Rising hobby prices

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Kevinkrey, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Today I went to the hobby shop and ordered two sets of (IHC?) American firefighters, at $2-4 a piece. Thought it would be a good trip, I got my scenic cement, (which seemed to have droped in price if I recall, YAY!) and a few other decent priced scenic items. Then, came the Walthers bridge track (mfg. by singhara[whatever that name is]) which come in smaller sizes, so I would need two to span my almost 3' bridge. At $18.95 a piece I walked........ran away FAST! saying Ill have to wait on that. After browsing through the magazines and some HO scale trucks, I thought, why not use regular flextrack for the time being. Now about two years ago when I began using it, I can vaguely remember paying $3.25 or .95 even if for a short period, before rising to $4.25. Now, I almost needed a new pair of pants after seeing the $5.25 price tag. I went ahead and bought it, (thankful I already laid my probably around 100' of track already).

    I will go back one of these days and buy the bridge track, thats the point of having a hobby. But before I go I will scour the Walthers catologue for a better priced piece of track. I just wish I didnt have such expensive hobbys, woodworking, fishing, golfing, and of course trains. Not the mention the 3/4 ton truck I have fork over gas money for, to drive to the hobby shop.

    I cant imagine what Ill be paying in a few years. :|
  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    If the cost of fuel goes up, the cost of everything goes up because of shipping charges. Until we learn methods to ship more efficiently, we are just gonna have to deal with it.
    On top of that, the rail in your flextrack is made mostly of copper. The price of copper has also increased.

    My budget is limited, so I take the philosophy of thinking about how much everything costs. For example, suppose I want 40 bucks in hobby items. Perhaps if I didn't go to dinner and a movie, I could afford the hobby items. Or every time I ride my bike to work is about 3 bucks in my pocket. The other day I was contemplating spending 40 bucks on something, but i stopped and realized that if I cut out a few unneedeed 40 buck purchaces, I would have enough for a dishwasher. In the end I realized that the item I wanted would not make me happier than eventually having a dishwasher (don't laugh - I have an old house with a small kitchen).

    In your case, you can save some money by trying to carpool, bicycle or take public transport to the LHS. I know that is likely not an option, but if you can, it adds up. And the bridge flextrack looks great, but you can also lay your own rail across the bridge. For just the one bridge, you may pay just as much in materials and tools as the flextrack will eventually cost, but if you have several bridges to do, you eventually wind up saving money.

  3. Peter T Davis

    Peter T Davis Guy Behind the Curtains

    I feel kind of bad for the hobby shop owners. They're getting it from all ends. The recession we're in is definitely going to hurt their sales, as people aren't going to be able to spend as much on hobbies. Raising costs of everything not only means they have to raise their prices to keep up, but that even people who are able to keep their jobs during the recession are having less disposable income, and it's probably even worse for retired people. And, on top of all that, they've got really tough competition from the internet hobby shops who don't have the same overhead that a local shop has.
  4. knife

    knife Member

    I went to a hobby store yesterday, ready to get back into R/C airplanes. I picked up a brushless motor for $12 that would have cost me over $100 five years ago when I dropped out of the hobby. I also picked up three micro servos for $6 each, if they were available five years ago they would probably would have cost $85 each, at least. I got everything to convert one of my old gas powered airplanes to electric for under $125 (I already had a transmitter). I can now see why electric powered R/C is getting so popular. Add the fact that I didn't need to pick up fuel, and the airplane will be a "zero emission vehicle". It makes me feel like this nitch of the hobby is still a bargain.
  5. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Every now & then I put together a package of stuff one of my boys asks for, and send it to him...He lives in Mexico. So yesterday I go to change some dlls into pesos to pay for any import duties I might have to pay...and to my surprise...THE DOLLAR HAS FALLEN AGAINST THE PESO...!!!!! I can't remember ever seeing this happen...!!! Couple that with some of the economic indicators that are starting to make references to the 1920's....and I can see there's going to be some hard times ahead....:cry:
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Kevin, unless I'm overlooking something, I think you can build your bridge track from that flex track for a lot less than the cost of the Walther's bridge track. Isn't bridge track just normal track with a set of guard rails running full length from just before the bridge until just past the bridge? If I'm right just buy enough of the next size smaller rail than what you are using for your mainline. I think rail for hand laying track is sold in 3 foot lengths just like flex track. If your bridge is less than 18 inches long, you would probably do fine with one length of rail. If you are using code 100 for the mainline, get code 83, if code 83 get code 70, etc., Then cut 2 pieces of rail the correct length for your guard rails and bend the ends of each so they will re-rail a wheel without touching in the center of the roadbed. Use your NMRA gauge to determine the correct spacing for the guard rails and glue them to the ties. You can use goo to glue them, or acc, or epoxy. I think a section of flex track plus one piece of rail is probably less than $7.50 total cost.

    By the way, as petroleum prices increase, plastic also costs more because it is a petroleum product, so there is more inflationary pressure on our hobby than just transportation costs.
  7. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    I thnk e all know the feeling - I know I do, and it's one of the major reasons I stick to improvising and scratchbuilding whenever possible. Sadly, it isn't going to get any better. I wonder what prices will be like for the next generation of modelers.
  8. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    I started scratch building my own stuff as a joke on my wife. I wanted to show her how poor my skills were, but I was surprised how well it turned out. She was too, actually.

    I know there are things that are beyond me in scratch building; turntables come to mind... although in the Academy there are some real nice ones! Building my own stuff has saved me some dough these past few months.

