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With all the talk of conventional control in this thread, I'm curious how many people actually use that.  I wouldn't be in this hobby but for DCS.  It would be interesting to do a poll and ask command control vs. conventional and also asking peoples' ages.

I have DCS, but lack of conventional running capability on any engine is a deal-killer for me.  It's not an age thing - it's practical, for multiple reasons.  Sometimes, I want to just keep it simple and run conventional.  My modular club's layout is often set up for conventional-only due to time constraints (hook up, troubleshooting, etc.) - we only use DCS for multiple-day setups, and sometimes not even then.  Sooner or later, the remote will fail or get dropped - at that point, the engine becomes a boat anchor - and I wouldn't count on Menards offering spares.     

Parents don't buy their kids $1,000 phones??? Well of course they do.  The kids aren't working paper routes at dawn and paying for the phones themselves.

My wife teaches 9th and 10th grade math at the high school in our middle- class neighborhood in central Virginia.

Every kid in her four classes has a cell phone except for 3 kids, and the vast majority of them are the latest Apple I-Phones or Samsung Galaxy phones.  Two of the kids have the new Glaxy Z Fold 3, which retails for $1,499.  :-O

She has to collect every one of them at the beginning of every class.

These phones are the current "coming of age" entitlement gift to modern kids when the hit the age of 14 or so.   (Somewhat like the expensive English Racer's some of us got back in the early 1960s.)

(I'm the only person I know above the age of 14 who carries a six year old $25 Verizon flip phone that I bought at WalMart.  It gets a lot of laughs when I pull it out of my pocket!)

Mannyrock

@Mannyrock posted:

Parents don't buy their kids $1,000 phones??? Well of course they do.  The kids aren't working paper routes at dawn and paying for the phones themselves.

My wife teaches 9th and 10th grade math at the high school in our middle- class neighborhood in central Virginia.

Every kid in her four classes has a cell phone except for 3 kids, and the vast majority of them are the latest Apple I-Phones or Samsung Galaxy phones.  Two of the kids have the new Glaxy Z Fold 3, which retails for $1,499.  :-O

She has to collect every one of them at the beginning of every class.

These phones are the current "coming of age" entitlement gift to modern kids when the hit the age of 14 or so.   (Somewhat like the expensive English Racer's some of us got back in the early 1960s.)

(I'm the only person I know above the age of 14 who carries a six year old $25 Verizon flip phone that I bought at WalMart.  It gets a lot of laughs when I pull it out of my pocket!)

Mannyrock

I suspect when people commented on kids with cell phones, they weren't talking about teenagers. Parents wouldn't be buying a train set for a teen ager and I think that is the point, you buy a train set usually for a kid 10 or younger IME. 

Agreed, probably rare for a parent to ever buy an expensive phone gift for any kid under ten.

But, next time you're at the Mall, take a look at what 12 year olds are carrying these days in the way of cell phones.   And, watch them haul their $600 gaming laptops out of their backpacks.  Kinda makes me sick.

By the way, one Member asked why having a remote only is such a negative to so many people.

The answer is, I think, that most of us started out slowly in the low end of the pool,  and have several nice conventional engines with a horn, whistle and maybe an engine sound or two.    If we get a Menard's with the remote only, then I don't think we can't run it at the same time with favor classic engines.  (At least, that's how I understand it.)

As far as the extra sounds that the Menard's engine comes with, I bought a NIB Lionel Santa Fe El Capitan, War Chief, with "Train Sounds", dual engines, conventional only, model 6-24568, last year online for $199 plus about $24 in shipping.  The Trainsounds include a bell, a horn, engine sounds, and about 12 separate lines of very clear speaking dialogue from the engineer.    Just pointing out that there are some low cost conventional-only locos that have some diverse sounds as well.

Mannyrock

@Mannyrock posted:

As far as the extra sounds that the Menard's engine comes with, I bought a NIB Lionel Santa Fe El Capitan, War Chief, with "Train Sounds", dual engines, conventional only, model 6-24568, last year online for $199 plus about $24 in shipping.  The Trainsounds include a bell, a horn, engine sounds, and about 12 separate lines of very clear speaking dialogue from the engineer.    Just pointing out that there are some low cost conventional-only locos that have some diverse sounds as well.

Mannyrock

Let's get something straight  here.

The Lionel 6-24568 was last offered 12 years ago in 2009 for $369 MSRP. That's $478 in 2021 when you correct for inflation which is considerably more than what the Menards engine is costing.

The MSRP on a new MTH set in 2009 with a wireless IR remote was $359,  plus the set could be run conventionally or wirelessly with DCS.

Last edited by H1000

Yes, I agree. Allow me to clarify. The El Capitan #158 engine was never sold separately.  It was part of an entire train set.   Here is the description of what you got for your $369.

  • SET INCLUDES:
  • FT diesel locomotive, two streamliner coach cars, one streamliner observation car, three straight FasTrack sections, eight curved FasTrack sections, a FasTrack terminal section, CW-80 Transformer


What I bought was the engine only.  None of the rest.

