Is it just me, or have rolling stock prices just jumped.....

DCESharkman Feb 20, 2016

  1. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Complete agreement with the need to re-define the hobby of model railroading in the eyes of the youth and their parents/relatives.
    I doubt we can make the manufacturers drop the limited run/pre-order system because it controls their exposure to losses.
    This discussion is good and perhaps a solution can be derived from the aggregate examples discussed.
     
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  2. Jeepy84

    Jeepy84 TrainBoard Member

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    There definitely is a stigma once a kid reaches a certain age where model railroading is seen as immature too, as the outsider usually cannot be convinced of the skills necessary to succeed in the hobby. I remember the discouragement I felt when in middle school a girl I had a crush on asked what magazine i was reading in study hall, and the look of disdain I received after my response. Meanwhile, little did she know, as she wasn't in my shop class (which my school no longer has...:( , that I was learning how to do carpentry and fine wood working as well as electrical, painting, etc... We know it's more than playing with trains
    No other boys tried to beat me up for being into trains, but I could see a smaller version of myself being picked on for it as well. That is a hard thing to market around.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
     
  3. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Well this thread has some interesting posts. We have gone from prices to ways to include the current youths.

    I am happy to say that my 6 year old daughter loves to run the trains and is starting to understand what the different cars are used for etc.

    As for me, I am still on the fence about any more purchases. I need to reassess my inventory and do some more subtraction before I do any additions.

    Perhaps the prices wouldn't bother me so much if I didn't feel like I am not utilizing what I have. Some of it is not really worth anything, that will go to my daughter, she loves the Atlas beer cars, and to this day, I can't explain why I bought them.

    What really hurt was that Atlas bought BLMA. I had no problem sending my money to Craig for his amazing models, but I see nothing good about Atlas taking over their models. And I can't see spending the costs for the Atlas versions. I see another major loss to the market.
     
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  4. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Back to prices....in the late 1980's, the typical $3.00 Atlas boxcar had the same number and paint scheme since the 1970's.....we demanded different roads, paint schemes and numbers. They have to update their print pads more often, do more research, make smaller runs and try to make a living.
     
  5. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Just wanted to add that my kids were sort-of interested in model trains until about age 13.... then other interests took over their mild interest in model trains.
    My youngest daughter went to the National Train Show with me in 2002 when it was in Ft Lauderdale FL; she was 13 at the time. That was the last time my kids did anything model train related.
    At the train show she noticed a blue Wyandotte beer tank car and liked it.... so I bought it for her. She said the car was 'cute'... I just think they are interesting. They look like a Vienna sausage on wheels... I'm probably hungry when I buy them... lol

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  6. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    I can hope she stays with it, can't I?
     
  7. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    I would say that pre-ordering is likely what makes a lot of models get made. The game industry uses crowd funding to develop products. A lot of the companies are sort of ma and pa sized so they need to cash flow to make things happen. So assuming a hobby shop does a pre order and the cash goes from the dealer to the manufacturer, this really helps jumpstart production.

    I could be wrong about this pre order cash-flow thing. I am surprised the model industry hasn't done kick starters to see if the market will generate enough interest for something via real cash infusions. It has worked for the game industry.
     
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    This gets back to the major drawback with pre-orders- Wait time. Many, many people would not participate, knowing they could be sitting for an undefinable period. Pre-ordering in at least N scale has been little better than disorderly and confusing. Being unable to have total control of product manufacturing and delivery is the drawback.
     
  9. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Well I have decided that it is time to look over things again. Did the inventory of some large batches of locomotives and came up with a first list to liquidate.

    Will be doing more in the near future, check the Trainboard Swap Meet for the details.
     
  10. wpsnts

    wpsnts TrainBoard Supporter

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    It used to be that I didn't have to think much about purchasing something that I wanted to have. Times have changed and purchasing has been drastically cut.
    No I'm not wealthy it's just that prices are starting to get beyond what I am willing to pay.
     
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  11. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    One of my favorite models from Atlas Models is the 40' wood reefer. In the first few runs... back in 2005-2008... they were priced at an MSRP of $15.95.
    Back then the price was high... but... was comparable to Micro-Trains. I used to buy both road numbers... and most of the 'road names' announced.

