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    • March 23, 2017 11:47 PM EDT
    • I was told at a show by a little birdie that Kader embargoed all new 1/20 rolling stock manufacturing until the stock already produced in China has been sold off. Whether they resume production will be dependent on market demand.

      But as has been said, price is the limiting factor now. Even new Big Hauler stuff is expensive. Latest Gazette shows a new release BH combine, the MSRP is $139. Whaaaaa? Holy cow I can remember when they were $70 MSRP. Now the street price is more than the MSRP from 10 years ago. That's a daunting challenge for newbies. Given where prices were heading for all large scale, I am not surprised that the Spectrum line hadn't sold well and that they had to pull it.

    • March 23, 2017 9:32 PM EDT
    • Pete Thornton said:

      Boomer,

      Do you have any hard information that they are 'phasing them out' ?  Bachmann recently has slowed down production - possibly due to the Recession - but they often do a run and suddenly the stores are full of stock again.  As Dave says, look at the Mogul.

       

      Pete

      I'm talking rolling stock here. Engines are anybody's guess. They have the advantage of being higher dollar items (meaning more profit at a fixed percentage of final price) and are often purchased by 1/22.5 modelers giving them a broader market.

       

      Getting a firm answer out of any manufacturer is difficult in the best of times. Here is what I know. I spoke with Lee a few months before his death. After a few circular discussions which he was famous for he made the statement that there were no plans to expand the Spectrum line. This was also reflected on the Bmann forum discussions for new products. He should know, the spectrum line existed solely because of him. In his absence there is nobody interested in pushing for it.

       

      Here is how that information has manifested itself. By the summer of 2015 Bmann was no longer introducing any new items into the line. Check their summer and Christmas releases and you will see only reissued Big Hauler items. The same is true for 2016. In conjunction with that most of the Spectrum line was listed on the Bmann site as sold out. Retailers still had these items in stock and they were prevalent in the secondary market at prices in the %50 of MSRP range (which I will dub as regular retail).

       

      By the end of 2016 supplies at the retailers were beginning to dry up and the items were removed from their listings. Not something they do if they intend to reorder. At the same time "blow out" clearances in the %75-80 off MSRP were common on the auction sites. I bought flatcars for as little as $25 each and boxcars / tank cars for $49.99 each by the case from Al Kramer and The Favorite Spot. These guys are wonderful for hobbyists because of the savings but all too often their listings are the elephant graveyard of products. No business that plans on holding onto its market share is going to flood that market with items at closeout prices. Especially true if the market is ultra small to begin with. If you release a new run who is left to buy them in sufficient numbers and at a price to make a profit?

       

      Now here we are in 2017. It has been just over one year since Lee passed. Another new product release has nothing for 1/20.3. Of the seven basic items with an 88XXX serial number that made up the line (boxcar wood roof, boxcar murphy roof, framed tank, frameless tank, flatcar, drop-side gondola, two bay hopper and long caboose) four are removed from the catalogue, three are listed as sold out and one is still available. Trainworld has five removed, none listed as sold out and three for sale at close out prices. RLD has six removed, one sold out and one available at regular retail price. ANA Kramer has three items for sale at close out prices. AL also has a bunch of dismantled cars, the last stop for items that nobody is buying. Favorite Spot has seven items removed and one item for sale at close out prices.

       

      That much is fact. From here on it is opinion.

       

      Here is what I see. The Spectrum 1/20.3 line is quickly coming to an end. Lee is gone. Bmann is existing this market because it is not profitable. The Fn3 community did not appreciate or embrace this line for several reasons but its demise is a great loss to the Fine Scale modeler who cannot afford high end kits or RTR from Accucraft. There is no "New Coke conspiracy" or "lets screw with our customers by teasing them with unreliable supply streams" scam. It is basic business. Something is only worth what the market will bear,,,,,and something is only worth making if the market is willing to pay reasonable profitable price. Remember this last part because it is the reason why we are loosing manufacturers and their products.

       

      Pete this is the best answer I can give you. I hope I am proven wrong.

    • March 23, 2017 8:55 PM EDT
    • There will still be a market for 1:20.3 but the downside will be the price. Accucraft is still producing their line of models and have a few new additions and if you look long at good old eBay they still surface from time to time. And then there's F Standard Gauge just one size under the ride ons.

