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Bachmanns website has a new section which has just appeared which is aimed at kids. The Bachmann Junior section has information on train sets and special kids train items. It also has a link to the forthcoming Underground Ernie section which has not yet been created. This is obviously and area in which they are keen to expand. It would seem from the Underground Ernie section that these models are to be forthcoming.

There are also colouring in competitions and the like to engage the younger modeller. However most of the information was already there, it has just been reformatted in a more child friendly manner.

It would seem that Hornby's dominance of the junior market with Thomas will no longer go unchallanged.

It should be interesting to see the new Underground Ernie trains. I guess us parents will soon become more familiar with them.


Bachmann Junior
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I was just having another look at Bachmanns website and have noticed that only one of the Locos(the Junior Shunter) and one of the sets (Harry the Hauler) is suitable for over the age of three. The rest are for age 14 and above. I have to question how age appropriate this new area is if it is aimed at fourteen and above?
Most fourteen year olds would be looking for something a bit more grown up than colouring and so on.
 

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My guess is that Bachmann are hoping that parents will visit this new section of the site and vet it before letting their children loose.

Websites aimed specifically at children though do require considerable care and maybe it should be made clearer that some (most?) of the products listed are suitable for over 14's only.

Maybe these complications are one of the reasons why Hornby have never had a junior section on their website. They might actually have to highlight this legal fact in big bold letters!


Why is it that none of my old boxes have any of these safety warnings?


Have train sets changed in the last 20-30 years?


I was playing with Battlespace when I was 10. Firing rockets and all sorts at my friends and playing with small soldiers.

What sort of warnings would Battlespace packaging have if it was produced today!


Can anybody think of one major incident/accident in the whole history of model/toy railways anywhere in the world in the whole of time?


And yet how many people are now employed worldwide by the taxpayer to enforce this legislation on the model railway industry?


Hornby told me that it costs £1000 to have a single light checked out in a new model before that model can receive a safety certificate for its light!


Sorry if I am in my soap box mood but I believe we have serious issues as a nation when we are instructing people that trains sets are only suitable for those aged 14 or over!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I think its very refreshing to see a major manufacurer, making a serious effort to entice the younger generation into the joys of model railways, you only have to go to a model railway show to see the average age of those intrested in model railways, i would not mind guessing that the majority are above 40? or even 50? and that includes me, what will happen to the industry after were all pushing up daisys? May be Bachman are thinking along these lines? I wish them well, the more intrest there is in the hobby, the more we will all benifit.
 

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We are all adults looking in with an adult perspective.

How do the young kids feel about this new initiative?


Lest we adults forget!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I thought fourteen was a bit old for the items they had. I would have thought at eleven maybe a kid would be responsible enough to play with a model train. Maybe they are thinking about a kid on their own unsupervised? I guess Bachmann do have to cover their butt as not every kid grows up at the same rate. It is good to see they are trying to stimulate growth in this area.
 

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Further to Neil's comments about Hornby Thomas dominance being lost.

These Bachmann locos are Thomas and Percy, overseas Bachmann have licensing rights. They have used the Thomas / Percy tooling but changed the liveries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
QUOTE (Woodenhead @ 19 Sep 2006, 09:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Further to Neil's comments about Hornby Thomas dominance being lost.

I didn't say Hornby's Thomas dominance would be lost, what I said is Hornby's junior market would no longer go unchallanged. I don't think Hornby are quaking in their boots at the formidable onslaught of Harry the Hauler against the substantial Thomas range which Hornby have. Bachmann have a long way to go to compete but the Underground Ernie franchise is a start once it kicks in. It will probably not be as succesful as Thomas but not many other kids train franchises have that potential.
 

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Bachmann wish to make it clear that the toy division of Kader will be producing the Underground Ernie range and this part of the company has an entirely seperate dedicated factory to that enjoyed by the scale model division. Bachmann stress that Underground Ernie has no impact on any planned delivery dates for their scale models.

