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New Kato Office Buildings


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The new Kato office buildings can now be reserved at HS for late June release at 3040 Yen (3,900 Yen regular price).

 

Fashion Building 3040 Yen

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10118358

 

Tenant Building 1, 3040 Yen

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10118355

 

Brand Building 1 3040 Yen

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10118362

 

Brand Building 2  3040 Yen

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10118365

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Brand Building 1 3040 Yen

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10118355

 

There's an error in the link, it should be:

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10118362

 

Also, running the Japanese description through a translator, both Tenant Building 1 and Brand Building 2 are copyright by other corporations, suggesting that these are models based on a real prototype:

 

Tenant Building 1:

Trademark Cooperation ●: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

 

Brand Building 2:

Trademark Cooperation ●: Doutor Coffee Co.

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CaptOblivious

I wonder how much of the price of these new buildings represents the cost of licensing actual brand names? The "Fashion Building" features Marui's famous 0101 logo at the top (http://www.0101.co.jp/index.html). This is in stark contrast to Tomix's faux logos which evoke real brands without actually being a licensed trademark. (I recall one Tomix building came with a "1010"-logo'd decal!) I like the realism of real logos better, but I'd rather just make my own decals and not have to pay a licensing fee to have them already made up. But that's just me.

 

Anyway, It's gonna be hard for me to resist buying these…so lovely…

 

[update]

I posted this just as Ken was making his comment. So all the buildings apparently have licensed logos. I drank a lot of Doutur coffee when I was in Tokyo. So, does anyone know if these buildings are based on real locations, too?

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will be interesting to see if these make their way outside japan like the other kato highrises. i assume the decals are not put on so they should sell fine outside japan. currently there is no sal option on them at HS, but that maybe due the shipping weight not being released yet (hs does this when they dont yet have a shipping weight on an announced product). the 6 story building series seems to do a brisk business at the train shows around here.

 

im expecting these suckers to be a bit heavy. they look like almost twice the volume of the tomix towers so wont be light weight to ship. perhaps worth letting them make their way over in a KatoUSA container! after the cost of shipping over the Aoshima apartment buildings im a bit more cautious on weights like that! not to mention the cost of shipping the kumamoto castle over...

 

cheers

 

jeff

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quinntopia

Darnit!  There went the budget!  I am really shocked at how well Kato makes product announcements and then the release shortly follows.  Although I don't buy enough 'new product announcement' items to know if this applies to everything.

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will be interesting to see if these make their way outside japan like the other kato highrises. i assume the decals are not put on so they should sell fine outside japan. currently there is no sal option on them at HS, but that maybe due the shipping weight not being released yet (hs does this when they dont yet have a shipping weight on an announced product). the 6 story building series seems to do a brisk business at the train shows around here.

 

im expecting these suckers to be a bit heavy. they look like almost twice the volume of the tomix towers so wont be light weight to ship. perhaps worth letting them make their way over in a KatoUSA container! after the cost of shipping over the Aoshima apartment buildings im a bit more cautious on weights like that! not to mention the cost of shipping the kumamoto castle over...

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

I'm thinking the license agreement might be only for in Japan for intellectual property reasons. Smart companies control the whole image.  You can't sell an image of any of the Disney buildings without their permission and these companies may just as controlling now they have the opportunity.  I won't be the least bit surprised if these are not on the table for Kato USA.  Do these companies have a presence outside Japan?  If not they might be looking at registering their trademarks before the models would be released.

 

How large will this be in the package with the protective plastic packing and in a box?  It may be EMS only.

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I'm thinking the license agreement might be only for in Japan for intellectual property reasons. Smart companies control the whole image.  You can't sell an image of any of the Disney buildings without their permission and these companies may just as controlling now they have the opportunity.  I won't be the least bit surprised if these are not on the table for Kato USA.  Do these companies have a presence outside Japan?  If not they might be looking at registering their trademarks before the models would be released.

 

hmm they may not care if it goes off shore as long as they get their cut. will be interesting to see. i doubt they are as insane as disney which is the definition of the word licensing! mickey was the driving reason for copyright extensions!

 

should be pretty fast as i think katousa was pretty quick to bring over the first set of buildings.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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I'm thinking the license agreement might be only for in Japan for intellectual property reasons. Smart companies control the whole image.  You can't sell an image of any of the Disney buildings without their permission and these companies may just as controlling now they have the opportunity.  I won't be the least bit surprised if these are not on the table for Kato USA.  Do these companies have a presence outside Japan?  If not they might be looking at registering their trademarks before the models would be released.

 

hmm they may not care if it goes off shore as long as they get their cut. will be interesting to see. i doubt they are as insane as disney which is the definition of the word licensing! mickey was the driving reason for copyright extensions!

 

 

 

From Japanese dealers they probably have no control, although I have seen items on the Japanese HS web site that are not available on the English language web site and I have been told that by HS.  Only for Japan.  Remember many of their consumer products are Japanese protocol only.  Its not how Kato views export markets, but how the licensing partner views things they didn't originally anticipate during the licensing process.  Its not an issue with products by Modemo, Tomix, Micro Ace and Greenmax as they are Japan only for all intensive purposes.

