Bowsers Chinese Factory Closed

Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: Otto Vondrak, stilson4283, 3rdrail

Bowsers Chinese Factory Closed

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:59 am

Anybody having preordered models from Bowser may be in for a LONG WAIT, Bowser's contract factory in China has CLOSED,reasons unknown!!

Not sure if this is a repeat of what happened to Athearn years ago,or due to the current tariff issues.

Only time will tell if this will affect other factories in China for Bachmann,Rapido,and other model RR suppliers.
Last edited by John_Perkowski on Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Some political language cleanup, per a report.
Backshophoss
 
Posts: 5509
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Bowsers Chinese Factory Closed

Postby scottychaos » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:39 am

Intermountain is also impacted by this same factory closing:

https://www.intermountain-railway.com/

Scot
~ Scot Lawrence
Moderator: Lehigh Valley
Co-Moderator: Anthracite Railroads
Scot's railroad webpages
User avatar
scottychaos
 
Posts: 4545
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:18 am
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: Bowsers Chinese Factory Closed

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:31 pm

Atlas also effected,used same factory! :( :( :(

Add on Fox Valley,Bulford Shops,Trainworx,Exactarail,and Wheels of Time. :( :(
Backshophoss
 
Posts: 5509
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Bowsers Chinese Factory Closed

Postby glennk419 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:41 am

Not good news at all, especially with the holiday season quickly approaching.

Glad that I got my latest batch of Atlas items.
Glenn
User avatar
glennk419
 
Posts: 2951
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 7:44 pm
Location: Southeastern PA & Cape May County, NJ

Re: Bowsers Chinese Factory Closed

Postby CNJ999 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:48 am

If I recall correctly, the model train industry was already down to only two major factories manufacturing all our trains. One supplied Bachmann exclusively IIRC, while the other handled most other sellers like Atlas, Boswer, Intermountain, etc. Many of us will recall what happened when Atlas lost its track supplier several years back and the hobby when all but trackless for the better part of a year! I worry that the trade difficulties between us and China are going to have an even bigger impact on the hobby this time around in addition to this factory loss. There really is very little to be gained, or lost, on model trains economically, but if increased across the board tariffs are imposed, watch out.

CNJ999
User avatar
CNJ999
 
Posts: 394
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 9:20 am

Re: Bowsers Chinese Factory Closed

Postby umtrr-author » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:14 am

Some commentary on this from long time member of the model railroad community, Jim Conway (Con-Cor):

https://www.con-cor.com/

There have been apparently vicious rumors that Micro-Trains was going to "shut down" because of this, however the only product impacted is their N Scale FT locomotive chassis and they have enough of those for a while. Their rolling stock in N and Z is still made in the USA.
User avatar
umtrr-author
 
Posts: 1186
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:36 pm
Location: UMTRR HQ

Re: Bowsers Chinese Factory Closed

Postby Backshophoss » Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:29 pm

At least 1 UK supplier has been affected,Dapol,they make the track cleaner/vacuum car in HO/OO for Atlas.
Backshophoss
 
Posts: 5509
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Bowsers Chinese Factory Closed

Postby Engineer Spike » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:56 pm

This is a big joke. Athearn couldn’t wait for Irv to drop dead to ship their production overseas. Maybe the industry should bring production to this country. I’m sure that there are plenty of die makers, and injection molding plants left in the US and Canada.
Engineer Spike
 
Posts: 1797
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:24 pm

Re: Bowsers Chinese Factory Closed

Postby umtrr-author » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:27 pm

Jason Shron of Rapido Trains has addressed the idea of bringing production back to the US (or Canada). His take: He'd be happy to do it as long as you're happy to pay lots more for model trains.
User avatar
umtrr-author
 
Posts: 1186
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:36 pm
Location: UMTRR HQ

Re: Bowsers Chinese Factory Closed

Postby Engineer Spike » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:30 am

I think the main issue is that people aren’t willing to spend the time to detail engines anymore. Irv Athearn kept his costs down by selling a quality shell and chassis. The real labor intensive part of the manufacturing process is adding the details. The end customer was put in the position of deciding whether or not to detail the model. The aftermarket parts companies like Detail Associats, and Details West were there to supply the parts. Beside the labor of adding the parts, the modern manufacturer can’t just do a million of the same thing. Modelers now expect the model to be correct for the prototype. Railroad A used such-and-such type of plows, and Leslie horns. B uses a different style plow, but uses Nathan horns. Each change costs money.

I think that you can see how Athearn kept the costs low. He also made such a high volume, that it was efficient to make a few thousand SD40-2s, then they would go on hiatus, and GP38-2 was produced en mass. Even the details included were installed by the end purchaser. Nobody can produce what is now expected, pay a living wage, and still sell at a reasonable price. This is why China is so attractive. They can pay a dollar a day, with no lunch or potty break.
Engineer Spike
 
Posts: 1797
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:24 pm


Return to Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests