Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 20 of 54 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,614 Posts
i thought i would start a place for discussion about competition between the manufacturers.

for those who dont already know bachmann has announced a deal to distribute the mehano range giving the bachmann group direct competition with many of the more promising lima models. Mehano offer a range of TGV models, although the coaches are thin on the ground! they are not quite as good as the lima/jouef offerings buit then are £30 less per set!

hornby on the other hand have announced a very interesting range for 2006 but seem somewhat reluctant to tell us about it! for those who havent seen the paper mags, there is a good range of TGV's and the CIWL coaches are to make a comeback as are a whole host of wagons. as of today there is still no mention of the 2006 range and tha last bit of news was 1st july last year. Hornby are normally very good at this kind of thing. aparently some items are starting to hit the shops although i havent seen any.

Peter
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
I would totally agree that the English Hornby International newsflow has been very low key however we should remember that the main markets for their products are France, Italy, Spain and Germany and the USA so should we be expecting much newsflow from a UK English speaking standpoint?


Hornby own their distributers in Italy, France and Spain. Walthers distribute in the USA and they are looking at Germany. Would not the local distributers normally be responsible for newsflow in their local territories?


I don't really know why Bachmann took on the Mehano distribution for the UK as its not going to be a big mover and shaker for them and what it does mean is that resources are now having to be devoted to Mehano which would otherwise be utilised for their UK outline offerings. Bachmann very quickly learnt their lesson with their short involvement distributing overseas slot cars and pulled out rather sharpish. I suspect the same will happen with Mehano when the traditional Bachmann stockists are left with much of it sitting on the shelves taking up valuable shelf space (however see below).

The one good thing about Mehano products is that they provide a very cheap chassis/basis for scratch builders and kit builders and this is probably going to be where the main sales come from. Aside from an HO Class 66 which will be snapped up by UK HO modellers (very small in number).

Happy modelling
Gary
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,614 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"Would not the local distributers normally be responsible for newsflow in their local territories? "
yes absoloutly. but have you heard any news in any language lately! although i would also expect to see propper information on the hornby international site. for any company you would get news from a distributor about their particular part of the range but there would also be a centralised point of contact. or at least a web link.

i could use any company but just for the sake of keeping it on topic lets use bachmann as an example. bachmann branchline have their site but there is still the bachmann site that links to bachmann branchline, lilliput, bachmann china etc...

"and the USA so should we be expecting much newsflow from a UK English speaking standpoint?" he he
i know the USA only barly counts but yes i think it should be in english!

with regards to the mehano deal, do you not think that some younger modellers would be tempted by a sleek and futureistic TGV or an ICE3 when for the moment at least the new UK models seem to be getting pretty mundane? the more competitive pricing could also hit hornby intl. the TGV's were a major part of the enropean lima/jouef ranges.

i dont think that new mehano model would displace bachmann uk models.

Peter

P.S. i do like this site. you can actually have a propper discussion on here withought into a slaging match!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,293 Posts
It is going to be very interesting to watch thew Bachmann versus Hornby match - both sides have upped the stakes in the last three years, I just hope neither have burnt their fingers!

I think we owe the likes of Doug, Gary and Dennis for setting the tone of this forum and Doug for providing the "smilies" - so useful for coveying the true intent of any comment!!


60134
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
For those interested in Hornby International there is a guy on EBay selling the catalogue for this range. His address is in Paris I think. My local dealer says they will eventually be having catalogues in but I notice today he already has Electrotren.

I wonder if the distribution deal with Mehano will end up with Bachmann buying them out. Otherwise it is no real contest with Hornby.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,397 Posts
If you want free access to this catalogue and to many other European ones then a German model rail shop posts these on the internet.

Follow this link Lokshop

I haven't bought a catalogue for the last couple of years as this pretty much covers most of the European stuff I'm interested in.



Neil
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
This link takes you straight to the Hornby International catalogue. There are several languages on each page including English and all continental brands are covered in the one catalogue. It is not too "Hornby" in style and possibly maybe slightly better as the images are 3D and not side on. The track looks more Lima than Hornby which is a bit curious. Probably because most existing Jouef and Lima modellers will of course have used the Lima set track so this is understandable:-

Hornby International Catalogue

QUOTE Hornby - Avanti tutta!

