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In depth idiot
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Forget the Rishizilla vs Mordauthra stand off (available streamed on all major networks for your entertainment needs).

Let's look at something important, the state of play in RTR OO. We now appear to have something like 20 brands competing for our attention, in the hopes of making a sale of their products from the Chinese model railway manufacturing machine. (Note, thus ignoring the true 'made in the UK' participants such as OO Works and Peco.)

What we now enjoy is a spectacular choice of RTR OO, compared to our expectations 20 some years ago. When I look back to that time, circa 2000, there were any number of traction models alone I would have honestly anticipated buying, in the unlikely event - as it then seemed - that they were ever made available RTR.


Summary of the end result for this RTR customer, I have bought only 30% of them; just those that would be seen on my selected main line location 1955 - 1962, simply because that's approaching as much as I can fit in, despite what is a large layout by most standards, which I want to remain operable, rather than near gridlocked and requiring significant regular off scene manouevering to prevent this, which I wish to avoid. (It's the timetable operation of the 'on-scene' layout that is my prime reason for having a model railway, I want the minimum of off-scene 'maintenance', the necessary 'reset' from mid '62 to 'all steam' in 1955, for the cycle through time to restart, is quite enough...)

As it stands now there are three traction items either announced or available which I intend to acquire, all steam - single purchases only - and a 'definite single purchase' list of just four other steam classes, should they be offered RTR. (Much the same applies in rolling stock, though here if the 'right items' are made, there will be 1 for 1 substitutions with current 'placeholders', so not a problem.)

My conclusion. The 'scramble' we now see in OO to bring what are clearly the most popular and profitable items to market - that's traction models - must be approaching saturation for many; but there remain some significant gaps in provision, so there's likely a decade of opportunity for this number of competitor brands. It's easier in rolling stock, as there are far greater 'holes' in coverage, but the prices may be so high to reduce the potential sales volume and discourage them being offered.

As ever, 'YMMV', do tell...
 

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Rishizilla = nice description, can only feel the actual Con party members must be spitting out teeth, I think there will be a lot of kick back.

However in the world of rail - the real one you never know as I am now on the Infrastructure and Transport advisory committee of the Reform party so maybe one day I may have the chance to influence the real railway, and here I would revive most of the GCR to create an HS2/3/4.5 or whatever to the north, odd that only a few hundred yards at Aylesbury get a look in but even so this makes that an obvious junction to rival the erstwhile Quainton Road.after all the GCR was built to upgrade to 4 track, used the Berne loading guage and had no level crossings, might be able to get windcutters running at 100miles/hour - now that is progress.

As to the model world well I can only hope that Peco makes a bit of a push, perhaps more with Kato as this shows promise (except the rods falling off the Festy 0-4-0's.

So more to look forward to.
 

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In depth idiot
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
...As to the model world well I can only hope that Peco makes a bit of a push, perhaps more with Kato...
Were I a Hornby competitor, I'd be thinking of a bold stab in the jOOgular, while Hornby's management focus is disTTracted; targetting subjects where Hornby currently have the sole offering.
What's their weakest pacific, one of the Bulleids, original or rebuilt?
Worst numerous LMS loco class, that'll be the 8F. (The Fowler 2-6-4T is pretty poor too.)
Poorly rendered BR diesel? OOh look at that, Accurascale have gone for the Brush 2 (30/31).
And in second gen and post BR traction it's an open goal, Cavalex are underway on a 56,
Awfullest coaches, easy, the wrong shape Gresley gangwayed.

While its true that there are plenty of subjects without models: (and let's be clear, I had much rather see new subjects get a RTR model, but Hornby are 'in possession' of much of the high ground) to win over those that don't consider anything not in a Hornby box, sampling a product from a different brand that wins out over Hornby is the most effective way to kick that door down. So far it's only Bachmann that have made significant progress in capturing market share from Hornby, Heljan the runner up. There's room at the top!
 

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As I have indicated on other threads, I believe that Hornby have reached the realisation that the OO market is now saturated and that for the business to survive, they must diversify into another scale, hence TT:120.
Heljan have now dropped out of TT:120. Peco always made track for the scale in the European market anyway, so it's no skin off their nose. Which leaves Hornby as the sole provider of British TT:120 AND only direct from them, no retailers involved.

