Re: Realism or lack of it (Was: Märklin Price Increase of 19% for 2005)
- I wouldn't be surprised if Marklin completely stopped manufacturing
US prototype equipment. For 2005, there only appears to be
one "new" item, and that's a re-paint; plus I've noticed some
dealers are placing the 2003 and 2004 US "starter sets" on sale -
perhaps an indication that they didn't sell well? If Marklin
perceives a lack of interest in sales of these items, they may
decide the market won't support new or additional products.
- As far as North American product, Marklin may simply
retrench at this point and wait out the exchange rate
problem like many other European businesses are doing.
Besides, with all the new releases planned from MTL,
AZL and smaller manufacturers, Marklin will have a
hard time competing in the US market this year.
I think that if MTL came out with a steamer priced
even as high as $300 and passenger cars, Marklin would
see sales of North American prototype trains drop to
almost nothing. Of course, so far MTL has shown no
interest in passenger trains. I personally model both
N.A. and German prototypes, so I will still buy
Marklin product as long as I can afford it. If I
really want something, I have been know to save up for
two years or even buy something on lay away.
The GG-1 is one of the best locos I have (in any
scale)! But with one new product a year for North
America (and a very regional, though important,
product at that) Marklin isn't going to keep up with
MTL or even AZL.
One thing to keep in mind is that MTL has stated that
they are now looking at Z scale as a growth market and
even AZL is starting to produce more competitively
priced locos while Marklin still sees Z scale as a
small portion of their sales. Even IF Marklin's Z
scale sales surpass all of MTL's N and Z sales
combined, the attitude toward the product line IS
Isn't speculating entertaining! ;-)
--- Flayrah <flayrah@...> wrote:
> I wouldn't be surprised if Marklin completely
> stopped manufacturing
> US prototype equipment. For 2005, there only
> appears to be
> one "new" item, and that's a re-paint; plus I've
> noticed some
> dealers are placing the 2003 and 2004 US "starter
> sets" on sale -
> perhaps an indication that they didn't sell well?
> If Marklin
> perceives a lack of interest in sales of these
> items, they may
> decide the market won't support new or additional
> -Z- WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in
> Small DoseZ!
> Yahoo! Groups Links
I got to say I agree and disagree with all. Marklin is a company out
to make money ( the bottom line). If they have to raise prices to pay
the bills and move factory over to other countries they will. Every
Company here in America does that and no one here complains until to
there gone. Why should they be any different.
I personally think they should have two line like most big HO company
do. One high end with good engine, high detail and limited runs and
one lower with somewhat a lower price tag. Then you and mix and match
the line for different price points and keep all happy.
I like to have both lower priced engines and higher one. Lower one
you can modify without thinking of the money you could lose and if
you take them somewhere you doesn't worry about something happening
to them. Higher one to collect and run at home as the jewel of your
collection and your railroad.
- I don't think anyone has said that Marklin has no
right to make a profit or to produce in China.
--- kd79ctls <kd79ctls@...> wrote:
> I got to say I agree and disagree with all. Marklin
> is a company out
> to make money ( the bottom line). If they have to
> raise prices to pay
> the bills and move factory over to other countries
> they will. Every
> Company here in America does that and no one here
> complains until to
> there gone. Why should they be any different.
> I personally think they should have two line like
> most big HO company
> do. One high end with good engine, high detail and
> limited runs and
> one lower with somewhat a lower price tag. Then you
> and mix and match
> the line for different price points and keep all
> I like to have both lower priced engines and higher
> one. Lower one
> you can modify without thinking of the money you
> could lose and if
> you take them somewhere you doesn't worry about
> something happening
> to them. Higher one to collect and run at home as
> the jewel of your
> collection and your railroad.
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
- There was a long story in BUSINESS WEEK a few weeks ago that discussed
some of the problems General Motors was having because labor was working
about a 30 hour week and wanted to work LESS. That just might run the
cost of goods / pricing up a tad.
From: Jeffrey MacHan [mailto:jmac_han@...]
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 12:19 PM
Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: Realism or lack of it (Was: Märklin Price
Increase of 19% for 2005)
But the toy industry is changing rapidly and Märklin is feeling the
heat from cheaper, overseas production. It now appears that 2/3 of
toy train production comes from China. In fact, Märklin's management
feels that the company is faced with "extinction".
