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With supermarkets in Britain issuing recalls and rumours of more toys of Chinese origin failing to meet CE requirements it could be a very good holiday season for Hornby and Bachmann as their products could literally be the only toys left on the shelves this Xmas!

It is absolutely absurd to think that Hornby and Bachmann will fall into the same trap as other toy manufacturers who appear to have been lackadasical with CE. Hornby take their CE very seriously and no doubt Bachmann do also.

I do wonder though about some of the American imports into the UK as it does seem on the evidence presented that the Americans have less than rigourous quality control procedures.

Whilst not wishing to sound puritanical it does make me slightly angry that companies take capital advantage of poor CE control procedures for commercial gain and I hope every single one of culprits gets caught and locked up for 20 years!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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The Hornby factory in China is owned by an American company and not the Chinese. So yes, the products are manufactured in China, however the buck for any issues stops with the factory owners who are American.

The Bachmann factory in China is Chinese owned. The fact that both companies talk about production slots makes me think that they both have a similar relationship with their production facilities.

A profile of The Kader Group:-

http://www.kader.com.hk/profile.htm

Now what all this means in terms of quality control and the current spate of toy recalls it is hard to say. Mattel have recently apologised to the Chinese as it appears that Mattel now admit that in part it was their designs and specifications that were flawed. It could be that the Chinese have gone to Mattel and said that unless Mattel make an apology they won't manufacturer any more toys for them!

What this saga suggests is that it does not pay to have all your eggs in one manufacturing basket and whilst this may be impossible for Bachmann to consider certainly Hornby should contemplate manufacturing in more than one country.

Happy modelling
Gary

Richard said:- "(Their disastrous Digital is a perfect example - Select should never have been sold as it was and is not fit for market)"

I do wish Richard would curtail his one man crusade as as he is wrong on both counts. What he means to say is that the Hornby Select is not right for him and that is all he needs to say. As it does exactly what it says on the box and in fact more than it says on the box then emotive words such as "disastrous" make no sense. Chris Leigh and Phil Grainger have a very sensible discussion about Hornby DCC in this months Model Rail magazine (although with Phil not actually answering any of Chris's questions properly in my view but choosing to answer his own) with none of the flowery words used by Richard here. Phil concludes that the Hornby Elite is a DCC machine of high quality and that in his view all Hornby need to do is bring the Select up to the standard of the Elite to satisfy the DCC cognoscenti.

I would ask if the DCC cognoscenti are the customers that Hornby had in mind for their Select?
 

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Hornby now require 4000 Chinese staff to manufacture their models.

Hornby had 600 manufacturing staff in the UK just prior to the move to China.

Hornby turnover has doubled since the move to China so you could argue that it takes 2000 Chinese staff (half of 4000) to produce the models that we see today compared with 600 staff to produce the models of the type Hornby produced 10 years ago.

So the amount of labour required to provide models with great detail is over 3 times what it used to be to produce models with moulded detail.

That might give you some idea as to the likely cost of such a model if manufactured in the UK!


It could be argued that the detail on todays Hornby models is greater than that of current Marklin suggesting higher prices than Marklin!

Happy modelling
Gary

PS I thought Fleischmann was a big company. Model Rail reports that they have just 360 employees!

Compare that with Hornby keeping 4200 in full time jobs!
 

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QUOTE What I (& others) are asking is how much ? - not how many - your answer only tells me that it would take 3.3 Chinese to do my job !

The Chinese put in a 48 hour week in a plant that has more automation than the old Margate factory. The old Hornby models had about 8 body components to assemble. Current Hornby models have over 100!

I have started another topic which includes figures.

QUOTE Regarding Richards "One Man Crusade" that sounds like the pot calling the kettle black - what about yours then ?

I do not crusade. I provide balance. Model Rail Forum is not here as a knocking shop and the fact is Hornby claim to be selling large numbers of Select units and decoders and if they are this suggests that Hornby understand their customers requirements rather better than DCC experts! This may worry Richard and others in the trade as it could affect sales of their higher margin consoles so their comments may not be entirely without prejudice and this has to be factored in.

New visitors (and we do get a lot!) will read the comment and will not understand the context in which the comment is made.

The Hornby Select has been described by Richard and other DCC cognoscenti as a throw away console. Surely if they are in the trade they should see this as a positive rather than a negative! The fact is the Select can be used in conjuction with an Elite so it is not so throw away as the DCC cognoscenti claim.

And the Select is bringing DCC to the people and many of these people eventually trade up if they want more. No other console to date in the UK (even Bachmann's EZ-Command) has succeeded in bringing DCC to the people. This is all a big positive for UK DCC if only Richard and others could see that!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE Gary the concensus of evryone apart from you and Hornby is that it simly is not DCC

A consensus of 5?


Also agree that comment on DCC product should stay in the DCC section.

Agreed that this topic is about Chinese manufacturing.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Off topic I know.

Re:- Select QUOTE Probably explains their quick graduation to 99p ebay sales I suspect.

That dealer on eBay has gone to the Hornby wholesaler (which I could do also!), picked up a few Hornby Digital trains sets for £60 wholesale, split them up, and is simply selling the contents off seperately with all items starting at 99p. There is a profit to be made and he is making it. Whether it is right or wrong to do this is an entirely seperate argument but he is simply a small time box shifter taking advantage of the fact that Hornby supply to wholesalers.

All his listings start at 99p not just those for Selects. Its not what they start for its what they sell for that matters for that seller and that dealer will be making a profit on every Select sold and every buyer will be a new DCC entrant so its a win win situation for everybody except official Hornby stockists.

I own a Select and as a DCC unit it works for me. And it worked for Doug when we set it up in France although we both agreed the Elite has the more user friendly menu.

Back to the topic.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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For all the fuss that is being made if you check out eBay there are thousands of toy items for sale that are either made of lead or are coated with lead paint or would not get past the current trading standards inspectors.

Any clued up toy collector would hoard all the items that are being recalled as in a few years time they will all be extremely collectable!

You could argue that a reasonable parent would not purchase such items from eBay. Given that we have a nanny state society its seems a little odd that the nanny state is actually delegating some responibility for discretion to parents!

And even more odd that eBay is allowed to turn a blind eye to such sales.

Happy modelling
Gary
 
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