Lionel Trains / Model Power announcement.

Historically, every time Lionel has tried to add to their core model train business and become a broad line toy company, they have failed for one reason or another.  

I wish Lionel well. Their previous attempts to penetrate the HO market didn't go well either.

C.W. Burfle
Notch 6 posted:

 The bottom line is that Lionel is committed to making a push into HO. This has been repeated to me by multiple people at Lionel and it is a company wide effort.

If I'm not mistaken, this will be the second attempt by this ownership group to take a stab at HO. Apparently, attempting this feat is a requirement for Lionel management, every 15 to 20 years. Who do they want to sell these trains to?

C W Burfle posted:

Historically, every time Lionel has tried to add to their core model train business and become a broad line toy company, they have failed for one reason or another.  

I wish Lionel well. Their previous attempts to penetrate the HO market didn't go well either.

Not all.  The last time Lionel offered HO was in the early 2000's  and the engines got good reviews.  According to Jerry Calabrese, he stopped HO production to save money because of the lawsuit they were involved in at the time.  Hopefully, this time they can get the same quality as before.  Mantua has always had a good name in HO.

I don't know. Lionel is still working out some rough edges in O scale. Who's gonna fix the defective H.O. stuff?

Theres still boxes of brand new O scale Lionel moguls waiting for new gear sets.

Theres something to be said for "keeping your eggs in one basket".

Of course, Tyco and Model Power were throw away trains, this seems more and more the direction Lionel is going in.

 

 

" No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car."

MartyE posted:
TrainMan1225 posted:

Good move by Lionel. Probably very unlikely, but an HO Scale Legacy line would be amazing.

That would be a terrible idea.  Lionel needs to keep these DCC and Bluetooth at the most.  The HO guys don't want another control system and quite frankly I doubt Lionel wants to deal with Legacy in these small footprints without little to no value.

Just my opinion ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Nick

"With a diesel, it's another train; with a steam locomotive, it's a happening!" - Walt Disney

I've been in HO for the better part most of my 50+ years of model railroading.

The former Mantua and Model Power models that are being being discussed have long since been left behind by current HO scale offerings. If one of the models from either Mantua or Model Power is set side by side next to a similar model by one of today's model mfg'ers,  they Mantual/Model Power model will look crude in comparison and run inferior (if a locomotive) to boot. There is NO WAY the serious HO modeler will be interested enough in these historic relics to the point that significant sales can be made.

IMHO: Unless Lionel has some kind of magic wand they can wave to create a viable (read: PROFITABLE) market (starter sets?) for these old reworked toy trains, then this HO effort is going to fail, and fail miserably.

I could very well be wrong, but I don't think I am.

Andre

TrainMan1225 posted:
MartyE posted:
TrainMan1225 posted:

Good move by Lionel. Probably very unlikely, but an HO Scale Legacy line would be amazing.

That would be a terrible idea.  Lionel needs to keep these DCC and Bluetooth at the most.  The HO guys don't want another control system and quite frankly I doubt Lionel wants to deal with Legacy in these small footprints without little to no value.

Just my opinion ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I hear what you're saying but trying to get the HO market to use yet another command system is, IMO, no worth it when DCC is so widely accepted. I would venture to say that folks using DCS to operate MTH engine is pretty low. Just a guess. 

Marty Eibeck

 

Below the Signature...

"Message received ground control."


 

TrainMan1225 posted:
MartyE posted:
TrainMan1225 posted:

Good move by Lionel. Probably very unlikely, but an HO Scale Legacy line would be amazing.

That would be a terrible idea.  Lionel needs to keep these DCC and Bluetooth at the most.  The HO guys don't want another control system and quite frankly I doubt Lionel wants to deal with Legacy in these small footprints without little to no value.

Just my opinion ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Trainman;

The Forum is a great place for opinions... please don’t stop offering them - discussions get very dry without varying opinions.

That being said, somewhere down the road, after Lionel establishes a presence in the HO market, Legacy compatibility may be something to consider. But when they are trying to break into a new market segment, from a marketing/sales prospective, you want to appeal to the broadest possible group. If you are already an HO type, you would probably not consider a new Lionel offering if it also required a Legacy setup. As we don’t know where Lionel is going with this acquisition, at this point, I would have to agree with Marty that DCC or Bluetooth is probably the best way to go.

Paul

Techno-Peasant of the First Order

Provisionary Member - Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

 

Apples55 posted:

The Forum is a great place for opinions... please don’t stop offering them - discussions get very dry without varying opinions.

 

Agreed!

Marty Eibeck

 

Below the Signature...

"Message received ground control."


 

MartyE posted:
TrainMan1225 posted:
MartyE posted:
TrainMan1225 posted:

Good move by Lionel. Probably very unlikely, but an HO Scale Legacy line would be amazing.

