From a reputable source I heard that Lionel senior management wants to cater to younger potential customers and cut back on high end products. I understand the drive for younger customers, but not at the expense of established customers.
Also heard not to expect much from MTH, nothing beyond that.
To me is't starting to feel like the manufacturers are abandoning S, when this could be a period of growth for them.
MTH really hasn't abandoned S because they never seriously got in. I stopped believing MTH would get serious about S after the way they handled the delays, shipping slips and erratic release of the F3's. Plus after the TOFC cars in 2016, they never released any else from the SHS tooling. Plus, I think they still owe Badgerland some reefers from several years ago. So MTH is sorta off my list.
I had hopes MTH and Lionel would engage in some S competition, but MTH surrendered early.
If Lionel want's to go with traditional style Flyer and FlyerChief that's fine with me, but I'm not in the market. As far as scale or Legacy, well I'm SD70 and ES44'd out. Fine locomotives to be sure, but as contemporary is mostly a curiosity for me, they're snug in their boxes, waiting for a time when the "modern bug" bites again. I plan on a new cylindrical hopper or two mainly to evaluate the new trucks.
I'll admit I had fun testing some FlyerChief locomotives, but traditional style Flyer is not in my current interest, but it may help Flyer hang on for decade or so. The Berks aren't bad, but the big turn off for me is the molded on handrails. If another FlyerChief steam locomotive is developed with wire handrails, I'd give it a serious look.
And all bets are off if Lionel goes through yet another management change...