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For those who were hoping for some new tooling or other items that have not appeared since Lionel took over, one thing to consider is next year is American Flyer S gauge 75th Anniversary.  If I was Lionel I would be planning new tooling and possible re-issues to celebrate that event just like they are doing for O this year.  I'm not saying that I know they will but I would bet they are aware of the 75th significance and it would be a good time to introduce some new items.

--Rocco--

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Roundhouse Bill posted:

I agree on remaking some more engines that Gilbert Flyer made. (Hudson, K5, 0-8-0, and Atlantic)  A engine Gilbert never made, like an Allegheny, wouldn't seem appropriate. 

There is marketing value in "proposed at the Gilbert Hall of Science, but never made."  It could be considered as expanding on the Gilbert tradition.

I recall the Gilbert's feasibility sample still exists.  Granted, it's not much more than a wood dowel on two Hudson mechanisms, but imagine if ACG actually made it.

AmFlyer posted:

They should do a Hudson. For certain a detailed Legacy version followed by a FlyerChief version.

I think we're already experiencing the minor marketing disaster that is offering two versions of the same locomotive.

Rusty

ns1001 posted:

Any body remember when Lionel/AF offered in a pre-catalogue - maybe 1988 or so the return of the NYC J3A but is was replaced in the real catalogue by PA1s. Always wondered what kind of drive mechanism it was going to have. The road name offered the first year was going to be Wabash. 

The Wabash was for the "Historic American Railroads" set and Santa Fe for separate sale.

Most likely it was going to have the traditional Gilbert drive, probably with a can motor.  Almost all of the old Gilbert tooling needed to be reworked, which was one of the reasons the project died.  The approximate $500 price tag was the other and more or less the main reason.  VG-E Flyer Hudson's could be had for about $125 back then.

Offering the Hudson in New York Central wouldn't have saved the project

Rusty

Last edited by Rusty Traque

My all time favorite AF was the NYC J3A Hudson followed by the PRR K5 pacific which my father bought from a Firestone tire store in the early 50's with SIT. Bought the Lionel AF FEF-1 with smoke lifters after they had removed the choo-choo sound - great loco but sound is not loud enough. Gave up on a revival of the AF J3A so bought the Legacy O gauge J3a with the as delivered tender which goes around O-36 track fine. Why did the last version of the AF J3A have a plastic tender?

Personally I have zero interest in any remakes of AF products. If they bring out ANY new scale, detailed tooling I'll buy it. I would be over the moon if they brought a scale Legacy Hudson. I'd buy 4 and change road numbers if necessary.  It's a long shot, but I'm hoping the success of the Legacy Berk has them considering more Legacy scale products.

Earlier people from Lionel said that they would put out some things to celebrate the 75 year. I have to believe it will be existing stuff with displays that note the birthday in their graphics.  My guess is no new tooling.

A bit of a non event then if this is all it could be.

Now that the MTH S product line is possibly in doubt for the future (unless anyone knows something) you might feel that Lionel are in prime position to take advantage of the situation to take some risk and produce some interesting new items to satisfy the AF/Hi-Rail and the scale people. Strike while the iron is hot!

@Ukaflyer posted:

A bit of a non event then if this is all it could be.   Now that the MTH S product line is possibly in doubt (unless anyone knows something) you might feel that Lionel are in prime position to take some risk and produce  interesting new items to satisfy the AF/Hi-Rail and scale people.

I would be happy if those two random items were produced for the Flyer 75th anniv.   I don't quite understand how the status of the old MTH S line would put Lionel in any "prime position" to do anything in particular.

@RadioRon posted:

I would be happy if those two random items were produced for the Flyer 75th anniv.   I don't quite understand how the status of the old MTH S line would put Lionel in any "prime position" to do anything in particular.

Depending on how you read Roundhouse Bill’s response, it appears that L are possibly going to produce a couple or ? freight cars with graphics that say 75th anniversary. If this is it then it is very little at hardly any expense to celebrate such a milestone for AF. I wonder how the three railers would respond to a similar announcement for them.

My mention of L being in a prime position refers to a possibility that the MTH S tooling etc is folded and not used again. At this point L are in prime position to start introducing new products by default that they have lost a competitor, they then acquire a larger market share.

Last edited by Ukaflyer
@Ukaflyer posted:


My mention of L being in a prime position refers to a possibility that the MTH S tooling etc is folded and not used again. At this point L are in prime position to start introducing new products by default that they have lost a competitor, they then acquire a larger market share.

And have no real reason to innovate and expand the Flyer line.

Besides, with the glacial pace that MTH released items from the Showcase Line, it was no serious competition for Lionel/Flyer.

Rusty

And have no real reason to innovate and expand the Flyer line.

Besides, with the glacial pace that MTH released items from the Showcase Line, it was no serious competition for Lionel/Flyer.

Rusty

Yes, that is a real possibility, I agree with you and if this is the outcome does this not show the true colours of L and any commitment for the future to S?  It may just reinforce some people’s view as to L’s long term investment as being minimal at best.

