What’s the next Flyer Chief Offering?

So...

I was wondering what will likely be the next “new” offering from Lionel for the Flyer Chief line.

My guess is....

D15B93C0-3FE7-47EB-8D22-3940555A4204

The EP5. 

Its been quite a while since these have been run, seems like a good time for a return. Not my cup or tea, but I’m sure some will like it. I would rather see Lionel round up all the Baldwin’s just made that can’t sell and put in FC and BT and rerelease them. Then S could finally get a non docksider starter set. 

Thoughts on the next FC offering? 

Ben

 

NASG&CASG

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Well without new tooling I'd guess the Baldwin switchers would be a good candidate. They would certainly be a good "Starter Set" engine. The EP-5 is kinda specialized and the pantographs could be a problem with "tiny curious fingers" pulling on them to see what they do. Would the Flyerchief guts fit in a Baldwin?

The Flyonel Baldwin is 9" long:

The Flyonel GP7 is 11" long: so Lionel might have to do some scrunching-up of the innards to make it work. I haven't looked under the shell of the new GP7's so I don't know if there is any empty space in there. At least having used the Baldwins trucks for the new GP7's Lionel is most of the way there already.

I'd guess that since Lionel has issued the Alco PA's (Legacy), The GP7's (FlyerChief), and The Baldwins (conventional) the only other American Flyer diesel engine that existed was the goofy F-9 Diesel:

 

I would hope that model is never resurrected as it was truly a cheapo design.

So again, without new tooling I'd bet on the Baldwin Switcher to be next in line for FlyerChief.

Mark

 

OK. One more thought.

Lionel buys American Models, puts a pile of cash in Ron Bashista's hands, Ron retires to the Poconos, Lionel now has the molds for:

Alco RS11:

Alco PA1 and B Unit:

Alco Rs3: 

Alco Fa2 and B unit: 

Baldwin GG-1: 

Baldwin S12: 

EMD F40PH: 

EMD FP7: EMD FP-7

EMD GP9/18: 

EMD GP35: 

EMD E8: 

EMD SD60: 

FM Trainmaster: 

GE U25b: 

 

Now...which one is next for FlyerChief?....

Mark

 

 

 

 

Roundhouse Bill posted:

My hope is that there might be a throwback to the Pacifics and the Mikados from 2006 that had TMCC.  Lionel told me that the tooling is lost and gone for these, but they do have examples of the castings and running gear to use as models.  They were good looking engines.   

Lionel should  (or their builder) also have the data files for their O scale USRA locomotives.  It would be a matter of rescaling the drawings and making changes for a smaller drive. (Easy for me to say, I'm not paying the engineering costs...)  And of course, the cost of cutting new tools.

Still, with what little I've played with a freind's FlyerChief Geep, I have to say it's a pretty nice little system.  I could see it becoming the standard for all but extremely high end Flyer locomotives.

Rusty

Banjo

I think there is a reason that we have never seen a rerelease F9 from Lionel/American Flyer - and that is just fine by me, I have seen them in person at train shows and never had a desire I pick one up.  IF that tooling is still around, I hope it is nothing more than a paper weight for Lionel.

I want the Baldwin with FC/BT. If Lionel can fit it into the docksider, then they could certainly get it into the Baldwin.  I know it’s not a faithful copy of the VO1000, but I really dig it.  The last run of Baldwin’s I think were in production before the “let’s go all LionChief/FlyerChief” mentality took over at Lionel.  I am going to guess, that since they did not sell well, we might see a break before Lionel produces them again. (Even though, in my opinion, they were a lack luster offering when everything else in the catalog had FC and BT).  And I DO think a Baldwin RTR set is the way to go. 

Lionel has stated that they are done with conventional sets. All LC from now on (and I think it’s smart).  If the Baldwins had the FC/BT capabilities I would have been all over my normal road names.  

As for the mikados and pacifics, I don’t think we will see them again, I can not see Lionel paying the tooling cost all over again to make something that is already in the market (even if they are getting harder to find - that mikado was wonderful!). 

I guess there is the possibility of a FC Challenger? 

I would like to see some of the PAs with BT, but again, Lionel just run the largest single cataloged batch, and there was a decent flow of them before the 2017 catalog as well.

