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Missing the boat on releases


Peter Osborne

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Peter Osborne

I’m looking for a MicroAce JR central 4 car type 311 , they seem pretty rare on yahoo auctions and when they show they sell for premium yes there are some listed now but not at the prices they are trying to get, can anyone point me in the directions of anywhere I may obtain one at a more realistic price? I’ve no luck with any of the retailers listed on the forum, hopefully we may see a re run by MicroAce or perhaps introduced by Kato 

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Peter,

 

That’s the usual with Japanese trains, most don’t stay in stock long and they don’t keep a big inventory. Sometimes Kato and Tomix do larger runs and have more of a longer term inventory of more mainstream popular things, but again no gaurentees. Smaller producers like microace and greenmax tend to go faster and maybe get one restock after the first release. Some just don’t sell out fast and hang around awhile, but the usually thing to do is if you see something available or coming get it as no bets you can pick it up on the secondary market like yahoo auctions or shops that stock second hand stuff. Kato and Tomix do re release older stuff from time to time, but no gaurentees on that or when and microace and greenmax usually much spottier of re releases. Don’t count on another company re releasing something another company does unless it’s really popular or some odd reason.

 

sorry it’s the downside of Japanese trains, but it provides the vast variety of things made that would not happen if they tried to maintain large inventories or did a lot of quick re releases. It’s a tradeoff...

 

with something out of circulation ar retail and second hand shop stores it’s then yahoo auctions and pay the price or try to move on to the next train.

 

jeff

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Unfortunately once a item is out of stock you're kinda out of luck.  Your best bet is the used market but like you said you're at the mercy of the going price.  While you may get lucky, chances are you'll have to either buy at the going price, hope for a broken set you can get cheaper and live with the deficiencies, or wait out a re-release.  

Edited by Kiha66
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gavino200
2 hours ago, Peter Osborne said:

I’m looking for a MicroAce JR central 4 car type 311 , they seem pretty rare on yahoo auctions and when they show they sell for premium yes there are some listed now but not at the prices they are trying to get, can anyone point me in the directions of anywhere I may obtain one at a more realistic price? I’ve no luck with any of the retailers listed on the forum, hopefully we may see a re run by MicroAce or perhaps introduced by Kato 

 

Have you placed an ad here in the classified section? If you wait long enough I bet you'll find it on the Japanese auction sites at a decent price. 

 

The trick is to follow the release announcements listed here every month, and pre-order anything that looks interesting immediately. I remember being dumbfounded by this at first, but now it's become a happy monthly ritual. The advantage is that it never really feels like a purchase, so you can buy more trains. When you make your pre-order, the purchase date is so far in the future that it seems like never. And when the charge does finally go through, and your wife says "I thought you were scaling back your train buying", you can truthfully reply, "Oh that was a pre-order. I made it eons ago and couldn't cancel it!" 🙂

Edited by gavino200
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chadbag
11 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

 

The advantage is that it never really feels like a purchase, so you can buy more trains. When you make your pre-order, the purchase date is so far in the future that it seems like never. And when the charge does finally go through, and your wife says "I thought you were scaling back your train buying", you can truthfully reply, "Oh that was a pre-order. I made it eons ago and couldn't cancel it!" 🙂

 

yep.  Have used that line a few times.  They do eventually start to catch on though...

 

The best one I use is I try and sneak the stuff in.  I don't hide it or anything, and when they eventually see it and ask about it -- "is that new?" you can truthfully say "No, I've had it for a while"

 

Though lately I really have been holding back and sticking to my moratorium, mostly.

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I don’t think this is limited to Japanese trains and is an unfortunate development to the industry as a whole. My father models British 00 and a good number of the models he wants are out of stock quickly if he hadn’t preordered one. I think many manufacturers look at confirmed interest and manufacture to confirmed sales plus a little extra. Like others have said, sometimes interest is misjudged and stocks hangs around. Not being in Japan limits you to a smaller number of vendors so the challenge will always be to try and get your hands on things as they’re announced. Online retailers are open to an international market and that odd set might not be there 5 minutes later.

 I have had similar issues in Japan for things that were an afterthought to get hold of. 
Microace have been playing things relatively safe, re-releasing models that they think will sell. Who’s knows, if Japanese manufacturers have seen the same uptake in model railways as British manufacturers, then they may increase their production schedules. 

 

As for my wife, I think she’s given up asking. My n gauge collection hasn’t grown that much, but my HO has increased which is far more difficult to hide. My trick has been putting everything at the front of the drawers they’re stored in and then fill up from the back. The number of drawers hasn’t increased but the storage has become very creative. I should start playing Tetris again. 

