Actually they(1:20.me) have been very fair with Bachmann. This story goes back a lot further than just this past year. As a matter of fact many years. There were some management changes at Bachmann late last year and earlier this year that slowed things down a bit.
Posted By up9018 on 12/25/2008 11:23 AM
Is it just me or do the folks at 1:20.me seem to becoming serious Bachmann bashers! There has been a lot of complaining about the release and delivery of the 2-6-6-2 Mallet. Let me tell you, my company deals directly with China, as well as several of our contractors. This has been a VERY VERY bad year to get anything out of that country, especially getting it right and on time. You get one or the other, and sometimes niether. They basically quit doing anything for 3 months this past sping/summer trying to clean up and put on the olympics. Our company, much like Bachmann will miss premiers of new products this new year, and that can be contributed DIRECTLY to China. It has gotten so bad, we as well as one of our suppliers are pulling things back to the states, and paying more just so we can get them.
So let's lay off the boys at Bachmann for a while, maybe they're not under total control of thier problems either. I like Bachmann, they're coming out with alot of new products, and they are affordable. And I for one would wait a bit longer to get one that is correct, than to hurry up and get one that I have to send back.
You make some really good points...regarding China "shutting down for the Olympics". I can't imagine how frustrating that must be for the manufactures...it's THEIR good will on the line..and yes, perhaps some are being overly critical.
But, we're learning about the two edge sword of marketing. Three or four years ago, none of the manufacturers it seemed would make product announcements. New items would just "appear". A lot of us complained...me being one. I wanted to know what to save for. The days of the $20 car on ebay satisfying me were over it seemed. Engines were now well over $200...street price too...so saving in advance became more important. The 1/20.3 crowd was moving from bashing stuff into that scale to buying it.
And the manufacturers responded...especially Bachmann. They started making product announcements WITH release dates...and then they started missing the release dates...big time. Then we had the whole Super Socket fiasco...on perhaps the single most important 1/20.3 engine ever released in plastic...the K-27....and that design "feature" probably kept people from buying it...initially. Certainly the quartering issue delayed me buying my K-27. I needed to know if there was a fix for that as it would be a huge investment for me...and a fix that stayed fixed.
Clearly, throughout the entire K-27 debate, 1:20.me grew in stature as one place where it seemed that reporting was "on da money". We certainly weren't seeing anything from the forums that could be considered accurate...certainily NOT from my potenital buyer perspective. There was one magazine article I read about the K-27 that Dave Goodson wrote...and its accucracy became the topic of a HUGE flap...and apparently had some consequences inside Kalmbach. That was very unfortunate IMHO....because it put the "openness" of the manufacturer in question..again...not to mention the objectivity of the model railroad press.
Regarding the new Mallet...if many are like me, they're looking for factual input on the loco. Here we are...considering an over $1000 MSRP engine again. So far we have two facts...something about a crankpin weakness and it's late. That may sound like bashing, but it seems more like factual reporting to me. Soon a few folks will get these engines in their hands, and we'll see more facts reported...and if there are problems MAYBE the springtime delivery is good...as it will allow Bachman to fix the issues before the engines REALLY gets on the market. Heck...maybe it's late BECAUSE they've found and fixed a problem BEFORE it was release en mass.
I really think that we're beginning to see the manufacturers be more open regarding flaws, fixes, and schedules...and that is GOOD...immensely good in my opinion. I just don't think that when those are reported it should always be considered bashing. My dad taught me that sometimes it's good to just step back...and see how well the pig can sing...and, I'll add...and be reported on from different perspectives...and it's always news when the pig doesn't arrive to sing.
Bachmann is not an American company. It's owned by Kader. None of that really makes any difference. The company has been having delivery problems, and the Chinese new year is not an unexpected event, and the olympics were planned years ago.
"So let's lay off the boys at Bachmann for a while, maybe they're not under total control of their problems either. "
Well Bachmann IS Kader, they are part of Kader, so Kader/Bachmann IS in control, it's the SAME company.
