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July 15th, 2021 – Lionel Purchase of MTH Tooling

Lionel L.L.C is excited to announce the purchase of a broad assortment of M.T.H Electric Trains tooling.  The tools, which were carefully reviewed and evaluated by the Lionel Product Management Team, are a range of items MTH has offered throughout their years in the model train industry.



“The tools we selected to purchase will be a nice complement to our current and future product lines,” Lionel Chief Executive Officer Howard Hitchcock said. “We are looking forward to offering our consumers a version of these products that will leverage Lionel’s operating (or control) systems, advanced electronics and stable of licensed IP.”



The first release of products leveraging the newly acquired tooling will be seen in the release of Lionel Trains 2021 Signature Two cataloging on July 16th.

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I wanted to give some additional info on this announcement.  Lionel requested that this announcement be made on our forum at a time they set.  There was an earlier version of this placed on the forum by one of our highly respected forum members but it was taken down so that we complied with Lionel's request.  This will be featured in all of the categories so please do not start additional threads on this topic.  We will leave this thread open for your comments.

Thanks!

Alan

@MartyE posted:

While it's exciting, hardly a game changer.  They added tooling.  I'm excited to see it but the build up was unnecessary.

Lionel purchasing a “broad assortment” of tooling from its toughest competitor is very big news. I’m sure we have just seen the beginning of just how important of a step this is. I’m sure not all of the newly purchased MTH tooling will be in tomorrow’s catalog and even more will be available in upcoming catalogs.

Lionel purchasing a “broad assortment” of tooling from its toughest competitor is very big news. I’m sure we have just seen the beginning of just how important of a step this is. I’m sure not all of the newly purchased MTH tooling will be in tomorrow’s catalog and even more will be available in upcoming catalogs.

Again not living up to the hype.  It was pretty obvious that Lionel would end up with some tooling.  I'm glad they got some tooling and we'll see new engines with Legacy but again anticlimactic.

As I noted in the 2021 V2 discussion there really is nothing "revolutionary" about Lionel acquiring some MTH tooling. All that will happen is items that have already been produced will come in a different color box with different electronics inside, nothing more, nothing less. If you are a hobbyist like me who has no brand/control system loyalty and just buys models of the prototypes you like, regardless of manufacture/control system, then it's the same stuff I could buy before. Nothing new to see here.

What would be revolutionary is Lionel ditching TMCC/Legacy/Lionchief and adopting the model railroading standard of DCC, or even creating a new control system. A locomotive with a different board, put inside a different color box, is not that.

If Lionel got a bunch of steam engines and puts whistle steam and Legacy in them, that's nice.  I hope they don't override the individualized sound files of MTH with the uniform voice actor at Lionel.  (He does a nice job but it's a bit depressing that every Lionel engine has the very same voice.)

...Is anyone going to announce what, exactly, Lionel bought from MTH?  If there's a KBayStsB in blue with Legacy and whistle steam (and German sound files), I will be excited.

Until we see some specifics, I'm not sure what the big deal is.  It was predictable that the tooling would eventually land somewhere.

While I've tended to buy more MTH items than Lionel (price, and too deep into DCS), the range of MTH models seems to have stagnated in recent years.  How many more of the same models in different paint schemes can the market absorb?  IMO, what is needed is some new tooling for different models.

@BC1989 posted:

If Lionel got a bunch of steam engines and puts whistle steam and Legacy in them, that's nice.  I hope they don't override the individualized sound files of MTH with the uniform voice actor at Lionel.  (He does a nice job but it's a bit depressing that every Lionel engine has the very same voice.)

...Is anyone going to announce what, exactly, Lionel bought from MTH?  If there's a KBayStsB in blue with Legacy and whistle steam (and German sound files), I will be excited.

Whaaaaa??…..Lionel isn’t going to use the first bit of MTH electronics ……AFAIK, the only announcements were for tooling only,….not electronics,…..Lionel won’t be using the first piece of MTH wire,…why would they when they have their own system!…

Pat

@Lou1985 posted:

As I noted in the 2021 V2 discussion there really is nothing "revolutionary" about Lionel acquiring some MTH tooling. All that will happen is items that have already been produced will come in a different color box with different electronics inside, nothing more, nothing less. If you are a hobbyist like me who has no brand/control system loyalty and just buys models of the prototypes you like, regardless of manufacture/control system, then it's the same stuff I could buy before. Nothing new to see here.