"We have tried as much as possible to keep our production in
Germany", said Maerklin boss Paul Adams. "So we raised our prices
and now we find ourselves in a situation where the market no longer
Food for thought,
- Sgt. Tim, those are words very well spoken.
Marklin is serious about the American market but
not serious enough. What it amounts to is too little
too late. They are not flexible in seeing changing
consumer demands. They are extremely rigid.
--- sgt_tim7 <sgt_tim1@...> wrote:
> --- In email@example.com, "zscaleinfo"
> <trains@z...> wrote:
> > M�rklin pulls the plug, it will be the end of
> z-scale for
> I disagree!! And so will alot others. Z scale is
> here to stay and
> as far as I am concerned, Marklin can close their
> doors. I know
> that will disappoint many of you, but not me. I
> will not purchase
> any of their products and Price has nothing to do
> with it.
> Marklin has stood around for years only making that
> F7 goofy looking
> loco while leaving the rest of us begging them and
> the world to make
> a Modern version of a US locomotive. Finally, AZL
> has broken ground
> and they haven't stopped running yet. MTL has
> recognized this are
> are wanting a bigger piece of the action.
> I am a modern U.S. modeller and Marklins U.S. stuff
> is rediculous.
> Odd couplers, trucks set too far back, doesn't look
> (Despite what some say), and just doesn't appeal to
> me. I will
> admit to a select few Locomotives and rolling stock
> looking OK.
> Before you know it, and it is coming fast, Marklin
> will be fighting
> for the U.S. market. It is apparent to me, by the
> comments I am
> reading about what people are saying at these Train
> Shows about how
> amazed they are that NEW U.S. Items, modern, are
> finally being
> produced. Z scales problem is plain and simple, we
> are not getting
> due media coverage. Give us an hour on National TV
> and we, the Z
> community, will grow by leaps and bounds.
> I applaud the new comers. So much to produce and
> not much
> competition. Heck, AZL and MTL are working together
> to not step on
> each others toes with the U.S. Locomotives they are
> producing, MTL
> is starting to dedicate more assets to "Z" and their
> are smaller up-
> and-coming companies out their. If Marklin stops
> making Z, it won't
> bother me!
> My 2 cents to your comment.
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail - 250MB free storage. Do more. Manage less.
- --- Tom Fisher <tfisher10@...> a écrit :
>It's exactly the same for me.....
> Why would MTL, which exclusively models N. Am.
> prototypes, fail if Marklin went down especially
> MTL is coming out with its own track?
> I have 1 Marlin tanker and 2 small diesel-hydraulic
> locos from Marklin. I could live without them. On
> other hand, if it wasn't for MTL, Penzee, Robert
> FR, and AZL, I wouldn't own Z.
Découvrez le nouveau Yahoo! Mail : 250 Mo d'espace de stockage pour vos mails !
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- Actually Marklin is the middle of the road when it comes to
European model train manufactures. There are plenty of other large
European companies whose prices are much higher but so is their
quality. Marklin bashers also should remember who started commercial
Z scale in the 1st place and the fact that it was aimed at the
european maket as 1st priority. It wasnt until repeated requests
from the US that the US outline was started. So I think if you bash
it too much you will lose it then we will see who stands on their
If you think Marklin is expensive in the US then then try buying it
in New Zealand and then try buying MTL in New Zealand. Its all
relative ! - apart from their coupler design ( which can be
interchanged with MTL/KD and Jorger) marklin Z is an excellent
product with excellent reliability and robustness.
> Actually, Märklin is still pretty much the only important z-scale
> manufacturer. Of course there are smaller manufacturers addressing
> areas in z-scale product sphere and of course it is encouraging tosee that
> there are attempts to bring in the market alternative tracksystems, for
> instance, but will they be here to stay? It remains to be seen. Z-scale was
> born back in 1972 and the only manufacturer having made a seriouscommitment
> to the scale so far is Märklin. With all due respect, Märklin isthe
> raison-d'etre for all the small series manufacturers around z-scale. If
> Märklin pulls the plug, it will be the end of z-scale foreveryone. So
> simple.seem to
> But despite of their earlier scepticism of the early 90's, Märklin
> have renewed their strong commitment to our scale and we shouldall be happy
> for that. Just look at all those incredible new z-products theyhave put out
> in the past few years, and we speak about truly new products here,not just
> repaints. At least I think that products like the German V100, GG-1, NOHAB,
> Anhalter Station kit and many others are truly remarkable.Sometimes Märklin
> bashing of this list is just so plain silly and totally lacks therealism.
