Grand Prix Legends hit out at state of F1

Grand Prix Legends\' editorial hit out at the poor marketing of Formula 1

Grand Prix Legends' editorial hit out at the poor marketing of Formula 1

Anyone who’s shopped for F1 clothing, a model Formula 1 car or some other kind of memorabilia will likely have heard of Grand Prix Legends. Their adverts have been running on this site for some time.

Their new catalogue dropped through my letter box today and I was surprised to see they’d given over five pages to an editorial attacking the state of Formula 1.

You can read the full article below.

Grand Prix Legends had the following to say about the state of F1:

There’s little overtaking, little real racing and very few of the drivers ahve any personality to talk of.

The new breed of young photogenic drivers may think they have a ‘cool image’ but often they come across as little more than shop-window mannequins and, as such, fail to engage with the fans.

One day, F1 may regret ignoring its grass roots support.

I haven’t seen any mention of it on their site or the blog run by one of their team.

You can read the full article here (click to enlarge):

Grand Prix Legends editorial - page 1

Grand Prix Legends editorial - page 1

Grand Prix Legends editorial - page 1

Grand Prix Legends editorial - page 1

Grand Prix Legends editorial - page 3

Grand Prix Legends editorial - page 3

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38 comments on Grand Prix Legends hit out at state of F1

  1. F1Fan said on 22nd July 2008, 20:26

    I don’t agree. To me, it appears that GP Legends is seeing a decrease in their sales and is trying to correlate it to the state of F1. I think the truth is that people are just not inclined as much now to buy F1 replicas when gas is up over $4/gallon in the US and similarly high in the EU, and when commodity prices are sky-rocketing.

  2. Ratboy said on 22nd July 2008, 20:38

    A few years a go the 1:43 scale model price was £19.99 now this year they are £27.99 (The Mclarens are £29.99 because of there silver reflective paint!!) the fact that Minichamps have put the prices up wont help.

    I have also been told this by the model shop where I get my models from.

  3. Sush said on 22nd July 2008, 21:58

    lol keith, no not that one*, one with Shoemaker next to his Ferrari (not sure which model, i’m guessing F2004)… on a plinth.

    they also make a Button BAR04 model with the same hideous plinth and man model next to it.

    *but yeah, even more hideous.

  4. Robert McKay said on 22nd July 2008, 22:02

    They’ve made some good points, but for the wrong reasons.

    I think F1 definitely could do with improving in a few key areas. I don’t think you can do much about driver personalities though – pretty much every major sport with a lot of money involved sees the same bland banal competitors. There’s too much sponsorship money and PR to be a controversial figure. The real shame is that there’s not quite enough scope for the drivers to show their personality on the track. Forgetting the actual racing, with its very restrictive regulations, how about the frowns you get from the FIA for doing donuts after a victory! (It’s like banning a player for taking his shirt off in celebration after scoring a goal…oh wait, they already do that!) We’ve been over it a few times, but it’s always worth repeating: engagement with the fans, creating drama and excitement, putting on a show and selling bucketloads of merchandise is NASCAR’s forte….

    The flipside is is that this is clearly a company throwing its toys out of the pram because business is tricky. I guess credit crunches etc. are to blame to an extent, but maybe the problem lies with what they are trying to sell and their target demographic? I’ve no doubt diecasts are pretty cool, but it does seem to me a bit more of a hobby/collection item for the slightly older, pretty hardcore F1 fan. That’s not to denigrate or insult those that do collect them – I just imagine that, for a sport thats meant to be glamorous, fast, and extremely technological, an exacting replica of the aero package of Buttons third place finishing Honda (for example) is always going to be less than mainstream. It just seems a little bit F1 1970’s style to me, a bit anoraky, like collecting train numbers, a bit exclusive as well.

    Like I say – this isn’t an insult. I can’t talk, because I have some, and I like being anoraky about my sport. But I recognise that its gotten quite a niche market now. The official attempts to bring the merchanidising into this century haven’t worked – the videogames have been on hiatus, the clothes ridiculously overpriced. And who wants to pay 50 quid for a carbon fibre mouse mat? If you try to play on the “exclusive” aspect of F1 you’ll not sell things in large quantities, even if it is a defining part of your brand. Having said that, I walked into Tesco the other day, and there was a bunch of cheap and cheerful T-shirts with the official logo blazened across them, right at the front door, so maybe the message is getting across that F1 needs to get a bit more mainstream with its merchandise.

  5. Sassan said on 22nd July 2008, 22:24

    I wonder who’s in charge of the pricing on diecast models, is his name ecclestone by anychance. Well they are right watch the fia reviews that willantello sent on youtube they speak their mind and the quality of racing is topnotch and the f1 tracks are fast and the cost of f1 back then was low. The competition between drivers was intense. You had four drivers piquet/senna/mansell/prost and the rest who were No 2 drivers eg patrese and berger. Good rules for example no refuelling, no SC and not getting penalized for trying to overtake someone. Also no Hermann Tilke.

