Time to Stir The Pot

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Mastiffdog, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. Mastiffdog

    Mastiffdog Member

    Over on the other forum there is alot of discussion about two big issues:

    1. UP Logo and licensing

    2. Athearn sale to Horizon Hobbies

    Here's my opinion, and of course, I'd like to hear yours...

    1. I could care less about what UP does with their logo, name or otherwise. I buy what I like, and like what I buy (most of the time!). I believe that all of the crying and moaning going on over this issue is nonsense, and by the time these so-called ominous licensing fees impact the modelers, it will be minimmul. To those that want to cry over it, I say, when you own your own railroad you can make the rule (just like your home layout), until then stop all the diatribe.

    2. Athearn is another loser topic. Who really knows why Athearn decided to sell? Who really cares? You like Athearn? Good, go buy it, there's still plenty of that stuff around at reasonable prices. Why does everyone believe that Horizon will charge more? Personally, I could care less. Why is everyone so concerned that the little cottage type dealers will be blown out? Hello? So you guys won't buy from Horizon and life will go on. Or you can align your business with what Horizon is requesting and continue to buy the Athearn.

    The good news is that there are loads of other choices of nice material to buy. Why worry?

    What's the big matzia here?

  2. Dragon

    Dragon Member

    "What's the big matzia here?"

    Change. People HATE change, especially when it hits them where they live (and hobby).

    Thankfully, I'm immune to the UP logo issue as I do not model UP, or any of its subsidiaries (though the SP was tempting for a while).
    I understand their reasoning, and in this age of weak markets, I understand their desire to get every penny they can.
    on the other hand, I also understand that modellers aren't going to cut into their true profits like CSX or BNSF would, so why can't they cut us a break?
    But, as was explained at rec.models.railroad, the actual consumer impact would only be a few dollars, on a $50+ model, I think we can live with it.

    As for Athern selling out? This is the first I've heard of it. But I don't really buy any of their stuff, either. I don't model with diesels (except a 45-tonner and maybe - if I can find one - an Alco c415), and I think their steamer looks to toyish (c'mon, nickle silver rods? Puleese!).
    I'd say, wait til we see what the new people will do. I've heard other nasty rumors and refuse to believe them til I start seeing proof (such as Bachmann going to Special Order only on any piece valued more than $200 - such as all of their engines, etc.)

    but it all boils down to that hated occurrance, change. Once people get complacent, they tend to stick there.

  3. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

  4. Mastiffdog

    Mastiffdog Member

    Hey Jon, nice work, you tracked that one down like a dog! Do the IHC units run any good? Not familiar with those locos. (Pardon the pun)


    P.S. Jon, I was hoping you'd throw in a comment or two about the controversy about UP and Athearn. Geez.
  5. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I'm hoping Michael will buy one and test it for me :D

    I've heard IHC locos are pretty good, never had one myself.

    Sorry no opinion on UP or Athern other than the free enterprize system will prevail.
  6. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    I second the opinion of free market... I use to read/post on them other boards but anymore it's too much flamin and BS. That's why my browser only sees the-gauge anymore. I like the respect shown on this board for others feelings and opinions. DASH
  7. David Rosser

    David Rosser Member

    UP Logo

    I am trying to follow the discussion, but I do not know what UP is doing, trying to do, or plans to do. Can someone briefly explain? It would help. Dave
  8. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Basically UP is exercising the copyright on their logos and all the logos of the companies they have purchased over the years and is asking (demanding) that they be paid for the use of said logos just like Pepsi, Coke, McDonalds, etc. already do. It has some modelers up in arms because they feel that UP is only being greedy. It will add from $1 to a million (depending on source) to the price of a loco with UP or UP owned logos on them. I have heard $1.34 for a loco a lot as a true figure. DASH
  9. billk

    billk Active Member

    They are licensing, and charging royalties for, usage of any of their "brand identities" (trade marks, heralds, etc.). This includes not only UP symbols but the symbols of any of the RRs (and there are a lot) that they have bought up.

