Saturday, October 09, 2004
Lionel Out of Standard Gauge?
Been doing some thinking based on past posts and on the new MTH Tinplate catalog. I keep hearing that the Hiawatha and Vandy were both dead weight for Lionel and are sitting on store shelves. I can't think of a train store in a 100 Mile radius that has these on the shelves (I can only think of one store in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut that have one of each).
I have the Vandy and Hiawatha, that's almost $4k worth of trains. I'm confused, how are these sets a failure? I can only find about 6 of each set on the internet. How are these failures? Lionel didn't sell out of these 6 weeks after they shipped? MTH seems to be doing fine - their tinplate catalog is extensive.
What makes me sad is that these are GREAT sets. Some of the best in standard gauge. Lionel shouldn't short change themselves and their customers. You have to stay in a market to make money in the market.
I have seen this about 1000 times as I have worked in big companies for almost 20 years. Dip your toe in the water, if solid gold blocks don't fall at your feet, run in the other direction.
Trust me Lionel, I buy your standard gauge stuff. Make good stuff and I guarantee others will follow. MTH and super high quality/no compromise independent folks like Joe Mania & MEW are keeping the market going, further entry into the market will expand it. A little competition isn't a bad thing.
And let's be realistic, the only competition in the standard gauge market comes at a train meet between two dealers selling the same thing four tables away from each other. And they usually end up trading each other a ton of stuff anyway and walk away happy as clams.
Try making a standard gauge Blue Streak. I promise, I'll buy two.