Walthers buys Life-Like


http://list.trains.com/UM/T.asp?A15.94.524.1.101390
Now, the question is will they pull out of other distributors?
Peter King in NY
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snipped-for-privacy@prodigy.net wrote:

And how does it affect LL Canada? (Which seems to be a somewhat-separate entity, though I'm unclear on the exact connection). In N-scale, LL is an important source for Canadian RRs.
-- Kizhe
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Lt. Kizhe Catson wrote:

Hobbycraft has exclusive rights to the LifeLike brand in Canada, which means that it's the exclusive importer of LifeLike products into Canada, both US and Canadian prototype. It also contracts for production of models of Canadian protoypes under the LifeLike brand. BTW, the importing is direct, not via the US. The pricing of Canadian roadnames reflects the small production runs, which are now usually 88 or 144 of each roadnumber, and often less. Eg, only 50 sets of the CN newsprint cars with graffiti were made. They were sold out at Hobbycraft almost as soon as they arrived.
HTH
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On 15 Jul 2005 09:53:08 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@prodigy.net wrote:

According to what I hear, that will happen on 15 August. Froggy,
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Well, according to what I've subsequently heard, Froggy is right. August 15th is the date.
Some more thoughts on this:
Similarity to the Athearn/Horizon deal: Well, it is a major distributor buying out a major manufacturer. But Walthers is already the biggest model RR distributor, while Horizon was a minor player. (Yes, I know they are bigger overall than Walthers. But they still only distribute a relatively small number of RR lines. Prior to Athearn/MDC, there was no real reason for a trains-only shop to buy from Horizon.)
The immediate effect will be much smaller, since most shops carrying trains will already have a Walthers account. You won't have a number of shops dropping the line or getting shut out, as happened with Athearn/MDC.
Wholesale price: Who's the low-cost distributor of Life-Like? Surprise, surprise, it's Walthers. (At least for 5-star dealers.) I don't expect this to change.
Retail price: Some of the larger dealers are able to buy Life-Like at distributor prices. This will probably stop. In the short term, expect some really low prices, as distributors dump Life-Like. In the long term, most of the really deep discount LL prices will probably go away. Expect street price to settle around 20% to 30% off list.
Availability: This should help availability on regular production-run items some, since inventory levels will be easier to control. But on limited-run items, your dealer will only have one place to go, and once they're gone, that's it.
Who's next: Who knows? But not Bachmann. I doubt anyone in the business has the money to buy them. Atlas is a good bet if someone has the money, and rumor has it Woodland Scenics. Bowser seems unlikely, the current management seems interested in running the business. Kato seems really unlikely, but Intermountain seems like a good candidate, too.
Peter King in NY
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They're not that big of a player in the model railroad market, but the owner of Con-Cor is planning to retire in about two years. So he would probably be very willing to sell. http://www.all-railroads.com/
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I think Con-Cor and IHC are in the same situation. Both have long-time owners who must be close to retirement. Both pretty much rely on others for development and manufacturing. And both produce a lot of non-prototype stuff that's maginal to poor. The question is will they simply dry up and blow away before they're purchased?
Con-Cor does have some desirable stuff, but their vehicles are already shared with Herpa and Promotex. Promotex could fill the void if Con-Cor exits. Their buildings have been swapped around between various manufacturers for years. I can't imagine anyone would want their engines or cars. (Except the Goose, maybe.)
I agree they probably will be for sale eventually. Sthe hard part will be finding a buyer.
Peter King in NY
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It's the 60' auto parts boxcar that I care about!
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Almost forgot about that one!
Fathered by Bondo Billy, and one of the first limited-run plastic models. I missed buying a NYC version when they debuted. When I inquired further, I was astounded to hear that it probably wouldn't be run again in that road.
Peter King in NY
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snipped-for-privacy@prodigy.net wrote:
> Con-Cor does have some desirable stuff, but their vehicles are > already shared with Herpa and Promotex. Promotex could fill the void > if Con-Cor exits. Their buildings have been swapped around between > various manufacturers for years. I can't imagine anyone would want > their engines or cars.
Their 40' Airslide hoppers can form the basis of a good model, with some extra work. I feel they are superior to the Walther's model of the same car.
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snipped-for-privacy@prodigy.net wrote in

Kato has its own problems - in its home market (Japan) it's being relegated to doing 'me-too' releases, following on the announcements of the other manufacturers ... maybe they would do better to concentrate on the US market :)
--
JB/NL < snipped-for-privacy@xs4all.nl>
If anyone asks me what I am, I will say I am myself.
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Good analysis,
I'm wondering if you have any thoughts on product. Specifically, I've always liked the look of the P2K line, but find them a bit fragile for frequent handling and mechanically they're the worst of the lot in my humble opinion. Split gears, groggy slow ramping motors, etc... Far poorer than Kato, Atlas, or Athearn/Genesis.
Walthers trainline models aren't much to look at, but generally the few I own run pretty smoothly. The press seems to indicate it will mostly be run as an independent subsidiary, but do you suppose the quality will improve? I only ever bought the P1K line (not too detailed, but easily handled and solid performers), or P2K's when they were heavily discounted because I may have wanted the specific model of locomotive, but didn't feel like the price reflected the quality/value of the locomotive.
Thoughts?
Alan
snipped-for-privacy@prodigy.net wrote:

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That has been the general trend in the hobby over the past twenty years, and I can't see why things won't continue in the future -- especially because this seems to be Walthers' flagship line to compete against Horizon Hobby's Athearn/Genesis locomotives. So improvements by one manufacturer will most likely be reflected by the other to stay in the market.
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That's a good question, and I'm not sure there's a way to know. I CAN see Trainline/P1K either merging, or being made compatible. If Walthers does "merge" lines, I would expect the Life-Like design to be dominant.
On the other hand, I also think Walthers is more responsive to quality problems.
Time will tell.
Peter King in NY
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Oh? When are they going to refund my money or give me credit for that piece of crap turntable I bought from them about five years ago?
-- Cheers Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
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Who are the other big distributors of Life-Like?
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Name any of the big distributors; Horizon, Great Planes, Hobby Stores, etc.
Mark Mathu wrote:

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Well if Horizon won't sell Athearn to Walthers you can bet Walthers won't sell LL to Horizon.
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And we all know who are going to be the losers in THAT pissing match!
fl@liner
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On Sun, 17 Jul 2005 13:16:04 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (fl@liner) wrote:

No, I don't think we all do. Why don't you tell us? Froggy,
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