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Those prices send out entirely the wrong message.

That railway modelling is a rich mans hobby.

Is there any news at all from the continental toy fair that suggests that railway modelling is a hobby for the masses?

Unfortuneately I doubt it.

This is the area where the continent appears to be totally out of step with the UK (and the USA?). However for nearly all wanabees thinking about the hobby it is a most significant consideration.

Until the continent stop producing models at fantasy prices then there will be little to interest UK modellers.

Maybe this is why the UK hobby market is enjoying relative success.

Happy modelling
Gary

This post refers to some new product pricing from the Nuremberg Toy Fair.

Dennis
 

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£79 for a Class 26/27 is a bit on the expensive side but it'll be one of those models that lots of people will want so they will sell regardless of price.

The same really applies to the IWA (Wasn't meant to put IWS) cargowagon - I'm tempted with the weathered ones, but i just don't want to pay £60 for 2 trucks. Come on Heljan lower the price a little bit.

As for the container crane anyone here going to pay £390 for one?
 

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It was more the accessories that were of concern. The Heljan UK outline stuff is reasonable value considering the work that goes into the model. However if Heljan were selling a "Class 26" type model to the Germans then what chance it being £125 or more?

The hobby in Germany is clearly for the professional classes in work unless German pensioners are very well off indeed.

My own personal experience of the hobby in the UK based on the large number of modellers I am aquainted with is that there seem to be a very high proportion of retired modellers for whom pennies count. I am total in my conviction that we should have value products in the UK as I'll be retired one day!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Some impressions.....

Having spent all of Monday at the Fair I began to doubt the wisdom of allowing the general public in.... many were clearly expecting to see more and to be able to buy. This is a trade fair, not a show, and is geared towards members of the trade. Some stands were very eye-catching, Marklin and Fleischmann in particular, but a large amount of the area is taken up by hospitality units for their customers.

I was struck by the rather down-beat atmosphere. The show lacked the "buzz" that you would have expected and many manufacturers were clearly re-trenching their ranges and consolidating. Marklin have been very conservative but in the wake of a 60 million euro loss last year I can't say I'm surprised. Fleischmann have done a cunning launch of the S10 / BR17 - it required a lot less re-tooling than might first appear! LGB had some interesting pre-production models on show and the Hornby International stand made you quite proud to be British! The best stands (IMO) were Preiser and Faller (I loved the kart track).

Rumours continued to circulate about the fate of Roco and the consensus was that unless the Fair produced a flush of interest and orders the administrators would pull the plug.

I did, however, enjoy getting to the DB museum (for the first time, amazingly) - the highlights of which were the Crampton and the KBay 4-4-4, King Ludwig's saloon and the wonderful models (I also loved the Sushi Bar with its LGB train!).

60134
 

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All aspects of all hobbies increase in price,as regretably do all aspects of life.If we want better models with all wheel drive and pick up it costs.Better detailing costs as well.Having finally got the folk at Hornby,Bachmann et al to produce superior models are we now going to moan about the price.I am given to understand from reading Hornby press releases that one of the reasons they did not go ahead with a 4car Southern region EMU was the likely retail price of £160-170.This also may well be why the "Pendolino" will be basic and not to Hornby's current diesel standard.If we want it then we'ed better get used to paying for it.Given Hornby's commercial success over the past 3 years ,I can't see them going back.
Bachmann sound equipped models at £150-170 look like a bargain to me!
 

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But there is a difference in Hornbys approach to pricing compared to Bachmann. Both made in China, both of much the same quality. Yet Hornby locos are much more expensive. £89 for a Class 60. £80 (sorry £79.95!) for an M7. Hornby know how to extract the maximum amount of profit from the market. In part this is a reaction to the "I'd have an M7 at any price" brigade. Well your getting what you want.

I'd personally rather have models that run well, are quality controlled and supplied at a reasonable price. Hornby are blatently profiteering . At least for £79 (probably £65 when discounted) we will get class 26 and 27s with smooth running characteristics and lights from Heljan.

We need to encourage competition and price competitiveness rather than accepting that prices will inevitably increase. Why should model railways be different from any other market where we expect value for money!

Russell
 

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Well i guess that you should be prepared to be buying less products.with your approach quality will inevitably suffer.Yes Hornby is more expensive than Bachmann,some might argue that the quality differences justify this.I honestly
think it's the good old British consumer attitude of I wanit but I ain't prepared to pay for it.Get real guy,nobody is profiteering,youpays your money,or not as the case may be.
 

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The problem with the logic regarding price increase equals better quality is the fact that they also jack up the prices of the older inferior less detailed models to levels that are similar to the new super detailed ones.The rrp of the grange now stands at 1p shy of a hundred quid. State of the art dcc ready locodrive and brand new. THe tender drive patriot is only 6.50 behind it. The archaic dean goods loco with its tender drive motor of airfix/mainline origins (motor and loco) now goes for just shy of £60 Its even a repeat of an old mainline running number and is just as unreliable.The diesels fare little better with hornby 37's and 47's deemed worthy of a £55 price tag for a model that is nearly as old as i am. The only old hornby diesel i might be tempted to part with that kind of money for is the class 56 and that isn't even one of theirs either.
As for heljan wanting £30 for a wagon they started the rest off on the stupid rolling stock prices with the dogfish at nearly £20 so its no surprise that they've exceeded that, lets hope the quality matches the asking price this time!
 

