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I'm tired of seeing people going on about not being able to get that limited edition model they wanted, so here's a suggestion. If the manufactures of the model feel that there is a strong enough demand for it, why don't they put it in their standard range? a while a go I saw a model (limited edition) for sale in a magazine, and then in a later issue, the editor commented on the mad dash for it, and a good deal of the models ended up up on e-bay at far higher prices than it had been sold for! I feel that this is not an unreasonable proposition, and is feasible. Anyone?
 

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Welcome to MRF but I think there are a number of problems with your idea. The first of these is in establishing that demand: some limited editions (e.g. the Bachmann Collectors' Club Ivatt 4MT 2-6-0 in unlined black) have sat on the shelves for months and, where they have sold out, command second-hand prices little (if at all) above their selling price, whilst others (e.g. the Modelzone Southern 171) are highly sought after and fetch prices well above their initial selling price. Whilst there are often similar variations in demand for models in the standard ranges, I should imagine a manufacturer wouldn't want to risk adding another model for which demand is uncertain: the attractive aspect of a limited edition model for the manufacturer is that the run of models is already wholly allocated and will be swiftly paid for, leaving the risk of unsold stock to the retailer and removing it from the manufacturer's domain.

Moreover, I should think it would be a hardy manufacturer that would want to sour trading relationships with retailers: if a retailer has been plugging its exclusive commissions in the press and to its customers for some time (the best way, in all probability, to gauge demand), being told that the manufacturer wishes to produce a further run of the model which you have commissioned (and possibly researched), thereby making your exclusive worthless (who'd want to buy your limited edition when there's a lower-priced model of exactly the same prototype in exactly the same state), would no doubt be frustrating. Even producing a run after the retailer has sold out of models would be dangerous. Bachmann produced a Shanks two-tone green Freightliner 66 in their standard range some time after Kernow Model Rail Centre commissioned one, which sold out and subsequently commanded very high prices on eBay &c. and although the standard one differs slightly by having additional logos and digital sound, I remember that there was some anger from people who had purchased the original model either from Kernow or second-hand and whose investment was, in a way, wasted. Offering the same model soon after would not only result in customers becoming angry at the manufacturers/retailers giving them the short shrift with regard to limited editions but might actually reduce the popularity of limited editions (if you thought that a limited edition was going to be followed up by a standard model with the same features and the same specification, would you buy it), resulting in fewer commissions and fewer projects (which may or may not eventually be produced as standard models) coming to fruition, leaving the modeller or collector with no models instead of 500 of them. There will often be cases where demand exceeds supply but I think that the alternatives (with the possible exception of the NRM's idea, whereby the very limited edition has extra features, although that increases the cost and may make the idea unpalatable to the retailers, upon whose shoulders, methinks, any further runs of their commissions will rest) are not any better.
 

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I think that some people use limited editions for their investment potential; the same thing is happening a lot in the entertainment world with tickets being snapped up within a day or two of release, and their subsequent resale on auction sites. I know that some action is being taken to try to stop this, but it is nigh impossible unless the auction sites refuse to allow resale, or otherwise cap the price. But you can't always win - the Foo Fighters summer 2007 Edinburgh show (best concert I've seen, btw) had some unsold tickets...
mal
 

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One of the big advantages of limited editions is that it allows some slightly unusual models to be produced. Since the weathered Ivatt class 4 Bachmann Collectors Club have come up with an interesting selection of models in unusual liveries, which in general have sold well. I particularly applaud models that have raised money either for the overhaul of the loco they represent (Betty Beat'sCrimson Lake Ivatt Class 2) or for a good cause ( 9F Black Prince when £10 from each sale went to David Shepherd's Wild Life Trust)What I do find amusing, in an ironic sort of way, is the people who buy Limited Editions at inflated prices on ebay before they have sold out! There have been several examples of Bachmann Collectors Club Current offerings: The Ethel 3 and the Red K&WVR Ivatt Class 2 selling above the club price. Both are still available from the Club according to the website tonight. A sensible investment if you want these limited editions is the £17 a year it costs to join the club.I would add that the Club takes a dim view of those of its members who try to make a quick profit. Members are limited to one model from each release.Some Limited Editions sell quicker than others. Two of the 2008 Hornby limited editions help to make the point. The end of steam Black 5s seem to have sold out almost as soon as they were released: I have seen very few in the shops. I had to preorder and pay full price to get the one I wanted. However West Country "Bude" is now being heavily discounted!I think it is very difficult to predict how well a limited edition will sell. For example it is still possible to get the Hornby Collector's Centre Royal Scot in Crimson Lake released over 12 months ago. I wonder how well the Peter Waterman Royal Scot will sell?!
 

