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Author Topic: The Collectability of Poole Built Graham Farish Locos  (Read 5897 times)

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Offline DesertHound

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The Collectability of Poole Built Graham Farish Locos
« on: August 06, 2014, 10:02:06 AM »
Morning All

The topic of "collectability" of Poole built Farish locos came up between myself and another member the other day and I wanted to put the discussion out there. I'm not sure if "collectability" is the right word to use, but we'll run with that anyway, since I think you'll understand what I mean by the end of this post.

Specifically, what are your opinions on Poole built locos becoming highly collectable in the future?

By the term "highly collectable" I am also meaning valuable. I'll start us off with my thoughts;

1) For something to become highly collectable (value increasing) it has to have a limited supply, usually dictated by it not being in production anymore. This goes for pretty much anything highly collectable, whether it's classic cars, china dining sets, you name it.

2) Future values of INDIVIDUAL locos will be influenced by the following;

- How rare that actual loco is (how many were there in the production run / was it a Special Edition)
- The quality of the body and mechanism (is the paintwork intact, does it run)
- The quality of the box
- Stamped registration card showing shop / date purchased (one of those quirky things that can affect prices in a collector's market)
- The originality of any repairs (does it have the original wheelsets, original motor etc.)

3) Future values will not, in my opinion, be dictated to a large extent by the superior running quality and detailing of Chinese built Graham Farish, since we are, in effect, comparing apples to oranges in the eyes of the collector. The desirability of the Poole built stock from the collector's viewpoint is that it is of British manufacture. He might not even run them, merely have them on display.

Now, I know we are not at the point yet where Poole built stock has become seriously collectable, but how long (if ever) do you think it will be before this happens? There are still plenty of locos coming up for sale on ebay and auctions suggest a market price anywhere between 30-60 pounds for a working loco in good condition with box.

As a genuine collector of Poole built locos myself, I open up the floor to you all.

Daniel
Visit www.thefarishshed.com for all things Poole Farish and have the confidence to look under the bonnet of your locos!

Offline Bealman

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Re: The Collectability of Poole Built Graham Farish Locos
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2014, 10:10:34 AM »
Snowflakes chance in hell, methinks. I have a drawer full of 'em with split gears and assorted problems. I do have the original boxes, though!  ;)
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline DesertHound

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Re: The Collectability of Poole Built Graham Farish Locos
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2014, 10:14:46 AM »
Snowflakes chance in hell, methinks. I have a drawer full of 'em with split gears and assorted problems. I do have the original boxes, though!  ;)

What makes you think that Bealman? Do you think there are just too many models out there compared to the number of people who actually want them.

Very few problems which can't be fixed on old Farish stock.

Dan
Visit www.thefarishshed.com for all things Poole Farish and have the confidence to look under the bonnet of your locos!

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: The Collectability of Poole Built Graham Farish Locos
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2014, 10:18:17 AM »
I keep the boxes for all my purchases just in case I feel I want to part with them but, like George, the running qualities vary from non runner to very good. I'm no good at repairing things but if, and when, an old Poole class 101 becomes hugely collectable I'll be first in line to get someone repair it. Luckily my Castle and Pannier run OK.

Offline Bealman

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Re: The Collectability of Poole Built Graham Farish Locos
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2014, 10:27:46 AM »
Old Bassett-Lowke stock, Hornby clockwork, Hornby Dublo, Triang...collectable because of their age and the fact that, in their day, they were regarded as toys, while at the same time, highly desired by young boys as "THE" thing to get as a present.

N gauge never had beginnings like that, especially Farish. They were already targeting a specialist market - modellers.

N gauge stuff just doesn't have the oomph historical factor. It's not old enough.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Dr Al

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Re: The Collectability of Poole Built Graham Farish Locos
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2014, 10:28:11 AM »
Anything generic is unlikely for a while as Farish produced the same running numbers on stock in some cases for close on 20 years. Therefore I think there are too many out there now in some cases, especially with new and superior models coming from the current manufacturers.

Even special edition locos don't seem to go for much more money these days than normal indicating they aren't hugely in demand and collectable at this time.

A few exceptions to this include the Strathclyde liveried 101 DMU, the 6 wagon box sets, 5 wagon/J94 box sets, and anything with Poole blackened wheels (especially the blue A4 Silver Fox, and blue A3), which are fairly rare. I've collected a few such models (8F, King, Duchess, J94, 4MT tank) and held onto them, and rarely run them since they are clearly not that common.

Beyond this I'd agree further with the above - so many stock models have mechanical issues and therefore a lot have been meddled with.

It'll be interesting to see if they become more collectable in time as clean, boxed, undamaged models get rarer, and one that strikes me as likely to have a lot of collectable value even now is the "Magnum layout" - these must be pretty rare?

Cheers,
Alan
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Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: The Collectability of Poole Built Graham Farish Locos
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2014, 10:33:17 AM »
There are a few that go for relatively large amounts due to their rarity such as the original Golden Arrow set with its box, but not much I can think of. Maybe in fifty years time !

There are probably much better investments 8)

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Offline FeelixTC

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Re: The Collectability of Poole Built Graham Farish Locos
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2014, 10:35:51 AM »
I'd hope not; For me, it would be a shame to see these models 'put away' - they're for running round a layout.

It's like caging a bird.  :(

Offline DesertHound

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Re: The Collectability of Poole Built Graham Farish Locos
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2014, 10:57:57 AM »
Thanks for the input Bealman, interesting thoughts!

N gauge never had beginnings like that, especially Farish. They were already targeting a specialist market - modellers.