The interesting thing here is that there are two perspectives to the hobby 'surviving'. Modellers would contend that all the time they have their models to play with (which is pretty much indefinitely), then by definition, the hobby is alive and continues.
Manufacturers naturally have a different perspective: for them, the hobby is only alive while they continue to sell models. Which means that once everyone has what they want, the market is saturated. I think that is the situation which Hornby are recognising. I don't think producing every obscure LNER 0-6-0 that no-body has ever heard of is the answer.

I think there is a further point here. As 34C indicated, there are plenty of models which could do with upgrades. My view is that the quality and accuracy of models increases substantially over time so there will always be a cycle of older models on the backend which needs upgrading and to that end, I agree with 34C's candidates.
But the question is: is that sufficient to keep Hornby in business ? And if not, could that be why TT:120 has come about ?

Personally, I'm tending the other way in scales (my avatar is a 7mm scale Hymek). O is fantastic for detail that just cannot be achieved in smaller scales.
As one gets older, one can actually see O, but one cannot see N or TT:120 !
 

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In depth idiot
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
...As I have indicated on other threads, I believe that Hornby have reached the realisation that the OO market is now saturated and that for the business to survive, they must diversify into another scale, hence TT:120...
Quite, and this won't be the end of such diversification. In model railway I could quite see them venturing new HO for emerging markets, such as India.

...I don't think producing every obscure LNER 0-6-0 that no-body has ever heard of is the answer...
Only one required! The Triang/Hornby survival to present has twice been possible only because of sales of the ever popular A3 and A4 (or in common English usage Flying Scotsman and Mallard) propping up the business. And yet they have to this day ignored the essential 0-6-0 to go with: the GNR J6 'Knick-Knack' aka 'Hitchin/Retford pacific'. Hornby owe us that! It's a necessity for the GN section of the ECML to the end of steam. (And my kit build is worn out.)
 

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In model railway I could quite see them venturing new HO for emerging markets, such as India.
To be perfectly honest, I think British HO would have been a better option than TT:120;

It would fix the 'scale' issue once and for all and it would be slightly smaller that current OO, facilitating the 'space' problem that we are told exists.

And for the 'great unwashed' who the new scale is aimed at, they wouldn't know the difference with OO and HO anyway and would freely mix them.

On the other hand, the adoption of British HO would tend to indicate that it is intended to REPLACE OO over time which would have the effect of diminishing the OO market. I don't think this is Hornby's objective. I think their objective is to have two non-competing markets which they can produce a full range for both - it's about producing more models, not less.
 

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Trix tried going the HO route back along but it didn't take as folks such as my dad just didn't like running undersized Pacifics alongside OO white metal kit locos. I suspect this would still be the case. TT120 might work as it is a Continental product but I feel it is too far in a depressed economy and is the wrong time to go with it, takes away effort from improving the OO product and is alienating the dealers.
 

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In depth idiot
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
...alienating the dealers.
It's just a turf war: once a retailer starts with their own competing brand of product, then what's to restrain existing brands (one of which just happen to have the largest market share and best name recognition in the UK) from turning retailer? The old 'safe' understanding of who does what, gone forever; and this likely won't be the end of it.
 

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Trix tried going the HO route back along but it didn't take as folks such as my dad just didn't like running undersized Pacifics alongside OO white metal kit locos. I suspect this would still be the case. TT120 might work as it is a Continental product but I feel it is too far in a depressed economy and is the wrong time to go with it, takes away effort from improving the OO product and is alienating the dealers.
They did indeed. So did Fleischmann with their Warship and Bullied coaches.

My theory on the whole HO vs OO issue is that it could have changed in the early 1980's when Hornby was basically dormant, Airfix and Mainline had folded, Replica, Dapol and Bachmann were yet to come and one manufacturer had basically taken over: Lima. Had Lima produced HO scale models to the standards and volume that they did later with OO and through the 80's, I reckon we could all be modelling British HO now. By today's standards, Lima is crude, but at the time, it was breaking new ground and its only competition was Hornby who were producing the same stuff that they had been producing for well over decade and wasn't much better. I believe that Lima could have introduce the change for others to follow. While we might still have 'fine scale' and 'dead scale' HO, at least we would be using the same scale for both our track and train bodies!

Hornby's venture into TT:120 is about producing more models with a new range. It is not about fixing past problems with a replacement scale.
 
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