We should only have another month or so before we know what’s in store for 2018 and American Flyer.  

MTH who???!?

Ben 

 

NASG&CASG

Log Cruser, it is perfect logic.  I would have had a few Baldwin’s and a PA set converted.  

But like apple and the IPhone. They don’t want you to like the old stuff as much as the new.  Why would you buy new stuff if you did? 

I talked with someone who has a bit of inside knowledge (IMO) about this very topic, and was present when the question of making the electronics available was asked to Lionel.  While it did not seem that it was impossible that Lionel would make this stuff available, it did not seem like it was going to happen any time soon. 

Ben

NASG&CASG

Since I own an O Gauge LionChief Thomas and Mikado locomotive, as well as a couple of FlyerChief Berkshires, I will say that I really like that control system, especially with the addition of BlueTooth (which none of my locos have). I was sorely tempted by the FlyerChief 4-8-4 loco, but it just seems too big of a loco. The Geeps fall too short in several categories for me to consider (four rubber tires, inadequate electrical pickup, and flat stamped handrails), as would the Baldwin switchers (it's just too ugly).

Last year, I dug a bunch of my old American Flyer locos out from storage in the loft of my garage, and got most of them running with very little effort, running them at my club's holiday display last year and this year. In doing so, I have rekindled my appreciation of the lowly Flyer Atlantic, and to a lesser extent, the 4-4-0's as well. I find myself wondering why Big L never did a run of Atlantics, was just because Gilbert made so many that they flooded the market forever to come? Or was it because being such a small loco, the perception is that they can't support a high enough price to make them profitable? Anyway, I would like to see a new Atlantic with FlyerChief, especially if it could be upgraded to be closer to scale, along the lines of the Berkshires. But please, whatever you do, don't mold the handrails into the boiler casting!

Bill in FtL

NotInWI posted:

Log Cruser, it is perfect logic.  I would have had a few Baldwin’s and a PA set converted.  

But like apple and the IPhone. They don’t want you to like the old stuff as much as the new.  Why would you buy new stuff if you did? 

I talked with someone who has a bit of inside knowledge (IMO) about this very topic, and was present when the question of making the electronics available was asked to Lionel.  While it did not seem that it was impossible that Lionel would make this stuff available, it did not seem like it was going to happen any time soon. 

Ben

I have an EP5 with a Bluerail board in it.  I put a voltage regulator in and the Bluerail board.  Runs fine.  

Brendan

Roundhouse Bill posted:

My hope is that there might be a throwback to the Pacifics and the Mikados from 2006 that had TMCC.  Lionel told me that the tooling is lost and gone for these, but they do have examples of the castings and running gear to use as models.  They were good looking engines.   

I have the Union Pacific Mikado with TMCC and it's one of my favorite engines!

Dang,  just found 3 Mikados on “that auction site”.  Boy are they awesome.  Always wanted one.  I know things happen - but who lost the molds? Were they promoted or fired?  Put BT in one and I am in for 1 or 2 for sure.  I would look at having Valley Forge try to convert it to scale flanges (doesn’t look easy - rivets on undercarriage on current model).  

Paws2k posted:

Dang,  just found 3 Mikados on “that auction site”.  Boy are they awesome.  Always wanted one.  I know things happen - but who lost the molds? Were they promoted or fired?  Put BT in one and I am in for 1 or 2 for sure.  I would look at having Valley Forge try to convert it to scale flanges (doesn’t look easy - rivets on undercarriage on current model).  

It's been about 17 years since the Mikado's were introduced and there's been one or two management changes at Lionel since.  The people responsible (who also actually TALKED to S folks at an NASG convention in Milwaukee) for bringing the Mikado's to market are long gone.  All the tooling would still be in China if it exists at all. 

The NYC and B&O models were the first release.  The NYC was separate sale and the B&O in a set with AF streamlined cars:

LTI 6-48036 2-8-2 NYCrLTI 6-48037 2-8-2 B&Or

Rusty

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I'm all for another steam offering in flyerchief.  Wouldn't mind a Hudson at all. The northerns turned out great. Great build quality, great paint job, good detail on the casting. And if they tooled a 6 wheel driver it would open up allot of options for the future. 

