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Jennings Heilig

Hobbico files bankruptcy

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Because the distributor goes away, doesn't mean the manufacturers do too.

Some entity could buy the bankrupt Hobbico and do a turnaround. New

management could properly manage the company and expand the product

line sort of like Tamiya does.  Who knows, with the new tax / deregulation

policies in the U.S. Tamiya might open up shop in the U.S. too :speak_cool:

A bankrupt distribution company doesn't mean the end of their clients.

 

We'll see I guess :popcorn:

Doubtful. The word has always been that Tamiya's biggest customer base is  Japan, for models and RC. Manufacturing in the US would be silly if that is the case...

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It will be interested to see how this goes. Since GP is a large wholesaler to brick and mortar stores and  given how many hobby shops have closed in the last few years, hundreds if not thousands, their base clientele on that end have have been cut drastically too. Less customers less business, the domino effect continues. 

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Because the distributor goes away, doesn't mean the manufacturers do too.

Some entity could buy the bankrupt Hobbico and do a turnaround. New

management could properly manage the company and expand the product

line sort of like Tamiya does.  Who knows, with the new tax / deregulation

policies in the U.S. Tamiya might open up shop in the U.S. too :speak_cool:

A bankrupt distribution company doesn't mean the end of their clients.

 

We'll see I guess :popcorn:

 

indeed, Hopefully if someone does buy them out pray that it is someone who has an interest in the hobbies they carry. If some dang bean counter or business conglomerate gets a hold of it that just wants it to part it out or just in it for the numbers then its still hosed eventually. Think rustoleum and testor paint.

Edited by The Dude

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Agree with you Dan. In a properly managed company, you need some bean counters to look at the reality of the figures, and tell them as they are. Imagination is not what they are expected to have. Imagination is needed for marketeers, engineers, and salespeople. And you need a boss to call the shots, make the tough trade-offs when needed, and be able to hold shareholders' expectations in check from time to time.

 

And, dare I say, all of them need a motivation for their company and their product, a willingness to understand their market, customers and consumers, and, for the ones developing and selling the products, some real passion is a real bonus ...

 

Not sure these factors were all present in Hobbico. Since they owned Monogram, the brand  was a shadow of itself. Ditto for Revell in the US. But it happened to Airfix when under the umbrella of Humbrol, as Heller, and to Revell already when it was owned by Ceji in the early 90s ... If you put proper management and focus in these companies, they can be revived, just like Hornby did with Airfix. So, maybe this is good news in the end :)

 

Hubert

Edited by MostlyRacers

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I am not worried for Revell AG. This company has very serious assets, a large market base and a lot of distribution channels. The process will possibly delay some releases but I believe the impact in Europe will not be very important, at least for the customers. In the US, the situation may be different as Revell-USA and Monogram did not release a lot of new models for ages... Wait and see.

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Not to pick a fight but I simply love when someone uses the term 'bean counter' in the pejorative.  

 

You all do understand that for a business to prosper or even survive that it must make a profit don't you? There aren't, to my knowledge, any non-profit model kit manufactures.  That's how capitalism works, well managed businesses that keep an eye on costs and returns flourish and ones that don't employ 'bean counters' go bankrupt.  I mean, all I know about capitalism I learned from Warner Bros cartoons so ya gotta take that on faith. :)

 

Not trying to pick a fight while you're not trying to pick a fight:  :)

 

It has been my experience dealing with "bean counters" that "some" (many? all? lots? most? a few?) on the financial side of things don't see that there are at least two and sometimes more than two sides to the cost-benefit analysis. I have seen many times in my industry where cost-cutting, cost-saving and fat-trimming is very short sighted, looking no farther than the next P&L or balance sheet, with no regard to long-term effects. Sure, a business has to make money, but smart use of that money means looking at the whole picture, not just the "beans".

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Guest Peterpools

Just might be a sign of the times and knowing zero about how they operated Revell, could be that while we loved the low prices, it's impossible to make a profit at that price point.

No matter what, it's not good for the hobby.

Peter

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Dang, that's bad news. So glad I took advantage of Tower Hobbies sale that ended 31 DEC. Got stocked up for at least another year at 30% off with free shipping to boot (not that I needed more stock!). 

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Back in the day i started an R/C airplane manufacturing business competing against Great Planes (prior to the Hobbico/Tower Hobbies/GP merge). Don Anderson was a pretty good guy and we were friendly competitors with products (scale R/C warbirds) that both filled separate niches. He liked his side, I liked my side. After he sold out things changed with GP and Tower Hobbies dramatically, at least on the R/C side. They soon became the 800 lb. gorilla, buying manufacturers, isolating sales channels, dictating terms, prices, etc., to retailers all the while undercutting the retailers by selling products on the Tower Hobbies website at prices lower than wholesale. I really believe that Hobbico was one of the bigger nails in the brick & mortar hobby shop demise. Not to say that internet sales wouldn't have done the same thing, just that Hobbico was one of, if not the first to take an axe to our friendly local HS. Hobbico also aggressively hammered small manufacturers and really squashed lots of innovation to push their own branded (think dirt cheap Chinese) products.

 

I sold my business - it's still going, though not in it's original form - and the new owners even opened a hobby store which is still going strong today. They had to use Hobbico as a supplier but refused to market their in-house products through Hobbico. Interestingly, all of my original warbird kits are still available - imagine that! Don't know if anyone even builds r/c kits anymore since I got out of that.

 

Long story short, I feel bad for the employees, but as to Hobbico itself, good riddance, karma works, and the void will be filled, hopefully by something better. Think Squadron vs. Sprue Brothers.

 

Mark

 

Hey Mark, I was very active in RC during this time period as well.  I remember watching Hobbico swallow up companies like Top Flight, Robart and a few others.(Please don't quote me on those companies as accurate)  Didn't they also get Carl Goldberg and Sig?  I remember talking with the guys at the field how in the long run this just cannot be good for the hobbyist.

Don't they also own the franchise rights to Hobbytown USA?

If you don't mind me asking, which company was yours?

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according to a revell of germany contact 

 

 

They've filed for Chapter 11 protection which means they can't be subject to winding up by their creditors IIRC. Probably just looking to restructure their debts and then they'll be sorted. Apparently quite a common thing in the US

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That's correct. Very common in the USA. They can continue to do business under the umbrella of Chapter 11 for many years to come if granted.

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