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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just on BBC News Hornby/Scalextric profits are down from £5.2M to £4.1M because of supply problems in China, but don't worry we're soon going to get the chance to race with Luke Skywalker.

May the Force be with them.

P.S. Just purloined the kid's teddy bear and Granny's false teeth - half way there to scratch building Chewbacca
 

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Yes I heard that on Today. They're not expecting this year to be much better but seem to be placing a lot of hope on Olympics-related sales and broadening the supply chain. I hope they're right.
 

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Maybe if they didn't charge so much people would buy more and new customers would be tempted to start buying instead of sitting playing the xbox.

less profit per item but more items sold !!!
 

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I fear that railing against the Xbox and the like is a bit like Canute's efforts to turn back the tide. As far as computer gaming in the 21st Century is concerned, if you can't beat 'em - and you can't! - then join 'em. Hornby needs to find some way to address the on-line community and it's requirements. Or scale down and realise that they will only ever be a niche manufacturer from now on.
 

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I think that the whole concept of cheap production in China is flawed.
Yes it is cheap, but the lead time to get products to market is crazy (for example F1 cars arrive in the shops nearly two years after they are first raced on track by which time they have already changed).
Also so many times the stock is not in or delayed. How many potential customers give up waiting or buy elsewhere?

Just a couple of thoughts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've been involved with a business importing from China for the last 5 years - two seasons a year, over 1000 items per season and all at similar selling price to Scalex. so I don't think the problem is China. My guess is that the problem lies in design and procurement but they wouldn't want to admit that to the city.

Remember that the results include Hornby Rail and I bet they've taking a pounding in the economic climate.

As for Scalex. I wish they'd produce a premium range to take on the Slot.it, NSR and Avant Slots of this world. I don't care if they're twice the price as long as they are well detailed, come with premium components and don't need a magnet that could pull a truck to make them run. Please nobody mention the PRO range!!
 

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Surely this is just a reflection on the market in the current economic climate. There are way fewer people on this forum at any one time than there were three or four years ago, a lot of us are selling our collections whole or in part and we're buying less. I'd be amazed if Scalextric's figures weren't replicated across all manufacturers.

It's far from a scientific test, but in the 'Cars bought by members' thread for 2011 there have been 265 posts up to May 29.

In the 2010 thread there were 237 posts on the same date. Personally the recession had bitten so hard at that stage I thought I'd never slot again!

In 2009 there were 308 posts on May 29.

In 2008 there were 380 posts on May 29.

In 2007, before the economy went to rat***t, there were 547 posts on May 29.

Just my four penneth!
 

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QUOTE (Wraith @ 3 Jun 2011, 09:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Maybe if they didn't charge so much people would buy more and new customers would be tempted to start buying instead of sitting playing the xbox.

less profit per item but more items sold !!!
Do they really charge a lot, compared to other manufacturers? I think the problem is that a slot car track takes time and space to set up, none of these problems exist with videogames.

QUOTE (ss67 @ 3 Jun 2011, 10:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think that the whole concept of cheap production in China is flawed.
Yes it is cheap, but the lead time to get products to market is crazy (for example F1 cars arrive in the shops nearly two years after they are first raced on track by which time they have already changed).

QUOTE (highbarn @ 3 Jun 2011, 10:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I've been involved with a business importing from China for the last 5 years - two seasons a year, over 1000 items per season and all at similar selling price to Scalex. so I don't think the problem is China. My guess is that the problem lies in design and procurement

Agreed. When the F1 teams release a car, it still takes x weeks to design it in 1:32 scale, x weeks to fix any issues after prototyping and testing, x weeks to make the mould tools, x weeks to get the factory running with new assembly drawings and any production tools they might need... Compared to that, the 3 weeks the cars spend on a boat is insignificant. If a UK toolmaker can produce an injection mould tool in 10 weeks, chances are they can do it in 6 weeks in China anyway so there'd be no time saved.

2 years sounds a bit slow, but I'm sure their workload is higher than they'd like!

QUOTE (ss67 @ 3 Jun 2011, 10:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Also so many times the stock is not in or delayed. How many potential customers give up waiting or buy elsewhere?

That's a fair point, but it seems there's a lot of focus on factories holding stock nowadays, accountants see this as cash held up so it can't be used elsewhere. Stock is bad, Just In Time delivery is brilliant. If it works. If it doesn't, and with any kind of supply chain it won't work all the time, then you end up with no products to sell, and unfortunately there's no column in the beancounters spreadsheet to show this so it's rarely addressed with the same vigour.
 

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QUOTE (choc-ice @ 3 Jun 2011, 11:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>When the F1 teams release a car, it still takes x weeks to design it in 1:32 scale, x weeks to fix any issues after prototyping and testing, x weeks to make the mould tools, x weeks to get the factory running with new assembly drawings and any production tools they might need...

That's one problem, but the easy part in terms of getting to market. Once you've got the thing working and production ready, then you've still got the branding and licencing to resolve. Whole different kettle of fish. With F1 you're talking about people who will take 6 months to sign off on the placement and size of logos on their headed paper.

Same goes with NASCAR.
 

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QUOTE (driver#8 @ 3 Jun 2011, 11:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>That's one problem, but the easy part in terms of getting to market. Once you've got the thing working and production ready, then you've still got the branding and licencing to resolve. Whole different kettle of fish. With F1 you're talking about people who will take 6 months to sign off on the placement and size of logos on their headed paper.

Same goes with NASCAR.
But isn't that agreed on the full size car so the model would be the same? Or at least any discussion could be in parallel with getting the plastic parts made?

Or am I being hopelessly naive?
 

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Hornby's turnover for the year was down 1% to £63.4 million (2010: £63.9 million), with a profit before tax of £4.1 million (2010: £5.2 million).

According to Hornby, sales of Scalextric were ahead of the previous year, for the second year running. The newly introduced Scalextric Start ranges performed strongly. In addition, the Disney /Pixar "Toy Story 3" products performed particularly well.

For the new financial year, Hornby has the rights in the UK and certain other territories to market Scalextric ranges based on the new Disney/Pixar movie "Cars 2" due for release in June 2011, as well as, wait for it..... the worldwide rights to produce Scalextric products based on the most successful licence franchise of all time: "Star Wars".

Never forget -- slot cars are just toys!


With kind regards,

Russell
 

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QUOTE (choc-ice @ 3 Jun 2011, 12:36) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>But isn't that agreed on the full size car so the model would be the same? Or at least any discussion could be in parallel with getting the plastic parts made?

Or am I being hopelessly naive?

I can't think of anything more likely to cause delay, pandemonium and drama than producing (or reproducing) a contemporary F1 livery. Truly.
 
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