The TV presenter, James May, has made a fly-on-the-wall documentary about Hornby PLC.
They are the go-to name for model railways in Britain. largely because they have been going for over 100 years and almost everyone remembers having a Hornby train set.
Nowadays, they have moved production to China, and have built a set of nostalgia GB brands including, Airfix model kits, Humbrol enamel paints, Corgi cars, and Scalextric racing sets.
Over the last ten years or so, the company has have a difficult time, with losses reaching thirty odd million pounds.
A new management team has pledged to return the brand to profit…by selling more stuff and cost-cutting. That’s not really a good enough plan, as it’s mostly about selling more stuff to their existing, elderly male customer-base.
They should be thinking about the model railway as a form of architecture of experience and as a kind of narrative environment…Also, they definitely need a better communication designer.
I’ve posted before, on this blog, about the scope for re-engaging with model-railways as a form of digitally enhanced architecture-of-experience and psychogeography…