Horizon Hobbies buys MDC/Roundhouse!

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by trainworm, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. trainworm

    trainworm Member

    here is the story from the MDC website:


    For Immediate Release
    Horizon Hobby, Inc. Acquires MDC/Roundhouse

    June 14, 2004

    Horizon Hobby, Inc. is pleased to announce that on June 14, 2004 it purchased the assets of MDC/Roundhouse of Carson City, Nevada. The company, which was originally founded as The Roundhouse in 1938, offers a wide variety of HO and N-scale products, with an emphasis on HO kits, N-Scale steam locomotives and early era rolling stock. As part of the acquisition, MDC/Roundhouse’s operations will be relocated to Carson, California, where they will join those of Athearn under the direction of Athearn President, Tim Geddes.

    Clarence Menteer purchased MDC/Roundhouse in 1939 and has served as its president for more than 60 years. Horizon and Athearn have long admired his tireless dedication to quality and view it as the main reason MDC/Roundhouse enjoys such a stellar reputation among the railroad modeling community today. As Athearn President, Tim Geddes puts it, “We have always had the highest regards for Clarence, his company and his many contributions to the hobby. It is with both pleasure and a distinct sense of responsibility that we undertake the task of continuing his legacy.”

    Mr. Menteer has also expressed enthusiasm about MDC’s prospects with Athearn. “We worked together in friendly competition for years. And even today, few companies are better suited to continue with the operations of MDC. We are extremely compatible with Athearn and our product offerings complement each other well. This synergy is sure to provide the modeler with an even wider variety of products at affordable prices.”

    Since all MDC/Roundhouse products became exclusively available through Horizon Hobby on June 14, retailers who have outstanding MDC/Roundhouse backorders with other distributors will need to have them transferred to Horizon. Current Horizon customers are encouraged to contact their Horizon Sales Representative as soon as possible to get the transfer process started. MDC/Roundhouse retailers who are not currently Horizon Hobby customers may contact a new accounts representative toll free at 800-535-5551.

    Horizon Hobby looks forward to carrying on the MDC/Roundhouse brand name and is committed to providing train retailers with the same level of quality that has made the line successful for over half a century. Horizon Hobby President, Mike Gillette, “Being a model railroad enthusiast myself, I can’t tell you how exciting it is to add MDC/Roundhouse to our Horizon family of model railroad brands, along with Athearn. We are fully committed to building on what Clarence has accomplished, by keeping the line going and continuing the MDC/Roundhouse brand name.”

    Members of the press with any questions or requests for further information may contact Horizon Hobby Senior Publicist, Steve Goodreau, at 217-403-3279.
  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Too bad the Atlas forum is down, I'd love to see the outrage and vitrol spewed forth about this development. I have to admit my first reaction is one of sorrow, but I can't immediatly put my finger on why. The two companies are indeed two of a kind, freight car wise. Well, it's probably just because they both represented low cost and, for their time, best quality available. Times change, and we don't like to let go of our memories. Truth is, I haven't purchased much by either company for some time now, and it seems likely this was inevitable. I'll just hope that Horizon can make the best of it and further the hobby in the process. Best wishes!

  3. Railery

    Railery Member

    I sort of feel the same way. Horizon is buying up all they can. Hmmm they will soon be the biggest producer of model train gear. Hope it works out. Hate to see higher prices, or the loss of certain model lines.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think I'm going back to Athearn, MDC, & Accurail for rolling stock. I've built Intermountain & P2K kits & enjoyed building them, but since most of my operation is in a modular club, it is frustrating to build a craftsman type kit and have much of the nice details break off while trying to transport the cars to a show. I've vowed to never put another plastic grab iron or similar part on any rolling stock ever again. If the manufacturers come out with craftsman kits with brass grabs as the should, I'll build them,but no more plastic details.
  5. fifer

    fifer Active Member

    My reaction is Horizon Hobbies AKA future Hobby Walmart.


    :( :( :( :(
  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Horizon..WE will devour.. :rolleyes: :wave:
    I to would love to see the screamin',yellin' and of course still yet another locked topic on the Atlas forum..I suspect some would find a way to blame Athearn for Horizon buying MDC. :D :D Then you would have the deep dark under the table evil doings by Horizon/Athearn backed by the UP (gotta blame UP as well). :eek: :p :rolleyes: :wave: :D
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Russ - That is a good point about Accurail et al. for modular (or any other "hands-on) railroading. I have recently joined up with my local modular group - www.hotrak.ca . While I was buying these "shake-the-box" kits primarily for financial reasons, you make a good argument. With some upgrades - our club requires Kadees, metal wheels, and NMRA spec's for weight - these moderately priced and reasonable quality rolling stock are perfect for modular operations.