    Recently... Atlas announced another run of these models... with an MSRP of $28.95.
    We know the models have not been substantially improved over the past dozen years... yet... the prices are approaching DOUBLE.
    I have been curtailing the purchases of these models for several years now... since their MSRP suddenly increased five dollars to $24.95 a few years ago.
    Since then, the prices have increased about a $1.00 each time they have been announced... which is about every 18 months.
    I will buy only one road number of a select few 'road names' this time around... but... I am no longer as motivated to get them as before.

    The prices are up overall ~5% per year... higher than typical cost of living as been over the past 12 years... but not as high on a percentage basis as I had expected.
    Since most of us are NOT getting 5% annual increases in our salaries or Social Security... the increased costs of these model becomes noticeable.
     
  12. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Nice post!
     
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  13. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Add my vote to what David shared here.
     
  14. Logtrain

    Logtrain TrainBoard Member

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    Another example of this is the Atlas GP 7/9. This model has essentially until recently pretty much been the same since its release in 1997. Yes the new scale speed motor was introduced about 8-10 years ago and then recently the model has came with DCC, the overall shell and other major components have been virtually unchanged since 1997.

    My point is this. Just like the 40' wood reefer, Atlas has MORE than got their moneys worth out of the tooling for this model. It is a HUGE money maker for them and with as popular as both examples of this model in not only in the model RR community but as well in the prototype world Atlas will continue to produce these models for years and years to come, which is not a bad thing. However, do they really need to continually jack the price up over and over again with each new release?

    Yes I am aware that if a company doesn't make $$$ they won't continue to do business. But sometimes we just need to call BS on a company and realize they are just milking us like a cow.

    Ryan
     
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  15. glennac

    glennac TrainBoard Member

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    Too be fair, there are still other costs that HAVE gone up over the yeas since the original dies where cast. There is still materials costs, labor costs, shipping back to the US, and distribution and marketing costs to deal with that, in themselves, incrementally increase for the manufacturer over the years.

    We've long since paid for the die costs. Now we are paying for all of the other aspects of manufacturing, marketing, and distribution. Those costs don't remain the same as 20 years ago.
     
  16. Logtrain

    Logtrain TrainBoard Member

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    I am fully aware of that. But you can't tell me that a model made in 1997 that when new then was about $50 and with all the releases of this particular model over the years that with MSRP now being around $120 for a DC version, you can't tell me the material costs, shipping, labor, marketing, and distribution can really cost $120.

    And as far as I am concerned Atlas' marketing department is a joke! I have inquired on a couple models over the years at trade shows and basically get told I don't know what the hell I am talking about.

    For example. I had made the suggestion to an Atlas rep that with the SD 26 model they could now easily take that cab and produce a generic chop nose GP7/9 with little capital expense. The rep told me their marketing dept has done extensive research and has deemed that it would not sell in N scale. Really? How many RRs had a chop nose GP7/9? How many shortlines have had them? Yes I know they are all a little different, BUT if they had a generic version it would be a MAJOR step in the right direction.

    Best Regards
    Ryan
     
  17. Rocket Jones

    Rocket Jones TrainBoard Member

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    Raising the price on existing models over time makes it possible to create new tooling and produce new models for less than if each had to pay for itself.
     
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  18. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    It's not in the best interest of hobby manufacturers to overprice products simply to line the pockets with profit. If we were dealing with certain necessary commodities it would be national news... but not so with our beloved hobby. I prefer to take the high road and believe the hobby manufacturers need to price the items at the present price points because they need to cover for less successful releases and future new products. Not a great outlook for prices to come down as new models may not have wide popularity and be priced at expected demand.

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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
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  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    As I have previously stated, eventually there will come a point where prices and paycheck diverge. Many amongst us feel we have already passed that place. As less folks can afford the hobby, (fewer products produced and sold), pricing can only rise dramatically. That scenario ends with this industry collapsing. As can be seen by watching topics here, many folks are looking at or building much smaller layouts, or opting for smaller themes such as T-Trak. This may be a hint.
     
  20. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    I reached the point where I am not sure I want to spend the money on new products. It is time to make due with what I have. I guess more of my funds will be going for my daughters future needs.

    I gave her a Wabash Trainmaster the other day and her eyes really lit up!
     

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