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There are lots of wording used by our manufacturers giving us the impressions of buy yours before they are all gone. But what kind of numbers are we really talking about? I know the original Acela was limited production of 2000 sets. Was that a lot compared to other offerings or was that a small run of product. I don't know of anyone that couldn't find an Acela if they really wanted one of the original offering. Was an edition of 2000 units any fewer than the new allocated Lionel Mallets? Was the demand more than what they normally made.

    The demand for the MTH 'Merrmac' VA Anthracite locomotive wasn't enough to justify the 50 that were made. I can still find one or two at York each show. 

    The "rare" red or blue special edition Vanderbilts that Lionel produced were limited to 250 of each color-yet I can always find one at a train show or on EBay every week. What is the actual demand for the products we want to buy?

Scott Smith

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"Limited run" means whatever the manufacturer wants it to mean, in the absence of more specific information made available to the consumer.  Truth is, as it relates to high end O gauge production these days, I imagine just about everything is "limited run"--probably in the range of a couple of hundred units or so, if not fewer.  Most manufacturers probably wish that a run of 2,000 could be the norm for a so-called limited run.

 

And Dave Allen is right...the term usually doesn't indicate how many units will be made or imply that they will never be made again (unless specified in the advertising).

 

In short, it's usually little more than a means to (hopefully) stimulate sales.

I'm with Scott it is confusing.
I was surfing e bay the other night and came across a Lionel EM-1 pilot . The ad said it was one of only 50 made and it had legacy. I thought that it would be something I wouldn't see again soon but the next night there was another one by another seller and they said one of one hundred?.

I guess they're like the Smithsonian Dreyfus. There aren't many out there but you don't have that much trouble finding them.

In the other scales the brass sellers used to number theirs I guess to make them more collectable? But there's so much brass out there in the other scales now I don't think it adds much anymore.

David

 Ideally a limited run would be limited to one less than the total demand for the item.  If the limited run equals the total demand then it was just limited to the number of orders received and if it is greater than the total demand then it is just limited to the number of items that could be produced before someone decided to shut down the production line. 

As far as I know, the first two limited editions that Lionel made were the Gold Chessie Geep and the Coke set.

The price on the Gold Chessie shot up rapidly and then sank down.

I don't remember how the Coke set did.

Both items are actually rather common and easily obtained.

 

IMHO, there was a period in the modern era when Lionel was either very bad at estimating demand or intentionally underproducing select items. The street price on these items shot up immediately upon release (sometimes before), and fed pre-order mania. Some folks purchased "one to go and one to show" in the hopes that they could sell the mint piece at a profit to offset the cost of the one they kept.

The prices on many, if not most of these "instant collectables" have fallen well below the old market prices, and sometimes even below the original preorder prices.

 

 

Originally Posted by C W Burfle:

As far as I know, the first two limited editions that Lionel made were the Gold Chessie Geep and the Coke set.

The price on the Gold Chessie shot up rapidly and then sank down.

I don't remember how the Coke set did.

Both items are actually rather common and easily obtained.

 

IMHO, there was a period in the modern era when Lionel was either very bad at estimating demand or intentionally underproducing select items. The street price on these items shot up immediately upon release (sometimes before), and fed pre-order mania. Some folks purchased "one to go and one to show" in the hopes that they could sell the mint piece at a profit to offset the cost of the one they kept.

The prices on many, if not most of these "instant collectables" have fallen well below the old market prices, and sometimes even below the original preorder prices.

 

 

Seems to me and my memories not so good C.W. didn't Lionel do the Coke set in the mid seventies??? Coke was doing so much back then. I wasn't into O scale trains then but the train did catch my eye. I think they even had some kind of special offer that was printed on some of the first 2 litre bottles.
I'm sure some of you know more about it than I do.

David

I would be shocked if they really made 2000 sets. I can tell you there aren't that many people who will drop 1700.00 on a train. I would be really curious how many sets were really made. I think I would be shocked if they made more than 750 or so.

I don't think people really understand how few engines are really made I've been there when they unload them from the container and sometimes it's like that's it! That's all they made. But we will never know for sure.

Originally Posted by scott.smith:

This was not another attempt to Acela bash. It's just one of the few where Lionel listed the number produced. It was an example for discussion.

 

Scott Smith

Scott, i recall that the Lionel Dreyfus was a "limited" run (mid 90's I think), 1,500 pieces of the 3 rail and 750 of the 2 rail "Smithsonian."   The 3 rail was priced at $1,730 if I remember correctly, and the demand was so great that Lionel Held a lottery. 