As an outside view it would be interesting to see if L may consider picking up the S Helper/MTH product line, then that may be a game changer.

Last edited by Ukaflyer
@Ukaflyer posted:

Yes, that is a real possibility, I agree with you and if this is the outcome does this not show the true colours of L and any commitment for the future to S?  It may just reinforce some people’s view as to L’s long term investment as being minimal at best.

As an outside view it would be interesting to see if L may consider picking up the S Helper/MTH product line, then that may be a game changer.

Flyer Showcase?  I can just see Lionel plopping the SHS/MTH freight cars on standard Flyer trucks.  Well, maybe not, but I'd wager the scale wheel option would go bye-bye.

Also, I'm not sure Legacy would fit in the F-units without extensive redesign work.  Things are pretty tight in there right now:

MTH F3 AT&SF 040217 001

After all MTH's reworking for DCS bore a good responsibility for the F3's taking 4 years to produce.

Rusty

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  • MTH F3 AT&SF 040217 001

Flyer Showcase?  I can just see Lionel plopping the SHS/MTH freight cars on standard Flyer trucks.  Well, maybe not, but I'd wager the scale wheel option would go bye-bye.

Also, I'm not sure Legacy would fit in the F-units without extensive redesign work.  Things are pretty tight in there right now:

After all MTH's reworking for DCS bore a good responsibility for the F3's taking 4 years to produce.

Rusty

Flyer Showcase sounds novel, but it could turn out as Flyer Slowcase.  Jesting about Flyer trucks on SHS/MTH freight cars may not be as funny as you said, especially if they have zillions to use for whatever reason, keeps cost down with a cheap option.

if they can’t shoe horn in Legacy what about LionChief? When I looked inside my PE engine it all seemed small and compact. I would do a comparison with my SHS F3 but I am not that inclined to be honest, this is all a bit of fun at the moment on possible conjecture.

Boot Lionel out the rear door of an old wooden crummy.  American Models is my bid for the continuation of the S Helper service line of S scale products.  It's a natural considering all the neat products AM already offers in their extensive S scale line.

Item: The National Association of S Gaugers (www.nasg.org) has a new improved web site.  A visit is well worth your time.

As much as I enjoy AM products, I don't think they're in a position to buy the SHS/MTH tooling. 

It's an academic at this point anyway and should be the subject of a different thread.  We'll probably know one way or the other in a few months if the MTH Showcase Line is sold to someone.  If someone does buy the Showcase Line, I hope they take the time to try to understand the S market.

As to Gilbert's 75th, we'll know in a couple of weeks.

Rusty

Ron would not buy MTH S Helper stuff.  He is in his 70s and hopes he can find a buyer for AM in the future when I talked with him last.  He said he didn't have any family members interested in his company.  Besides he has plenty of his tooling to produce what he likes.  Face it S Helper died with MTH.

Look further down on topics and you will see Lionel will issue its 2020 catalog on January 20th with the new Flyer and have an online display of the new Flyer on the 2nd of February.  In 15 days we will have our answers.

Here's another possibility for you:  The molds in China are owned by China, NOT THE MANUFACTURER (it doesn't matter who or where they were made. IHC from Philly was put out of business by this, and today I was informed that S helper and Aristo craft were both victims as well.

It is possible that since Lionel had a working relationship with MTH (from what i've heard Lionel and MTH were made at the same factory), that some S Helper may be released as Flyer for the 75th anniversary.

Food for thought?

@Francine posted:

Here's another possibility for you:  The molds in China are owned by China, NOT THE MANUFACTURER (it doesn't matter who or where they were made. IHC from Philly was put out of business by this, and today I was informed that S helper and Aristo craft were both victims as well.

It is possible that since Lionel had a working relationship with MTH (from what i've heard Lionel and MTH were made at the same factory), that some S Helper may be released as Flyer for the 75th anniversary.

Food for thought?

S Helper was put out of business by Sanda Kan essentially "firing" their customers to concentrate on making trains for large customers.

From the NASG website:

"2010: Sanda Kan (the main Chinese manufacturer) stopped making models for many companies, including S-Helper Service.
2012: nearing retirement age and not being able to retrieve their tooling from China, Don announced that MTH Electric Trains bought the company's tooling."

The 2021 Flyer catalog was likely put to bed long before Mike Wolf announced his retirement.  IF there is a buyer waiting in the wings for the Showcase Line, we probably won't know until MTH finally turns off the lights and locks the door around April-May-June.

Rusty

Last edited by Rusty Traque
@Ukaflyer posted:

As we know, Lionel have been using China as a manufacturing base for what I believe is 30 years or so. I seem to remember that at the time they said the reason for shifting production to China was to make items more affordable and cheaper.

Cheaper for them perhaps.

There are rumors floating that Scale Trains is interested in buying some portion of MTH. Could that include S scale? I doubt it, but it will be interesting to watch.

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