago. I always felt that starting someone out on a snap together was kind of silly.

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These are not easy decisions but I support the EB 100 percent on this. We (at shasta scale modelers) also spent countless dollars on this program and created exactly zero new members from it. . . We even included $10-$50 gift certificates at the LHS. As far as we can demonstrate we never even created 1 new modeler let alone a club member. . .

Edited by Mike Lindsey

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A good decision. In the area of history, I hope we can fill the gap somehow as more of the general, younger populace knows little or nothing at all about this nation's past, or values, which is obvious.

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Sad to see it go, but I must agree if there's no return, then it's not worth it.

I must say that my son often took advantage of the MnT at a number of Nats and local shows and today he is 13 and is still building models. As a matter of fact since I build sci-fi and larger sized figures, at the past few Nats, he's actually come home with more kits than I do (be builds lots of armor and some aircraft).

 

Also I must disagree with the silliness of "Snap Tites." When you're trying to get a 7 year old that wants to build, a lot of the regular kits have too many parts and showing him how to glue a sub-assemblies and **wait** for it to dry is the kiss of death. He was off to something else. I tried a simple glue kit when he was almost 9. No good.

But with a "Snap Tite" showing him the proper way to cut the part off the sprue and sand the little nub that remains is enuff. And in a half hour he followed the instructions and the plane is built,and flying around the house. A two thumbs up success in my book.

He wanted to graduate to glue kits when he was 10-11 after building all the Snap Tite planes they had to build. He's now doing a nice job of painting and weathering his tanks and even won an award at a local (NJ) show.

 

Finally, being a Yankee from Noo Yawk, I too would have answered Merrimack. Oh well. :blink:

Edited by Roktman
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While this is a good financial decision for IPMS. I cringe at people saying they got zero return on their investment. Perhaps you will not see the return right away, but maybe in the future you will. I am 57 years old, and when I was young, we were readily exposed to plastic model kits. They were available at dime stores, drug stores, hardware stores, hobby shops, etc. It was hard NOT to find a plastic model kit. Today, it is more difficult for kids to get exposed to the hobby. The beauty of Make and Take is it provided kids another avenue of exposure to the hobby. This is particularly true in the era we live in now, where kids do not get the exposure to model kits like many of us did. Sure, many of them may not join a club, however they may get interested in the hobby and eventually join a club. So I don't think it is fair to try to measure the return on the investment in this case. By exposing children to the hobby through such ventures like Make and Take, you may spark an interest that would result in a long lived love for the hobby.

 

Brian

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Brian:

 

I agree in part. I was one of those modelers as a kid, gave it up for sports and then kids. Got back into it in my 30's..

 

The Make and Take has been going on for the better part of 15 years so some of those kids now late twenties/early 30's should be coming back and sadly, they have not (maybe yet). Only time will tell but I also don't want o overlook that a lok of kids, club members and parents had fun doing this too

 

Dave

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