International Hobby Corporation

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Re: International Hobby Corporation

Postby CNJ999 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:14 am

wwiirebel wrote:Is there any knowledge as to any other company taking over the reins of business importing ahm/ihc's old products??.


IHC's original supplier (Mehano?), as I pointed out upstream, encountered financial difficulties about 2-3 years ago, resulting in the cutting off of IHC products. They did reorganize, but I have been told that they are/will be revamping their entire line and eliminating their low cost IHC-type locos, replacing them with high-end items with upgraded detail, DCC and sound. At the same time they were reportedly thinking about both consentrating on only european trains and acting as their own retailer of these items.

Rivarossi, who was the source of many AHM products long ago, had/has no ties to my knowledge with IHC's later supplier of the affordable HO locos that we are all familiar with.

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Re: International Hobby Corporation

Postby drvmusic » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:20 am

As a 40-something recent hobbyist, I LOVE collecting IHC/AHM/Mehano equipment. It saddens me how expensive this hobby has become. I have no problem giving up a bit of detail to save money and just enjoy the trains.

My one expensive HO Scale habit is Bachmann EZ Track. I recently cleaned up an old AHM FM C-Liner (painted for Santa Fe, which never actually owned one to my knowledge) and man, the thing runs beautifully!
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Re: International Hobby Corporation

Postby Desertdweller » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:45 pm

Another entry-level source of affordable locomotives replaced by high-end products.

Another opportunity for beginners gone. I guess they'll have to shop the model railroad flea markets and hope what they buy works when they get it home.

Pretty sad. There are plenty of locomotives for sale at $150 and up.

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Re: International Hobby Corporation

Postby Bigt » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:22 pm

I guess this too is a sign of the times we live in....everything has to be "done for us" and to the highest
standards. I have been in the hobby since 1970, and although we have seen some great advancements to
the hobby, for the most part we have seen a decline - in my opinion. I think the days are gone when this
hobby was for everyone....the prices are driving many away. The manufacturers, and specifically the hobby
press, always tout to the young kids the fun of this hobby. How is the average - I repeat average - kid going
to get really involved what with the prices now being charged? Yes, I know times change and prices change,
but, enough is enough. I for one enjoyed kitbashing, or, maybe doing a little detailing to make a specific
piece "look" representative of the actual prototype. I have never been a "rivet counter" or cared if the
locomotive cab was "fully" detailed with a hotplate / microwave! AHM, IHC, and the "old" Athearn were
just my speed!
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Re: International Hobby Corporation

Postby glennk419 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:48 pm

Bigt wrote:I guess this too is a sign of the times we live in....everything has to be "done for us" and to the highest
standards. I have been in the hobby since 1970, and although we have seen some great advancements to
the hobby, for the most part we have seen a decline - in my opinion. I think the days are gone when this
hobby was for everyone....the prices are driving many away. The manufacturers, and specifically the hobby
press, always tout to the young kids the fun of this hobby. How is the average - I repeat average - kid going
to get really involved what with the prices now being charged? Yes, I know times change and prices change,
but, enough is enough. I for one enjoyed kitbashing, or, maybe doing a little detailing to make a specific
piece "look" representative of the actual prototype. I have never been a "rivet counter" or cared if the
locomotive cab was "fully" detailed with a hotplate / microwave! AHM, IHC, and the "old" Athearn were
just my speed!


The last three posts are dead on. Not sure many of the manufacturers or railroad press read these forums though.
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Re: International Hobby Corporation

Postby Desertdweller » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:09 pm

I doubt if they read this. If they do, it doesn't sink in.

It is pretty sad to consider that, although model railroading started as a rich kid's hobby, it was popularized during the Great Depression as a way to keep craftsmens' skills honed. Any depression-era hobby had to be cheap if it was to be an everyman's hobby.

Even in the 1960's it could be a schoolkids' hobby.

I could see this coming about 40 years ago, when the NMRA decided to hold its annual convention in London, England. It has become elitist.

I don't think the people who control what products are available are the consumers anymore. It is manufacturers with a "take it or leave it" attitude.

In the 1960's, the model railroad press and the NMRA (the "social media" of the hobby) pushed the idea that you were not a "serious model railroader" unless you:
1. Used KD couplers.
2. Used an "operating system" for your model railroad (even if it involved sticking thumbtacks in your car roofs).
3. Had a few brass locomotives.

Now, if you want to be a "real model railroader", you must:
1. Use DCC-controlled locomotives (and switches, sounds, etc.).
2. Use an "operating system" that should involve a computer.
3. Base your railroad on a real prototype. Free-lanced railroads are suspect.

Sure, model railroading is a fun hobby for kids and adults. So is racing sports cars, flying your own airplane, shooting Olympic-level small-bore rifles.

You don't see many brass locomotives anymore. They have priced themselves out of the market. I even see where there is a new term for the expensive plastic locomotives: "plastic brass".

I am a retired railroad locomotive engineer. I have collected N-scale equipment since 1978, and have a fairly large (50 sq. ft.) model railroad. If I were to lose my trains, I would be unable to afford to replace them unless they were destroyed in a manner covered in my household insurance. I enjoy running my model railroad, but if I were faced with a decision to start all over, at today's prices, I wouldn't. I would rather have a nice boat, for what it would cost me.

