Price of a Hobby

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rb277170
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Re: Price of a Hobby

Postby rb277170 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:04 pm

There’s a lot going on in the market at the moment

I think the Hornby situation is well covered . Placing all the eggs in the Sandra Kan basket was a strategic mistake . Prices with Hornby had to rise as they tried to find alternative production facilities . The lack of production for about two years is probably what motivated the likes of Hattons to enter in the commissioning market and now make its own models . So a double whammy there. The 2019 range shows promise though with some keenly priced products eg 66s , but also mk2fs . I think there is a recognition that while there are modellers who will pay ever increasing prices, there is also a market that’s prepared to make some compromises for keener priced models

Bachmann had been producing models at a lower price than Hornby up until 5 years ago , around the 25th anniversary of Bachmann. I think it was significant that Mr Kenneth Ting , President of Kader made a visit then. There seemed to be a change of strategy then with three years of large increases in prices and incremental increases since. The claim was this was Chinese labour costs increasing. It is true that labour costs increased but considering the labour content of the final price it’s nothing like the level to substantiate such increases. More likely that as Kader reached capacity they decided to make models for higher yielding markets than U.K. U.K. had to increase prices to make it worthwhile for Kader . I don’t think it’s a coincidence that there’s been starvation of products from Bachmann since that time with huge waiting times . In fact the Class 90 announced at that time has only just arrived 5 years later . Bachmann have opted to add features, which probably cost pennies to justify high selling costs eg £69 mk2fs , servo pantographs etc.

There is clearly money still to be made in the Model Railway market as there are new entrants . Hattons, Kernow, Rails, DJ models, Accurascale, Cavalex ,
DJ promised a lot but with no finance little has appeared . It looks like it may just have imploded

I think Hattons , Accurascale are a breath of fresh air and delivering high quality models at prices that are reasonable . The direct selling model certainly helps here as you then have manufacturers and retailers margins to play with . That Accurascale can offer 5 car mk5 pack at £225 is impressive .

So where will it go. I think Hornby has critical mass . If it continues it’s two track approach, high fidelity higher cost models and reasonable models for the more price conscious market I think they will do well. They’ve shown a more aggressive attitude this year going head to head against Rails , Hattons and Bachmann, competing on price . I wish them well

I think Hattons and Accurascale will continue with good quality models

Bachmann I think is at risk as they are just too slow to market and too expensive . Their bread and butter products are capable of being picked off by the new entrants eg Hattons 66 . We are seeing Heljan picking off their 45 after years of inaction on a sealed head code version. It can only be a matter of time before someone goes for 37 and 47 . Too slow to react, limited production from Kader, they may be the first to go.

Interesting times

George Stein
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Re: Price of a Hobby

Postby George Stein » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:31 am

Writing from the USA. Very informative discussion. The only, perhaps incorrect, comments I would make regarding the UK prototype market are: (1) I have the impression that part of the rise in prices may have been generated by the demand for "better" models when Bachmann entered the market in a serious way and forced Hornby to "up its game." And (2) I agree, with sadness, the shrinking of the small independents -- even lamenting Cooper Craft!
I have enjoyed building kits from Ratio, CC, Slater's, Cambrian, etc. I hope, although still waiting evidence, that the ever decreasing price of 3-D manufacturing will encourage new entrepreneurs. As much as I like (and use) Monty's Models figures, hopefully the prices for the "better" Modelu figures will fall as 3-D manufacturing costs fall. Finally, the growth of new cardstock download & print buildings is certainly a way
to reduce costs and restore a sense of "I built it" to the hobby.

And, just in passing, has anyone noticed that the dimensions of Scalescene's small GWR station are almost identical with the ancient Airfix waiting room. Very easy to build a complete interior and re-roof with proper shingles. Hah - talk about cheap!

