Hornby in the news today

Discuss model railway topics and news that do not fit into other sections.
Puffingbill
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Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby Puffingbill » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:45 pm

All this talk about Bachmann makes me wonder why Bachmann USA are able to sell a Sound Value steam loco to Aussies for $150 Including postage, a friend of mine buys these dcc sound locos from Trainword USA but If I wanted to buy a dcc Branchline steam loco over here I would get very little change out of $300, yes the British market is smaller but the price difference is massive I have thought for years that British modellers pay to much for products but to me these days they have just about priced their models that only the rich people can afford them, its not that long ago that modellers were complaining about locos costing 100 quid now they seem to be on a fast track to break the 200 quid barrier.
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Bigmet
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Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby Bigmet » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:45 am

The UK is a much smaller market, so there's the smaller volume effect which leads to higher prices, and 'the other thing'. This other thing is great variety of subject matter with relatively few competitor businesses, so little duplication. In reality it has been Bachmann and Hornby slugging it out in the heavyweight division of RTR OO. There's a pile of competitors, and all of them very welcome, but very little range overlap and all but Heljan are relative newcomers with correspondingly small ranges.

It has been evident several times that for all but the most popular locos - and to date that means the LNER pacifics and the classes 08 and 47 - there really isn't enough sales volume to support two near equivalent good quality models at the price required. Where there are range overlaps, it is usually a basic and good model pair, not two of much the same standard. When they blunder into each other with near equivalent models (BR std 4 4-6-0, LMS twins, B1 4-6-0, class 37) you can see the effect on price, and on three out of four of those the competition has effectively ceased; and recently Hattons declined even to get started when their announced all new King was well beaten to market by Hornby's model. (Hattons not put off though, they are now going up against Bachmann on the class 66 promising a significantly improved model, which if achieved will take the 'premium' slot and relegate the Bachmann model.)

Bottom line for me is that we are at last getting decent RTR OO, which comfortably matches what previously had to be kit or scratch built by the enthusiast modeller. And it still costs less than what the DIY route did, so it's still 'good times'.

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D605Eagle
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Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby D605Eagle » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:03 pm

if you're wealthy.....

b308
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Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby b308 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:01 pm

Or not so greedy...

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D605Eagle
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Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby D605Eagle » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:07 am

b308 wrote:Or not so greedy...

Whats greed got to do with it? or are you just trying to be nasty?

b308
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Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby b308 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:11 am

Wanting too many locos, with full detail and all the bells and whistles, without having enough money to pay a realistic price for them which allows the Manufacturer to make enough profit to continue developing new models. You can interpret it as you wish.

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Mountain
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Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby Mountain » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:28 pm

I dont want too many bells and whistles if I'm looking for a budget model. But if the model retails at a bells and whistles price, I'd feel disappointed and robbed if I didnt get the bells and whistles!

My point is that the budget end isn't budget any more. True, there are the occasional bargain from old stock, but we can't base these on the general retail prices as once they are all sold out their replacements will not be selling at budget prices. If I pay £80 for an old version of a 00 gauge diesel made from old tooling, if it didnt have something special inside like a DCC sound decoder or all wheel drive chassis, or even a five pole motor, I would feel robbed. I'd never expect an old tooling loco with a three pole motor and single end drive with DC to sell for such high prices. I'd go secondhand and get an older but crisper moulded version with a better motor at half the price.

b308
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Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby b308 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:38 pm

Sorry, I don't agree, Mountain, £50/80 I regard as "budget", no matter what the age, for a new loco. Decent profits from that sale are still needed to go towards investment in new products. I would agree that RRP's are a joke, but as hardly anyone pays such prices (anyone at all?!) so making them largely irrelevant... Even Hattons selling off old stock will not be selling it at a loss, so you do wonder if there's some collusion between the manufacturers and the shops along the lines of "We'll do a big RRP and then you can heavily discount it to make it look like people are getting a bargain!"

