Athearn Bluebox

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by nicknero, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. CapnTomDrums

    CapnTomDrums New Member

    Where did we get the idea that Athearn no longer makes blue box kits? If we go to their website we will see that they do indeed still make the kits. Granted, not every item is available constantly, but the items never were. We just never had the internet to tell us, in the past.

    There is a big difference between "Athearn no longer makes kits" and "The hobby shop no longer wants to stock Athearn kits."
  2. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

  3. CapnTomDrums

    CapnTomDrums New Member

    Bingo. Those new boxes containing the pre-assembled models take up exactly the same space as the blue boxes, but they sell for twice the price. The store gts a percentage of each kit they which one are they going to push?

    In spite of all the doom-and-gloom of a few years ago, Horizon has improved the lines they took over.
  4. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    They're no longer going to bring out NEW BB kits, their new kits are going to be aimed at more experienced modellers, and also they're gradually phasing out their old bb kit range. These facts are all plain to see on their website. It doesn't take a genius to work out that in a few years time, there won't be a blue box range. It's not "doom and gloom", and you don't need to talk to us like we're all misinformed idiots.

    Perhaps you're just out of the loop, but what the shops stock and don't stock is part of the deal here. If Athearn make a more profitable product that shops are selling instead of the old BB kits, then Athearn are going to take that on board and they'll stop manufacturing the old BB kits entirely. So yes, actually, the shops not selling BB kits DOES mean that Athearn aren't producing it, because what Athearn doesn't have orders for, they won't manufacture.
  5. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    an undecorated model would naturally be semi assembled. Athearn figures if you buy it undecorated, you plan on painting it the way you want, and since not all railroads had the same cofiguration, it only makes sense to allow you to choose how you want to install things. That said, it shouldn't be all that difficult if you have the right tools for the job.
  6. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    that explains why its getting increasingly difficult to come across blue box locomotives. Its a same they are getting rid of the lower end stuff. I haven't seen any of these "new" athearn kits. but if they have nicer detail, i can't complain, even its its alittle bit more fine and requies a little extra skill.
  7. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    The handrails and whatnot were probably not applied because painting a model requires that all the detail parts are removed to achieve an even finish and to make the job a lot neater. What we need to do is buy one of their decorated kits and see how easily it goes together.
  8. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    off topic, but isn't it a pain how many times you need to touch up the hand rails because the paint chips off? i don't know about you guys, but it drives me nuts.
  9. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    I used to get that problem painting whitemetal wargames figures with acrylic. When I spoke to one of the Games Workshop employees he said that the best thing to do is give it a few layers of varnish to protect it. That's what I do now with all my metal models, be it wargames figures or handrails.
  10. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

    Athearn BB Kits are disappearing simply because the dealer won't deal with Horizon. 'Nuf said?
  11. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    As far as I'm concerned, the BBs were like Model T Fords... Cheap and affordable, a good quality product that is reliable and popular for its time.

    Of course, model T Fords were replaced by better models of automobiles as time went on.. Time simply passed it by. Same deal with the Athearn Blue Box I guess.

    As someone who has a freelanced road name, I'm kind of sad to see the BB line dry up. There is no better way to freelance than to grab a cheap, reliable BB loco or rolling stock and detail/paint it up the way you want it.
  12. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    I beleive thats the way old Irv wanted it to be, not any of this "genesis or rtr" bs or high prices.
  13. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Those arent much of a kit, you glue on the bottom and add the trucks and coupler. I think it is just a labor saver on Atherns part. With red chineese labor they dont need the kits.
  14. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    First let us look at the facts.
    First all of Athearn's RTR and Genesis undecorated locomotives come in "kit" form..I suppose its for the ease of painting a 2 or 3 color locomotive.
    Now straight from Athearn:


    Although we continue to hear rumors that Athearn no longer makes kits, we make them every day
    here in sunny Southern California. And to prove it, here's our production schedule for kits
    through May 2007. It's self-explanatory. Find a kit that you want. Tell your dealer that you
    want it. They'll order it from the distributor. We'll make it. You'll get it. Simple, yes?

    Click This Link to View the Schedule

    That's all there is to it!

    The Folks at Athearn
    Now a search on the Internet will show you the BB car kits can be had at the better on line hobby shops.
    As far as BB locomotives why buy the kit when you can get the BB RTR for around $50.00-54.00? The newer RTR isn't that much higher then the BB RTR. Again check the better on line hobby shops for the BEST price..
  15. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    I think the made-as-you-order status their taking will hurt them. I personally, would like to put my hands on items for inspection, before buying at my lhs. Sounds like their trying to cut overhead by not producing items till needed. But, now will quality got to crap as they switch production for 1 or 2 units, or will you end up with a 50' pd box when you ordered a 50 reefer?
    It's kinda like making reservations to go to burger king....
  16. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Sadly that seems to be the way the manufacturers wants to do business..Atlas has a "Made To Order" system as well..I am not sure if Walthers will take this path with the future P2K models.
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The thing that I have noticed with Athearn is that they seem to be very responsive to customer complaints. They will try new things to try to do better at marketing the product, but if something doesn't work they are quick to try something else. Case in point, when they first came out with rtr passenger cars they glued them together. They got complaints because they were not heavy enough, and people had troulbe getting them apart to add interior details or weight. They stopped gluing them together on the next production run.
  18. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    On another note, I wonder if in a few years time there will be a collector's market for boxed athearn bluebox kits that are no longer in production. I know it's sort of happening already, with certain OOP bluebox loco kits fetching more than they normally do...

    EDIT: Just to clarify, we already know that Athearn are still making kits - that is not the object of this discussion. The point is that they will not be the old bluebox we used to know, they will be a bit more expensive, and much more detailed. The question is, should these newer kits be in their own range, such as a sort of "genesis kits" range, or should we just accept that there's no longer a market for the less well detailed older kits?
  19. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    i don't think it was so much less detailed as it was dependable and sturdy stuff. their GP7s are practically invincible. mine has survived everything, including a week in the woods in rhode island 2 years ago. It didn't even start making squeaking noise until recently, andi solved that problem.
  20. alexander

    alexander Member

    And it stops the market being flooded

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