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The Legacy decision...

Fellas, take a look at what is going on. (see photo).  I would suggest an emergency sales meeting to discuss how you NEVER, EVER scare off the customers from a brand that has American Icon status.  I have teetered for years on the decision to go O scale 2 rail because of the broader electronics platform.  This may be the deciding factor.  People make fun of the Cabbage Patch craze.  When reviewing bad business decisions, New Coke tops the list. 

Meeting room.  NOW!

legacy oops

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@Crazy J RR posted:

The Legacy decision...

Fellas, take a look at what is going on. (see photo).  I would suggest an emergency sales meeting to discuss how you NEVER, EVER scare off the customers from a brand that has American Icon status.  I have teetered for years on the decision to go O scale 2 rail because of the broader electronics platform.  This may be the deciding factor.  People make fun of the Cabbage Patch craze.  When reviewing bad business decisions, New Coke tops the list.

Meeting room.  NOW!

legacy oops

The above is not an actual sale.  Look at the bid history.  Only two bidders were really involved.

If you're citing Cabbage Patch Kids then you should, of course, realize that this is an outlier, and is trying to incite panic when it's not called for.  We've seen several schills over the last two years.

Just before Christmas last year it was a scale Polar Express Berkshire for $12,299.00 (12/2/2020).

This is clearly another.

Mike

Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike

Actually, this was predicted (not to this level of insanity) by a member of a knowledgeable group several days ago right after the latest Lionel announcement.  If it's the only incident then, OK... moronic.  There are two others right now that are ONLY $600 or so (???)...  But I certainly  would not ignore it.  This reaction could be more telling then a facebook post which costs nothing (and therefor has no value).  And, I am suggesting nothing here other than Lionel re-examine the decision.  Is this reaction real, or kindergarten panic? 

Mallard: I am not implying Lionel is involved with that specific sale... Now if Mr. Kughn was still around... well, let's not go there.

The pricing looks like it is in line with most member offerings in a certain club buy/sell publication every other month.

If it's ebay I ignore all completed sales with less than 5 bids.

Just chuckle and carry on.  I don't put much faith in the internet as a news source or marketing barometer.  Similar to the 100+ cable TV, and Utub channels of miracle cures and merchandising.

Last edited by aussteve

Putting Nipsey and Sleepy to the side for now...

Individuals price gouging and even this specific Lionel announcement should not be the point here...

The thought of discontinuing any part of an electronics "operating system" that is already weak, doesn't seem to be a sound (pun intended) idea.  When I say weak, I say this in comparison to other train gauges and frankly, other hobbies.  For O gauge, the basics are there, they are in place, and for the most part, (after years of trial an error and dollars spent by your customers to make the adjustments needed), it works.    Hopefully there is a better plan coming.  Other gauges have certainly shown that there are working options for electronics that are very robust.  But, with a readily available list of poor decisions to choose from (O gauge Industry wide and not just electronics), you can't help but have empathy for a customer base that questions when some of the "basics" start to go "obsolete".

It's one thing to say that a company is not going to offer a specific version, color scheme or road name in a model.  There will be some people that are disappointed for sure.  But, lets say for example, someone at Dell starts messing with the "basics".  Someone says, "hey, the letter "Q" is hardly ever used.  Let's obsolete it.  We could reduce are letter inventory and manufacturing costs.  After all, how much could "Q" possibly effect our customers quality...  ooopppss... kwality experience?"  I saw it many times over 36 years in business, by many companies.   And I have seen it too many times in my 50 years in this hobby.   Companies MUST focus on that bottom line.  That's a fact!  But, too often, that focus develops from short term fixes (and bonus goals) rather than long term plans.   And those decisions can quickly... sorry... kwickly affect the end customer.  The even bigger concern for me is that one of these "miss steps" could be devastating for the O gauge hobby.  Microsoft and Coke have the bulk to stumble and recover from Windows Vista and New Coke.  Lionel and the gang may not have that kind of stamina.  Think of those eBay prices then! (LOL)

I only hope the plan moving forward is sound and transitory.  I for one will not scrap my current electronics system and buy again to start over.  If I must, 2 rail is an option or maybe...   I have a T-shirt that I often wear to train shows.  It reads:  "reset 18, reset 18, reset18... get Williams out and run trains!"

