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GWR-fan

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  1. Sorry, I put it on the "to do list" and never got around to it.
  2. Back around the turn of the 21st century, a largescale manufacturer (LGB) produced a limited edition release of two "wooden" boxcars with advertising material depicting two brands of cigars. Released as a two car collector set, I believe around 1200 sets were released. At the time, the company was not in the best financial shape and found themselves in breach of licencing rights. I believe that a handful of cars were sold to the public with the rest being snapped up at a bargain price by the owner of a large toystore in the Los Angeles area, Al Kramer. I do not know how he avoided licencing restrictions (he sold them as individual cars and not as the intended two-car set) but Al then sold the cars though his store and on eBay. I was particularly interested in securing quite a few of the cars, not for their "collector" value, but surprisingly the retail cost of the metal wheels on the cars was more than the asking price for the cars. I removed the metal wheels, fitted new plastic LGB wheels and then onsold the cars at a reduced price. LGB always had a relatively large range of officially licenced products so it is surprising that the two cigar cars were in breach of licencing rules. Hornby may well find out that when you tread on someone else's toes that they might wear bigger shoes than you do.
  3. It makes you wonder if Hornby even bothered to get the rights to manufacture the 60th anniversary Titfield train pack R3186 (even included a copy of the film). If they did acquire the rights then did they possibly believe that they had the implied rights to release the "inspired" by set? Using the word "inspired" implies that they knew that releasing the set would see them in hot water and yet they still went along with the project. SK stubborness or plain stupidity or has SK passed his use by date?
  4. He admits earlier that he is disappointed that the limited edition NRM APT-E by Rapido turned out to not be that limited (thus less investment potential) as Rapido are rereleasing the model (albeit without all the limited trimmings that came with the limited edition release). His post seems more a criticism of Rapido for this action rather than supporting Hornby's actions.
  5. Do not forget Hornby-Dublo, Trix, Lima, Mainline, Replica and Hachette versions
  6. Or perhaps they decided not to be taken for granted by Hornby. Other than Oxford Rail, the newcomers have as yet not released coaches, but definitely planned for release, but what irks me is the like of Hornby releasing Mk3 buffet cars with no vents in the roof and even with coach seating in the bar area. This to me is indicative of the company's lax attitude to the market, still perceiving their role as toy trainset manufacturers primarily.
  7. It would seem that the "new" players in the market were tired of the less than realistic offerings in the market and prepared to manufacture the type of model that they as predominantly model railway hobbyists wished from the market. Some see these newcomers as interfering with an established market, whereas in reality they are a breath of fresh air in a stagnating market. For a generation Hornby, Bachmann and Dapol have existed somewhat on hand me down heritage tooling, some dating back to original Hornby-Dublo origins. These enthusiast manufacturers have increased the demand for high fidelity models, even if to the detriment of the lazy major players in the market who until relatively recently thought "if we build it they will buy".
  8. Perhaps in a law and order society one may like to think that everyone plays by the rules. Obviously you agree with Hornby most likely ripping off a trademark by not paying licencing rights to use a product. I am sure that the name "Thunderbolt" is protected under the copyright of the movie. Hornby could have chosen to leave the loco named as "Lion" in the "inspired" train pack but chose to infringe on the copyright and avoid licencing fees to Studio-Canal. Similarly with the Bedford bus. If they released a generic Bedford OB bus with a generic destination blind then most likely no copyright infringement. It seems though that they replicated the destination blind from the movie. Surely a copyright infringement. As regards the rerelease of the APT-E, are you sure that it was solely a rail museum property release or was there a clause allowing the release of the model after a time period, say two years. Recall how Bachmann released the LMS/Midland Compound as a museum release and then rereleased it in a train pack with three Stannier coaches.
  9. Given the supply, distribution and tier issues in 2021, how confident are we that we will actually be able to purchase those new releases? 2022 will be no better than the previous year and it seems the issues that plagued us last year are just as prevalent today, so personally one has to realise that some will not be as fortunate as others. Those able to actually secure a Coronation set (or two, or three, or.....) will indeed be most fortunate, leaving the path open to exploitation. Direct pre-ordering will make one's chances better in securing a model, however, from my memory of the video the Coronation set will be released in four packs of two coaches each and a single trailer car. No doubt some would prefer the option of securing a single pack of either eight or nine coaches as being unable to purchase a full set of cars may be a deal breaker.
