Bill Schneider <branch@...>
There is no marketing ploy or fraud here, and I'm going to let that suggestion go without further comment. The facts are these:
As everybody on this list is aware, some time ago Branchline released a 40' AAR boxcar kit. Unfortunately, the drawings used in preparing the model were dimensioned wrong, (an length error of an approximately 8" scale overall) a fact that escaped us until the first kits hit the market. When the error was pointed out (by Ed Hawkins at first in what must have been a difficult phone call for him to make) we made the decision to stop production of the kits. Some cars HAD made it onto the market, and we offered (through our distributor) to take back any kits that dealers wanted to send back. Some dealers took us up on this, others sold the kits and were happy. At rather considerable expense these kits were re-tooled and have recently been re-released. So much for general background.
Regarding the Undec's - At their choice our distributor for some time maintained an inventory of undecorated cars because stores continued to ask for them, even though they had been made aware that they were still the "old" kits. As a result, the undecorated 40'-8" kits were never fully off the market but available to stores that continued to ask for them. Shortly after the release of the first of the "new stock" kits I requested that the distributor pull all remaining Undec's from inventory to eliminate any possible confusion. They have done this, and the kits have been destroyed (sorry folks, they've emptied the dumpster since).
As far as "cutting our losses", if this had been our intention we would never have spent the money to re-tool the kits in the first place. Truth of the matter is, built out of the box these kits made a very respectable looking model. I would even go so far as to say that few people would have noticed the difference. Don't believe me? The ad that was run in Model Railroader a few months back showing UP and CNW cars were in fact decaled samples of the "old stock" kit - none of the complete new cars were available when I put the ad together. The most recent ad showing the WP car and so on are the "new" kits. Take a look...
If Reed's feels they were mis-informed or received the kits in error they can contact the distributor's customer service department and they will take them back and give them credit.
Please direct any further discussion of this that does not have anything to do directly with freight cars to me personally and I will do my best to resolve any confusion.
Chief perpetrator of fraud and deceit
Bill-I find these statesments regarding "old stock vs new stock" more than a
little distrubing. In fact I would go so far to say this marketing ploy
borders on FRAUD. Sometime right after the first of the year I was looking
for one of the "old stock" kits and told by three different first line train
stores that ALL THESE KITS were off the market and could not be ordered.
Now, they are suddenly avaliable, but only undecorated!! Sounds like someone
has decided to try and cut there losses by quietly shuffling as many of these
"old stock" undecorated kits out the door with the "new stock" decorated kits
as possible before having to eat them. Sort of like wolves in lambs chothes-
they ALL came from the Branchline distrubitor in the same shipment, therefore
one assumes they are all " new stock" kits. That is exactly what happened to
me and a store clerk at Reed's Train Store, La Mesa a month ago when I
purchased two of the undecorated kits. When queried, he assumed that since
they came in the same new Branchline shippment that they were the "new
stock" kits. It is very strange that Branchline has made no annoucements in
the hobby press about "old stock" still being sold in the undec. version, and
apparently has also not told there customers-the local hooby shop.
A special order, again through Reed's, three weeks ago for three more cars
also brought not a word from the Branchline distributor about "old stock"
kits. What I was told was that the 7 and 8 foot door version weren't out yet,
but the 6 foot car was available-WHAT WOULD YOU ASSUME BILL IF YOU WERE A
CUSTOMER--"NEW STOCK" RIGHT?
A call back to the owner of Reed's this afternoon has confirmed that he had
no idea that "old stock" kits were being shipped.
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