@BillYo414 posted:

I'm lost. Are you saying Lionel is destroying it's brand by discontinuing the CAB2 remote?

Is DCC that much more feature packed than Legacy? I only ever see videos of DCC running trains and it doesn't seem to do much. It must be special given its longevity but I'm just genuinely asking.

From what I've seen on friends HO layouts DCC decoders allow them some amazing sound choices. Take for example the Lionel PRR J with the incorrect whistle, no way to correct it. They all admit they don't need 5 or 6, maybe 3 at the most including the correct one.

They also have the capability to speed match with other brands of locomotives. Plus they show up at a friends house who uses a different brand control unit and can still run their trains.

I hit send to quick...

There are good things too...

Lionel's decision to continue to support ERR!!!

That move successfully finished MTH in my basement.  I regularly upgrade older Williams and 3rd rail brass and give MTH "proto-echtomys" .  This allowed me options that MTH refused by not offering any parts.  This effectively gave Lionel all of my business as now not only do I convert to Lionel, I only look for new Lionel engines. 

BILL... I'm not really focusing on the specifics of the announcement here.   Just the trend and how I hope the path leads to better things.  TRANSITORY is a requirement for me though.  The word obsolete is scary.  Maybe a more defined announcement and explanation is needed.  Laying out of the overall plan.  And maybe that's out there and I just missed it.  Frankly, I see lots of confusion and a detailed OGR article covering the history (with dates) and future plans would help Lionel customers and be a winner for OGR? 

Now... to me... and this is just to me Bill... I have friends in O scale 2 rail and HO.  Their ability to buy any company's equipment and have a drop in option that is pretty standard is where the advantage is. 

Analogies to HO and other scales aren't all that informative. There have always been many providers of HO locomotives (same for N).  In O gauge, there have never been more than two major players at any time.  K-Line, Weaver, 3rd Rail all signed up to use Lionel's command system because there was no other option.  MTH chose to develop their own system.  Now there is one major player left and they have decided to stop making the cab 2/command base combination, presumably for multiple reasons.  One reason is because any device of this sort is subject to obsolescence. Try running current software using MacOS9 or Windows XP on a 2002 machine.  Another is the costs of modification to use currently available components, which the main reason Lionel has offered. 

When TMCC was introduced in the mid-1990s, conventional operators and long-time Lionel collectors were unhappy in many instances. Change is unpleasant.  Mike Wolf (you remember him?) said there was no need for command control, and then changed his mind.  People still complain that you cannot get a manual transmission on almost any automobile made today.  So it goes, to quote Kurt Vonnegut.

I mean CAB3 just consolidates all the remote stuff Lionel has ever made. The CAB1L is supposed to live on.

ERR is basically drop in. It's a matter of your skill to do the dropping but there is basically always a way to do it.

I think the interoperability in 2rail O/HO is nice. I guess I just never had/hear about trouble running anything from the four 3rail O scale manufacturers (Atlas, Sunset, Lionel, and MTH) so it never crossed my mind.

I'm still a little lost but I think I'm overreacting because I'm sick of the sky-is-falling talk on the news, in general conversation, and now here. I'm not one for getting stressed out or being serious when I criticize peoples opinions but I'm about at the end of my patience with this New World Attitude.

@BobbyD posted:

From what I've seen on friends HO layouts DCC decoders allow them some amazing sound choices. Take for example the Lionel PRR J with the incorrect whistle, no way to correct it. They all admit they don't need 5 or 6, maybe 3 at the most including the correct one.

They also have the capability to speed match with other brands of locomotives. Plus they show up at a friends house who uses a different brand control unit and can still run their trains.

