Saturday, August 05, 2006
Survey Result 000-gauge items planned but never made
Please accept Mr. Denis Eagles' apologies for the delay in bringing a conclusion to the survey that has been ongoing since May-June this year. I received word from him (bearing in mind that he was the Managing Director of Eaglet Industries Ltd. [a subsidiary of Lone Star Products Ltd.]) on 20th July after having sought the benefit of his advice and observations on the above proposition. This is the essence of what he had to say:
"I'm sure you will appreciate that my prime concern in business was always whether a course of action would ultimately prove profitable for the company I worked for. If I did not have personal confidence nor was able to give reasonable assurances of success to the powers-that-be, then the project and necessary expenditure for its development would not be forthcoming.
Enthusiasts appear to work according to a different perspective insofar as the value of any item depends more upon the desires of a limited number of collectors in a particular field rather than an overall market demand. I have tried to get some feel of the answers to your survey (12 respondents) however, their answers only seem to express views on the particular aspects that interest them, not on the total gambit of their opinion of the demand and construction of further 'Lone Star Treble-0' stock.
I really find it very hard to work up enthusiasm for the chances of getting this project 'off the ground'. You have circulated, in your estimation, some 300 individuals and you have some 12 replies which are so vague as to be impossible to evaluate. To my mind, I see there as being two potential types of customer:- (1.) The serious collector of genuine 000 stock, who will only be prepared to purchase additional products made to the same standard and authenticity (i.e. from original designs) to compliment his existing collection. (2.) The other is a collector who wants to improve and compliment their existing layout and isn't too fussed about authenticity provided that the article looks the part and 'fits in'.
For the first of these there is no answer, because the cost of making 'original' products on such a small scale (quantity-wise) would be out of the question. However for the second type of collector, the best hope would be to find an enthusiast with good modelling skills who could make reproduction 'static' pieces at a modest cost to compliment and expand existing layouts. Such a person would need to be prepared to work for the love of the craft and not expect any real financial reward for his efforts and, I would think, would be almost impossible to find."
Geoff Ambridge (per pro. Denis W. Eagles)
(Both formerly of Lone Star Products Ltd./D.C.M.T. Ltd.)