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Is it me or has the Hornby International saga been very dissapointing?

I am sure i was not the only one who had such high hopes for them. i thought we were going to finally see some affordable continental stock.

They aquired the company in a blaze of glory but the result has been astonishingly drab. i was soo looking forward to seeing some TGV's on the shop shelves. i even quite fancy a postal TGV or some of their spanish electrotren stock but i am not going to pay crazy prices for it.

they had a golden opportunity to really take on the big boys but it has been squandered.

Peter
 

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Hi Peter,

To be honest, its a big mishap if you ask me.

Our modeling down here was based on mainly Lima and Maerklin. After the take over by Hornby Lima modellers were quite pleased and we were all expecting to see Lima re-born.

Unfortunately it did not happen.Let alone Lima, not a single item from Rivarrossi and Jouef hit the market.

Funny thing is, at the Nurnberg toy fair, their stand was packed with all of them even Electrotren from Spain.You could hardly see any OO stock.

Cheers
Baykal
 

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Yes it has turned out to be a damp squib. The website has had nothing done to it for ages, all momentum has been lost. I think they have given up before they even started.

QUOTE they had a golden opportunity to really take on the big boys but it has been squandered.
Not the first time they have missed an opportunity!


QUOTE I was hoping to pickup a few of these, but at over £160 per loco, It is too much for me new. Thats nice. What is it? Is it French?
 

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Are Hornby themselves dissapointed?
Perhaps the annual report due at the end of this month will reveal something.
Surely their prices are competitive from a Continental viewpoint?
The Class 141 for example has a flywheel motor with cardan shaft which is yet to appear on UK steam is it not?
If UK prices are expected then UK standards will apply too. That means one bogie drive with dummy pantographs etc.
I've pre-ordered the TGV duplex plus both extra coach packs and I'm happy to do a review if anyone's interested?
The gap between the demise of Lima and actually getting a reasonable (upgraded in many cases) replacement range out has of necessity been a long one during which time suppliers may well have filled the gap elsewhere. Reasonably it'll be a long haul for them and I'm sure they've allowed for that.
 

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QUOTE (ozwarrior)Are Hornby themselves dissapointed?
Perhaps the annual report due at the end of this month will reveal something.
Hmm i am looking forward to that!
Whats your bet guys? i think sales down 6%.

QUOTE (ozwarrior)Surely their prices are competitive from a Continental viewpoint?
The Class 141 for example has a flywheel motor with cardan shaft which is yet to appear on UK steam is it not?
If UK prices are expected then UK standards will apply too. That means one bogie drive with dummy pantographs etc.
I've pre-ordered the TGV duplex plus both extra coach packs and I'm happy to do a review if anyone's interested?

First of all yes please. lets have a review. these days UK prices do not mean 1 motor bogie that cant pull the skin of a rice pudding. apart from the new pendo we have not been satisfied with that for 10 years now.
apart fromt he limby's and the old stuff (that will probably be shifted across to the railroader range in due course) all mechanisms in uk stock are actually pretty good. (central motor and cardan shaft mechanisms.) with regards to the cardan shaft in the steam loco, no we dont have one in the UK range but then we dont need them. the nature of brittish stock means its easier to hide the motor and we dont need to put the motor in the tender and drive it through cardan shaft. a conventional mechanism is practical for us.
The TGV reference is a good one. the nearest thing we have to compare it with is the bachmann voyager. it is a more complicated model than the lima TGV, it has more parts, they are done in smaller runs than the TGV's and yet the TGV is 50% more expensive. sorry i just dont buy this whole 'its ok for continental things to be expensive for the sake of it' argument. Its up to Hornby to provide us with value for money. i think UK stock is correctly priced and alot of the lima/rivarossi stock it to roughly the same standard (in many cases inferior to the UK stock) so why are they normally 50% more expensive and in many cases twice the price?

QUOTE (ozwarrior)The gap between the demise of Lima and actually getting a reasonable (upgraded in many cases) replacement range out has of necessity been a long one during which time suppliers may well have filled the gap elsewhere. Reasonably it'll be a long haul for them and I'm sure they've allowed for that.

I apreciate that but i have lost track of the number of times i have asked people to "give them 2 years" i know it takes time but it dosent take this long.

Peter
 

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> Thats nice.
Having visited the French railway museum in Mulhouse last year, I would say

> What is it?
it's a 141 and

>Is it French?
Yes and no.

It is French in that it ran on railways in France after the WWII; but it isn't French since it was built in the US as part of the huge restocking process to replace all the locomotives destroyed duing the war. The lesson I took from the museum was that these post war replacement locos were merely functional - they did the job required. French designed locomotives were something else - individual and pushing steam technology to the limit.

I don't know if it would have happened anyway, but I can't help thinking that the French went headlong for electric propulsion after the war because the loss of their steam locomotives and replacement by the products of Lima and Baldwin was too much to bear.

David
I'll try to remember to post some of the photos I took. I haven't done it before because they're not great, but they should give you an idea of what the steamers were like.
 

