Locos,run them or not

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Locos,run them or not

Postby mjb1961 » Mon May 12, 2014 8:45 pm

I know a guy who has a collection of over 300 locos ,he says he has never run them ,he also has 3 digital train sets never been opened and still in there wrappers,plus others ,I can understand the retaining there value side of things but he is approaching 67 years of age and I can't see him selling it all to reap the benefits of never run them ,what do you think ,me I have a collection of only 40 locos /train packs and admittedly don't know which train to run and can say that about 6 of them have only been test run after fitting them with a decoder but I haven't bought any of them with the intention of never removing them from the box ,. Mjb

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Re: Locos,run them or not

Postby flying scotsman123 » Mon May 12, 2014 9:03 pm

I never buy anything I don't intend to use, waste of money in my opinion. I think anyone who calls them self a modeller runs trains, you can't claim to be a railway modeller and not have trains out fo the box in my opinion, that's not modelling.
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Re: Locos,run them or not

Postby 6C » Mon May 12, 2014 9:06 pm

Madness.... no point in keeping them 'for my pension' - if there is a danger of you pegging-it - before you 'monetise' the collection (yes apparently that is a real world - for turning your assets into cash).

Also once you have have opened it - some so-called 'collectors' will not touch it - even if you did not take it out of the packaging...

There is another word for this behaviour - Hoarding....

My mother has numerous savings accounts holding very little cash - with no intention of doing anything with them - probably doing it just to annoy the executors of her will - or give avaricious solicitors a fat wedge for dealing with the mess...

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Re: Locos,run them or not

Postby Bufferstop » Mon May 12, 2014 10:26 pm

The most expensive least run items I have are a set of four Hornby Pullmans that I've had for about ten years. I ran them on my previous layout for about three years. I haven't run them on my present layout, I've yet to devise a way of supporting a long enough cassette to roll them in. Still have the boxes they are currently behind glass, but they'll run again one day.
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Re: Locos,run them or not

Postby Phipps » Mon May 12, 2014 10:42 pm

I'm with everyone else about buying them to use.
Why else would you be so obsessive about opening the boxes etc, unless you were borderline Asperger's.
I look after a lad with the condition who is so particular with keeping things to the point of hoarding.
He keeps art equipment in huge cupboards but never uses it.
Sad to think out there is a Great Gathering set that will never turn a wheel

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Re: Locos,run them or not

Postby Bigmet » Mon May 12, 2014 11:12 pm

mjb1961 wrote:...the retaining their value side of things ...

Retaining value for future collector interest? Very chancy. You have to consistently pick the items which win on popularity and if possible are likely to become rarities, and then hope that are enough collectors in the future to bid the price up when sold.

I really don't think much in model railway productions is likely to have a large market at 40 years and onwards after initial production, which is when collector prices for the rarities tends to really rise. It's the unbelievably popular items of today, which many millions want, that will be the hot collector items in that future. Whatever it is that today's kids really like, which gets ripped out of the box and then literally used until it disintegrates: that's the valuable collectable of the future when those kids have grown up, got some cash to splash and are feeling nostalgic about their youth. Think about it, tens or even a hundred million made and sold, and almost all of them trashed by their happy young owners. It only needs I in 10,000 of those former owners to have that nostalgia, for there to be a big collector group chasing after the very few carefully stored items still in their original packaging, unopened.

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Re: Locos,run them or not

Postby Alexander Court » Mon May 12, 2014 11:15 pm

Whats the point in buying something that was designed to be run and give hours of enjoyment, and storing it away and never running them, and then them being valued at a price that only people who will also not run them can afford?

Ok, I get the appeal of collecting stuff, I'm probably boarderline aspergers with the way i hoard the most pointless tat, but these things were made to whizz around front rooms, bedrooms, garages and gardens, not sit in a box that has to be kept in the shade to avoid boxfading.

I really love the older stuff, triang and such, but alot of the nice bits are collectors items now as well which makes them hard to get, I have a friend who is modelling Dublo now too, 3 rail, I'd love to have a 3 rail set, I wonder how many pristine three rail sets there are out there in the uk and elsewhere stashed away in cobwebbed cupboard collections?


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Re: Locos,run them or not

Postby ParkeNd » Mon May 12, 2014 11:29 pm

Believe it or not this is a difficult subject to discuss objectively if the people who do it join in. It's defended to the hilt and much as I too feel that it's an obsession we won't win the day. With pre-war German O gauge stuff I can see the point, but to own the entire current Farish and Dapol range (I run N gauge) and to have every announced model on pre-order to languish in its boxes is, in my view, just some sort of compulsive behaviour.

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Re: Locos,run them or not

Postby Bufferstop » Mon May 12, 2014 11:54 pm

The last time I was in what used to be my local model shop the owner was talking to someone about values of recent products. He claimed to have some Lego Millennium Falcon kits stashed away that he'd bought for himself, that were now going at twice the price. The place was put into liquidation five days later! The collectors had stopped buying, I reckon it was only me and a few others popping in for a tin of paint or a bit of brass strip that was keeping him afloat.
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Re: Locos,run them or not

Postby Peterm » Tue May 13, 2014 12:17 am

Each to his own, but I can't see the point. This hobby seems to me to be becoming a niche pastime. How can you expect to turn a profit when less, not more people are railway modelling ? I can think of better, surer ways to make money.