> Reminds me of the Grimm's fairytale of fisherman's wife who wasalways
> complaining of what she had no matter how much more she got andended up
> losing everything at the end.trains to save
> I don't think that any of us is collecting/operating z-scale
> money. Z-scale is not a mainstream scale and higher precisionrequired in
> manufacturing and smaller series reflect on prices too. Also,Märklin has
> never been known for making bargain basement products in anyscale. I am not
> happy with z-scale prices either which on the first look arerelatively
> high, but I try to weigh the higher price tags against what Iactually get.
> And my conclusion is that the price may be high, but it is alsojustified in
> view of the true quality and customer support you get. It is notonce or
> twice that I have been pleasantly surprised when first buying froma certain
> auction site older z-locomotives in an apparently bad shape andwhen
> disassembling them for service noticed how incredibly well-builtthey are
> and how they after servicing suddenly appear like brand new. I'veseen
> locomotives from early 70's, with hundreds of operating hoursbehind them
> and yet, all metallic mechanisms inside were still in a wonderfulshape.
> Also, how many manufacturers actually can sell you spare parts forrequired
> locomotives they made some 30 odd years ago in rare cases they are
> for repairs?price is
> We all have our freedom of choice, and there are those to whom the
> everything. To those constantly complaining of the cost of z-scale, I would
> just like to say that maybe you have simply chosen the wrong scalein that
> case. Z-scale is bound to be more difficult, more expensive, morescales. But
> challenging but more rewarding too than "easier", more popular
> one needs to have a right kind of attitude, more realism andunderstanding
> the true nature of our scale would not hurt. And US dollars'longtime
> downhill against Euro is beyond Märklin's control too.targeting
> As to Märklin's z-scale model policies, of course they are
> collectors as well as those of us who like to run their trains.It's like
> that with all the other scales too when it comes to high-endmanufacturers.
> I don't see it as a problem though. I think there is a very goodbalance
> between collectibles and mass production models in Märklin productcatalog.
> There are buyers for both, has always been.
> Tapani Tuominen
This thread has taken on a bit of a life of its own . . . but there
My original comments are directed more at the way Marklin position
themselves - and it seems to me they are positioning themselves to
appeal to a 'club' or elite 'collecting' market rather than
a 'modelling' one. That's my perception when visiting their dealers
with their show rooms in a number of countries.
What I wondered was whether that approach could be sustained in the
light of MT's entry into the market in a big way, with a locomotive
chassis choice that seems designed to enable them to quickly release
all the major EMD models of the 50s and 60s.
The idea of Marklin having two lines is one way around that problem,
and might be one thing they could do. They already do it to a limited
extent with little starter sets that are very reasonably priced with
the 0-6-0, one wagon and an oval of track.
And maybe not a bad idea, to be entirely selfish.
I could care less what Marklin bodies are like as I only use their
chassis. [And most of you already know my opinion of the US ones is
not high, but let's not go there again.]
But, to those who say they wouldn't care if Marklin upped stumps,
where would you get steam loco chassis ? Even the MT steam loco used
a Marklin chassis !
Let's not be unrealistic.
> I personally think they should have two line like most big HOcompany
> do. One high end with good engine, high detail and limited runs andmatch
> one lower with somewhat a lower price tag. Then you and mix and
> the line for different price points and keep all happy.
>-----Original Message-----I think you very much fail to see the reality of model train industry today.
>From: sgt_tim7 [mailto:sgt_tim1@...]
>Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 17:30
>Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: Realism or lack of it (Was: Märklin
>Price Increase of 19% for 2005)
>--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "zscaleinfo" <trains@z...> wrote:
>> Märklin pulls the plug, it will be the end of z-scale for
>I disagree!! And so will alot others. Z scale is here to stay and
>as far as I am concerned, Marklin can close their doors. I know
>that will disappoint many of you, but not me. I will not purchase
>any of their products and Price has nothing to do with it.
If Märklin really closed it's doors and dropped z-scale, it would, first of
all, hit the consumer confidence in the future of z-scale worldwide. People
would start to leave the sinking ship in masses and turn their eyes to other
scales, N most likely. If they see that not even the world's biggest model
train manufacturer believes in z-scale anymore, it's a very stong
discouraging signal. The accessories manufacturers would reach the same
conclusion and eventually discontinue their z product lines and focus on
other, more lucrative scales instead of a dying curiosity, a minority scale
on a way to extinction. The commercial risk of staying in the z-scale market
without the credibility and inertia given to it by Märklin, the biggest and
oldest model train manufacturer backing the scale would become unbearable.