    Saving money in this hobby takes some effort, as it is real easy to drop a great deal of money at the LHS and online and when flipping thru the magazines.

    One thing I wanted to do on my new layout was to use as many cars as I could from my 1977 Tyco set. Yeah, I'll have to work on them a bit to get them up to speed, but that's part of the joy of this hobby. And as I was reading this post, it got me to thinking about the different ways to save money when acquiring 'new' items to your RR.

    Going to swap meets.
    Finding gems in boxes at yard sales.
    Or by using stuff that you thought was beyond help.

    An example of this is a bridge that came with the ol' Tyco Brown Box. It doesn't stay together, it's missing some parts and has been kicked around my garage over the last year or so.

    Here is the work I did today:





    I slapped some paint on it, glued it together and am going to use it in a prime spot on my new layout. I started to weather it, but quickly saw that I need to experiment more with rust, so I stopped.

    It seems to me that prices are rising on everything at once, and that seems like a new thing to me. (Maybe its cuz I'm getting older and more crotchity...) But if we can cut corners here and there... well, that just means the money we saved can be put to good use in other areas... right? Hmmm.... 4-8-2 MT-4.... uh, right. Gotta save up for that one.

  9. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Nice!! Looks Great!! :D :D :D
  10. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    True, but I add one caveat - they likely didn't grow up doing without much. I don't know about you, but I grew up in a military familiy. We were never rich and life was always a series of choices and priorities, with extras for birthdays and Christmas. The kids I see today seem to have whatever they want without any effort.

    Not very good training for hard times.
  11. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    I agree - There is too much "Technology" out there - This is the basis of other countries despising the U.S. Citizens too....

    We have had a lot of things handed to us. My family was always lower middle class to middle class... We always had to make choices... and I do think I'm a better person for it... having known a lot of the Upper middle class people for years.... :( :( :(

    i always tease my kids.. we never had cell phones!! We had 2 corded phones in the house - that's it.. i had to wait till i was in my 20's to get a car phone and IT weighed 20 lbs! :eek:

    Now, the pets are the only ones without phones in our house... and we have 3 cordless phones too

    ~~~~~ Kind of like when My parents used to chide us...... We ONLY had ONE Black & White TV!! and it was a floor console! Weighed 120 lbs!! :D :D :D We didn't have a Color TV till I was in my 30's! and we NEVER had 4 tv's in the bedrooms and kitchen :D :D Note: We actually got our first color Tv in the late 60's years after Disney was "In Living Color" :D :D

    Our kids will be telling theirs.. We had to wait till we were in our 20's to get a lousy MP3 player that ONLY held 15,000 songs!! you guys are spoiled!!!!

    Yeah - Every generation has "Everything"....... But the "me" generation has way too much!! and it does cost a LOT to buy all this stuff..... that we all don't really need.........

    Even the Video games are getting out of hand, faster, beter, more expensive... and no one goes outside to play anymore.....
  12. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Speaking of kids outside....I heard about a report that diabetes is on the rise in kids, probably due to lack of exposure to the sun's rays...which are needed for the production of vitamin D....I remember when we were growing up our parents had to literally drag us inside....Nowadays you don't see hardly any kids outside...
  13. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Be nice...I remember those huge "entertainment consoles"...and I ain't that old! :mrgreen:
  14. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    Hoo boy.

    When I was in high school my folks brought home this brand new monster floor console that had a speaker phone AND Pong built into it. PONG!!! I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

    I later found out that the folks, who owned their own business, had accepted it as trade from a furniture store owner.

    I think the thing weighed about as much as the sun and pumped out as much heat too.

  15. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Kevin: About that Walthers bridge track, be happy that they had it. I waited for about a year for it to get back into stock. In the meantime I used regular flex track. Flex track works just fine but doesnt have the tie spacing and guard rails to make it look prototypical. Fortunately, our club layout has a physical barrier to keep folks from getting too close so its hard to tell whether there is bridge track or not.
  16. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    If you think about it when we as in the baby boomer's were kids there was one television per home. only one car in the driveway and stay at home mom was normal. now if this isn't your child hood you are probably in the minority as in either rich kid or poor. Air conditioning at home was a window unit that cooled one room where everyone stayed. we had a basement where my father put the B&W TV in the summer, wher we could watch 5 channels. the three networks and 2 independent stations on UHF which you couldn't see. I had a large American Flier layout that my father used balsa wood with aluminum foil glued to it for rails. But now we must have 2 new cars. a TV in every bedroom, a microwave. a vcr, a dvd player, 200 channels on cable TV, a world class stereo, and oh yes the computer with internet. Now that is only the beginning. OK I will shut up now , "good night and may God bless"(Red Skelton, good clean comedy)
  17. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Beautiful!!! Exactly as I remember it.... That and Martin & Lewis, and looking up to the moon and knowing "We are there"... the 6 month moon mission!!! :D :D :D
  18. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Also, we had "Real" rails for the AF Santa Fe A-B-A units and 3 cars.....

    When we moved it upstairs under the tree, we used to watch the cats play with the tinsle.. ZAP!!!!! - the train would stop hehehehehehehehe
  19. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Les: and don't forget that the house was probabably 1250 to 1500 square feet, not 3000 plus with 3 to 4 bathrooms.
  20. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I don't know about square feet but it did have 2 baths, one upstairs and one downstairs. I think we were probably one the high end of middle class. My father was one of those terrible union auto workers, you know the ones who cause all the problems. I am a Teamster. but many of my friends think it is terrible. But anyway back to prices. gas was 28.9 cents per gallon.

Share This Page