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Old 06-19-2015, 03:24 PM   #1
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What is happening to Herpa and to 1:500 world?

Ciao dear friends and fellow collectors of the 1:500 world.
My question is: what is happening to Herpa? I think there are many problems but i don't understand which. New models are announced but many more of them are delayed and some models where announced more than a year ago and they are still missing. I really don't know which moulds Herpa can use, which moulds are property of the manufacturer and for which moulds they have to ask the permission; i don't understand why, if they have developed a new A320 mould ( acceptable) and a B737-700/800 mould (very nice the -800, i don't know the -700 because they have not yet produced B737-700 models!), the models are delayed (Iberia Express, Iberia new livery, Tarom retro, etc.).
Nobody seems to have an answer to all these problems, it doesn't seem everything is ok.
Do you have answers...REAL ANSWERS, not something linked to Herpa merchandising or something said to make us feel good and quiet: if there weren't Sky500, Aero500 and sometimes JC Wings, the 1:500 would be almost dead so far.
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Old 06-19-2015, 03:32 PM   #2
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Re: What is happening to Herpa and to 1:500 world?

This phenomenon is not exclusive to 1/500.
Although not as bad as in 1/500, to some extend,1/400 Phoenix also has some delays (ok not a year but hey they don't care about license.).

And also Aeroclassics is facing some problems currently resulting in very small new release batches for May and June. Hopefully July won't be affected! Let's see what's coming in our scale

My main problem with Herpa is currently they new moulds sporting very crappy gears!

Last edited by Eurojet; 06-19-2015 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 06-20-2015, 03:19 PM   #3
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Re: What is happening to Herpa and to 1:500 world?

I absolutely don't mind the delays. It's not a medicine. It's not like I need that exact model tomorrow. I'm fine waiting six months to a year for a plane. My concerns are more about the rising price and decreasing quality of models. A few years ago models ranged between 15-30$. Now I am habitually spending between 30-50$. Two models in and I've already dropped a hundred. I can't keep this up unless I get a promotion. I'm really not willing to spend 60-75$ on a medium sized model, but that seems to be where things are going, Aero500 has already taken us there. For that I could buy a 1:200 scale model and have ten times the detail.

The quality hasn't always kept up with the price. Granted Herpa's newer models come on improved moulds. The 737 NGIII series has hit its stride, and the new A320 is the best one yet (I only have the Turkish retro A320, but it's amazing). However defects are still common. About every fifth model I order arrives with some printing slip up, broken or crooked landing gear, or a loose wing and a resulting scratch on the enamel. The details on herpa models aren't even superb, though they've also gotten better over the years, but not commensurate with the price.

My third gripe is the decreasing selection. Herpa now solidly appeals to collectors of contemporary, European airlines and foreign wide-bodies frequently visiting Europe. We only occasionally get models out of my favorite period of 1965-1995. Everything else is just a monotonous parade of 737s, 777s, 787s and A32Xs, A330s and re-re-rereleased A380s. Eurowhite and promotional liveries as far as the eye can see.

I have to say 2015 is a very dull year. 2014 was even worse. My collecting has dropped off significantly and I don't see much on the horizon that even gets me excited. It's hurting my pocket book more than ever to keep up. The cure has been the same since the demise of wings500; More competitors. Drive prices down. Compete for quality. Produce a wider array of models. Have specializations in different time periods. Maybe even try and trump people in terms of timely factory to shelf periods. But this is an old, old complaint, one that's been made so frequently it doesn't even need to be said anymore. Old news.

I guess there just aren't any entrepreneurs wiling to try and strike it rich in the 1:500 scale commercial diecast world.

Last edited by Digital; 06-20-2015 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 06-20-2015, 09:22 PM   #4
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Re: What is happening to Herpa and to 1:500 world?

Amen!
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:36 PM   #5
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Re: What is happening to Herpa and to 1:500 world?

I could go on a rant about what Herpa is not producing, but let's just say I have made a change in my approach to the collection. I decided that in order to make a collection manageable, I was going to focus on planes/airlines I see at SFO.

