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@KOOLjock1 posted:

Comparing 1960's prices might seem a little unfair... how about 1990's prices?  I give you 1994:

That there is a typical AC motored, conventional-controlled, RailSounds 1.0 steamer with a mechanical one-chuff per revolution smoke unit.

Now let's zoom in for the price!

Just sayin'...

Jon

Great points here Jon. I took out the pics to conserve space.

Seems like from 1946 - 1994, there was minimal technological advancement, then, kapow, sounds and command control with electronics. Once our locomotives starting containing electronics, we became subject to Moore's law. Expectations keep getting raised, first for more realistic sounds and operations and second for ornate and prototypical details and colors.

That's not to denigrate the pre-electronics era technology. I wouldn't think of upgrading my postwar engines. But our trains have become computers on wheels.

The new pricing structure seems exorbitant, but I don't have a full grasp on the costs involved with bringing these products to market, so I can't say if the price increases are reasonable.


The real question is if the market will sustain these prices?

The official CPI is around 7%(excluding food, fuel, housing), but using honest metrics including increase cost of fuel, food, and housing we are seeing a 15% destruction of the value of our incomes. This translates to less recreational money to spend on the hobby. Incomes are not going to keep up with this compounding inflation

Lionel also has to compete with MTH, Atlas, 3rd rail, used market, and simple fact many of us have more trains than we know what to do with.

If Lionel is charging us Golden Gate Depot prices for plastic generic passenger cars, why not buy accurate metal Golden Gate Depot cars?

@Cogen1981 posted:

The new pricing structure seems exorbitant, but I don't have a full grasp on the costs involved with bringing these products to market, so I can't say if the price increases are reasonable.


The real question is if the market will sustain these prices?

The official CPI is around 7%(excluding food, fuel, housing), but using honest metrics including increase cost of fuel, food, and housing we are seeing a 15% destruction of the value of our incomes. This translates to less recreational money to spend on the hobby. Incomes are not going to keep up with this compounding inflation

Lionel also has to compete with MTH, Atlas, 3rd rail, used market, and simple fact many of us have more trains than we know what to do with.

If Lionel is charging us Golden Gate Depot prices for plastic generic passenger cars, why not buy accurate metal Golden Gate Depot cars?

I agree if you can get golden gate products for the same price go that route. While I don’t own any of their stuff, it looks awesome in pics and videos. Furthermore, everything I hear about CPI, it sounds like it is too low for an accurate inflation measurement.

Seems like from 1946 - 1994, there was minimal technological advancement, then, kapow, sounds and command control with electronics. Once our locomotives starting containing electronics, we became subject to Moore's law. Expectations keep getting raised, first for more realistic sounds and operations and second for ornate and prototypical details and colors.

That's not to denigrate the pre-electronics era technology. I wouldn't think of upgrading my postwar engines. But our trains have become computers on wheels.

Agreed.  But then again most everything  nowadays is computerized to death, wheels or not, and whether it benefits from it or not.

I prefer "elegant simplicity", which doesn't preclude using computers, but only where they add good value.  K.I.S.S. still applies.

Mike

@KOOLjock1 posted:

Comparing 1960's prices might seem a little unfair... how about 1990's prices?  I give you 1994:

That there is a typical AC motored, conventional-controlled, RailSounds 1.0 steamer with a mechanical one-chuff per revolution smoke unit.

Now let's zoom in for the price!

Just sayin'...

Jon

And people complain about Lionel's prices now. Here's what that $999.95 Pullmor motor, postwar reissue Mikado costs in current money:

Screenshot_20220117-223915_Chrome

Tell me again how current Lionel prices are out of line.

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That's more Apples to Apples. That 60's catalog was a product targeted towards actual children, comparable to the Polar Express sets, whereas the 1994 price is targeted more to  what we're dealing with here in this forum, collectors and afficionados looking for the best.

I wonder if Lionel would find a market at even higher prices, up at the $5K, $10K range, for bespoke, super-high quality items. Beyond what even the typical collector here is willing to pay. Wouldn't judge them for trying.

Ehhh...IDK if i should say anything here...but as a minimal comment....

Im just disappointed that the pricing on some items, which  are priced considerably above what a comparable item from another manufacturer costs.   I wanted to do some special runs, but the pricing is just higher than the market value right now, so its not economically feasible. 

That's more Apples to Apples. That 60's catalog was a product targeted towards actual children, comparable to the Polar Express sets, whereas the 1994 price is targeted more to  what we're dealing with here in this forum, collectors and afficionados looking for the best.



The 60's catalog may have been targeted to children, but it was still the adults that had to pay for the items in it.  My parents had a pretty good resistance to my prodding, especially after having to buy a new house and car.

Rusty

Ehhh...IDK if i should say anything here...but as a minimal comment....

Im just disappointed that the pricing on some items, which  are priced considerably above what a comparable item from another manufacturer costs.   I wanted to do some special runs, but the pricing is just higher than the market value right now, so its not economically feasible. 

What special runs were you considering Beth? Perhaps there is interest if people know what is possible. I know I would love that Central Maine and Quebec AC4400 and I know a few others here on OGR that said they would buy one or two.  We could piggy back off the nearly identical ES44 tooling that is coming out in the catalog.  It also dovetails with the strong Canadian Railroad theme in the catalog.  Train painter Christine Braden actually painted a Lionel GE demonstrator as a Central Maine and Quebec #1006 for and she did an awesome job... I would be happy to offer that model as a design guide for a custom run.

The light grey and powder blue paint scheme is really sharp and the moose head logo is unique and fun.  I will personally commit to purchasing two of these locomotives myself if we do it. It will sell based on its good looks!

CentralMaineAndQuebecRailwayLogo

a88aaeaa277dbed7ec7af49a2fafb5b2

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Last edited by Madockawando

I wonder if Lionel would find a market at even higher prices, up at the $5K, $10K range, for bespoke, super-high quality items. Beyond what even the typical collector here is willing to pay. Wouldn't judge them for trying.

They already have, at least tried it once.  See 6-18026, and the accompanying cars like 6-51220 through 6-51245, in 2-Rail.  Also 6-18027 in 3-Rail (The Smithsonian Collection).

Mike

Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike

If you look back 4-5 years ago, the used market was much more approachable - particularly for used steam.  I was buying used O and G steam locomotives for less than $500 - and generally less than $300.   But that market seems to have doubled with 20-year old locomotives being sold for anywhere from $500-1000.  If that's the entry cost of used O - that shrinks the buyer pool for new motive power. 

Interesting comments here about prices and inflation. I see no one has commented on wages and salaries. Unless all of you are CEO's or retired CEO's, are you aware that 50 years ago the average CEO's salary was approx. 20 times that of the average wage earner, and today it is over 475 times that of the average wage earner. Source: the Wall Street Journal.

Jacobpaul, I listed four (4) O gauge steam locos on this Forum's "For Sale" board on 1/16/22; all test run only with TMCC & RailSounds and under $500. Only one sold. Sunday I was at a train show in Utica and several could be found in the under $500 range.

Last edited by modeltrainsparts
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