Bachmann have a worldwide licence for Underground Ernie and the products produced will look very similar to the characters in the series. They will not be based around products of the scale model division.

Underground Ernie premiered in South Africa and it very quickly became the number 1 TV series in that country among the junior age group. Further series of Underground Ernie are planned. Apparently it is a series that adults can take to!

Ken Livingstone, the London Mayor, is said to be very happy with the publicity that London is receiving as a result of the Underground Ernie series even though London is never mentioned. Apparently kids from the UK and overseas are now insisting that their parents take them for tube rides when they visit London!

It is anticipated that Underground Ernie models will be snapped up by dads who are unhappy at the prospect of letting junior loose on their brand new Bachmann 9f's!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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>has an entirely seperate dedicated factory to that enjoyed by the scale model division
I thought part of the reason for Bachmann's elastic delivery schedules was that the scale model division doesn't _enjoy_ a separate dedicated factory.

David
 

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The toy division of Kader is massive and makes teddy bears, dolls, the Thomas the Tank Engine HO range for the USA and now Underground Ernie. It is an entirely seperate factory with its own design team and a different approach to production as they produce units by the million for world toy consumption.

Bachmann Europe are acting as distributers of Underground Ernie, not designers.

Bachmann are inevitably working on several subjects at a time and it just so happens that subject 4 is signed off for production before subject 1 when the subject 1 production slot appears at the factory. So as not to loose the production slot they go with the subject thats signed off and ready. There is no great mystery to this. Some models take more time than planned to get them as Bachmann want them and some models less time.

I would suspect that if a new release like the MK2 coaches prooves to have a much stronger demand than forecast then Bachmann utilise a production slot to get this demand satisfied. This may impact on other products.

All model manufacturers are faced with similar issues.

Any takers for the juggling balls?


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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>All model manufacturers are faced with similar issues.
Bachmann do seem to have more difficulty getting their availability estimates right than Hornby. It's not the end of the world when a Bachmann model does not arrive on the "estimated" date, but it is dis-spiriting when models you would like to buy, slip and slip again. It doesn't give a good impression of the company. Maybe I have been unlucky in that I would like a Fairburn tank and they have been particularly delayed. The anticipated date is still listed as October, so maybe this time.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Similarly I have been eagerly awaiting Britains first digital sound loco which should be the class 66. This has been pushed back to November now and they still aren't saying how much it's going to cost. I am concerned in case they use the Quantum sound decoders to keep costs down.
 

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I have spotted a definite trend here!

Has anybody noticed that Peco have revamped their website and introduced "Teddy Mac and the Railway Bears".

Teddy Mac

Probably not quite the franchise of "Underground Ernie" but interesting.

That only leaves Dapol.

I sense the return of "Ivor the Engine"!


http://www.whirligig-tv.co.uk/tv/children/...ortheengine.htm

Wow check it out! There is a paper cutout download which you can print off to make your own Ivor the Engine!!!


http://www.smallfilms.co.uk/ivor/makeivor.htm

Now theres an idea for Bachmann! I want a 1p royalty for every download please worldwide!


Happy modelling
Gary

PS yes I did download the theme tune also!
 

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>I did download the theme tune also!
Would I be right in assuming that this is not the "Ivor the engine driver" tune by The Who! ?


David
 

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QUOTE Ivor The Engine Driver

My name is Ivor
I'm an engine driver

I know him well
I know why you feel blue
Just 'cause he's late
Don't mean he'll never get through

He told me he loves you
He ain't no liar, I ain't either
So let's have a smile for an old engine driver
So let's have a smile for an old engine driver

Please take a sweet
Come take a walk with me
We'll sort it out
Back at my place, maybe

It'll come right
You ain't no fool, I ain't either
So why not be nice to an old engine driver?
Better be nice to an old engine driver
Better be nice to an old engine driver

Hippy modelling
Gary
 

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>Hippy modelling
I have never really associated The Who with the Hippy scene, contemporaneous yes, Hippy no
.

David
 
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