Athearn blue box

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by santafewillie, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    I have the luxury of being able to shop at two LHS's. One of these is a large shop in an affluent surburb north of Dallas TX and the other is a small one-man shop about 30 miles closer to home. In the large shop they don't have more than 50 or so Athearn blue box kits out of a total inventory of probably 20,000 available pieces of rolling stock. The sales clerk who is not the owner says that they can't get them any more. On the other hand the small shop I go to has about 300 of them out of about 1000 pieces of rolling stock. The owner says he has no problems getting them. They are not old stock, I have purchased some recently that were re-issues (and upgraded) kits from Roundhouse with the Athearn packaging. The owner suggests that there's a higher mark-up on the RTR and that's why the other shop quit carrying the kits. What have other Gauge members experienced at their LHS's. I for one still purchase the kits as I have more time than money. What are your thoughts and observations. By the way, both shops are 20% off all the time so I have no experience (or need) with Internet shopping.
  2. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Willie,Welcome to the real world reasons why most hobby shops carry more RTR the BB kits.

    You said:The owner suggests that there's a higher mark-up on the RTR and that's why the other shop quit carrying the kits.
    That sums up the problem quite well.

    Most of the LHS still stock BB kits..One problem though..Best be there when the shipment arrives so you can have the best picks if not you will have leftover choices or as I calls it choice of rejects that nobody else wanted....This applies to RTR as well.
  3. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    My LHS has pretty much phased out all of his blue box stuff and is now well stocked with RTR. On the up side I purchased a couple of things at a very nice sales price (a dummy GP9 for $8 for instance) but now it seems I won't find a loco under $60 there anymore.
  4. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Mine has too. More RTR stuff than BB's, but he says he can still get the BB's and showed me the list he gets once a month from his supplier.Rarer yet, but still available are undec BB's, though I just bought an updated version of the BB(Grabs are metal, more brake detail, and finer injection molding)Its more like a cheap version of a Genisis kit, though cost me $5.00 more than the old BB.
  5. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I have been crying about the famous BB for 2 years now. The owner of the LHS nearest me died about a year ago and his shop closed up. He said at that time he couldn't get them because distributor wanted him to buy large quantities which he could not do and wanted to send him items which he knew would not sell in his shop. Now there are 2 shops opening in my area. One of them is semi open at this point and if you call the owner ahead of time he will open for you but not officially open yet, I have been there a couple of times and noticed NO BB. Haven't asked about it but if think about it will next time. He is operating out of boxes right now. The other LHS is working on store interior as I write this. Hopefully in a couple of weeks they will be open.
  6. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member

    I have two suggestions for getting BB kits, 1.) Order them in bunches of the internet. lets them go for around 5-6 dollars each. I say in bunches because it takes the sting out of the shipping charge.

    Better still, try to get to a big trade show/swap meet. We have one out here in MI where thousands of those things are for sale. Sometimes at 4 dollars each. Because they are older, you can find some real cool ones.
  7. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    Engineer Kyle, the only thing we have around here with the exception of Timonium Md 2 times a year is fire hall stuff. You know the Toy & Train show which should be the toy & junk show for the most part. If you are looking for old Tyco or Revell stuff you are good. If you are looking for Hot Wheel cars or Tonka trucks this is for you. I wnet to one last Fall believe it or notr because my wife suggested it. It cost $4 each to get in and I left MT handed. So I spent $8, 1/2 and 50 miles each way on nothing. The other 1/2 day was ok. My wife & I enjoyed the afternoon doing junk stores. Which may I add I have found some good MRR deals there. Just off top of my head a Riverossi 2-6-2 for $10 runs great, A nice truss bridge for $2, a box of telephone poles probably 40 in it for 50cents. That is all I can think of right now but there is much more. Oh yea flea markets also many cars for $1 or less. I don't mean the 1960 tyco either. I mean good stuff.
  8. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member

    Hi Les,

    I guess I am fortunate to live near Mt. Clemens MI... The Grand Valley Train Show happens twice a year and it is big. I did not exaggerate when I said "thousands" of athrean's. Oh well. Sorry nothing like that near you.
  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    My local hobby shops still have some blue box kits, but there are few locomotives left. one a half hour away has a nice selection but its still pretty far. the other closer hobby shop has "semi built" kits, where someone was un able to finish a kit ( usually building it wrong) that you'd have to fix up and re build for probably as much as the RTR car would be anyway.
  10. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    The Timonium show I mentioned is a fantastic show :thumb: , it is about 1 1/2 hour ride. Twice a year. I guess I am just sounding off announce1 about supposed train shows that aren't.
  11. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Les,At the Bucyrus train show this past Sunday there was lots of use Athearn cars for $3.00-5.00 each with KD couplers..Of course 90% of the vendors was modelers from the surrounding counties and prices reflected that except for use Atlas locomotives which exceeded the on line prices for new locomotives.Oddly there was very few use Athearn engines but tons of P2K engines at bargain basement prices..However,these units was being pass by by the show attendees.
    The few dealers there was selling odds and ends except one dealer that had lots of P2K locos...I don't recall seeing any Atlas or Athearn RTR cars and very few BB kits...The pickings for N Scale was mighty slim as well..This show usually covers 2 buildings but this year the show was down to one building..Come to think of it the food area seem to be the busiest.sign1 I must admit the coffee and apple pie was good.:D
  12. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I was told last night that there is one comming up in next few weeks that is about 7-8 miles from me. If nothing else to do that day maybe I will go. But no big deal.
    (this started out as topic on BB Athearn now we are talking about train shows)
  13. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Lester,I believe the two go hand in hand since there always seems to be a abundance of BB kits at most train shows and very little BB kits in hobby shops due to the strong RTR market and the afore mention mark up...:(
    Sadly most shops I am aware of carries 5-1..That's 5 RTR cars to each BB kit.
    I can recall seeing shelves full of BB kits not so many years ago..:( However..The LHS will order what BB kits you need.
    I haven't seen a BB engine kit in stock at the LHS in the last 5 years.:(
  14. GeorgeHO

    GeorgeHO Member

    How much to the Blue Box kits go for when you can find them? I mean for Locos.
  15. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    George,I seen BB engines at train shows for $22.50..On line prices seem to start at $30.00 and up to near full price.Hobby shop prices vary from 15% discount to full price..I have seen Athearn locomotives on e bay that went above the MSRP!!
    Best to shop around for the best price.:D
  16. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    It appears to me that just about everything on e bay goes pretty high. I have bid on items but never purchased. I just bid what I would give for it which is usually a little less than LHS considering shipping and end up buying it at LHS. And buying it for as much as 50% less than it went for on eBay. That is not the rule but that is why I stopped even looking at e bay.

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