Hornby in the news today

Discuss model railway topics and news that do not fit into other sections.
GWR_fan
Posts: 4746
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:57 pm
Location: Antipodes

Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby GWR_fan » Thu May 17, 2018 9:14 am

Bigmet,
I have two Bachmann models and the temptation level to update is a big fat zero. Only the latest, greatest and more expensive crowd will be tempted in the main.

There are numerous models that I will not purchase for various reported defects or running issues like brass wheelsets on various Heljan models. As a fan of the GWR I would have liked a trio of the 42XX/52XX and 72XX family, but was not willing to get a design clever model and even apparently some of the later release model numbers still had square axle cutouts in the production run so I decided not to tempt fate.

User avatar
D605Eagle
Posts: 2425
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:58 am
Location: Staffordshire
Contact:

Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby D605Eagle » Thu May 17, 2018 11:29 am

My 72xx has not worn well in the chassis department. Its got very sloppy axles now. However it still runs okay except its starting to crab ever so slightly around curves. From what I've heard, the later ones with proper axle bearings do run loads better though.

Bigmet
Posts: 6078
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby Bigmet » Thu May 17, 2018 1:18 pm

GWR_fan wrote:...There are numerous models that I will not purchase for various reported defects or running issues like brass wheelsets on various Heljan models...

With Heljan I got so lucky. Didn't buy their 'Tubby Duff' because for all the good features of the drive line in particular, it just didn't look right, the overwidth problem. (I have long had a fixed objection to models that clearly don't look like the prototype as 'not a model'; and unless a simple fix is clearly possible and within my skillset, I just don't buy.)

Then I had to wait for a decade before they finally got around to subjects that suited my modelling interest. By that time they had moved to nickel-silver wheelsets, and they are all good renditions too; 15, 16, 23, 26/0.

Of all the OO I own, the crankiest locos by far to date have proven to be the Hornby Stanier 8Fs. There are inaccuracies to fix, the poor electrical arrangements and both inaccurate and unreliable pony truck have to be altered, the motor mount is weak (same underlying design error as the T9) and has needed upgrading, they are short of traction and difficult to get anywhere near heavy enough; and the most serious visible defect requires a complete new drive line.

Yet complaints on line are negligible! Bachmann and Oxford got a pasting for visible intrusions of gearboxes or motor mounts in the under boiler space. The 8F has five scale feet of solid gearbox casing where there should be airspace (I think you would have to sum the equivalent intrusions of at least two Bach or Oxford models to equal it) and then to top it off in clear view there is a large spinning gear shaft end visible both sides in the middle of it. Hornby couldn't be bothered even to line it up with the sandbox fillers which would have concealed that aspect at least. But this is all apparently of no concern. In the model's defence it does capture the overall look of Sir William's very competent design...

GWR_fan
Posts: 4746
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:57 pm
Location: Antipodes

Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby GWR_fan » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:40 am

I continue to be amazed at the production output of Hattons. They quietly go about production keeping out of the news, unlike Hornby and its woes. Hattons do have several advantages not open to Hornby.

Firstly, they are able to produce popular items and are not bound by a heritage of legacy releases that have burdened Hornby production for a generation or more.

Secondly, they are not required to produce trainset related items like track and cheap heritage production to attract newcomers to the hobby.

Thirdly, it would seem that they are not burdened by the need for an accessible cash flow to continue production.

I do though see a disadvantage to the Hattons model. They are producing items directed towards those already established in the hobby and generally those with readily disposable cash. The model does not attract newcomers to the hobby and relies on the patronage of established modellers. Could we see the day when the production model actually runs out of customers or will the iconic Hornby brand be needed in the market to attract people to the hobby?

What does amaze me is the confidence that Hattons have in the market. They not only release a new model, but multiple liveries simultaneously. The Hornby model is to drip feed the market over several years. Hattons individual production numbers are not released inline with the Hornby philosophy, so it is not known the outcome of simultaneous releases that go unsold and sit on shelves until sold. That said, the models chosen by Hattons do seem to guarantee a ready market to absorb the production. The store obviously sees a rock solid future for the hobby and must be applauded for releasing those items, both standalone and commissioned, that the "major" manufacturers are avoiding.

Will Christine one day be the new CEO of Hornby?

User avatar
alex3410
Posts: 3246
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:39 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby alex3410 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:38 am

It’s an interesting point but once Hattons production beds in there is no reason why they can’t parter with say Peco to make use of their track to create train sets in the future without having to produce their own track.


