Has the torrent of new RTR OO suppliers halted?

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Bigmet
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Has the torrent of new RTR OO suppliers halted?

Postby Bigmet » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:29 am

It's over a year since the most recent emerged (I think that would be KR Models with the proposal for a GT3) no one else rushing forward to throw their hat into the ring? Perhaps the realisation that with more than a dozen such, ranging from 'manufacturers' to shop and magazine based 'commissioners', it's all becoming a little crowded; especially as the more established manufacturers are flexing their muscles a little. Most notably Hornby, but Heljan have quite recently acted on some key diesel classes, and that probably won't be the last of it...

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Re: Has the torrent of new RTR OO suppliers halted?

Postby b308 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:10 pm

Perhaps they've found out that it's not the money spinner they expected it to be...

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Re: Has the torrent of new RTR OO suppliers halted?

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:48 pm

I think that most of the commissioners understand the numbers ok. Rather they are responding to suggestions for "gap fillers" If you are running a shop that trades mainly on the same stuff as everyone else, an exclusive raises your profile which can't be a bad thing, (as long as you don't produce a lemon. Duplicating a model that one of the big boys has produced is a bit risky as one retailer has discovered but then If you see yourself as a big boy then you ought to be prepared for a bit of ankle biting and accept it as part of life.
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Lysander
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Re: Has the torrent of new RTR OO suppliers halted?

Postby Lysander » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:38 pm

It's also a very expensive business and there won't be that many who would wish - or can afford - to take the business risk. The models which Kernow, for eg, have been releasing are a world away from commissioning Dapol to produce a limited edition private owner wagon for you.

So, there aren't probably that many left out there who will undertake this brave stuff anyway.

And as Bufferstop noted, 'gap fillers' are the traditional fodder for this sort of production - they remain but must diminishing in terms of saleable numbers? I read somewhere that someone is doing the Fell loco. Now that is brave. Fascinating though it certainly was, just how many of those would sell?

I suppose what may change though might be the methods of production for smaller volume productions. Improvements in resin casting and 3D printing obviate the need for expensive tool making. Perhaps the smaller suppliers would go down that route?

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Bigmet
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Re: Has the torrent of new RTR OO suppliers halted?

Postby Bigmet » Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:28 am

Bufferstop wrote:I think that most of the commissioners understand the numbers ok. Rather they are responding to suggestions for "gap fillers" If you are running a shop that trades mainly on the same stuff as everyone else, an exclusive raises your profile which can't be a bad thing, (as long as you don't produce a lemon)...

Lysander wrote:...The models which Kernow, for eg, have been releasing are a world away from commissioning Dapol to produce a limited edition private owner wagon for you... as Bufferstop noted, 'gap fillers' are the traditional fodder for this sort of production - they remain but must be diminishing in terms of saleable numbers?...


That's been well done by some. In particular if Chris Trerice of Kernow were to spot and produce a 'gap filler' that suited what I model, he would get a purchase from me without hesitation, such has been the quality evident in his recent productions, wholly managed by his operation.

But I believe the primary motivation for at least a couple of the large retailers was insufficient supply from the regular RTR manufacturers to maintain their required trading volume, and this was said explicitly by at least one of the shop principals in the 'Troubles at Hornby' TV programme. The gap they are filling is primarily vacant retail shelf space; which is a reasonable response to lack of supply.

Lysander wrote:...I suppose what may change though might be the methods of production for smaller volume productions. Improvements in resin casting and 3D printing obviate the need for expensive tool making. Perhaps the smaller suppliers would go down that route?

There's obvious potential in these techniques, but none of them appear to be of 'killer' performance yet. There's a chance that these might yet be leapfrogged by something yet better. And of course one of the longer established small operations, OO Works, is still on earlier such methods in the form of white metal casting.

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Re: Has the torrent of new RTR OO suppliers halted?

Postby End2end » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:11 pm

Lysander wrote:I suppose what may change though might be the methods of production for smaller volume productions. Improvements in resin casting and 3D printing obviate the need for expensive tool making. Perhaps the smaller suppliers would go down that route?
Tony

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Bigmet
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Re: Has the torrent of new RTR OO suppliers halted?

Postby Bigmet » Wed May 20, 2020 10:06 am

Bufferstop wrote:... Duplicating a model that one of the big boys has produced is a bit risky as one retailer has discovered but then If you see yourself as a big boy then you ought to be prepared for a bit of ankle biting and accept it as part of life.

