Skip to main content

Reply to "Does anyone think a mfgr will throw a steam bone to S next year?"

I'm 40 - and my guess is I'm still among the youngest posters on OGR - despite having been on the forum since my early 30s.

I believe Nostalgia is the biggest weakness of S scale.  From 1966-2002, the only American Flyer trains that were produced were to meet the desires of nostalgic collectors - not the Millennials and Gen X who were children at the time.  At this point - American Flyer is a moot brand.  It appeals to a small, dwindling nostalgic audience.  There might be a few younger people who are interested in AF - but as the numbers dwindle, so will the availability of used product increase.

Gen X and Millennials witnessed the development of scale trains - with HO emerging as the most popular of gauges / scales.  In recent years, HO has continued to gain ground while others have suffered - stuck relying on nostalgia and a dying market.  Meanwhile, up-and-coming HO companies - like Scale Trains - have popped up and brought advanced products to market with significant success reaching Millennials and Gen X.  This is where the future of the model railroad hobby lies. This is who S needs to appeal to - not only to the buyers, but to the companies producing.

S scale needs a philosophical shift.  It's not American Flyer. It can't be.  Not anymore.  S needs to become the scale that potential HO buyers go to when they want something bigger - whether it's because they want more "heft" or their eyes or tactile abilities are failing - it needs to be that step-up from HO.  HO+.  That's why I'm interested in S - and I imagine if you asked others like me, they would offer the same answer.

Scale Trains involvement is a good sign from the HO camp - but S needs another major HO player - ideally one with a large investment in locomotives - like Broadway Limited Imports - to identify the value of having a larger scale than HO that their current clients could upgrade to - or age into.

If there's ever going to be new products, it's going to come from upsizing existing HO.  They have done the research already - from there, the cost is in Tool and Die.  They have built in audiences in HO - who they could convert to pay for those tooling costs.  And if you read most S Scale threads - on OGR and other forums - most posts are complaints - and they are always the same - there's no products.  IE: There is a demand - if the right people produce the product. 

Last edited by Jacobpaul81
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×