The confidence Hattons had with the number of livery’s the P class had is impressive but I can see Hornbys method as well.

I have for example got one of the SECR versions & love it, would really like the 2nd version & the bluebell one as well but funds won’t allow - I just hope they still have them in stock long enough that I can still get another.

With hornby having breaks between the versions it at least gives some time to save up the funds :lol:

Hattons could have easily split the production into two batches & still have been just as impressive!

User avatar
Mountain
Posts: 2486
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby Mountain » Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:41 pm

Bigmet wrote:
GWR_fan wrote:...There are numerous models that I will not purchase for various reported defects or running issues like brass wheelsets on various Heljan models...

With Heljan I got so lucky. Didn't buy their 'Tubby Duff' because for all the good features of the drive line in particular, it just didn't look right, the overwidth problem. (I have long had a fixed objection to models that clearly don't look like the prototype as 'not a model'; and unless a simple fix is clearly possible and within my skillset, I just don't buy.)


You mention over width models. I never forget wanting a Joeuf class 40 when they first came out. They were having very impressive reviews at the time. Well, it took me well over 25 years before I finally saw one inna shop and bought one. I didnt spend much time looking at it in the shop as I was in a hurry as I had a train to work so I couldn't linger. I saw the make and knew it was a class 40 and it was a reasonable price.
When I got the model home it looked a nice sturdy model with impressive metal wheels etc, but it looked somewhat squat! Rarely having ever seen a class 40 (They didn't come down my way), I started to compare with other models. It looked like someone had sat on it and flattened it! I later had a Lima class 40 which really showed up the squat and fatn look of the Jouef model.
Thought then were along the lines of "What were all those good reviews all on about when they first came into production. Who in their right minds wrote them?" I pulled out some model railway magazines of the period and found the reviews. They were written by Jouef to advertise their new product. I should have known! (Fair play in one respect though, if one ignores its very wide and squat appearance, the wheels and mechanical bits of the model are nice sturdily built and should last years to come. Its just the weird looks the model has! Heljans class 47 looks like its been on a diet if a Jouef class 40 draws alongside!)
See below ↓

GWR_fan
Posts: 4746
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:57 pm
Location: Antipodes

Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby GWR_fan » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:39 pm

Mountain wrote:.................... "What were all those good reviews all on about when they first came into production. Who in their right minds wrote them?" I pulled out some model railway magazines of the period and found the reviews. They were written by Jouef to advertise their new product. I should have known! .........


It is quite common downunder for companies now to place advertorials in newspapers and on television. For all intents it actually looks like an actual review of a product whereas it is just product manufacturers paying the newspaper or television station to talk up their product. To me this is a deceitful method as there is no disclaimer as to the true source of the review opinion expressed.

User avatar
Mountain
Posts: 2486
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby Mountain » Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:22 pm

The common deceptions here in TV advertising is "As recommended by" a certain magazine. When you look up the magazine you find the owners who own the magazine also own the company making the product.
Another big con along similar lines is a company who seems to have a very trustworthy reputation so if the product gets good reviews by this company one assumes the product is a good one. However, in reality if one pays a certain price, ones product reaches first place, and if one pays a little less it is second and so on. The written up review may be based on the products, but the results are based on who pays rather then which product is better. One company along these lines offers potential customers free literature explaining things about the products, but where all seems good on the surface, underneath the surface is a money making enterprise.
We also get companies who act as credit reference agencies which are there to simply make money and have a very illogical view on how they work their figures out until you realize how the money is made and how they dont want people to have high figures who can manage their affairs as they dont make much money out of them!
See below ↓

Bigmet
Posts: 6078
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby Bigmet » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:13 am

GWR_fan wrote:...What does amaze me is the confidence that Hattons have in the market. They not only release a new model, but multiple liveries simultaneously...

... the models chosen by Hattons do seem to guarantee a ready market to absorb the production...

Taking up these two points, what these tell me is that Hattons know their market better than any of the RTR manufacturers. In short, the data they have spans all RTR manufacturers, and they can see who buys what, and in what quantity; and crucially they can relate expressed 'wants' from their customers, to what that customer spends.

That class 66 announcement could well be the result of Hattons knowing they have perhaps 500 regular customers out there, who will buy models of any good quality significant modern traction class in just about every livery offered. And since none of the established manufacturers will turn out the required models to 'harvest' that opportunity while it is available, Hattons will produce it for themselves.

That's a lot different to Hornby's practise, with a 'tail' of legacy items which have to be produced to keep all the elements of their customer base happy(ish).