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From Japanese dealers they probably have no control, although I have seen items on the Japanese HS web site that are not available on the English language web site and I have been told that by HS.  Only for Japan.  Remember many of their consumer products are Japanese protocol only.  Its not how Kato views export markets, but how the licensing partner views things they didn't originally anticipate during the licensing process.  Its not an issue with products by Modemo, Tomix, Micro Ace and Greenmax as they are Japan only for all intensive purposes.

 

the interesting question is if this 'only for japan' is a cultural issue or a licensing issue. most of the consumer goods have the language problem plus japan keeps products turning over much faster than we do here in NA so they just cant sell a lot of those items here (we are not as fast to jump on new stuff or upgrade as fast as japan is). taking that off shore just would not be practical at all and just end up mucking up your japanese cycle.

 

on the other train stuff you can only find in the japanese shops i presume its more a cultural isolation issue mixed in with not having english speaking staff to deal with orders and the hassle it is for cc payments in japan. the final straw i think is also they just dont think anyone outside of japan will care (or so few it just aint worth thinking/bothering about). we still get a lot of japanese stunned by the fact that there is a group of us here in dc doing japanese trains, i think they think we would just never care about it...

 

it is how kato sees the export market as they are the ones that would be seeking the right agreements and asking for it or not, still up to the licensers to do the deal. question is if there is a very strong 'for japan only' mentality in these licensing deals by the licensers or if its by the licensees who only really care about selling into the japanese market for all these other reasons.

 

it is all in how the licensing partner signs off on things. might be easy to get a global agreement as they may not assume outside japan will be anything of consequence so no thought to it and easy to get or if there is a real barrier to letting things go off shore at all in cases like this. i know most of the right agreements i have done for film and photo have changed a lot in the last few years with less regionalism as its so easy for things to go global you dont want to get trapped later. will be interesting to see.

 

i can see tomix and others not caring to export as it would be a tiny fraction of their business and export costs would kill the margin for them. at least kato has kato USA with them being a set 10% or so of all their business, so they dont have large costs to bring stuff over and already have the distribution channels.

 

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Do want. Really, really want.

 

I'm holding off till I see the shipping, though. EMS on that lot wouldn't just break the bank - it would annihilate it.

 

(Oh, and bill937ca? "Intents and purposes", not "intensive purposes".)

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quinntopia

I placed my order...Given how fast the new TomyTech buildings filled up on pre-orders, I didn't want to take any chances. 

 

The licensing issue is a funny one.  I've always done what the Captain describes and 'do it myself' (thanks to the easy access to corporate logos on the interweb!), unfortunately, it looks like I'll have two "HMV" stores now (I added an HMV to the ground floor of my "Atlas Skyscraper")!  :grin

 

P1110079.JPG

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HS has posted large, up close detail photos of the Kato Tenant Building 1 and the other new business buildings.  It appears that all the signs are already on the buildings.

 

Tenant Building 1

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/image/10118355a/20/1

 

Fashion Building 1

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/image/10118358a/20/1

 

Brand Building 1

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/image/10118362a/20/1

 

Brand Building 2

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/image/10118365a/20/1

 

As of now these models still show reserve, although HS stated a couple of days ago that the first of these buildings would arrive on the 24th (today).

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The side and rear walls of the two "Brand" buildings are identical to each other except for color, only the front and roof differ.  Also, the Tenant and Fashion buildings have two identical walls.  And, aside from the pre-applied stickers, it also appears from these close-up photos that the towers are not "modular", so you can't combine floors from two to make a taller one (not without use of a saw, anyway).

 

That's disappointing.  They're still nice structures, and I can't wait until mine arrive.  But I'm going to have to be carful with placement to avoid the identical rear walls being obvious.

 

Notice that the "WMV" record store in Brand Building 1 is advertising an album by "Madonna Carey".  :cheesy

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And, aside from the pre-applied stickers, it also appears from these close-up photos that the towers are not "modular", so you can't combine floors from two to make a taller one (not without use of a saw, anyway).

 

That's disappointing.  They're still nice structures, and I can't wait until mine arrive.  But I'm going to have to be carful with placement to avoid the identical rear walls being obvious.

 

These building may be segmented at the base and the roof line.  So it is modular to some degree but you would have to disguise the entrance. It shows up better in some photos than others.

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/image/10118365a5/20/5

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/image/10118365a4/20/4

 

I noticed that HS has changed the names of the buildings. Also these buildings are now in stock.

 

DioTown Corporate Office Building            http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10118365

 

DioTown Boutique and Office Building        http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10118362

 

DioTown 5th Avenue Building                  http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10118358

 

DioTown Broadcasting Building                http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10118355

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Ok i broke down today and ordered a set. with the half off shipping they were less than $5 ea to ship so worth doing in case they dont make it stateside with katousa. figure they will make a very nice high rise block. the corp office building entrance is a bit odd, it kind of looks like an entrance for a hotel or gentleman's club rather than a corp headquarters. oh well bcbc until i get around to working on some scratch building!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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One warning on these buildings with HS. they can only fit one of these buildings in their largest SAL box, so if you have two or more buildings in an order, even though the system will let you check out with SAL it will get switched to EMS when you get billed.

