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  #16   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 03-25-2006, 10:43 AM
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Re: An excellent discussion on #firstrobotics regarding Vex and the future of the US

If I'm not mistaken the original deal with RS was a two year commitment. I think that RS is just moving stock out of stores with no Vex sales, and moving it to stores with Vex sales. I went into two of my local stores and as fast as I bought out product, it was restocked. I think the idea of a Vex pullout is very premature. RS as an entire organization is having financial trouble. So product realignment is to be expected.

This big Vex sale is a perfect time to buy your Vex stuff. Based on the traffic here on CD, RS should start taking notice of Vex soon. There are quite a few large purchases going on. If you think Vex is selling slow, stop and think, when's the last time you personally saw a LEGO Mindstorm purchase at a retail store?

Thought so.

RS may be considering moving much of the sales to online and educational divisions, and only stocking it in high volume stores.

And... If you haven't checked out the new ROBOT Magazine here. The first two issues had several articles on Vex. Much more than other hobbyist robot systems. If RS does drop their exclusive contract with Vex I'm sure another vendor with gladly pick up the product line.

Just my 1.9999 cents worth.
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Unread 03-25-2006, 11:51 AM
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Re: An excellent discussion on #firstrobotics regarding Vex and the future of the US

I have to say that that chat is one of the best things I've read in quite a while. From what I see, RS dropping Vex isn't the major problem it's merely indicative of bigger problems.
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Unread 03-25-2006, 01:14 PM
Stuey83 Stuey83 is offline
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Re: An excellent discussion on #firstrobotics regarding Vex and the future of the US

The thing is, people are getting all kinds of conflicted messages from RS employees so it's really hard to analyze what may be going on behind the scenes.

All I know is that I was told that the vex components have periodically been on sale and that isn't the first time. Secondly, I know that the system was too expensive for me to get into before, as a sole hobbyst. I saw the sale on RS.com and then most of the components were sold out and the sale appeared to be goine. I panicked and my puchase decision was expedited. I spent $330 on vex components and then 2 days later bought another $140 of components. If enough people acted so hastily and rashly (which according to the RS vex sale thread), then RS is sure to notice.

This may revitalize the product line, but it may not be enough. Personally, I think that the magazine exposure (they're been in several magazine reviews) is simply not enough as too many adult hobbyists see it as a toy. I believe that two and a half things are necessary for the Vex system to further penetrate the market. First of all, they need to *actively* promote the product line. Second of all, I recognize that the system has great potential in other markets (computer modding for example). Better promoting can lead to greater market diversity. On sale, the vex components are cheap and easy to implement into a computer mod. Now, a half point - vex's main website is a joke. There can be great potential there, but alas it's childish in appearance and near-useless in function. Perhaps they could include a "how to build this model" section. On vexlabs's site, they have several robot examples. The "tomahawk" looks fantastic and it would be nice if they could include instructions as to how to construct it.
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Unread 03-25-2006, 05:56 PM
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Re: An excellent discussion on #firstrobotics regarding Vex and the future of the US

Stop.
Breathe.
Relax.
QUIT STATING STUFF THAT YOU DON'T KNOW TO BE TRUE.

fact: VEX product was moved out of some stores, back to Texas, due to lack of sales.

fact: People working behind the counter at RS stores don't necessarily know the resons why they were asked to move product back to Texas.

Corporate decisions get made every day. This could mean many things other than discontinuation. As part of FVC Game Design, I still field emails from FRC mentors and FVC teams on a regular basis about the program. A good friend of mine and FRC Mentor walked into an RS store last week and purchased nearly $500 worth of VEX goodies. Does any of this mean I have "insider knowledge"??? NO. I'm simply reporting what I know to be fact. I leave speculation up to those with nothing better to do with their time.

If there is anything to learn from Radio Shack, we will all learn it together from official sources. Speculation and worry are needless at this point.
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Last edited by Rich Kressly : 03-25-2006 at 05:59 PM.
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