 

My kids are the ones who notice first.

Edited by Kamome
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13 minutes ago, Kamome said:

My kids are the ones who notice first.


Careful they may learn to blackmail you with that knowledge...

 

jeff

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railsquid
17 minutes ago, Kamome said:

I don’t think this is limited to Japanese trains and is an unfortunate development to the industry as a whole. My father models British 00 and a good number of the models he wants are out of stock quickly if he hadn’t preordered one. I think many manufacturers look at confirmed interest and manufacture to confirmed sales plus a little extra. Like others have said, sometimes interest is misjudged and stocks hangs around.

 

I'd say the situation is inevitable, rather than unfortunate, given the huge range of models which could be produced and the relatively limited production capacity, meaning runs of batches. As no manufacturer or retailer could afford to hold their entire range in stock, I don't see any viable alternative, other than going back to 1970s/1980s style production where you probably had a good chance of being able to buy any one of a fairly limited range of models of well-known prototypes, or possibly even unprotoypical generic models.

 

Having said that, Kato and Tomix do usually produce their basic "starter" sets of popular models very frequently.

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Fortunately the railroading is a mutual project here.  While I tend to co-ordinate the purchasing, it's generally an agreed on plan, with the occasional "this came up at a really good auction price!"

The gaming miniatures are much more my projects, which also fortunately tend to fall into an honest pattern of:
"You got a really big box on the porch."
"Really?  I wonder what the heck that is?  Oh hey, this is that Kickstarter from two years ago!"

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disturbman
8 hours ago, Peter Osborne said:

I’m looking for a MicroAce JR central 4 car type 311 , they seem pretty rare on yahoo auctions and when they show they sell for premium yes there are some listed now but not at the prices they are trying to get, can anyone point me in the directions of anywhere I may obtain one at a more realistic price? I’ve no luck with any of the retailers listed on the forum, hopefully we may see a re run by MicroAce or perhaps introduced by Kato 


The price they sell on YJA is unfortunately the current price. When you miss a release, and really want something, you better bite the bullet, waiting on a re-release is rarely a winning solution. Maybe check Hobbyland Pochi, they might have sets that are better price, but they usually know what their items are worth and price them to the market. Then ask MTP or RG-R to order it for you.

 

The 311 sells for what atm? 20000JPY?

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7 hours ago, cteno4 said:


Careful they may learn to blackmail you with that knowledge...

 

jeff

Luckily their snack and pura-rail purchasing power is heavily affected by keeping me onside.

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Yes but they may learn how to app,y more snack and plarail pressure! Little sponges learn fast.

 

jeff

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Peter Osborne
2 hours ago, disturbman said:


The price they sell on YJA is unfortunately the current price. When you miss a release, and really want something, you better bite the bullet, waiting on a re-release is rarely a winning solution. Maybe check Hobbyland Pochi, they might have sets that are better price, but they usually know what their items are worth and price them to the market. Then ask MTP or RG-R to order it for you.

 

The 311 sells for what atm? 20000JPY?

There’s one listed at the moment im

keeping an eye on was listed just after I posted here, there is one with a buy now for 54000JPY been on a while and will at that price , fingers crossed for the one listed , I have started reservations with RG-R to make sure this doesn’t happen again 

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Peter Osborne
8 hours ago, gavino200 said:

 

Have you placed an ad here in the classified section? If you wait long enough I bet you'll find it on the Japanese auction sites at a decent price. 

 

The trick is to follow the release announcements listed here every month, and pre-order anything that looks interesting immediately. I remember being dumbfounded by this at first, but now it's become a happy monthly ritual. The advantage is that it never really feels like a purchase, so you can buy more trains. When you make your pre-order, the purchase date is so far in the future that it seems like never. And when the charge does finally go through, and your wife says "I thought you were scaling back your train buying", you can truthfully reply, "Oh that was a pre-order. I made it eons ago and couldn't cancel it!" 🙂

I think I may be lucky a set has been listed and finishes when I’m at home so will try and snipe on it, there is one on with a buy now for 54000JPY and that would cause my wife to flip lol! Normally she doesn’t mind my models and I’m pretty honest about the price I just show her how much an equivalent UK N scale EMU would cost ,,,maybe £350 for the 9 car pendolino or £260 for a 4 car EMU so when she sees I’m paying 50% less she’s not that concerned.

Many years ago when a student I used to work a Saturday in a local model raikways store , got me some funds and models at wholesale price, you’d be shocked how many guys would ask you to re price a box at the till so as not to cause “concern” when they get home! 

