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Hornby goes Steampunk in 2020

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17 hours ago, eldomtom2 said:

The question is why they have to be differentated in the first place. And even if they are, why does the Hornby name need to be ditched entirely?

It does not appear at all outside of the small print, and does not seem to be there for marketing purposes.

I think this is called Brand Management, and is part of the science of marketing. Hornby will continue to brand mainstream model goods, but BL will be used as a Hornby subsidiary to sell this quite alternative take on models. Obviously Hornby hopes it will take off and develop a following, which Hornby will then seek to satisfy according to intelligence about what is and is not selling. But BL is the brand name, and mention of Hornby is only to identify the bona-fides of the brand owner, differentiating it from being a new start-up from an unknown company. 

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3 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

A sneak preview of the Bassett-Lowke stand at the London Toy Fair this week.

 

Steampunk.jpg

Certainly looks pretty classy and comfortable for a Gentleman's Activity Bunker. :good:

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7 hours ago, HonestTom said:

Possible reasons given already on this thread:

- To maintain the Bassett-Lowke trade mark

- Because using the Hornby name might be seen as indicating the range is purely for railway modellers, and Hornby seeks new markets

- Like Corgi, Airfix, Humbrol, Scalextric etc, it's not quite the same arena as Hornby's model railways, though there is crossover.

- Because they fear diluting the Hornby name by attaching it to something not aimed at the traditional market

 

I don't really know what else to say, and unless someone from Hornby comes forward and gives the actual reason, I don't know where we go from here with this question. I feel like you won't be satisfied with anything other than "You're right, there is no reason, it's stupid and Hornby should fire their marketing department forthwith."

 

I'm not Simon Kohler and I can't speak for Hornby, but I'd very strongly suspect that its an attempt to create the entry point which everybody is agreed is necessary to sustain the hobby before we old farts all drop off our collective perches.

 

In the past there has been Thomas the Tank Engine but I've never been convinced that a significant number of Thomas runners will keep going long enough to discuss the finer points of Peckett W4s and tell the difference between a Stanier and a Fairbairn tank. There's Harry Potter of course, but the range and the scope are a bit, shall we say, limited...

 

Steam Punk [and the "quaint" Basset-Lowke name] seems to me to bridge the gap between the small kids' railway and the grown-ups' railway. Its a chance to have a go without being child-like, and exercise a proper bit of imagination without getting bogged down in counting rivets. And maybe move on from there, or maybe not, but I think it offers more chance than taking that leap from Thomas

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15 hours ago, Oldddudders said:

I think this is called Brand Management, and is part of the science of marketing. 


TBH it’s more of a dark art than a science. 

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12 hours ago, Caledonian said:

 

I'm not Simon Kohler and I can't speak for Hornby, but I'd very strongly suspect that its an attempt to create the entry point which everybody is agreed is necessary to sustain the hobby before we old farts all drop off our collective perches.

 

In the past there has been Thomas the Tank Engine but I've never been convinced that a significant number of Thomas runners will keep going long enough to discuss the finer points of Peckett W4s and tell the difference between a Stanier and a Fairbairn tank. There's Harry Potter of course, but the range and the scope are a bit, shall we say, limited...

 

Steam Punk [and the "quaint" Basset-Lowke name] seems to me to bridge the gap between the small kids' railway and the grown-ups' railway. Its a chance to have a go without being child-like, and exercise a proper bit of imagination without getting bogged down in counting rivets. And maybe move on from there, or maybe not, but I think it offers more chance than taking that leap from Thomas

 

I feel that Hornby could, if this range takes off, explore the crossover potential with their main range. I can see the colourful and elaborate liveries of the pre-Grouping era really appealing to the steampunk market.

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It looks like Phil's dipping his toe in the water at the Toy Fair with Laurie Calvert and Tim Mulhall.

 

Phil_Toy_Fair.jpg

 

Stick a top hat and some goggles on him and call him Steampunk.

 

 

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15 hours ago, Caledonian said:

 

I'm not Simon Kohler

 

 

Indeed, that might be "tedious"

 

15 hours ago, Caledonian said:

and I can't speak for Hornby, but I'd very strongly suspect that its an attempt to create the entry point which everybody is agreed is necessary to sustain the hobby before we old farts all drop off our collective perches.

 

In the past there has been Thomas the Tank Engine but I've never been convinced that a significant number of Thomas runners will keep going long enough to discuss the finer points of Peckett W4s and tell the difference between a Stanier and a Fairbairn tank. There's Harry Potter of course, but the range and the scope are a bit, shall we say, limited...

 

Steam Punk [and the "quaint" Basset-Lowke name] seems to me to bridge the gap between the small kids' railway and the grown-ups' railway. Its a chance to have a go without being child-like, and exercise a proper bit of imagination without getting bogged down in counting rivets. And maybe move on from there, or maybe not, but I think it offers more chance than taking that leap from Thomas

 

I think that's probably right. And as a concept, I think it's a good idea that had some prospect of successfully fulfilling that brief.

 

I did take the trouble to read the two pages of forum comment by Actual Steampunkers, linked to earlier, however. Of course, it should be considered that they may not be anymore representative of the steamy punk-pound than the two dozen or so exacting commentators of, say, RMWeb are of the model railway hobby. But, still, I cannot help but feel that their views vindicated my conclusion that more effort could have been put into this by Hornby.  Perhaps the range will mature.