Accepting that we are an international English speaking site it would be nice to see a similar presentation from a UK stockist as my personal preference would be to support and highlight UK sources if at all possible. This is not always possible of course however if anybody looking in would like to suggest we have a sneeky peek at similar arrangements on their website...


In fact, the first stockist in the UK to come up with similar arrangements to that of our German friends in terms of catalogue presentation must surely be onto a winner in terms of traffic!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,592 Posts
Why is it strange for Bachmann to become an agent/distrubitor of Mehano. I would have thought it's the smart thing to do. It dos'nt involve huge amounts of capital and risk. Bachmann's markets are not only in the UK, in some area's Lilliput outsell the British R-T-R stuff. Mehano simply expands this range. Mehano don't have a reputation for quality, but offer a fair product for the price. I would say Bachmann's approach is far more sensible than Hornby's takeover and absorb policy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,614 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Gary- thanks for posting the link. i hadnt found that before.

"Mehano don't have a reputation for quality" not the old stuff but their newer offerings are very good quality.

the catalouge is interesting. i think it is typical hornby. snippits of good informaition mixed with a flagrent disregard for the rainforests! why in the name of all things holy did they take 3 pages to list skelaton cars??!!

i would much rather have decent sized pictures of the models than have empty paper. i think this is the same with the uk catalouge.

"my personal preference would be to support and highlight UK sources if at all possible" i agree. ontracks seemed to be pretty good and giving good information but this has flagged recently. and also whenever i ring they always seem to either have me on speaker phone or eating dinner on the phone - i hate that!
aparently kittle hobby will be stocking them. we will have to see how they do.

Anyway i must get back to work.

Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,918 Posts
When I think of Hornby I think of good quality for the price but here in the US Bachman is forever linked to their starter sets which are crap. Their Spectrum line is thought a little more highly but only just.

Liliput has good quality German trains but they were forever compared to Marklin with not much of an identity of their own.

Lima as a brand was sold by discounters out of New York and Arnold except for the fact that they introduced N Scale could not keep up with the likes of Flieshmann and Trix so you have two English companies that own a lot of ash and trash so to speak. What can they do any better but move the manufacturing to China? They can only compete on price and the market is different in Germany and the US. In Germany they expect the latest electronics and for the locomotive to withstand a nuclear blast or at least it better weigh a ton. In the US they expect it to work perfectly, crawl like a snale and have an obscene level of detail in every road name ever built.

Nothing to get excited about IMHO unless you model in French or Italian prototype I guess.

I would be more worried about any possible negative effects that all this may have on their British efforts. As a modeler in Continental prototype I don't see anything that I would want that I couldn't get from the big three and with Roco maybe coming back who needs Arnold, Lima not to mention the rest?. I would be scared of buying some obsolete technology tarted up with a fresh coat of paint.

Now if they would produce some some VZ, RhB, FOB or Semmeringbahn Era II-IV locomotives and rolling stock I'll take back everything I said.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
I always thought Rivarossi was considered a premium brand in the USA and Walthers are distributing this brand on behalf of Hornby International. I'm not sure any of the other Hornby or Bachmann brands mentioned above are due to be shipped to the US or indeed are shipped to the US.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,918 Posts
Except for Marklin no brand coming from Europe is considered premium except maybe Fleischmann. None of the others have even caused a ripple. Kato is considered solid but not premium either. Really only brass are considered premium and they are usually sold under American Names like Broadway Limited.

Sorry I forgot LGB is also considered a premium brand.

The fact that they are in Walthers means that hobby shops can special order them, nothing more. There are too many "US" brands to consider before going offshore. Walthers distributes products from over 300 manufacturers.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,614 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
"Except for Marklin no brand coming from Europe is considered premium except maybe Fleischmann" trix? roco? not to mention the many cottage industry manufacturers that are making museum quality models.

"Sorry I forgot LGB is also considered a premium brand" they make toys! they are not a premium brand! their trains are big, that dosent make them a premium brand.

"There are too many "US" brands to consider before going offshore"
thats what GM think! have you seen the state of their finances! manufacturing in the us is the same as uk, tooooooooooooo expensive.