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I think that if you want better quality models you are going to have to pay for them. I buy British and German products and the German ones are substantially more expensive, however I get sound, inbuilt lighting and metal bodies. Things which have still to reach the UK market. I stopped buying British locos because the quality was rubbish. As Hornby have raised their game I am starting to buy their products but they still have a lot of catching up to do. I would love to see the same features in British locos as in Continental and American ones but I am prepared to pay for them. At the end of the day you get what you pay for. If you only want to pay peanuts you will get rubbish.
 

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It is also worth noting the effect the bachmann class 57 has had on the prices of its heljan counterpart which retailed at £30 more a few months ago and is now worth around the same if not less. Possibly the anticipation around the class 47 is already having a similar affect on that one too.
Another area the higher price=quality arguement falls flat on its face.
 

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maybe the fact that the Heljan 57 is based on the inaccurate 47 also had an effect.
Bachmann pricing is competitive,however as they raise their game pricing will also rise viz Pullmans and Mk2s.
I do agree with Spongebob about the older models,there does seem little justification for this.
 

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The new price list for the Hornby A1/A3 is £105. I picked one up for £75 brand new. The new Bachmann 9F is £112.15. I know who I consider the more expensive and who make the better models. All the models are cheaper if you shop around. I've never paid RRP for a loco yet. The new Class 60 can be had for £69.50 instead of £95 from Hornby direct. I always haggle on price anyway. You'll be surprised how many will respond in a positive manner. Any sale is better then none.

I was looking at the Bachmann Amtrak Acela set as well. $325 in america from Bachmann US, £197 from Bachmann uk. $165 brand new off ebay in the states. Not just us Brits who get ripped off. We just don't complain enough.

 

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This is the first time I think that hornby have had loco's priced through the magic ton mark whereas bachmann have done it for the last few years startng with the WD Austerity which in my opinion should've been DCC ready at least by now.

I think we've strayed a bit off the original thread (for a change) but the warning signs are possibly there for those companies who don't quite come up to scratch that financial security is far from assured especially if your product doesn't make the grade. Lima and Roco could be the first to go and others may follow.
The atmosphere at the Nurenburg show may reflect a bit of a downturn in the fortunes of the rail sector of late I can't recall going to so many quiet toyfalrs around a Christmas as this year both in terms of stalls and customers. Maybe the new games console releases have something to do with it.
You are right about the price of continental models being considerably higher than Uk ones and about shopping around for a good price. However I tend to wait til the release hype has died down and prices have come down unless it is something a bit special.
 

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>those companies who don't quite come up to scratch that financial security is far
> from assured especially if your product doesn't make the grade. Lima and Roco
>could be the first to go and others may follow
I may be wrong but I don't think that a lack of quality was the cause of Roco's difficulties.

I think the problem for the continentals is that until recently they were much more prepared to pay big money for their models. Now they seem to be keeping their hands in their pockets.

David
 

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A diecast aircraft analogy...

As well as buying model railways, I collect diecast 1/72 and 1/144 model aeroplanes.

At Nuremberg, a company called Gemini Jets launched a range called Gemini Aces, consisting of a Spitfire, a Mustang and an Me 109. These have etched brass parts, retracting undercarriage and are limited editions of 1500. All for £24.99!

The main player in this field is Corgi. Corgi's 1/72 Spitfire is five years old, rather chunky, available in limited editions of 7500 and yet retails for £30 under new pricing!

Higher price=better quality? Not always.

RM
 

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I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps Bachmann have upped the stakes a little in recent years. There have been some close calls regards duplication and until last year one side has backed off and done something else firstly the grange with hornby then the class 66 with heljan. Now they've muscled in on the heljan class 47 and 57 significantly undercutting heljan and at the sametime improving on the model this after "nicking" one of hornby's oldest sellers the 9f and not forgetting the jinty They are even starting to dothe same in N scale against dapol. I wonder what is to follow?
 

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I don't think we should get hung up on manufacturer's RRP's, as they are just about meaningless and I don't know anyone that actually pays them.

By shopping around it is quite easy to get 20% - 25% off the RRP, so what appears at £80 is obtainable for £60, which I feel is a fair price for the new Hornby 60.

It also makes us feel better to think we have got a bargain and helps us to convince our wives how prudent we are in saving so much. If they only knew.
 

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There is of course one particular retail firm who feel justified in pricing a model at £20-30 ABOVE the rrp just by renumbering and renaming it and giving it a certificate. I think a lot of you who buy the railway magazines will know who I mean. Funny isn't it if i rename and number a model it invariably lowers the price perhaps i should market it as a LTD edition of 1, I'm sure i could whip up a certificate to that effect.

I often wonder if they go to the trouble of renumbering the loco's they do that are the same as the manufacturers' releases.
 

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I know one retailer who adjusts his prices up depending which swopmeet he is at just so he can let the buyers haggle and think they have got something off. The classic example was the half dozen or so class 60's he received just before christmas not one of which sold for under £75 at a swopmeet, shop price about £60-65.
 

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I've moved some posts to this thread which makes more sense.

As far as the topic I think this only illustrates the fact that products are produced and priced at what the manufacturer/shop owner thinks the market can support. Based on my experience this price point is higher in the US and Germany. The reputable manufacturer will produce the best model they can for the price. Here I think Hornby does a very good job.

On the other hand with the price point higher in the US and Germany it gives the manufacturer more options for materials, technologies, etc. Whether this gives you a better price/value ratio can only be answered by the buyer.

As far as raising the price higher to give wiggle room, in China, in any street market you should not pay more than 10-20% of the initial asking price!
 
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