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I find this somewhat strange on two fronts.

As a modeller, I only care if it's a limited edition as it gives an indication as to how long the item will be available, and if it is something that I want, then I order it there and then.

As a collector, there really is no value in these limited editions. I am sorry, they make a heap of them, other "collectors" are buying them hoping that they will appreciate in value over time, and at some stage there will be a glut of them on the market. There are only so many collectors in the world, and Mint in Box now days is a common item for modern production stock!

Cheers

John
 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 17 Feb 2009, 01:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I find this somewhat strange on two fronts.

As a modeller, I only care if it's a limited edition as it gives an indication as to how long the item will be available, and if it is something that I want, then I order it there and then.

As a collector, there really is no value in these limited editions. I am sorry, they make a heap of them, other "collectors" are buying them hoping that they will appreciate in value over time, and at some stage there will be a glut of them on the market. There are only so many collectors in the world, and Mint in Box now days is a common item for modern production stock!

Cheers

John

I actually wonder if a collector would be better off buying trainsets and the like: a perusal of something such as the Ramsay's catalogue suggests that the rarest models from a manufacturer like Tri-ang are often some of the most produced stock and sets. I suspect that's because out of the 20,000 or whatever it is that are made, most go to little Timmy for his birthday and end up played with/broken/worn etc., reducing their value, and so to find a mint boxed one is pretty rare. In contrast, out of the 500 models produced for a limited edition, a substantially higher proportion will be kept mint in box (indeed, probably the vast majority - some modern prototypes excepted - will go to the collectors) and so in years to come these mint in box models will be rather common, yielding no increase in value. If I had the money and inclination to be a collector, I would invest in trainsets, particularly mail order ones, although even then I doubt you'd get much of a return on your outlay...
 

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Very true cig - looking at some of the prices asked for & obtained for items such as the Triang Battle Space range would tend to bear this out.

Those that appear to know seem to agree on one thing though - the more something is marketed as "collectable" or "limited" the less return on your money !
 

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QUOTE (cig1705 @ 17 Feb 2009, 13:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>.. If I had the money and inclination to be a collector, I would invest in trainsets, particularly mail order ones, although even then I doubt you'd get much of a return on your outlay...
If you want financial return from future collectors, you want to keep in mint condition something that is immensely popular with the young now, and out of reach of many. Anything that gets ripped out of its' packaging the moment it is received, and then enthusiastically pounded to death. The reason for the current collectability of older model railway items is that there are older people with cash, now in a position to obtain that item they wish they had been given in the 1950s and 60s. Bear in mind they are only a small proportion from all the kids who wanted that item back then, who are still interested. There is no longer nearly so much interest among the young in model railways: it's other stuff they want. You need millions interested now to generate a decent sized collector base (willing to bid up prices for rarities) from the one in a thousand who will retain the interest thirty or forty years on!
 

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I don't think I mind anyone buying something with the intention of saving it for later and re-selling at a profit, BUT what I definately do not like is how such activities can distort the "real" world to the extent that the original purpose of the item becomes secondary.

Model trains are (or were) there to allow ordinary folk (and some extraordinary folk) the opportunity to play trains (sorry, operate) on some sort of layout that depicts the actual thing - to a lesser or greater degree depending upon the owners desire, skill, space etc.

A model that is designed to work, that is then kept in its box without ever turning a wheel, is a FAKE. Anyone stupid enough to think that it is a collectable artifact ignores the fact that the most valuable antiques have an interesting history as well as being in original, or near original, condition. How many collectors of 'Chipendale' chairs insist upon the original packaging ?

Let's get real here. Limited editions annoy us because when we want that model (to use it) the price is high, the availability is low and we can see some guys asking a price which is higher than we want to pay and seems unjustified. (It's also possible that British folk still have some doubt about the acceptability of making a profit without any effort - please don't throw bricks at me for this comment !)

Anyway, limited editions at high prices are probably here to stay until some expert (drip under pressure) tells us that they are not a good investment. I just wonder how long that will take !
 

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Spotted a (un)real collector at Brighton over the weekend - illuminated jewelers glass examining the box ends for fingerprints - personally I regard it as sad & a shame that his purchase (if indeed made) will never come out of the box during his ownership. Still, it's a free(ish) world & you can do almost anything you want with your property.

