Author Topic: MTL.... Atlas... FVM....  (Read 3229 times)

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unclepete20

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MTL.... Atlas... FVM....
« on: April 28, 2010, 11:07:36 PM »
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So... whats the deal here? been kinda lame in the announcements lately... lots of re runs. yeah yeah i know blame the economy blah blah blah, I guess model rail roading has been kinda lame lately guess the boat, fishing poles and a cooler full of beer and snacks seems more appealing. Any one else feel the same way?

Also, did any one receive the actual circus train? I just got the first 3 sleepers, not gonna lie they are pretty sweet behind my cab forward even if they don't match the correct periods.

Mark5

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Re: MTL.... Atlas... FVM....
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2010, 11:14:49 PM »
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So... whats the deal here? been kinda lame in the announcements lately... lots of re runs. yeah yeah i know blame the economy blah blah blah, I guess model rail roading has been kinda lame lately guess the boat, fishing poles and a cooler full of beer and snacks seems more appealing. Any one else feel the same way?

Partly due to this:

http://www.atlasrr.com/news/atlastrack.htm

Mark

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Re: MTL.... Atlas... FVM....
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2010, 11:21:57 PM »
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The rest of the circus train is not due till late May, early June now. The other runner pack is pushed back a month also. Other than that, yup pretty borring. My big anticipation is the FVM Hiawatha. After that, not much.
Tony Hines

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Re: MTL.... Atlas... FVM....
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2010, 08:06:12 AM »
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Interesting.  I was pondering a similar post earlier today but a slightly different slant.

My thought: With Atlas and most other Chinese-whipped manufacturers pretty much dead in the water, why doesn't Micro-Trains take advantage?  Sure they're still releasing monthly items but certainly nothing out of the ordinary.  Same with Micro-Engineering....Atlas is completely removed from the track market right now and doesn't honestly appear to be finding a way back in any time soon.  Dunno, just a thought.

I would have loved to have gotten in on the circus train but they announced too much too fast and too soon for me to even try.  Had I known they were gonna be as slow about it I might have had a shot but oh well.
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unclepete20

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Re: MTL.... Atlas... FVM....
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2010, 08:33:06 AM »
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I am kinda glad they are slowing the release out. I think MTL should take advantage and throw a new product in the ring, catch some others off guard... I guess it is getting to be summer and the fish are not going to catch themselves, maybe its good products are slowing down :)

ljudice

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Re: MTL.... Atlas... FVM....
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2010, 08:56:14 AM »
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MTL and Kato are conservative companies that probably have a well tested plan and execute it.

I think Kato deliveries are way up over last year though, so maybe they are taking advantage to some degree???

The new model is either be a fully integrated manuacturing operation and control your manufacturing and distribution closely (Kato, MTL).

Or be a one or two man product research/marketing shop and have everything done in China.

Atlas and Athearn are in the middle of these models. Question is how does Athearn seem to make it work - but Atlas doesn't?  Could it be because Athearn is really a much bigger company (Horizon???).  When will Atlas be bought by Walthers???
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 08:59:38 AM by ljudice »

bbussey

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Re: MTL.... Atlas... FVM....
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2010, 09:31:28 AM »
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Interesting.  I was pondering a similar post earlier today but a slightly different slant.

My thought: With Atlas and most other Chinese-whipped manufacturers pretty much dead in the water, why doesn't Micro-Trains take advantage?  Sure they're still releasing monthly items but certainly nothing out of the ordinary.  Same with Micro-Engineering....Atlas is completely removed from the track market right now and doesn't honestly appear to be finding a way back in any time soon.  Dunno, just a thought.

Because it costs money, and capacity, to do that.  It's not as simple as deciding to "ramp-up" significantly in the next month or two.  And by the time the US manufacturers could implement a ramp-up, the overseas backlog will be cleared.

