We are pleased to say that 2017 has seen a continued growth in the number of MAR Online readers. We launched the current version of MAR Online in December 2015, and at that time we had around two thousand page hits per month. This has steadily grown and in October 2017 page hits had risen to over nine and a half thousand for the month. The number of subscribers to posts by email has also steadily increased and has grown to 122 subscribers, about 20% up on last year. The number of Facebook followers has also increased to around one hundred and thirty as I write this. Our site also seems to rank quite high in Google searches, which is a great way for new readers to discover us. I would like to thank my co-editors and all our writers who produce the content that people want to read.
We have re-introduced some features from the old printed MAR magazines this year. In particular brief news items when interesting events occur, and Club News. We run Club News every quarter and we urge clubs to let us know about what they are getting up to as entries on our club page and publicity for their events in MAR Online is completely free. If you have any ideas about things you think MAR Online should be covering, please get in touch, or even better why not write about new topics for us?
Here in the UK we were interested to see that Lyndon Davies, founder of Oxford Diecast, is now CEO of Hornby Hobbies. The controlling shareholders of Hornby were obviously impressed by Lyndon’s performance at Oxford, and needed his skills to turn round the struggling Hornby brands, including Corgi, Scalextric and Airfix, as well as the various model railway ranges. They were so impressed by Oxford that the majority shareholders in Hornby also acquired a minority shareholding in LCD Enterprises, the parent company of Oxford Diecast. The majority of LCD shares are still owned by the Davies family, and Lyndon’s daughter Eloise has taken over as CEO of Oxford Diecast. It will be fascinating to watch as the results of the current detailed reviews at Hornby start to emerge over the next few years. We at MAR Online wish Hornby Hobbies good fortune as the new team works towards building a new level of stability and profitability.
Changes are also happening at another UK model producer, Brooklin Models, where new ownership is dictating a new direction for the company with an “aspirational” website, products with added detail, and with expensive packaging under discussion. All this means that their models sell for very much higher prices, and there are rumours that the prices may increase again next year. In the meantime stocks of deleted models have been sold at heavily discounted prices, rather like an end of season sale in the jewellery trade, and they even sold CSV models online at a heavy discount on Black Friday. We know that some Brooklin collectors have expressed unhappiness with the changes, but we hope that the management can address some of their concerns.
We at MAR Online would like to thank all our readers for their support as 2017 draws to a close and as is traditional here in the UK we wish you a “Merry Christmas”.
We welcome your comments and questions. Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page, or email us at maronlineeditor @ gmail.com.