HO Scale limited runs

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Mon Jan 17 18:39:15 EST 2011

In a word: business.
Kits are no longer offered because not enough people want to buy them.
The switch from metal handrails to plastic is not to cheapen the model,
but to make it more detailed, which is what most hobbyists demanded.
Consumer demand and buying habits also influenced the shift to limited
run items. One of the most commonly asked questions is, "what's new?" In
order to increase the amount of new offerings, manufacturers went to the
limited run format. This way, they don't have money tied up in excess
inventory and can move on to the next project.
As for the prices, first of all, prices rise. Second, they have not
cheapened the product. They have improved them. What is considered average
detailing today would have been considered exceptional detailing only 15
years ago. Granted, not everyone needs to have the latest, greatest, most
super-detailed model on the planet, but manufacturers never hear that their
model is "good enough." They only hear about what's wrong. If they receive
more complaints than compliments, they will work to meet consumer demand by
adding more detail, which raises the price.
As for items selling out, I recommend that you reserve models with your
local hobby shop shortly after they are announced. The announcements
provide plenty of information, and an examination of other recent and
similar products from that same company will let you know what to expect as
to the level of detailing, running characteristics, etc.

Marty Flick

----- Original Message -----
From: "NW Modeling List" <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>
To: <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>
Sent: Monday, January 17, 2011 2:36 PM
Subject: HO Scale limited runs

Why are so many manufacturers of HO doing so much of their items limited
run? HO scale I used to be able to find what I was looking for and be able
to buy it at reasonable prices. Now it is gone by the time I have received
information about release or it is exorbitantly marked up. And why did
Athearn n Walthers stop making car kits? That was a big part of model
railroading that I enjoyed. They tripled the price and cheapened the
products like plastic hand rails on locos. Just like the auto industry.

Not intended to insult anyone or a manufacturer. Just frustrating for loyal
HO scaler. Thanks for letting me vent.

Jon Kelley
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