No one is going to enter the track market fresh and expect to make money on it.  Atlas owns the bulk of the track market and has for decades, and no one is going to dent that.  The flex-track availability issue is already fading, and other product that has been delayed will find its way to market before long.
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asarge

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Re: MTL.... Atlas... FVM....
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2010, 09:38:48 AM »
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There is always alot in the pipeline. Much more than the capital available can handle and there is probably less capital now. Couple that with problems with the main manufacturer in China and we are in somewhat of a dry spell. We'll just have to wait it out and let things get untangled.

Although, if things don't get better with a certain Chinese manufacturer, some companies may be forced out of necessity to look at other options or else..........

Philip H

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Re: MTL.... Atlas... FVM....
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2010, 09:51:22 AM »
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And more to the point, are we becoming spoiled?  It wasn't THAT long ago when all we had in N scale were . . . questionable . . . products - pizza cutter wheels, little prototype fidelity, Sasquatch level detailing.  Now the market is flooded with really quality stuff - even Atlas Trainman is way better then the Bachman stuff I started out with as a kid (Heck, Bachman has managed to improve).  We even have two magazines devoted to our scale, one of which is 20 years old.

SO why all the consternation - this is, after all, a hobby to relax with . . .
Philip H.
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MichaelWinicki

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Re: MTL.... Atlas... FVM....
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2010, 10:03:20 AM »
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And more to the point, are we becoming spoiled?  It wasn't THAT long ago when all we had in N scale were . . . questionable . . . products - pizza cutter wheels, little prototype fidelity, Sasquatch level detailing.  Now the market is flooded with really quality stuff - even Atlas Trainman is way better then the Bachman stuff I started out with as a kid (Heck, Bachman has managed to improve).  We even have two magazines devoted to our scale, one of which is 20 years old.

SO why all the consternation - this is, after all, a hobby to relax with . . .

Pretty valid points.

I look at it this way, yeah I'm a hobbyist, it's always cool seeing something new being released to the market that hasn't been done before in N-scale... Especially something that I can use.  ;)

But, I'm also a business guy and I enjoy seeing companies weave their ways in & out of markets– jumping competitors when some are "asleep at the switch."

To make a move in a slow economy sets up a company well for when things turn-around... And they always do.  The economy is never stagnant.  It's either going up or going down.  

At this juncture FVM seems to have made a move, as have a few others like BLMA.

My only complaint is that most of the new stuff coming out won't fit in for someone doing a North-eastern road in 1970.  So my wallet has stayed pretty much in my pocket.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 10:09:08 AM by MichaelWinicki »

SkipGear

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Re: MTL.... Atlas... FVM....
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2010, 10:44:55 AM »
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And more to the point, are we becoming spoiled?  It wasn't THAT long ago when all we had in N scale were . . . questionable . . . products - pizza cutter wheels, little prototype fidelity, Sasquatch level detailing.  Now the market is flooded with really quality stuff - even Atlas Trainman is way better then the Bachman stuff I started out with as a kid (Heck, Bachman has managed to improve).  We even have two magazines devoted to our scale, one of which is 20 years old.

SO why all the consternation - this is, after all, a hobby to relax with . . .

Pretty valid points.

I look at it this way, yeah I'm a hobbyist, it's always cool seeing something new being released to the market that hasn't been done before in N-scale... Especially something that I can use.  ;)

But, I'm also a business guy and I enjoy seeing companies weave their ways in & out of markets– jumping competitors when some are "asleep at the switch."

To make a move in a slow economy sets up a company well for when things turn-around... And they always do.  The economy is never stagnant.  It's either going up or going down.  

At this juncture FVM seems to have made a move, as have a few others like BLMA.

My only complaint is that most of the new stuff coming out won't fit in for someone doing a North-eastern road in 1970.  So my wallet has stayed pretty much in my pocket.

That last statement is the what has dulled down the last year for me. Being a steam guy, the AC-12 and the H4 were the only thing in the past year that wrestled money out of my pocket. Everything else that has arrived tends to be, at least what I consider, modern equipement, and is no interest to me. My money has been going toward scenery and structures.
Tony Hines

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Re: MTL.... Atlas... FVM....
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2010, 11:28:49 AM »
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Outside of economy and China's production problems you also have to consider it's summer time (more or less), this is the "dry" period for modelers as well as manufacturers. They are ramping up for the fall and winter holidays when most of the market spends their money. We should see some announcements come the end of summer for Fall/Winter.

