Hornby by Arnold locomotives

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#1
Greetings folks. I am just getting back into the hobby after a 4 year hiatus and will be building a 2nd layout very soon. I keep seeing these low cost Arnold/Hornby locomotives that are DCC ready and I am wondering about the quality. I assume they are Chinese made like most model railroad items but not being familiar with the Arnold name because it was not really prevalent when I started in the hobby in 2011-12. I ordered one regardless because the price at $47 was just too good to pass up. What I ordered was this:


A U25C so I will see if they are any good but I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with them? Thanks in advance guys.
 
#2
Arnold was German firm bought by British toy firm Hornby. Started making N scale in mid 1960's. Was once the major supplier along with German Minitrix.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#3
Wikipedia has an interesting article on the history of Hornby. It describes it's up and downs for more than 100 years, having gone through several owners. The latest news on that front is very recent

[h=3]Financial troubles, PAM takeover[edit][/h]From 2015, Hornby plc began to announce a series of declining financial results. The major reason behind the decline Hornby declared was two fold, with the decline in the number of (now aged, and hence older) collectable customers, and a lack of interest in modelling as a hobby in light of the digitization and advancement of the internet games industry. After the PLC shares dropped by more than 50% in a year, at the 2016 results Hornby declared that it planned to cut more than half of the toys it made, after discovering that it generated 90% of its profits from only 50% of its range.[SUP][10][/SUP] In the year to 31 March 2017, revenues fell further to £47.4m from £55.8m, while underlying losses widened to £6.3m from a £5.7m deficit in 2016.[SUP][2][/SUP] The financial declines culminated in July 2017, when the largest shareholder Phoenix Asset Management (PAM) agreed to buy 17.6 million Hornby shares for 32.375p from the second largest - and activist/protagonist shareholder - New Pistoia Income (NPI), which gave PAM a 55.2% holding in the company. This triggered under stock exchange rules a mandatory takeover offer of Hornby by PAM, at the NPI strike price of 32.375p, valuing Hornby at £27.4million.[SUP][2][/SUP][SUP][11][/SUP] As a result of the takeover, the chairman of Hornby resigned from the company in August 2017, followed by the Chief Executive in September 2017.[SUP][12][/SUP]

What the politics behind the retirements of the chairman and CEO are, are not mentioned, but like all these events, modellers and followers of the Company name and products, must live in hope for better times ahead.

My club here in Australia has a strong British and European following, with Hornby well represented and they've been loyal customers. At $47 for a model listed elsewhere @$84, discounted from $150, seems a good price. I would just hope they don't know something, the buying market doesn't.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#5
Toot

If you want to follow the fortunes of Hornby try http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/in...inancial-updates-to-the-stock-market/page-128.

I like RMWEB's forum software better than any of the US boards. But then they have a professional system administrator employed by the board's owner to police the posts and keep the software up to date.
Thanks Ken, that's a good link for the OP if he intends to continue Hornby purchases, it was only that what I posted was very up to date info that I referred it to him. I would imagine a lot of hobbyists who purchase that brand will follow their fortunes with great interest. It's to be hoped, seeing the brand name has survived this long, through several owners, it can continue. Rationalisation is an evil word, but one that always seems to appear when these things happen. Luckily for us, Athearn, seems to managed it so far.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#6
Thanks Ken, that's a good link for the OP if he intends to continue Hornby purchases, it was only that what I posted was very up to date info that I referred it to him. I would imagine a lot of hobbyists who purchase that brand will follow their fortunes with great interest. It's to be hoped, seeing the brand name has survived this long, through several owners, it can continue. Rationalisation is an evil word, but one that always seems to appear when these things happen. Luckily for us, Athearn, seems to managed it so far.
Well all this is a big downer. I was just excited about their line of HO sectional track. They actually were making the median radius between the 18" and 22", so one didn't have to dummy it using sections of each.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#7
Well all this is a big downer. I was just excited about their line of HO sectional track. They actually were making the median radius between the 18" and 22", so one didn't have to dummy it using sections of each.
Don't give up hope entirely I H, in that report it said they'd found only 50% of the products were making 90% of their profits, so that rationalising will probably drop some lines. Got'ta hope that one you like is in the 50%..
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#8
Don't give up hope entirely I H, in that report it said they'd found only 50% of the products were making 90% of their profits, so that rationalising will probably drop some lines. Got'ta hope that one you like is in the 50%..
Yep, of course I can't say too much because I have not yet purchased one of the U25Cs that they produced in HO scale. It is on the list but the list is soooo long.
 
