Sunday, April 07, 2019

Rebranded model making

In my proper job, I see a good few press releases, and most of the time they go straight in the bin. One recently caught my eye though, it starts

Nowadays, we are addicted to and dependent on electronic gadgets and smartphones, and we rarely build or fix anything with our own hands anymore, spending endless hours in the virtual world instead. 69% of parents and 78% of teens check their devices at least hourly. 72% of teens and parents feel the need to immediately respond to texts, social networking messages and other notifications. Making things with your own hands is not only fun but -- as research suggests -- great for decreasing stress, relieving anxiety and improving mental health. Virtual reality is no match for Time for Machine!

The idea that people are going to get sick of staring at a screen all day and search for something to do that doesn't involve a computer is one that's been rattling around my brain for a while. I think there is some science behind it, but sadly can't find it at the moment.

Basically, after driving a spreadsheet and looking stuff up on the web all day, do you really want to come home and do the same thing?

The world where you are "always on" results in what the BBC calls Millenial Burnout

I dream that people will rebel and discover the joys of working with their hands. In the predominately female-friendly craft world, this is already happening. Sales of card making stuff are up and the most profitable digital shopping channels (according to a friend who worked on them) are the most profitable.

Blokes are a harder sell. There's a macho image to deal with. Screaming at football is good. Sitting and building a model is nerdy. I don't think there is anyone involved with model making hobbies who doesn't think we have an image problem. Yes, the GMRC and other TV shows have helped, but we're a long way from being trendy. If you don't believe me, go and talk about your hobby at work or in a random pub. Feel uncomfortable? We all do.

The press release wasn't just sent for fun, it's plugging a series of 3D metal model kits called Time4Machine. Model making rebranded for the hipster generation.

Models are art rather than precise replicas. They arrive as frets of shiny metal in cool looking black cases. Some appear to include pliers, the only tool required for assembly.

After a few hours of building you have a clockwork executive toy. It should still be shiny and an attractive desk ornament you'll be happy for people to see. They will ask where it came from and the builder will proudly say, “I made that.”. Friends will look on in awe.

Job done.

As we all know once, you start making things, it become addictive. I don't care how people get started making things, I just want to them to get the same fun out of doing it I do. Then they will understand why people like me do what we do.


Graham Spicer said...

Ahhhh... Meccano...

neil whitehead said...

I have no problem with my railway modelling, leaving copies of MRJ about the place for visitors to see. It may be a generational thing - I'm 71 so couldn't care less what other people think!

Anonymous said...

Whilst it is doubted that there actually were riots over the eleven lost days when Britain changed from the Julian to the Gregorian Calendar in September 1752, this comes to mind given that Friday 5 April is missing from this worthy blog.

Christopher Payne

Phil Parker said...

Sorry about that. Post now restored - although too late to be of interest. See next week for the results.