"Rivarossi is another discount brand sold out of New York" i dont think that has anything to do with the current situation. we simply dont know how hornby intl are going to do this. all we know so far is that they are responding to our demands for models that were in the repetoir before they went belly up and finishing off developement of models that were already on the cards at lima. for example the biog boy is one of the best selling models loco's of all time. they would be daft not to comtinue production.

"When I think of Hornby I think of good quality for the price" i agree.

"Bachman is forever linked to their starter sets which are crap" that is not the case over here. we didnt get the crappy starter sets. over here kader started with the old mainline range that were noisy but had very well detailed bodies-even by todays standards.

"English companies that own a lot of ash and trash so to speak" like athearn, kato, p1k? they also have some very good models too.

"They can only compete on price and the market is different in Germany and the US. In Germany they expect the latest electronics and for the locomotive to withstand a nuclear blast or at least it better weigh a ton" actually you may have noticed that the manufacturers that are making the loco's you describe are the ones that are having serious financial trouble. this is the very point that makes this episode in model railway history so exciting. for the last few years the price of continental stock has gone up dramatically and the average income of a german has gone down buy 40% and inflation hit germany and the other richer countris that adopted the euro very hard. when the euro came in evrything in the shops went up by 25% and there is large unemployment in germany and france. people simply cannot aford the super detail hi tech models that marklin, trix and fleishmann are making. so how will the new companies fare against the likes of marklin and trix?

how will Mehano do now they at last finally have a propper distributor that we can actually talk to at the train shows and offer our sugestions to? also now they have a propper distributor their sales should increase dramatically and compete directly with the TGV's in the hornby intl range.

Exciting indeed!

Peter
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,293 Posts
See! I told you we were in for an exciting time!!!


Seriously, the developing situation is one worth watching. The fate of too many European manufacturers lies in their domestic markets, many of which are in the doldrums. I'd say that our continental cousins should be very grateful to Hornby and Bachmann for rescuing some of their famous brands from oblivion. The good news is that names such as Jouef, Rivarossi, Arnold and Lima will continue and not be lost under a generic "Hornby International Inc." brand. Quite frankly as these and many "old" Euro Co's move production out to China there will come a time when it is hard to define which country any brand belongs to....

60134
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,614 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
"names such as Jouef, Rivarossi, Arnold and Lima will continue and not be lost under a generic "Hornby International Inc." brand" i was actually quite supprised when i first heard about that. i was expecting to see red boxes all over europe!

on a seperate note, i started this thread and spelt "place" wrong in the title. does anyone know how i can change it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,918 Posts
Pedromorgan,

You've totally mis-read my post. I'm trying to represent an American point of view and not necessarily my own. Most Americans have never even heard of Trix or Roco and as far as LGB goes there is a big marekt here for Toy Trains (Lionel, American Flyer) so yes it is considered a premium brand.

If you have followed my other posts you would know that I'm a big follower of those brands that create museum quality locomotives such as KISS and Micro-Metakit.

QUOTE "There are too many "US" brands to consider before going offshore" what I meant here is buying offshore.

QUOTE Rivarossi is another discount brand sold out of New York It has everything to do with perception.

What people can afford or what they expect is not always the same. What I think will happen is those that can will continue to buy those that can't will not turn to obsolete brands that have been tarted up and as far as getting excited I'll get excited when they produce some some VZ, RhB, FOB or Semmeringbahn Era II-IV locomotives and rolling stock.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
So is the perception that the Americans like playing with toy trains and the Euros like model trains?

I must admit that the perception from the Model Rail TV series is that America is very much a toy orientated society. Nothing wrong with that mind as I do like the toy aspect of the hobby myself and prefer to play rather than model but thats me. The biggest markets in Euroland are probably adult collectors followed by modellers followed by the toy fraternity.

It could well be the reverse in the USA.

How all this fits into the Bachmann International v Hornby International theme I don't know!


Or are we saying that Bachmann are the champions of the USA and its way of doing things and Hornby the champions elect of Europe and its way of doing things?


Happy modelling
Gary
 
1 - 20 of 54 Posts
Top