 

with the half price shipping, individual buildings are about 690Y per building to ship. i had two orders of two building each and they combined it into one ems ship at 3400y (half price) so ends up not all that much more to ship ems for 4...

 

this was my worry with these buildings that they would end up expensive with shipping. oh well its just money...

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Mine arrived (I don't know how; they shipped Sunday U.S. time, and arrived Wednesday, it's a record for EMS, which usually takes at least five days).

 

They're about as expected: the base will come off (the roof appears to also, but it's held on by screws from the inside, and I didn't quite have the nerve to try taking them that far apart yet).  When it does, the floors can be pulled out. These cry out for paint and detail, at least in those buildings with large windows.

 

But the really interesting point is that there's a strip of clear plastic running up through each building, with a diffuser etched into it on each floor, and a mounting point on the base for a light.  Kato's clearly planning some kind of lighting kit.

 

Also, the package (which is a plastic blister-pack, rather than a box) bears the Kato U.S.A. info, as well as Kato Japan, suggesting that they are planning a U.S. release (also, the Japanese names don't match the English ones; the Japanese translates as names like "Fashion Building" as originally showed up on the pre-order descriptions, where the English description is "5th Avenue Building").

 

In addition to the photos below, I've added a post to my site (which pretty much duplicates this info), and a page with more photos.

 

Photo 1: the mounting for the lighting unit.

 

Photo 2: a building, disassembled.

 

Photo 3: my four buildings, still in the package

 

Photo 4: Kato U.S.A. Info

 

Photo 5: Detail of the window-washers crane, which can be swung out (but not lowered).

 

Photo 6: My initial placement on the layout, likely to change.

post-264-13569925002395_thumb.jpg

post-264-1356992500298_thumb.jpg

post-264-13569925003646_thumb.jpg

post-264-13569925004296_thumb.jpg

post-264-13569925004921_thumb.jpg

post-264-13569925005496_thumb.jpg

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Wow they do look nice, thanks for posting the pics.  I wonder how long do we wait for the N. American release...

Also if this prove popular, I wonder what new modern structure will be released.  New apartment buildings? Multistories shopping centre?  Curved class office?

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Hobby Dreamer

Thanks for posting Ken,

 

How would these buildings compare to others from Tomix etc. They do look good but my only familiarity with n-scale are non-Japanese and there is not much in the way of low-rise.

 

The idea of lighting these would be quite cool! 

 

Also, a lot of the Japanese structures have few windows, is this because of earthquakes ?

 

Rick

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Ken - Ditto on posting the photos, best detail I've seen on the new building. Like the last photo of them on the layout!

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How would these buildings compare to others from Tomix etc. They do look good but my only familiarity with n-scale are non-Japanese and there is not much in the way of low-rise.

 

I don't think these look quite as good as Kato's best buildings (too much pre-moulded roof detail that's relatively low quality). However they're better than most of Tomix's, which tend to lack detail. The big problem is the pre-applied signs. Most Kato/Tomix buildings come with signs you need to add, so you can substitute your own. You can probably overlay most of the pre-applied ones (although the buildings with signs on the windows could be tricky).

 

That said, at any distance it's hard to tell that detail is pre-moulded.  And Tomix does have some buildings with detail: Tomix's 2-story Apartment buildings (4026-B and -R) and 3-story Multi-Use Building (4025) are quite good looking (I have both). I also like their Gas Station (4065/4066); although it has some "Japanese" features, like the arch carwash, they're relatively minor.  And while I don't have one of the Convenience Stores (4062/4063) it looks good in photos. Their small office buildings (4048, 4049, 4050, and 4051) are pretty bland and lacking in detail, particularly compared with Kato, but probably usable (I have several, but haven't yet settled on if/how I'll use them). Then again, real small professional buildings tend to be bland and lacking in detail, so in that sense they're realistic.

 

From Kato, aside from the new Overhead Transit Station (23-122) which is both modern and generic enough for any country, there are the Strip Mall (23-408A, 23-408B), Professional Building/Restaurant (23-406) and the modern houses (23-403A/B, 23-404A/B and 23-405A/B). And you can take Kato's modular  towers (23-434A/B), and remove the middle floors to make them 2-4 story structures.

 

But it is hard to find enough different structures of the same kind (houses, low-rise businesses or towers) to make a realistic scene, particularly on a non-Japanese railroad where mixing residential and business structures is less prototypical. For a dense urban scene it's nice to have these larger buildings, with 8 floors and a larger (111mm x 111mm or 111mm x 124mm) footprint, to add variety to such scenes.

 

My big problem is that I haven't really allowed sufficent space behind my Urban Station for buildings this large.  I may need to re-think how I do my tram line to make space for them.

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I don't think these look quite as good as Kato's best buildings (too much pre-moulded roof detail that's relatively low quality).

 

Hmmn.  That's usually the most visible part of the building on a layout.

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