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Yesterday I purchased the new Hornby 2008 catalogue, 204 pages including the cover, which must be a record, sadly the enclosed price list also show price increases which must also be something of a record.

I had been happily browsing throough the catalogue making a note of all the wonderful new items I wished to purchase, then I looked at the price list..........

New release Class 56s rise from £94.99 to a jaw dropping £116.50 (And no, this is nor for the DCC Fitted versions, just the DCC ready ones). Reaching for my calculator this is a price increase approaching 23%!!!!


I think that is the largest single price rise on the list, but royal Scots and Patriots rise from £94.99 to £111, which is close to a 17% rise. I guess we are paying to fix the chimney!

Now don't get me wrong, I am a big Hornby fan, but given that the discounted 'street pric' of a Class 56 is now going to be around £93 (A rise of around £20), I frankly can't see a lot of people paying that. I know there has been ongoing debate about how much people are prepared to pay for their models, but this is a huge jump in one go. Hornby products, particularly their new diesels have come on in leaps and bounds, but I do not feel they yet warrant these 'continental' prices. If the build quality is about to improve then maybe, but two of my most recent purchases, the aforementioned Class 56, and Royal Scot both suffered from a pre-fitted sandpipe breaking off on their inaugral trial runs (on radius 3 track before anyone asks)........

It will be interesting to see Bachmann's 2008 price list, I understand that China is suffering from inflation and we have a falling pound, but 23%? I expect a serious improvement in the robustness/durability of the models to warrrant that sort of an increase. Remember, most Bachmann diesels have a street price of between £50 and £55 currently.

Any comments on what looks like being a very expensive year


Ashley
 

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***Prices are an inevitable casualty of exchange rates... especially when the model is new. However I agree its going to be a hard one to live with when an RTR UK prototype regularly loco breaks the £99.99 barrier.

I actually don't think the rises in most cases are excessive (there is always a slight readjustment of margins in addition to the hard "economic" factors when prices rise) but there will inevitably be comparisons drawn between B&H when Bachmann also advise any inevitable release..... I think Hornby are showing courage commercially in approaching it head on as the first to make the jump.

Who knows how it will ipact: It may be a case of holding your breath - if the new price points create resistance, then sales will slow and special offers will happen at both wholesale and retail level.... It's perhaps going to be a case of should I buy now and get what I want, or wait and maybe or maybe not pick it up at a better price soon.....

Price rises will probably be worse for non-uk buyers, as there is another "distributor" step in the chain that wants to be fed, and international added freight costs will increase as well as cost prices for them!

But - remember, if we don't buy now, then new releases will probably end up delayed as cashflow is king to a Mfr and distributor as they need current sales to fund new models...

A good one to watch I think....

Richard
 

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One of the reasons that businesses chooses China to manufacture their products is because of the cheap labour. The Chinese are getting wise to this and labour costs are rising now all the time. Some companies are even looking towards India and Africa. Even Hornby admits that some manufacturing is probably going to take place in India.
 

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to give you an idea of how much labour costs have gone up in china. a friend of mine is a music teacher. she has been doing the same job in the same school for 8 years. her first year she was paid the equivalent of about £30 per month. which at the time was a very good wage. she now earns a wage that is about the same as she would be earning in the UK.

I love my models. but am i the only person who thinks perhaps there are more important things in lifeto spend £100 on?

I will get a T9 and the HST but i cant see any other purchases comming this year. not because i dont want them but because i cant justify the cash.

Peter
 

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i totally aggree .i thought i was seeing things, £5 for fitting a decoder.is the railroad range an exscuse to push the prices up .will there be another increase in feb like last year.£136 rrp for the patriot dcc.and you usually have to glue the bits that broke yourself.will we all be forced to shop at the large retailer.i love this hobby as well but can not justify the cost
 

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It is up to the individual whether they are prepared to pay any particular price. It appears that there was a demand for the LMS diesel twins at £500 a throw. There have been a few other offerings in that sort of price bracket over recent years in N and OO, and yet higher prices for O. There must be some evidence of demand for producers to be offering such items.
QUOTE (ashleyh @ 21 Jan 2008, 02:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>.. I expect a serious improvement in the robustness/durability of the models to warrrant that sort of an increase..
It will be a cheap year for me from Hornby, since they have practically no new offerings for North of London late BR steam era man. My wallet will be opening in the direction of their cheaper and generally superior competitor. Hornby have a way to go on the mechanical quality of their steam loco chassis in particular to match Bachmann. When prices are closely comparable they can just about get away with it. But if they try for a premium over Bachmann on like for like steam models, they will be left on the shelf.
 

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QUOTE (34C @ 21 Jan 2008, 12:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It is up to the individual whether they are prepared to pay any particular price. It appears that there was a demand for the LMS diesel twins at £500 a throw. There have been a few other offerings in that sort of price bracket over recent years in N and OO, and yet higher prices for O. There must be some evidence of demand for producers to be offering such items.