I would simply say that DCC offers different choices than Legacy rather than more or less.  DCC allows for more assignments by the user to do things like control ditch lights, strobes, turning on or off the cab lights or class lights while running, and the there are now more and better sounds available than anything in 3 rail.  I think the universal aspect of the open architecture of DCC encourages innovation rather than forcing someone into a brand.

At the same time, it does require more knowledge by the end user as you must program the values if you want something above and beyond what comes out of the box.  Also, not all DCC decoders are created equal so more research is required to determine what decoder has the features you want.

As to the OP, I have never subscribed to the sky is falling attitude. This has always been a changing and evolving hobby with more options now than ever in the past.  Think how lucky we are to have a such broad history of trains new and second hand to select from with the features or details that interest us. 

Last edited by GG1 4877
@GG1 4877 posted:

  I think the universal aspect of the open architecture of DCC encourages innovation rather than forcing someone into a brand.



I'm absolutely interested in hi-jacking this thread to talk about this. Creality makes budget 3D printers. They got popular due to low cost but then they decided to go open source and they ROCKETED in popularity. Everyone wants one because there is so much development and support. I took a $500 printer and made it print like a $1000 printer via upgrades.

I have thought Lionel should go open source since I got back into the hobby and saw how different things were since I got out around 2000 or so.

I posted about this on the runaway pricing thread the other day that got deleted.

Perhaps Lionel is working towards some flavor of DCC compatibility and control for Legacy-equipped engines (indeed, the presence of DCC in the hybrid brass 4-4-0s is interesting).  If they don't want to make their own remotes anymore, hobbyists could use any DCC-compatible equipment they wanted -- walk-around cabs, computers, you name it.  Lionel could still sell Base3 and even potentially a DCC-to-Legacy converter module as requirements to play in this world.  Keep Legacy proprietary if you wish, but they should give heavily invested hobbyists some way to communicate with the vast world of DCC that the rest of model railroading uses.

Also: not being able to use your own sounds is a glaring weakness of the current Lionel platform.  I don't care about five different bells and whistles -- I want to upload my own that is prototypically correct.  More than anything else, this needs to be fixed.

I generally like what Lionel is doing these days.  And no one buys a $2k engine and then complains about the cost of the controller and other stuff required to make it run.  But when I'm dropping that much cash I should be able to control that engine however I want, and play whatever sounds I want.  This is about choice, not price.

Last edited by BlueFeather

To be fair and turn this thread into a positive, which is sorely needed across this forum in so many ways these days I have to commend Lionel for continuing to offer a broad range of products to support a broad base of the O gauge and 3 rail O scale spectrum.  They may not have much to offer me with my specific interests, but I don't represent the majority of the market and I am okay with that. 

@GG1 4877 posted:

To be fair and turn this thread into a positive, which is sorely needed across this forum in so many ways these days I have to commend Lionel for continuing to offer a broad range of products to support a broad base of the O gauge and 3 rail O scale spectrum.  They may not have much to offer me with my specific interests, but I don't represent the majority of the market and I am okay with that.

Jonathan,

Absolutely spot-on.  There are many very-narrowly focused suggestions (I'll be kind and not call them complaints) in all of these threads, whether still present or deleted, that came up after the new catalog was released.

These recommendations are all good, and each deserves to be aired and considered for the future.  However there are not nearly enough thanks for Lionel's efforts coming along with them.

Mike

@BlueFeather posted:


Perhaps Lionel is working towards some flavor of DCC compatibility and control for Legacy-equipped engines (indeed, the presence of DCC in the hybrid brass 4-4-0s is interesting).  If they don't want to make their own remotes anymore, hobbyists could use any DCC-compatible equipment they wanted -- walk-around cabs, computers, you name it.  Lionel could still sell Base3 and even potentially a DCC-to-Legacy converter module as requirements to play in this world.  Keep Legacy proprietary if you wish, but they should give heavily invested hobbyists some way to communicate with the vast world of DCC that the rest of model railroading uses.