The runs may be limited but the prices these days are unlimited!!! When MPC had Lionel I recall that just about all engines were run in quantities between 2,000 and 5,000 units (or so I was told) Today I cannot see any of the major importers bringing in less than 1000 units of a given type but perhaps the market is really that bad. Sometimes runs of many thousand are produced and are also painted in different road names. Does that figure as a run?

Ford makes the year X F-150,  They also makes the year X Limited Edition Harley Davidson F-150.   In 25 years there will probably be more of the limited edition copies around than the non limited editions because the regular ones got more used up and recycled.   So which one would really be the limited edition then?

 

Only 8500 Delorean's were ever made and yet none of them were "limited editions".

 

It is a meaningless terminology designed to create an emotional illusion of value.   Why?  Because it works and it's not illegal.  Anyone remember the Chevy Cavalier/Cadillac Cimarron?

 

Richard

"Curiouser and curiouser", maybe we are in "Wonderland"?

 

Flying Yankee set was issued by Lionel in the late 30s(?). It was re-listed in the Lionel 2008 Signature catalog at $599. 2012 Greenberg lists it in the pre-war section of the price guide as $560 (EXC). Not listed in "modern". I saw a new set listed by one of the mail order houses for less than that.

 

I bought one on the forum (C8), didn't care for it, tried to sell it (at a loss)--couldn't.

Now I have a "real" collectable ??? Actually I now like it--I think.

 

I love this hobby.---Charlie N

Originally Posted by Rod Stewart:
..............

Another question to ponder is why Lionel has been reluctant to offer any follow-up white tank cars to add to the set? I believe only one single add on car has ever been offered, though it seems certain that a 3 car add-on set would be a great seller.

 

Rod

There is a chance I am mistaken, but I believe there were 2 add-on cars to this set.  (don't have the catalog numbers handy)

 

For years I have been dreading (from a wallet point of view) there would be a catalog that fills in the entire 12 or 13 missing road numbers between the last intermediate car and the end car for this set all in one fell swoop.  So far, my fears are not materializing, and I'm starting to think they will never make another car to match these.  I'd probably be less surprised to see a new full set with Legacy in the engine at this point.

 

-Dave

Good one Pete....Welcome to the limited run lottery, where you may or may not get what you ordered and \or it may not work, or you may or may not be forced to ship it back after may or may not experiencing repetitive missed delivery dates or it may or may not be a limited run. Round and round she goes, where the buck stops er..nobody knows.

I lost count of how many similar threads there are with one or more of these outcomes. It's a fundamental shift in how the toy train business is run as a defacto standard that is geared toward collectors in the sense that they are expensive, complicated and as they say, may or not be a limited run. There was a columnist at another similar publication who was similarly irked. He named three or four so called limited editions that were not limited runs at Lionel due to the fact they were obviously re-run so Scott is not the only one who finds this sort of shell game irritating.

To me running the same item by parsing details is saying in effect,  this is not a limited or exclusive run because the so and so is absent in the reproduction, is really stretching the meaning of exclusive or more accurately what constitutes limited or exclusive as this is not  charity donation when you are talking a significant number of over one thousand dollars. I cannot help but think of the other thread on the late Thomas Kincaid where the value of a limited edition was so contentious, folks sued the guy. And so it goes. Not exactly a good portent for folks who believed what they read as a matter of trust issue, now or in the future

Last edited by electroliner

Limited Run means what the manufactures suggest it means, and they usually don’t disclose it. I think most of the time the they are just trying to create a sense of urgency to boost sales.
If a limited run is for 100 and the market will only support 50, you will find availability easy. On the other hand the limited run is for 2000 and the market will support 3000, availability will be difficult and at premium prices.

Originally Posted by Richard E:

Limited Run means what the manufactures suggest it means, and they usually don’t disclose it. I think most of the time the they are just trying to create a sense of urgency to boost sales.
If a limited run is for 100 and the market will only support 50, you will find availability easy. On the other hand the limited run is for 2000 and the market will support 3000, availability will be difficult and at premium prices.

Yea Richard,
In our day "Limited run" was designed to cause that sense of urgency.
Today they call it "pre order".

David

Originally Posted by jd-train:

My Weaver Reading G1 is one of 140 units made.

 

My 3rd Rail B&O T-3 is one of 100 units made (75 - 3R and 25 - 2R).

 

Interesting enough, I seem to see a Weaver Reading G1 for sale on ebay every couple of months.

 

Jim

This limited run comment has me wondering about the health of our 3 Rail hobby (probably number in the thousands of participants).  Based on this comment only seventy five 3 railers would have the interest in this excellent model from 3rd Rail regardless of the road name you are interested in.

 

This can't be a good sign or do a majority of 3 railers just buy engines from one or two road names.

 

What do you think?

 

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