It will be a cheap year for me from Hornby, since they have practically no new offerings for North of London late BR steam era man. My wallet will be opening in the direction of their cheaper and generally superior competitor. Hornby have a way to go on the mechanical quality of their steam loco chassis in particular to match Bachmann. When prices are closely comparable they can just about get away with it. But if they try for a premium over Bachmann on like for like steam models, they will be left on the shelf. class 4mt maybe
 

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MREMAG has a comment today on Hornby prices which suggest that some quoted prices are incorrect and that they have now been corrected and are thankfully much closer to what we are used to - quote from Pat Hammond.
 

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Maybe a deliberate faux pas to test the reaction of the market.

If correcting over priced items is the M7 down to £60 and the Staniers down to £21?

Russell
 

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So do their spares for adding things worse.

I recently need to replace a driving unit for an old HST 125 Intercity in 80s by Hornby.
They are going to charge me 20 pounds for the power driven unit only, not including
gears, armature and brushes. A brand new Intercity powered car (not dummy) will
only cost 26 pounds in a local shop. Certainly the price is RRP and is givne by Hornby.
The local shop is a Hornby official Stockist.
 

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This is a worrying development, there are a few things I have to have this year although not all from Hornby. 23% price rises are not going to be met well if this actually is the case. If they start manufacturing in India I wonder if we will get some Indian models? These have sadly been missing from the world wide model market. We may get Hornby India to counter Bachmann China?
 

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flygopher
QUOTE I recently need to replace a driving unit for an old HST 125 Intercity in 80s by Hornby.
They are going to charge me 20 pounds for the power driven unit only, not including
gears, armature and brushes. A brand new Intercity powered car (not dummy) will
only cost 26 pounds in a local shop. Certainly the price is RRP and is givne by Hornby.
The local shop is a Hornby official Stockist

I'm afraid it's the price for the power car that's out of line.

Check the price for specialist items and you'll see what I mean - a decent motor for a kit built loco is anywhere from £15-£25, a set of replacement wheels from Ultrascale is £20 for 4 axles , a Tenshodo motor bogie is £26 and the greatly superior Black Beetle motor bogie is £40
 

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I HAVE ENOUGH TROUBLE JUSTIFYNG THE PRESENT PRICE OF ROLLING STOCK WITHOUT ANY INCREASE! THE NEW RAILROAD RANGE SEEMS TO BE THE WAY TO GO. £100+ FOR A LOCO IS WAY TOO MUCH TO PAY. IF THEY AREN'T CAREFULL THE HOBBY WILL BECOME AN 'ELITE' CLUB WHERE ONLY THOSE WITH ALOT OF CASH WILL BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE.
 

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Hornby must be assuming that the enthusiast market has complete tolerance to whatever they charge - in that they are mistaken. How soon they forget the battering they took in the 70s and 80s from cheaper, better, competitors. Price elasticity of demand applies in this market as anywhere else and they will simply sell less. For my part I will just buy what I really need and impulse purchases will become a thing of the past. Haven't they noticed that their prices are already significantly ahead of Bachmann's? The Railroad range in an interesting way of getting even more mileage from superannuated tooling but is only a distraction from making fully detailed scale models.
 

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I think that UK prices are starting to come into line with continental prices after all some of the newer models are of a high standard and i don't personally think that £120 to £140 is unreasonable for a high quality of model our continental cousins often have to pay those sort of prices

Hornby will be under pressure to deliver higher profits this year and this may well be part of their strategy by achieving better margins at the upper end of the market. Chinese workers will expect a higher standard of living and so wage inflation will always be a problem but I would say more so for bachman than hornby as hornby will be free to move production to somewhere else Bachman are chinese owned !

There is a major manufacturer based locally (but American owned) the company decided to set up Satellite factories in Romania and mexico to take advantage of cheaper labour then the workers at the mexican factory found at what the workers at the British factory were being paid and demanded higher wages the company closed the factory and have now opened one in India instead that is the nature of modern international manufacturing if your costs get too high move to another country !
 

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To be honest here, I have only been back into the hobby since 2004 and in terms of the models and their prices, you get what you pay for! Yes the prices will rise per year because of the global inflation rates and labour charges.

As for the new HST model, I think a lot of people are forgetting that you are getting two models, not one and both will be super-detailed to the standard that we are getting on the Class 60, 31, 56, 50 and the 08. If you break the price down being in RRP. The powered HST power car will be £97.50 and the non-powered unit will be £40.
 

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the only thing hornby have been good at is making trains for the young modler, no detail and not much to look at. for me the only thing that has been good it the mk3, i was happy to see that there are new power cars coming out in the new liv's of this year. iam waiting to see how the grand central powercar looks, will it look like the real thing. lets see how the buffers look
. thank god they have got the brains to get rid of there class 47 with 37 bogies, they should use there heads and bring more and more lima items out. i know that we should be kind to these people that make these models for us, but at these prices we want a good model. some times for less we can get a kit!!. i was looking at the new EMT units. with the bus liv all over it. we have been told by the big boys at midland house that there is a hst set being done in the new liv, which should be out soon. i think i will keep my mml hst's in green and blue.
 
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