I too enjoyed the video and appreciate it being linked (and posted) here. Thanks Keith and Rich.
Landsteiner wrote: According to the video they are making about 50,000 Lion Scale products on-site.
I didn't hear that, so I went back to listen again. What Ryan said was they were producing a couple hundred items per day in house. Which yes, does make around 50,000. But I thought to myself, there's no way they're producing and selling 50,000 Lion Scale items.
Ryan also did say they have increased the in house production staff because the business is so good. But I take it to mean that the "good" part of the business is NOT Lion Scale items, but instead all of the special run club, commemorative, and personalized rolling stock - and most of those are TRADITIONAL types of rolling stock. He also said this part of the business was so good that they were having to pull back on the amount of cataloged items, which I took to mean the cataloged Lion Scale items.
It's also interesting here on this forum, that there are quite a few grumbles from scale enthusiasts about the prices of the Lionel scale rolling stock at around $100 each. They must not care to notice that the prices of the regular cataloged traditional rolling stock items (outside of the newly cataloged 6-packs) are only $5-$10 less per car. Even the US produced Lion Scale items are less costly than a foreign made traditional car with die-cast trucks, and less than a US made traditional car (???).
I would gather with the increase in the cataloged special run items, the licensed items (like some of the Looney Toons, Scooby-Doo, Hot Wheels, etc. boxcars that are US produced) and the personalized rolling stock - again mostly traditionally sized items - is where the real business is... despite what you read here on the forum. They're also all listed at the on-line Lionel store under "Most Popular."
And at $80-$95 per car, I would imagine these are very good profit items to produce, hence the emphasis on them. Of course, this also means they must be selling too.