Intermountain kits - undec only


jaley <jaley@...>
 

All,

I sent an email to Intermountian asking whether or not they would
produce any more decorated kits.

Here is their reply:

------------
Jeff

InterMountain discontinued production of decorated kits some time ago due
to
lack of interest. There are still a few decorated kits available and
almost
all of the models are available as undecorated kits. The Intermountain web
site shows which items are still in stock. The HO kits are in the HO
section
and the N scale kits are in the N scale section. O scale products are no
longer available from InterMountain as the O scale product line was sold
to
Atlas O.

Thank you for your interest in InterMountain Railway Company.

Jerry Harkness
Customer Service Representative

InterMountain Railway Company
P.O. Box 839 -- Longmont, CO 80502-0839
Phone: 800-472-2530 or 303-772-1901
Fax: 303-772-8534
E-mail: intermountain@...

Web Site: www.intermountain-railway.com
-----------

So, the bottom line is that KITS ARE STILL AVAILABLE, but YOU HAVE
TO PAINT THEM. Seems to me that this is a reasonable compromise; those
who want to have the fun of building a kit shouldn't mind a little
painting and decalling.

Regards,

-Jeff

--
Jeff Aley jaley@...
DPG Chipsets Product Engineering
Intel Corporation, Folsom, CA
(916) 356-3533


Paul Gehrett
 


InterMountain discontinued production of decorated
kits some time ago due
to
lack of interest. There are still a few decorated
kits available and
almost
all of the models are available as undecorated kits.
Those attending the Naperville meet should all bug
Marty McGuirk from Intermountain early and often about
the continued available of undec kits. They need to
know that there are folks that still want these kits.
At the National toy and Hobby show in Rosemont, I
asked Marty and the other folks at the Intermountain
booth about kit availability. They said the standard
answer about undecs being available for their current
line. What got my attention is that they said all new
and future models MAY or MAY NOT be available in undec
kit form. According to them, it will depend on
demand.

Problem is that Intermountain seems to measure their
demand based on retailer orders. I've experienced the
situation where I ask a retailer to order the kit for
me, but they won't because "kits don't sell". Even
when I want to special order a specific kit.

Based on this information, Intermountain's demand
information is not accurate because the actual demand
is at the end consumer level but Intermountain is
measuring demand at the retailer level.

Just my humble opinion.

Paul Gehrett


pullmanboss <tgmadden@...>
 

Paul Gehrett wrote:
Those attending the Naperville meet should all bug
Marty McGuirk from Intermountain early and often about
the continued available of undec kits. They need to
know that there are folks that still want these kits.
At the National toy and Hobby show in Rosemont, I
asked Marty and the other folks at the Intermountain
booth about kit availability. They said the standard
answer about undecs being available for their current
line. What got my attention is that they said all new
and future models MAY or MAY NOT be available in undec
kit form. According to them, it will depend on
demand.

Problem is that Intermountain seems to measure their
demand based on retailer orders. I've experienced the
situation where I ask a retailer to order the kit for
me, but they won't because "kits don't sell". Even
when I want to special order a specific kit.

Based on this information, Intermountain's demand
information is not accurate because the actual demand
is at the end consumer level but Intermountain is
measuring demand at the retailer level.
The problem really is, the assembled cars are painted & lettered in
China, while the parts for decorated kits are painted & lettered at
Intermountain's facility in Longmont CO. Given that the demand for
decorated kits - however you measure it - is very small relative to
the demand for built-up cars, it doesn't make a lot of economic sense
for IM to maintain a low-capacity in-house painting & lettering
capability. The issue then is, could you get kit versions of the
assembled cars from China for less than the assembled cars cost? I
bet the answer to that is "No".

Tom Madden


Jon Miller <atsf@...>
 

I agree with Tom but where are the undec ATSF stocks cars<VBG>. All the
injection is in Longmont as far as I know.

Jon Miller
AT&SF
For me time has stopped in 1941
Digitrax, Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI user
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Bill Schneider <branch@...>
 

Problem is that Intermountain seems to measure their
demand based on retailer orders.
Ummm, Paul,...... that's how we ALL do it.....

Like it or not its the retailers who order from the distributors and/or the manufacturers. Even for companies that sell direct to consumers the majority of sales dollars are generated through the retail chain. Looked at it another way. Assume you're running the company and a consumer (you or me) spends $200 a year with a manufacturer while a distributor or retailer spends $20,000 - who would YOU listen to?