>Marklin has stood around for years only making that F7 goofy lookingThe F7 you mention, is a product from a different era. In the 70's Märklin
>loco while leaving the rest of us begging them and the world to make
>a Modern version of a US locomotive. Finally, AZL has broken ground
>and they haven't stopped running yet. MTL has recognized this are
>are wanting a bigger piece of the action.
did cut the corners a little bit by using the same mechanism in several
locomotive series which resulted in mildly distorted proportions in some
products. In some locomotives it is more obvious than in others. Marklin has
redone some of the older locomotives and introduced more true-to-scale
successors with updated mechanisms. Most notably the German 216/218 series.
If there is a demand and it becomes commercially viable, I am sure they will
introduce a new version of F7 too.
The product lines of the two manufactures you cite are not comprehensive
enough to keep z-scale alive alone in a hypothetical situation that Märklin
would leave the world of z. Back in the early 70's when Märklin introduced
z-scale, there was not a single accessories manufacturer for z-scale. In
order to make z-scale a viable alternative to N-scale and an immeadiate
success, which was Märklin's goal very much, they had to offer, not only the
rolling stock and a good selection of track segments, but also accessories
of all sorts from signals and catenary to transformers and plastic
structures kits. Even tiny automobiles in 1:220. Z-scale relies on the
availability of readymade products more than other scales due to it's tiny
size and support from accessories manufacturer's is essential if the model
train manufacturer can not cover those needs.
>Before you know it, and it is coming fast, Marklin will be fightingTalk is cheap. The real test is, will the new products sell well enough to
>for the U.S. market. It is apparent to me, by the comments I am
>reading about what people are saying at these Train Shows about how
>amazed they are that NEW U.S. Items, modern, are finally being
encourage their manufacturers to expand the production or will they be
forced to pull out after a while to minimize the losses. It is positive that
so many manufacturers are showing interest in z-scale, but like I said, if
Märklin pulled the plug, the others would think twice whether staying in
z-scale makes sense or not.
>I applaud the new comers. So much to produce and not muchYou seem to have a rather rosy idea of model train business. Even in the
world's biggest z-scale market, that is Germany, there are still lot's of
products that simply don't exist in z-scale, but would be very welcome and
why is that? Because the accessories manufacturers at large simply do not
consider it profitable to cater the needs of z-scalers at the same level as
they do for N or HO customers. However, I do agree that we should encourage
and see positivily the contributions of any manufacturer, big and small, to
our beloved z-scale. And that includes Märklin too. Unfounded and highly
emotional critizism of one manufacturer does not take us anywhere no matter
how passionate we are about our hobby, which basically is a positive thing.
Constructive feedback and suggestions to manufacturers work much better.
Also, let's not forget that actually buying their products when we can, is
the best way to support our hobby.
>and-coming companies out their. If Marklin stops making Z, it won'tWell, it surely would bother me and many others who would like the z-scale
to be here to stay for years to come and progress worldwide.
--- In email@example.com, "bscaro" <bscaro@y...> wrote:
........................................... But, to those who say
they wouldn't care if Marklin upped stumps,
where would you get steam loco chassis ? Even the MT steam loco
a Marklin chassis !
AZL perhaps!!!!!!!! Perhaps a New company that hasn't been brought
to life yet? With a dedication to "Z", a great business Plan and
the right investors, a company could be born overnight that could
rival both AZL and MTL. Point is, their is such a wide open gap of
N. Am. locos and rolling stock that has never been attempted
that "Z" could very well grow from 2%+ in total Model Railroading to
25% or higher. With limited space and more multiple posibilities
with "Z", more people would give up their HO and possibly their N
Think of the miles and miles of "Z" scale track that could replace
the thousands of feet of HO and N scale track that is represented on
peoples layouts and modules. Layout space remains the same, but the
acres of scale space would increase 10 fold. Having more space
means needing more "Z" stuff to fill the void. If more Z is
produced at a cheaper cost, then people will buy.
My personal issue with Marklin- Thanks for starting "Z" in the
world, but, you should have made modern US decades ago. I have
followed "Z" for nearly 20 years. No modern diesel locos, no
buy!!!! AZL changed all that for me. Sell all my N scale and now I
am here! Yes, much more expensive, but as they say, Build it and
they will buy! :) So many people are seeing what "Z" is
developing into here, in the US, and they are getting into it.