That's true Bealman. Do you think then that "specialist market" = not enough future buyers / collectors? I'd say future values will be dictated by supply vs demand. Supply is finite now and decreasing (due to cannibalisation / Johnny stepping on Daddy's loco etc.) and so it's going to be dictated in the longer run by demand. It could be that there simply isn't the demand out there, and maybe there never will be, I don't know. Look at how much those Intertrans 148 trucks go for. I would say that is an even more specialised market.

N gauge stuff just doesn't have the oomph historical factor. It's not old enough.

I would say that for British model train collectors it does have the historical factor, since it was British made. Was it not the last British made stock on a commercial scale, or was it Hornby? Age is normally a factor for collectable items because it is a determinant of availability - the older something is, the rarer it tends to be (not always the case) and so we think if something is old it's more collectable, if it's new it's less so. I would say rarity trumps age (and I know we're not at the rare stage yet). Again, think Intertrans 148.

Anything generic is unlikely for a while as Farish produced the same running numbers on stock in some cases for close on 20 years. Therefore I think there are too many out there now in some cases, especially with new and superior models coming from the current manufacturers.

If there is a large quantity of the stuff out there (having been produced for 20 odd years) then I agree, they aren't exactly going to become collectable overnight. The new and superior models being released to the market will speed up the process of "flushing out" the old stock and provides an opportunity for it to be bought at a cheaper price.

Even special edition locos don't seem to go for much more money these days than normal indicating they aren't hugely in demand and collectable at this time.

I have noticed this too. The Special Edition's were what, runs of 500 pieces? Perhaps this is confirmation that the models just aren't desirable at the moment.

Beyond this I'd agree further with the above - so many stock models have mechanical issues and therefore a lot have been meddled with.

I am of the opinion that even with mechanical issues these locos can be returned to their original condition. If you can do it with original components then even better.

Enjoying the conversation.

Dan
Visit www.thefarishshed.com for all things Poole Farish and have the confidence to look under the bonnet of your locos!

Offline Agrippa

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Re: The Collectability of Poole Built Graham Farish Locos
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2014, 11:01:14 AM »
Agree with FeelixTC's post, things like model trains are meant  to be run for fun, don't see the point of putting
them on a shelf. It's like the rich people who buy Leicas and never take a snap with them. Possibly
some people might buy things for investment, but usually you're better to put your cash to better use.
A few years ago in the papers there  was a lot of stuff about investing in fine wines, rare stamps,
vintage cars, usually by the time the mugs have spent their cash on such "investments" the market
has peaked. Also many of the rare items are sold at auction with the auctioneer taking a large percentage
plus VAT.
Nothing is certain but death and taxes -Benjamin Franklin

Offline DesertHound

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Re: The Collectability of Poole Built Graham Farish Locos
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2014, 11:03:05 AM »
There are probably much better investments 8)

I wouldn't call them an investment, that's when something is truly within the realms of the antique collector's market, which we are not in at this stage by a long way.

I'd hope not; For me, it would be a shame to see these models 'put away' - they're for running round a layout.

It's like caging a bird.  :(

Felix, are you talking about collecting them and not running them? I agree, it would be like caging a bird. Nothing wrong with collecting AND running them! I had mine boxed up for 12 years - that was shame enough!

Dan
Visit www.thefarishshed.com for all things Poole Farish and have the confidence to look under the bonnet of your locos!

Offline Bealman

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Re: The Collectability of Poole Built Graham Farish Locos
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2014, 11:06:48 AM »
I always thought that as soon as you took something out of the box it wasn't collectable any more... yet alone restoring a broken model... sorta like gluing a vase together then saying its collectable.

And to be honest, I don't really care, therefore I am bowing out of this discussion.  :thumbsup:

George
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Offline FeelixTC

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Re: The Collectability of Poole Built Graham Farish Locos
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2014, 11:07:19 AM »


I'd hope not; For me, it would be a shame to see these models 'put away' - they're for running round a layout.

It's like caging a bird.  :(

Felix, are you talking about collecting them and not running them? I agree, it would be like caging a bird. Nothing wrong with collecting AND running them! I had mine boxed up for 12 years - that was shame enough!

Dan

It's inevitable; if they become 'valuable' using them risks devaluing them, so they're left in boxes in a hermaticaly sealed storeroom. You may as well buy Del Prado...............

Offline DesertHound

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Re: The Collectability of Poole Built Graham Farish Locos
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2014, 11:18:53 AM »
The guys who are staunch "runners" I can sympathise with, however, the two aren't mutually exclusive - you can do both, collect and run. Also, to collect something doesn't mean you're doing it solely for the purpose (even at all for the purpose) of investment.

Ultimately though, if someone wants to "cage their bird" then that's their prerogative isn't it? Some people might not be into running model trains but simply like the look of them. They might marvel at looking at them in a display case. Whilst we can't understand that, it might bring joy to someone.

The value of anything collectable is subjective. The value lies in what the buyer believes the item is worth, whether that be value from a resale (collector's market) perspective, value from utilising the item (running the loco) or value from just owning it (sticking it in a display case).

I'd agree with Agrippa's point about auction houses for high value items though. I'm a numismatist and the auction houses do handsomely out of the sale process. Ebay is chipping away at that though, although only when the seller is known to the numismatic community (but I believe their fees aren't cheap either).

Cheers

Dan

I personally don't begrudge anyone who wants to collect something just to stick it on the shelf, it's their money and so fine by me. Not saying I would do it with model trains, but it's up to the individual.
Visit www.thefarishshed.com for all things Poole Farish and have the confidence to look under the bonnet of your locos!

Offline Only Me

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Re: The Collectability of Poole Built Graham Farish Locos
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2014, 11:24:58 AM »
Wow if you collect Poole built locos I've got loads of them which I have no use for that I purchased when I first got into the hobby!!......  I would much prefer a Dapol or Bachmann detailed model than one of the old poole versions that are more akin to a box on slightly dubious closeish chassis...



 

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