Carstens Closed

ScaleCraft Aug 23, 2014

  1. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    https://www.facebook.com/modelcraftsman

    Carstens Publications
    August 22nd, 2014

    It is with regret that Carstens Publicatons, Inc. will be closing permanently at close of business on Friday, August 22, 2014. Carstens Publications, Inc. has been a leading publisher of leading hobby magazines for over 50 years. Unfortunately the current economic climate has placed us in this position. Discussion is continuing with several parties who expressed desire to take on the continuance of the magazines. At this point there is still hope that all three titles will remain in existence. But I can offer no guarantees. We thank you for your patronage over the years, and wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

    —Henry R. Carstens, President
    Carstens Publications, Inc.

     
  2. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

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    I hate to hear that! I just bought their latest issue.
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Bummer. RMC was my first magazine subscribed, some fifty years ago now. :(
     
  4. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    I was never a subscriber but I bought a lot of drawings from them over the years.
     
  5. Allen

    Allen TrainBoard Member

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    I'm stunned by the news as I've always considered RMC and R&R to be better magazines than a certain Midwestern publisher's whose have turned into fluff pieces and have "dumbed down" over the past few years. Hopefully they'll be bought by someone who will continue their legacy.
     
  6. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Another of many favored wig wags, LHS's and other train promotions...gone. From this TB participant: You are and will be looked back on as being the best.

    Salute, a shout out of thanks to all of the Carsten Family and all of those who participated in the publications. Some superb work.

    Guessing everyone is scrambling to find other work.
     
  7. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

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    It was a good run while it lasted. Its a shame they couldn't make the transition to the digital age to be with us for another generation. I'll miss RMC.
     
  8. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    It's a pity, their articles always seemed to go into more detail than that other magazines typical 'fluffy' articles of a few pretty photos and a brief written article. As their name suggested I think, at least in recent years, they were aiming themselves at the craftsmen more than the others, maybe that was their downfall, people picking RMC up at the newstand, flicking through the pages and thinking "this is all over my head". I haven't seen RMC at an Australian newsagents for a couple of years now, even ones that regularly had multiple issues, so I thought their demise might be near.

    One of the things I like most is looking through the older issues at the track plans, they used to do good track plans with operating potential and of a size that you didn't need a basement to build. There are quite a few I study and think I wouldn't mind building that one.
     
  9. Fishplate

    Fishplate TrainBoard Supporter

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    True. Every year there are fewer of us who value scratchbuilding, kitbashing, and prototype drawings. And we are more and more likely to communicate online rather than in print. I doubt anyone will be interested in buying Carstens' business as-is, although the brand names might have some value.
     
  10. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    They had really lost their editorial voice in recent years and were quite adrift. It wasn't just that they were positioned at Scratch builders.
     
  11. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    I started off with Craftsman (RMC) in 1970. Back then it seemed most of the heavy hitters (Allen McClelland, Tony Koester, Jim Boyd, etc) were at Carstens Publications. Then something happened, it seemed the heavy hitters, movers and shakers all of the sudden were writing articles exclusive for Kalmbach. Naturally I added a Kalmbach subscription to my magazine list, but like everything else as the price of the subscriptions continued to rise, I had to make a choice. I'm sorry to see Carstens Publication shut the doors, but for me personally, it just seemed like I was getting more magazine for my buck from MR than RMC.
     
  12. virtual-bird

    virtual-bird TrainBoard Member

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    As I said on NSN

    Honestly do magazines have a place anymore?? Everything people need is online and you can ask questions online and get more info or better answers.

    Its the same in most hobbies I am/was involved in.. 4wding, MX, Road Racing, Enduro, Tourin, Camping etc.. all magazines are falling off the shelf due to the interwebs.. Sadly over on the small island here magazines of 90 pages are at least 1/2 adverts so not good value anymore.

    Road tests or reviews are scared to death to tell you the truth and you never hear them say an item is pure junk even when they know it is in fear of legal action or other rubbish..
     