The bigger problem is that many retailers, rightly or wrongly, believe that kits don't sell. Admittedly, this may be a chicken and egg thing since the increase in the number of RTR and the decrease in the number of kits may be a result or a cause of this. However, I have talked to a number of retailers who won't stock our products because we don't offer RTR, and their claim is that THEIR customers don't want kits.

So, my suggestion would be instead of beating Marty up too bad - although that sounds like fun ;>) - you should instead all turn your efforts to your LHS and tell THEM that you want kits and to pass that word on up through the chain. Its the requests/orders from the stores that will determine whether or not its cost effective to offer kits.

Bill Schneider


Paul Gehrett
 


The problem really is, the assembled cars are painted & lettered in
China, while the parts for decorated kits are painted & lettered at
Intermountain's facility in Longmont CO. Given that the demand for
decorated kits - however you measure it - is very small relative to
the demand for built-up cars, it doesn't make a lot of economic sense
for IM to maintain a low-capacity in-house painting & lettering
capability. The issue then is, could you get kit versions of the
assembled cars from China for less than the assembled cars cost? I
bet the answer to that is "No".

Tom Madden
Tom,

I wasn't referring to the availability of decorated kits, I was referring to
the future availability of UNDECORATED kits. At rosemont, Intermountain
said that future projects may or may not be available in undecorated kit
form.

Thanks,
Paul Gehrett


Jon Miller <atsf@...>
 

you should instead all turn your efforts to your LHS and tell THEM that you
want kits and to pass that word on up through the chain. Its the
requests/orders from the stores that will determine whether or not its cost
effective to offer kits*<

While this is an excellent thought I wonder what the percentage of
orders go through the LHS and how many go through the mail order chain. I
assume the distributor is at the end of both. As the distributor is at the
end I wonder how much they control by reporting or not reporting sales. If
the split was say 80%-20% with the 20% side being somewhat questionable
would the distributor say all requests were for RTR because _they_ didn't
want to bother with kits. I've seen LHS act this way to save shelf space
and because the percentage favored the RTR.
While I have absolutely no question that the market favors RTR I just
wonder if the percentages are not being controlled by the retailer who just
wants to dump the smaller market for the faster moving bigger market?

*It might be a thought to offer kits in a different format. Plastic bags of
10 each sprues with one instruction sheet. This would save the manufacture
a bunch in employee packing time and materials cost. Would it work, I don't
know.
I do know that purchasing just sprues is very low cost as it can be seen
in the pricing of the repackaging manufactures. Richard can vouch for this
as when his business was going he was purchasing whole sprues for a couple
of parts to include in his kits.

Jon Miller
AT&SF
For me time has stopped in 1941
Digitrax, Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI user
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


BuyGone Treasures <buygone@...>
 

Having worked for around 10 years at "The Original Whistle Stop" in Pasadena
CA. I feel confident in telling you their policy. Fred and Brian will
special order anything that a customer wants. From time to time the help
may not want to take a special order, but if you bring it to Fred or Brian
attention they will get it ordered for you. They also carry one of the
largest stocks of inventory in Southern California. Granted they charge
full retail, but do you realize the total dollar amount of inventory that
they carry. They have been in business for over 50 years, and you need to
make a profit to stay in business and maintain the inventory that they have
in stock. For my self, I'm glad that they are close to me so that I can
shop in their store, and get what I need. This included kits.

Those of you who are having difficulty in getting from your supplier what
you want, you just might want to change supplier. There is a reason that
the discount joints don't carry anything but fast moving stock. They would
not stay in business selling short and carrying a substantial inventory.

I have no affiliation with "The Original Whistle Stop" other that as a
retail customer.

Paul C. Koehler

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Miller [mailto:atsf@...]
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2004 8:54 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Intermountain kits - undec only


you should instead all turn your efforts to your LHS and tell THEM that
you
want kits and to pass that word on up through the chain. Its the
requests/orders from the stores that will determine whether or not its cost
effective to offer kits*<

While this is an excellent thought I wonder what the percentage of
orders go through the LHS and how many go through the mail order chain. I
assume the distributor is at the end of both. As the distributor is at the
end I wonder how much they control by reporting or not reporting sales. If
the split was say 80%-20% with the 20% side being somewhat questionable
would the distributor say all requests were for RTR because _they_ didn't
want to bother with kits. I've seen LHS act this way to save shelf space
and because the percentage favored the RTR.
While I have absolutely no question that the market favors RTR I just
wonder if the percentages are not being controlled by the retailer who just
wants to dump the smaller market for the faster moving bigger market?

