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All the major stores are discounting like crazy and sales are way off.

Why do we not see any major discounts in Large Scale products?

Do they assume that we will just bite the bullet and spend our money even though the economy is sinking?

Do they have such a low mark up that they cannot afford to discount?

What do you think?

John
 

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I spoke with a couple dealers on the phone while placing orders in late November and they said buiness was booming. Ditto with a trainshow this weekend, elbow to elbow, and plenty of sales.

Large scale trains are a rich man's hobby anyhow.
 

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I aint rich, been down about the lack of lower price Xmas train stuff at the local stores, didnt get to the Del Mar show but Ventura was a little flat patronage wise, guess it depends where you are.
 

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Posted By Spule 4 on 12/15/2008 9:25 PM
...
Large scale trains are a rich man's hobby anyhow.


If'n I was rich ... I would NOT be a playin' with TOY steam trains!!!!

But then this is not a "hobby" fer me ... it is more of an obsession.
 

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Garret, I agree that large scale tends to be a rich man's hobby, although many of us here (at MLS) are not that wealthy. As for prices, I guess we are just crazy enough to pay full pop. That said, let's wait and see how things go, price wise, as the recession worsens.

As far as patronage at your local brick and mortar model train store goes, I saw quite a few customers at Arnie's Trains in Westminster, CA, last week, when I went there to stock up on hobby paint and styrene (ya can never have enough Evergreen, I say). I was a bit surprised, until I realized that this is the Christmas season and that model train interest always spikes during the holidays. Try the place in February, though...
 

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I was talking to the owner of my local general hobby shop, and he said his business always picks up when the economy falls off. Apparently people travel less, and get bored, so off to the hobby shop.
 

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The only business I see booming is the flyer printers and the post office. Tons of circulars touting sales but items I looked at a mere 3 months ago are higher priced in the circulars than they were then. Sales Not likely. A few loss leaders but no big bargains to be had on the East coast. Of course our gas is just finally under $2 a gallon Hit $1.93 and then jumped last night back to $1.99. No train stores here but this is the season so no surprise that they are booming. All hobby shops tend to do more business in the winter and Christmas is the kickoff to the hobby season. Personally I'm hoping that Aristo's SS track prices will drop but I'm also not holding my breath either.

Chas


P.S. Let me add that when I worked at a LARGE Hobby shop in the Buffalo NY area they cleared out the stock the wasn't moving at Train shows for a long time. They also had "bargain bins" to clear out stock that had sat or had been returned broken. They had a shrink wrap machine so they could re-do the cellophane covering on model kits etc. It was always a matter of timing and Large scale stuff never hit the floor until the few of us that were itno it stopped working there. On a recent visit the store is a different animal now. More toy shop less hobby shop. From 4 or 5 aisles of trains to about 2. From three full aisles of models to less than two. From a half aisle of high end diecast to a full aisle of low end diecast. From one full aisle of large scale trains and a show case with another full aisle of O scale trains and 2 show cases to one showcase of Large scale and three aisles of O scale trains. Tells me that O scale is booming while G scale is dying to kill itself at least manufacturing wise. O sale went from one major player to what now? Three or more? Add in On3 with Bachman and you've got another. Heck a LOT of you guys jumped ship to that scale. No wonder Large scale is dying.
 

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Posted By astrayelmgod on 12/15/2008 11:21 PM
I was talking to the owner of my local general hobby shop, and he said his business always picks up when the economy falls off. Apparently people travel less, and get bored, so off to the hobby shop.




True, remember much of the footwork for the model railroad hobby started in the US during the Depression.....
 

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Most I've talked to also said business is good. Usually is just before Christmas. Lot of folks wait till then to order hoping new stuff will be in stock. Later RJD
 

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It never ceases to amaze me that Bachmann announces new items a year in advance and then doesn't get them on the shelves in time for Christmas! I guess it's just another in a long line of marketing mistakes...
 

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I seriously doubt that Large Scale is dying, or in any danger of doing so. Trains in general appear to be doing well this holiday season, despite the very poor economy. I imagine that the departure of LGB has had an adverse impact on Large Scale to some extent (as I predicted it would back when it happened), but my guess is that several of the remaining manufacturers--Bachmann, Aristo, USA Trains, Accucraft, and MTH--are probably holding their own. Certainly public interest in Large Scale and garden railroading has not waned, and many local and regional shows are reporting their best attendance ever (again, likely a result of a very weak economy where folks are seeking less costly forms of family entertainment).

