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Author Topic: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2021  (Read 7249 times)
Chaz


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« Reply #90 on: October 27, 2020, 12:19:39 AM »

That's honestly a very good point now that I think of it. We may be making conclusions a little too early with just one listing and multiple may be necessary to determine the profitable nature of a character in a particular scale, similar to my post on the Tomix Henry

I forgot to comment on that post earlier, my bad.  I think there's a clear market out there for Henry in N scale based on those and many eBay sales (similar to the numerous high sales of the Hornby Stepney on ebay as well).  Especially when a lot of people have gone out of their way to reuse the Henry motor and chassis to make Gordon, who was also promised to us by Tomix making it clear that there is very much a market for both of them.  The only other factor besides pricing being a potential issue for those two also comes down to how much Bachmann can do during the pandemic, which is why Toby seems to be the safest option if they choose to include another new engine tooling while still working on James.
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jbray

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« Reply #91 on: October 27, 2020, 02:05:20 PM »

I forgot to comment on that post earlier, my bad.  I think there's a clear market out there for Henry in N scale based on those and many eBay sales (similar to the numerous high sales of the Hornby Stepney on ebay as well).  Especially when a lot of people have gone out of their way to reuse the Henry motor and chassis to make Gordon, who was also promised to us by Tomix making it clear that there is very much a market for both of them.  The only other factor besides pricing being a potential issue for those two also comes down to how much Bachmann can do during the pandemic, which is why Toby seems to be the safest option if they choose to include another new engine tooling while still working on James.

Using characters from the first three seasons/series plus Emily is most likely the safest bet for any plan. There's no doubt that Thomas, Percy, and James are the givens in any production line and we've seen that in practice again and again from different manufacturers at different gauges/scales. From there, I'm not sure there's a single road map other than to consider practicality, production cost, and a guess at demand.

An example would be the value of Gordon in N scale/009 versus G/large scale. In large scale, a body at 1:22.5 scale with 1:32 chassis would be complicated at his size for the standard smallest curve radii. What may be practical for a James or Thomas model who struggle with these curves even with a missing middle flange, would be even more difficult from an engineering perspective with Gordon. It stands that Gordon is a popular character, probably the most popular large locomotive (given that he has not been removed from the series while Henry and Edward have been seen as the least damaging removals). If his production in N Scale/009 has reduced production challenges and reaches a larger market in N/009 than G/Large, Bachmann could look at him as THE premium model of the product line, while they keep Emily the premium model of Large scale despite desire (meaning demand may not be equal to interest).

There are two forces at work here: N Scale/009 is less popular than HO, BUT, the trend in the market is smaller scales given the lower cost barrier and space requirements. Because of this, we may never see the N scale line become as robust as HO but may come close (HO being more popular) and we may be seeing the limits of the HO line (Hornby pulling out of the Thomas line). In this sense, Henry seems like a future probability in N scale given his status as a former regular/current player but Murdoch seems improbable being a former player/currently missing.

Personally, I wonder if this move to N scale is a way for Bachmann to recapitalize on their best selling HO and Large scale items for a new market while they see diminishing returns in large scale consumers and filling out the back bench for HO. With that mindset and with COVID, I don't know that I expect many or even any new characters in 2021 in HO/HOn3 and Large scale other than those previously announced: Daisy, Peter Sam, Diesel. Maybe they might announce the next production goals for 2022 release.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 02:56:56 PM by jbray » Logged
STL


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« Reply #92 on: October 27, 2020, 02:40:21 PM »

I'm sorry I just need to address this, N scale is not remotely 009, just needed to get that out cause the 2 are very different, one is N scale one and the other is narrow gauge. And I have to object on any semblance that the NG range isn't as popular as the normal HO(Really OO but that's been said many times anyway) range, cause the NG range is damn near constantly sold out with the exception of the reused Peco stock cause it's the same tooling you can get for like 1/3 the price without the SR lettering and livery. And as for the normal range reaching its limits? No? Hornby gave up the UK license cause they weren't making money, and it's kinda obvious why they weren't cause all the engines bar a couple were made using now decades old tooling and most of them were still tender drive until the end, that coupled with the fact they being sold at around the same price as many of their new tooled counterparts. Henry for instance, why get Henry when a brand new Black 5 is about the same price? AT least in terms of more experienced modelers. And the fact Hornby was in a really bad financial state.
As for their announcements for 2021, I expect some sort of new N scale release, new engine ideally, a smaller one of course so likely Toby or Diesel(hopefully), LS who knows, main range probably rolling stock recolors or a new Mainline tooling being introduced at the most, maybe a new engine but I don't expect it, NG? Harder to pin point, if Peter Sam is far enough along then we may see the likes of Sir Handel being announced and probably more new rolling stock.
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jbray

