Monday, February 09, 2009

Lionel/MTH Catalog Still MIA

Well, the clock is still ticking. Here is the advantage of the Internet vs. old time paper communication. In the old days, Lionel or toy train companies could wait until the Quarterly, a Bulletin or a new catalog to come out to trumpet new achievements. Albeit with 4 to 6 months inbetween Yorks, catalogs, whatever. The old days are gone and when announcements are made, the clock is ticking.

So where is the new catalog? Yes, I know it is a Herculean effort to bring out a great quality catalog with the finest trains available to man in a period under 2 years. Yes, it is difficult to choose products that will sell and weed out others that won't. Yes, I know MTH needs Lionel's approval to move forward. My guess is that there are more chefs in the Lionel/MTH kitchen than at a Golden Corral Buffet in Florida on a senior citizen's half off night.

I would still like to see a little more cohesive communication from both companies. Perhaps a teaser of a few of the items in the catalog in one of MTH's newsletters? Perhaps an actual update to the rapidly aging/mediocre website that was hastily set up to highlite the new found venture? How about something a little less scripted than the Taylor "interview" by Bob Keller of CTT? By the way, I have always really liked Bob Keller's writing. I do hope he gets another shot at a real interview or review that isn't quite as scripted.

So how about it MTH and Lionel? Guys, here's the deal (and I've said it before): web marketing and sales is probably one of the best ways to reach massive numbers of customers in a very personal way. Really, it is great because it panders to the instant gratification monster in everyone, especially train people. But you can't throw a website out there and then ignore it for months or years. It just doesn't work like that. As a matter of fact, it actually works against you and quite heavily. Look at it this way, you're working with one of the worst economies in decades; you need to keep the attention of your consumer base beyond eBay. MTH Mega Stores are terrific but they are few and far between, even here on the East Coast. You need to keep people intersted. Please, get the catalog out and hire some people that can really keep your websites interesting.


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