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The manufacturers only take the trouble to improve product BECAUSE of critical reviews!

If no criticism were visible, manufacturers would hardly bother to improve their products. Why would they if everything in the garden seemed rosy?
They need a carrot AND a stick.

It's quite obvious that there are enough buyers seeking improvement that the magazines feel it worth mentioning the salient points and we can clearly see that the manufacturers do, in turn, respond by trying ever harder.

Naturally we all have our very individual thoughts with regard to required level of detail and adherence to scale. When detailed reviews are made available to us, we are enabled to make up our own minds as to whether our opinions coincide with those of a particular reviewer and base our purchasing decisions accordingly. This fundamental principle applies whether the item under review is a model train, a car, a film review, a theatrical play, a DVD player or a camera etc - the list is endless.

While, just like anyone else, I may on occasion think that a reviewer has gone over the top, I would absolutely defend the reviewer's right and, even more, his absolute duty to his readers to NEVER gloss over weak point or faults. There is no point whatever in writing a review that blandly suggests everything is wonderful when it isn't. Might as well not bother printing the review at all if it doesn't fulfill its purpose of informing as fully as possible.

By the sound of it, this particular review might well surpass my contentment level too. I can see me now having to get up off my lazy backside and go buy the magazine myself to satisfy my own curiosity! And me looking forward to a nice lazy Saturday!


You getting a commission on extra sales from this, Gary?


But regardless of my personal reaction to the piece, I will continue to defend the reviewer's right and duty to inform his readership to the very best of his ability.
It's his job, it is what he is paid for.
 

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RIVET COUNTERS
Are they 'wrong'?

"There are a few more rivets on the
end on the Hornby loco to the right "


Some people might think that the quotation above was an example of promoting Hornby at the expense of Bachmann. That would be a fair interpretation.
But it is also absolutely fair to make the quoted comment if it is true, and the quoted comment IS true.

But, by the same token, it would be every bit as fair and true for someone to actually count the rivets on the prototype and compare the review model with that.

Maybe this is an example of nitpickers nitpicking other nitpickers
and therefore they are equally . . .

insert your own phrase!
 

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I would be very interested indeed to see the old reviews - for themselves.


However I don't think it would be appropriate to use them to try to make a score here. Consumer expectations and their fulfillment have altered so much in 30 or 40 years that it would be pointless in this context. A little bit like comparing a computer with an abacus in the middle of a group test of cutting edge PCs.

But, by all means let's see them as interesting items in their own right and perhaps more deservingly in their own topic. I imagine other readers may well have some to add also. It could prove to be an invaluable historical archive.
 

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Today, I finally dragged my idle self out into the wider world, did a bit of shopping and picked up a Model Rail magazine. I got soaked in the process and this didn't improve my demeanour a great deal!

I was quite impressed that my stockist had fourteen rail or model rail magazines in stock, though disappointed to find no International Modeller in that rather good selection. Still, must look on the bright side, that saved me a few quid! And the free plastic bag kept some of the rain off me on the way back to my car - small mercies.

Eventually, dried out at home and, having just finished a good long session reading the review section, I am almost disappointed to say that I find absolutely not a thing wrong with any of the reviews, their style, their approach or their verdicts. I was kind of expecting real hatchet jobs after what I had previously read here! But my own view is that the reviews are excellent, informative, well written and evenly balanced. They are not afraid to offer praise where it's thought to be deserved and nothing unpleasantly untoward in criticisms of the not quite so good. An excellent job job done, imho, I can't fault it.

Incidentally, while I like Railway Modeller and, in my view it is a sturdier product than Model Rail in the quality of paper used etc, their product reviews are comparatively very lean, not telling the reader a great deal. Better by far than NO review, but comparatively lacking in depth.
 
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