Athearn Bluebox

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

  1. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Alexander,Not always.Some times a locomotive didn't sell as well as planed for various reasons and the bigger hobby shops and the better on line shops get stuck with their "store stock" and they end up being sold on e bay or at bargain basements prices that could be below wholesale.Look you can still find Atlas locomotives from 2-3 years ago if you check on line shops..Even at a fair discount they don't seem to be selling to well..On the other hand Bachmann's DCC equipped GP30,35 and GP 40 locomotives sell fairly well but these can be had for $30-35.00..Even the Spectrum steam locomotives are being sold at bargain basement prices.
    Is the high price balloon beginning to show signs of a leak?
  2. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I'm almost positive companies are going to try to find ways to make their models less expensive while still maintaining realism. They should really be working on that instead of "sound" and other extras. they should make sure the current product really is ready to roll!
  3. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    As far as the BB car kits see for yourself.The "collector" cars from Athearn has been their special cars for MR and RMC..Also there is a collectors market for the Bev-Bell/Athearn cars since these cars was the first "true" limited production cars.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    What used to happen was that distributors would order Athearn, Atlas, P2k, or Kato's latest realease and they would get some of each road paint scheme offered. Here in So Cal, S. F., S.P., & U.P. would easily sell out, W.P., B.N. would sell in smaller quantities, but the Eastern roads would have so little market that the distributors would be stuck with them. I bought an Atlas Rs1 from my local hobby shop for $39.95 a few years ago when he was selling the Rs1's in Western road paint schemes for twice that price. His distributor was stuck with a bunch of Eastern road names nobody out here wanted. The one I bought was a Southern version which I repainted into S.F. zebra stripe. The owner of my local hobby shop frequently buys out unsold stock from distributors at a steep discount and moves it out at bargain prices. For modern modellers, with all of the pool power out there now, whether a locomotive is Western or Eastern probably doesn't make a lot of difference anymore.
  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I always find this phenomenon weird. I believe it, but - Years ago, I didn't think that modelling correlated so closely with real-life region. Maybe that's just me. My old favorite is 1990s Conrail, but I also like 1970s Santa Fe, SP, UP and BN, 1950s Pennsylvania, 1980s eastern CN... Then, at local shows, I see lots of CP and CN, some western US roads like UP and BNSF, and very little eastern. So I guess I'm not typical.
  6. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Yeah, here it seems all of that sells out equally in the east, but i bet all those NJ transit locomotives would be easier to find outside of NJ, cheaper to!

    as for not seeing alot of eastern roads, now that you mention it i kinda agree. I mean on one hand, there tables i've seen that stock up on local railroad items, and from what i've heard from the guys is they sell quick. however, western railroads do seem to stand out to me at shows. I guess Conrail blues isn't good enough for the rest of the country! then again, i'm always looking for a particular item, i'll have to see next time i go to a a show.
  7. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Hey, GEC, is it easier to find Santa FE, WP and SP stuff over there?
  8. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I haven't seen any Western Pacific except at shows (and some O scale models thsi really nice hobby shop), and there are some SP in HO (alot more of them in O scale at my local hobby shops)

    but there is plenty of SF units, and not just dinky f-unit toys. there are alot of kodachrome SF Uboats at one hobby shiop i go to. half the Steam locomotives have Santa Fe on the tenders. the other common western roads here are Union Pacific, and Great Northern.

    in comparison, there are less Conrail and PRR locomotives available. then again, with such a wide range of eastern railroads, i suppose they get diluted.
  9. JAyers

    JAyers Member

    Given what I know about the way that modern manufacturers have a "customize to order" scheme, I doubt that they mold the car body, and paint it, when you order it. What is almost certainly the case is that ALL of the parts for ALL of their BB's are sitting around in bins,already made, RIGHT NOW, hopefully computer logged and tracked. It might cost more to put a bunch together, guessing where the trend is going to be (billboard reefers? Santa Fe boxes?, ) than it is to punch up a code in a computer, print out a pick list with a peel and stick label and get cheap labor to box it up and ship it out. MEANWHILE, after you get your personally made BB, you're supposed to think "DAMN, they's a good company! I'm buying Genesis next!!!!"

