RM hit the mat this morning. Hmmm...
A few weeks ago I read Steve Flint's leader with some amusement. I thought it was a kite-fly or a joke, but now it seems that I was hasty The news that H***by are to go to pure internet sales through their own web site has been greeted with a howl of horror. RM have printed a selection of responses (all negative and not countered by Peco in the heading photo caption) and what I predicted a few weeks ago has happened. The Hattons ad which used to fill most of the mag has shrunk and H***by items are almost absent. In other regular shop ads they are entirely absent. This seems utterly crazy.
I can't remember the last time I bought a new H***by model - quite a while ago anyway, but if I were to buy one today I wouldn't go online to do it, I'd wander up to the Hobby Box or get it from a dealer at an exhibition. That way I can feel the goods and test it before leaving. And in this point alone I'm far from unusual.
Second point, as we are continually told, the hobby is full of old men. A lot are online, but not all. Who has the cash to lash out £100 plus apiece on locos? 13 year olds? No...old men with a small pension and low outgoings. Where do they do it? Shops.
My view a few weeks ago was that RM looked scared. And so they should be. Not because the 'free' review models are gone, that's irrelevant, but because of advertising which is their biggest earner. No models= no shops= no ads=no revenue. It's a circle and if Bachmann et al follow suit, then the days of 29 pages of Hattons ads are gone and your copy of RM is £8.40. Is this a bad thing?
The other thing to note is that there is a review model on the cover. Now I've been getting RM since 1976 and I can't remember there ever being purely review samples on the front. Inside the news that the company in question - Locomotion Models - now have Simon K. on board as Manager. This is the same Simon K that left H***by a while back.
Do I deduce some sort of link between these two things?