a little OT - Unhappy events at Athearn Models

What? This is unheard of. Do the hobby retailers with store fronts think they can tell others what to do? Geez, they must be struggling to resort to these tactics...Just how
desperate are they? Who needs the local hobby store anyway with all this internet ordering etc? You've only got to study the photos of the items to know what it looks like.. For crying out loud.. an F7 is an F7.. Read the review if you want to know how it runs! With the retailers gone, the guys way out back won't have anything to miss being so far out of town.. and there's loads of them..
!

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I still enjoy a look at the merchandise.
Tom G.

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etc?
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Here is my take on it Andrew.
1. Athearn is not the "god" of model RR manufacturers. As a matter of fact, their stuff is second rate in my opinion. Also they manufacture NOTHING that would fit my 1880s Short Line layout.
2. The consumer has the choice to buy where he wants. If there is value in the full priced Athearn product at your local hobby store, then buy it. If you can find a similar (or more likely better quality) product online manufacturered by someone else, buy it.
3. For myself, and I believe for a lot of model railroaders, there is not a retailer in my town. I have to go 35KM (22 miles for the folks south of me) to get to a shop, not that far, but sometimes not doable. So I check out the Canadian Online ( www.surreycustommodels.com ) or mail order (Canadian Express Lines) sources.
4. Time will tell if Horizon will pull its collective butts out of its collective A$$E$ and realize we are in a new millenium. .
--
Will
HO - Credit Valley Railway
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fixed my own post

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The thing that gets me about the original post is the poster assumes model railroders will be against thr Horizon deal. Bottom line is they purchased Athearn and they can do what they want with it. If you want to purchase Athearn just go to a shop or online seller who sells it.
If you are a shop get an account at Horizon. If you are a basement guy give some other distributors a call and see if you can get Accurail, Atlas, MDC or something else. They might be very interested to hear from you and might be offering incentives to buy from them.
Jim
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Agreed, Jim.
My question is, how did Athearn get to be viewed as so "godlike", they are only one manufacturer. There are others out there who do much better work, for not much more cost to me, the consumer.
--
Will
HO - Credit Valley Railway
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Will,
Godlike no... But when a kid (or adult) who has got bit by the HO railroad hobby bug decides to make the BIG (and it is a big step) plunge from the toy like Tyco RTR full sets, He or she will in all likelihood start building a more realistic looking Athearn blue boxed kit in expanding his/her hobby horizons. There are not so many choices as you might think. Athearn made its name selling to this target group. Sure Athearn is not always prototypically exact. Sure the quality is not to Intermountain, Proto 2000, or other premium kit standards. But how many of you/us ever went from crappy RTR Tyco's to top of the line overnight? How many of us had the money to waste when we destroyed a kit during our learning phase?
Perhaps most of have forgotten our own beginnings in the hobby and thus take for granted what the newer entrants will do. I started HO at about 7 years of age following my parents gift of a Tyco ATSF Streamliner set that was basically an oval, two switches, and a passing track. I remember begging my dad to let me buy more cars and sidings. He bought a 4x8 sheet of plywood and we made a two track mainline with 4 side tracks to switch. We used no cork, just nailing the track directly to the plywood. At this point I had not ever been to a "hobby shop" for trains however I had been to an model airplane shop as my dad was a member of a model club there. All the cars were purchased at a discount Department store. Sometime later (after a lot of renewed begging I am sure) I was allowed to buy one of Ahearn's blue boxes to build and run. It came out horrible I am sure, but it ran! I also started buying building kits to put together. That was my layout for about two years. Once my father realized I was serious, we both tore down the original and built our second more prototypical version using ct and braced plywood, cork and rudimentary scenery. By that time I had expanded into Athearn engines as well as cars and I retired (usually via a firecracker) the older Tyco cars. We did keep the two ATSF F-units. I never did graduate to higher priced and better detailed HO equipment in those days. We just did not have the kind of money needed. Athearn was as good as it got until I reached the age of majority and then I had no spare time or money for any hobby at all for a good number of years.
The point I wish to make here is that Athearn served a very useful niche in transitioning from a childs play to a serious hobby. So are they "godlike?" No! But are they a needed portion of this hobby? Yes! Part of any possible loss of Athearn products can partially be offset by other "like" lower quality kit manufacturers, but again, only partially.
Art
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snipped-for-privacy@CreditValley.Railway wrote:

Code 70 would look a lot more appropriate for 1880's - even up to the 1940's and 50's and beyond for non-Class 1 lines.
--
Steve Caple

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A good post. Athearn is not going to disappear or go under. But there is no way under their current plan that they will maintain their sales level I think.
Horizon's business plan (to make up for the reported large purchase price) is either one of two ways.
1. Assume sales will stay constant because modelers will 'need' to keep buying Athearn and 'forced' to buy it from the (fewer) Horizon stores. Horizon will make more money due to them pocketing the former distributor discount they now get themselves since they are the distributor.
2. Assume sales will drop somewhat due to the above, but raise prices (even more) to cover the difference.
Time will tell what will happen. In the meantime, I am not buying any Athearn.
(Jim Stanton) wrote:

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I chalk that one up to the fact that instead of getting the loco from Athearn, you're getting it from Horizon, so you're paying the middle guy.
Unless you're saying that if ordered from Horizon before they bought Athearn, the price went up....
Kennedy
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in message

Athearn didn't sell locos direct before, did they? I thought there always was a "middle gy."
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You are correct. Athearn sold to many different distribution channels.
Dave
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What I meant was that the store may be getting it from either Athearn direct, or some other middle guy. If my store was getting it from Athearn direct, then you wouldn't see the extra distributor charge that Horizon would levy.
If the distributor was a small operation, there'd be a charge as well...
Kennedy
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Horizon has neither canceled nor told dealers to reorder any orders for the Challenger. The distributors that can no longer get Athearn were the ones that canceled the orders. Whether someone had a better deal with another particular distributor is another thing. I was fortunate enough to have ordered these from Horizon (prior to the Athearn) sale as they were offering a slightly better deal than my other sources.
Dave
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snipped-for-privacy@Hotmail.com (Jim Stanton) wrote:

Also, perhaps, to get our niche of the hobby traffic back into the stores which deal with Horizon. Widening their customer base, perhaps.
More traffic into said store means maybe more sales on non-MRR stuff....
Kennedy
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snipped-for-privacy@Hotmail.com (Jim Stanton) wrote:

It might sound like that, since the loudest ones are the ones against it. The rest of the folks who are OK with it stay silent and don't bother to wade into these threads....
:D
Kennedy
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Hello, Horizon?! Maybe some better motors? Polish the armatures at the factory (800 and 1500 grit) and shim the motors? That's the big step in my tweaking. And that metal strip has GOT to go.
Jay CNS&M North Shore Line - "First and fastest"
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