All tooling lost on TMCC Mikados and Pacifics.  Lionel doesn't know where the tooling went.  

To build a Hudson with FlyerChief new tooling would be needed. My guess is to keep price down it would have to be a one piece cast shell like Berkshire not like Gilberts 4 piece unit.  Maybe even cast in handrails!!  

I would agree a Hudson would be a natural.  As long as all new tooling would be needed, charge a couple of bucks extra for wire handrails if necessary.  The cast on ones on the Berks look, well, cheap.  Heck, even most of the LionChief Plus O gauge steamers have wire handrails.

We all know Lionel can do it.

This is the 21st century after all...

Rusty

Here's another thought, but it would only be possible if the GP7's motor could be relocated to the rear of the locomotive.  The so-called Flyer "GP20."

xLTI 6-48001 GP20 ICGr

The new frame and power truck won't allow for the chop-nose and motor to occupy the same space, so the motor would have to be in back.

Rusty

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Rusty Traque posted:

Here's another thought, but it would only be possible if the GP7's motor could be relocated to the rear of the locomotive.  The so-called Flyer "GP20."

xLTI 6-48001 GP20 ICGr

The new frame and power truck won't allow for the chop-nose and motor to occupy the same space, so the motor would have to be in back.

Rusty

Didn't we work out some time ago when others gave some additional motor data etc that on paper it seem feasible to put the latest truck assembly in the long hood  which would make the GP20 possible?

Rusty Traque posted:

Here's another thought, but it would only be possible if the GP7's motor could be relocated to the rear of the locomotive.  The so-called Flyer "GP20." The new frame and power truck won't allow for the chop-nose and motor to occupy the same space, so the motor would have to be in back.

Rusty

Why couldn't the GP20 shell be installed "backwards" and then reverse the wiring to the motor leads?

The new  GP7 chassis looks symmetrical so it appears you could reverse the orientation of a shell. I don't have a GP20 to compare screw mounting holes but that could be worked out. The speaker housing of the GP7 would also need to be reversed.

Mark

FlyerRich posted:
Greekchief posted:

I'm all for another steam offering in flyerchief.  Wouldn't mind a Hudson at all. 

I only want a Hudson that is super detailed and Legacy. I'd pay whatever it cost. Just sayin'.

Agree.  A potential future of less detailed Flyerchief only offerings from Lionel is not an exciting one for me given that it was products like the SD70's, ES44's, and Mallets (along with AM's offerings and the prospect of MTH offerings) that caused me to choose S in the first place.

Dave Olson and Ryan are listening from Lionel.  The market got their attention after the unexpected success of the FlyerChief Berkshires (and Polar Express) as well as solid sales of the Northerns and GP7s. FlyerChief is bring new people into the market slowly.  And when was the last time you saw two catalogs for any manufacturer in S (although one was at the back of an O gauge catalog. 

Also there are rumors of wider radius fasttrack and switches - that would bring people in as well.

After the solid performance of FlyerChief Berkshires and Northerns on the North Penn S gauge shows, we are getting members adding FlyerChief.  The layout has 3 DCC lines and 1 AC line and FlyerChief works on both.

If Flyer/FlyerChief offerings continue to sell out quickly, expect Lionel to become a little more daring with S, conversely if they don't - it will be recycled trains from the past.

I have hope for AM Models as well, just wish they could offer metal couplers for their 4 wheel passenger cars - it would solve my problems and I could purchase the rest of the Ramble.  And a deal with Lionel to add Flyerchief to their offerings would be great as well.

 

Francine posted:

 

If Flyer/FlyerChief offerings continue to sell out quickly, expect Lionel to become a little more daring with S, conversely if they don't - it will be recycled trains from the past.

 

 

With the exception of the Berkshires, the FlyerChief line is basically recycled Northern's and GP7's from the past.  Any FlyerChiefing of the PA's, EP5's or variations on the GP7 will also be recycling from the past.

Vastly improved in construction, decoration and with crisper details I'll admit, but still based on 60+ year old products.

The Mikado's and Pacific's of the early 2000's were true "break out" products.  As were the Challengers, U33C's, Y3A's, SD70's and ES44's (and I'll include the Berkshires here) of more recent vintage. 

