After a long dry spell, model trains and plastic models are back in fashion. The trade association for toys recently announced this. Playing with the train, in particular, is a real family affair. It is not uncommon for old locomotives to be waiting in the grandparents' attics. In addition to the railways, there are also models made of plastic. Overall, the model making industry has expanded its target group to include younger people.


Plastic model and railways

Also this year Dortmund will be a hotspot for model builders and model athletes. From April 4th to 7th, the model construction fair INTERMODELLBAU will open its doors and present the hottest trends and innovations in the industry.

“Everyone who loves the big world in a small way is now making a pilgrimage to Dortmund again. No matter whether you are a tinkerer or a fan of speed, everyone gets their money's worth. The model railway is now running through more and more children's rooms: A manufacturer is using clever marketing campaigns to ensure that grandfathers and fathers spend happy hours together with their grandchildren and children at the model railway. "

Steffen Kahnt, Managing Director of the Toy Trade Association (BVS)

Car races excite the masses and German households cannot be imagined without racetracks & co. Young and old love speed and competition. "Screeching tires and the smell of rubber provide an adrenaline rush for racing fans." The national elite of remote-controlled car model racing meets for the first time in many years in front of a large crowd and holds their German championship at INTERMODELLBAU.

The RC industry discovered the youngest as a target group this year. With “Revellino”, products with innovation potential will come onto the market in spring.

"Easter will be cozy: remote-controllable vehicles in a plush design offer toddlers a great alternative to the classic cuddly toys. Because they don't leave any scratches on furniture thanks to their fluffy surface, parents will also love the plush vehicles. "

Steffen Kahnt, Managing Director of the Toy Trade Association (BVS)

In 2018, Germans spent around 81% less on remote-controlled toys (7 million euros) than in the previous year (2017: 83 million euros, at retail prices, retail panel npd group). The turnover in the industry is probably even higher: if you add up all sales channels, the Germans even invested around 2018 million euros in the RC area in 90.

Quadrocopters, remote control cars & Co. are standard in German children's rooms today. A quadrocopter as a ball, on the other hand, is one of the latest inventions in the industry: without touching it, several players play the flying object together in a game. Integrated sensors make this possible.

The market for classic plastic model making (do-it-yourself) grew again by 2% last year: the Germans invested 13 million euros in their craft hobby (2017: 13 million euros, at end-user prices, retail panel npd group). Adding all sales channels together, Germans even spent up to 2018 million euros on plastic model making items in 20.

The model making industry continues to focus on young target groups: while kits for the little ones to screw together themselves recently came onto the market, the play value is now additionally increased by a remote control. In this way, driving fun is combined with the joy of screwing and tinkering.

The classic toy model railroad is showing a slightly positive figure for 2018 and, according to BVS estimates, is around 150 million euros (at retail prices). In the future, dealers and manufacturers will continue to dig deep into their bag of tricks to bring model trains back into people's heads: For example, the Märklin company has started a marketing campaign that conjures up happy memories of their own childhood in the older generation and encourages them to do so to pass on to their own offspring. In campaigns for the last two Christmas sales and also for 2019, this idea will again be conveyed under the motto “Märklin connects generations”. In this way, people come back to toy stores and model train shops from the message spread on the web via coupons for retail.

"Railways connect generations."

Steffen Kahnt, Managing Director of the Toy Trade Association (BVS)

Recently, it has been observed that more and more grandparents are introducing their grandchildren to model railways and model making. To do this, they fetched forgotten railway treasures from the attic or the basement and immerse themselves again in their own childhood, says Kahnt.

It helps that “historical” railways also run on today's tracks. Märklin offers attractive conditions so that customers can exchange their old transformers and metal tracks for the latest products with digital controls and / or touch pads.

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