That would be a terrible idea.  Lionel needs to keep these DCC and Bluetooth at the most.  The HO guys don't want another control system and quite frankly I doubt Lionel wants to deal with Legacy in these small footprints without little to no value.

Just my opinion ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I hear what you're saying but trying to get the HO market to use yet another command system is, IMO, no worth it when DCC is so widely accepted. I would venture to say that folks using DCS to operate MTH engine is pretty low. Just a guess. 

True but remember that PS3 also works with DCC! And with that MTH HO offerings have been selling! HO guys maybe grumbling but they are Buying MTH HO!

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

I always thought much of the Model Power stuff was bottom-of-the-line stuff one could buy for around $3.00-$5.00.  Is that a money-making line?  I'd rather see Lionel produce more operating cars like the Missile Launching car, Helicopter Launching Car, Exploding Target Car, Lumber Dump car, Poultry Dispatch Car, and Coal Dump Car.  Didn't Model Power produce some military cars with cannons and other weapons?  I doubt the HO line will be made more prestigious and successful with this MP tooling unless Lionel upgrades it substantially.

phrankenstign posted:

I always thought much of the Model Power stuff was bottom-of-the-line stuff one could buy for around $3.00-$5.00.  Is that a money-making line?  I'd rather see Lionel produce more operating cars like the Missile Launching car, Helicopter Launching Car, Exploding Target Car, Lumber Dump car, Poultry Dispatch Car, and Coal Dump Car.  Didn't Model Power produce some military cars with cannons and other weapons?  I doubt the HO line will be made more prestigious and successful with this MP tooling unless Lionel upgrades it substantially.

Model Power had some bottom end items. Some were old Marx HO tooling....all plastic and unpainted bodies. (MPC 70's?)

The Mantua stuff for the most was good. When Model Power went under I grabbed a bunch of die cast HO 40ft reefers for under $5 each. Die cast body, frame and trucks with Kadee type couplers......not junk for sure!!

Grampstrains posted:
breezinup posted:

Looking at the Dark Side, is one side effect of this - putting the Lionel name on H.O. products - going to draw more young people (and parents) away from O gauge? Also, this acquision is perhaps another sign that there's a limit to the number of customers out there who can afford high-priced modern O gauge equipment. This limited market leaves little room for significant growth; to do that requires expansion into different areas. Wages continue to be stagnant, the middle class is increasingly squeezed, therefore less expensive trains are a  requirement for a train manufacturer to grow.

H.O. may actually bring more people into O gauge on down the road.  A lot of the folks on this forum started out with H.O. and have moved up.  It would be good to have the Lionel name on a good H.O. product to keep the name alive for new generations and it  should also give Lionel hobby shops a boost with more products to offer.

Very good points. Certainly the step-up idea from H.O. to O was true in my case - H.O. as a kid, now O.

RideTheRails posted:

I know it might be extremely short lead time but will be interesting to see if there is any of this in the upcoming catalog.

Steve

The next catalog comes out this month, and the deal isn’t even done yet. Plus, that catalog was likely sent to the printer a couple of weeks ago. It’s not certain to be in the January 2019 catalog. 

Jim R. 

Model Power/Mantua stuff was always considered bottom of the line stuff.

I bought a few cars at W.T. Grant back in the day when I didn’t know better…

It’s in the Pee-wee league of H.O.

Just my opinion, but I believe that Lionel should concentrate their efforts on resolving a lot of quality control issues they've been having over the last few catalogs.  Dropping $1500 on a new locomotive that doesn't run out of the box is very disheartening.  I recently sold all of the standard gauge items to start over in either O or G gauge and I'm hesitant for it to be Lionel at the current time.

- Brian 

Steam locomotives never really die - they wait and watch until they are fired up once more.

Really interesting announcement!   I still have my favorite HO steamer from the early 1970s, a Mantua 2-8-2 with a heavy cast boiler and excellent appearance for the time.   I added diodes so the headlight would appear brighter and ran it using 1/2 wave pulse power, and got really smooth performance, even at low crawl speeds.   Combined with their new HO FasTrack (looking forward to seeing this in action) that connects magnetically, and with their Bluetooth LC+ technology (electronics in the tender perhaps?), they could end up with a profitable product line.   They will probably entice me to purchase a Mantua-heritage loco and loop of track just for old-times sake.   I still have my HO stuff in a trunk in the basement.

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

C W Burfle posted:

I was just reading an article on Mantua (found here).
Apparently Consolidated Foods/Sarah Lee purchased Mantua in 1970, about the same time General Mills purchased the rights to make Lionel Trains.  Interesting coincidence.

Correct, as I mentioned earlier, Mantua Metal Products became Tyco Industries, actually shortly before the acquisition by the big food conglomerate.