I say, the collectors can keep collecting, but the ones who are
serious about the fun involved in this hobby, go forth and reap the
rewards. NTS 2005 here I come!!!!
I found 2 more pennies(cents)
- I responded a few days ago about the Marklin debate with no comment from
anyone regarding the real issue which is the value of the dollar. Here is my
It really has nothing to do with labor costs. It is the value of the dollar
to the Euro. In addition Marklin USA operates as a separate entity. Meaning
that Marklin USA needs to make money like everybody else. Marklin Germany
sells to Marklin USA just like it sells to other shops and dealers across
Europe. Take that into consideration, add the lousy exchange rate, Marklin
USA's big mark-up and finally the mark-up from the dealer and there you have
the huge prices we pay over here for this stuff.
This really only effects dealers that buy from Marklin USA and not some
internet dealers that buy from partners overseas. It really is not worth the
A good example is, say, a Marklin 8856. Here, at a well known model train
shop in LA the 8856 costs $419.98! From a well known auction site dealer in
the Netherlands it runs 200 Euro to order it from them outside the auction
environment. That's a huge price difference.
So I would not blame Marklin Germany but Marklin USA.
A few have commented that if Marklin dropped z scale that they wouldn't
care. There are many members of this group, myself included that model
European railways. I would definitely be very upset if Marklin dropped z
scale. I certainly don't feel that way about AZL or MTL... They are
creating beautiful models and expanding z, making it more of a viable scale
so every body benefits.
For 2005 many are "unimpressed" with the new offerings from Marklin. I for
one found a very nice and long awaited Swiss steam locomotive. Pretty nice
On 2/28/05 3:56 PM, "overdosezd" <overdosezd@...> wrote:
> Wow! Must be due to all that high-priced Chinese labor Marklin has
> started using. I just got the 2005 catalog and was pretty
> unimpressed. It was full of mostly older sets that must still be
> languishing in the stockrooms. Even the GG1 is a bizarre choice.
> First off, it's wrong. That particular GG1 had a riveted body. I
> don't object to another Z GG1 but I would have rather had a more
> commonplace paint scheme. The up side to all of this is that Micro-
> Trains is ramping up with the roadbed track and the new diesel.
> Speaking of MTL... The March page is up today and features a Z
> survey. Please go and fill it in. Maybe if we all fill it out
> they'll get some more product under development? And MTL prices are
> always nicer than Marklin prices! Don't know how they manage to do
> it without that high-priced Chinese workforce!
> Disguszted with Marklin 2005,
> Mark Lieske
- I think you very much fail to see the reality of model train industry
today. If Märklin really closed it's doors and dropped z-scale, it
would, first of all, hit the consumer confidence in the future of z-
scale worldwide. People would start to leave the sinking ship in
masses and turn their eyes to other scales, N most likely. If they
see that not even the world's biggest model train manufacturer
believes in z-scale anymore, it's a very stong discouraging signal.
The accessories manufacturers would reach the same conclusion and
eventually discontinue their z product lines and focus on other, more
lucrative scales instead of a dying curiosity, a minority scale
on a way to extinction. The commercial risk of staying in the z-scale
market without the credibility and inertia given to it by Märklin,
the biggest and oldest model train manufacturer backing the scale
would become unbearable.
I disagree with this. Take the example of Triang TT.
British TT scale should have died by the early 70s after Triang
dropped it. Nothing of the sort happened.
People started making kits, mechanisms, etches, and British TT became
a scale for high quality modelling, freed of the constraints of
manufacturers compromises and their need for profit.
Modellers became manufacturers, and instead of making high-cost items
like RTR locomotives, instead produced generic components such as a
range of wheels, chassis parts, motors, etc. Using these parts,
modellers started building a wide range of locomotives and cars
Most of the cottage manufacturers were in it for love, but given the
right co-operative arrangements of an association set up to support
the scale, TT did quite well.
In essence, TT ceased to be a commercial scale and became a co-
operative effort, a true modelling scale.
In fact, when you look at British TT and other scales like 2mm, which
is one of a number of examples which have *never* had the support of
a major manufacturer -and the compromises in realism which go along
with it ! - you see some of the best modelling today.
Although it is not guaranteed, it is at least possible that a similar
thing might happen in Z if Marklin exited the market.
I hope they don't though.