Saturday, February 12, 2005

Lionel Internet Survey

Hope springs eternal.

That's what I am thinking at least. Ok, here's a couple of thoughts on Lionel:

1) They have put out a survey and it is a good one.
2) They ask some simple questions to get an idea of their demographic.
3) Most important, the are interested in us folks that want prewar tinplate.

Now having said that, try the link that I have posted and give Lionel some feedback. Here is my idea (and the important part). I want Lionel to put out some great standard gauge. The Commodore and Hiawatha qualify as great standard gauge.

When you fill out the survey, you will come to an area where Lionel is trying to map out what their demographic looks like and what they will buy. You will see us (classic tinplate/standard gauge). Pick this as your ONLY choice. Why? Because there are other choices and as clubs/potential products they might be interesting but it muddies the waters for Lionel.

For example: I am looking at the results of the survey (sitting at Lionel). Remember, Lionel is not a big company, they are operating in a receivership and they have scarce resources. 5k people will buy standard gauge/prewar tinplate. 10k will buy postwar and maybe a little prewar. 75k will buy current roadnames and postwar plus maybe a little itty bitty bit of prewar. You gettin my drift? Numbers rarely lie in business (although they can be fiddled with).

I want Lionel to produce our kind of stuff and I want them to hear loud and clear that we are a valuable segment of their population. While I love MTH, I can't be stupid about my purchasing or even the future of the hobby. We need more than one vendor producing products. More competition is better, even if it isn't really competition. I would have bought one Hiawatha and one Commodore regardless of who made them. I also bought one MTH 115 station one Lionel 115 station and terrace.

Am I crazy? You bet! Do I have to sneak this stuff in my house? Absolutely! Do I want two major manufacturers producing great tinplate. Well, yes.

With that said, go and take the survey and influence Lionel to build some great standard gauge and prewar stuff. More is better, period.

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