    Let's hope Horizon keeps the line up, or it'll be Accurail, at least until someone buys them... ;)

  8. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    If they are going to be the "only" distributor of Athern and MDC products, Walthers HO catalog is going to start getting thin. I've already noticed that the Walthers flyers are lacking Athern models.

    We are Horizon......You will be assimilated!
  9. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I talked to the MDC people at the last Trainfest, in Milwaukee. Clarence was ready to get out of the business, and family wasn't too keen on carrying on the business. MDC was up for sale, and Horizon made an offer. Horizon wasn't "looking to gobble up" Roundhouse, it was just in the right place at the right time.
  10. neilmunck

    neilmunck Member

    I hope they carry on offering models from the older eras. They are the only company that does so on the mass market.
  11. marc gast

    marc gast Member

    Another gobble up by Horizon. Horizon never cared about model railroading and still doesn't!
    Buy up the market and then stangle the hobbyist. Horizon's fill rate is no better than 25 - 30%.
    The two long standing manufacturers have sold out. Model Power is next on the chopping block after purchasing whom ever it was. As Fife stated, just another wanna be Walmart. Just another way to run the smaller hobby shops out business, just like the auto industry ran many of the service stations and repair shops out of business. Time for under ground shops and the small guys making custom runs. Athearn and MDC have lost my business.
  12. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I'm with Russ, I love see thru roof walks and such, but the ol' Athearn/Tyco/MDC/Cox stuff I'm picking up by the boxlot for peanuts handles the rigors of modular railroading real well. Hate to see two old friends git et up by Wallygators but such is life. I can only wish Horizon well.

    Don't look now Ed, Walther's has already removed MDC/Roundhouse from their web catalog :eek:
  13. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Actually, MDC is the only one doing "Old Time" truss rod in N Scale, I hope they continue it, or maybe someone else fills the void.
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think the biggest problem is that Athearn already has more product choices than they can produce at one time, so they only produce some products every two or three years. This isn't new. Irv did the same thing when he was alive and running the company. The problem I see now is that with MDC production moving to the Athearn factory, I think the product availability may be reduced even further. In terms of car kits, MDC has as big a variety as Athearn.
  15. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    About the MDC cars..What I believe we will be seeing in the months to come is RTR MDC cars much like Athearns..Both the Blue Box and MDC car kits will still be produce but,in smaller production runs.
  16. rockislandnut

    rockislandnut Member

    Go getem' Walthers,knock em' down. ;) All "Horizon" products not on any of my list, can do without them. :)
  17. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    An "Atlas Rant" For Those Who Want One !!!

    Lets step back two steps and look at this buy out thing again.

    Although large as they are/were Athearn and MDC were/are family owned and run companies. Yea though the model railroad market has increased over the years since their inception they are still marginal business which are run by the blood, sweat and tears of the owners. These owners, while their efforts are to be commended, cannot continue forever. They get old, the younger members of the family have no interest and the economic climate no longer favors such operations. No manufacturing business such as Athearn or MDC could operate on simply "the love of the hobby" as they may have done in the past.

    Actually, we as model railroad consumers are fortunate to have their products as their simplicity and low cost have made the hobby available to the multitudes. We are also fortunate that these companies and products will still exist to whatever extent even though ownership has changed hands, otherwise you will/would see brands like Athearn and MDC simply fade into the sunset.

    To say that a particular distributor is attempting to establish a "Wally World" of hobby products really is just a gut reaction to change. None of us here have any idea of what their plans are and to label the new owner as "bad guys" right of the bat just doesn't make sense at all. Lets wait and see.
  18. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    I was just on the Walther's site and MDC is still listed, with several products still in stock. All the Out of Stock products are listed as "Unknown" in the ETA column.

    BUT MDC is still listed.
  19. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you don't believe that, just go to your local hobby shop and ask to buy a Varney car.
  20. rcwatkins

    rcwatkins Member

    So Horizons has bought out MDC. I wonder who's gonna be next? Atlas? Kato? Bachmann? Pretty soon we're gonna wind up like the Prototype and only have 2 or 3 choices to choose from. And if they start having to cut things they've lost profit on, MRR'ing will be the first to go. Then where will we be?!?!?

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