  10. When does a brandname or trademark become a "generic" symbol to the market? No doubt the likes of Coca-Cola and Pepsi will strenuously defend their brand but what of all the other trademarks out there? About twenty or so years ago Union Pacific initiated royalty/licencing requirements for any product representing their tradename. There was much discussion and cries of never modelling the Union Pacific again on the American model railroad scene. I cannot recall the outcome but the furore died down relatively quickly. I know that modern image niche manufacturers need to obtain approval for various private liveries, but does time erode that requirement as the tradename becomes part of history. As companies takeover other companies does the original trademark retain legal status even if no longer used? Would Hornby have always received approval to represent the numerous liveries or even the design characteristics of the many models produced over the years? Edit: as a follow on I found this on Wikipedia (quote) "On May 27, 2004, Union Pacific Railroad sued Athearn (another manufacturer of model railroad equipment) and Lionel for trademark infringement. The railroad claimed both companies put the names and logos of UP, as well as the names and logos of various fallen flag railroads UP had acquired over the years, on their model railroad products without a license. While Athearn quickly settled and acquired a license, Lionel initially resisted, arguing that it and its predecessor companies had been using the logos for more than 50 years, and had been encouraged or even paid to do so. On September 13, 2006, Lionel and UP settled the suit for US$640,000 plus a royalty on future sales." (end quote)
  11. Some years ago a well known manufacturer of coarse scale O gauge trains, Lionel, decided to copy the models made by another manufacturer, MTH (Mikes Train House). I believe that Lionel even copied the electronics of the MTH models. MTH sued Lionel with a court victory to MTH with damages awarded. Lionel were unable to pay the damages and legal bills so the company was absorbed into the MTH empire.
  12. Was "Lion" also used towards the end of a movie on the young Queen Victoria circa-1930's. The film showed the loco and several carriages (somewhat like early horse drawn coaches along with a "brakeman" in period attire atop the coach) leaving a station with Victoria and Albert onboard. Perhaps another movie for Simon to lay claim to.
  13. Years ago my ex-brother-in-law acquired the sole salvage rights to a freighter which sunk off Fraser Island in Queensland. At the time of the sinking the ballast carried by the freighter was worthless but it seems over time it became extremely valuable. Now my brother-in-law was a one man operation so when he turned up at the wreck site he was surprised to see a major recovery effort being undertaken on his "property". It seems that a large company flushed with lawyers and big money decided that salvage rights or not they were going to work the site. My brother in law barely had enough money to live on and regardless of law on his side it was pointless seeking legal action against the company. Similarly, does Rapido have the will to fight this through the court? I am sure that Hornby would have run their "Trains on Film" proposal through their legal department before making any announcements or do they really believe that they were untouchable. Look to the very smug Mr. Kohler, he looks very confident. Hornby could very well lose some friends over this act of bastardry.
  14. Could Hornby not simply manufacture "Lion" with no published reference to Titfield? I had assumed that "Lion" was simply an extension of the recently released "Rocket" and era 1 coaches and rolling stock.
  15. In pre-internet days we would purchase an annual catalogue listing our favourite manufacturer's products. We would then visit our regular hobby shop with the intention to view, handle and then purchase. Post-internet our favourite manufacturer has had many years of poor financial return seeing the hobby shops making potentially a bigger profit margin than they themselves are making and the bean counters get a thought in their heads, "Do we really need retail outlets? We could always direct market to our loyal customers". Perhaps someone realised that not everyone shops on the internet and thus to support their full MSRP marketing strategy they needed to outcast the major discounters who threatened the viability of their direct marketing approach. To avoid possible legal entanglements let us introduce a tier system ranking market outlets such that our direct selling profits are not jeopardised. Eventually the discount stores and smaller retail outlets will get the hint that they are not welcome. What seemed like a Midas touch at the time may turn out to be little more than fool's gold.
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