I have some limited editions/limited runs/collectables that I run, much to the consternation of those whose collection remains boxbound.
 

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QUOTE (BobB @ 18 Feb 2009, 04:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Anyway, limited editions at high prices are probably here to stay until some expert (drip under pressure) tells us that they are not a good investment. I just wonder how long that will take !

I don't think all people that buy them are after an investment. I buy them if it's a model I want and if I intend to run it. If it isn't one I want I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.
 

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Limited editions give modellers more variety. Sometimes it is worth the extra cost if you want a particular model and don't fancy repainting an existing catalogue item. The only problem is they are usually produced in short runs and this inflates the price. Some limited runs are milked because they will be popular. My view is; I would only buy a limited edition if it was something that I wanted to run on my layout and throw the box away. If not then I wouldn't buy it just beacuse it was a 'limited edition'. It is all market driven anyway, if these "Limited Editions" did not sell then they would not made in the first place. The only way to guarantee getting one is to pre-order, which has its pitfalls, especially if the model falls short of expectations.
 

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I have never bought anything because it was a limited edition; but have bought LE's specifically because they were models I wanted to run, or were useful as the basis for a project. If a manufacturer finds that the most profitable way to conduct their business is by concentrating on 'limited editions' then so be it. If a model produced as a limited edition is useful, it is not diminished by this fact; 'a rose by any other name' and all that.

The aspect I find really funny is the boxes. Some time ago I sold some almost new condition H-D boxes (a chance find) for a vastly inflated sum. If someone wants to part with a heap of cash for some old cardboard that's his lookout. So now I keep the few LE boxes and some other selected packaging in dry storage. Who knows? Some loon may offer me a heap of wedge for that in the fulness of time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Another option is that if modellers want a ltd edition but cant afford it, if they wanted they could posibbly re namenumber an existing model. or if it required a new paint job they could ask a proffesional service to do it 4 them
 

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QUOTE (34C @ 18 Feb 2009, 10:12) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The aspect I find really funny is the boxes. Some time ago I sold some almost new condition H-D boxes (a chance find) for a vastly inflated sum. If someone wants to part with a heap of cash for some old cardboard that's his lookout. So now I keep the few LE boxes and some other selected packaging in dry storage. Who knows? Some loon may offer me a heap of wedge for that in the fulness of time.
I bought about 15 or so Minichamps 1/43 Mclaren GTR racing car in the 90's and they later fetched up to 10 times their retail cost each a few years ago.I had a whole set of them because I liked the model but didnt realize they would become collectors items that quickly .I sold most of them but one was a dud .It had been damaged and was fairly worthless.I did have the box mint however and sold it on Ebay for twice the cost of the original model ,which I kept and stripped down and gave it a repaint to another colour scheme I liked .Just amazing .The bubble burst a short while after I flogged of all mine and they settled down a a high but more reasonable price .I still think they were worth what I paid for them and no more . I will only pay retail for any model .
 

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QUOTE (shedmad66 @ 18 Feb 2009, 22:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Another option is that if modellers want a ltd edition but cant afford it, if they wanted they could posibbly re namenumber an existing model. or if it required a new paint job they could ask a proffesional service to do it 4 them
This is conundrum? If you can't afford the limited edition, how could you afford to get a professional respray of an existing model
 

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QUOTE (Manfred Ebinger @ 22 Feb 2009, 11:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>This is conundrum? If you can't afford the limited edition, how could you afford to get a professional respray of an existing model

You could get a fair idea of the additional cost by looking at the Model Centre site and how much they charge for mod's and weathering. In many cases a limited edition would be about the same price or less.
 

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I find special editions particularly frustrating, they have the effect of making this hobby very expensive.I buy models to run and get pleasure out of. I buy them because I like them.I watch the antiques road show sometimes and see these people with toys dating back to 1900 still in the original packs. What fun is that, what enjoyment have they had out of just cleaning the dust off it?
I was annoyed when the NRM Deltic hit the scene, I missed the first batch and looked on E bay, they were going for £300 + and in many cases more where appearing from the same person. This model is an obvious success but could be controlled by limiting to one per person or household.
If this trend of profiteering continues this modelling hobby which many of us enjoy will die as we surely will.
How many youngsters are coming in to it? They want instant gratification with instant TV , instant games etc. We must find a way of attracting new people into the hobby otherwise we will all suffer and Special Editions will mean nothing
 
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