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5045RE: [z_scale] Re: Kato In Z, A Different Approach

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  • Robert Allbritton
    Jul 1, 2001
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      I agree. Targeting a single manufacture is indeed a good idea, but I fear it
      will take more grassroots campaigning than resources are available to get a
      company of Kato's size to plunge into a new scale. It will be a gigantic
      commitment on Kato's part to make the investment for tooling, marketing, and
      design, to get them into Z on the basis that I think folks are hoping for.
      The only way is to have someone on the inside who evangelizes the idea, and
      even then, it must be someone with decision making power. I think you are
      right: find the key man and get him (or her) on the Z bandwagon.

      Step #1 is showing that Z *is* in fact a viable scale, and I think the best
      way to do that is to get inexpensive starter sets in the hands of as many
      people as possible. There is a reason Marklin charges about $300 for a
      complete starter set with track, power pack, loco, and rolling stock while
      the loco alone is $225 - take a lower margin to get people on board (no pun
      intended, but enjoyed!) Even if the conversion rate of starter set owners to
      true fans is less than 10%, that 10% will expand Z faster than anything
      else. I could have just as easily gotten into N when I got into model
      railroads, but Z was available, sitting there, and cute as can be (or at
      least that's what my girlfriend told me)

      There is also something to be said for being the smallest in the store. It
      *will* attract attention based on size alone (same theory for our Garden
      railway fans) But it needs to be in the store before people will buy it.
      Ebay has not helped from that perspective.

      I think Z can, one day, be the 3rd scale, but it will take everyone pushing
      on all fronts to make it happen.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: dannyg@... [mailto:dannyg@...]
      Sent: Sunday, July 01, 2001 10:06 AM
      To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [z_scale] Re: Kato In Z, A Different Approach

      --- In z_scale@y..., jcubbin@o... wrote:
      > I don't know if it's been suggested yet, but rather than just a couple of
      people approaching the Kato booth inquiring about Z, how about
      > some sort of petition from this group?

      While it can't hurt to start a buZZ going, I sense that for an
      established company like Kato to get into a new gauge, there must be
      one or more people in the company who will champion the idea. Someone
      on the inside has to be passionate about Z to make the business case
      for it. So, if you talk to execs from Kato and the like, listen
      carefully for clues as to who those insiders might be.


      "Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!

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