Consolidated Foods was really responsible for cheapening the quality of the Mantua line from that point forward until the Tyler family bought back the New Jersey production factory and the pre-1970 American tooling in 1977.

Obviously, Consolidated Foods viewed Tyco as strictly a toy train line, unlike the Tyler family that founded the brand. In a lot of ways, Tyco was the HO equivalent of MPC’s Lionel in that seven-year timeframe. But the drop in quality was much more real and tangible on Tyco products.

Across the board, metal components were eliminated in favor of plastic. Mantua had featured diecast frames and trucks on its freight cars, with shaped metal axles. Steam locomotive bodies, with a couple of tooling replacement exceptions in the late 1960s, were Zamac (zinc alloy) castings. Diesels, while not having a traditional chassis, had gimble-mounted trucks featuring metal mounts and sheet metal gear box covers riveted in place. All of those components became plastic during that span — except for the Mikado, Pacific and General boilers. Any new steam models introduced had plastic boilers and cheaper mechanisms, culminating in the Chattanooga Choo Choo steamer that was tender driven, a cost-saving design that really irked me.

And, yes, except for the pre-1970 steamers, all production was moved to Hong Kong.

When I see people posting here that Mantua was considered to “always” be bottom shelf, I think they are reflecting on the years after 1970. In fact, Mantua was well respected by hobbyists, who loved using the steam locomotives as the basis for modeling projects prior to what we consider to be the modern era.

It’s the American classic tooling, not the cheapened product tooling in Hong Kong, that ended up back in the hands of John Tyler’s family. And it’s that tooling, albeit perhaps missing the worn-out tools, that ended up in the Model Power line in 2001 and appears to be heading toward Lionel, presumably in North Carolina or some American production facility on a contract basis, if the information Derek (Notch 6) got from Lionel proves correct.

Jim R. 

Ken-Oscale posted:

Really interesting announcement!   I still have my favorite HO steamer from the early 1970s, a Mantua 2-8-2 with a heavy cast boiler and excellent appearance for the time. 

Me too. I got the Mikado as a gift from my grandfather in 1967. It’s heft is probably one of the factors that steered me toward O gauge, and is heavy diecast metal steamers,  a quarter-century later.

Jim R. 

Jim R. posted:

I have to admit, this post confuses me because MRC had purchased the defunct Model Power line (including the Mantua tooling) fairly recently and is still listing both brands under its list of manufactured products.

http://www.modelrectifier.com/Articles.asp?ID=252

Model Power acquired the Mantua tooling and name after Mantua went out of business in 2001, then MRC acquired the Model Power and Mantua tooling and names several years after Model Power went out of business in 2014. MRC had even announced it would be featuring an Mantua Classics line. (Brian, this is the line that Mantua reintroduced around 1978 when the Tyler family bought back some of its tooling from Tyco Industries and began manufacturing a protect not associated with Tyco.)

But I just looked on MRC’s website and saw no sign of any former Mantua tooling in its product pages, only the Model Power N and HO products. But I did find plenty of Model Power.

https://www.modelrectifier.com...p;show=20&page=1

I never heard of ATI Model Power and can find no reference to this company or the Lionel announcement online outside of this post. Did this firm acquire the Mantua and Model Power tooling from MRC and then quickly turn around and sell it to Lionel? And what about Model Power stock MRC is listing stock for sale right now. There are 25 pages of it.

So, Marty, where did this information come from?

ATI Model Products Inc --the location and name of the original Company in Farmingdale, NY.

this may help with the decision i seem to constantly fight with - sticking with o or going with ho

one BIG reason i havent gone to ho is because i'm too much a Lionel Fanboy and i'm hoping (maybe too hopeful) that lionel will release some modern diesels in the future as well as a better camera engine based around a wide nosed GE Locomotive like a Dash 9 or AC6000CW which brings me to the question of could lionel tweak some existing o gauge tooling for HO?

 paigetrain

AKA Cody Parrish

modeler of the sci fi traditional 3 rail o gauge disaster

The Santa Fe Dash-8

MartyE posted:
TrainMan1225 posted:
MartyE posted:
TrainMan1225 posted:

Good move by Lionel. Probably very unlikely, but an HO Scale Legacy line would be amazing.

That would be a terrible idea.  Lionel needs to keep these DCC and Bluetooth at the most.  The HO guys don't want another control system and quite frankly I doubt Lionel wants to deal with Legacy in these small footprints without little to no value.

Just my opinion ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I hear what you're saying but trying to get the HO market to use yet another command system is, IMO, no worth it when DCC is so widely accepted. I would venture to say that folks using DCS to operate MTH engine is pretty low. Just a guess. 

I would venture to say that folks using DCS to operate MTH engine is pretty low. Just a guess. 

You'd be surprised, plenty have been sold.  I use it and I like it'..

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