Unfortunately at this time, only the Berkshires remain.

Now, I'm not insisting that Lionel make only S Scale stuff.  If they want to continue down an improved traditional line, that's OK.  But, they have made some really cool non-traditional new stuff.

Rusty

Banjoflyer posted:

OK. One more thought.

Lionel buys American Models, puts a pile of cash in Ron Bashista's hands, Ron retires to the Poconos, Lionel now has the molds for:

Alco RS11:

Alco PA1 and B Unit:

Alco Rs3: 

Alco Fa2 and B unit: 

Baldwin GG-1: 

Baldwin S12: 

EMD F40PH: 

EMD FP7: EMD FP-7

EMD GP9/18: 

EMD GP35: 

EMD E8: 

EMD SD60: 

FM Trainmaster: 

GE U25b: 

 

Now...which one is next for FlyerChief?....

Mark 

 

 

Mark, These beautiful A.M. locomotives are reasonably priced now and if you desire you can add an ERR Driver boards to these with a little measuring and planning . DIY for about $35.00. That is no sound but wireless control.

Ray

Roundhouse Bill posted:

I think the $900 Legacy steam engines are a thing of the past.  Why should Lionel pay for the expensive tooling of a $900 engine when they can do a Berk style engine and sell a lot of them for half the price.

Maybe a new Atlantic would be fun!!

Right, any new Legacy steam locomotive would be north of $1200.00.  Any newly tooled FlyerChief steam locomotive will probably be $50-$100 more than the Berkshires.

Rusty

Rayin"S" posted:

 

 Mark, These beautiful A.M. locomotives are reasonably priced now and if you desire you can add an ERR Driver boards to these with a little measuring and planning . DIY for about $35.00. That is no sound but wireless control.

Ray

Ray I had no idea that could be done for such a small price. I have the Frisco U25b and it could be such a candidate.

Thanks!

Mark

Chuck K posted:
FlyerRich posted:
Greekchief posted:

I'm all for another steam offering in flyerchief.  Wouldn't mind a Hudson at all. 

I only want a Hudson that is super detailed and Legacy. I'd pay whatever it cost. Just sayin'.

Agree.  A potential future of less detailed Flyerchief only offerings from Lionel is not an exciting one for me given that it was products like the SD70's, ES44's, and Mallets (along with AM's offerings and the prospect of MTH offerings) that caused me to choose S in the first place.

Agreed.

I have purchased a FC+ GP-7, it fits into a certain niche for me, and it is fun, but it is NO substitute for one of the recently offered Legacy diesels or steamers by any parameter that one may chose. The NKP FC+ GP-7 is both the first and the last FC+ engine I will ever purchase. I am fully prepared to pay more for properly done Legacy offerings. Legacy and FC+ (LC+) can coexist, as they do in O. An AF Legacy SD-40 would sell, well, IMO. Here's hoping that a Legacy Berk is offered in the next catalog.

Bob

Rusty Traque posted:
Roundhouse Bill posted:

I think the $900 Legacy steam engines are a thing of the past.  Why should Lionel pay for the expensive tooling of a $900 engine when they can do a Berk style engine and sell a lot of them for half the price.

Maybe a new Atlantic would be fun!!

Right, any new Legacy steam locomotive would be north of $1200.00.  Any newly tooled FlyerChief steam locomotive will probably be $50-$100 more than the Berkshires.

Rusty

You are both guessing to a degree on pricing. I suspect ( I can guess a bit, too) that a Legacy Berk (based heavily upon existing tooling) after discount would come in under what either of you are estimating.

Respectfully,

Bob

Bob Bubeck posted:
Rusty Traque posted:
Roundhouse Bill posted:

I think the $900 Legacy steam engines are a thing of the past.  Why should Lionel pay for the expensive tooling of a $900 engine when they can do a Berk style engine and sell a lot of them for half the price.

Maybe a new Atlantic would be fun!!

Right, any new Legacy steam locomotive would be north of $1200.00.  Any newly tooled FlyerChief steam locomotive will probably be $50-$100 more than the Berkshires.

