I'm guilty when it comes to buying new Estes kits, but I am very selective about it. And I buy as many, if not more, from the "mom and pop" producers. There are certain designs that Estes can do more efficiently, and certain parts that they have the means to manufacture, ones that would be very difficult, expensive, or time consuming to mass produce here.
I doubt we'll have a huge impact boycotting Estes kits. We forum types and long time die hards are a fairly small faction in terms of their overall kit sales. Rather than GET the message, they might decide to drop the builder type kits altogether. Judging from the little bit I know about the Estes, they simply wouldn't care, and continue going the toy route. That's obviously where they make their money.
The motors are probably the other substantial money maker for them. Not only are they supplying motors for their toys, but they are also providing them for the rest of the hobby. There is virtually no competition there, other than Quest. Kit manufacturerers?... now that's another story. There's a ton of 'em, dime a dozen, and it they have always had some competition there. Want to hurt Estes?....Take a nice hunk out of their motor sales. They would have to move motor manufacturing to China in order to compete, and would take some serious planning on their part to do. Who knows, maybe they are already headed in that direction?
I know different regions vary, but motors move quickly in my local Walmart, and I ain't the only one buying them, that's for sure.
I can't wait to see Semroc offer some motors and hopefully, directly compete with Estes. It seems like a very risky proposition(not only physically, but monetarily), and will take careful planning and marketing, but it seems like a great direction to move towards. It was interesting how much input was given on kit bring backs when the Estes forum was up, and look how Estes answered. By giving us the Red Max and Interceptor? Not complaining, heck, they are great, classic kits, and I bought them too. But that stuff that can be easily cloned. The niche hobby market had already answered Estes' lack of interest in bringing back kits, that void was already filled by the likes of Semroc, BMS, Thrustline, PDR, Roachwerks, Tango, Excelsior, etc. While there was SOME motor discussion there, I don't think there was nearly enough. I'm just as guilty as anyone for taking the motors for granted, but that's what keeps this hobby moving upward. No propulsion, no rocketry!