But given the lack of availability of domestic airlines, smaller jets and the general decline in quality, I have decided that those will be represented in 1:400 scale. The bulk of the international representations will remain 1:500...mostly because I have all but two of them, but space is also a consideration.

So this means that the 1:500 market has lost 50% of this particular customer. (some 1:500 models will be up for sale in a week or two guys...just saying) Pretty much all the jets that are almost impossible to find, or just will never be made, are all within my grasp right now.

I could spend a great deal of time worrying about what is happening to Herpa, but in the end I would rather just enjoy models in my display case...which I found a great one by the way!
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Old 06-21-2015, 07:17 AM   #6
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Re: What is happening to Herpa and to 1:500 world?

This will not answer your question. What frustrates me with Herpa 1:500 is the pricing. In the past two years their pricing has gone up dramatically with poor quality control. In most cases the cost price of a Herpa 1:500 is more than a 1:400 scale model. AS an example Gemini 1:400 and Herpa 1:500 announced a Qantas B-747-400. Now the cost price the Herpa 1:500 more than the Gemini 1:400. So to me Herpa needs to take a close look at their pricing. Since Starjets went out of business there is no major competition for Herpa and it looks like they feel they can do what they want. Just my two cetns.
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:28 AM   #7
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Re: What is happening to Herpa and to 1:500 world?

The delays and lack of news are becoming tiresome and the quality is getting worse as the prices are slowly rising. I've sent them a few messages about the Thomas Cook A321SL of the last few months and they never reply. Very poor service really.
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Old 06-21-2015, 12:06 PM   #8
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Re: What is happening to Herpa and to 1:500 world?

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Originally Posted by Easyjet View Post
The delays and lack of news are becoming tiresome and the quality is getting worse as the prices are slowly rising. I've sent them a few messages about the Thomas Cook A321SL of the last few months and they never reply. Very poor service really.

Actually I get a reply to every single mail I send (often the next day!) and I appreciate they service and customer service for spare parts and replacement models.
But then, I send them in German, maybe they are lazy for English mails.
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Old 06-28-2015, 06:17 PM   #9
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Re: What is happening to Herpa and to 1:500 world?

Hi All I hear that Herpa again are in financial trouble or at least having cost issues .it was a millionaire that put money into the company and it seems there is now problems after this has been used . This info is fairly reliable hence the erratic delivery of models . If anyone can confirm anyother info then please tell us all .
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:15 PM   #10
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Re: What is happening to Herpa and to 1:500 world?

I hope its not true.
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Old 06-29-2015, 03:46 AM   #11
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Re: What is happening to Herpa and to 1:500 world?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumbo747 View Post
This will not answer your question. What frustrates me with Herpa 1:500 is the pricing. In the past two years their pricing has gone up dramatically with poor quality control. In most cases the cost price of a Herpa 1:500 is more than a 1:400 scale model. AS an example Gemini 1:400 and Herpa 1:500 announced a Qantas B-747-400. Now the cost price the Herpa 1:500 more than the Gemini 1:400. So to me Herpa needs to take a close look at their pricing. Since Starjets went out of business there is no major competition for Herpa and it looks like they feel they can do what they want. Just my two cetns.
This precisely summarizes my feelings for years. I only buy Herpa models I want off eBay or from collection sale for normally $15 or less. I still love my collection, but will not bring myself to spend the same or more on a model that is smaller and lesser quality.

Edit: Digital- I agree with you. The frequency of this topic is crazy. I've been discussing it since I arrived here years ago and still nothing had changed at Herpa.
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Old 06-29-2015, 03:56 AM   #12
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Re: What is happening to Herpa and to 1:500 world?

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Originally Posted by United930 View Post
I could spend a great deal of time worrying about what is happening to Herpa, but in the end I would rather just enjoy models in my display case...which I found a great one by the way!
I like this attitude!
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Old 06-29-2015, 01:50 PM   #13
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Re: What is happening to Herpa and to 1:500 world?