 

I notice, however, that someone has stuck some gears on Phil Parker, so I look forward to his Ebay listing in due course.

 

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On 19/01/2020 at 17:58, eldomtom2 said:

Which brings us back to the question of why didn't they call it Hornby...

 

Given modern-day sensibilities perhaps a better name for the new range would have been Bassett-Woke ?

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11 minutes ago, AY Mod said:

Stick a top hat and some goggles on him and call him Steampunk.

 

Wot? No cogs?

 

(squinting: oh, yes, they're there, but teeny tiny)

Edited by truffy
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4 minutes ago, caradoc said:

Given modern-day sensibilities perhaps a better name for the new range would have been Bassett-Woke ?

 

I hope not!

 

Though I can see why the brand was seized upon by the Marketing Droids - in their eyes the Basset-Lowke of old WAS mainly cogs and gearwheels....

 

 

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5 minutes ago, truffy said:

 

Wot? No cogs?

 

(squinting: oh, yes, they're there, but teeny tiny)

 

It's not the size ...

 

Anyway, Tim Mulhall should probably lose the swastika buttons ....

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4 minutes ago, Edwardian said:

Anyway, Tim Mulhall should probably lose the swastika buttons

 

I can't decide if they're "those symbols" or merely similar to the brown leather buttons I had on a coat many, many (MANY) years ago that had a crossed pattern across the top. 

 

Even zooming in on the image doesn't help!

 

Back to the excresence brand itself.

 

Perhaps Hornby/Basset-Lowke could introduce a gearwheel-like lapel badge, with a suitable motto, to signify membership of their Steampunk Fraternity?

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1 minute ago, Hroth said:

 

Perhaps Hornby/Basset-Lowke could introduce a gearwheel-like lapel badge, with a suitable motto, to signify membership of their Steampunk Fraternity?

 

I think that's called "the Rotary Club"

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It's not entirely my cup of tea, but..... If Hornby can turn a penny on it, then good for them. Of course, if it grows in popularity, then without a doubt, we'll see the bl**dy awful Flying Jockstrap model, done up like a tarts pyjamas. 

 

Otherwise,a good idea....

 

Ian.

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I have taken a closeup of the controversial buttons. Mr Mulhall describes them as "Paddington bear buttons". 20200121_173034.jpg

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On 20/01/2020 at 00:26, PaulRhB said:

The Hornby association’s will help it sell to retailers at the toy fair, it will give confidence to the supply line. The public sales branding is a totally different entity and Bassett Lowke is perfect for that. 
To be honest the tinplate recreations scaled down and using the smokey joe chassis would probably have made pretty cool desk models for a steampunk enthusiast. Something different again from trying to model a full size Steampunk loco that better fits the chassis? The industrial 0-4-0 body slightly shortened to look like the classic 0-4-0 with a glossy paint job? In tinplate would be even better but maybe a diecast body tooled by the Corgi part of Hornby would have worked best for that? ;) 

 

 

But the whole point is that it ISN'T a "sit on a desk" model, with the possible exception of the figures.

 

Les

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perhaps if steampunk works Hornby could follow up by using another old name for a range based on this (at Locomotion this week)

 

20200115_150552.jpg.13b7f01623dc03e73382096a14940551.jpg

 

I know it has been modelled before, but r-t-r from a main manufacturer?

 

Just a thought

 

Les

 

Edited by Les1952
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14 minutes ago, Les1952 said:

 

But the whole point is that it ISN'T a "sit on a desk" model, with the possible exception of the figures.

 

But what would appeal to Steampunk aficionados generally? ;) Something to display and collect that can also run on a layout. As you point out the larger figures are display models so why not make one of the three locos a  retro steampunk trainset? 
The Industrial 0.4.0 already looks like the old Hornby clockwork so why not a glossy version with simulated paint chips . . .


Two ranges in one for testing the market.

B4509ABA-D41A-426A-B6BF-A4A66DB7A94A.jpeg.ed9febb6d926ad32684e3980cc710e07.jpeg

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18 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

I have taken a closeup of the controversial buttons. Mr Mulhall describes them as "Paddington bear buttons". 20200121_173034.jpg

Nothing controversial about those buttons. I had buttons exactly like that on my jacket, back in the 60's. 

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On 21/01/2020 at 14:00, Edwardian said:

I think that's called "the Rotary Club"

 

That's a solid enamelled object, I was thinking more in terms of a bronzed openwork metal effect with a curly banner across the middle...  :jester:

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18 minutes ago, Hroth said:

 

That's a solid enamelled object, I was thinking more in terms of a bronzed openwork metal effect with a curly banner across the middle...  :jester:

 

Just ask Andy Y to give your Gold Membership medallion a serrated edge, that should do the job!

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2 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

All my photos from yesterdays visit to the Steampunk emporium are now on World of Railways: https://www.world-of-railways.co.uk/news/bassett-lowke-steampunk-range-showcased-at-the-london-toy-fair/

Re the photo of Laurie Calvert there - now if those were cogs sticking out of his head above his ears, I'd understand the inspiration for the buildings in the range.... :mosking:

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