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If anyone reading this enjoys watching kit buildups or kit reviews on YouTube, you need to watch a video that can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXHYVWyAGcE&t=11s
Why?  Because the Federal Trade Commission has just announced that starting January 1, 2020 any video that is identified as made for kids but that they believe is not made for kids, the creator of that video will be fined $42,530 PER VIDEO.  Incidentally, a kid is defined as anyone under the age of 13.   So why should that matter to us?  Because two of the categories that they will be especially focusing on will be arts & crafts and toys.  Modelbuilding, scale models and model kits are all too often classified by those who do not know what they're talking about as arts & crafts or toys.  Rather than spend a lot of time and space recapping information that is already on YouTube, I'd suggest you watch the video...and others...then reply to this post.  By the way, if you think this doesn't affect us, it does.  We're a family friendly organization, we want to attract kids so they become modelbuilders and kids watch YouTube in droves.  If they can't find videos about modelbuilding, we lose a very valuable source that may expose them to scale models for the very first time.

Anyway, watch the video and let me know what you think.

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Eric,

The link you  provided simply fits with all the others I've seen.  There's a nasty little phrase in the middle of all this that "anything that appeals to kids" must be marked 'made for kids'.  Considering the wide range of interest that most...or at least a substantial number of...kids have, almost anything could be construed as appealing to kids.  That is especially likely when it comes to modelbuilding videos and aviation history...in fact, any history videos.  I have  three videos that are designed to encourage purchase of my CD-ROMs.  Also one on the Williams Bros C-46 that promotes my E-book on the build.  According to YouTube's analytics, no one under 13 has viewed any of them, but you never know when that might change.  I was also planning on developing a series of kit buildup videos, but....   As things now stand, unless the FTC makes some significant changes in their COPPA rules, I will end up pulling all of my videos, closing the channel and not producing anything for  upload to YouTube from this point forward.  Will it hurt me?  Yes.  But the potential of a $42,000 fine as the result of an opinion from some government official who does not understand the modelbuilding industry will hurt a lot more.

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As much as I hate to say it unless there becomes an app available on a smart phone to make models, not too many kids are going to get interested in the hobby. I haven't seen very many kids get into model building anymore, most are more interested in the social media aspect of modern society. If the kids are on youtoob i'll bet 90% aren't looking for model info sadly. If you think about it most of us 'back in the day' were lured into the hobby because we wanted to be pilots, tank drivers ship captains or some sort of military related career and build subjects as such. How many kiddos do you see in a local hobby shop in the model section or club meetings? I tried pretty hard to get my kids into the hobby but they had ZERO interest in it and I am a lifelong modeler. 

Our club has had countless make and takes over the years and guess how many kids from those sessions became interested in the hobby let alone joined the club? Pretty much none of them. Matter of fact 80% of the MnT models got broken and tossed into the trash can on their way out. Plus the price of most kits now are out of the price range for many kids and their parents.

I am all for everyone trying to get more kids into the hobby but I ain't holding my breath on getting a sizable influx of youngsters into the hobby. 

Edited by TheDude

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Perhaps you need to look closer then.

Bandai sells millions of gundam kits every year, and judging by the average age at the local gundam group, at least half of those go to people under 30. I've seen estimates that they are the biggest model company in the world, possibly even bigger than all the traditional names combined.

Young people just aren't as interested in a lot of the "bread and butter" subjects that hobby stores have been peddling, because they have a much stronger connection to subjects from pop culture that is actually relevant to them (like Gundam, Star Wars, Warhammer, etc) than cars that were made 40 years before they were born, or tanks from wars that ended before their grandparents were even born. The guy who won Best In Show at our local contest two years running is probably under 30.

I think what actually turns young people off from the hobby is the dismissive attitudes they see on forums and social media -- why would a young person want to join a club when the club forum has people stereotyping and complaining about their generation?

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Brian,

I don't necessarily disagree with you in a lot of respects.  I, too, am a lifelong modeler...started when I was seven...and it is also my business.  But it is not 100% that no kids will take up the hobby.  If that were true, there wouldn't be a junior section at the IPMS/USA Nationals.  That doesn't mean it's not  a hard row to hoe.  Also, some of us got into the hobby as a result of bad health.  That's how I got started.  But once into it, combined with my love of reading which led to an interest in history, one thing led to another.  A couple of people wanted me to build models for them, from there I obtained a kit review column in a magazine and so on.  A kit review column in Flying Review International is what sparked my interest in having my own kit review column.  Once that was up and running, I reviewed the original Revell 32nd scale Cobra and Huey kits and called Bell for reference material.  They asked to see the models when they were built.  Took the finished models to Bell, just to show them off, and walked out of the building with an order for 600 builtup models and a career as a freelance writer and professional modelbuilder.

You never know where life will take you.  Sometime you make your plans and it works out exactly the way you plan it.  Other times it's pure serendipity.  And sometime it's simply meant to be.

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Brian Latour,

There's a lot to be said for your comments.  My passion is WW-II aircraft and I don't care that much for the Gundum/Transformers models, but I also have a deep interest in science fiction and am a fan of Star Wars, along with some of the comic book heros and I'll guarantee you that I'm well over 30.  Your last paragraph brings up an important point.  Just because someone's interest doesn't match yours, it does the hobby no good to stereotype or complain about a particular  generation.  What is it they say?  Variety is the spice of life. 

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