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Originally Posted by pwceg View Post
Hi All I hear that Herpa again are in financial trouble or at least having cost issues .it was a millionaire that put money into the company and it seems there is now problems after this has been used . This info is fairly reliable hence the erratic delivery of models . If anyone can confirm anyother info then please tell us all .
In the last years herpa has dominated 1:500-scale not through its own power but thanks to repetitive financial support. Since its near-bankruptcy at the beginning of 2009 the Dietenhofen based company achieved only 2010 and 2011 modest profits. In the period from 04/2012 till 03/2013 their losses from 2008 were even exceeded. The next year (04/2013 – 03/2014) herpa managed to significantly cut these losses back. But in the late summer of 2014 an important Chinese supplier had to close down and since then herpa has suffered serious production shortages and delays in the 1:500-scale market segment. These difficulties should complicate even more their business in an already tricky environment with eroding demand by ageing collectors that affects not only our 1:500-world but the whole modelling market. From our perspective we can only hope that herpas wealthy patron will not only continue to tolerate their unlucky affairs but at last demand genuine efforts for a substantial failure analysis.


Remarks: In Germany every corporation that surp***** a certain size is obliged to publish their annual financial statements. Every person that has command of the German language can inform himself at www.bundesanzeiger.de. The next statutory financial statements from herpa Miniaturmodelle GmbH should be available around February 2016 (covering the period between 04/2014 and 03/2015).
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Old 06-29-2015, 04:10 PM   #14
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Re: What is happening to Herpa and to 1:500 world?

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Originally Posted by getifero View Post
In the last years herpa has dominated 1:500-scale not through its own power but thanks to repetitive financial support. Since its near-bankruptcy at the beginning of 2009 the Dietenhofen based company achieved only 2010 and 2011 modest profits. In the period from 04/2012 till 03/2013 their losses from 2008 were even exceeded. The next year (04/2013 – 03/2014) herpa managed to significantly cut these losses back. But in the late summer of 2014 an important Chinese supplier had to close down and since then herpa has suffered serious production shortages and delays in the 1:500-scale market segment. These difficulties should complicate even more their business in an already tricky environment with eroding demand by ageing collectors that affects not only our 1:500-world but the whole modelling market. From our perspective we can only hope that herpas wealthy patron will not only continue to tolerate their unlucky affairs but at last demand genuine efforts for a substantial failure analysis.


Remarks: In Germany every corporation that surp***** a certain size is obliged to publish their annual financial statements. Every person that has command of the German language can inform himself at www.bundesanzeiger.de. The next statutory financial statements from herpa Miniaturmodelle GmbH should be available around February 2016 (covering the period between 04/2014 and 03/2015).
It baffles me why demand [read: interest in the hobby] has not been sustained. In 1/200 for example, Hasegawa and Revell still excel in making model kits for assembly. The 1/400 scene is as vibrant as ever. There was a time when every large airline had Herpa (or SJ) in their Duty Free sales. Are kids these days just more into video games?
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Old 06-29-2015, 06:53 PM   #15
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Exclamation Re: What is happening to Herpa and to 1:500 world?

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It baffles me why demand [read: interest in the hobby] has not been sustained. In 1/200 for example, Hasegawa and Revell still excel in making model kits for assembly. The 1/400 scene is as vibrant as ever. There was a time when every large airline had Herpa (or SJ) in their Duty Free sales. Are kids these days just more into video games?
I wonder if the bigger issue is lack of awareness. I became hooked on diecast model airplanes at a young age when my dad brought back Herpa models from his business trips to Germany as well took me to local hobby shops that carried diecast model airplanes near my previous home in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. One of the shops I used to visit every couple months with much excitement to buy one or two Herpa models (back when high priced was $20). That shop closed completely about ten years ago. Another hobby store stopped updating their Herpa collection years ago. In my current state of Indiana, I have not been able to find any hobby store besides one single store in a national chain called HobbyTownUSA that only had a few overpriced Dragon Wings. The closest true hobby shops are now 3 hours away in Chicago. Of the two shops there, when I asked one owner about 1:500, he told me he no longer carries them as the scale is dead.
My point is, if you don't have someone in your family into aviation, how would a kid stumble onto diecast airliners when there are MAYBE 1 or 2 stores in a large city, let alone finding Herpa 1:500 any more. That's my 2 cents.
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