Heljan commissioned to do O for Hattons.

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Bigmet
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Heljan commissioned to do O for Hattons.

Postby Bigmet » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:54 pm

It must be assumed that Hattons are very happy with sourcing exclusives from Heljan, because they are at it again I see, even bigger time than the Beyer Garratt: O gauge Gresley pacifics and coaches. Well, who's for their own ECML in the back garden?

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Streaks and Teaks
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Re: Heljan commissioned to do O for Hattons.

Postby Streaks and Teaks » Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:57 pm

I bet Golden age models arnt to happy about this.

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Metadyneman
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Re: Heljan commissioned to do O for Hattons.

Postby Metadyneman » Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:27 am

Bigmet wrote:It must be assumed that Hattons are very happy with sourcing exclusives from Heljan, because they are at it again I see, even bigger time than the Beyer Garratt: O gauge Gresley pacifics and coaches. Well, who's for their own ECML in the back garden?

Nice... but no thanks :D
A voice from the distance said unto me "Smile, things could be worse" so I smiled and lo, things did get worse!

Bigmet
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Re: Heljan commissioned to do O for Hattons.

Postby Bigmet » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:15 am

And that 'no thanks' goes to the heart of what I am wondering, what size is the market for these? O gauge 'shunting planks' with a couple of small locos are probably the largest indoor layout possibility for most in the UK. Going outdoors the usual thing among those UK O gaugers who are not Pete Waterman, that want a decent length of run on which a train out on the main line will look good. That's a real minority sport.

The fact that Hattons are making this big push into O gauge confirms something that I have been suspecting for a while, there's no more real growth to be expected from OO in the UK. Quite simply, pretty much every really popular and therefore rapid volume sale item (locos, coaches or wagons) has a model; the air-smoothed MN from Hornby probably the last such item on which a run of rapid sell-outs from a prolonged series of releases covering the variations, liveries and names can be confidently expected.

That isn't to say there is nothing left in subjects that will produce sufficient sales for a decent profit if a good RTR model is offered; but these are not the reliable cash cows that can be endlessly churned to produce sales year after year without fail.

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Metadyneman
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Re: Heljan commissioned to do O for Hattons.

Postby Metadyneman » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:17 am

The other aspect of course is the old chestnut of pricing. We all enjoyed a brief period in the early "naughties" of cheap, well detailed stuff in OO and now the prices are approaching something a little more like phone numbers for the same stuff, it has slowed the market down an awful lot. O gauge stuff on the other hand, has always had a reputation of being very expensive and for the price of 3 or 4 OO gauge locos you will only get 1 in O so I don't see that this is a particularly good move by Hattons at all!
A voice from the distance said unto me "Smile, things could be worse" so I smiled and lo, things did get worse!

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Campaigner
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Re: Heljan commissioned to do O for Hattons.

Postby Campaigner » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:53 am

In introducing RTR O gauge Heljan have opened up the O gauge market to many, self included. Yes they are expensive and in most cases not totally accurate, but have you seen the price of O gauge kits? bearing in mind you still have to build it, paint it and in most cases buy the motors and wheel sets extra.
I love an O gauge A4 but until I've seen a sample I won't be ordering one.

Bigmet
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Re: Heljan commissioned to do O for Hattons.

Postby Bigmet » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:12 pm

And I feel that is a major point, Heljan and others have 'opened up the O gauge market' with decent RTR product that costs no more - and often less - than kits, that as Campaigner mentions demand yet more to build and finish. I think there is less retailer risk too as compared to OO, as a far greater proportion of purchasers simply won't run their O gauge. That may change as ownership expands, but when you consider that for many a club is a necessity for a chance to operate OO; and most clubs don't have an O gauge layout, or even a test track...

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Emettman
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Re: Heljan commissioned to do O for Hattons.

Postby Emettman » Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:40 pm

A Gresley Pacific and a pair of coaches, OK, maybe three, feels like a reproduction on a larger scale of the "not a good place to start" train set in OO

Likely minimum radius curves, appearance on minimum radius curves, length and cost of "proper" train...
But maybe a small GWR prairie and a "B" set isn't iconic enough.

Or maybe there are more prospective wealthy landscape engineers out there than seems likely...
...that haven't already gone out there.
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

whynot
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Re: Heljan commissioned to do O for Hattons.

Postby whynot » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:19 pm

I suppose it hinges on how well Hattons have done their research. I'm not sure that "price" is a real issue. For many (most?) serious railway modellers it is already clearly a money no object hobby - especially those who collect locos. There are those in this parish who are both able and willing to spend £00s even £000s on their hobby- if one has say 25 x 00 locos, then why not 10 x 0 scale? Certainly I'd rather have the latter - or indeed even 2 and a 6' micro layout! When a very modest start-from-scratch layout in the smaller scales requires upwards of £500, the market is already very small.

And as that market gets ever older (and no I don't have evidence for that, but Hattons may well do), bigger will be better! That said, do those who buy mainline 0 scale locos actually have layouts at all or simply display cabinets?

With my current minimal layout relying on recycled timber, existing scenics, two locos that I've had for over 5 years, an ancient DC controller and mainly 2nd hand track costing "new spend" of maybe a ton, I am not in their sights. But then if I had a grand to spend on a hobby then it would not be this one.
dave j
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b308
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Re: Heljan commissioned to do O for Hattons.

Postby b308 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:36 pm

I agree Dave, and another thing is that it won't be produced in numbers like OO/HO or N so the price isn't really relevant.

Many people will pay for quality and "rareness" so I've no doubt they will sell them.

Comparing sales of O standard gauge RTR with OO/HO or N RTR is like comparing chalk and cheese, it would be better compared with narrow gauge and many people will pay a premium in NG as well.


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