I checked Code 3 on ebay for the first time in about six months. I started with Highest Price First, and put 200 per page. I had to look at over 200 before I saw a bid, and only found eleven bids on the first 600 offerings. Yes, some of the prices asked are foolish, and a lot were "buy it now". But it seems that no one is interested.
I remember when you were lucky to see 30 C3s on ebay, and they were very popular. They had a good thing for about four years (until 2002, stretched another year due to the FDNY buying frenzie after 911). I look to the management of Arnie, Scott, and the Brother-in-Law for their downfall. Plus raising prices when the economy was tanking. John Dunkle really tried to spice up the hobby, but didn't have a following, or the pizzaz of Charlie Sheen to accomplish such a difficult task. Not his fault, as models just weren't exciting enough to revive a dying firm.
I switched from C3 to DCP 1/64 years ago, and went the kitbash route for fire diecast. More fun at less cost.
Rest in Peace C3
Honestly I do not place too much faith in the eBay listings. The bay has changed quite a bit from years ago. In nearly all of the diecast and hobby categories I watch I see the exact same thing. Many items go unsold and prices are dropping. I do not know if it is entirely because of the problems with the economy or just the collecting bubble has burst in general. The late 90s were a boom for so many companies that are now not around or shadows of them selves.
Think Johnny Lightning, Racing Champions, Road Champs, White Rose, Ertl, Corgi, etc.
As for when the bubble burst for Code 3, I wish I could find the archives for this site to say I told you so. But I did. It really is cyclical. They did what so many companies have done in the collector's world, the grew too fast AND over estimated the market. They believed their own hype. That being said, I really liked Scott on a personal level. I was one of the first Code 3 dealers so I got to know him I never met Arnie but I think he also was a stand up guy in terms of the Code 3 line. The brother in law, well they always come with the territory. As companies grow they naturally become less personal and more corporate like. Thus the grass roots people get put off and go away sore. Those wounds are slow to heal. Just read the boards and the anger and venom still launched towards the companies by those who start their posts with, " I remember..."
I only met John D one or 2 times. Again stand up guy in a tough position. Maybe even more so than the previous administration because he was not at the top like Arnie/Scott and was part of a larger corporation. Thus he just became a whipping boy for many who can't run their own check books, let alone a company.
As for this site, I take the complete blame for letting it slide. I took ownership a couple of year ago with the best intentions. However we had some people who let their personalities take control over the content here. Also the free nature of this board lets people be anonymous. But it also lets them not be responsible for their actions. So in my shut downs to get it under control, I may have created a near terminal illness for the board.
I too wish we would see discussion here like some of the other boards. I will slowly get it back going. I have no desire to compete with other boards but to compliment them. I frequent many others as I do here. So as owner shame on me for not posting here first. I will do better.
But as stated hobbies in general are in a lull. Again go back to my comments of the hey days of the 90s and early 2000s. The bubble burst. It will grow again and then burst again it is cyclical. Each time it changes just a bit as new items come in and other go out of flavor. Too many people bought too many things as investments during this time period. None of them really panned out.
Let have fun.
Location: NW Pennsylvania
I wouldn't say that interest in Code 3 is dying. In fact, I think prices have generally climbed on ebay. Maybe it's just the way I'm reading the data. I think they should have changed their name the Code-FDNY after 9-11, at least that would have been honest.
I don't know anything about Dunkel, and I couldn't care less about Scott or Arnie. Personally, I haven't purchased a new Code 3 release in over seven years, and I sold off a bunch of MID examples that I had purchased cheap for parts. Three or four years ago, ebay was inundated with cheap Code 3's. Not anymore.
Even some of the traditionally less desireable pieces (as in kitbash fodder), like the Patriot series and the Chief series are listed with pretty high prices. I went looking for a couple of pieces just to strip for components, but I'm unwilling to pay the prices that are being asked.
When Code 3 goes under, as I believe that they will on their current course, then prices will eventually climb even higher.
Thanks Steve & Jeff for your insights into what's going on in the world of collecting. Your replies are always appreciated and informative. My collecting days are drawing to an end. I sold my last 20 Code3's
and donated another 20 models and kitbashes to a local fire museum , only a few "relics" - like myself - left.
Sold alot over the years to people on this site and thank all of you for your support. I'll still check in here every day !
Location: Southeast Mich.