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I have seen kids toys going for thousands of dollars. It all depends on who are and how much money you can afford/want to spend on your kids.
LAO
 

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Jack, Vic is talking about the USA Trains 0-6-0T that just came out.
 

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Posted By markoles on 10/21/2008 6:40 AM
Jack, Vic is talking about the USA Trains 0-6-0T that just came out.



Is anyone on this thread buying one of those?
I find that engine hellishly expensive for what it is.
 

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I'm still trying to get a handle on what the 0-6-0t alone will cost. I've got no interest in the set, but the loco might be a nice addition. If it's robust enough to handle kids, and can take a little detailing, and runs well, I'd be very interested. If it's price around the same as the Aristo 0-4-0, or the Annie, then I'd probably pick one up--if I could check it out. I've never seen a PIKO engine and have no idea what they are lik>


I just checked Ridge Road, there's nothing listed for PIKO
 

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Knut-
'Hellishly expensive?' Maybe. It depends on the target audience.

We are probably just spoiled by the starter set offerings from Lehmann, e.g., a robust Stainz loco with smoke, two indestructible cars, an R1 track circle, a few figures, and a small transformer for $150 - $200. Lehmann ToyTrain sets were even less expensive. I believe there is at least one US retailer advertising the Piko set for around $250 US. To me, $250 still seems pretty reasonable, assuming the quality is good. Others may disagree. For example, I imagine the price is still too expensive for many parents looking to buy a train for around the Christmas tree.

Assuming the target audience is parents and other 'new customers' to the large scale market, it makes sense that a few things need to happen for these sets to be successful:
1. Buyers/Parents need to run into the Piko sets in stores. I am guessing most parents 'buy on impulse' rather than performing an exhaustive internet search for the cheapest mailorder price...unless the parents are train junkies!
2. Buyers/Parents need to be able to quickly grasp the quality difference between the low cost New Bright/Scientific Toys/Bachmann G scale trains which flood the store shelves, and those made by Piko.

I imagine both of the above requirements are difficult in today's economy.
1. Getting $250 - $350 train sets into hobby shops is probably not an issue. Getting the same sets into big box stores can be a difficult sell, especially when retailers are trying to offer the lowest prices to their customers. We are once again reminded that the nation's largest toy retailer is Walmart.
2. This item is probably even more difficult, as the packaging, branding, and marketing has about 60 seconds to make buyers spend more money than they may have originally intended. Face it, Piko isn't exactly a household name like Lionel. Many parents may be convinced to spend more money for a Lionel set since they may associate Lionel with higher quality products. Standing at the retail store shelf, will someone be able to justify spending 2x - 3x the price of a Bachmann Big Hauler set for the adjacent Piko starter set?

So, the set may not be 'hellishly expensive' for many train fanatics, but it is probably a bit too expensive to attract the casual buyer. Still, the market does need starter sets to attract new customers and it is nice to see Piko trying to grow the market.

One final thought, when looking for a first train set, do customers better identify with a tender locomotive as opposed to an 0-6-0? I believe many US customers failed to identify with the Stainz (and its 'Americanized' variants) found in early LGB starter sets. In later years, LGB seemed to recognize this idea and many starter sets were produced with 2-4-0 tender locomotives. It will be interesting to see if Piko follows a similar path.

@ lownote-


RRS is selling the set for $350. (I searched for 'Piko G' and found several items.)
http://www.ridgeroadstation.com/istar.asp?a=6&id=37338100!205


Best regards,
Bob
 

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Bob,

I think you've made some excellent points.

Lionel will always be the standard train set. That's the classic. They are part of the culture of the holiday season, especially since Coca Cola used them in their Santa Claus advertising in the 40s and 50s. I think that LGB was on its way to becoming a household name. The 2-4-0 sets were a great value, I thought, even if they did look a little pudgy. I purchased one for my nephews in 2002 and thought for $210, it was a great set. They use it at Christmas. The Bachmann set I got for the west coast nephews and niece was probably not the best choice. A little too fragile for their use. But it was still $160 and had a lot of nostalgia value for my sister in law.

