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Author Topic: $20,000 HO scale structure kit ?  (Read 2044 times)

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« on: November 06, 2009, 08:47:19 PM »

  Just purchased a Laser-Art model of an Aladdin catalog house.  The kit lists at ?19.98, & that is about 10% of the original price of the house,$218.
  If we take $200,000 as the average price of a home today, it's conceivable that some day the kit will cost $20,000, or maybe $15,000 for the kit & $20, 000 for the built up version.
   I know that ,along with many others, i complain about the high cost of the hobby, but if you really think about it , the cost has gone down as much as the quality has gone up.
  My father built my first engine for me in 1950. It was a Mantua 0-4-0, not much detail, but a fairly good runner. It probably cost him over 1/3 of his take home pay for the week, plus he had to scrape & file away mountains of flash, assemble, paint & decal it. 
   Another evidence of lower prices today is when you look at layouts of the 50s they are usually composed of 5 to 10 cars. You NEVER saw 25 car Coal drags or a string of refrigerator cars.  Most layouts consisted of one of each type of car.
   Today we have engines (not 0-4-0s) with all the "Bells & Whistles" that I couldn't even had dreamed of in the 50s for a lower % of our take home pay.   Jerry
CNE Runner

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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2009, 07:03:22 PM »

I lived (and modeled) in the 1950s. Everything you said is true; and gives us pause for thought: sometimes the good ol' days weren't all that 'good'. I remember (actually it is a nightmare) Athearn's Hi-F drive that was simply small rubber bands wrapped around the motor shaft and axles. These 'bands' didn't last long and the young, cash starved modeler learned to become fast friends with anyone who wore braces - as their orthodontist usually gave them extra bags of small rubber bands (that were the same size as Athearn's).

I think you said it best when you said: "...the cost has gone down as much as the quality has gone up". Something else for which we have to thank the Chinese.


"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"

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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2009, 11:13:19 PM »

I dont understand how or why you are connecting the price of real houses to the price of model are they related?  Huh? Huh?

(the answer is "they arent"..but im just really curious how you are making the connection! Wink


« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2009, 12:13:27 AM »

Seems the whole train of thought is .......?.  Longer trains means trains cost less than they used to?  Thank the Chinese for better quality at lower cost?  We all make more money now, so THESE are the good ole days?  Sounds like someone hasn't kept up with current events. Been shopping lately? Huh?
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2009, 01:13:05 AM »

We will never get to the $20000 for a kit stage. Look at the FSM kits. their first kits were in the $20 range. Now about $200. They have cost more but the current prices reflect what the market will bear and they are top of the line.

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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2009, 10:18:05 AM »

   Never say Never... In your example, the price of the kit has already gone up 1000% ( I think).  My point is that altho we complain about the cost of our hobby, we are paying a lot more, but are getting much better quality for the same % of our income.  Even tho the FCM kits have gone up significantly the quality has gone up more than enough to justify it.
  Even if we hang around long enough to see a structure kit sell for $20,000 it will be worth it because it will have outstanding quality & it will be in line with our earnings.  Jerry
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