I'd like to see something new from Walthers in the Heritage Series. They're consistent with great running equipment (and with their recent improvements, pulling capacity too). I'm totally stoked for the Hiawatha. And I'm hoping for some more Kato steam goodness.

The S.


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Re: MTL.... Atlas... FVM....
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2010, 11:47:39 AM »
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Quote
Outside of economy and China's production problems you also have to consider it's summer time (more or less), this is the "dry" period for modelers as well as manufacturers. They are ramping up for the fall and winter holidays when most of the market spends their money. We should see some announcements come the end of summer for Fall/Winter.

This is about the time to make new announcements for fall/winter given the new lead times being required by some. Makes me believe we won't see alot of new tooling from the big guys this year and maybe not much more for the new kids on the block. 

Mark5

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Re: MTL.... Atlas... FVM....
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2010, 11:49:45 AM »
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I'm hoping we'll see a new loco from Atlas announced this year, but I don't expect to see any announcement until late summer.

MTL has the passenger cars coming which is very cool, and the new wheelsets (hey Joe!).

Kato ... well Kato is Kato. I expect gobs of more of the same modern stuff (and NO NS dash-9s, which were everywhere the last two times I was down Roanoke way) and no surprises. The GS4 kinda lowered the bar for me as to Kato steam (3 poles?). I kinda hope they stay away from the any steam I'd want (N&W A).

FVM. Nuttin cooking for me at the moment.

Athearn. Newest freight cars are really nice (aside from their colossal screw up on the peaked end rib side hoppers). I still don't own any locos from them and don't expect to. They seem to have finally shown that they can do a N diesel right with the F45s, so in the back of my mind I wonder if they'll ever take on a hood unit (the SD70 series from them was sub-par).

Bluford - I'm cued up for a bunch of the new Clinchfield and WM 14 panels - I'm pscyhed about these!

BLMA - who knows what will come next? When the TTX flats get to brown they'll get some of my $.

So although there are no huge splashes from my point of view (so far) - there is plenty of action on the new product front.

My wallet really hopes for no big ticket temptations, and since I have a huge backlog of actual modeling to do that should work really well for me. 8)

Mark
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 02:38:18 PM by NandW »

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Re: MTL.... Atlas... FVM....
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2010, 02:22:54 PM »
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Because it costs money, and capacity, to do that.  It's not as simple as deciding to "ramp-up" significantly in the next month or two.  And by the time the US manufacturers could implement a ramp-up, the overseas backlog will be cleared.

No one is going to enter the track market fresh and expect to make money on it.  Atlas owns the bulk of the track market and has for decades, and no one is going to dent that.  The flex-track availability issue is already fading, and other product that has been delayed will find its way to market before long.

I think using the term "ramp-up" probably overstates what I was envisioning.  I was mostly looking at it from a marketing perspective.  Regarding product, well I had forgotten about the MTL passenger cars but they haven't really released a new freight car in a while so I figure something is in the pipeline "soon".  So, maybe make soon a *little* sooner and bump one or two production runs of existing tooling....worst case.  Or, at least have some teasers or something.  I know that goes against their m.o., but they could have the spotlight to themselves if they chose to do some creative marketing right now.  With M.E., heck just do SOMETHING.  They don't even have a website....start a Facebook fan page or something!  Takes a few minutes and costs nothing but time and a few photos.

I hardly look at the current slowdown as a bad thing.  About the only thing I'm a little miffed about is the Atlas curved turnouts, but again not the end of the world.  BLMA is keeping me busy enough right now.  I expect Kato will have a couple of BNSF H2 Dash 9's before long, and FVM will eventually get to the other TXUX RD4's, and between that and BLMA, (spines,89's,???) ExactRail, (4427's?, ???) Trainworx, (quads) Athearn (airslides, LPG) and hopefully Atlas (curved TO's, more tanks, coil cars?) I think my hobby budget will continue to be engaged.
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