Rusty

You are both guessing to a degree on pricing. I suspect ( I can guess a bit, too) that a Legacy Berk (based heavily upon existing tooling) after discount would come in under what either of you are estimating.

Respectfully,

Bob

Bob,  I usually discuss these kind of things as MSRP. 

It's the price that will appear in the catalog and the only way to set a baseline and make any kind of valid price comparison.  Discounts can vary depending on the dealer, and if taxes or shipping costs (if any) are included also affects the over all price paid. 

Now, I may be high (or low) on my guesstimates, but the only way we'll know for sure is if something is actually announced.

Rusty

Rusty Traque posted:
Bob Bubeck posted:
Rusty Traque posted:
Roundhouse Bill posted:

I think the $900 Legacy steam engines are a thing of the past.  Why should Lionel pay for the expensive tooling of a $900 engine when they can do a Berk style engine and sell a lot of them for half the price.

Maybe a new Atlantic would be fun!!

Right, any new Legacy steam locomotive would be north of $1200.00.  Any newly tooled FlyerChief steam locomotive will probably be $50-$100 more than the Berkshires.

Rusty

You are both guessing to a degree on pricing. I suspect ( I can guess a bit, too) that a Legacy Berk (based heavily upon existing tooling) after discount would come in under what either of you are estimating.

Respectfully,

Bob

Bob,  I usually discuss these kind of things as MSRP. 

It's the price that will appear in the catalog and the only way to set a baseline and make any kind of valid price comparison.  Discounts can vary depending on the dealer, and if taxes or shipping costs (if any) are included also affects the over all price paid. 

Now, I may be high (or low) on my guesstimates, but the only way we'll know for sure is if something is actually announced.

Rusty

It's the actual purchase price that matters.

Bob

I think a new legacy steamer is gunna be north of it’s O Gauge counterpart in price.  I would think tooling cost between a O gauge Hudson and an S Gauge Hudson are more or less the same.  But there will not be as much of a return in sales on the S Gauge version. That means price is going to go up to cover that loss.

Ben  

NASG&CASG
Bob Bubeck posted:
Rusty Traque posted:
Bob Bubeck posted:
Rusty Traque posted:
Roundhouse Bill posted:

I think the $900 Legacy steam engines are a thing of the past.  Why should Lionel pay for the expensive tooling of a $900 engine when they can do a Berk style engine and sell a lot of them for half the price.

Maybe a new Atlantic would be fun!!

Right, any new Legacy steam locomotive would be north of $1200.00.  Any newly tooled FlyerChief steam locomotive will probably be $50-$100 more than the Berkshires.

Rusty

You are both guessing to a degree on pricing. I suspect ( I can guess a bit, too) that a Legacy Berk (based heavily upon existing tooling) after discount would come in under what either of you are estimating.

Respectfully,

Bob

Bob,  I usually discuss these kind of things as MSRP. 

It's the price that will appear in the catalog and the only way to set a baseline and make any kind of valid price comparison.  Discounts can vary depending on the dealer, and if taxes or shipping costs (if any) are included also affects the over all price paid. 

Now, I may be high (or low) on my guesstimates, but the only way we'll know for sure is if something is actually announced.

Rusty

It's the actual purchase price that matters.

Bob

Maybe so, but it's not the price reflected in the catalog.  While dealer cost is the baseline dealers use for discounting, the MSRP is what customers compare against to see how good a "deal" they got.

(It's also what causes the O gaugers to clutch their chests whenever a new catalog comes out. )

And if it's something like the O scale brass hybrid 2-8-2 only available direct through Lionel, MSRP is the price one will pay, assuming Lionel doesn't offer an early order discount.

Rusty

 

Banjoyerflyer posted 



Ray I had no idea that could be done for such a small price. I have the Frisco U25b and it could be such a candidate.

Thanks

Mark

Mark, I have an RS-3 in Milwaukee Road paint and a pair of Burlington GP-35s that I have converted to TMCC using the ERR Mini-2. Go to their website and you will see the Mini-2 sells for $34.95. It is not a hard install and if you have any problems Ken at ERR is always ready to answer questions.

 


  

Mini Commander 2 Kit  (Vers 1)
     - Front/Rear LED's and Light Bulb outputs

Ray

   34.95
 


 

 

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