This is not like Aristo not in control of Sanda Kan, these are 2 independent companies.
This is like saying don't get mad at Chevrolet, it's GM's problem. They are the same company.
I like Bachmann too, have several of their locos, but still promising what you cannot deliver, or quality control problems, are legitimate gripes.
I've found the information on the 1:20 point me site to be very accurate, and to showcase a number of interesting products (recently, my very own station appeared in the PCGRS article, to my surprise!) When there have been delays (remember, even Bachmann's own site said "Available NOVEMBER" for a long time) the delays have been reported. When there is a mechanical or electrical problem that appears, it's been reported, and sometimes in time to save people from having to deal with broken equipment.
I will be watching the site intently over the next bit, as I'm expecting a 2-6-6-2 and want to be prepared to respond to any issues that arise with the model, not because I dislike the company or its products, but because I want a locomotive that functions well. I'd rather have the news in time to avert a problem rather than have to find a way to return the unit for replacement or service (which again, at Bachmann, can often be unusual, compared to other service experiences.) While the official voice of Bachmann on their own site is now as friendly and as helpful as it always has been, the flavor of the ex-officio "Help" has changed dramatically since the board was yellow and the Bach-Man waved his hat; and with a locomotive with this kind of price tag, I'll take all the good help I can get.
Also keep in mind the political climate in China with the toy mfgrs, with many that have folded in the last month or so.
For Bachmann, the riot, looting and damage of the computers and offices that happened at Kader's main Dongguan plant in November is not going to help, and who knows what the quality situation may be with a ticked off workforce?
I don't know - like others, I see a site that is reporting facts (as best I guess as can be had). I'm not sure I would call the fact that they point out QC issues with locomotives as "bashing..." and if you do, then I guess JD Miller over on the Bachmann board must be "bashing" them as well, as he talked today (yestrday?) about the Mallet and broken parts too. Course, JD is the poster child for Bach Man Love, so I don't know...
What I do worry about is if WE start bashing that site, will they pull the sponsorship of this forum?
Not sure if you noticed up9018, but just above your post, is the 1/20 point me logo - you know, the guys who helped pay for this space for you to go and attack them! (And as I recall, the 1/20 site is free - they do it all at their own cost - nice to know there is still SOMEPLACE without sponsors to keep happy and censorship to pass out!) ((and no - not saying that MLS censors - before anyone screams!
I'm sure as **** going to wait for my mallet - I got stung BIG TIME on my K-27
- it's a great looking engine that runs like crXp! I read what is coming out about the new engine and it's just like reading all the counterweight stuff about the K a year ago. I'm not getting burned again!
And if I was going to shell out for that loco, I would be looking to find any negatives that I needed to consider before purchase. If you want to only hear the good stuff and supress the bad, then a manufacturer's forum is for you. There are a couple of manufacturer's sites that would welcome your outlook with outstretched arms.
Negative comments are not bashing, and criticism is not bashing in of itself..
As I understand it, a Meyer is articulated in such a way that both the front and rear "engine" assemblies (cylinder, valve gear, drive wheels) pivot whereas with a Mallet, the rear "engine" is fixed, and only the front one can swing.
I suspect someone has discovered that the rear engine on the Bachmann model actually pivots .... anyone know for sure?
There was reportedly no factory destruction, mostly office damage, flipping cars and the lot.
The scaleback of toy production has been all over the news here in the US for months. The global "recession" is a part of it, but much of it can be linked to some changes in China as I posted above.
Raw material prices, engery prices, labor costs and a rising Chinese currency is a factor.
The lead based paint fiasco was part of it (I but wonder how much was on my wooden East German toy village I had as a kid, might explain a few things!!) too.
But a big part is after the Summer Games, it has been stated by the Govt that China wants to switch gears and not be viewed as a place for making cheap goods. Think the days when Made in Japan went from junk to gold....
So another SE Asia country will probably be the new toy making homeland.