    • March 23, 2017 6:24 PM EDT
    • Bachmann tried to create a market in the 1/20.3 niche like they created a market in On30, but it just wasn't enough interest. Part of the reason was that 1/22.5 was already established as the defacto 'narrow gauge' scale and a great big chunk of the market was already well established in 1/22.5 and not willing to be forced to rebuild their already established layouts to accommodate the larger scale engines and rolling stock. It didn't help that it seemed like every year or so new 1/20.3 offerings required a bi-yearly complete rebuild of the layout to accommodate the ever larger stock that needed larger clearances and wider curves. That alone exhausted some folks interest, now factor in the early QC problems Bachmann was having with their 1/20 line and alot of people were simply afraid to buy anything for fear their trucks would break or their gearbox would implode. But the killer was the recession. All of a sudden the bottom just fell out from the market for large scale. This above all things is what the hobby is still suffering from and still not yet recovered. Given the current prices for track and rolling stock We're never going to see that heady days like the early 2000's ever again and Kader knows this, that's why they are following their wallets and going forward with only what they know will have a strong sales presence world-wide, and that's in matching product to LGB and Piko. So say goodbye to any new 1/20, I suspect any growth in new items will be where there is currently a market void, and that is in 1/29.

    • March 23, 2017 6:13 PM EDT
    • Joe Augustine said:
       I also asked Bachmann, via email last year why not put together kits from the 1:20.3 parts they have for modelers to assemble themselves, but never received an answer.

      When I was in the hobby shop business at the time Horizon bought MDC and Athearn with their HO lines I talked to Horizon about the kits and that they were discontinuing them. Horizon person said that production costs for kits were same as and sometimes more than assembling cars at factory because of the necessary packaging the parts and getting them in to kits and checked for content.

    • March 23, 2017 4:48 PM EDT
    • The scale may have a market, but apparently not a large enough market for Bachmann to invest in molds, tooling and the effort to assemble the models and ship them halfway around the world. It's a shame, since, as has been stated, Bachmann really gave 1:20.3 scale a shot in the arm with their logging engines, especially the first run Shay.

      I freely admit that when I did HO years ago I hated Bmann. It was in the same category as Lifelike and Tyco.

      Hey! I like my Tyco trains, and I run them at train shows. Mainly to torque off the NMRA guys, but I do run them. And the public loves them, because that is what so many of them grew up with.

    • March 23, 2017 4:12 PM EDT
    • Boomer I have 17 Bachmann 1:20.3 locomotives and 45 of their Spectrum 1:20.3 freight cars plus 20 AMS freight cars and 4 of their JS Passanger cars so I am also speaking from a knowledgeable stand point. I spoke to a Bachmann rep at the 2015 Fall York show and I was told then that they were most certainly phasing out their 1:20.3 scale line due to a failing market they said and increased mfg costs in China and with the exception of their new release of the old
      2-6-0 Mogul if you look at their site almost all of this line is "discontinued" I also asked Bachmann, via email last year why not put together kits from the 1:20.3 parts they have for modelers to assemble themselves, but never received an answer. And yes the F scale models do use 45 mm track but with the exception of 1:32 scale models F scale or more accurately Fn3 models are the only accurately scaled models running on #1 gauge 45 mm track as 1:20.3 scales out to 15 mm = 1 foot. There are also a small group of F scale modelers now making models of standard gauge locomotives and rolling stock running on 71 mm gauge track so the scale has a market contrary to Bachmann's claim.

    • March 23, 2017 3:48 PM EDT
    • First it was said Bachmann knows everything about the model train industry but they are ignorant to the fact that their 1:20.3 scale models are not G scale but are actually F scale so designated by the NMRA about 14 years ago. And in my opinion Bachmann dropped the ball when it abandoned their 1:20.3 Fn3 line giving no thought or respect to their customer base that they solicited into this scale with their first release the 2 Truck Shay followed by 10 other locomotives and numerous freight cars then they just abandoned the line, to me this is not a company dictated to the hobby or it's customers

    • March 23, 2017 3:34 PM EDT
    • They are now phasing out the rolling stock. As of this morning everything on their site shows as being "sold out" except a few tank cars.

      Boomer,

      Do you have any hard information that they are 'phasing them out' ?  Bachmann recently has slowed down production - possibly due to the Recession - but they often do a run and suddenly the stores are full of stock again.  As Dave says, look at the Mogul.

       

    • March 23, 2017 10:54 AM EDT
    • Lee Riley was the moving force behind the 1/20.3 Spectrum line. When he died there was no one left to champion it in the Bmann boardroom. They are now phasing out the rolling stock. As of this morning everything on their site shows as being "sold out" except a few tank cars. This line is also disappearing from the retailers shelves as well as the auction sites. It is high quality in both design and accuracy (with the exception of the side dump gon). The line includes several items that Accucraft has never offered such as the wood roof boxcar, framed and frameless tank cars. They also have the advantage of being easy to dismantle for painting customizing or kit-bashing. Try taking apart an Accucraft boxcar if you want to truly appreciate the value of this. The line is a good performer. It is made from injection molded plastic rather than resin so it weighs half or less than the Accucraft line. The wheels and trucks are metal with solid construction and high quality material.

