By Maz Woolley
Robin Godwin has drawn my attention to an article about Greenlight and its recent sales success, http://www.ibj.com/articles/57402-manufacturer-makes-tiny-cars-big-profits.
After the recent much publicised problems for Hornby Hobbies, it is good to hear good news about a mass market model maker. The article focuses on how quickly Greenlight has grown and how the Film and TV related products have become the companies top sellers. Greenlight have undoubtedly benefited from the withdrawal of the Mints from this sector of the market as well as Ertl and others moving away from making model cars for the collectors market.
The suggestion that the market for this type of models has declined by 50% or more over the last 10 years shows just how tough things are out there for manufacturers, but Greenlight are doing something right with revenue tripling between 2013 and 2015. Expanding sales outlets through closer relationships with Target stores, Toys r Us, Universal Studios and others has also boosted sales.
The article also reveals that 1:64 scale is the top seller, 1:18 scale number two, and 1:43 scale the least popular. Which is perhaps only to be expected in the North American Market which dominates their sales, though sales elsewhere have been growing. Unsurprisingly around 80% of their buyers are over 18 and over 80% are male. The main sales groups are 25-34 year olds and the over 55s.
Like Oxford Diecast in the UK, Greenlight have invested heavily in new moulds to maintain collector interest and have identified product sectors which have proved to sell very well. Clever re-use of moulds in different ranges has helped get the best return from their investment in masters. Innovations like the “hitch and tow” series have caught collectors eyes but the top sellers for Greenlight are all Film or TV related. The Fast and Furious film franchise has been very popular as have vehicles from classics of the past like Bullet, Smokey and the Bandit and the Blues Brothers.
The moral of the story seems to be that those who rest on their laurels and do not understand how the market is changing and/or fail to invest in developing their businesses will decline whilst those with their “fingers on the pulse” who invest in what collectors want can grow and thrive.
We welcome your comments and questions. Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.