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Thread: Walthers issues UPS Hub

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookshow View Post
    It never ceases to amaze me how many people equate "size" with "price" (as if the cost of the actual plastic was the major determining factor). Tooling costs, factory usage costs, import costs and probably several other unconsidered factors are what determine the eventual retail cost.

    -Mark
    agreed, a lot goes to licensing.
    https://www.up.com/aboutup/corporate...sing/index.htm
    More also go to design, a few years back, a friend of mine asked me to go shoot a passenger car for a future release. The tooling for it costs more than a year's salary,
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janbouli View Post
    Strange that companies want money for licensing agreements , after all it is free advertising.
    According to US Trademark law, companies must protect their trademarks or they loose them to the public domain. This doesn’t mean that you have to charge for the privilege of using your trademark, but it does mean you have to go after people who use your trademark without permission.

    Historically, UPS has been very protective of their trademarks. Only in the last couple of years has that changed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookshow View Post
    Tooling costs, factory usage costs, import costs and probably several other unconsidered factors are what determine the eventual retail cost.
    Right, tooling and the associated research it takes to draft the plans for the tooling are the biggest up-front costs for any manufacturing process. The tooling for these models can easily reach $100k.

    You have to be able to amortize the tooling over the number of units you expect to sell.

    Other overhead costs we don’t tend to think about include legal ( which would include any licensing ), advertising, storage ( warehouses are not free... ), and possibly other administrative costs. These overhead costs should also be relatively fixed on a per-unit basis.

    All the rest of the costs mentioned above are variable depending on when/where the production actually occurs. A smart manufacturer will build some wiggle room into their profit margin to reduce the probability of a price increase on every production run.
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    If they sell lots of 'em, great; it means Walthers read the market tea leaves correctly and N scalers are willing to shell out for it. Maybe Walthers' next N scale structure offering will be something more reasonably priced -- or at least have more bang for the buck.

    And if they don't sell so well, we'll probably be hearing more about Walthers continuing to be disappointed with the N scale marketplace.
    Last edited by Paul Schmidt; 3rd Jun 2019 at 10:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janbouli View Post
    Strange that companies want money for licensing agreements , after all it is free advertising.
    When Lionel made their F3, they had the Santa Fe, New York Central and General Motors pay for a good part of the tooling, and they only made the F3 in two roads for two years, and had the GM logo on the unit for about 20 years. Lawyers and bookkeepers changed this in the 1980's, remember that famous line in Wall Street?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bremner View Post
    When Lionel made their F3, they had the Santa Fe, New York Central and General Motors pay for a good part of the tooling, and they only made the F3 in two roads for two years, and had the GM logo on the unit for about 20 years.
    That's quite interesting. Lionel was able to convince the three collaborators that the F3 would help them as much as help Lionel.

    Different era in American business. ...

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    The tilt-up walls in this kit are certainly useful for modern modelers, perhaps what should have been done was to offer this pricey kit as one that includes a lot of extra materials. Basically, you get plans to be able to build the one UPS facility on the box, but then have lots of walls, windows, and doors left over. Or you can wing it and make one larger structure. As has been mentioned, the extra material cost is almost nil in comparison to so many other factors.

    I bought a Superior Paper Company kit a long while back, with no intention of building a paper company, but rather as a big stash of kitbash fodder. I'm still making use of its parts in various ways, after having made a background warehouse, a fuel tank array for my engine servicing area, and now working on a silica crusher/loader for a mine scene. I felt comfortable paying full retail on this kit because I knew it contained a lot of useful parts, even though I'm perfectly capable of cutting patterned styrene sheets to make large boxy structures from scratch.