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pedro:

I think the problem is that Hornby International isn't about us. Hornby aren't looking to sell Continental stuff in the UK market through this acquisition: they're looking to break into the French, Italian , Spanish , German markets

The product is out there, on the Continent - it's just that selling it in the UK is a minor spin off . Originally they were'nt even going to bother making any of the old British Lima stuff... . Hence the Hornby Germany site is much more up to date than the Hornby International site in English. If we found the Jouef site, I reckon it would be more up to date than the German site - Germany being a market where they only have a modest foothold , whereas in France Jouef was the major national brand with a range and presence to match

Jouef is certainly back on the market in France - a quick search of the Loco Revue forum produces these:

Hornby -Jouef TGV

Hornby-Joeuf 141P + CIWL coaches

Hornjouef 72000 and 26000

TGV Hornby/Joeuf - detailed with batch differences

New TGV SE review thread

I haven't waded through the French , and some of these are long threads , but there appear to be a steady trickle of releases in France. We just aren't hearing about them here

I've seen a specialist Continental trader at a show who had some Hornby/Jouef - along with Piko, Mehano , etc etc. I think this included some TEEs

It looks to me like Hornby's first priority is to get the products back on the market in their home countries . Worrying about making them available here is some way down the list of priorities .

What with going DCC and getting the Groupe Riva ranges back on the market on the Continent, where Hornby won't have had dealer networks /sales etc in place and will have had to set it all up from scratch , Margate will have had as much as it could handle and arguably more. There are some signs their eyes are not quite on the ball in a few places (eg the rapidly reversed "DCC Fitted only " policy)

They are probably too busy with doubling their ranges, expanding into half a dozen totally new markets and firefighting DCC to worry about UK sales of their HO ranges.

That assumes there is a market for the Rivarossi ranges in the UK in the first place. Those ranges were very heavy in French, Spanish and Italian outline models. One thing that strikes me is how little interest there is in modelling French prototypes in Britain. You can get there on a cheap day return from London, it's our closest neighbour , the SNCF has had a tremendous reputation as a railway administration for several decades - and there's not the slightest batsqueek of interest in French prototypes on here or elsewhere . You don't see French layouts at shows (you do see US or German) , you don't find them in magazines. As for Italian and Spanish.....

All very odd , but Hornby might well simply be wasting their time trying to sell these models in the UK and have decided not to bother. Perhaps they offered them to their UK retailers and none of them ordered any...

As far as prices go, I believe Jouef was reintroduced in France at about 10-20% below the prices at which Rivarossi went bust... Hornby are certainly not going to set their prices substatially below the market in France and they won't sell things at lower prices in the UK than in France, else every French modeller would make a bee line for the Hattons website (Remember the Marklin online shop problems)
 

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Hi Ravenser,

"I think the problem is that Hornby International isn't about us. Hornby aren't looking to sell Continental stuff in the UK...."

Totally agree with you on this point.

"The product is out there, on the Continent .."

Well that is questionable. Your second link shows the Coffret Orient Expess coaches. We down here have a sentimental value to these coaches being that the express ended its voyage in Istanbul/Sirkeci station and all that.

The lima Rhiengold express coaches also very popular among lima collectors here, let alone all the rolling stocks of lima which has quite a resemblence to the prototypes used once by the TCDD.

For nearly two years our Hornby shop was asking Margate to send them over.The demand was there.

What we all heard was excusess, that they are not ready and all that....

At the end of the day people just shifted to other brands and gave up.

Cheers
Baykal
 

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QUOTE (Ravenser @ 30 May 2007, 18:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>All very odd , but Hornby might well simply be wasting their time trying to sell these models in the UK and have decided not to bother. Perhaps they offered them to their UK retailers and none of them ordered any...

We had decided originally to keep out of this one, but have now changed our minds.

Despite many phone calls & e-mails (to both H & their recommended supplier) we still have not managed to progress with adding the HI range to our stock. Information as to trade prices and/or stock levels/delivery is almost non-existant. We have all but given up. At the end of the day if we don't have it in stock/can get it we cannot sell it - but we can of course sell another brand. We understand (from a reliable & confidential source) that at least one another retailer is having similar problems as we are.

Yes, an opportunity missed.

Some companies operate a policy of buying up resources just to stop their competitors gaining ground & yes, I have had experience of this in other industries - at the end of the day, business is business.

BTW - we do see a few French (also Belgian & Dutch layouts) down here, but then again you don't say where you are based.
 

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QUOTE I'll try to remember to post some of the photos I took

I've created a new gallery - Railway Museums - and uploaded some photos. The originals are 9M pixel so if anyone wants a zoom and clip, that could be arranged. I also have full frontal shots of the 141, 241 and electric.

As I recall, there was only one diesel in the whole museum. You'd think French railways went straight from coal to electric.

David

PS. If anyone wants to add prototype info to the photos as a comment, please feel free to do so. I know next to nothing about French locomotives.
 