*It might be a thought to offer kits in a different format. Plastic bags of
10 each sprues with one instruction sheet. This would save the manufacture
a bunch in employee packing time and materials cost. Would it work, I don't
know.
I do know that purchasing just sprues is very low cost as it can be seen
in the pricing of the repackaging manufactures. Richard can vouch for this
as when his business was going he was purchasing whole sprues for a couple
of parts to include in his kits.

Jon Miller
AT&SF
For me time has stopped in 1941
Digitrax, Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI user NMRA Life member #2623 Member
SFRH&MS




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Shawn Beckert
 

I've never had a problem ordering undec kits from
the Whistle Stop or the handful of other shops I
do business with. If it's available from the
distributor or manufacturer, they get it - though
sometimes it can take awhile, depending on what I
want and the availability thereof.

I think the bigger issue down the road will be in
finding decals for the kits we're merrily stockpiling.
Once Champ sells down their inventory and goes out of
business, there are going to a lot of railroad and
private company decals that won't be available unless
Microscale picks up the slack - and they're notoriously
slow at bringing new items to market.

I really do think we're going to miss those ALPS printers
that are no longer being manufactured...

Shawn Beckert


armprem
 

There are many hobby shop across the country that have large inventories
of kits(Mostly decorated) by Intermountain ,Branchline and Red Caboose.The
problem will be greater when these inventories are sold off.A call around
the country will uncover thousands of kits available.A Premo

----- Original Message -----
From: "Beckert, Shawn" <shawn.beckert@...>
To: "STMFC List (E-mail)" <STMFC@...>
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2004 3:19 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Intermountain kits - undec only



I've never had a problem ordering undec kits from
the Whistle Stop or the handful of other shops I
do business with. If it's available from the
distributor or manufacturer, they get it - though
sometimes it can take awhile, depending on what I
want and the availability thereof.

I think the bigger issue down the road will be in
finding decals for the kits we're merrily stockpiling.
Once Champ sells down their inventory and goes out of
business, there are going to a lot of railroad and
private company decals that won't be available unless
Microscale picks up the slack - and they're notoriously
slow at bringing new items to market.

I really do think we're going to miss those ALPS printers
that are no longer being manufactured...

Shawn Beckert




Yahoo! Groups Links







pullmanboss <tgmadden@...>
 

Paul Gehrett wrote:

I wasn't referring to the availability of decorated kits, I was
referring to
the future availability of UNDECORATED kits. At rosemont,
Intermountain
said that future projects may or may not be available in
undecorated kit
form.
I did notice that the thread had switched from discussing the
possibility of the unavailability of decorated kits to the same for
undecs. But only after I had posted. Sorry.

Spent a couple of hours at InterMountain with Marty this morning,
and although it wasn't the purpose of our meeting we did discuss the
kit availability thread. Two important points:

1. Marty feels everyone is overreacting to this. He's a committed
prototype modeler and recognizes our "special needs".

2. He's attending Naperville on his own time, at his own expense.
He'll have a display model of the IM ATSF stock car (it's gorgeous),
but beyond that he'd appreciate it if everyone would let him enjoy
the meet and attend the clinics. He's not there to spend _all_ his
time discussing InterMountain, or the hobby business, and would
really appreciate it if everyone would respect that.

Tom Madden


Brian Termunde
 

In a message dated 10/28/2004 9:55:58 PM Eastern Daylight Time, "pullmanboss" <tgmadden@...> writes:

Paul Gehrett wrote:
<<snip>>
2. He's attending Naperville on his own time, at his own expense.
He'll have a display model of the IM ATSF stock car (it's gorgeous),
but beyond that he'd appreciate it if everyone would let him enjoy
the meet and attend the clinics. He's not there to spend _all_ his
time discussing InterMountain, or the hobby business, and would
really appreciate it if everyone would respect that.

Tom Madden
While I won't be attending this years event at Naperville (but hope to some time!), what might be nice is instead of laying on Marty about the kit situation (which is a concern to me as well), we all might get better mileage by thanking him for his efforts. Make it short, as Tom says, he's there for pleasure, not business, but a pat on the back is usually much appreciated!

--
Take Care!

Brian R. Termunde
West Jordan, UT
"Ship and Travel the Grand Canyon Line!"


Tim O'Connor
 

What got my attention is that they said all new and future
models MAY or MAY NOT be available in undec kit form.
Paul, that seems to be the trend unfortunately. However, some
new cars are to be released as partially assembled undecs --
the Athearn NACC box cars and Intermountain's FMC 5283 come
to mind. Just order the ATSF stock car and FGE reefer as undec
kits, and let us know what IM does!