Airfix no more

Looks like Airfix have gone into administration....
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Although no longer in the railway end of the market, it seems it might
be the final end for a company thats been part of british life for many
years.
Reply to
John Ruddy
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Humbrol themselves are in receivership, taking Airfix with them.
It also seems the french company that supplies Airfix/Humbrol (Heller?) are also in the same trouble.
John Ruddy wrote:
Reply to
ijcornish
Airfix kits are also hugely popular abroad. This comes as no surprise though. I posted to rec.models.scale some months ago how I thought the company was making the same mistakes as it did before all over again. Essentially, it was flooding the market with rehashes of old kits which had neither the quality to command a decent price nor were cheap enough to attract casual buyers. Airfix were a jack-of-all-trades and master of none.
(kim)
Reply to
kim
"John Ruddy" wrote
The result of little investment on the plastic kits side, and significantly decreasing quality of their paint products in my opinion. We get nothing but complaints about Humbrol paint, and sales have nose-dived since production was switched to China.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
I wondered whether Hornby would be interested. Radio 4 was talking about this 2 mornings ago and the problem seems to be that the French supplier went into administration some while ago and the French will not realease the moulds. Without them there is nothing to actually buy. I can't see that the name is worth a great deal on its own.
Kevin
Reply to
Kevin
That could be the attraction. The existing kit range is so far behind the curve for quality and detail in plastic models (so I'm told, anyway) that they're probably not much of an asset. OTOH, if Hornby can buy up the brand name cheaply then it can be used to market - well, whatever they decide to do with it.
Reply to
Andrew Robert Breen
Did they still have any railway moulds? I thought Dapol got them. And of course, Hornby finished up wit most of the Airfix ready-to-run stuff.
Reply to
Christopher A. Lee
I assumed that they were only referring to the moulds for what ever Airfix currently sell.
Kevin
Reply to
Kevin
Hornby could do well to design brand new kits of lineside structures, shops, etc, under the Airfix name, for example. Pola have a few UK style buildings, but not nearly enough. With current CAD/CAM and die-sinking technology, technology, making new dies would cost less in real money than Airfix's original dies cost. There are some really nice paper/card kits available, i know, but the advantage of plastic building kits is that kit bashing is a lot easier than with paper/card kits.
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
Am I the only one who thinks Hornby is spreading itself too thinly already? They've yet to integrate their other acquisitions fully into their range.
(kim)
Reply to
kim
There's no point. Airfix' biggest asset is its name. This is universally associated with plane kits. Whenever they've diversified into other fields they've gone bust. There's no caché associated with Airfix railway models like there is with Airfix planes. They may as well produce them under the Hornby label.
(kim)
Reply to
kim
It was 'plane kits I was thinking of as a first step: perhaps using Airfix as a brand name for importing some of the Chinese-made plastic kits that are available, but generally only through specialist dealers:
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would be an example. If those could be marketed under the Airfix badge (and through the same channels) the increase in volume for the manufacturer could be worth the cut Hornby would want for marketing them.
Bear in mind these kits are probably as much of an improvement over the Airfix ones as current-Hornby is over Tri-ang.
That could be one angle. Another is that Hornby have shown themselves to be fairly adroit at the film tie-in market (think scarlet Castles..) which Airfix ignored. There could be opportunities there, as well.
Then there's the old "dinosaurs" line which was, once, a big success for Airfix. I'm pretty certain that there'll be plastic kits being made somewhere in China that'd suit for a revival.
Being a bit more speculative, there'd be scope for using the Airfix brand as a vehicle for a slightly diluted, western-friendly version of the .jp anime-related model kit scene. With the increasing popularity of japanese film in the west that could be a growth market.
Those are all just possibilities, but Hornby seem to be pretty on the ball when it comes to spotting market niches (I can imagine the live steam stuff going down a storm in .de, now they've got a market base there), so I reckon they'll be alive to possibilities.
Reply to
Andrew Robert Breen
"Wolf Kirchmeir" wrote
Hornby already has a new range of structures, it's called Skaledale, and if our experience of sales on this range is anything to go by, the public just don't want kits, they want finished buildings!
John.
Reply to
John Turner
"kim" wrote
I've some sympathy with that view, and we're already seeing signs of over-supply on the model railway market.
Incidentally no-one's picked this up as yet, but the current boss of Hornby was formerly with Humbrol/Airfix.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
"John Turner" wrote in news:ed9v0q$jem$ snipped-for-privacy@newsreaderm2.core.theplanet.net:
Niethr has anyone pointed out that Hornby have just moved in to the plastic kit market. I bought my son a Ford Focus rally car during a recent trip to The Lakes (and got myself a very nice Fowler tank at the same time). It wasn't until I got home and handed it over that I noticed that it had a Hornby badge on it. Very simple kit but very well made, all the parts already cut from the sprue and ready for assembly.
It would be a simple matter to change the Hornby badge for a Airfix one and cash in.
Reply to
Chris Wilson
Um, yes, that's my experience over here, too. Walthers offers most of its structures as "built-ups." Woodland Scenics is offering a new line of ready built structure, "the only one hand painted" in fact.
But I remember Airfix as a RR kit supplier, not as plane kit supplier. By the time i was interested in plane kits, we'd moved to Canada, and there was and is a vast range of plane kits here.
Oh well, no point hashing over stale cabbage.
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir

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