I don't see Hattons ever developing an OO train set of their own. What they might do if the train set demand is still there and unfulfilled is offer a flexible package system, choose from any of these track layouts, loco(s), vehicles, controllers, accessories; and you get a price discount and it comes in a good quality pasteboard box with bespoke printed labelling specific to what's inside. So you could have a Great Eastern starter set of Peco flexitrack with a Hornby B17, Oxford N7, Bachmann J39, Heljan O2, a selection of Hornby and Bachmann Gresley and Thompson gangwayed and non-gangwayed coaches, 'everybody's' wagons, a four channel Gaugemaster controller, and someone's resin cast buildings representing March. Maybe, maybe not: I suggest they will do whatever there are enough customers for.
Last edited by Bigmet on Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
End2end
Posts: 3598
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:58 pm
Location: At the end....... and sometimes at the other end

Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby End2end » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:20 am

Bigmet wrote:Taking up these two points, what these tell me is that Hattons know their market better than any of the RTR manufacturers. In short, the data they have spans all RTR manufacturers, and they can see who buys what, and in what quantity; and crucially they can relate expressed 'wants' from their customers, to what that customer spends.


I see this as a great positive for modellers. :)
As for the reviewing side of things, I always try to find a USER review on any product rather than a spuriously sponsered one. Modelling or other products.
Thanks
End2end
"St Blazey's" - The progress and predicaments.
Welcome‎
Planning
Building
St. Blazey's Works & Depot thread

Bigmet
Posts: 6078
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby Bigmet » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:53 am

End2end wrote:As for the reviewing side of things, I always try to find a USER review on any product rather than a spuriously sponsered one...

And hasn't it made a difference in model railway, having the internet available to allow owners to tell it as it is? Unlike truly mass produced goods such as cars, televisions and all the rest, where there was a diverse press providing a decent amount of information and it wasn't too difficult to get demonstrations and find owners to talk to, minority interests like model railway typically suffered from restricted coverage and decided biases.

The bias in model railway publications that reviewed RTR was smiley, smiley, everything is pretty wonderful (in my perception, others may see it differently) and they had the second disadvantage of being unable to properly assess longer term 'in service' performance of a good sample of the models on layouts representative of what was really out there, and quite possibly with Johnny Ninethumbs and Pete Hamhander unboxing and operating.

User avatar
End2end
Posts: 3598
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:58 pm
Location: At the end....... and sometimes at the other end

Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby End2end » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:02 am

Bigmet wrote:And hasn't it made a difference in model railway, having the internet available to allow owners to tell it as it is?

1000% definatly, yes. Especially for others like me that don't have a clue and only go on what we like the look of.
I have seen, wanted and then decided against purchases due to user reviews and comments. A Wickham trolley for one.
Thanks
End2end
"St Blazey's" - The progress and predicaments.
Welcome‎
Planning
Building
St. Blazey's Works & Depot thread

User avatar
D605Eagle
Posts: 2425
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:58 am
Location: Staffordshire
Contact:

Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby D605Eagle » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:44 am

Hornby management don't seem to be able to cotton to a good thing when they see it. Take the Peckett for example. Despite the fact that they didn't have anything other than an illustration in the magazine plus mail shots model shops, it sold out almost instantaneously. As it turned out its one of Hornby's finest models. When it was produced within weeks the models were selling for far more than their RRP on ebay. Anybody who has more then 2 brain cells to rub together can see that it was a good thing to be milked to death. But no! Its now 20 months later and Hornby have still yet to make any others. In the mean time Hattons have come along and seen the potential market in every livery you can think of and sold bucket loads of the similar Barclay. Now Dapol have the B4 too so more competition. Hardly surprising that Hornby are in the doo doo.......

Bigmet
Posts: 6078
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby Bigmet » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:17 pm

But give Hornby some credit for being able to see that too. So why haven't they acted? It is quite possible that the necessary production slots that they have available are all allocated to more profitable product. Popular is good to have, profit is essential. The Peckett will still be popular when we can fit in another run, after raking in a ton of loot on the Stanleid Streamsmoothed Spamantions (with no threat of any competition in that sector either).

That would be my thought for the day on a charitable interpretation of this event.

GWR_fan
Posts: 4746
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:57 pm
Location: Antipodes

Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby GWR_fan » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:54 pm

Hattons seem to get items to the market quickly. Perhaps Hornby could commission Hattons to do a production run of the Peckett, but then the $64,000 question - who owns the Peckett tooling?


Return to “General Model Railway Discussion / News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests