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EFE Rail launches


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The fitting of NEM pockets is a retrograde step as it destroys the look of the front of the Driving motor cars.

Nice little job for the 3D printers, to make a prototypical coupler that plugs in there.

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5 hours ago, classy52 said:

 

Yep RRP of 150 squids looks pretty horrendous for what looks like quite a small basic steamie...now don't mention prices on here & just buy the damn thing!!!

Cost is always something to be debated.  Last evening I finally got around to replacing the LMS Stanier Brake 3rd for my N Gauge LMS set - I had traded the original for a bunch of stuff a few years ago and they weren't available at the time to replace then.  As it happens, purchasing from Rails I was able to see my past orders to discover I originally purchased the three Firsts - brake, vestibule and comp - from Rails in 2008.  The Third Brake is costing more in 2020 than the three coaches combined cost in 2008.   Not entirely unreasonable you'd think - but then you see what your income was back in 2008 (I really should clear out the tax records!) and discover that your income hasn't tripled...   In this case, the usual argument of "look at the quality" doesn't apply as it isn't new tooling, it just has a different number on the coach side to the original issue. 

 

Maybe 150 squids for a basic steamie - it isn't going to get new modellers in now is it?

 

Edit - I should say I don't mind costs going up - I do understand inflation and so forth.  However, ideally it should be equal - as a % of my income, the coach is a lot more now than it was.  So much for economic theory in this case!

Edited by Sithlord75
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8 hours ago, classy52 said:

 

Yep RRP of 150 squids looks pretty horrendous for what looks like quite a small basic steamie...now don't mention prices on here & just buy the damn thing!!!


I wouldn't mind, I also understand why the cost is high, but it is wayyyyy out of my budget. I've never paid over a 100 quid for an 0-6-0 tank engine. The price does beg the question - how much of re-tooling has it gone through in order for the price to be that high?

I also have to factor in international shipping which adds a further 12-15 quid and then a fairly high customs rate.

Also the ONLY issue I have with quarterly announcements is that when something is announced, it can turn up within days, weeks or 3 months. I like to make a budget for the hobby, I make my modelling budget according to announcements. I think I'll pass and just pick up a Hornby one and make the necessary mods.

Edited by MGR Hooper!
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3 hours ago, Sithlord75 said:

Cost is always something to be debated.  Last evening I finally got around to replacing the LMS Stanier Brake 3rd for my N Gauge LMS set - I had traded the original for a bunch of stuff a few years ago and they weren't available at the time to replace then.  As it happens, purchasing from Rails I was able to see my past orders to discover I originally purchased the three Firsts - brake, vestibule and comp - from Rails in 2008.  The Third Brake is costing more in 2020 than the three coaches combined cost in 2008.   Not entirely unreasonable you'd think - but then you see what your income was back in 2008 (I really should clear out the tax records!) and discover that your income hasn't tripled...   In this case, the usual argument of "look at the quality" doesn't apply as it isn't new tooling, it just has a different number on the coach side to the original issue. 

 

Maybe 150 squids for a basic steamie - it isn't going to get new modellers in now is it?

 

Edit - I should say I don't mind costs going up - I do understand inflation and so forth.  However, ideally it should be equal - as a % of my income, the coach is a lot more now than it was.  So much for economic theory in this case!

 

I think the one thing that didn't go up in equal proportion to everything else was the workers' wages in China, which have gone up quite significantly. That's where the disproportionate increases are coming from. I hope I am not making any judgements on this, either negative or positive - it just 'is'.

 

Edited by SRman
Correcting typo
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18 minutes ago, SRman said:

 

I think the one thing that didn't go up in equal proportion to everything else was the workers' wages in China, which have gone up quite significantly. That's where the disproportionate increases are coming from. I hope I am not making any judgements on this, either negative or positive - it just 'is'.

 


Exactly

 

I would also ask exactly how many RMwebers would be happy with their wages only ever increasing by inflation, because all that does it maintain your current position as it were. What most folk would do is look for something better, be it through promotion or moving to an alternative employer who is willing to offer more.

 

Assembling fragile models is skilled work and I given the vast amount of consumer products made in China these days, workers will be seeking something more than a mere ‘inflation only’ pay rise.

 

More broadly Under capitalism* the goal is to increase you income year in year - not merely keep it the same over time. For example in the world of big business Unilever is planning to spin off its Tea brands as the market for tea drinking is static while the market for drinking coffee continues to expand rapidly. This is all part of increasing profits (and thus shareholder dividends)  not merely maintaining the status quo.
 


* Yes I know China is supposedly a Communist regime - but in reality that’s not been true for decades regardless of what the authoritarian, human right crushing, bullying, empire building, cultural genocide supporting elite in Beijing say. China is a capitalist society in all but name and a pretty unpleasant one at that...

 

 

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20 minutes ago, phil-b259 said:


I would also ask exactly how many RMwebers would be happy with their wages only ever increasing by inflation, because all that does it maintain your current position as it were. What most folk would do is look for something better, be it through promotion or moving to an alternative employer who is willing to offer more.

 

 

I agree with you - however in my case, being a fairly tightly controlled (at least wage wise) industry I don't get more than Inflation (and this year didn't even get that - apparently there is a pandemic on and so the main employer in my sector (which is the government) legislated away the legislated wage rise!  I could go for promotion but frankly the extra money isn't worth the extra stress.  There is also limited opportunities to go up.  They are there, in fairness, and I choose not to take them.  My original comment about the pricing isn't a whinge - I cheerfully paid up for the BTK after all! - more an observation about how the cost of models is getting more and more out of the reach of pocket money.  Not much can be done about it - as SRman rightly points out, the increasing wages in China (although its possibly questionable how much of that percentage increase finds its way into the workers pocket rather than the State) is a significant factor in the changes.

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14 minutes ago, Sithlord75 said:

I agree with you - however in my case, being a fairly tightly controlled (at least wage wise) industry I don't get more than Inflation (and this year didn't even get that - apparently there is a pandemic on and so the main employer in my sector (which is the government) legislated away the legislated wage rise!  I could go for promotion but frankly the extra money isn't worth the extra stress.  There is also limited opportunities to go up.  They are there, in fairness, and I choose not to take them.  My original comment about the pricing isn't a whinge - I cheerfully paid up for the BTK after all! - more an observation about how the cost of models is getting more and more out of the reach of pocket money.  Not much can be done about it - as SRman rightly points out, the increasing wages in China (although its possibly questionable how much of that percentage increase finds its way into the workers pocket rather than the State) is a significant factor in the changes.


I was taking a generalised pre-pandemic look at things - naturally at an individual level there are a whole host of other things which come into play. 

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8 hours ago, Paul.Uni said:

All the EFE Rail models announced have a release date of August, except:

  • N gauge Mermaids - October.
  • OO gauge 1938 Tube Stock - December.

 

That is a pleasant surprise. I am very much looking forward to the LMR J94 and would seriously consider a BR Late Crest example if one should turn up without weathering in a subsequent batch at some point!

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13 hours ago, classy52 said:

 

Yep RRP of 150 squids looks pretty horrendous for what looks like quite a small basic steamie...now don't mention prices on here & just buy the damn thing!!!

Similar attitude. Yes, I know if it follows on from the DJ models it's got the geared drive system, that going by the reviews at the time never seemed to bring much to the party apart from being a bit of an oddity.

However, I'm not going to turn this into a criticism, as I've pre-ordered the LMR version, and am hoping that the rest don't sell out too quickly as I will very interested to see actual pictures of the other non-BR ones once they're received by the retailers (which given the items are supposed to be in stock already at Bachmann should be toute suite). Both NCBs (I always thought the weathering on the Hattons ones, for an RTR model, was extremely good, so I hope "Amazon" is of equivalent standard) plus the Army one could also be in the hiring line - albeit at prices that I wish were 10% lower than the "real" ones at which they will actually retail. Then again, I'm talking about potentially buying them, so perhaps Bachmann haven't got their sums that wrong....

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5 hours ago, SRman said:

 

I think the one thing that didn't go up in equal proportion to everything else was the workers' wages in China, which have gone up quite significantly. That's where the disproportionate increases are coming from. I hope I am not making any judgements on this, either negative or positive - it just 'is'.

 

 

Wages in China have increased 31% since the DJ J94 was released, so that would make the model about £112, but that fails to show the real story.

 

As we know, DJ's business model failed, so quite possibly the margins he was setting were insufficient to be sustainable. Raw material costs have also increased quite significantly, exchange rates have fluctuated and the cost of doing business in China has increased as it has had to improve employee conditions to meet pressure from outside (not just pay).

 

Then we have the dreaded B word which is far from done and dusted. Nobody really knows where we will stand come January 2021 and companies are being cautious. I am seeing risk assessments by even big companies (way bigger than Bachmann) who are, quite frankly, scared about costing anything at the moment.

 

£150 for a small tank engine is frightening yes, but I think we will have to get even more used to it than we already are.


Roy

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Roy Langridge said:

 

Then we have the dreaded B word which is far from done and dusted. Nobody really knows where we will stand come January 2021 and companies are being cautious. I am seeing risk assessments by even big companies (way bigger than Bachmann) who are, quite frankly, scared about costing anything at the moment.

 

 

 

 

 

Not forgetting the C word. Isolation gave a boost to the hobby but if a recession hits, the short gains may not offset long term losses.

 

I imagine the EFE rails range being really short runs too (a cautious approach) which means higher unit cost as well.

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28 minutes ago, Roy Langridge said:

 

Wages in China have increased 31% since the DJ J94 was released, so that would make the model about £112, but that fails to show the real story.

 

As we know, DJ's business model failed, so quite possibly the margins he was setting were insufficient to be sustainable. Raw material costs have also increased quite significantly, exchange rates have fluctuated and the cost of doing business in China has increased as it has had to improve employee conditions to meet pressure from outside (not just pay).