They have Legacy/DCC electronics in their S line so they know how to do it.

Brendan

We seem to bang this around a lot, it is almost as good as some of the other threads, many of which seem to end up getting heaved, with which manufacturer is evil, who stole the cheese and the like....

I don't know where the OP got the idea that Lionel was 'throwing it away' or something. From what I can tell about the new system, it is backwards compatible with anything out there they have, whether it is tmcc, legacy or lionchief/bluetooth. The only thing they seem to be removing is the 990, the 1l is still available (unlike MTH that totally dropped the remote, though the new base supports it via wired connection). When they created legacy, it supported TMCC, when MTH went to PS 3.0, it supports PS 2.0 engines.

The reason that 990 unit was listed at that ridiculous price is someone was playing games, figuring they could troll a sucker into buying it, as if the 990 was going to become this incredible collectors item, which is ridiculous, but that is the way some yo yo's think. About the only thing the 990 gives you is the bigger remote.......

Legacy and DCS are different than DCC in many ways, in large part because of the nature of 3 rail trains. Some will bristle at the notion, but things like the swinging bells and the chuffs and the steam whistle discharge and the other little things the engines in 3 rail gave us are in some ways more akin to the accessories that 3 rail has had, or the operating cars and the like (it isn't that these things aren't prototypical, they are, but they are in a sense more 'play like' than what you see in the world of HO and N; some of that is that 3 rail O has the size to implement those features).

So DCC focuses on sounds and being able to modify them and it has programmable settings (CV) that allow you to program the decoder to do things in a certain way. If you don't like the speed steps, you program the CV, if you want breaking to work differently, you reprogram it. In a sense, legacy/DCS  is kind of like the applications that let you design a website visually, and it generates the code, vs programming in HTML to build the website yourself (rough analogy). DCC's biggest advantage it is open standard, so if you don't like the decoder that came with an engine, if you want a feature another decoder/system offers, you can pretty easily change it (is a standard plug these days), you aren't locked in to one manufacturer.

Only reason I could see lionel offering DCC on the new base would be if they think there is a market in 2 rail O, where some of the persons engines are DCC and some are converted Lionel legacy units from 3 to 2 rail. Thing is, though, in 2 rail if they convert an legacy engine from 3 rail to 2 rail, I suspect they would also convert to DCC *shrug*.  The only other thing I could think it would offer is to control PS 3.0 engines using their dcc compatibility mode.

I know we were all hopeful, but the Lionel 990s are consistently selling for 3X$ PLUS over the last few weeks.  In addition, I hope I just missed where Lionel explained better what the plan was in order to calm the reaction to the "obsolete" announcement.  As I tried to allude to, it's not so much that the confidence is shaken in the availability to the "wind up keys" that make our trains run today (these after market price points cannot hold), but being able to convince the customer that their investment is secure and will work far into the future.  And as old as most of us are, that may not be that long of a future. 

@Crazy J RR posted:

I know we were all hopeful, but the Lionel 990s are consistently selling for 3X$ PLUS over the last few weeks.  In addition, I hope I just missed where Lionel explained better what the plan was in order to calm the reaction to the "obsolete" announcement.  As I tried to allude to, it's not so much that the confidence is shaken in the availability to the "wind up keys" that make our trains run today (these after market price points cannot hold), but being able to convince the customer that their investment is secure and will work far into the future.  And as old as most of us are, that may not be that long of a future.

I have no idea why this should be the case. Why would someone pay 3x List price for a 990 set? Why would anyone need it that badly? The capability to run your Legacy locomotives is not going away.

@Crazy J RR posted:

I know we were all hopeful, but the Lionel 990s are consistently selling for 3X$ PLUS over the last few weeks.  In addition, I hope I just missed where Lionel explained better what the plan was in order to calm the reaction to the "obsolete" announcement.  As I tried to allude to, it's not so much that the confidence is shaken in the availability to the "wind up keys" that make our trains run today (these after market price points cannot hold), but being able to convince the customer that their investment is secure and will work far into the future.  And as old as most of us are, that may not be that long of a future.