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D605Eagle
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Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby D605Eagle » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:20 pm

I'm with you mountain. It seems that a very loud, disproportionally small section of the market has demanded higher and higher standards at any cost, and has the finance to be able to buy it. I thought at first Hornby had the right idea with the railroad range, but they have striven to make it almost impossible to model an area/era by not producing a wide enough selection of liveries etc. I believe they were scared of losing more profitable super detail sales, thus effectively they ruined the idea. However now we have the situation of railroad locos getting dangerously close to £100 which is ridiculous for old tooling that owes Hornby nothing.
I spend a lot of time in a model shop and I regularly see kids come into the shop with excitement on their faces, and more often than not soon leave with only disappointment on them instead. with the cost of even small shunting locos now around the £100 mark, its way too expensive for them to even think about. You can tell the ones with rich daddies who buy whatever they want, but they are few and far between. When I was a kid in the early 80s I could go to my local model shop and buy a Lima diesel or a Hornby 0-6-0 tank for 3 or 4 weeks pocket money. Yes they weren't great models, but they ran and were sturdy enough for young hands. Kids just don't have this any more, and because of that they are finding other interests. Personally I though that the detail of models hit its zenith in the early 90s (except hornby), Bachmann Steam outline and the later Lima diesels/ electrics. The models looked good with finer scale wheels and you could pick them up with out breaking them, and they didn't cost the earth to buy. Without trying to get political due to bad management of this country, for Joe Average he/she has no more disposable income now that they did 25 years ago. Personally I had a great deal more!

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alex3410
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Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby alex3410 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:44 pm

D605Eagle wrote: you could pick them up with out breaking them


This for me is just as attractive to the price point for RailRoad models, take coaches as an example - some of the older ones stand up really well even next to the latest locos but you can actually handle/store them without having to worry to much about damaging them.

In contrast the set of Hornby Thompson coaches i have are so fragile i am not sure any of mine have an intact set of footboards? (the bits on the bogies that snap off if you so much as look at them) they look fantastic & a definite step up but in the past i have been to worried about damaging them when i get them out i tend to opt for RailRoad style coaches instead.

They actually influenced my layout design, specifically the decision to have a large fiddle yard, my hope is I will have space to leave them out all of the time even when not actively running them so i don't have to handle them (getting them in/out of the boxes) at the end of each running session.

If it works out I hope to run them more often, at the moment considering they were twice the price they get half the running time :lol:

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Mountain
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Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby Mountain » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:50 pm

D605Eagle wrote:I spend a lot of time in a model shop and I regularly see kids come into the shop with excitement on their faces, and more often than not soon leave with only disappointment on them instead. with the cost of even small shunting locos now around the £100 mark, its way too expensive for them to even think about. You can tell the ones with rich daddies who buy whatever they want, but they are few and far between. When I was a kid in the early 80s I could go to my local model shop and buy a Lima diesel or a Hornby 0-6-0 tank for 3 or 4 weeks pocket money. Yes they weren't great models, but they ran and were sturdy enough for young hands. Kids just don't have this any more, and because of that they are finding other interests. Personally I though that the detail of models hit its zenith in the early 90s (except hornby), Bachmann Steam outline and the later Lima diesels/ electrics. The models looked good with finer scale wheels and you could pick them up with out breaking them, and they didn't cost the earth to buy.

This is sad and is the main aspect that kills the hobby. It isn't just the kiddies that come out with sad faces but adults do too. It really saddens me when I know this is happening, as there should be models in all the price ranges (Within reason) so we can all enjoy the hobby.

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Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby GWR_fan » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:07 am

b308 wrote:....... so you do wonder if there's some collusion between the manufacturers and the shops along the lines of "We'll do a big RRP and then you can heavily discount it to make it look like people are getting a bargain!"


The idea of a cartel works fine for large volume box shifters, however it seriously disadvantages the local hobby store who by virtue of very low sales volume is required to sell at full retail. A manufacturer/distributor will always heavily discount bulk sales for large orders as compared to say a local store that may purchase just a few items. The poor store owner is left to argue the point about how much profit he is seemingly making by selling at full retail and not matching the discount pricing from a box shifter.