Again, very informative.
George
North Carolina

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Mountain
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Re: Price of a Hobby

Postby Mountain » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:17 pm

When Bachmann first entered the UK market with some classy and excellent british outline models, they were, if anything, actually cheaper then Hornby trains were at the time. I say cheaper. Ok, a few were a little bit more by the odd couple of pounds (E.g. their diesels), but for that you had all wheel drive and all wheel pick ups and the body detail was at the very least made to Palitoy standards, if not better. While in those days Hornby had been left behind. I am not saying older Hornby models were bad. They were actually pretty good compared to their predecessors (Triang), and Hornby themselves specialized in the ability for the customers to buy spares to keep their trains on the rails... Something in which both Mainline (Palitoy) and Airfix were lacking. Lima came into the market and were about neck and neck with Hornby. Limas diesels were a nose ahead and were much preferred, but Lima never did seem to match Hornby with their steam locomotives. Yes, back then most things were tender drive, but by looks Hornby seemed to catch the character of the locomotives better when it came to steam locos. Lima spares were available but could need a little phoning around, while Hornby spares were almost in every other model railway shop.
Back to Bachmann. I remember the rough prices of Bachmann diesels when they first came in. A class 46 was £45 when a typical Lima or Hornby single end drive pancake or ringfield motor was typically £40. Now the extra £5 had you a centrally mounted motor in the Bachmann which was leaps ahead. Not only that but back then Bachmann (Who basically used slightly upgraded Mainline bodies) also sold those excellent chassis seperately so one could bring back old expired Mainline models. This aas a brilliant move, but they were so popular in my area of rhe country, tracing a chassis was a bit difficult. I remember seeing a Bachmann class 04 chassis in a shop. I wanted to buy it to fit in my class 03. Ok, the wheels were the wrong pattern but I could get my 03 to work. The shopkeeper refused to sell it to me because I said my loco was a class 03 and not a class 04! He agreed that the only differences were the look of the wheels, but no. He wouldn't sell it despit it being on his shop display with a price on it etc.

muggins
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Re: Price of a Hobby

Postby muggins » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:20 pm

rb277170 wrote: ... DJ promised a lot but with no finance little has appeared . It looks like it may just have imploded ...


That was prophetic! Seems DJM is now in receivership, with an announcement of some sort apparently to be made on the DJM site at 1900BST today.

heda
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Re: Price of a Hobby

Postby heda » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:29 pm

Regarding the original post, how can youngsters get into the hobby. If you compare the cost of a starter train set to a playstation the train option doesn't seem so expensive. Having got the basic set compare the cost of trains and rolling stock to playstation games, again they aren't so expensive.
I have just moved from N to OO so having to start again from scratch. I have bought four locomotives on ebay for less than £20 each, all in good condition and runners, rolling stock I have bought a few job lots, given them a coat of paint and a new set of wheels, total cost less than £5 per wagon.
Unlike say golf club fees or football season tickets spending on model trains can be kept to a small budget and when you tire of it you can sell it off and recover some if not all of you expenditure.
Dave

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Mountain
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Re: Price of a Hobby

Postby Mountain » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:11 pm

Secondhand market will 00 is very reasonable. I am slowly selling my 00 gauge collection. It may take a while... Only reason I am selling is with the fun I am getting from 7mm narrow gauge, I just don't use my 00, and it is silly keeping what I don't need.
But yes. Compared to new prices there are lots of 00 gauge items for sale at bargain prices for what they are, and to be honest, due to the high prices of new, working on budget secondhand and detailing them seems a better option. Also one gains so much experience!

Bigmet
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Re: Price of a Hobby

Postby Bigmet » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:52 am

rb277170 wrote:...Bachmann had been producing models at a lower price than Hornby up until 5 years ago , around the 25th anniversary of Bachmann. I think it was significant that Mr Kenneth Ting , President of Kader made a visit then. There seemed to be a change of strategy then with three years of large increases in prices and incremental increases since. The claim was this was Chinese labour costs increasing. It is true that labour costs increased but considering the labour content of the final price it’s nothing like the level to substantiate such increases. More likely that as Kader reached capacity they decided to make models for higher yielding markets than U.K. U.K. had to increase prices to make it worthwhile for Kader . I don’t think it’s a coincidence that there’s been starvation of products from Bachmann since that time with huge waiting times . In fact the Class 90 announced at that time has only just arrived 5 years later ...

