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Discussion Starter #1
I saw this on the GR forum.  Jack


March 5, 2009
Mark Horovitz
Garden Railways Magazine
 
Dear Mark,
We were disappointed in Kevin Strong’s review in the April Garden Railways of the new Piko Starter Set.  As a beginner product, we believe this set fills a much needed niche that is not being adequately addressed.  Thus, his observations that the loco’s speed and detailing are not at hobby standards miss the point that the hobbyist is not the intended audience for this set.
Regarding the painted drivers, Kevin acknowledges this is not an operating issue on the clean track that comes with every set.  Again, the loco is not intended to see duty on an existing pike like Kevin’s, where the transfer of paint to worn rails might cause problems.  And the set instructions do specifically advise running a new loco for a while for optimum performance.
Certainly we were disappointed that Kevin experienced loose crankpins, but in all honesty, we have had no similar complaints from shops or consumers.  Anyone experiencing such problems should contact Silvergate for a no-cost repair or replacement.
We are in total agreement that a beginner set should bring more people into our hobby by providing a fun, relaxing experience.  We stand by this set as achieving that goal.
However, in the spirit of constant improvement, all new Piko-G starter sets will include the following: The bell, whistle and the four corner flag posts will be upgraded to gold-plated finish and the side rods and valve gear will be finished in a brighter shade of silver.  These enhanced components will be provided free upon request to anyone who has already purchased one of the earlier production American starter sets.
Again, we appreciate the many accolades past reviews have given Piko products and hope that this explanation and commitment to improvement will demonstrate that we share the common goal of bringing more happy railroaders to the garden.
Sincerely,
 
Tony Castellano
President
Silvergate Distributors
 
 

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So, a warning not to use this unless you are a beginner with only the track that comes in the box, right?
Oh, that is priceless.
Somebody reviews a unit as-delivered, and the manufacturer or importer doesn't like it?
My, my, that has never, ever happened before.

He is dissappointed that Kevin found loose crankpins?
An as-delivered unit for review, and the crankpins......are loose.....and he doesn't like that?

I wouldn't like it, either.

Probably not too many customers would think highly of it.

There was a reason you brought this over here?

Seems we are still on a "shoot-the-messnger" campaign, eh?

Poor Kevin.
 

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"...Regarding the painted drivers, Kevin acknowledges this is not an operating issue on the clean track that comes with every set. Again, the loco is not intended to see duty on an existing pike like Kevin’s, where the transfer of paint to worn rails might cause problems...."




WTH???? I mean What The Heck???

OK I read the review and a few online comments as well

So this locomotive is just supposed to go roundy and roundy and roundy on its little circle of track???

What about the issue that until the paint wears off the wheels the skate will stall out on switch frog.

So Tony is saying that this engine is not aimed at anyone LIKE ME who has a single switch on their layout???

So this engine is NOT intended for guys like me who want and need small engines like this?.....WHAT???????????

At the price they are asking, I expect this to run right out of the box on my layout, switches and all, otherwise WTH am I paying for?

At the price they are asking, I might as well just continue buying second hand LGB and Bmann engines


Thanks for the clarification, I'll steer well clear of this engine now

 

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It's a "Starter Set". Which usually translates, in my opinion anyway, no matter who makes it, as "Oh ... a starter set ... so it has every possible problem, in both looks and operation. We can't sell it to anyone else, so lets sell it to the new guy". What better way to introduce someone to our hobby?
 

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Oh, and my Bachmann B-S-I and B-SS Porters did not have darkened/coated wheels that came clean with operation?
 

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Not to "pile on" but when a manufacturer is upset with a review and feels the need to let the editor know about it they usually have specific "points" that were mentioned in the article that they claim are "innacurate" or "misleading" or something that they can single out that they can demand a retraction for. What was in this review that was factually inaccurate? Was anything misleading?
Let's take a look at the term "Starter Set." I don't know about anybody else but "starter" implies that one will have the opportunity to continue from this point. Kevin's critique was accurate and his observations obviously were taken seriously by Silvergate or else why make the changes? I applaud Silvergate realizing that modifications needed to be made but that backhanded slap at Kevin leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
 

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nothing inaccurate, we should not care because you are not supposed to use it on a "real" model railroad, or you run it enough to wear all the paint off the wheels before gumming up your "real" railroad...

I posted back on that forum...

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Posted By vsmith on 03/26/2009 5:11 PM   
At the price they are asking, I might as well just continue buying second hand LGB and Bmann engines






Vic, there's nothing wrong with buying used. 
With Walthers listing their only LGB starter set at a suggested retail of $429.99, PIKO may be competitive. Of course, who knows what the street price will be. 


Jack 

 
 

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Good job, Judo!
First thing this morning, they yanked the post on the GR forum.
But, you copied it here first, so you'll get some press out of it still.

"I saw this on the GR forum. Jack


March 5, 2009

Mark Horovitz

Garden Railways Magazine



Silvergate Distributors"
 

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Sorry.
Slip of the tongue, so to speak.

I was thinking Udo, and started typing Jack, just came out Judo.
Wonder why I would do that?
 

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I guess I did not make any friends with my post there either!

I'm guessing I'm a small fish with my (now gone) comment about objectivity and facts as compared to that letter!

It's like a soap opera!

Regards, Greg
 

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Yeah.
Got him signed up here, last post I saw was from the East Coast somewhere.
 

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I must be really naive, but I'm not really sure why the post was yanked off the GR forum.

Letters to the editor are usually for public consumption.

Knut
 

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Wasn't a letter to the editor as one would think.
Letters to the editor are generally published by the editor.
Not by someone not involved in the process.
 

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What is interesting is there are a few reports out of Europe that the problem is oil on the contacts, NOT the blackend wheels on the US and European 0-6-0s.

Scroll down to "Tips for BR80" and read that after the grease is cleaned up no problems with points/switches and one can even run it at shunting speeds (Rangiertempo).

http://www.gartenbahnprofi.de/28229/home.html

Anyways, the Piko BR218 and Railbus wheels have the same black wheel coatings from the photos I have seen?

Me? My next planned purchase is one of the BR80 starter sets, going to see if I can 1:22,5 ize the cab and make a nice chunky meter gauge loco.
 

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Well, the back-pedalling is approaching Olympic quality now!
If you are a GR subscriber, and have access to the subscriber content, here is the link:
http://www.trains.com/grw/default.aspx?c=a&id=1293

It is now a "comment" at the bottom of the published review.

Basically, same letter, different date, left out the bit about chrome-plating rods, and THIS time signed by a different person.

However, it is too late, as the original submission has been set forth for the entire world to see already.
 

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Posted By Curmudgeon on 03/28/2009 12:36 PM

Basically, same letter, different date, left out the bit about chrome-plating rods, and THIS time signed by a different person.




Jonathan Meader signing it is probably just a "quirk" of the GR website set up.
You have to be a GR subscriber to comment and your name and location are entered automatically - so if Tony doesn't subscribe to the magazine he can't enter a post under his name.


In any case, in my opinion a starter set in general should run beautifully and flawlessly right out of the box and have a high play value; the idea is to encourage the purchaser or recipient of the gift to get into the hobby.

Any starter set with deficiencies, whatever they may be, won't do that.

Knut
 
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