So, if you subtract out the retail price of all of those cars, tracks, transformers, etc. that came in the set, I do believe that the retail price of the engine, had they sold it alone, would have been far less than the $369.

I'm just pointing out, that there are traditional conventional engines out there, at fairly modest prices, that have a nice assortment of sounds, without going to the remote only system that the Menard's Sante Fe has.  Yes, somewhat apples to oranges, but only demonstrating that an informed buyer who searches the web can actually find NIB conventionals, with prices and features comparable to the Menards, and without the current problems of the Menards.

This is why Menards should offer their loco with a conventional operation mode.  That's all I meant to say.  I apologize that I was definitely not clear.

Mannyrock

@Mannyrock posted:

So, if you subtract out the retail price of all of those cars, tracks, transformers, etc. that came in the set, I do believe that the retail price of the engine, had they sold it alone, would have been far less than the $369.

A $159 Menards engine today would have retailed for about $125 in 2009. I have a hard time believing that Track, Transformer, and few cars adds another $240 to overall price.

@Allegheny posted:

What surprises me most about some of the comments is the hostility some folks exhibit to any company whom they deem as being unworthy to manufacturer and sell trains in their view.

I simply just don't get it.   Personally, I give all those who manufacture anything for the toy train hobby a great deal of credit.   They could have just as easily elected to manufacture a widget which would be much more profitable with a lot less headache.

If an item by a manufacturer doesn't meet your "specifications" then obviously you won't want to buy it.  But keep in mind that what it lacks in your viewpoint may just be what the doctor ordered by others.  For example simply good looking and base functionality.

To those that gripe the loudest and the most, I'm going to ask this simple question.

What have you designed, developed, put into production and sold that was a ten by all of your customers?   

If you haven't, then by what right do you have to even begin to complain?

If you have never engaged in the development of a product, what do you really know about what it takes to bring a product to market?   In most cases the answer is NOTHING.

With that being the case, then how can you judge anyone for their effort, especially if manufacturing a new product for the first time?

These are beta units - which means they are still working out the bugs.   In industry terms like "prototype" or "mule" are often used.  The auto industry, which is now nearly 120yrs old, still has prototypes that they build to work out the bugs, prior going into full production!

Having an elitist attitude because they aren't a mainstream train manufacturer is very telling of your prejudice.

Let us all simply employ the attitude of encouraging new entities into the toy train business by giving them honest feedback without being hostile and insulting.

I completely agree. O gauge trains, like many other products, are made with a wide variety of features for a wide variety of customer preferences. For me personally, I don't need a locomotive that has a movie-theater quality sound system, or a computer that wirelessly communicates with your signals and switches and adjusts accordingly, or a 1.5 inch tall audio-animatronic engineer that waves his tiny hand whenever your train rolls through a crossing. I just want a locomotive that looks nice and has basic features, and this new Menards locomotive looks like just the ticket. I will definitively be buying one (if not more than 1) when it is released, and I wish people would stop being overly critical of it. It's a scale diesel locomotive with sound and remote control for $140 MSRP. To me, that sounds like a steal, and just because there are $600 locomotives with slightly better features people are criticizing it.

"A $159 Menards engine today would have retailed for about $125 in 2009. I have a hard time believing that Track, Transformer, and few cars adds another $240 to overall price."

Probably true H100, but consider what I paid for the engine alone in today's dollars at which I bought it, compared to the current price of the Menards engine today.    The Menard's engine, in its current Proto II version, is in my opinion inferior to the El Capitan, and if Menards does the upgrades required to iron out the bugs, then the price of the Menard's is going to be pushed upward closer to $199.

As I have said, I am routing for the Menard's to upgrade the engine so it works great, but there are definitely similar alternatives already out there in the price range. 

Others may disagree, and feel that due to the remote, the Proto II is a better locomotive.  That's fine by me.  Go forth and buy and be happy!  :-)

Mannyrock

@Micro posted:

Not trying to go off topic here, but from a "computer-game perspective" how will updates to the beta engine work?
It will go to "early access" then "full release", and in the meantime, new gear/wheel/LED gets mailed to your house every other week?

They most likely won't bother.  They might offer the beta purchasers a trade or a deal on the production version.

Brendan

@Mannyrock posted:

Parents don't buy their kids $1,000 phones??? Well of course they do.  The kids aren't working paper routes at dawn and paying for the phones themselves.

My wife teaches 9th and 10th grade math at the high school in our middle- class neighborhood in central Virginia.

Every kid in her four classes has a cell phone except for 3 kids, and the vast majority of them are the latest Apple I-Phones or Samsung Galaxy phones.  Two of the kids have the new Glaxy Z Fold 3, which retails for $1,499.  :-O

She has to collect every one of them at the beginning of every class.

These phones are the current "coming of age" entitlement gift to modern kids when the hit the age of 14 or so.   (Somewhat like the expensive English Racer's some of us got back in the early 1960s.)

(I'm the only person I know above the age of 14 who carries a six year old $25 Verizon flip phone that I bought at WalMart.  It gets a lot of laughs when I pull it out of my pocket!)

Mannyrock

Kids today walk around with more money in their pockets than I carry and thats the issue, no value for anything.

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