There is a whole lot of attractive product available in Large Scale, and more on the horizon. I wouldn't be too quick to spread a doom-and-gloom outlook because observations made in a few local hobby shops should not be considered reliable indicators of the health of the hobby as a whole. There are a number of very viable and successful hobby shops around. There also are a good number that will continue to fall by the wayside because they don't have a good feel for the market they are serving.

As far as pricing is concerned: Large Scale is, by and large, a good value for the dollar. Compare Large Scale pricing with higher-end O gauge, for example. While I recognize that bottom-feeding has become a way of life for some hobbyists--the result, I suspect, of the influence of eBay and the Web in general--there still are plenty of folks who value their purchases of trains and other consumer products more fairly and realistically.
 

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Dying?! I've been retired for over five years and I'm STILL buying.
 

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Ok my bad choice of words....Dying was a little too strong but watching this forum and a few others and the inevitable "bickering" that occurs. that is the feeling I've gotten over the last year or so. It seems to me that several manufactuers plans have been put on the back burner. So less choices of models for us to buy. One manufacturer is completely gone and the replacement is not selling in this country and has no announced plans to market to folks who favor the US outline "stuff".
I do not believe that Large scale will truly die anymore than Lionel suffered a severe slowdown. For the bulk of my time working at two train stores there was only one manufacturer of the majority of O scale stuff. Now they are seeing a resurrection with MTH & Atlas and others stepping up to the plate. Sadly other companies have gone away in that scale as well. I think that in time Lage scale will see this too.

Stores seem to have cut back on hours in some instances (RRS) and others have shifted the stock priorities (Niagara Hobby) and a year ago when I stopped at WT to buy track they had nothing in stock and would not/could not order it for me. Aristo SS track was what I was looking for. BUT overall my feeling for the hobby comes from the magazines and the internet forums.

Chas

(lamenting the pricing of SS track still, when he can find it)
 

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I tend to agree with you Chas, not dying, but it certainly appears to be flattening out.
 

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I'm not sure how you can say this. In the next year, aristo is introducing

A "modern" 2-8-0

A PCC car
a new remote control system

a live steam version of its 0-4-0

and some other stuff I've forgotten


USAT is introducing or just released


Dockside switcher

center cupola cabbose
B6 0-6-0



Bachmann is bringing out a mallet
 

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Posted By lownote on 12/17/2008 8:30 AM
I'm not sure how you can say this. In the next year, aristo is introducing

A "modern" 2-8-0

A PCC car
a new remote control system

a live steam version of its 0-4-0

and some other stuff I've forgotten


USAT is introducing or just released


Dockside switcher

center cupola cabbose
B6 0-6-0



Bachmann is bringing out a mallet

What about all the items that have been promised by manufactururs and then taken away deemed as "too expensive right now"?
 

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Posted By wchasr on 12/17/2008 11:50 AM
Posted By lownote on 12/17/2008 8:30 AM
I'm not sure how you can say this. In the next year, aristo is introducing

A "modern" 2-8-0

A PCC car
a new remote control system

a live steam version of its 0-4-0

and some other stuff I've forgotten


USAT is introducing or just released


Dockside switcher

center cupola cabbose
B6 0-6-0



Bachmann is bringing out a mallet

What about all the items that have been promised by manufactururs and then taken away deemed as "too expensive right now"?







That bloody little USA B-6 has been "coming soon" for the last 4 years, even if it did, at $1.3K who cares? I can't afford that ...

Anyone else notice an interesting trend here? Aristo's last release was the C-16, and all the locomotives listed above also have one major thing in common, they are all small radius (5' or smaller) compliant, the Mallet will do 5' dia., even R1's s with some mods so we are told. I'll bet the Aristo Connie will also be 5' compliant, maybe R1 if it indeed has blind drivers.

Maybe, just maybe, they've finally figured it out... namely that most large scalers have small suburban yards, not a spare acre of farmland. Offerings that are small radius compliant is a marked change from the "Bigger is Better" trend of the last few years. It indicates a move towards the broadest possible market and less niche offerings (did we really need 3 GG1s?)
 
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