When I look at those new bright trains, with a mogul, etc., all I can see are cheap knock offs of the LGB 2018D mogul and the early four wheel cars.

The real limitation is that train sets are relatively unchanged from 100 years ago. Video games and all the rest of the electronics available are much more enticing to the average buyer out there. However, I do think that the play value of trains is often underrated due to poor experiences with marginal train sets. I know I got a lot of use out of my train sets growing up, but I suppose that was because I got hooked on trains and it never went away. One thing that was important to my staying interested was that my trains ran so well that I knew that whenever I wanted to run a train, it would go. That was when all I had were LGB Stainz's, that little 2060 diesel, and the americanized Stainz. Time will tell if Piko has learned this important lesson from LGB.
 

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Lets not forget the dollar is worth a hechova lot less today, I suspect a few years ago if this set was introduced when the dollar was pretty strong, it would be retailing for well under $200.00, but such is life, the dollar goes into the big round whirling waters of the porcellin rapids and everything imported now costs 30-40% more than it did a few years ago...WWWD?

(What Will Wallmart Do?)
 

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Bob -

There is one thing where you are off in left field with your post.....................

If you look at my post "carefully" - I guess you have to with the new mls software.

I replied to the "quoted" part - the USA Trains 0-6-0 not the Piko set. The USA Trains 0-6-0 lists for $749.95 for just the engine....that's what I meant by "hellishly expensive" and "is anyone buying this one?"

Otherwise your post is right on the money.
 

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Knut,

That USA unit has been selling in the mid $400s. Even direct from USA / Charles RO lists it at $469.

Mark
 

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Posted By markoles on 10/22/2008 6:37 AM
Knut,

That USA unit has been selling in the mid $400s. Even direct from USA / Charles RO lists it at $469.

Mark



Mark - I just posted the "list" price from the USA Trains website - still very expensive when compared to the $250.- you can get the whole Piko set for - engine, two cars, power pack and track.
The two are not really directly comparable but what other choices are there in an American 0-6-0 in G scale?

Knut
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
I believe that comparing the PIKO model and the USA model is like comparing apples to oranges. One is a basic starter set loco aimed at the beginner and the other is aimed at the more serious model railroader.

Mark- I would like the 0-6-0 above a bit more if it had a Belpaire boiler and a slope back tender - guess that's the PRR coming out in me!
 

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Mark -

the American mainline model is a new one to me.

Now American G-Scalers have three choices in a 0-6-0 -
American mainline at top dollar,
USA Trains at mid dollar and
Piko at bottom dollar
 
G

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Posted By Bucksco on 10/22/2008 8:43 AM
I believe that comparing the PIKO model and the USA model is like comparing apples to oranges. One is a basic starter set loco aimed at the beginner and the other is aimed at the more serious model railroader.




One thing me and Mr. Buckso agrees on! WOW, landmark event.

Toad
 

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Jack,

Maybe apples and oranges, if I was looking from the running board on up. From the running board on down, both appear about the same in terms of detail.

Frankly, had the USA been plastic, I feel that both the PIKO and USA units would have been in the same leauge, price wise. Don't get me wrong, I still like that Piko unit. It is filling a void that we need in large scale, the toy that is nearly indestructible! And is reasonably priced! I see a lot more potential with the PIKO unit than with the USA unit, mostly because of the construction materials. A plastic USA trains 0-6-0T would have been perfect for their starter sets.

Knut, that USRA 0-6-0 switcher is a sweetie. I think I saw one running (live steam) on the PA Live steamers track at the ECLSTS last year. Maybe we'll see more locomotives like that based on less expensive units, such as the Piko 0-6-0T. IIRC, LGB was going to offer a USRA 0-6-0 shortly before it all went off the rails.

So far, has Piko offered the switcher separatly? What kind of pricing are folks seeing on that?
 

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I've been trying to make a 0-6-0--with a belpaire firebox--largely because there were no 0-6-0s around. The USA trains model is great but I'd hesitate to get it- because of the metal shell, which interferes as I understand it with wireless remote. The Accucraft 0-6-0 is really beautiful, but it's too rich for my blood and it's metal also. The Piko could be great if ti's not too pricey. I've got no interest in the starter set.
 
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