Clearly enough 'Son of Hedley' has the required true grit! His Terrier is finally showing its form. Next three are gap fillers. Two very pretty oldies in the form of the CR 812 0-6-0 , and the Wainwright D class 4-4-0 in conjunction with the NRM; and now most ambitious yet, he's dangling the prospect of 'The Badger' to assess whether to go for that. (It's the steamers for me if they turn out well, not applicable to what I model but so lovely, and very successful in service.)

Lysander wrote:...So, there aren't probably that many left out there who will undertake this brave stuff anyway...

Four large retailers currently active in the major releases stakes: Hattons, Kernow, Rails, TMC, (it seems to have gone very quiet at Olivias). The leader in bravery has to be Hattons, which business is still off Bachmann's approved retailer list over their class 66 introduction. Which will blink first? Is it significant that Hattons have yet to announce another follow on 'biggie' in OO traction? Will the Koreas come to terms before this dispute is resolved?

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Re: Has the torrent of new RTR OO suppliers halted?

Postby luckymucklebackit » Wed May 20, 2020 11:26 am

I would think that each of the players, large and small will be keeping their powder dry for the foreseeable future. Nearly all new releases fall into the category of high specification/high development and production cost/high price items, and if as is predicted we are heading for a recession of biblical proportions then nobody in their right mind will be wanting to launch a high risk luxury item into the market. Although I have a relatively "safe" job in this crisis, even I am being slightly affected with a temporary 5% wage cut and I am sure I will not be alone in avoiding placing any orders for £100 plus locomotives until this is over, "every penny is a prisoner" until I can be sure that we have a reasonable guarantee of long term stability and that I am afraid is a long way off.

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Bigmet
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Re: Has the torrent of new RTR OO suppliers halted?

Postby Bigmet » Thu May 21, 2020 9:38 am

luckymucklebackit wrote:... I am sure I will not be alone in avoiding placing any orders for £100 plus locomotives until this is over...

You and me both. (My pre-ordering days are done, and were restricted in any case to the NRM/Bachmann Protoype Deltic (which I knew would sell out) and the NRM/Rapido Stirling Single, because that was the way to cast a vote for the proper big GNR Stirling tender that I wanted. Both of these very difficult by DIY: the Deltic for the paint colour and 'detail decoration'; and the Stirling Single both concealed and effective mechanism and paint job.)

Economically, it's all guesswork, because the global economy is disrupted. We are going to see a tax hike, because there will be 'stuff to pay for' both at home and abroad. (The UN will have its hand out for all the less developed places and war zones that are going to take a further battering from Covid, and UKGov will do its duty there.) I can well see why Rails are asking for expressions of interest before piling into The Badger; but the inputs to that from individuals will have the keeping qualities of a banana in a warm room. A friend told me last week that all the new Hornby LNER 'big engines are 'sold out' on the retailer sites he looked at. My response was 'wait and see' because a number of those ordering will find they are significantly counting the pennies when the bill falls due.

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Mountain
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Re: Has the torrent of new RTR OO suppliers halted?

Postby Mountain » Thu May 21, 2020 10:37 am

While I will say that the situation is a little distanced from me because I either kit or scratchbuild, and I have a quite a few unmade kits on my draw waiting for me to build them (I need to have a mad kit building production line going!), I still rely on a supply of useful bits and pieces even if I am scratchbuilding. Things like motors, gears, wheels... The usual stuff. I am not really fussy about buying expensive equipment. As long as it works! (I won't say no to something good if is a reasonable price and I can afford it).
But I do realize that smaller and larger model railway manufacturers, suppliers and retailers are vunerable. The large ones are vunerable because they took on huge loans. The small ones are vunerable because the difference between profit and loss is small as they are not in a position to mass manufacture to reduce their costs. The suppliers and retailers rely on the manufacturers. Also, like it has been mentioned, that at the moment we have a mix between those who have budgets who are trying to quickly buy in the fear that the models they want may not be available again, and those who are struggling are trying to sell to keep their bills paid.
I have noticed that despite complaints from buyers looking for bargains, that even before the virus, that the secondhand market has never recovered to the levels that it once was. One used to be guaranteed 75% of the new retail price on a good well looked after model as long as one sold it privately. This all changed when the internet came around, but even then, the secondhand market would traditionally mirror new prices, so if the price of new doubled (It didn't jump so fast years ago), then the secondhand market used to also rize until it eventually doubled. The difference today is that new has been going up, sometimes alarmingly so, but secondhad has remained a steady low. (I know some are saying it is high, but the gap between new and used has never been greater).