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« Reply #93 on: October 27, 2020, 03:25:11 PM »

I'm sorry I just need to address this, N scale is not remotely 009, just needed to get that out cause the 2 are very different, one is N scale one and the other is narrow gauge. And I have to object on any semblance that the NG range isn't as popular as the normal HO(Really OO but that's been said many times anyway) range, cause the NG range is damn near constantly sold out with the exception of the reused Peco stock cause it's the same tooling you can get for like 1/3 the price without the SR lettering and livery.

That's my total ignorance and I've gone back and added strikethroughs. While trying to be inclusive of the UK, I went and made myself look like a moron. I appreciate the correction!

And as for the normal range reaching its limits? No? Hornby gave up the UK license cause they weren't making money, and it's kinda obvious why they weren't cause all the engines bar a couple were made using now decades old tooling and most of them were still tender drive until the end, that coupled with the fact they being sold at around the same price as many of their new tooled counterparts. Henry for instance, why get Henry when a brand new Black 5 is about the same price? AT least in terms of more experienced modelers. And the fact Hornby was in a really bad financial state.
Your last point here undermines your former and gets back to my point in the original post: If the Thomas line was making them money, they would not dump it. Because they had exclusive access to the UK market, they could have chosen to go back and update the tooling, but instead they dropped the line. That absolutely reads as them feeling that Thomas was not a lucrative enough product line to support. They could have altered many other facets of their business instead but chose to end the line.

Now, does competition with imported Bachmann models factor into that? Probably. It's hard to know how much market share was lost. This still gets back to my second point, which is that completionists are not a viable market. If Bachmann decides that having access to the UK increases the viability of introducing minor characters then all the better, but the majority of people are not buying the full range in any of the scales unless they have cash to burn. <- I'm excepting the narrow gauge range because of how specialized and limited it is. I never intended to come across as saying it was at risk and never felt that way. I chose with my post to talk about getting into minor characters from the model series in HO scale.
As for their announcements for 2021, I expect some sort of new N scale release, new engine ideally, a smaller one of course so likely Toby or Diesel(hopefully), LS who knows, main range probably rolling stock recolors or a new Mainline tooling being introduced at the most, maybe a new engine but I don't expect it, NG? Harder to pin point, if Peter Sam is far enough along then we may see the likes of Sir Handel being announced and probably more new rolling stock.
Agreed.
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TerencetheTractor525


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« Reply #94 on: October 27, 2020, 04:25:07 PM »

On a separate note, the auction for the Hornby Murdoch model just ended a few minutes. The final price is nearly 3,000 USD, plus shipping Shocked:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RARE-Hornby-THOMAS-THE-TANK-AND-FRIENDS-R9684-MURDOCH-Locomotive-DCC-Ready/264904270320?hash=item3dad8661f0:g:nD0AAOSwZbhfjHTf

Talk about demand interest...

A sample size of one is not indicative of demand. Given that model railroading has an expense barrier, this seems like it is more indicative of a tiny subset of enthusiasts with enough money to spend whatever they like to complete their roster. 'Arry and Bert prove that when you get down to the level that only completionists are buying the product, it is no longer viable for the manufacturer to produce. Do you really think that Hornby would pull out of the Thomas market if it was making them money hand over fist? They weren't even making unique tooling for their locomotives and it wasn't enough money for them to continue.

At the end of the day, this is a case study of which we need multiple case studies to indicate larger demand.

It is fair to state that one sample size is not indicative of demand. I stand corrected there. However, at this point, with over twenty engines to choose from in the HO line, I do believe that every engine Bachmann considers for the future should be based on requests from older fans, as we are the ones who are interested in purchasing every engine.