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QUOTE I added some info on the locos.
Great - thanks


David
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
QUOTE (Ravenser)pedro:

I think the problem is that Hornby International isn't about us. Hornby aren't looking to sell Continental stuff in the UK market through this acquisition: they're looking to break into the French, Italian , Spanish , German markets

The product is out there, on the Continent - it's just that selling it in the UK is a minor spin off . Originally they were'nt even going to bother making any of the old British Lima stuff... . Hence the Hornby Germany site is much more up to date than the Hornby International site in English. If we found the Jouef site, I reckon it would be more up to date than the German site - Germany being a market where they only have a modest foothold , whereas in France Jouef was the major national brand with a range and presence to match

Jouef is certainly back on the market in France - a quick search of the Loco Revue forum produces these:

Hornby -Jouef TGV

Hornby-Joeuf 141P + CIWL coaches

Hornjouef 72000 and 26000

TGV Hornby/Joeuf - detailed with batch differences

New TGV SE review thread

I haven't waded through the French , and some of these are long threads , but there appear to be a steady trickle of releases in France. We just aren't hearing about them here

Hello Ravenser. while i apreciate their target audience is on the continent, surely if you were them you would want to make the very most of the moulds you have just paid several million pounds for which should mean getting them into as many diffent markets as possible. many of the items are more than just model trains, they are iconic trains that make many of us go week at the knees. for example can you imagine a childs reaction to seeing a TGV on the shelves?
Its a bit like the Big Boy, it has global appeal.

What i am suggesting is that even in their target areas they have made virtually no impact what so ever.

My french is not particularly good but from what i understand of those threads none of them actually contain anything made by hornby. there are references to up comming models and soneone has modified an old jouef (for which hornby has the moulds) TGV to make it look like the new refurbished design (and done a very good job) but apart from that its just banter.

QUOTE (Ravenser)I've seen a specialist Continental trader at a show who had some Hornby/Jouef - along with Piko, Mehano , etc etc. I think this included some TEEs

It looks to me like Hornby's first priority is to get the products back on the market in their home countries . Worrying about making them available here is some way down the list of priorities .

What with going DCC and getting the Groupe Riva ranges back on the market on the Continent, where Hornby won't have had dealer networks /sales etc in place and will have had to set it all up from scratch , Margate will have had as much as it could handle and arguably more. There are some signs their eyes are not quite on the ball in a few places (eg the rapidly reversed "DCC Fitted only " policy)

I have also seen the odd bit here and there but nothing even remotly spectacular. nothing at all that gave me that wow factor. they have the moulds for plenty of things that would do that very nicely but they just arnt on the shelves. i have seen 1 challenger which i believe was a rimby model but i have not seen a single big boy which is one of the biggest selling models of all time. again not because they went solely for the american market but because the loco has a global appeal. it has huge novelty value. its one of those loco's we all grew up wanting so desperatly. (before people start pointing out that there are now other big boys on the market, the Riv is a very respectable model that was retooled not long before lime went bust and should be only a little over half the price of the others on the market.)


Its worth remembering that hornby purchased a company that already had a very good distribution network on the continent. yet since the purchace it has been all quiet on the continental front.

QUOTE (Ravenser)They are probably too busy with doubling their ranges, expanding into half a dozen totally new markets and firefighting DCC to worry about UK sales of their HO ranges.

That assumes there is a market for the Rivarossi ranges in the UK in the first place. Those ranges were very heavy in French, Spanish and Italian outline models. One thing that strikes me is how little interest there is in modelling French prototypes in Britain. You can get there on a cheap day return from London, it's our closest neighbour , the SNCF has had a tremendous reputation as a railway administration for several decades - and there's not the slightest batsqueek of interest in French prototypes on here or elsewhere . You don't see French layouts at shows (you do see US or German) , you don't find them in magazines. As for Italian and Spanish.....

All very odd , but Hornby might well simply be wasting their time trying to sell these models in the UK and have decided not to bother. Perhaps they offered them to their UK retailers and none of them ordered any...

I think its more about poor marketing and the fact that there isnt the stuff on the shelves. the retailers cant order a reasonable ammount of the the stuff, they have to order a huge quantity just to get started. if the stuff isnt on the helves then people cant buy it and poeple wont model french railways.

QUOTE (Ravenser)As far as prices go, I believe Jouef was reintroduced in France at about 10-20% below the prices at which Rivarossi went bust... Hornby are certainly not going to set their prices substatially below the market in France and they won't sell things at lower prices in the UK than in France, else every French modeller would make a bee line for the Hattons website (Remember the Marklin online shop problems)

Ther trouble with that is that the lima stuff was 40-50% overpriced and they have reduced it by 10%. the TGV's for example would sell far better at £120 and those CIWL coaches should be about £25-30 each not £40. its just crazy. those coaches are very nice but also they are 15 years old (origionally by Piko i think??) they are not top notch models by todays standards.

While i apreciate they cant sell things cheaper in the UK is there anything wrong with french modellers going for the hattons website? if the french market will sustain such prices then fair enough but if i were french i would be looking at those models and thinking they offer very poor value for money.

My biggest problem is that the stuff just isnt on the shelves. i dont believe it is on the shelves in any resonable quantity anywhere in the world, least of all britain.

Peter
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 30 May 2007, 23:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The CIWL coaches are nice.

Let's hope that you have better luck than us if you want some - we had firm orders for 2 sets with 2 x extra coaches (& neither customer was too concerned about which sets either !).
 
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