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Re: Has the torrent of new RTR OO suppliers halted?

Postby Bigmet » Thu May 21, 2020 11:52 am

Mountain wrote:...I have noticed that despite complaints from buyers looking for bargains, that even before the virus, that the secondhand market has never recovered to the levels that it once was. One used to be guaranteed 75% of the new retail price on a good well looked after model as long as one sold it privately. This all changed when the internet came around, but even then, the secondhand market would traditionally mirror new prices, so if the price of new doubled (It didn't jump so fast years ago), then the secondhand market used to also rise until it eventually doubled...

That's partly the passage of time driving that. Remember the sort of prices the better H-D was fetching up to about twenty years ago? That market has collapsed as those who were young in the 1950s, and so dearly wanted it then, have greatly declined in number actively buying. Same has now happened to Wrenn, Triang, Mainline, Airfix GMR, Lima and Margate Hornby. (I am having a great time hoovering up the few desireable old pieces at what are at last reasonable prices.)

The other significant effect is the tidal wave of 'new and better than anything offered previously in mainsteam RTR OO', which has by now won over all but the most diehard fans of these past products. Much of the 'new and better' is also now readily available s/h, and that depresses prices for all but the hard to find items, whenever they were made.

Mountain wrote:...One used to be guaranteed 75% of the new retail price on a good well looked after model as long as one sold it privately. This all changed when the internet came around, but even then, the secondhand market would traditionally mirror new prices, so if the price of new doubled (It didn't jump so fast years ago), then the secondhand market used to also rise until it eventually doubled. The difference today is that new has been going up, sometimes alarmingly so, but secondhand has remained a steady low. (I know some are saying it is high, but the gap between new and used has never been greater).

You are ignoring at least one sector of the market there, where demand is so strong that s/h prices are equivalent to current new. If you have contemporary wagons to sell - this is mostly Bachmann's very much liked past productions of contemporary frieght and engineer's vehicles - they will sell at the estimated current new price, because all the signs are that they will not be available from that source again. Lovely choice of all the current freight traction in high grade models once Dapol's class 59 arrives, not very much arriving on retailer's shelves for it to haul! I have just sold two BRA's I got in mixed lots some years ago while acquiring a full set of HTA hoppers. Let's just say that those two wagons have now repaid over half what I spent assembling the HTA set.

There may well be other sectors I am less attuned to, where s/h prices are strong, due to low or nil availability of new product.

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Mountain
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Re: Has the torrent of new RTR OO suppliers halted?

Postby Mountain » Fri May 22, 2020 4:56 pm

Yes. Certain things (And to be honest, one can never tell what they will be) will go up in price due to an unexpected demand. For example, the recent shortages of Peco track. Who would have known that this scinario would have taken place!

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Re: Has the torrent of new RTR OO suppliers halted?

Postby Bigmet » Sat Aug 14, 2021 10:43 am

With 'Sonic' chucking their hat into the ring, new entrants in RTR OO has 'slowed' rather than halted. Expect another addition before the end of 2023?

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Re: Has the torrent of new RTR OO suppliers halted?

Postby Mountain » Sat Aug 14, 2021 8:37 pm

Bigmet wrote:
Mountain wrote:If you have contemporary wagons to sell - this is mostly Bachmann's very much liked past productions of contemporary frieght and engineer's vehicles - they will sell at the estimated current new price, because all the signs are that they will not be available from that source again.


I am not sure. Some do but I have had five Bachmann wagons virtually new in their boxes (As in they have hardly been touched from new) for sale on this site for a while now at no where near what their new prices would be today and they have not shifted. If I reduce the prices too much further I may as well keep them and use them myself for their wheels ans scrap the rest. One never knows what will sell and what will not.

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Re: Has the torrent of new RTR OO suppliers halted?

Postby Bigmet » Sat Aug 14, 2021 10:58 pm

The Bachmann wagons you are selling are steam era, and I think from the pre-Blue Riband range. Unfortunately for you it's the much more recent privatisation period bogie wagons that go for really good money.


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