The back story to which is that Kader had gone into the red, and an overall company review revealed that model railway was a contributor to the problem, and our OO was being sold for less margin than comparable HO. The good times were over in short, Bachmann UK made this very plain, that they now had to raise prices in order to match HO margins for Kader. The UK division simply cannot afford to get as much tooled up as once was possible. Along with Chinese govt mandated pay rises and currency movements we are where are now.

(Remember the past, the Chinese will price themselves out of the market for this class of goods to some extent, much as the Japanese did. There's new opportunity in other countries with well educated workforces and governments wanting investment to get industrial development rolling.)

Bach UK have always been pretty flexible in respect of pricing. Look at the competitive knock out they performed with the class 47. This came out at £40 at introduction in 2008, clearly aimed at grabbing share from Heljan's established model, and fending off the Hobbyco/ViTrains competition. Once achieved the price rose steadily to the £70 - £80 zone typical for a model that size, and this was all well before any hints of trouble at Kader, pay rises, currency movements. Do we think they were selling at a loss at £40? I don't think so.

There's margin enough for new entrants to want to try the water, and it is all the same product content so it 'costs what it costs' pretty much the same for anyone. So if a newcomer can do it for less money to get a toehold in the market, the established players could do it, if they were not trying to cash in on brand reputation for more margin. That's capitalist enterprise at work, customer pays the money and makes the choice. It's never pretty, but the customer gets a lot of product to choose from, and the alternatives are all dire.

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Mountain
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Re: Price of a Hobby

Postby Mountain » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:28 am

I purchased two 47's back in 2008-9 and they cost me somewhere around £65 to £70 each. Maybe £80? I also boughttwo Heljan secondhand for £80 each at the same time. I never saw the 47's at £40 each. I missed out on that one! :D

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glencairn
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Re: Price of a Hobby

Postby glencairn » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:51 pm

Thankfully I bought my locomotives when I did.

Now I spend £5.00 to £15.00 every so often on scenery etc.

Glencairn
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Free_at_last
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Re: Price of a Hobby

Postby Free_at_last » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:37 pm

Looking at a Hattons advert for Nov 2007 Bachmann 47s were £55 - £56. Various other months during 2008 show the same prices.

Edited for error - 2018 should have been 2008.
Last edited by Free_at_last on Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:30 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Hornchurch
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Re: Price of a Hobby

Postby Hornchurch » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:20 pm

Free_at_last wrote:
Looking at a Hattons advert for Nov 2007 Bachmann 47's were £55 - £56.

Various other months during 2018 show the same prices.
'


That's informative for a very late 'returnee' like myself, who only drifted-back into this hobby as late as summer 2016**

( ** & can pretty much honestly, genuinely say, had no real interest, prior to....)

I often (now), look back, particularly at rolling-stock that WAS released BEFORE my piqued 2016 interest - (say, 2010-2015)

Obviously there ARE a few choice engines & rolling-stock that I never got or had chance to own.

As I'd barely got back into this lark (expensive hobby), I did manage to pick up a few decent bits that were on their way out.

Managed to pick-up 3 x LaFarge silver Cement tankers @ £25.00 each, the same price as those lovely 'Safmarine' intermodal wagons.


But THEY sound comparatively expensive, when put next to those 'lush' Bachamann "Diamond Jubilee" Class.47's, being punted-out at £59.00
(Brand-New)

Silly cheap, so I picked-up a couple, at that money - (whilst I appreciate that MAY not move you old 'uns, but it worked for me, circa 2016)


Changing subject ; "Free At Last" = Am well pleased to see a fellow "FREE" fan on here, as they were hugely important in my upbringing.

Tracks like "Little Bit Of Love" & "Fire & Water" were played by me, on vinyl, regularly, during mornings whilst getting ready for school.

Absolutely adore the 1970 Granada T.V video footage of them playing "Ride A Pony", live = About as fabulous a film-clip as I've ever seen.

Also, a life-long huge Paul Rodgers fan here, as I transitioned onto 'Bad Company' shortly thereafter... :wink:

.

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Bigglesof266
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Re: Price of a Hobby

Postby Bigglesof266 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:10 am

Free_at_last wrote:Looking at a Hattons advert for Nov 2007 Bachmann 47s were £55 - £56. Various other months during 2018 show the same prices.


