Here's some more Youtube on the MTH Leland Monorail. Believe me, the more you play with this thing, the cooler it gets! I'll put one up of it running as well.
Operationally, the use of the Leland Detroit Monorail is pretty straight forward. Since there are no switches, crossovers, etc. the focus is really on the trackplan. The curves for this set are pretty tight. Which brings me to another "what if?".
This was just something I was thinking while I was putting this together - what if there were larger curves? Could MTH/Leland Detroit do something like an extended car Blue Comet Jersey Central version? How about a New York City version? I'm not advocating wider radius track but the option does offer up some opportunities. Even with the current radius as tight as it is, I think different size cars would work depending on their balance. I hope this is something MTH considers. Maybe a freight set like a "Harmony Creamery" delivery set in deep green and brown or a President's Special set in Rolls Royce Blue (tell me that wouldn't look incredible???) How about a Leland Detroit Prosperity Special in Copper and Nickle?
A note about workmanship on the whole set: it is obvious that this set took some time to produce. The paint on all of the cars is perfect and the construction of the cars is flawless. I am picky about the quality, look and feel when I pay $600 plus for a set of anything, trains, dishes or otherwise. I have not been disappointed in the least. No slots or tabs or any indication of manufacturing difficulty shows in this set. It's very much consistent with the Jersey Central 384 set in terms of quality and construction. The battery was charged and did recharge itself as I used the set. This was a nice touch on MTH's part, especially since the instructions indicated a battery charge may be in order out of the box.
One more thing: MTH did include some extra light bulbs, some plastic window inserts and additional rubber feet for the bases. Did they have to? Probably not. Was I glad to see them out of the box? You bet. These are the parts and pieces that frustrate railroaders. When you have a new item and run it for a couple of days straight and blow out a light bulb or whatever, it can be frustrating.
The set was worth the wait. There are some minor nits that were probably just as evident in the original 1930's version as there are in the 2007 version. This product presents a great chance to own a very unique toy, regardless of whether it is on a train layout or not. It would work well anywhere, including but not exclusive to a Marx layout, a toy room, a toy collection and so on. I am impressed with MTH listening to their customers; they overpacked the set and it is clear that the out of box experience is important to MTH. First perceptions are everything. I'm anxious to hear the thoughts of others that have purchased the set. Hopefully the success of this set/accessory will help justify the manufacture of other items that might seem risky to a manufacturer. I know that this isn't an inexpensive product/accessory. With that said, it's a toy that still has a strong intrinsic value of playability and long term worth. Future generations will likely enjoy this toy.
PS This is what your train room will look like when everything is unpacked. If you see this on eBay and someone says "just out of the box for pictures", I'd be very interested to hear/see how they got it back in the box. I doubt they can pack it as well as MTH did out of the factory.