    F1 is more like a business now. Ecclestone doesn’t care about what track is built but the money that will go into his pocket. Another factor is the person who governs it does not have the dignity to step down after digusting aspects of his public life goes into public domain.

  6. Wesley said on 22nd July 2008, 23:36

    Try to find a F1 die cast model here in the States…damn near impossible.Can anyone suggest the best place to order them?

  7. michael counsell said on 23rd July 2008, 0:08

    If I went to an F1 race I’d probably wear the orange London Champ Car Trophy T shirt I got when it was on sale at the British Superbike qualifying my Dad managed to get a free hospitality box for. I’m not sure when else I’d need any Formula 1 merchandise unless it was some obscure thing that Grand Prix Legends don’t (or don’t want to) sell anymore.

    Whatever anyone else says F1 is the most popular form of motorsport. The cars are fast, complex and interesting (NASCAR and Indycar no longer are). The races are complex and unpredictable (i.e. not always wheel to wheel action but often they unwind in an unpredictable way (MotoGP races have no real strategy and are pure, but formulaic)

    Lets go back to the good old days where less than half the field finsished, 4 cars finished on the lead lap, the races weren’t televised and drivers actually died. Those youtube vidoes are highlights, just like you get from current races… From where I’m sitting I kind of like the way F1 is now.

  8. Brar said on 23rd July 2008, 5:02

    Here in Brazil someone nicknamed Felipe Massa as “Zacharias”, a late TV comedian like mexican Chavez.

    Kubitza have Nosferatu vampire look.

    And Lego had problems to survive against computers too.

  9. Sush said on 23rd July 2008, 8:34
    “you too could look like an advert!”

    robert Mackay, that mouse mat you speak of, i thought it was 250 pounds, not 50.
    and optical mice don’t work on it, too slick.

  10. I have found that as long as you don’t go for the blindingly obvious Minichamps Schuey collection, Senna collection or the newer issues in the McLaren collection, and don’t only go for Minichamps in particular, or the equally expensive Autoart and Spark, then you can find some decent models at a decent price – I saw the Kimi full Pit Stop set for £20.00 recently.
    I don’t just collect F1, but also Rally cars and GT cars, and have discovered that there are some models out there at Minichamps detail but half the price (and usually the cars and colours Minichamps never do).
    Yes, GPL is probably feeling the pinch of everybody spending less these days, but I would never buy a team shirt from the team or GPL anyway.

  11. The_Pope said on 23rd July 2008, 8:52

    Personally, I think this season has been awesome so far. Sure, we all know the state of the sport is far from perfect but I’m certainly happy.

    As for GPL’s moan, (politely) who cares about die-cast models? As we approach the second decade of the 21st century I suspect they’re suffering from the fact that kids these days have moved on – they play their PlayStations rather than with toy cars.

    Adults are likely too busy trying to pay their mortgage or petrol / food bills. Mattel et al appear to be responding to market demand – who is gonna buy a die-cast Force India car?? Maybe some of the die-hard collectors who have commented so far but without demand from the wider market, I can hardly blame the manufacturers for not bothering.

    Just my 2p

  12. Chalky said on 23rd July 2008, 9:28

    Minichamps used to sponsor Benneton back in the 90’s. I was surprised to see it when I watched one of the video reviews of the German GP. So back then, they must have made quite a bit out of the die-cast models.

    Now technology has moved on and F1 merchandise should do too. I’m going to keep an eye on Codemasters F1 game, but I’m just not convinced that it’ll make the grade considering the quality of “simulation” in their last driving games.

  13. Michael Counsell, you prefer Formula One as it is now, do you? Do you work in Logistics, by any chance? Because if you do, sitting down in front of the TV working out pit stop strategies and fuel loads must be heaven for you!

    I, on the other hand, want to watch fast cars going around tracks that do not resemble your local supermarket car park in layout. When one car gets near to another car, I want to see them overtake each other and fight for position. I don’t want to see them follow around in procession, waiting to gain an advantage during the pit stops. Currently it appears that the boys on the pit wall do all the drivers thinking for them! They even tell them how to handle the start by telling them where to place their car! It simply isn’t motor racing.

    It really annoys me when someone pipes up with the old chestnut of ‘everybody used to die, it was so unsafe’. We know this. However, I would argue that refuelling is ridiculously dangerous, just as much as many of the tracks that have been consigned to history.

    Times have moved on and we should be able to have fast, challenging tracks but with minimising the old dangers. Remember, drivers used to die because of hitting trees and walls on the side of the track, because of inadequate marshalling (Zandvoort ’73 springs to mind)or because the cars were not built with safety in mind.

    I also think the ‘good old days’ you are referring to is the 1986 season where fuel consumption was everything and lots of cars ran out of juice. We don’t have to go back to that either.

    If you want to watch very dull, very clever men working out their strategy, take up chess.

  14. michael counsell said on 23rd July 2008, 11:21

    If you don’t like F1 the way it is watch something else, there are literally hundreds of different racing series each with strong and weak points.

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