Some time ago I toyed with the idea of buying some shares in this famous, British brand. I knew their history, what they did, and they were doing well at the time (see share price 5 years). I am glad I did not. The Hornby management went on a European wide, 'rivals' buying spree and bought into some very poor marketing tie-ins: The Olympics for one. They bought the enlarge group to its knees.
But my original concern before this, was their wholesale shift in production from Margate to China and the long term issues with that.They provided fantastic models and kept price inflation low over a decade.The central problem was the planning, communication and supply issues. They could never hit their deadlines and customers and retailers assumed all delivery date promises were fictions. Their customers also could not grasp how expensive it was to develop and tool up every new product they promised to bring to market (£100,000 +). On the hobby sites some cool heads, who knew the tooling up problems, tried to calm the frustrations. In this context then, this anecdotal caught my eye on a blog: *Kader is a giant toy manufacturer