@Crazy J RR,

The impact to all of us is much bigger than Lionel.  There are several world crises currently in play that are bearing on Lionel's problem with the 990's.  We don't need to go into the details of how these crises formed, or how they're being managed on the global stage, but the fact is that many other manufacturers and marketers, in numerous other industries, are suffering the same challenges.

Are any of them handling their resultant problems any better?  Very, very, very few are.

Why?  No one in their right mind would have expected the scope, magnitude and/or timing of these crises.  Being of sound mind, generally, Lionel didn't either.

How does Lionel fix it?  They can't easily fix things by themselves, without many, many others responsible for fixing the crises doing their jobs first.  That's why presently Base-3 and the Cab-3 App are the only options, and why the limited numbers of new 990's are so hard to find, and why they are so expensive.  Consequently Lionel has very little available to it presently to "convince the customer that their investment is secure and will work far into the future".

The impact of these crises is bigger than our hobby because so many other things are affected.  Like new cars, video game consoles, and all sorts of other electronic things, and nice-to-have discretionary items.  But even more importantly, in trouble are also food, clothing and the basic things we need just to get by.

Because of this, as much scrutiny as we're giving Lionel, there are many other people, organizations, and firms who deserve much, much more.

Mike

Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike

Hello all,

First post, been lingering for a while around the forum but recently decided to sign up.  I haven’t really had a reason to post before now, but this one seems to be a good start.

FWIW, this was my auction.  I started it as a traditional auction at a very, very reasonable starting bid of $349 for a new in box unit, less than the MSRP.  I never, ever, ever imagined that it would sale for the price it did.  And honestly, based on the bids, I as well didn’t expect it to be “real” and there must have been some sort of “bot” or something that got carried away.  I told the wife that night it had to be some sort of mistake and I’ll end up having to re-list it.

But the next day, the buyer paid.  The item was shipped, and all was well.  Money in the account.  A bit wild even in my opinion.

As stated in other threads, items are what people are willing to pay.  Two people seemed to go back and forth and this was the result.  Never had any intention to “gouge”.  The market went nuts after the cab3 announcement and after several statements from Lionel that they weren’t going to make the Cab2 again (on a catalog review podcast and then not listed in new catalog.)

As well FWIW, another I sold a couple weeks later went for half this.  So, the market is up, but this seems to have been a “fluke”.



—————————-



Gizmo Model Railway

https://youtube.com/channel/UCvXKXUr5yAVHa_b-iGm9THg

Hello all,

First post, been lingering for a while around the forum but recently decided to sign up.  I haven’t really had a reason to post before now, but this one seems to be a good start.

FWIW, this was my auction.  I started it as a traditional auction at a very, very reasonable starting bid of $349 for a new in box unit, less than the MSRP.  I never, ever, ever imagined that it would sale for the price it did.  And honestly, based on the bids, I as well didn’t expect it to be “real” and there must have been some sort of “bot” or something that got carried away.  I told the wife that night it had to be some sort of mistake and I’ll end up having to re-list it.

But the next day, the buyer paid.  The item was shipped, and all was well.  Money in the account.  A bit wild even in my opinion.

As stated in other threads, items are what people are willing to pay.  Two people seemed to go back and forth and this was the result.  Never had any intention to “gouge”.  The market went nuts after the cab3 announcement and after several statements from Lionel that they weren’t going to make the Cab2 again (on a catalog review podcast and then not listed in new catalog.)

As well FWIW, another I sold a couple weeks later went for half this.  So, the market is up, but this seems to have been a “fluke”.



—————————-



Gizmo Model Railway

https://youtube.com/channel/UCvXKXUr5yAVHa_b-iGm9THg

Welcome aboard.  Thanks for the insight to the auction.

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