OK guys....keep this on topic or we will close the thread and not allow another one like it to start. Your vacations, and vehicle discussions, etc. were deleted. Looks like some of you just don't get it...as we have warned some of the same people over and over to stay on topic and quit posting unrelated material contrary to the thread and the purpose of this forum.....so....if you are going to do this know that the mods have been instructed to delete your membership account.
As I have posted, back a few years ago, (at an online estate auction) I bought an MTH Proto 1 Commodore Vanderbilt. It was (then) some 20+ years old, but new in the box. I of course had no idea that it suffered from the dreaded zinc pest, only to find that the drive wheels were falling apart. A replacement chassis was the only "fix" but was no where to be found, from MTH parts or anywhere else.
I wrote a letter to Mike Wolf, saying that I expected no warranty or other consideration- but asking him if he could help find a replacement chassis to buy. Five days later, a new chassis showed up, no cost. I was shocked and pleased that such personal care was still there in the business. When I met him at York to thank him again personally, he seemed to have no recollection of my situation, so maybe one of his employees handled it. But still, the character and culture of a company, big or small, in a huge industry or a small one, comes from the top.
Not only was MTH and Mike Wolf good for the industry, he was a good guy from my perspective. I wish him the best.
I buy a lot of trains from Ready to Roll in Miami. The owner, Bill Lucas, is a great guy and a long time MTH dealer. Mike Wolf owns a home in south Florida and visits Ready to Roll from time to time, usually on Saturdays where I’ve met him several times. One Saturday several years ago I went to the store with a broken DCS remote hoping that Bill could fix or replace. Mike Wolf happened to be there this day and asked me what happened to my remote. He was familiar with the problem and proceeded to disassemble the remote and fix it right at the counter before my eyes! Needless to say, I was amazed and impressed. Mike is a true “train guy” who has made enormous contributions to this hobby. He will be greatly missed.
Who knows, maybe Mike will have to take a part time job there to supplement his Social Security and fix trains.
Watched some of the Trainland Virtual Train Meet. Andy didn’t seem like he would be carrying on at MTH. I got the impression he will be done with the business side when MTH closes next year. I always enjoyed talking to Andy at York. I wish him well.
He sounded very noncommittal to me, possibly leaning toward him not carrying on. For MTH to continue successfully, it will need to have a passionate train person at the helm. I don't know Andy - is he a true "train nut"?
Speculating that he's a) done pretty well financially and b) he's a contemporary of Mike Wolf, I'd guess that he wouldn't want to bet his own retirement money on the future success of MTH. I know that I wouldn't do it.
........ For MTH to continue successfully, it will need to have a passionate train person at the helm. ,,,,,,,
In my opinion, it would be better to have someone experienced in running a business of this size [ preferably successfully ! ]; experience with the Chinese, or access to a "China hand", would be a big plus. If he [ OK, or she....] is a train person, which would be another plus, they will have to let the business side of the brain over ride the passion side.
Remember, Mike W. got his BS in Toy Train Mfg at Jerry Williams U, and Lionel paid for his Master's........
Best regards, SZ
With all of the brick and mortor hobby shops closing across the country, perhaps this might be in good timing. The O gauge market is pretty saturated with fewer new younger modelers entering the hobby and longtime enthusiasts passing on. We now have more O gauge trains to choose from then ever beforehand.