Is "surer" a word ?

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Re: Locos,run them or not

Postby Boxcar Willie » Tue May 13, 2014 1:06 am

I've no time at all for this nonsense of buying stuff and keeping it stashed away "as an investment". I'm sure there are plenty who'll agree with James May when he bought at auction (with BBC money of course) a Hornby train set from the 70s and cheerfully told the lady at the desk to throw the box in the bin. I, happily, am one of those who agree. So far I've gotten two Lima 47s, stripped them down and rebuilt and repainted them and have had mighty fun doing it. Likewise a Class 37 which I gutted and repainted along with adding detailing etc. I even got a couple of bogies for it from a member here - the motor was a little iffy and I had mighty fun getting that up and running as well.

Then there's the late 50s / early 60s Triang 8F which I opened up to replace the magnet with a neomolybdendumdumdedum one or whatever they're called. It's huge fun watching that galloping around the club's test track whilst the rest of the members lay bets on how far it'll run before catching fire and plunging half the town into darkness for a month as it does so. Then there are the perfectly acceptable LMS Jintys that I converted for shunting coal around the Belfast docks, the "highly collectable" brake vans that I chopped up to make one CIE one...I have yet to find a €4 e-Bay purchase that I should have left alone as they only made 100 and the other 99 are hidden in some halfwit's attic while their owner starves to death waiting for them to appreciate.

Buy 'em, run 'em until they fall to bits and then - best of all - fix 'em so that they'll run for another few years beyond their normal life - that's the best way to get value for money. :)

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Re: Locos,run them or not

Postby GWR_fan » Tue May 13, 2014 2:12 am

I have collected LGB German garden railway trains for many years. Many items were purchased new but I also purchased mint/unused items over the years. For me the pleasure of 'collecting' is ownership. I simply like to know that I own the trains and that they are my possession. Over the past several years I have been gradually disposing of them and even though LGB are highly regarded, there is simply no collector resale value. Mint/unused items only attract interest when they are cheap and I mean really cheap. Buyers want a BARGAIN. Even extremely rare items attract little response. Basically, I am getting about one-quarter of what I paid years ago in old money, not accounting for inflation. However, sitting on a dark shelf stored away they have no real value. It is only when sold that monetary value exists.

I know of people who populate an entire wall with LGB trains on show. Mine are always stored away in original boxes out of sight. As regards collecting 'OO' trains, well apart from a very few real collector models that are known to attract attention, storing them in glass cases does I assume incur some delight for the collector. For most though trains are purchased to use. However, most buy many more than they are able to actually use and thus there is probably a little bit of collector in all of us.


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Re: Locos,run them or not

Postby Bigglesof266 » Tue May 13, 2014 2:45 am

As usual, hit the nail right on the head re future valuable collectables Bigmet.

That said, whilst I don't, if someone wants to collect, it's their money and prerogative, and what's wrong with that if it give them pleasure? If it's not about money, then the same applies re the 'they'll never see it realised justification' as to the practice it being an inanity. They just see things from a different perspective, which has become unoriginally vogue to ridicule thanks to James May. A paradox if you think about his own quirks (polite form).

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Re: Locos,run them or not

Postby garth45 » Tue May 13, 2014 8:40 am

A previous poster hit the nail on the head. There isn't enough new blood coming into this hobby to sustain the model rail market. Therefore to justify the quantities that need to be sold another market is probably needed ie that of the collector . I was talking to the guy who owns the model shop new to were my mother lives on Saturday and we were talking about the very same thing. The guy he served just before me is a collector and has around nearly 300 locos probably far more than I will ever need. Its guys like these are helping the likes of Bachmann and Hornby in producing new models as they help with the market demand.

I can understand the joy of collecting as a lot of it is tracking that desired loco and going to Swap Meets etc. I may be wrong but I think it was the collectors market that kept Lima going and probably stopped them improving the mechanisms that there models had when I was last in the hobby.

So yes each to their own and I have to accept that other people enjoy the hobby in different ways to mine.

What we really need is a new way to get new blood into the hobby as that to me is the crux of the problem and not the collector but that's probably a topic for another debate. :)

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Re: Locos,run them or not

Postby Bufferstop » Tue May 13, 2014 9:42 am

What I find puzzling is that the collectors are buying scale models compromised to allow them to run. If you were only going to leave them in the box, or shut them behind glass, you could leave out the nasty intrusive electric motor, and slim the wheels down to scale proportions, there would be no problem with light under the boiler! I think we just have to accept that it's each to his own and be grateful that the big boys still want to produce the models for us. Those who model the more rarefied prototypes, like b308's eastern European narrow gauge, have to rely heavily on "cottage industry" producers for kits and parts, but they do produce good layouts.

Keep buying them whilst Hornby, Bachmann et al can make a profit out of making and selling them!
John W
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