What would be revolutionary is Lionel ditching TMCC/Legacy/Lionchief and adopting the model railroading standard of DCC, or even creating a new control system. A locomotive with a different board, put inside a different color box, is not that.

Lionel announcing it is ditching Legacy and TMCC for DCS, wouldn’t be revolutionary, it would be business suicide. This announcement was big enough that OGR made it know that a significant announcement was coming.

What a ride! 

40 years ago Mike Wolf was portrayed as 'David' in taking on Lionel (Goliath).  Even had "Lionel" within the decoration above the family's fireplace, as I recall. 

Protected his interests in the courtroom.

Made Union Pacific blink on behalf of the entire spectrum of our hobby's manufacturers.

Always kept his station at the helm...to well-deserved retirement.

Today's announcement is the best punctuation Mike Wolf and his MTH team could have ever had to his legacy.   (Oops, pun intended!?)   

Was he a "worthy opponent"?.....Just ask Lionel. 

applause

KD

Happy_Happy_Joy_Joy

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@dkdkrd posted:

What a ride!

40 years ago Mike Wolf was portrayed as 'David' in taking on Lionel (Goliath).  Even had "Lionel" within the decoration above the family's fireplace, as I recall.

Protected his interests in the courtroom.

Made Union Pacific blink on behalf of the entire spectrum of our hobby's manufacturers.

Always kept his station at the helm...to well-deserved retirement.

Today's announcement is the best punctuation Mike Wolf and his MTH team could have ever had to his legacy.   (Oops, pun intended!?)   

Was he a "worthy opponent"?.....Just ask Lionel.

applause

KD

Happy_Happy_Joy_Joy

I think you have a good sense of this. This is, as you have said, the punctuation mark, the end of the Lionel vs MTH story. Yes, there is still a company called MTH around for the time being and DCS is supposed to be supported for a while longer but the old days are over.

This is great news. Perhaps we could get some new locos. The GP60/GP60M/GP60B, FP45/F45s, SD7/9, and others are engines I would totally buy. Perhaps Lionel will finally get their old Standard Gauge and O Gauge prewar tinplate tooling back and remake those old classics again. MTH Railking loco models with Legacy would be fantastic. Legacy guys like myself would be able to run big engines on smaller curves.

@harmonyards posted:

If you’ve never experienced sticker shock before, ….you’re fixin to!..

Pat

I am sure you are correct. I am guarding that this catalog or next will have the effects of inflation. However, with Menards now in the game with at least starter engines and atlas upping its game, I don’t think they have a ton of room to go super crazy. However, I am often hopelessly optimistic ( side effect of being an Orioles fan).

@Csxcellent posted:

I am sure you are correct. I am guarding that this catalog or next will have the effects of inflation. However, with Menards now in the game with at least starter engines and atlas upping its game, I don’t think they have a ton of room to go super crazy. However, I am often hopelessly optimistic ( side effect of being an Orioles fan).

You're in for quite a shock. Wait till tomorrow .

I’m fairly new. I missed the downfall of Marx, k-line, weavers and Williams. When a new company takes over tooling (I am assuming Lionel will be using their manufacturer). Are there usually issues because of manufacturing inconsistencies? Like, if I buy thousands of dollars worth of Strasburg coaches, are there likely to be bugs. Kind of like for the same reasons you don’t buy a car in its first model year.

The O-gauge train hobby market expanded for a while to a marketplace with too many players; now it is shrinking -- more or less to "the last man standing," Lionel. I'm a Lionel loyalist, so this announcement is good news to me and to my extended family. They will inherit my collection of Lionel trains some day (but not too soon, I hope)!

Mike Mottler    LCCA 12394

Wow, this is great news, I’m proud of Lionel taking a Leap of Faith with some of the MTH line of products, tooling, and this will sound far fetched, offer Legacy and down the road make one system run both. Let Legacy and DCS work together. That’s just an idea, and I believe some of the electronic wizards at Lionel or MTH could pull this off. This is good to know. Happy Railroading Everyone, now, back to the Menards saga.  

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