       

      The only bad thing I have ever found in the line was the early shays and the connies. Both had motor, gear and wheel problems.

       

      I own about 80 pieces of 1/20.3 rolling stock split almost evenly between Spectrum and Accucraft and all Bmann engines except for one AMS K-27 so I feel I am speaking from an experienced position.

       

      I freely admit that when I did HO years ago I hated Bmann. It was in the same category as Lifelike and Tyco. I was hesitant to buy any of their products in G but once I got into the Spectrum stuff I have changed my opinion 180 degrees. I also have and very pleased with their ON30 Spectrum line. Who would have guessed that Bmann would be the biggest fish in the large scale pond.

    • March 23, 2017 8:34 AM EDT
    • Well, to many folks, 45 mm gauge models are G scale. So saying F scale would confuse them.

       

      As for "abandoning" the 1:20.3 scale base, what scale is that mogul in? Oh, 1:20.3

       

    • March 23, 2017 7:46 AM EDT
    • First it was said Bachmann knows everything about the model train industry but they are ignorant to the fact that their 1:20.3 scale models are not G scale but are actually F scale so designated by the NMRA about 14 years ago. And in my opinion Bachmann dropped the ball when it abandoned their 1:20.3 Fn3 line giving no thought or respect to their customer base that they solicited into this scale with their first release the 2 Truck Shay followed by 10 other locomotives and numerous freight cars then they just abandoned the line, to me this is not a company dictated to the hobby or it's customers

    • March 22, 2017 10:01 PM EDT
    • Yea,

      Same ol crap from the same ol participants time and time again.  Jeeze don't you guys ever get tired of trying to tell others what and how they should feel about things???

      If ya don't like FB who gives a sh--, some others do.  If ya don't like Billboards along the highway, who gives a sh--, some others do.  If ya don't like chocolate ice cream who gives a sh--, others do.

       

      A man running a business has a few other things to think about besides a few potential customers aversion to a certain type of advertising. Cripes if ya go down to buy a new car do you give the dealership a bunch of crap because they use more than one venue to advertise?  Yea didn't think so, after all you'r standing right in front of them.

       

      Sure be nice to see this all get back to building and running model trains.

      Rick

       

       

    • March 22, 2017 7:06 PM EDT
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xY1EzZZbuM

       

      so there!

    • March 22, 2017 4:54 PM EDT
    • John Caughey said:
      Michael Kirrene said:
      David Maynard said:

      Geesh, all this for an advertisement about one of our favorite subjects, trains.

       

      Yeah, ridiculous, ain't it?

       

       

      Per John's comment above, what's the cut-off age for being "old"?  Anybody know?

       

      As an Older, I protest the idea of a cut-off! Besides, though it changes every year, my sister says I'm 67 going on 6, the 6 has been a constant for 16 years....

      John

      I refuse to grow up. Grown ups are grumpy people who are always worrying about stuff that never happens. And if it does happen, its not as bad as they thought it would be.

       

      My first childhood sucked, so I darn sure am going to enjoy the heck out of my second one.

       

      David

      Not an adult, but playing one in real life.

    • March 22, 2017 1:59 PM EDT
    • I missed this one  but likely 'cause I received a email direct from Ken, Trainworld announcing the event. 

      As I also have chosen not to do facetime' I passed on it.   But I do know that Ken  usually does post the event video elsewhere  (ex. 'Utube)  and at a later time I would view it (all o portion of it).    And that is usually where I'll post my thanks for it !

       

      But here, .... Ken  Thank You for sponsoring  LargeScaleCentral  (and our hobby) !  

       

      doug c

       

       

      p.s.  if you told someone who is fully into fb' tw' drop' snap', etc. that a website forum is  social media  they would call you out on it and slam ya waaaay more (and viciously)  than what was perceived by the first couple rebut' posts on this thread.    a couple yrs back I heard a fb' user on a public radio, tech' program declare anyone not on FB was a non-person/entity.        Hearing that definitely got my back up and I still refuse to sign up for any trendy social media platform other my  2.5 email addys, and numerous forums (at least 6 GR-flavoured )  !     IMHO 

       

       

    • March 21, 2017 11:54 PM EDT
    • " Rooster " said:

      I went poop on the potty today !

      Roosters finally admitted to having gone Potty

       

    • March 21, 2017 9:28 PM EDT
    • I went poop on the potty today !

    • March 22, 2017 8:21 AM EDT
    • Thank you, David - Yes, they can be made in other scales. It's just a matter of re-scaling the design file at the time of printing. If you or anyone else needs some, please drop me a line. I'll respond with some PDFs of the windows & doors.

      Pricing is $5 (Canadian dollars) per unit in 1-29. $5.25 in 1-24 and $5.50 for 1-20.3 plus $10 flat shipping rate.