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Re: International Hobby Corporation

Postby Bigt » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:22 pm

Desertdweller (Les)....you hit it right on the head! As for the model press, this is why I only subscribe
to Railroad Model Craftsman magazine anymore....they seem to be the "old school" of model railroading,
certainly unlike Model Railroader magazine. Model Railroader at times (in my opinion) has the attitude
that what they say about this or that in the hobby is simply gospel! I feel the same way about Walthers...
they too have changed over the years....almost now have an "elitist" attitude. And take a look at their
prices! I had to laugh when you spoke of operating systems, ie, thumbtacks in the roofs of cars....I had
completely forgot about them! Remember the color codes so you don't deliver the wrong type of car to the
wrong destination! That practice was cutting edge!
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Re: International Hobby Corporation

Postby Desertdweller » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:56 pm

Bigt,

Yeah, Model Railroader, I think, gets carried away plugging its advertisers' products.

A couple of months ago, it had the most misinformed editorial. The point that was being made was that the coupler knuckle pins on full-sized railroads somehow manage to absorb the entire tension force transmitted through the train. It went on to say that pin-connected truss bridges worked the same way.

Of course, neither is true. The purpose of pins in pin-connected bridges is to hold the bearing surfaces in alignment, and to permit movement in those joints. They do not now, and never did, support the weight of the bridge.

And coupler knuckle pins also transmit no force. All they do is provide the coupler knuckle something to pivot on, and keep the knuckle from falling out of the coupler body. I have worked on railroad equipment that used plastic coupler pins! You don't even need the coupler pin in place to pull a train through the coupler. But the knuckle will fall out if you open it without the pin.

The article went on about what a wondrous thing a coupler pin is. A real modern miracle!

After reading the article, I sent him an e-mail telling him how this really worked. I got no reply. MR eliminated letters to the editor some time ago.

I thought there were people in at least an advisory position on their staff who had real railroad experience. It was the April issue, but I don't think this was intended to be an April Fool. Way too subtle for that.

This is too bad, because I'm sure there are a lot of newbies who trust this source as true information about the hobby and the full-sized industry.

I do not intend to renew my MR subscription. I may take a subscription to RMC, but it seems there is a revolving door for editors between the two magazines.

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Re: International Hobby Corporation

Postby Roger Hensley » Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:08 am

Wasn't the coupler pin article an April Fools Day article?
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Re: International Hobby Corporation

Postby Desertdweller » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:03 am

Roger,

I really don't think so. But April could give them "plausible deniablity" if they are called on it. They had their annual April Fools article elsewhere in the issue.
Did you take it to be a joke when you read it? I found no attempt at humor in the article. Just another know-it-all article to impress readers.

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Re: International Hobby Corporation

Postby Sir Ray » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:41 pm

Desertdweller wrote:I really don't think so. But April could give them "plausible deniablity" if they are called on it. They had their annual April Fools article elsewhere in the issue.
Did you take it to be a joke when you read it? I found no attempt at humor in the article. Just another know-it-all article to impress readers.

The coupler pin mistake was in Tony Koesters[?] "Trains of Thought" column, which I normally don't bother reading, but looked at because of a discussion about coupler pins in a different forum had mentioned this mistake.
The 2012 MR April's fools joke was assigning people during operating sessions to be "firemen", shoveling coal into a fake plywood firebox (not their best joke). I think a year or two ago, the joke WAS in Tony Koester's column, which was him declaring he was going to sell off his current layout models and start modeling in G scale or something - I paid no attention to THAT at first (I'm sure my eyes scanned the article and my brain said "so what? Move on to the cartoon"), until someone started asking on a different forum "What was the April's Fool joke?"

I still liked the joke about modeling a rail-trail module best...
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Re: International Hobby Corporation

Postby Roger Hensley » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:59 pm

Desertdweller wrote:Roger,

I really don't think so. But April could give them "plausible deniablity" if they are called on it. They had their annual April Fools article elsewhere in the issue.
Did you take it to be a joke when you read it? I found no attempt at humor in the article. Just another know-it-all article to impress readers.

Les

Yes, I did. It seemed to me to be a joke, but maybe I'm wrong. :-)
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Re: International Hobby Corporation

Postby Bigt » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:32 pm

I really don't need an "April Fools" joke in my reading....that crap is for kids. I agree with the comment
about Model Railroader going overboard on pushing their advertisers projects. Another pet peeve I have
with them is their idea of what constitutes an article. I don't think a few pages of photos with captions
really constitutes what we all remember as an article! That is the reason I quit my Trains Magazine subscription
a few years back. Used to enjoy that magazine, but, what they have done to it now, well, David P. Morgan would
be rolling in his grave if he only knew! Their special issues usually are good, but, I don't always take each one.

I think we "old-timers" have seen the glory days of model railroading......
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Re: International Hobby Corporation

Postby glennk419 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:55 pm

Wasn't this topic about IHC / AHM being on the RIP track?
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Re: International Hobby Corporation

Postby Bigt » Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:50 pm

Yes, I guess we did stray away from the topic at hand....sorry about that. Now, getting back to AHM / IHC
and others. Do any of you think we will ever see a company, or companies, such as these ever again? Do you
think there would be room for, and more importantly, acceptance of such models again in todays' model
railroading? All are hypothetical questions, but, do you think a current manufacturer would listen to the
request for models of that detail and operating levels?
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