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 Post subject: Lionel is Exploding
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:41 pm 
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This time of year, I try to update the catalog pages on sites like the BigTrainStore.com and BigChristmasTrains.com. Some model train providers got slammed hard by the recession and may take a few more years to catch up. But it seems like Lionel is surpassing its own records for number of new train products a year.

In the ordinary road name settings, there are current and upcoming sets with at least NINE different locomotives and several different road names.

http://www.bigtrainstore.com/o_gauge/o_gauge.htm

In the Holiday settings there are many new trains as well, both within and outside the Polar Express branding:

http://bigchristmastrains.com/o_gauge_x ... e_xmas.htm

If the press releases are to believe, several more trains, especially Christmas trains, will be hitting our shores in the next several weeks.

Congrats on a HUGE comeback, guys. I hope your sales figures justify all the extra effort. - Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Lionel is Exploding
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:36 pm 
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I think the favorite so far this year is STILL the Polar Express. The new version has remote control, which is good for folks like me who don't want to get down on their knees to run the transformer. :-)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BK5 ... 2JNH2GGDSW


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 Post subject: Re: Lionel is Exploding
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:12 am 
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I've been hearing that Lionel is abandoning the manufacture and sale of tubular track. This is unfortunate as I'm not a fan of the plastic road-bed Fastrak or MTH's Realtrak, especially if your running postwar with magnetraction. Better start loading up while there's still some tubular in the shops.

Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Lionel is Exploding
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:44 pm 
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Good point about the tubular track. Do you suppose someone else will pick it up?


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 Post subject: Re: Lionel is Exploding
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 3:26 pm 
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One would hope so. K-line made O-27, O and S track for years, but they got absorbed into Lionel a few years back.


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 Post subject: Re: Lionel is Exploding
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:26 am 
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And more recent news?


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 Post subject: Re: Lionel is Exploding
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 1:26 pm 
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Last fall it was announced that MTH (Mike's Train House) is folding the tent in April or May, 2021. I have very mixed emotions over this, as I've bought a number of their tinplate repro sets and pieces over the years. My experience has been that they do a brilliant job with conceptual design and quality of construction, but their electronics are suspect. Easily half the MTH locomotives I've acquired were dead on delivery, requiring warranty repairs. Once sorted they run very nicely, but considering the cost, however, one rightfully expects better.

From an industry perspective, MTH gave Lionel a good competitive run (one that wasn't particularly congenial). IMHO, much of the increase in product in the marketplace was a direct result of the pressures applied by MTH. It also went a long way, thankfully, toward preempting Lionel's emerging strategy of catering primarily to the wealthy collector by offering catalogs featuring $1500-$2000 locomotives. MTH brought things back to earth somewhat.

It will be interesting to see what/if the MTH suite of products finds a home with a new or existing manufacturer. Williams was acquired by Bachmann, while K-Line and part of Weaver went to Lionel. I believe I saw recently that MTH's lines of HO and S-gauge has been purchased by Scale Trains. I'd like to see their O-gauge stuff go to someone, but with new/better electronics. As far as the timplate reproductions, I'm confident we've seen the last of those...the market demographics are just too small to make that work anymore.

So hopefully Mike Wolfe has a good retirement in Florida or wherever he settles. Forty years making toy trains is a good run.

Paul II


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