    Moral of the story? Maybe you DO have access to all of the BB's you want. We just need somebody to test it by ordering and buying them all!
  10. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Sounds like Athearn is doing what the auto manufactures have been doing for years. Yeah you can buy one right off the lot(or this case the LHS shelf) or you can order one with lots of options, Or in model speak, "prototype specific", and Athearn will make the kit for you. Like buying a new car, this will add a couple of bucks over the "off the shelf" model.
  11. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    The way it works is your LHS places an order with their distributor - the distributor at the end of the month or period or whatever collects up all the orders from all the stores they supply, and sends that off as a bulk order to the manufacturer. The manufacturer then makes exactly that amount and then produces their percentage of standard run of spare parts, replacements, and so forth that go with that order based on the size of that order. This is shipped off to the distributor, who ships again to the LHS, which is why smaller stores are more expensive than bigger stores who are their own distributor.

    Basically, it is down to the LHS to estimate how many models they will sell. The distributor and manufacturer are totally safe with this method, but force their customers to pay a higher price and the LHS to take the burden of risk - this is where customers are often lost, so they do their best to keep overheads low.

    There is another way it can be done, which has the potential to cause major losses if a product is not in demand. This shifts the risk from the LHS to the manufacturer, but vastly reduces shipping time, especially at crucial times like just after the release of a new product - the batch run system involves producing a batch in advance, the size of that batch being based on estimates of how well the product will sell. Batch systems often use preordering as a way of estimating demand. Batch systems are relatively safe in small batches, but increase in risk factor as the batch sizes increase.

    Steering the thread away from the subject for a moment onto the interesting subject of localised demand for models of local prototypes, I would like to add that I have noted this phenomenon myself. Where I live in England, Bachmann UK industries produce custom models of specific locomotives that worked in the county I live in - those orders that are for modern diesel locomotives that worked recently if not currently, sell in their largest numbers to local people. The theory I have developed is one that I arrived at after visiting local railways myself - seeing a railway in the flesh, has the psychological effect of making you want to model it. The more exposure you have to that specificl railway, the greater this urge is to model that specific line.

    Maybe the posts pertaining to this subject should be split off into a seperate thread? It seems like an interesting subject of discussion.
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think it is more than modeling what you see where you live. I think most modelers model what they grew up watching, or what they liked when they first got interested in trains. I guess the best way to describe it in my case would be that I don't dislike East Coast or Canadian roads. It is just that I'm a 2nd generation native Californian. I can model California scenery from memory. I know what plants thrive in So. Cal, and what produce grows in No Cal. If I want to model the New Haven for instance, I would not only be modeling a railroad I've never seen, but also trying to model scenery that I've only seen a few times in my life.
  13. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    There must be a steady demand for the BB kits..IThe last 5 train shows I was at there was very little BB kits including the old wide body locomotives..I talked to several dealers I know and was told their BB kits still sells at nice turn rate and they no longer bring them to the shows..However..All admitted they carry what sells the best-the RTR cars from Athearn and Atlas.One guy told me that he had a dozen of the PANAM/MEC boxcars and they was gone in less then 2 weeks.On the other hand the only UP Challenger he had was the ones that was special ordered.BTW these Challengers are now discontinued.
    I don't know but,I do know the BB car kits can be easily found at the better Internet shops. BB kit Locomotives? Good luck!

    As a side note..Athearn has discontinued their line of metal handrails even for their GP7.
  14. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    This is the case with the biggest Ottawa show (RailFair). I am somewhat disappointed that the only deals you seem t obe able to get are at the "consignment" table. All the dealers bring the stuff that yields the most profit - the RTR, which makes sense for them of course. But it means that finding kits to make the stuff that I like is hard, even at a big show like RailFair :(

  15. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    As a update..I did find a on line shop that has few BB locomotives in stock..
  16. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    This is also true. I grew up in Cornwall, England, with "clay country", an area of huge open cast kaolin mines, and that is the landscape that I know best. All the freight only branchlines here served kaolin drying works, and there is still one branch line that you can see working today. No surprise that most of my layouts have been based on this.

    My American layouts are based on what I've seen in photographs and videos. I've never been to America - the only thing that keeps my interest in it is the impressive looking diesels that work/worked over there.
  17. JAyers

    JAyers Member

    Here, does the FINALLY settle this thing, once and for all (at least for 2007)?

    Athearn releases 2007 blue box schedule.

    At approx 50 per page, that almost 300 new releases, including 3 new blue box F7s between August 06 and March 07. Shame I don't see any new GT rolling stock to go along with their new GT locos their putting out.

Share This Page