 

Then we have the dreaded B word which is far from done and dusted. Nobody really knows where we will stand come January 2021 and companies are being cautious. I am seeing risk assessments by even big companies (way bigger than Bachmann) who are, quite frankly, scared about costing anything at the moment.

 

£150 for a small tank engine is frightening yes, but I think we will have to get even more used to it than we already are.


Roy

 

 

Hi,

 

Wages overall have gone up in China by a certain amount but Bachmann have reportedly have had staff move to the electronics industry where precision machining and assembly is highly prized. If so it wouldn't be a surprise if Bachmann's costs have gone up more.

 

Regards

 

Nick

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5 hours ago, SRman said:

 

I think the one thing that didn't go up in equal proportion to everything else was the workers' wages in China, which have gone up quite significantly. That's where the disproportionate increases are coming from. I hope I am not making any judgements on this, either negative or positive - it just 'is'.

 

 

Wages have gone up in China but not anything like increase in prices. Please also consider that labour is also only a proportion of the overall cost , when you take into account manufacturers margin and retailers margin , raw materials , capitalisation of tooling - actually relatively small .   That said wages in China are still only about 20-25% of those here , although it is difficult to compare because of differing conditions, practices .

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11 hours ago, Grovenor said:

Nice little job for the 3D printers, to make a prototypical coupler that plugs in there.

Why go to all that trouble when you can make a resin cast of the original EFE version, it is a plastic moulding that clips in to a slot in the diecast chassis. The only change needed would be to reposition the original clip lugs and possibly include an inconspicuous shim below it as as the slot is wider, and I think shallower than the NEM pocket.  

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1 hour ago, Legend said:

 

Wages have gone up in China but not anything like increase in prices. Please also consider that labour is also only a proportion of the overall cost , when you take into account manufacturers margin and retailers margin , raw materials , capitalisation of tooling - actually relatively small .   That said wages in China are still only about 20-25% of those here , although it is difficult to compare because of differing conditions, practices .

 

The wages costs are cumulative through the supply industries as well, so we're not just talking about the workers in the factories assembling our models, we're talking the costs of handling the raw materials, storing and delivering them, then transporting the products to wherever they are shipped from. But yes, there are plenty of other factors too. 

I agree with your point about the relatve costs of living. Their wages reflect lower costs of living, but are still a significant contributor to the increases we are seeing. The point is that the rises in prices we are seeing are not proportional to our own countries' increases in wages (referring to at least Britain, Australia and New Zealand), but are somewhat greater.

The higher prices mean I have had to question whether I can justify spending on some of these newer models. I have pre-ordered an underground set, but am seriously questioning whether I will be buying a Bachmann 4 BEP unit, for example. However, by not buying a 4 BEP, will I be contributing to a downturn in future viability of Southern EMUs? If many other potential buyers feel the same way, we may see certain long demanded models suddenly becoming shelf decorations in the shops. If the margins are not there, the manufacturers may have to reduce their outputs of new models too. 

It's a worry.

Edited by SRman
Edited to correct a few typos ... again.
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5 hours ago, phil-b259 said:


Exactly

 

I would also ask exactly how many RMwebers would be happy with their wages only ever increasing by inflation, because all that does it maintain your current position as it were.

 

 

 

 

I work in the public sector - 'wages only ever increasing by inflation'??? Luxury!! 

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1 hour ago, Roy Langridge said:

 

Wages in China have increased 31% since the DJ J94 was released, so that would make the model about £112

 

 

 

 

You can't make an assumption like that.  

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2 minutes ago, MikeParkin65 said:

I work in the public sector - 'wages only ever increasing by inflation'??? Luxury!! 

 

You're not a Yorkshireman, are you Mike??? :jester:

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If this is going to descend into yet another thread generally moaning about prices, it will be locked. Please return to the topic of EFE Rail.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Ouroborus said:

 

You can't make an assumption like that.  

 

I guess you didn't read the rest of my post then? And as for your selective snipping of my text, where you removed "but that fails to show the real story" which shows that I know you can't make an assumption like that...

 

Don't try to score points by selectively misquoting people to then have a moan.

 

Roy

Edited by Roy Langridge
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Very excited for the 1938 stock motorised chassis, this will be a game changer for me and my london underground layout.

 

i currently have a lot of motorised sets with either twin tenshodo motors or underground ernie chassis but they just dont run that well and are a bit of a pain.

 

i would put money on it that they will do a run of the 59/62 stock, as they will have the EFE tooling to use for them.

 

other models though, im not so sure.

remember the whole EFE rail thing is pretty much for other manufacturers toolings ect.

if they designed say, a 67/72 or 73 stock to go on the base chassis then it becomes a whole newly tooled model, so would surely go in the branchline range.

 

i will keep crossing my fingers however!

D6C7118D-2D37-45BC-85ED-551279340E8F.jpeg

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