Not sure what the point of this post is other than misrepresentation generally?

Your're right in that after the financial crash of 2007, using Hattons' prices as a reference datum for then prices plummeted generally to circumstantial record lows in 2009, notably for oversupply due that crash, especially of unpopular livery remaindered stock.

However visiting Hattons current day, could you please point me to where I can find generally Class 47s for £55 - £56? Cheapest new OO gauge Bachmann Class 47 I could find right now on the website using the search engine triaged pre-owned excluded & lowest price first was £127.46 in a proprietary livery. Don't know about arithmetic in your day, but in mine £127.46 could be reckoned a shade more than £56? The next lowest starting with BR blue £144.46 with the median heading higher.

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Free_at_last
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Re: Price of a Hobby

Postby Free_at_last » Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:12 pm

Bigglesof266 wrote:
Free_at_last wrote:Looking at a Hattons advert for Nov 2007 Bachmann 47s were £55 - £56. Various other months during 2018 show the same prices.


Not sure what the point of this post is other than misrepresentation generally?

Your're right in that after the financial crash of 2007, using Hattons' prices as a reference datum for then prices plummeted generally to circumstantial record lows in 2009, notably for oversupply due that crash, especially of unpopular livery remaindered stock.

However visiting Hattons current day, could you please point me to where I can find generally Class 47s for £55 - £56? Cheapest new OO gauge Bachmann Class 47 I could find right now on the website using the search engine triaged pre-owned excluded & lowest price first was £127.46 in a proprietary livery. Don't know about arithmetic in your day, but in mine £127.46 could be reckoned a shade more than £56? The next lowest starting with BR blue £144.46 with the median heading higher.


Sorry, I made an error in my post, 2018 should have been 2008.
The post was in response to the prices of Class 47s in 2008/2009, but I have just found a Hattons ad for 2009 with Class 47s from £39.
Pete.
Gauge is not spelt guage. Remember to put another "m" in remeber. Manufacturers has two "r"s in.
When you buy something, you have bought it, not brought it.
Before you post, are you really LOL and do you NEED to tell us?

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Bigglesof266
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Re: Price of a Hobby

Postby Bigglesof266 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:08 am

Free_at_last wrote:Sorry, I made an error in my post, 2018 should have been 2008.
The post was in response to the prices of Class 47s in 2008/2009, but I have just found a Hattons ad for 2009 with Class 47s from £39.


Copy "error in" the original post. Makes sense now.

I was buying back then. There were some locos really cheap, although £39 does sound a tad too low to me for a Bachmann 47 even then. Maybe some contemporary proprietary firm scheme. I know because I bought a 47 circa then. The cheapest diesel loco buys at the time generally, with the exception of a single livery Class 25 separated from train sets which were the super bargain at just £25, were the Class 20s at £44 in BR green! But it doesn't matter how cheap something is if it's not in a livery acceptable to ones' operating era/region, except understandably to children who really don't care as long as its colourful, big and moves -without implied deprecation.

Cheers

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Bigglesof266
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Re: Price of a Hobby

Postby Bigglesof266 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:24 am

heda wrote:Regarding the original post, how can youngsters get into the hobby.Dave


The affordability barrier to kids concept is a hackneyed false premise, and I'm so tired of hearing it.

Like R/C flying of recent years until the advent of first A. electric, then B. drones, "Youngsters" don't generally get into the hobby....unless dad is involved either flying himself which initiates their interest. Interest in trains and thus model trains from Gen today is pretty low. No glam and lots of alternative distractions. Self-starters are rare.

Career and SPOW parent/s today generally indulge their fewer child/ren with material goods in lieu of parental time. I doubt kids have a problem obtaining a train set or layout with pester power or their other financial means considering pretty much every one of them has a wide screen TV in their room, a Playstation or XBox, an expensive latest model upmarket smartphone which has to impress their peers, and either a computer and iOS/Android tablet, usually both. The "how can they afford it" thing re that being the bar to model railway entry is moot at best. The real and much bigger question is how to ignite their interest and sustain it. Other than wanting to mimic dad or the oddball kid internally driven, you can't. We live in a different age.


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