    Go here for more information (it's their own site, so it's from the horse's mouth!)

    They appear to be special-handling model RR stuff. The royalties appear to amount to 3% of the wholesale price - don't know what it is for non- model RR. Here's an extract from their model RR-specific agreement:

  10. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    1. I buy all my equipment used so this will have no impact on me. (Pssst...hey bud, wanna buy a pre-license UP reefer real cheap?)

    2. I guess my nostalgia gene kicks in for this one. Athearn is an old friend from way back. They provided a great product for a great price for a pimply faced 12-year-old in 1972. When their price tags went over the century mark, I had to say goodbye. I still go out of my way to get their older stuff though.
  11. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    if you want to stir things up there are a lot of other forms for that i came to the Gauge because there was not a lot of bickering.
  12. Mastiffdog

    Mastiffdog Member

    Hey Jim,

    I am sorry for offending you with my post, but maybe "stirring the pot" as the topic may have been to harsh for some folks.

    I was just trying to "stimulate" the forum with some friendly discussion which happens to be very relevant model railroading topics.

    Also, just out of curiousity, you did kinda open the thread and peek at all this "pot stirring". Then you post to the thread and say you came to the gauge forum to avoid the bickering. Jim, who here is bickering? DOG to Jim, DOG to Jim, hello? The thread is about opinions and self expression.

    Like I said, I am so sorry this thread has offended but no one put a gun to your head to open it. And besides your opinion was off topic to boot.

  13. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I buy most of my equipment used also, so these issues won't affect me.
    UNLESS Athearn blue box parts become unavailable. Then I'll just have to start fabricating replacement parts of my own.
  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I saw an ad for a loco this month. something like, $150, $155 for UP.
    As long as they don't force us to have non-prototypical copyright symbols on the cars...
    And since they're on the wrong continent, it won't affect me in this incarnation.
  15. Blake

    Blake Member

    Here goes:

    1). UP deal...huh? what is it, like 50 cents extra for a frieght car....get over it.
    2). I'm an N scaler so that means......I don't care. Horizon just wants to preserve the hobby shops and frankly, what's wrong with that?
  16. billk

    billk Active Member

    I agree with Blake on both counts. It's not worth stirring the pot. The only thing I'd add is the actual cost to the manufacturer's to use UP's logos would be more than the 3% royalty, due to the extra bookkeeping, paperwork, hassle, etc.
  17. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    DASH - that's the main reason I signed on as a Moderator here.... :) :) :) Thanks - (From all of us)

    DOG - I have no opinion on either subject either - I'm into PRR G gauge :D

    ~~ Mikey (Moderator)
  18. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Frankly I believe this poor horse has been beaten to death on just about every forum..The best we can hope for is the other railroads including short lines and regionals doesn't follow UP lead..What is done is done and not much we can do to change it..

    Boycott? I don't think that would work as thousands of modelers will continue to buy UP/UP merged road cars and engines...Oh yes a boycott would not hurt the UP at all.It would hurt the model manufacturers if they can't sell UP products or if they refuse to make any more..Then we will loose as the manufacturers would need to raise their prices on non UP cars and engines to cover the lost sales of UP/UP merged roads engines and cars...
    So in the end its a no win situation for us..:(
  19. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Since I don't model UP this discussion is a purely theoretical one for me. But don't GM, Ford, John Deere and of course Coca-Cola already charge some kind of royalty for the use of their logo's and product likenesses?

    Personally I don't like corporate greed any more than the next person but UP are by no means the first to travel this path. If it makes products too expensve then people won't buy, but I imagine the manufacturers have a pretty good idea of what they can charge.

    Meanwhile, I've got another pot to stir. Making a big batch of chili!!!!!

  20. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I think my contribution to this controversial discussion can be best summed up as...

    Mmmmm... chili......!


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