Thursday, August 04, 2005

Wicked nice streamliner

Jim Kelly mentioned this cover in a previous post and I just had to put it up. This is one wicked nice streamliner. That almost looks like a standard gauge streamliner, not O gauge. Streamliners are absolutely gorgeous in standard gauge, we can count four total:

The Lionel Vandy
The Lionel Hiawatha
JAD's Hiawatha
JAD's M10000

Jerry Brown also made some streamliners but I have never actually seen any sold. I guess that could be a rough 5th streamliner.

The bottom line is that not many of these have been tried and I think they would be excellent sellers. But that's true with most standard gauge and/or products that would appeal to our market. There's no denying it, the train on the front cover of this magazine is timeless, anyone and I mean anyone would be proud to own, display and operate it. Maybe if Lionel put some of the funds it invested in Pratt's Hollow Phantoms into an O gauge or standard gauge version of this they wouldn't have to bet on items like the Polar Express to sell out at Christmas?

The so called marketplace (IE companies that want to make trains for people) keep prattling on about how standard gauge is too small a market and that O gauge is saturated and that HO is really where the volume is. I think they are all full of crap. Bachmann sells plenty of G gauge during the summer when there are backyard train layouts as well as for under the tree and "Christmas Gardens". That would be inside and outside. HO is highly competitive and for those of you that have never played with HO, the Europeans, especially Marklin, have some flat out amazing stuff.

Here is a quote from Steve Jobs:

"A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets."

It's basically common sense - if you make a great product, people will buy it. Make a great train in any gauge and there will be people lining up to purchase it. Guess that's lost in the marketing gibberish we all have to wade through these days.


(End of Rant)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


That's the cover! Thanks for figuring out what I was trying to describe. (lol)

I agree with you that the design is a timeless one. I think a standard gauge version would be a quick seller but it probably need to be run in a few colors to really pay for the tooling. As much as I might hope for it I just can't see this coming to Standard Gauge.

You mention the Phantom that it seems most Lionel enthusiasts either loathe or hate. I would argue that the Phantom is the closest thing to this cover ever produced so far but agree that actually MAKING this in O-gauge would be a big deal.

Perhaps the thing to help people realize the potential of Standard gauge is to start running our trains outdoors? A good loop of track on a front yard with some pictures might be just the thing.

How's that for a challenge for some pictures for your website? (I might have to set something up this weekend...)



(Yojimbo, not Kelly.)