The resetting to core values at Hornby following the return of Simon Kohler is underlined by a 2019 range loaded with exciting new models, writes Nigel Burkin.
There is new energy and drive at Hornby since the return of Simon Kohler to the company. It has recognised that previous mistakes were made, resulting in a loss of confidence in the business through discounting which undermined the hobby shop retailer, and the loss of industry expertise.
An important move was relocating Hornby’s headquarters back to the original Westwood site in Margate, and this tangible sign of a return to the core values that served Hornby well in the past is reflected in the 2019 range, which has a number of surprises.
In addition to new models comes the return of important products to the range, including Skale Scenics, Skale Auto and Skale Dale accessories in addition to new toolings.
Hornby sees its range as a ‘system’ which serves modellers of all abilities and all budgets, from starter train sets to the ‘Railroad’ range and its super-detailed range of models, so consequently control systems, scenic materials and accessories all play a part in addition to locos and stock in the 2019 catalogue.
The fact that train sets are an important entry point to the hobby for all ages has been at the centre of Hornby’s strategy for many years, and 2019 is no different.
A number of new train sets with recognised themes appear in the range, such as a junior battery-operated starter set featuring Paddington Bear (R1247) that’s intended to kindle interest in model trains from a young age. Analogue train sets aim to do the same thing with freight and passenger sets, the latter emphasising speed, with a GWR HST set and a Eurostar set.
Licensing has made it possible to offer a train set and accessories for Harry Potter, and the ‘Hogwarts Express’ includes coaches and buildings.
Headlining the new 2019 range are several brand new steam locomotive models, including the GWR/BR 5101 and 61XX Class ‘Large Prairie’ with completely new tooling, due in mid-2019 as GWR No. 4154 (R3719); GWR No. 6110 (R3721) and BR No. 6145 (R3723).
For the full article, see the February 2019 edition of Modelling – available on now!
For a complete list of stockists and how to get your copy, visit: www.railwaymagazinemodelling.co.uk/distributors