Recession Hurting Big $ Kits?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by abutt, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. abutt

    abutt Member

    We're seeing more and more structure kits being advertised at big dollars; $200 to $300 and up. If one catches my eye, it really takes some challenging saving efforts to be able to afford the big buck price tags. That leaves me to believe that some of our favorite manufacturers are really feeling th pinch. I'd hate to see them go belly-up. We'd lose some real talent there.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Interesting point... Mortgage payment vs craftsman kit...! :eek:

    How many of the "cottage industry" types are prepared to weather this economic crunch? Is someone like FSM really a cottage industry, in that the manufacturing is in a basement or something like that? So as long as George retains his home, he retains the business.

    I can see the pinch coming more on the likes of Walthers or Horizon. And if they go under, I think the parts of the business will survive. Moulds and plans from various manufacturers have been bought and sold for the past 50 years - X is now Y, and then Y was bought by Z, and so on... Lots of examples of things never truly dying out, just being rebranded ;) :)

  3. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I think things will definitely slow down business wide all across the board. I know I'm starting to be really frugal when it comes to getting things done in general. With my MMR'ing, I'm looking at things I want to get working all the while thinking..."How can I do this from scratch?"

    Should be interesting to see how things play out.
  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    The other day, I found myself cleaning the paint and gunk off an old electrical box to reuse. A new electrical box may cost a buck at the most...

  5. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Job losses just hit a 14 year high, with the recent loss of almost one-quarter million more jobs. You will be delighted to know that your all-knowing, all-seeing government has finally agreed to use the official term "recession".

    So yes, Virginia, there will be a slowdown throughout the economy, and one of the parts traditionally hit hardest will be the area of elective purchases such as expensive hobbies. This effect will be magnified by the current economic and manufacturing problems plaguing the Chinese, who make everything in the first place, and the difficulties in extracting the melamine from future model kits.

    There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, however; the Chinese have announced that they have been secretly experimenting with replacing cast rosin kits with castings made from recycled contaminated infant formula which should be cheaper given the over abundance of raw material at the present time.

    There is also research underway towards replacing the expensive electric motors in locomotives with cheaper and more reliable wind-up clockwork mechanisms, in order to utilize the mechanisms from tens of thousands of rejected Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks.

    Recycling is the answer - just don't drink the water.

  6. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Fine Scale Miniatures has been around a long time, primarily because he puts out a good product and doesn't contract out a whole lot. That will be the key to get through. If a company depends too much on borrowed capital and outside contractors, they will see the pinch first.
  7. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Might also depend on how much reserve someone has. The home-based folks don't get the breaks purchasing their raw materials or the business rate on their utilities.

    Even if they don't maintain any real inventory, there is still only so much they can pass on to the buyer, and waiting for orders isn't too reliable anyway. As long as they don't depend on X amount of additional income per year they should be fine, but we could probably lose a few of them as well.

    I fear that the hardest hit might be the LHS's, and we're down to only a fraction of those that used to be around.
  8. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    How many economic downturns have Athearn and Walthers endured in their history?
    They are still around.
    Its because of their financial savy, and how to keep customers happy during bad times that kept their longevity.
    I feel, now that Athearn is part of Horizon...that we may lose a company, that was around before Horizon was even thought of.
  9. Vortex_4200

    Vortex_4200 Member

    Things are only going to get MUCH worse.....
  10. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Just think, we may all have to go back to scratch building again! :cool:
  11. I think kits like these might be moving off the shelves slowly, while folks pick up smaller kits and maybe do a little scratchbuilding, or build some of the kits stacked up in their closets :thumb:
  12. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    ^^ This is a fact. I have maybe three years worth of projects stacked up around the basement (not that many kits - I just work slow!).
  13. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    This hobby was birthed in the Great Depression with $.25 paper and wood kits and locomotives on layaway. If anything, it will weed out the ridiculously expensive products and the plug and play crowd.

    I took a long, hard look at what I had and where the hobby was taking me some time back and didn't like what I was seeing. I had accumulated a nice selection of big models---Walther's roundhouse/turntable and bascule bridge, etc.---and all for next to nothing. While there was no harm in those things themselves, they pointed to a layout that I had no capitol, room or desire to build. Selling it all and paring down to the fundamentals proved refreshing and liberating (and quite lucrative :thumb: )

    In the end, I can look at what I have and know that I haven't hidden anything from my beloved or denied her and the kids anything to gain a model so that, when it hits the fan in this economy (and it will hit the fan), there will be no real regrets.
  14. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I built my empire $20 at a time for many years.Every week since 1990 I would pay myself $20 out of my weekly pay check. Go to LHS and deposit into my account. when I accumulated enough money to purchase what I wanted I got it.Most of it was Athearn BB or used Riverossi & Mantua. Track was $20 at a time. The shop owner got a real kick out of my system. The last 3 or 4 years I have stopped doing that as he passed away and his shop is gone. Now about twice a year I will spend couple hundred dollars on something but that is it. the last big purchase I made was BLI C&O T1 whe it first came out, and it has been nothing but trouble from day one. 2 days ago I spent $10 on a gondola first rolling stock in probably 3 years. I hope this recession brings down some of the rediculesly high prices this hobby has seen in the last 7 or 8 years. this has become a rich mans hobby. I am just glad I got on the train before a $4 boxcar was unheard of.
  15. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    If I built one of those kits for my layout it would be like putting a diamond necklace on a pig. :cool:
  16. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    So put the necklace on the pig. Do it enough and you won't notice its a pig.
  17. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    A pig is a pig. For your suggestion to work I would have to get totally drunk. Then I could visualize it as bacon.

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