It really says a lot when the last time we got an large engine with a complex side rod configuration was in 2006 (Spencer). That's why I brought up Murdoch, as Hiro (who has made more appearances) does not seem like a realistic option (as there is unfortunately no Bachmann UK basis for him), and it would be much too expensive to make one entirely from scratch these days.

Additionally, I am trying to speak out for fans who unfortunately missed out on purchasing a Hornby Murdoch, just as I was with Stepney. For years, fans have asked me through YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter where I purchased my Murdoch & Stepney models, and if I will ever sell them. When stating no, I feel sorry for them.

With the Thomas television series going through a major revamp, the new CGI characters are going to be considered as outdated characters in due time too. Daisy will not be out until 2021, after all, which means that the next HO engine with a new tooling will not be out before 2022 at the earliest; we will be well into the new revamp at that point.

With all of this stated, I do agree that the announcements for next February will most likely consist of existing toolings, due to the ongoing pandemic. In a perfect world, an HO Stepney would be announced, but the only new tooling that I really expect is an N Scale Toby. Hopefully, we will see some nice new HO rolling stock announced at the very least.
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Dreaming of a Bachmann Stepney.
STL


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« Reply #95 on: October 28, 2020, 11:40:15 AM »

On a separate note, the auction for the Hornby Murdoch model just ended a few minutes. The final price is nearly 3,000 USD, plus shipping Shocked:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RARE-Hornby-THOMAS-THE-TANK-AND-FRIENDS-R9684-MURDOCH-Locomotive-DCC-Ready/264904270320?hash=item3dad8661f0:g:nD0AAOSwZbhfjHTf

Talk about demand interest...

A sample size of one is not indicative of demand. Given that model railroading has an expense barrier, this seems like it is more indicative of a tiny subset of enthusiasts with enough money to spend whatever they like to complete their roster. 'Arry and Bert prove that when you get down to the level that only completionists are buying the product, it is no longer viable for the manufacturer to produce. Do you really think that Hornby would pull out of the Thomas market if it was making them money hand over fist? They weren't even making unique tooling for their locomotives and it wasn't enough money for them to continue.

At the end of the day, this is a case study of which we need multiple case studies to indicate larger demand.

It is fair to state that one sample size is not indicative of demand. I stand corrected there. However, at this point, with over twenty engines to choose from in the HO line, I do believe that every engine Bachmann considers for the future should be based on requests from older fans, as we are the ones who are interested in purchasing every engine.

It really says a lot when the last time we got an large engine with a complex side rod configuration was in 2006 (Spencer). That's why I brought up Murdoch, as Hiro (who has made more appearances) does not seem like a realistic option (as there is unfortunately no Bachmann UK basis for him), and it would be much too expensive to make one entirely from scratch these days.

Additionally, I am trying to speak out for fans who unfortunately missed out on purchasing a Hornby Murdoch, just as I was with Stepney. For years, fans have asked me through YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter where I purchased my Murdoch & Stepney models, and if I will ever sell them. When stating no, I feel sorry for them.

With the Thomas television series going through a major revamp, the new CGI characters are going to be considered as outdated characters in due time too. Daisy will not be out until 2021, after all, which means that the next HO engine with a new tooling will not be out before 2022 at the earliest; we will be well into the new revamp at that point.

With all of this stated, I do agree that the announcements for next February will most likely consist of existing toolings, due to the ongoing pandemic. In a perfect world, an HO Stepney would be announced, but the only new tooling that I really expect is an N Scale Toby. Hopefully, we will see some nice new HO rolling stock announced at the very least.
Thing is I doubt Bachmann would even go down the route Hornby used? Which is reusing existing tooling? And it's more a equal part fan demand and what will kids/their parents actually buy, bit of an exception to the NG range of course, and in part the character's presence. It's why Stepney is a very very unlikely to happen model truth be told, cause after Daisy was announced somehow the connection was made that fan demand was the major factor, and of course its A major factor but wouldn't say its the main. Cause like Daisy was not only brought back into the series, she got a lot of attention and episodes to her, so she also was hitting the presence aspect, which in turn is an influence on the kids who want Bachmann models.
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