We have the stupid situation whereby store owners will actually pay retail for goods at local supermarkets just to stock their corner shop. The price from the supermarket is actually less than the wholesale price to them from their distributor. It is more cost effective to work with large volume sales with less overheads.

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Bigglesof266
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Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby Bigglesof266 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:56 am

Just as most no one uses snail mail to communicate socially in 2018 Tim, these slow to adapt monopolistic brands who've had it good for so long need to wake up to the reality that we now live in a different era.

Increasingly, like it or not, people are comparison and price shopping online, and subsequently buying delivered to the door from an online store. I get better customer service and real support when I needed it from my online bike, guitar and model shops than I ever got walk in, and better prices, and a superior range.

Today regardless of PR spin to the contrary, other than as statutory warranty enforceable at law, IME comparing it to the polite and sincerely helpful '60s, there is no customer service beyond the superficial which is generally just another suggestive up-sell opportunity. "Would you like a drink or fries with that?" "Do you want to up-size for .80c?" "You'll want a decoder to go with your new loco?" "You'll need pedals. What do you think? Shimano SPD-L? And you'll need shoes with compatible cleats". "You might like a new helmet in a colour to match your new bike/shoes too?"

I just laugh at Airifx's attempt to monopolise online direct selling of their kits. GL with that outside the UK.

Clearly Airfix refused to continue supplying Hattons as a consequence of bleating from mom 'n pop shops. They did it to others with Hornby product as well, my favourite now gone as a consequence, Hornby being his primary selling product. For the moment, Hattons and Sheffield et al got around the legality of that hamstring condition by having a retail B&M store as well. I think Hattons sees the writing on the wall and is investing more and more in their own house branded product as well as another feather in the cap push selling high margin pre-owned. Hornby's escalating new retail prices are probably doing wonders for Hatton's pre-owned sales bottom line.

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Mountain
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Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby Mountain » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:16 am

GWR_fan wrote:
b308 wrote:....... so you do wonder if there's some collusion between the manufacturers and the shops along the lines of "We'll do a big RRP and then you can heavily discount it to make it look like people are getting a bargain!"



We have the stupid situation whereby store owners will actually pay retail for goods at local supermarkets just to stock their corner shop. The price from the supermarket is actually less than the wholesale price to them from their distributor. It is more cost effective to work with large volume sales with less overheads.


Large retail stores now employ many more staff but all on very low hours for two reasons. One is so they are less entitled to things and the second is that if a retail chainstore employs more then 1500 across the UK, then they are entitled to huge grants. One such an example in a store I worked for... A bulky item which retails for £230-250 where small shops buy them in for around 180... Well this shop had the grants privileges and could buy them in to the door of the shops (And this is after taxes and import duties) for £11.73 each. They still sold them for full price claiming they didnt want to compete with smaller stores. (They sold them for £230 when the equivalent small shop would need to sell them for £250).

We hear about trade deals going on between the UK and the EU. Many of these are due to complaints that if these grants should be withdrawn the large companies claim they can't compete with the small shops.

The last grants that were given to the retail company I worked for were to buy out the smaller competing shops bar one left in each town as they claimed that the smaller shops were eating into their profits. (The truth was that though the large store had many staff, their staffing hours on the shop floor was so low many customers were walking out as they didnt get served! The small shops could serve them).

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Re: Hornby in the news today

Postby GWR_fan » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:06 am

Keiron,
remember a couple of years ago when some bleeding heart importer got into the ear of a particular model railway manufacturer complaining of the impact grey imports were having on his business. The company's response was to implement a ban on distribution outside the UK and continent for the company's products from both online and retail stores. A very shortlived and typical bullying response from the manufacturer. Their intent seemingly we are such a big company we can dictate to the stores where in the world they can sell their goods.

They still to this day have that same pompous all mighty attitude even though the last time they made a profit was 2012. Surely someone with their hands on the reins must be thinking we must be doing something wrong, but hell no, full speed towards to edge of the precipice.


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