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disturbman
33 minutes ago, Peter Osborne said:

There’s one listed at the moment I'm keeping an eye on was listed just after I posted here, there is one with a buy now for 54000JPY been on a while and will at that price , fingers crossed for the one listed , I have started reservations with RG-R to make sure this doesn’t happen again 


I meant, the realistic price, not the desperate price. There is always somebody (maybe the same person) that lists sets at ridiculously inflated prices. I checked the closed search. Prices are between 15-21000 JPY. Closer to 20000 for most, with a regular peak at 25k. I would buy it up at 18-19500 depending on how much I want it. Not above.

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¥54000 is ludicrous for a ¥14000 set. As there’s a few listed, you might get a good price on one of them.

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Martijn Meerts
13 hours ago, Peter Osborne said:

I think I may be lucky a set has been listed and finishes when I’m at home so will try and snipe on it, there is one on with a buy now for 54000JPY and that would cause my wife to flip lol! Normally she doesn’t mind my models and I’m pretty honest about the price I just show her how much an equivalent UK N scale EMU would cost ,,,maybe £350 for the 9 car pendolino or £260 for a 4 car EMU so when she sees I’m paying 50% less she’s not that concerned.

Many years ago when a student I used to work a Saturday in a local model raikways store , got me some funds and models at wholesale price, you’d be shocked how many guys would ask you to re price a box at the till so as not to cause “concern” when they get home! 

 

At some point, the price won't matter anymore, and attention will be turned more towards why you need more trains since you already have more than enough of them 😉

 

 

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MeTheSwede

I find the Japanese model train preorders system very relaxing.

 

With my background as a fan of Japanese idols I'm used to coming home from work, reading news about some new pieces of merchandise having been released during the day, rush to their web shop and see that half of it has been sold out already.

 

There has even been occurances were preorder items were announced during the day and then the preorder was sold out before I came home from work... Don't ask me how that works.

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Easy solution to this Swede, don’t go to work. 😜

 

jeff

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MeTheSwede

Well, unfortunately I might run into one other slight problem with buying stuff if I adopt that strategy. 😆

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MeTheSwede

Might work best if I buy 10 of everything and resale for a profit. 🤔

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Yeah the work will be sitting at home being the first at ordering or preordering. Solves everything! See life is better!

 

this all reminds me of a good friend in high school that loved candy and was delighted when he got a job at a big candy store (one of thise floor to ceiling bin places with every kind and quality you can imagine) and within 3-4 weeks he hated candy... careful what you wish for.

 

jeff

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Das Steinkopf
On 3/11/2021 at 8:09 AM, Peter Osborne said:

I’m looking for a MicroAce JR central 4 car type 311 , they seem pretty rare on yahoo auctions and when they show they sell for premium yes there are some listed now but not at the prices they are trying to get, can anyone point me in the directions of anywhere I may obtain one at a more realistic price? I’ve no luck with any of the retailers listed on the forum, hopefully we may see a re run by MicroAce or perhaps introduced by Kato 

 

I think it's a case of where patience is a virtue, I am after the A2792 model of the 311 Series as well as it is one of the very few trains missing from my Tokaido Honsen roster, to be honest I think you are best off waiting for a new release as I don't think it should be too much longer before they do a rerelease of them, a classic example is the Tomix KoKi 105's, I have been after a set of them for years as they last came out in 2015 and they are going to be rereleased in June. The last time the 311's were available was back in 2008 so it has been a while and hopefully due for a rerelase, an important point regarding purchasing of old models is that you would be buying a train that is 13 years old so you don't know how much usage the model has, also of concern is around that era MicoAce had a number of issues with Mazak Rot, even though the 311 Series hasn't shown up on any of the lists that our community is aware of it's not to say that the 311 Series models could have also been affected by this problem. 

Edited by Das Steinkopf
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disturbman
1 hour ago, Das Steinkopf said:

also of concern is around that era MicoAce had a number of issues with Mazak Rot, even though the 311 Series hasn't shown up on any of the lists that our community is aware of it's not to say that the 311 Series models could have also been affected by this problem. 


Not at all, the bad zinc issues where limited to a batch of releases from June 2010 (not MAs fault) with a couple of models affected in May and one in July. I had crosschecked all release dates of affected sets 🙂 It would be good to add this info to the list we have to avoid spreading misinformation. I don’t know if @Yavianiceever came around to it.

 

Other years are safe, though my cut off date is around 2007, as before that you have chance of getting older non LED designs.

 

Pictures and descriptions are good indications. YJA is not eBay. Second hands sets are often in pristine conditions. I think most people are just collectors who rarely run their sets. I never had a bad surprise.

Edited by disturbman
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