#9
In retrospect I have had 2 arrive recently and installed decoders. I find the detail to be on par with Atlas and they run pretty smooth but don't pull as strong as Kato but for the money I paid a good value imo.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#10
In retrospect I have had 2 arrive recently and installed decoders. I find the detail to be on par with Atlas and they run pretty smooth but don't pull as strong as Kato but for the money I paid a good value imo.
That's when you run the 2 in Consist, more powered wheels on the rails.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#12
I noticed the other day, a retailer here in Australia having a big sale on Hornby, but also Bachmann. The Bachmann stuff was mostly for kids, but I would suspect that the American lines, which are not Hornby's well established market might be among that smaller percentage of products, not doing so well against the usual suspects of the US market. Hard to break into against them, particularly with Bachmann already established.

Get them while you can seeing you're happy with them. Less than 1/3rd retail, hard to beat that.
 
#13
Hobby economics lesson alert. Avert your eyes if you don't want to know where your goodies come from. (Includes Oz too.)


In HO Hornby has exited the North American market this past year. Last product was Rivarossi HO U28C that was well regarded. This means US Rivarossi is gone too.

Hornby Hobbies is publicly traded on minor UK markets. It just appointed a new CEO who was/is still the Owner of Oxford Die Cast. He has good ties with far east manufacturers,

Hornby Hobbies is a conglomerate that includes Arnold in N, Joef of France, Rivarossi and Ibertrain in the railway lines. It is doing very well with UK 4 mm (OO or 1:76 scale) in the UK. Other lines include Airfix plastic models, Scalextric Cars, Humbrol Paints and Corgi die cast miniatures. I think the also own Liliput in Germany. They had financial disaster with bad choices of souvenir and toy products for the 2012 London Olympics. They were severely impacted (as were many US model import companies) when their primary railway manufacturer Sanda Kan in Hong Kong went bankrupt and was largely taken over by Kader Holdings who own both US and UK Bachmann. They have had to scramble to find new factories, product manufacturing designers in China for the last 5-6 years with sometimes very poor results.

In spite of all this Hornby Hobbies only does about $75 million in gross Revenue.

Interesting but all contracts for products made in China, Sri Lanka and India are written for models to be paid for in US dollars. This leaves non-US companies (including Canadian Rapido?) with significant exchange rate exposure. Intermountain, Atlas, Athearn and Walthers are also in this same supply chain situation. Only Bachmann, through Kader owns factories outright in China.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#14
We have had for a long time several manufacturers in Aussie who have made kits for local prototype. Some of those now offer some very good RTR examples of locos and rolling stock. But, once again, they come from you know where. I was talking to one of them a couple of years ago at our local show and mentioned that the production of all these models began at the same time as the GFC, when our $ rode very high. He told me about one of his lines, a QR loco that because of the gap between ordering etc, etc, and getting them for sale, he lost $AU40,000 because the $ had fallen back in the interim.
 
#15
I have been very pleased with them thus far. I was able to buy the 4 that I was interested in and the seller VRC Hobbies in NY sold a few for auction. I won a U28C last night for $31!!! before shipping. Again for the money I paid the value is incredible. If anyone is interested I will post links to the seller's listings on Ebay just let me know.
 



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