Hornby's folly for 2009?...

Many considered the Q1 to be a folly [1] (quite there John T...) but surely their 2009 version of the LMS Duchess class must be an even
greater one, judging by the image on the relevant web page it shows a 'de-streamlined' smoke box and LMS black livery - a state that only existed for a maximum of 7 year or so, and even then I'm not sure if the livery is correct for war time, so it might only actually be correct for ~4 years!
[1] at least when first released the UK was wrapped up in VE/VJ day anniversaries, so was 'topical'
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"Jerry" wrote

I've given up trying to understand the logic of some of Horby's releases. I'm not saying they won't sell, but in my humble estimation there are often better options available.
Some Q1s were being 'jobbed out' by Hornby within twelve months of their release. I really couldn't imagine that happening with really nice models of LMS (3F or 4F) or LNER 0-6-0s (J21, J25 & J27). Bachmann's J39 always seem to sell out fairly quickly, along with the BR versions of their B1s.
Still it's their business and it's their decision how they run it, but which business would you think was the better investment - Corgi or Sander Kan?
John.
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<snip>

Quite frankly neither (with 20/20 hindsight vision of course), OK Corgi gives them additional markets to exploit whilst buying Sander Kan would have given them their own production base but neither would now consider the down turn in the economy and the nose dive in the value of the GBP against the USD...
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"Jerry" wrote

Good point, but I think I'd like to be at least in part-control of my own manufacturing destiny than simply add another name to my product base.
Just out of interest who owns the Dinky brand name these days? That was of course the old Mecanno (original Hornby owners) brand for die-cast toys.
John.
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The point is, you can have all your own manufacturing ability/capacity you like but if you're suffering from poor exchange rates you're trying to climb a greasy poll - the only people who could end up winning from the current state of the economy is the cottage industry kit manufacturers.

Mattel, according to the vagaries of this (and all) Wikipedia page; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinky_Toy
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"Jerry" wrote

It does give you rather more control over your output, although I take your point about exchange rates. Time to move production back to the UK???
John.
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John Turner wrote:

I think that's unlikely John, the set up costs would be astranomical! Having said that if they own the tooling (and they can make it work cost effectively) then there are loads of injection moulding outfits here that are screaming for work!
Rob.
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That assumes that they were short sighted (some would say stupid enough) to rip out all their own injection moulding equipment when they out-sourced their production to China...

Or indeed elsewhere within the EU.
If they can't do either, well Hornby might just end up being a headline of the recession/depression. IIRC it was irrational acquisitions by Rovex in the good times that caused it's downfall in the turmoil of the 1970s. Airfix suffered a similar fate, for similar reasons, in the 1980s, as did Pailtoy in the 1990s...
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On Mon, 05 Jan 2009 21:59:59 -0000, Rob Wilson

Surely it's the assembly work that costs the most money especially as modern models have so many fiddly bits.
Fred X
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"The Dinky trade-name was a valuable one, and changed hands many times before ending up as part of Matchbox International Ltd in the late '80s. ... Matchbox began issuing model cars of the 1950s through the 'Dinky Collection' in the late 1980s, but these were models intentionally designed for adult collectors. The models were attractive and honoured the tradition of the Dinky name in terms of both quality and scale, and were popular with collectors for the short time that they were available... The 'Dinky Collection' then became absorbed into the themed series offered by Matchbox Collectibles Inc, owned by US giants Mattel, who have shown little interest in or understanding of the Dinky brand preferring nowadays to rebadge normal Matchbox models as Dinky for some editions of their models in certain markets, or to reissue 1:43 models from the Matchbox era. No new "dedicated" Dinky castings have been created in the Mattel era since Matchbox Collectibles was shut down in 2000."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinky_Toy
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I've often wondered what happened to the actual Dinky moulds, as surely they would be quite valuable in today's market? I know they wouldn't be capable of producing models to modern standards, but surely there would be some value for the nostalgia market. I wouldn't mind buying a brand new Thunderbird 2 or a Space 1999 Eagle Transporter at a reasonable price myself!
Fred X
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Jerry wrote:

By not owning the manufacturing they don't have the costs of running it down when the market turns down. Hornby should see profits increase with the Euro so high against the pound with their brands in Europe translating to high GB pounds profit for selling at the same price. The pound has fallen to a more realistic level against the dollar, they are in deeper trouble than we are, its no where near dollar parity we had a decade a go.
Chris
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I don't know where you get that idea from but the pound was nowhere near dollar parity a decade ago. Just under a decade ago (2001) it was very much where it is now, as it was also around 1993. In between those dates it peaked at about $1.70.
MBQ
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

A decade ago would be 1999. I should have added another 14 years February 1985 at $1.05 was the record low. Since then the average is about $1.60 so not that far off the current rate.
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WRONG, the governing factor is the USD, if you have not noticed the GBP has nosed dived against that currency as well, costs will and have increased.

Dream on!
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Jerry wrote:

WRONG the biggest drop is against the Euro and for Hornbys brands in Europe that means the when the profits are repatriated to the UK they buy more pounds and as dollar has collapsed against the Euro it means those products sold in Europe actually cost them less. So Hornby gets more profit per unit.
This should help them cope with the increased costs in the UK and lower sales.

Take a look at what's happening in Detroit for example lots of abandoned houses and factories. They don't look after there unemployed as well as us so they are in much deeper trouble than us.
Chris
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"Chris" wrote

What proportion of Hornby's sales is actually in Europe? I've absolutely no idea of the answer.
John.
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wrote:

Hi John, I don't know the answer in any figures, but I buy European from Germany and have only come across 2 shops that sell "Hornby". Hornby was available from an importing shop in the 1970s-80s as one shop regularly advertised in a German Mag I got back then. A lot more sell Rivarossi, Jouef and even Electrotren, but normally only German outline.
Regards, Greg.P. NZ
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Yes, but Hornby now owns Arnold, Rivarossi, Jouef and Lima.
http://www.hornbyinternational.com /
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and Electrotren - I assumed we all knew that. Hornby seems to be putting most of their (European) resources into the French and Italian markets.
Aside: way back when Tri-ang/Wrenn were marketting MiniTrix British, Trix sold Tri-ang Rocket sets boxed as German Trix. Presumably this was a reciprocal agreement and Trix took the only item they could see selling in Germany.
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