  13. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    I know...first hand. I have written a lot of model railroad reviews. I take them fully apart when I do it....after gauge, current, voltage, tractive effort....then I do the historical bit...and the particular manufacturer screams their collective heads off..threaten....been on the receiving end of a threatened lawsuit...but that's what the consumer's want. They want to know what they're getting, especially in this day and age where the ability to go to the LHS and hold one, put it on the track, see and hear it, are basically gone.

    The attitude of that manufacturer has been probably the prime reason their sales have dropped off massively...they now do short runs at double the price. Nobody is interested.

    You do reviews on-line, here in this country First Amendment protection may or may not cover your hindquarters like it does in print.

    One of the issues with on-line is some MORON who thinks he knows better than the entire hobby will take a comment, modify it, send it off to the manufacturer, and you get to talk to their lawyers.

    We save EVERYTHING. The original saved me that time...I could prove what I said, and I was right.
    Others end up on the receiving end of malice from manufacturers all the time. Know folks it has happened to.

    Not sure how protections work yet in the internet part of reviews.
    Magazines have their own legal department to stop the manufacturers threats.
    Can you imagine this site having to have lawyers on retainer to fight off spurious BS?

    Dave
     
  14. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    If you pass someone on the sidewalk, smile and say a cheery hello, you might find yourself getting sued these days. Or arrested. What a wonderful world....
     
  15. virtual-bird

    virtual-bird TrainBoard Member

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    Exactly..
    The Camper trailer forum I'm on got a lawyer letter due to a thread from an unhappy customer - put the chills through the forum and mainly the owner.
    http://www.myswag.org/index.php?topic=31568.0 < - even copy of the lawyer letter.

    The mods removed every single mention of that manufacturers name from the whole forum and anyone mentioning them gets told why their thread is removed.
    Wasn't the best way to have gone about things, now when someones shopping for a new unit, there is no mention of them, so sales are disappearing!!!
     
  16. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  17. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Anyhow, getting back on topic....

    I find that having a hard copy and the 'Net are both useful. And, who is to say that the 'Net will always be with us? Some day, something might change, and oops. The future is really a great unknown.
     
  18. Fishplate

    Fishplate TrainBoard Supporter

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    No. At least, not yet. There is vastly more information in books and magazines. Eventually the web will catch up, but we aren't even close. The real point is, people expect everything to be online for their own convenience.

    Your point about reviews is 100% valid, though. MR in particular sees itself as a cheerleader for the industry. So, you can have a loco with grossly out-of-scale details that runs like a jackrabbit, and it's still "a good representation of the prototype that will appeal to BNSF fans."
     
  19. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    In my opinion, this question is generational, i.e. the old generation gap thing.... Personally I'm not a fan of laptops, I prefer my desktop computer. Likewise I'm not a fan of kindle readers and the tiny screens on smart phones. So my preference is print, magazines and books. For me there is nothing better than sitting in my easy chair reading through my favorite magazine or railroad book. I know the younger generation does prefer kindle readers, laptops and smart phones, so the future of printed magazines and books maybe in danger. I believe some publishers have realized this changing trend, as I'm aware of at least three hobby magazines, that are now available in digital format, Carstens was one of them, but I guess this still did not save them. So at this point you have to ask yourself, was it the quality of the magazine that was suffering? Has the industry become fragmented with the scale specific magazines? or was it something completely different, as in the owners simply wanted to retire? If it's truly the later, I just wish they would have found a buyer before closing the doors. But coming full circle, I think there will always be a place for magazines, the only change I see is the format. Yes I believe eventually all magazines will be digital format only, it's a easy way to reduce cost. As usual, just my two cents and your mileage may vary :cool:
     
  20. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Everything is on the net. Not quite and for how long. Think about the new thing in the works called "Net Neutrality". Soon you will be paying more and the content will be highly regulated. So where are we headed?
     

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