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@SPSF posted:

So many "Firsts" brought to the O gauge market courtesy of MTH.

F7 [Williams/Kusan was really the first F7]

GP7 (cannot count Lionel due to stamped handrails) Sorry but it was a GP9 that MTH came out with and labeled as a GP7.  Atlas O has the first  SCALE GP7 with correct PIPE HAndrails.

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GP9 (cannot count Lionel due to stamped handrails)

GP20 (cannot count Lionel due to stamped handrails)

GP30

GP40

GP60M [Atlas O was the first MTh Followed!]

SD9 (cannot count Lionel due to adding 6 axle trucks to a GP9) [Sorry, MTH is really an SD7 - look at the marker light positions]

SW1500

SD45 (Williams was non proportional)

FP45 (Williams was non proportional)

SD45T-2

C30-7

SD50

SD60

SD60M

SD70M

SD90Mac

Dash8

Dash9

AC4400CW  [Sorry but 3rd Rail Brass had the AC400CW come out first]

AC6000

U50C

U50D

DDA40X

89' Autocarriers [you mean Shortened 18" Versions - O scale brass for Overland was the first Scale autoracks, Lionel for 3 rail  scale O gauge]

And many more

 

 

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I'm talking actual Production (not Built to order Brass, anything can be made for a Price).

I've never seen a 3rd Rail AC4400CW, is it vapor ware?

You cannot count that Kusan/Williams "F7" ~ It's Junk.

I can only find 1998 for MTH GP60M and 2003 or 2004 for Atlas GP60M.

Point was:  MTH brought Many Firsts to the Hobby that we have all benefited from. (I failed to mention in my original post Affordable steamers).

Autoracks were fine for what was available at the time = Nothing or $500 brass 2 rail.

The 3rd Rail AC4400CW came out around 1998 or early 1999.  They show up on Ebay from time to time.  They are nice locomotives.  Now that Scott is doing a new run with the latest improvements in the drive, ball bearings on all axles, no swinging pilot and in higher resolution plastic, it will be the best one on the market for scale operators.

My opinion it that MTH did bring the benefit of competition to the market for both reasonably priced products and technology.  They make some excellent products.  As for a loss of variety, I don't see it.  Steam locomotives may come back from different manufacturer's in either full brass or brass hybrid and the pricing which be not a whole lot more than what we are seeing in die cast.  The diesels might be more difficult for some of the "what used to be modern" locos like an SD60 or SD80MAC.  If there is demand for a specific locomotive that can generate enough interest to do it in numbers, it will be made.

As a buyer, not a seller I have no regrets.

As for others filling MTH’s shoes, it ain’t gonna happen. Atlas has done exactly two steam locomotives if you include the toy Atlantic. Both were duds. 3rd Rail as been resistant to do many steam engines that were requested plus the others they agreed to do with not enough interest to complete them.

We will just have to live with the loss as we have with K-Line. The O gauge community is poorer for it.

Pete

Last edited by Norton

In my lifetime there are only two items I regret selling and neither were trains:

  • A Roland Jupiter 8 analog synthesizer I paid $500.00 for and sold for less when no one wanted analog equipment.  Current value $15,000.00
  • An Oberheim Matrix 1000 rack synthesizer I traded for a Fender Squire Strat.  I looked to replace it, but they are going for 8 times what I paid for it new.

I'm pretty bummed to see MTH go. I started with Lionel and they've been great. Somehow, they survived the grueling stuff I put them through (dicey trestles, bridges, "dirt", etc) as a kid. I got some MTH rolling stock before I got out of model railroading and really liked them. Hopefully MTH is mostly closing because Mike is retiring. That will leave space for the other companies to fill. We'll see. I do not believe this is the end of good times. Just a dip. There's a demand, someone will fill it. I'm extremely concerned about my local hobby shop and their walls of MTH stuff. I hope Sunset, Atlas, Weaver, etc can fill that void. 

My greatest regret with MTH's closing is that I do not have a triplex. I want one so bad. I hope the ones on ebay are decent since I suspect any broken stuff will be need parts that are no longer in production unless I can 3D print them. We'll see what happens. Maybe the tax return will get me an ebay triplex

I think I have only sold one or two MTH engines over the years. The only one I can think of that I regret is I had a PS1 weathered C&O Greenbriar. I wish I never sold that. Well, maybe someday I will come across another one. 

What is even worse is there are a few I regret never buying. Who knows if I ever will come across those locomotives in the coming years. The scale wheel versions are rare.

Last edited by Hudson J1e

I've often joked that my collection is like the Roach Motel--once it checks in, it doesn't check out.

The upside: I'll not have to chase down "second thoughts"

The downside: Erm, a little pressed for space. I'll have to play a lot of train-box Tetris while I round up the last few MTH-exclusive car types I had been putting off (latest one: a couple of their big wood-chip hoppers)

---PCJ

i WONDER IF MTH had told us two years ago that they were closing up shop; would your buying or selling habits have changed? 

