(long post)… I made up the spreadsheet and reviewed it pretty thoroughly. (If you want a copy, it’s in the “files” of the VEX World Coaches Association facebook page).
Here’s my decision-making criteria:
Virus has 8-12 robots (thus, a good supply of legacy parts), needs (wants) one or two of the new clawbot trainers (steel is OK for these) and two V5 backup kits (which are covered by the 50% trade-in’s we’ve already received). Additionally, a target is to have at least one of “everything” available to teams. Right now, we have “everything” except mecanum wheels and new V5 components (V5 claw, new spacer sizes, new nut retainers). Also, I don’t need to buy any more steel structure.
Since the V5 bundle provides no significant discount (only 4%), extra batteries, partner controllers, etc. will be purchased a-la-carte. Also, unlike the old bundles (Clawbot kit, booster kit, metal and hardware kit), these new bundles are well thought-out, without a lot of unneeded parts. Also, VEX never has a “sale” so these bundles are the only way to get 16-27% discounts on parts. So what is the best deal?
One more consideration: if you don’t need it, it’s not really a bargain. The analysis below goes beyond just the “percent off” statistic.
Starting with the competition Super Kit ($1500, $2050 of parts, 27% discount)
Super kit has no claw, so it can’t be used as a trainer. It has all usable parts, but some I buy elsewhere like ($5 less from McMaster), tools, and zip ties. Real savings is $471 in “free parts” after deducting the excess.
The Classroom Super Kit ($1200, $1622 of parts, 26% discount)
I am tempted by this kit because it has a set of mecanum wheels, and would give me one of my needed trainers. But there is stuff I don’t need (by being a well-established team): $105 steel structure, $11 tools, $57 legacy components, $65 other stuff I already have and don’t use much, like turntables, advanced gears, advanced mechanics. Real savings is $198 in “free parts” ($158 if you throw out the V5 claw) after deducting the excess.
The competition starter kit ($900, $1077 of parts, 16% discount)
All good stuff except $13 of tools and zip ties, assuming you want a V5 claw for the trainer. Real savings is $165 in “free parts” after deducting the excess ($145 if you throw away the V5 claw).
The classroom starter kit ($600, $733 of parts, 18% discount)
All good stuff except $30 of steel, tools, and zip ties, assuming you want a V5 claw for the trainer. Real savings is $104 in “free parts” after deducting the excess ($74 if you throw away the V5 claw)
For an established team, unless you want a V5 claw and/or a trainer, the Competition Super Kit is the best value.
If you are a small team, and really want the trainer to get going (or really want the claw), get the competition starter kit, then get competition super kits for each future team you add (you’ll still have the parts for your trainer that you can pull together as needed for new people)
The classroom kits are only a value if you are OK with steel robots for competition or if you’ll have a “permanent trainer workstation” like Team Virus does. I’ll probably get one classroom super kit, only because we’ll dedicate the steel to the trainer workstation. If I need a second trainer, I’ll get the classroom starter kit.
For future orders to meet team growth, I’ll decide between competition starter kit and competition super kit based on the desire (or need) for a V5 claw, which is the only unique part which I can’t really get outside of the trainer.