About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

News, Views Etc . . . Hornby Hobbies

Hornby continue to occupy column inches in the business sections of the newspapers, and it's a while since I last covered them, so here's a round-up since January when they saw a drop in share value after a disappointing performance over Christmas.

Cable Drums; Flatbed; Glasgow Museums; Goods Wagons; Hornby Railways; Hornby Triang; Model Railways; Museum Display; Museum Exhibit; News Views Etc...; Riverside Museum; Rolling Stock; Scottish Museums; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tri Ang Toys; Tri-ang Collectables; Tri-ang Toys; Triang Toys; 1 News Views Etc Hornby Hobbies Corgi Airfix Scalextric SAM_5787
The 9.3% fall in value followed a profits warning after the seasonal sales fell "...below management expectations", coming in the midst of the 'turnaround' plans, it was considered unfortunate, but not de-railing (geddit!), however by the beginning of April they were again talking to investors seeking more money! This on the back of half-yearly results showing a 22% drop in revenue (down from £21.9m to £17m-quid).

The beginning of June saw the announcement of a £18-million package to 'Rebuild the brands' (that is Airfix, Corgi, Scalextric and Hornby Railways). Management said they were "...unlikely to need all the pot" - only time will tell if 2019's catalogues are any better than the disappointing 2018 efforts seen here at Small Scale World in Toy Fair Reports passim.

Cable Drums; Flatbed; Glasgow Museums; Goods Wagons; Hornby Railways; Hornby Triang; Model Railways; Museum Display; Museum Exhibit; News Views Etc...; Riverside Museum; Rolling Stock; Scottish Museums; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tri Ang Toys; Tri-ang Collectables; Tri-ang Toys; Triang Toys; 2 News Views Etc Hornby Hobbies Corgi Airfix Scalextric SAM_7439
The money coming in two lumps - £6m from PNC Business Credit and £12m from Phoenix - HH's largest shareholder; and follows the pull-out of Barclays Bank.

None of which prevented a further drop in share price in June following publishing of the previous full-year's results which were £9.5-million down in the previous 12-month period, leading to pre-tax losses of £10.1-million.

Management are blaming 'previous management' for the woes, but it's far more complicated than that, with manufacturing and supply-chain problems going back over a decade, a lack of vision (ask any war-gamer or modeller about WWI commemorative stuff - four years wasted!), the whole restructuring thing, the boardroom battle last year, the death of the Toysaurus, the Christmas sales-fall &etc.

They are in a hole and only time will tell if they climb out of it, or disappear down it!

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Two other train stories which may as well go here!

RIP = Rest In Plastic
Peter Hurst's sons Paul and Simon were reported in March to have placed their late-father's ashes in a 'Private Owner' coal wagon (Blaenavon) so they can occasionally run him round his own model-railway, when not in use the wagon's home-depot is Ashurst Station . . . Hurst's ashes; see!

Cable Drums; Flatbed; Glasgow Museums; Goods Wagons; Hornby Railways; Hornby Triang; Model Railways; Museum Display; Museum Exhibit; News Views Etc...; Riverside Museum; Rolling Stock; Scottish Museums; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tri Ang Toys; Tri-ang Collectables; Tri-ang Toys; Triang Toys; 3 News Views Etc Hornby Hobbies Corgi Airfix Scalextric DSCN8581
Riverside Museum - Glasgow
In May the Mature Times (I am, so I do! . . . Nah; it's free from the library and has a crossword!) carried news of the re-vamping of the collection at the Riverside Museum of Travel and Transport in Glasgow, already famous for its collection of model ships, it has laid-on a collection of model railways and locomotives to commemorate 50-years since steam stopped running across Scotland.

Full sized [real] stuff is on display as well as many static and 'real-steam' or garden-scale models.

Web. - www.glasgowlife.org/museums/venues/riverside-museum
Tel. - 01412 872 720

The Museum is free entry and open from 10am-5pm daily except Fridays and Sundays when it opens at 11am.

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Which reminds me - I haven't kept the cutting as it didn't involve toys, models, games or collectables per se, but - I also read recently (last week or two) that the Science Museum in London is going to surrender Stevenson's Rocket to York's Railway Museum (I thought I'd seen it there about 40-years ago; they must have a similar-aged loco' or a replica?), however, before it arrives in York it will be doing a 'tour' of stints in other venues around the North of England - worth checking the dates/venues.

2 comments:

Terranova47 said...

An interesting photo of 3-rail Hornby Dublo track with much later rolling stock.

It's hard to understand how a company that controls a number of historic British Brand names can be so out of touch with it's market.

Being unaware of WW1 in the UK for the last four years and not responding to the interest shown by all generations of Brits shows a remarkable lack of marketing skills.

Sad to say, maybe Hornby should be left to die a victim of it's own ineptitude.

Hugh Walter said...

It's the same as the Horrible Histories thing, which is being repeated - away from the Blog - with Subbuteo, the marketers/PR people are all 20/30-somthing's with minor degrees in silly subjects and no depth of knowledge, just hunting targets to justify their invoices.

Meanwhile the 'toymen' surrendered control of the industry to Hong Kong and the Toysaurus (It's only sleeping, pining for the malls it is!), so are't on the ball either! Most of the older ones have retired and the youngsters are also target-driven . . . more Thatcherite-Raganomic 'legacy'!!!

H