Jump to content

AY Mod

BBC Four - James May's Big Trouble in Model Britain

Recommended Posts

44 minutes ago, JohnR said:

 

 

You missed out the "at a price they want". All those products were too expensive for the level of detail provided. 

 

Really? Sentinel £55 , Mk1’s £25, DoG around £85 as I recall. And those were too expensive?

  • Like 6
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think they were expensive for the detail provide; the 42xx was a very well detailed model, but poorly designed and a poor performer in an effort to keep a lid on costs.  I have the revamped version with a 'proper' chassis and am very happy with it; paid £85 for it a year ago brand new.  It performs beautifully, is smooth, slow, and powerful, but I wouldn't make any statement to the effect that the lid is still on costs...

  • Like 3
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/03/2019 at 06:49, jjb1970 said:

I thought the last management team that got the order of the boot to bring in LD had a lot of good ideas, particularly a conscious decision to refocus back to high quality products and the need to maintain a steady stream of new items. Others have noted it but the Hellcat was obviously initiated and developed before LD arrived (the idea that such a kit would be sat in a cupboard ignored until LD had the vision to produce the thing is clearly absurd) and the Hornby initiative with sound and new locomotives were a hangover from what went before. Which indicates the old team(s) wasn't (weren't) as completely inept as claimed. The last lot were only in the job a few months and got kicked out before any of their ideas could come to fruition but on the product development side LD inherited a company that was already going in the right direction and with plenty of excellent project in the pipeline.

 

Whilst it might appear odd, that is what happened - the previous management could not see it selling.  Same with the Terrier, this was dropped when Simon left.  You have to remember that the vast majority of the releases during the last team being in place were actually the products of Simon and those around him.  The release year will see work that can stretch back over a number of prior years, not just the 12 months before being revealed. For example I was told that Clan Line was in development for almost 5 years before being actually shown in a catalogue and then being made available.

 

From the Retailer aspect the previous team did the market and the Brand(s) no favours, with their sales attitude - Black Friday sales et. Destroying the confidence of the Public and the Trade alike. Why order/buy now when no doubt they will be discounted due to low sales in a few months time.  This attitude helped Corgi sit down, as a customer could wait 6 months and the non certified item will be at 50% cost to purchase. Result Corgi were placed on sale and purchased by Hornby Hobbies, at a very reasonable cost  - given the stock sitting around along with access to old moulds etc.

 

The mistakes of the past will not be sorted in a one year timeframe, Hornby should be admired for being so open and you also need to look at all the Brands under their care which need support and nuture.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, papagolfjuliet said:

 

 It was stated that the only surviving Hornby tool which hadn't gone to China was the tunnel. Off the top of my head I'd say that means the APT, the Australian diesel and brake van, the strange US outline 0-4-0T, and a couple of wagons. Lord knows how much Tri-ang, Scalextric, Airfix, Corgi, and Lima stuff was destroyed, although some of the earlier Tri-ang tools were sold to an Indian company years ago.

Not sure it translates like that?  

 

If 'the only surviving Hornby tool which hadn't gone to China' is the tunnel does that mean all the other Hornby tools went to China?   We know from past statements that certain tools such as the Blue Pullman were assessed to see if it would be worthwhile sending them to China and the tool was found to be in poor condition and not usable.  So how many other Hornby tools were like that and were scrapped because they were no longer usable?  And we also know that a lot of very old tools have made their way to China because models made using them were released last year and are being released this year (or, for example,  have the Dean Single and original clerestories been retooled?).  So is there a definitive list of what went to China and an equally definitive list of what wasn't sent and why it wasn't sent?

 

Presumably Airfix tools have not been sent to China anyway but have gone to India and recent releases indicate that quite a lot of old Airfix tooling has survived (unless new tooling is being made?).  Similarly wagon tooling taken over from Dapol has obviously gone to China as it is still being used.  What ever happened to Lima tooling is a different issue as surely the first question has to be how much of it was actually moved to Margate in the first place let alone what has or hasn't happened to it subsequently?

 

As I said previously one would have hoped that with tooling being an expensive investment Hornby would have had proper records and from them would know what has gone where and what has been written off and scrapped.   But looking through files of course doesn't make such good television.

Edited by The Stationmaster
Correct error re Dean Single
  • Like 4
  • Agree 1
  • Informative/Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/03/2019 at 19:29, woodenhead said:

Hornby are probably the last company to offer everything - locos, coaches, wagons, buildings, track and controllers, Bachmann do almost everything but their track range isn't as complete as Hornby's.

I understand that their range is the old Made in Austria Hornby trackwork, just turn one over and look at the codes and where the Hornby name was on the sleepering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 08/03/2019 at 07:58, t8hants said:

Not being very up to speed with the modern hobby, I am slightly puzzled by the apparent deep concern over the lost moulds, surely most of the older moulds would produce something no longer considered up to standard for today's modeler. 

The point is that they could have been Airfix moulds, not just railway related. The introduction of the Airfix Vintage Range has ensured that some older models which could only be obtained through auction sites at high prices can once again be purchased new - and in many cases at a lower cost.

