Horizon Hobbies buys MDC/Roundhouse!

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

  1. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    The Ghost Of Gordon Varney

    Actually Russ, If you go buy one of the low end steam era 40ft freight cars by Life-Like (I'm talking about the ones you see in toy stores) you are getting a car made from a modified Varney mold. They did away with the coupler pockets to accomodate talgo trucks.

    Guess old Gordon's ghost is still hanging around :D :D :D
  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Thanks, Will. B&MC R.R. Liability Control Executives Billy Joe Ray Bob and Bubba are currently "counseling" my sources. It WON'T happen again :rolleyes:
  3. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    RC said:I wonder who's gonna be next? Atlas? Kato? Bachmann?
    I have no doubts that all three will be bought.Atlas,Kato(USA) and Bachmann..
    I can see that has plain as day.The only question is when? :confused: :(
    Now,I also fully believe it might be due to the reason the hobby is suffering growth problems and has now for some time.Why else do we have the "Worlds Greatest Hobby" campaign backed by those that stand to lose the most.the manufacturers.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't think anyone will be buying Kato. Right now the senior Kato does not particularly like American prototype, so he builds trains for the market in Japan. His son loves American prototypes, so he builds American models, but he gets limited time for production between his dad's production runs. Dad is in his 70's or 80's. When he is gone, the son will inherit. Unlike Irv's kids, or the heirs to MDC, the son wants the model railroad business. Once dad is gone, expect to see an increase in American prototype production from Kato. Possibly with more time to produce models without having to do it between dad's production runs, Kato might have time to get the colors and details of American locomotives right.
  5. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Things Are Just Going Full Circle

    What we are observing here with the buy-outs is the model railroad industry going full circle. Its happened before. The Wm.K. Walthers Co. built its business in several ways. They distributed other mfg's. products, they developed their own products, they bought out other mfg's. and they insisted on "exclusive distributorship" of certain products before they would handle them and they developed their own mail order and web based business through one of their subsidiaries. Doesn't that have a familar ring to what's going on now????

    Having once owned a sucessful LHS I never cared for WKW as a distributor as they had a poor fill rate, offered no substanial wholesale discount against retail and were ultra conservative with their credit extensions. I would only buy from them when I couldn't get a product anywhere else.

    The current "changing of the guard" will hopefully benefit the LHS's as the "real buck$" in the hobby business are made on the wholesale end not the retail end of the business.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I've never owned a hobby shop or been involved with the retail end of things other than as a customer, but my local hobby shop personel including the owner are very enthusiastic about Horizon.
  7. Big Joe

    Big Joe New Member

    You never know but one day Kato may buy Horizon.
  8. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Russ, Vic,
    Well met, both. I especially appreciated the remark by Russ about Varney. In his day Gordon Varney provided a reasonably priced, reasonably detailed product. My first loco was a Varney "little Joe" 0-4-0T, B&O dockside. I still have one of the steelside cars I built from a Varney kit.
    I'm surprised that Athearn lasted as long as it did after Irv's passing, and, as I've stated before, MDC/Roundhouse, was ready to either sell, or disappear. There was no "successor to the throne".
  9. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    I just hope that MDC's excellent selection of parts available will still be available in the future.
  10. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    For those that may be interested in the brands that Horizon carries.
    First the home page.


    The model railroad page.

    As we can see Horizon carries Atlas as well as Kato. So could Atlas or Kato-USA be next up for buyout? Could and more then likely well happen.But,by who?? Now we must not forget Accurail, Life Like and Stewart..Yes things can become very interesting over the next few years as the hobby downsizes to fit into todays business world.I suppose the watch words would be "streamlining of the hobby?"
    Sadly I do see changes coming in the way we buy our models.But,that is another topic in its self.
  11. Big Joe

    Big Joe New Member

    The bad thing is you will only be able to buy these items at a shop that deals with horizon, if you need to stock it you will have to get it from us(Horizon the Meglo Mart of the hobby wholesale world). That's the game plan. I sell at local shows and on ebay and I can no longer buy Athearn or Roundhouse my dist has been cut, so he now sells Accurail(untill they get bought out by Horizon). Horizon will not sell to me unless I have a store front and they want to see pictures, a copy of the deed or lease and a phone book add. Hell will freeze over before I show any one a copy of a deed or lease just to stock an item. Untill then there is Accurail and Bowser.

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