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New Hornby Class 56 breaks cover

7630 Views 31 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Brian Considine

Just a couple of days too late for Warley, what were they thinking!

Just appeared on the Hattons website in the past few minutes, the BR Blue Class 56 R2645.

See the Hornby website for more info:

A little over the odds at £80 perhaps (Hattons' price) , but I've just ordered one in excitement. Just past the 2pm cut off for guaranteed next day delivery, but fingers crossed!

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 6 Dec 2007, 15:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Well. comming back on topic, i thought the loco looked very good. although its really not my kind of thing. its far too ugly for my layout!
I am assuming it has the same mech as the other recent hornby releases??


***If it was to be judged by the image at the top of this thread, if I was into diseasels I'd not even look at it - Its a really bad presentation, low detail, wrong angle, lousy technique & no "presence" at all.

Hornby really do need to fire whever does (and whoever approves) their marketing presentation quality & publicity images - One isn't doing his job and the other isn't worth paying for the work done... make up your own mind as to which is which :)

Between the PDF images such as the one at the top of this page (+ many others recently) and the appalling Elite image they use on posters & packaging they have managed to make themselves look very toy like indeed! Surely they must value their brand image better than they are demonstrating!


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QUOTE (Ravenser @ 7 Dec 2007, 03:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Does anyone have one of these in the flesh yet?

Trying to judge these from preproduction photos which may or may not have a CGI element is not going to get us anywhere terribly useful at this stage but the models were on display in the flesh, final version, at Warley and I would have thought someone would have a view by now.

If we are going to stare at photos not models and criticise , possibly the key side view would that of the prototypes - there were/are differences between Romanian and BREL built locos I believe

I would expect the coupling to be in an NEM pocket on this - the 31 and 60 feature one

***Its not criticising the model at all actually - far from it, I am simply saying that if indeed the model is "a new level of accuracy" as claimed then the publicity is letting Hornby down dramatically. Good print material will do far more than any single show to create a buzz about the product, as modellers are inevitably avid catalog and publicity readers.

What other industry gets away with charging for a catalog like its a new best selling book!! The cost to do this right is so little different that its a crime NOT to!

A nice perspective shot with all "in the box added detail items" added and the loco on a high quality super-detailed "non-hornby made" layout would do wonders for the imagination and create a real "I want one" vs the poor quality imagination free "mughot" on the printed pages that we see now.

I'm sure that the owners of some of the fine layouts featured at exhibitions or in mags would be pleased to oblige too.

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 7 Dec 2007, 17:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Not forgetting the internet.

Does launching a new model or product really have to be done at a large show, be it Warley or wherever ? Accepting that Warley is one of the largest in terms of gate numbers the big shows still only reach a fraction of modellers. Many of this forums members that I now "know" attended but, I cannot think of one single friend or regular customer that did attend Warley.

Personally, I think there is far too much hype surrounding the big shows & what may or may not be launched.

***Actually, I don't believe the shows have EVER been the real release point. To me the model is really "released" when the announcement to make it is made.... and re-released when its time for the "majors" to be sold.

As soon as "proving" models are created, an intelligent marketer will have held quiet meetings with the major companies both resellers and retailers well in advance and reconfirmed their orders which should have been tentatively placed at time of model choice... Thus ensuring the key bulk business is in place well before actual production... with general retailer business following, in preparation for the public "unveiling"

Then there's the timing for seasonality - if the retail trade in general is to take proper advantage and pre order to meet public release, they must know months in advance in order to plan their own sales season and cashflow....

So... when is the release the "real thing" - when the brands sales are made, or when the consumer pays for it??


I think that the brands should be evolving this process - its a great way for one brand to stand out vs another if they were to actually make an effort to properly pre-market a product instead of the same tired old procedures.

After all, in this day and age it could be done much better by initial release, teasers, hyping up anything special and generally creating a buzz in the months ahead of time... And by embracing the electronic medium instead of treating it as a partial enemy. (Doesn't the saying go "hold your friends close and your enemies even closer" after all. It'd take balls but thats what a good marketer is paid for - intelligent strategic planning + courage and committment)

If I was in the chair at least 6 months prior to the actual sales date I'd be taking beauty shots of the test loco's and showing only part of them - perhaps a loco semi-hiding behind an embankment on a layout, or a rake of new coaches at that typical "railway photo angle" that prototype steam loc's were so often shot at, which captures them in maddeningly long perspective to give a tantalising peek.

Then.... Weekly or as things/details become reality I'd then be talking to the modelling press and E-groups and forums and hyping up the added detail or special features one week then showing tempting preview shots of them the next .... leading up to a bit of a speculation about how good it might be as the full "parade" of liveries and beauty shots were made ready to show.

FInally I'd not release a bland sideways shot - I'd include such things as the mechanism detail if its worthy of looking at, interest generating details like the revolving fans, and have shots both professionally weathered and in the raw.... That'd get any group of modellers talking their heads off and the Fora with lots of hot topics... and the order books full at the retailers, which is the objective after all!

But then again, its not up to me :)


PS: Think of the buzz and email generation if Hornby had the courage to break the traditional timing and approach and said ""We'll release a new model at each of the following small regional shows this year, with the full line-up on parade and we'll have additional "secret" exclusive liveries for initial sale at Warley at the end of the year... The press would attend a wider band of shows, the public would travel to more of them and the retailers local to each of those events could reap the benefit.... with Warley also a winner as there's still a "special release event" happening.

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QUOTE (34C @ 7 Dec 2007, 22:43) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The principle of embracing the net is one I heartily support, but it has to be done intelligently. If to include photographs, at least provide image pairs of prototype and model from the same perspective.

Embracing has to be done literally - show fear or reaction and it'll backfire, but I didn't suggest a whole model in clear profile early, I suggested lots of teasers. Intelligent reaction in the positive and ignoring the negative works fine - but one "bite at a bad rection ad its a death of a thousand cuts.

As to the colour reproduction - Nada. My pre-model business history was as marketing director of a large exceptionally successful Japanese brand and these things can be made to work for you not against you. Ducking the issue is no way to show leadership.

QUOTE (Ravenser @ 7 Dec 2007, 22:43) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hornby have actually been quite clever with this release - they've snuck under the radar

There is nothing clever at all about avoiding publicity instead of managing it properly. As to the shows I was thinking spreading them geographically to the better regionals such as York, Nottingham etc etc, not the church hall events.

Release = real world presentation closely followed by being on the shelves.... As to the marketing work its all over and done with before it hits the stores if its done right. Marketing is the things that take it from evaluation of potential thru initial concept thru hopefully clever presentation to the point of acceptance... Distribution into a willing market is just the final "sales" chapter of the strategy.

As to the model, I couldn't care less so to speak - I was commenting on the lack of vision and proactive strategy + P-poor marketing presentation I see from the Model railway brands, not what is probably a very, very good but slightly imperfect model, as most of their "fully new" products of late have been....

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