 

In addition Hornby very rarely disposed of moulds, so that would likely include Minic and TT models.  I know that a few years back the 3mm Society sought to see if there was any potential for re-runs of certain models / parts.

 

The clear-out was to just reduce storage and I think at £50 a Ton, you saw a great many £10K moulds get lost forever - hence the dismay of may in Hornby today.

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
  • Informative/Useful 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Deltic said:

Whilst it might appear odd, that is what happened - the previous management could not see it selling.  Same with the Terrier, this was dropped when Simon left.  You have to remember that the vast majority of the releases during the last team being in place were actually the products of Simon and those around him.  The release year will see work that can stretch back over a number of prior years, not just the 12 months before being revealed. For example I was told that Clan Line was in development for almost 5 years before being actually shown in a catalogue and then being made available.

 

From the Retailer aspect the previous team did the market and the Brand(s) no favours, with their sales attitude - Black Friday sales et. Destroying the confidence of the Public and the Trade alike. Why order/buy now when no doubt they will be discounted due to low sales in a few months time.  This attitude helped Corgi sit down, as a customer could wait 6 months and the non certified item will be at 50% cost to purchase. Result Corgi were placed on sale and purchased by Hornby Hobbies, at a very reasonable cost  - given the stock sitting around along with access to old moulds etc.

 

The mistakes of the past will not be sorted in a one year timeframe, Hornby should be admired for being so open and you also need to look at all the Brands under their care which need support and nuture.

Actually it surely depends on the decision points e rather than what the previous management (whichever one you are referring to>) decided or didn't decide.  Airfix were already into large scale aircraft kits so developing another one wouldn't be a surprise - it all depends when the 'go' button needed to be pressed and if the money was available to fund the tooling of what sounded as if it was a completed design.

 

As for the model railway stuff let's not forget Hornby work on a basically 2 year timescale (which, I think, LCD has said he intends to shorten to 18 months or so).  That means that what is in this year's range from new tooling went into R&D basically in 2017 and was approved for tooling development - the really expensive bit - by mid 2017 in order to get it int this year's catalogue.  The GW non-gangwayed coaches were obviously well ahead as they are now in the shops and so - with EP/3-D print about now - was the large prairie.   And of course new tooling released last year and the year before were also developments under at least two, if not three, previous managements.  

 

All of this is where it becomes conflated and the tern 'previous management' becomes rather meaningless as we can go back at least 8 years, and therefore several management regimes, to the time when Hornby slipped from profit into losses which in any case followed a period of declining profits although sales were rising (source Hornby's Annual Reports).   Don't forget the previous management (i.e. the one before this one) shut down direct selling and its giveaway discounting although in a dash for cash it did have the fire sales.  But then of course Hornby is not the only company in this business to clear its surplus stock at a particular point in the year - the difference from at least one other was the way in which it was done.

Edited by The Stationmaster
Correct typos
  • Like 3
  • Agree 2
  • Informative/Useful 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PMP said:

 

Really? Sentinel £55 , Mk1’s £25, DoG around £85 as I recall. And those were too expensive?

 

I bought a premium range Mk1 SK at Warley in 2016 for £16 - what I call a bargain. :good_mini:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/03/2019 at 00:25, adb968008 said:

 

 

looking at the sound van, great innovation it is, I think they missed a trick, if it had it been Bluetooth, or Wi-fi, it could have introduced the “app” and been unlimited to thousands of sounds, including making / recording & mixing your own sounds, whilst the app might not make money, hours spent on some station could see the kid return to their wagon and continue to evolve their interest, it’s a value add that isn’t just “finished” like a Lego kit... for example the “cat” could be your own cat and it becomes personal.

 

 

Some good innovative thinking here! I don’t know how realistic it is given the small space in the wagon but it certainly sounds appealing. Perhaps something similar with a micro camera wagon - the one I have is not Hornby and does not have Bluetooth. 

Certainly this is the right direction. We already operate our layouts from smartphones (well some of us do) but there is much more mileage in such linkages. 

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, SVRlad said:

 

I bought a premium range Mk1 SK at Warley in 2016 for £16 - what I call a bargain. https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_good_mini.gif

 

Funny, I bought a couple of premium range Mk1 SK at the weekend for £28 each, and thought that was a bargain, considering everywhere else they are at least £10 more.

 

I remember when they were much cheaper, so I guess the term bargain is all relative.

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding the profitability of large scale plastic kits, whether aircraft, military vehicles or cars... walk into any model shop and what do you see? 

 

They are clearly good business. 

 

Revell - another name from the 70s - are still selling limited runs of kits from old tooling, with every evidence of success (although they no longer use the metallic-finish self-coloured bodies which were so striking on models like the Thames Panel Van drag car) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding the “previous” Hornby management, I recall seeing a number of articles around that time in the financial pages (brand recognition!) suggesting that following the financial decline of preceding years, certain institutional shareholders engineered a change of approach - basically a “dash for cash” to recoup their investment, as far as possible, without undue regard for long-term viability. 

