Perhaps. But to accuse Athearn of "looting" Roundhouse is totally
bogus. How can Athearn, who was given Roundhouse, be accused of stealing
them? Heck, it wasn't even Athearn's idea to buy Roundhouse. Now, maybe if
Horizon had stayed out and the owner of Roundhouse retired when he did,
maybe Athearn would have bought him out...but they didn't.
Paul A. Cutler III
Weather Or No Go New Haven
As the person who put in the reference to "looting" (it was just
supposed to be a stupid little play on words), I can tell you I was not
accusing anyone of "looting" anyone else. (Just the normal, everyday
looting that's the essence of capitalism. But that's another story ...)
The only reason corrupt Republicans rule the roost in Washington
is because the corrupt Democrats can't muster any viable opposition.
How about some proof? This past month, Athearn released the re-tooled
MDC RS-3, and have added a lot of detail and re-cut the tooling for better
accuracy. It's retail price is $89.98. Are you seriously saying that the
MDC RS-3 was only $45 last year? I don't think so. In fact, it was $69.00
in 1993 (according to my old Walthers catalog).
Paul A. Cutler III
Weather Or No Go New Haven
I'm going to use a '75 Walthers catalog and the AIER calculator for the
following, the today price is using the calculator to show what the '75
price would equate to:
Walther HW passenger car kit--$9.75,
today $35.38 [it's amazing how close that is to a Branchline kit of a
Walthers TS-5 switch motor--$4.95
Today $17.96 [really close to the cost of a Tortoise]
Here's an interesting one, SS Limited (remember them) roundhouse kit--$86.00
Tools seem to be cheaper, Dremel moto-tool $49.95
The point here is you can plug in any price and see what it would/should
be today. Using this data it seems to me the hobby has not gotten more
expensive but in many cases cheaper.
Agreed, and when you consider price/quality ratios, most current
production much, much cheaper. Eg, that Walthers passenger car kit you
mention. It had a basic wood body with pressed metal sides, cast metal
ends (which required a great deal of cleanup), some metal detail parts
(the steam traps were small nails, BTW), and no trucks or couplers. I
have a couple of those old Walthers cars - and I keep them for
sentimental reasons only.
Also, people have gotten used "deep discount" prices and have forgotten
that in the 50s/60 and early 70s you rarely if ever were able to
purchase model railroad items at the heavy discounts that are common
today. IMO, many consumers think of MSRPs as pure fantasy, and with good
reason. There's dumping of excess product once the initial market has
been satisfied and the expected profit has been realised. There are
distributors that operate a direct-to-consumer division selling product
at close to the dealer discount of 40%. The secondhand market pegs
20-30% of original price as the norm. And so on. What's a "comparable
price" in such a market and with such expectations?
I agree...and if you look at how much easier it is today to
find used model RR equipment via Ebay, Model RR shows (Greenberg, etc)
then it can be viewed as even less expensive than looking at
the AIER calculator.
After thinking about it and perusing the magazines, I've modified my
thinking. It's not so much that things are getting more expensive, but
that there are more and more high end products and less and less low
And I include scratchbuilding supplies as "low end" because they can
save quite a bit of money.
This trend would seem to me to be a death knell for the hobby, as it'll
be harder and harder to get young people with lower budgets into the
Oh, we'll survive, but it'll become more and more a hobby of well off
old farts. Sort of like NMRA's domination by "life" members :-).
While this may apply to some I also think it's a red herring. Has
anyone noticed what younger people spend on clothes and electronic toys
these days (among other things). I would think model railroading would seem
cheap to them. They think nothing of popping 15 to 20 bucks for the latest
shriek on CD* and that's a very nice freight car cost.
* and these become the latest "pull" material in very short time!
Okay you guys. You have too much time on your hands. The inflation
calculator is about 9% low as in the US the increase in housing is not
included along with some other factors. How much does the CEO of
Kalmbach or Walthers make a year?? If they make more than 300,000
including expenses they are stealing from the hobbiest. I know alot of
people won't agree, but I will never go to Disney land or purchase
anything Disney. Mike Isner made 500,000,000 as CEO for Disney. No one
is worth that. No one. Walt would be turning in his grave. Walt made
Disney as an escape for people, a fun park. NOT a multi billion dollar
corporation that has only one thing to do, make huge profits. If you
can afford to spend 500.00 on something that is really only worth
250.00, have at er. I have more interests in life and I will find the
best price I can. I live in Canada and I can purchase my modelling
supplies from the US for half of what I can at the local hobby store.
That includes exchange, taxes, duty, and shipping. I don't even have to
leave the house. I would love to support the local hobby store, but I
have to eat too. I would love to support Model Railroader, but the
articles usually have nothing to do with what I am doing at the time or
need info on. Besides I bought my first copy for 1.75 in 1982 or there
abouts. It's 9.00 now. How many of you can honestly say your wages
have quadrupled since 1982. I mean doing the same thing, same trade,
same postion etc.? I have said enough and sorry if I offended anyone.
But I think this conversation should end and people should get on with
their lives. Doing things that make them happy. If the MR industry
wants to put themselves in the higher bracket, so be it. They are the
ones that loose out. I can find something else to make me happy when
the time comes.......
Jon Miller wrote:
You and I may not like it, but if the products are still being
sold, it is the will of the marketplace. If the doubled prices
result in no or minimal sales, then either the manufacturer
will lower prices or stop production if the economics don't
I would, most definately. You will gain more customers by giving away
information than any sales pitch will ever get. I live in a small
community and I have expertise in many things. I have given away free
information, labour and when asked advice. I have had it returned to
me ten fold. If ever I need anything, and I mean just about anything,
all I need to do is ask.
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