I think the answer is NO. We would not have changed at all.  This is not the first time for us. Flyer and K-Line left us, and I still buy and see many OLD (not Lionel) K-Line items sold on eBay and the shows. (No Flyer, I dont care about Flyer) 

You want that MTH engine you sold off years ago; wait. One of us will pass and it will be up for sale again.

All this consternation over a company that has sold thousands if not millions of products. MTH may have gone away but their trains will live on!

I am on the other end of the spectrum in the last year I was fortunate enough to pick up several ABA RK F-3 sets from forum members for a great deal. I know that the RK sets lack details but IMO these sets are some of the best running sets MTH made.  I really like my Atlas locomotives too and I think they are great bargains but not made as well as most MTH offerings. There will be another company that will pick up the production of MTH train items. 

I predict Lionel will buy the tooling for MTH's Premier Line...there's just too many neat and unique models for Lionel - now the industry's lone top player - to let go to the "last roundup." This would be a wise business decision as buying the designs/molds is likely less costly than reverse engineering them or designing from the start. Thus someday those of us lamenting over the loss of those unique engines will see them again, only with Legacy system.

Maybe they would buy the Railking line, too, but I wouldn't bet on that...certainly the structures I could see Lionel buying but am not confident on the line of trains. My crystal ball, albeit a bit foggy, may be showing Menards as a buyer for the Railking Line of structures/accessories.

That's my "glass half-full" appraisal for today

 

 

Last edited by Paul Kallus
@Paul Kallus posted:

I predict Lionel will buy the tooling for MTH's Premier Line...there's just too many neat and unique models for Lionel - now the industry's lone top player - to let go to the "last roundup." This would be a wise business decision as buying the designs/molds is likely less costly than reverse engineering them or designing from the start. Thus someday those of us lamenting over the loss of those unique engines will see them again, only with Legacy system.

.................

Not to rain too much on the positive thinking, but I think this assertion assumes that Lionel wants to expand their offerings to include every single thing MTH has made in Premier.

That's a huge amount of stuff.  Lionel may have no desire to try to expand to that level, especially with the many unknowns. 

It may well be cheaper to engineer from scratch a few things they may have a better shot at selling with MTH no longer manufacturing than to spend what would most likely be A LOT of money to purchase the whole line.

It's sort of like saying it would be a good decision for Ford or Chevy to pick up the other's entire line and start trying to add all of those products to their line if the other was going to close up their tent.

Interesting times.  Hopefully you are right , but I don't see it.

-Dave

Last edited by Dave45681

In pursuing any tooling Lionel or any other company has to pry it out of MTH and where they produce it in China or Korea and be allowed to hand the tooling to the vendors they now work with or work with MTH plant to produce their product with Lionels legacy/TMCC technology.  It could get costly..The overseas process is not simple forget bringing it here that would be even more costly. There are no simple solutions look back at KLINE as a benchmark at liquidation of quality product produced overseas in a different business climate.

Last edited by dk122trains

Unless MTH has sole legal title in China to the tooling, it seems more likely that the factories that have the tooling will approach American vendors at some point about using the tooling that they have their possession.  Why would Lionel purchase tooling at market rates now,  when they potentially can just contract with whoever owns legal title once the dust has settled,  and the tooling is of minimum value once MTH is gone?  If MTH is dissolved, unless Mike Wolf personally has legal title, the tooling is essentially abandoned or owned by the factory, or at least that's one possible scenario. 

@Paul Kallus posted:

I predict Lionel will buy the tooling for MTH's Premier Line...there's just too many neat and unique models for Lionel - now the industry's lone top player - to let go to the "last roundup." This would be a wise business decision as buying the designs/molds is likely less costly than reverse engineering them or designing from the start. Thus someday those of us lamenting over the loss of those unique engines will see them again, only with Legacy system.

Maybe they would buy the Railking line, too, but I wouldn't bet on that...certainly the structures I could see Lionel buying but am not confident on the line of trains. My crystal ball, albeit a bit foggy, may be showing Menards as a buyer for the Railking Line of structures/accessories.

That's my "glass half-full" appraisal for today

 

 

Sorry, I don't see that happening for a number of reasons:

  • MTH's IP rights and copyrights expiring this year.  Were they renewed or does MTH's dissolution coincide with that?
  • China's blatant disregard for IP and copyrights makes getting anything out of there very difficult.
  • Not everything made in the Premier line is cost effective or worthy of reproduction.  The freight cars have the greatest probability (and cost effectiveness) of being reproduced.  Some locomotive shells as well.  The electronics?  Not so much.  Command system?  No way.

I don't see wholesale acquisition of entire product lines by any current manufacturer.  I do see a pick and choose approach 2-5 years after the closure.

George

Well, if we we're running trains it'd make for an interesting conversation, or if we were sitting in a bar it'd make a good "I'll bet you a brewski on that."