 

This isn’t to say that this management was simply intended as an asset-stripping operation to trash Hornby for whatever it would bring - the assets simply weren’t worth enough, for one thing - but maintaining a full distribution network clearly wasn’t a priority. There were suggestions that the entire distribution process was envisaged as an out-sourced on-line box-shifting operation (its astonishing what small items can be distributed this way, these days). 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to mention earlier on in this thread. The sound van isn’t a new innovation.

It has been done before by at least one other European manufacturer.

  • Agree 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the most positive products Hornby currently have in their model railway range, is TTS.

Hopefully they will strive to update this to a better quality mk2 version, while still keeping the low  price point.

IMHO it would be a mistake to just sit on their laurels and churn out the same product year after year, without a development plan, especially if competition for TTS appears in the near future.

 

 

  • Agree 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part 2 tonight is it going to be more of the same, pluss some kind of a fight ?.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have watched it twice now and now have a sound van on order having watched it and thought 'that looks fun'! Hoping for some new sounds in second run though dunno what though maybe drunk football fans hurling abuse across the platforms!

mark

  • Funny 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

I forgot to mention earlier on in this thread. The sound van isn’t a new innovation.

It has been done before by at least one other European manufacturer.

And one was on the market in the USA a long time back.     Lionel were definitely doing them back in the late 1990s (great if you fancy a boxcar that plays 'Jingle Bells' but they weren't 'novelties' like that) and were running the Railsounds range of boxcars c.2006.  So not a new idea at all but that of course is no reason for Hornby not to use the idea and they've done it in a way which makes a lot of sense.   And that wouldn't be the first time that Triang and its successors copied Lionel ideas - after all Lionel first issued its operating Giraffe car in 1960 (three years before Triang's version) and it stayed in the catalogue for 6 years.

 

Maybe we should start looking at Lionel to see what 'new' ideas Hornby and others in the UK will be coming up with next?  :jester:

  • Like 2
  • Funny 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Airfix in the early days had shocking quality control and fit but over the years it seems they have improved considerably with the quality and fit of there later kits. I was hoping with the vintage kit series there would be a lot of people making bodies for the likes of the matador to suit say the bus collector market for example or the railway modelers but sadly no. I have not purchased a Hornby product in ages there prices seem ott for new models when you can go onto ebay and get the same new release significantly cheaper from a retailers eBay store or go to a different manufacturer and get a better all round model of the same thing for maybe slightly less price with more bells and whistles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, The Johnster said:

I don't think they were expensive for the detail provide; the 42xx was a very well detailed model, but poorly designed and a poor performer in an effort to keep a lid on costs.  I have the revamped version with a 'proper' chassis and am very happy with it; paid £85 for it a year ago brand new.  It performs beautifully, is smooth, slow, and powerful, but I wouldn't make any statement to the effect that the lid is still on costs...

 

Agreed! I'm happy with both my 42xx and 72xx they certainly look much better once weathered (less plastic looking) and they run very well...........not sure if they are the revamped versions though :blush:

 

Edited by chuffinghell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, DonnyRailMan said:

Part 2 tonight is it going to be more of the same, pluss some kind of a fight ?.

 

Between whom though?

 

and will it be a 'pistols at dawn' kinda thing or just a playground slap fest?

 

Edited by chuffinghell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, chuffinghell said:

 

Agreed! I'm happy with both my 42xx and 72xx they certainly look much better once weathered (less plastic looking) and they run very well...........not sure if they are the revamped versions though https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_blush.png

 

I love mine; plods just like a 42xx...   The way to tell if you have the current chassis is to look beneath the plastic keeper plate, the thing with the brake detail moulded to it that holds the axles in place, to see if your axles have bearings which fit into grooves beneath the chassis block, but since you are happy with the running of your locos, it is very probably that you do have the current models.  Mine is a BR early livery 4287, renumbered as 4218.

 

I've had a few things fall off it; a coupling, 2 buffers, and the slide bar bracket came away on the right hand side which let to a very worrying seizing up episode, but these are all easily fixed with a dab of superglue and not major issues.  It does suggest a lack of care in the assembly facility though, and as I've just had to return a Hornby Collett suburban that was missing a handrail altogether this is something I think Hornby need to be taking a look at!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This, I see as another positive sign from Hornby. Down at Margate.......

 

BUT reading it did make me chuckle.

 

"Please be advised that our phone lines will be out of action from 2pm on Thursday 14th (tomorrow) until Friday 15th at 9am, as the switchboard is being moved from our previous office in Sandwich, back to Margate.

 

Please avoid calling our office lines during this time.

 

Thank you in advance for your understanding.

 

Hornby Hobbies

For more information or to place an order please call

01843 233### "

  • Informative/Useful 2
  • Funny 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, chuffinghell said:

 

Between whom though?

 

and will it be a 'pistols at dawn' kinda thing or just a playground slap fest?

 

Or it could be hand-bags at dawn. 

  • Funny 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK only 25 minutes to go and all will be revealed. I was at the preview and noticed that one Hornby major brand is almost never mentioned. See what you think when you have seen both programmes.

 

CAT

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.