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London toy fair (hornby)

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Dunluce Castle
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Hornby do not look good.

 

Pre-tax losses for the full year, between £5.5m and £6m.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35538800

 

A pity. It doesn't bode well. Toy train sets seem ludicrously expensive now, and the older modellers market who grew up with toy train sets 60 to 35 years ago has accelerated its shrinkage due demographic age profile. Add to that, social networking now seems to be many youngsters primary leisure activity. The industry will never die, but as a 'sunset industry' it may become a lot smaller and more specialised.

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Perhaps the romance of the rails is simply gone?

 

The 'monsters' of our childhoods, be they spitting steam and cinders or shaking you to the bones with the roar of a diesel are largely gone. Certainly from the day to day average interaction with the railway.

 

There is a lot less to inspire.

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It's the same with secondhand books - my local shop told me recently that railways are the one area where the market has shrunk dramatically - the younger generation are still interested in cars, planes and ships but not, it seems, trains.

 

Stephen

 

Possible multiple cause for the loss of interest, fewer folk around nowadays who remember seeing steam trains in their youth, the decline of loco hauled trains with rather bland looking DMUs, ICRs and HST125s. Modern passenger trains seem to have less 'machine' about them. Many young folk only have memories of trains as short rectangular buses on rails that sound uninspiring unlike guttural locos and hissing steam locos of even 30 years ago. UK TV and movie dramas still make significant use of iconic steam trains so despite folk not seeing them in the flesh they remain part of acquired subliminal memory.

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Perhaps the romance of the rails is simply gone?

 

The 'monsters' of our childhoods, be they spitting steam and cinders or shaking you to the bones with the roar of a diesel are largely gone. Certainly from the day to day average interaction with the railway.

 

There is a lot less to inspire.

 

That's it in a nutshell.

 

The world is gone backward - gone is supersonic passenger flight, gone is the space shuttle, manned space travel is finished, real dining coaches are gone from long distance trains, flying RC model aircraft has been replaced by drone cameras that have no challenge and need zero-1 skill to fly, gone is the HST ferry, where will it all end Ted? :)

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I'd imagine it's as much to do with buying up loads of other companies over the past 10-15 years and the 2012 Olympic merchandising disaster, not to mention the Sanda Kan episode as much as the 'doom and gloom death of the hobby' angle being bandied about that has left Hornby in this mess. Mind you it's not the first time it's happened to the company, most infamous of all in the late 60s when the hobby was at its peak.

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Is the decline of hornby not partly due to the absolute rubbish stuff they have been producing lately? I mean some of the train sets/packs are using ancient tooling from triang days and even lima.

 

Even in the train set market is that really good enough?? Personally I am not too fussed on detail because I like to watch train go around, but the market have change dramatically.

hornby-freelance-0-4-0-side-tank-br-43209-1.jpg

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Is the decline of hornby not partly due to the absolute rubbish stuff they have been producing lately? I mean some of the train sets/packs are using ancient tooling from triang days and even lima.

 

Even in the train set market is that really good enough?? Personally I am not too fussed on detail because I like to watch train go around, but the market have change dramatically.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]22769[/ATTACH]

 

That's one of their biggest issues, old tooling that should have been scrapped. They have been trying in recent years with "super" detailed models but its just not enough. Coupled with rubbish DCC controllers they have become a cheap brand. They made hundreds of thousands of sets for the Olympic games in 2012 and they flopped.

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Is the decline of hornby not partly due to the absolute rubbish stuff they have been producing lately? I mean some of the train sets/packs are using ancient tooling from triang days and even lima.

 

Even in the train set market is that really good enough?? Personally I am not too fussed on detail because I like to watch train go around, but the market have change dramatically.

 

The starter sets of 30 years ago are pretty identical to starter sets now. A tiny primitive 0-4-0 loco that whizzes around faster than an A4 and stalls on points. This is Christmas cracker contents stuff nowadays.

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Could end up with a similar situation to Williams in the US with a Kader takeover. Hornby by Bachmannanyone?

 

A takeover by Kader would make sense to eliminate a major competitor drop the Bachmann name in favour of the stronger Hornby brand and rationalise the OO range.

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The hornby new P2 class is a lovely looking loco, it retails at 135 pounds. I have heard of many people having to re-motor the loco already. It uses the same motor you'd find in a cheap 0-4-0. Hornby rested on their laurels for too long and are now paying the price. They need to limit the range and focus only on quality. The railroad range of stuff would have been a great seller when I was a kid, not now.

 

Its very sad to see the disrepair that brand has fallen into. Is it too late to fix????

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Is the decline of hornby not partly due to the absolute rubbish stuff they have been producing lately? I mean some of the train sets/packs are using ancient tooling from triang days and even lima.

 

Even in the train set market is that really good enough?? Personally I am not too fussed on detail because I like to watch train go around, but the market have change dramatically.

 

I think the problem lies more in this area, rather than the 'End of Days' scenario being suggested about the hobby in general. Other manufacturers have adapted with the market and are fairing well, while Hornby have struggled.

 

Also, I don't think this latest financial report would have been unexpected after the supply issues and computer problems the company had last year.

Edited by Garfield
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Hornby exhibits many of the traits that we saw in British industry in general - traits that got rid of the motor industry, shipbuilding, motorcycles, most of the aircraft industry, etc. - even Tri-Ang and Chad Valley, that were once world leaders in toys.

 

People often coast along with the belief that they "should exist", just because they do.

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The hornby new P2 class is a lovely looking loco, it retails at 135 pounds. I have heard of many people having to re-motor the loco already. It uses the same motor you'd find in a cheap 0-4-0. Hornby rested on their laurels for too long and are now paying the price. They need to limit the range and focus only on quality. The railroad range of stuff would have been a great seller when I was a kid, not now.

 

Its very sad to see the disrepair that brand has fallen into. Is it too late to fix????

 

Really? For a premium loco released in the 2010s that's just beyond belief.

 

I don't mind a 'budget' range, but having a decent motor rather than something found in a lucky bag.

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That's it in a nutshell.

 

The world is gone backward - gone is supersonic passenger flight, gone is the space shuttle, manned space travel is finished, real dining coaches are gone from long distance trains, flying RC model aircraft has been replaced by drone cameras that have no challenge and need zero-1 skill to fly, gone is the HST ferry, where will it all end Ted? :)

 

Down with this sort of thing!

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On that RM tread there is a picture of a Downtown Abbey train set. What in the name of God? I suppose the Harry Potter train sets were meant to have been profitable.

 

Yeah it's appalling. There seemed to be a shortage of Thomas items for a good while as licensing was up for negotiations which has always been a good money spinner along with Harry Potter. Hornby since secured it but looks like the items only from China after Christmas!

 

Me and the other IRM crew must need our heads testing going into this industry!

 

Hornby were in a very healthy position in the middle of the last decade. Looks like a lot has gone wrong in recent times.

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