I admit I am not versed in Intellectual Property rights or patent laws, but I have been an avid reader of MTH and Lionel catalogs in the last 15+ years and it seems to me that releasing a new model and then re-releasing ad nauseum has been the modus operandi for the importers. I still say that MTH Premier Line has some of the most unique and most interesting tooling in diecast done to date, and assuming there's market demand, someone is going to want it. I don't think its as easy to design from scratch as it may appear. There's a fair amount of complexity in designing both super-structure, chassis, and sub-assemblies. I am still amazed whenever I watch my Triplex run...truly a masterpiece in mechanical engineering.

Last edited by Paul Kallus
@Paul Kallus posted:

Well, if we we're running trains it'd make for an interesting conversation, or if we were sitting in a bar it'd make a good "I'll bet you a brewski on that."

I admit I am not versed in Intellectual Property rights or patent laws, but I have been an avid reader of MTH and Lionel catalogs in the last 15+ years and it seems to me that releasing a new model and then re-releasing ad nauseum has been the modus operandi for the importers. I still say that MTH Premier Line has some of the most unique and most interesting tooling in diecast done to date, and assuming there's market demand, someone is going to want it. I don't think its as easy to design from scratch as it may appear. There's a fair amount of complexity in designing both super-structure, chassis, and sub-assemblies. I am still amazed whenever I watch my Triplex run...truly a masterpiece in mechanical engineering.

Paul, I believe you hit the keynote here, and that is, is there enough market demand for someone to make the investment. Let's face it, things are shrinking not expanding.

I'd have to say the one set that evaded me the most was the R142A set. I would always be in a new financial situation when MTH announced the one set I've been wanting for the longest. In 2009, just graduated grad school and in 2013, moved out on my own into the city and just bought a car. It seems that bad timing occurred both times when this set was produced. Also, I will miss MTH their Subway sets really could not be beat and I feel now it's going to get a lot harder for Subway fans to get quality sets, especially since Lionel is more about novelty subway sets rather than making mainline products. And lets not forget the price hikes that will happen on ebay, just thinking about it is making me upset.

@SubwayLover posted:

I'd have to say the one set that evaded me the most was the R142A set. I would always be in a new financial situation when MTH announced the one set I've been wanting for the longest. In 2009, just graduated grad school and in 2013, moved out on my own into the city and just bought a car. It seems that bad timing occurred both times when this set was produced. Also, I will miss MTH their Subway sets really could not be beat and I feel now it's going to get a lot harder for Subway fans to get quality sets, especially since Lionel is more about novelty subway sets rather than making mainline products. And lets not forget the price hikes that will happen on ebay, just thinking about it is making me upset.

I agree, I REALLY hope that Lionel gets the tooling for the subways and runs with it. I would HATE to see them go away.

I agree, I REALLY hope that Lionel gets the tooling for the subways and runs with it. I would HATE to see them go away.

Not that I disagree with either of you guys, the MTH subway sets were for the most part a home run.

But I need to wonder, is a subway set without DCS and the Auto Mode feature still as desirable as the MTH models with those features?  My understanding is that the subway sets have a special board that allows that, i.e., it's not just dropping a subway set sound file into a standard Proto 2.0 or 3.0 (or 3/2, whatever the latest board is) electronics package.

Would the same subway sets with Legacy be just as sought after? 

For those looking for examples of all the different models, I guess maybe the electronics could be secondary.  For me though, I look at the total package, and Auto Mode was a huge part of it.  Not that I don't like my Legacy R27 set with the commandable door openings, but I think I like Auto Mode better than the opening doors in a broad sense.

-Dave

 

Last edited by Dave45681
@Dave45681 posted:

Not that I disagree with either of you guys, the MTH subway sets were for the most part a home run.

But I need to wonder, is a subway set without DCS and the Auto Mode feature still as desirable as the MTH models with those features?  My understanding is that the subway sets have a special board that allows that, i.e., it's not just dropping a subway set sound file into a standard Proto 2.0 or 3.0 (or 3/2, whatever the latest board is) electronics package.

Would the same subway sets with Legacy be just as sought after? 

-Dave

 

Each brand has its pluses and minuses. With MTH you get auto mode which is awesome however you only get 9 stops on the respective route. With Lionel you don't get auto mode however you do get the entire route with all the stops for the route. On lionel, you'd have to create a recording and do the buttons to play the announcements and the doors. I personally like the auto mode of the MTH sets honestly since you program it and left it do its thing. To answer your question, in my opinion I don't think they would as sought after unless lionel comes up with there own version of auto mode. 

Last edited by Trainlover9943

I think I end up being in the buy more so than the sold.  When I tire of something or it doesn't work 100% right, it seemingly goes on a shelf to be fixed "later" but later rarely comes.  There have been 4 engines in total that I somewhat regret selling, 3 Lionel Odyssey demonstrators (bought for investment purposes, bad idea) and a CNW Premier PS2 E8 ABA.  Oddly enough I bought the CNWs on blow out and sold them at a profit.  I have bought a few newer E8's that are PS3s and enjoy those.

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