    If this tilt-up kit was a sizable reservoir of tilt-up panels then I'd be much more willing to buy it for a similar purpose, just to have on hand so that I can make tilt-ups of my own design. Well, to be honest, I might not buy it, since I model 1971 and this construction method was not as common back then. But my point is that it really wouldn't take much for Walthers to over-deliver by including a couple extra sprue sheets of plastic in the box. Lego tends to do this, with their smaller pieces; there are always a few extra in the box, likely because the little ones are prone to getting lost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WP&P View Post
    The tilt-up walls in this kit are certainly useful for modern modelers, perhaps what should have been done was to offer this pricey kit as one that includes a lot of extra materials.
    Reading through the replies, another thing crossed my mind similar to but kind of opposite of WP's idea.
    What about selling the kit without the NAMED decals, maybe have them so they could have been purchased separately IF the builder wanted a UPS building?
    I suppose I can answer that simply: logistics. But they do offer the details or doors as an add-on?


    But then again, why do they have to charge extra just for the registered name?

    I know, I know: Corporate Greed, lawyers, ect, ect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen H. View Post

    But then again, why do they have to charge extra just for the registered name?
    I know, I know: Corporate Greed, lawyers, ect, ect.
    The money generated by these sorts of modeling licensing fees wouldn't buy UPS's CEO a single ivory covered backscratcher. Mainly it's about protecting the brandname and the logos and whatnot. Cuz if you give it away to whatever small fry comes along, suddenly you've given it away to everybody.

    -Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookshow View Post
    The money generated by these sorts of modeling licensing fees wouldn't buy UPS's CEO a single ivory covered backscratcher.
    True, but it might be just enough to bump up the price point so that the kit is a mediocre seller.

    Next, we'll be hearing reports filtering in from attendees to major conventions. They'll be sharing conversations they've had with Walthers' reps complaining that the N scale market is soft. Just as we heard last year.

    As @WP&P and @Allen H. touch on, issuing a modern tilt-up parcel distribution building is a good idea. I'm saying doing it in connection with UPS is overkill, and the price reflects that. Otherwise, that's a $40-45 MSRP kit at best.

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    @bman pointed out earlier in this thread that Walthers did exactly that, they're offering nearly the exact same kit, sans UPS branding, for $20 less.

    https://www.walthers.com/modern-conc...use-kit-856830

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwwojcik View Post
    @bman pointed out earlier in this thread that Walthers did exactly that, they're offering nearly the exact same kit, sans UPS branding, for $20 less.
    Quote Originally Posted by bman View Post
    You could save $20 and get this one from Walthers

    https://www.walthers.com/modern-conc...use-kit-856830
    ARRGH, I missed this post early on! I could have used the hot air for something else.

    Sheesh, the comparison says it all. ...

    Build that kit, go online, copy, paste, size and print out some UPS logos. If you have access to a 600 dpi printer, so much the better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookshow View Post
    The money generated by these sorts of modeling licensing fees wouldn't buy UPS's CEO a single ivory covered backscratcher. Mainly it's about protecting the brandname and the logos and whatnot. Cuz if you give it away to whatever small fry comes along, suddenly you've given it away to everybody.

    -Mark
    I understand the purpose of trademark protection, I was just saying that it's the big corporate/lawyers who come up ideas about making money anyway they can.

    Also I didn't really take a close look at the other kit Walthers released, yes it is pretty much the same kit isn't it?
    So why didn't Walthers just release the UPS decals/details separately instead of offering another complete kit?
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    This trademark protection can be carried to ridiculous lengths. For instance, the CSX "heritage units".

    http://trains21.org/2016/02/25/csx-s...-in-linden-nj/

    The only purpose these serve is so that CSX can maintain ownership of predecessor railroads' emblems.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim R View Post
    The only purpose these serve is so that CSX can maintain ownership of predecessor railroads' emblems.
    Ditto for BNSF. A handful of cars with predecessors' logos.

    Nice to them rolling by occasionally though.
    Last edited by Paul Schmidt; 5th Jun 2019 at 02:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen H. View Post
    I understand the purpose of trademark protection, I was just saying that it's the big corporate/lawyers who come up ideas about making money anyway they can.
    And it doesn't even have to make the trademark owner any money. Even if they'd (UPS, GM, EMD, Ford, whoever) allow them (Walthers, Atlas, whoever) to use the trademark for free, it's going to run a couple thousand in lawyers' fees just to set up the agreement.

    Heiko

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