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

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  • Robert Allbritton
    Danny, 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
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 1 10:09 AM
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      Danny,

      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.

      Best,
      -Rob

      -----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.

      Danny
      http://www.dannyg.com



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


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    • Edward Scullin
      Sounds to me like this is the time for Rob Kluz to step in and send out with his next issue a petition or questionaire as to what we want or need if we could
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 1 3:52 PM
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        Sounds to me like this is the time for Rob Kluz to step in and send
        out with his next issue a petition or questionaire as to what we
        want or need if we could convince somebody like Kato to get into Z.
        IE should the concentrate on trackwork or engines etc
        Maybe we could get some of the other Z scale publications
        /newsletters to follow suit ( Z club GB and Z club) Maybe Jeffery
        McHann could set up an open questionnaire/poll as to what people
        would buy or want, and realistically what we would pay for it.
        Ed Scullin

        --- dannyg@... wrote:
        > --- 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.
        >
        > Danny
        > http://www.dannyg.com
        >
        >
        >



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      • Jeffrey MacHan
        Danny, you are absolutely correct...no champion, no joy! I ll be listening very carefully to be sure. I ll keep the list informed of how things develop at St.
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 1 8:24 PM
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          Danny, you are absolutely correct...no champion, no joy!

          I'll be listening very carefully to be sure. I'll keep the list informed of
          how things develop at St. Louis.

          JRM


          >From: dannyg@...
          >Reply-To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
          >To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
          >Subject: [z_scale] Re: Kato In Z, A Different Approach
          >Date: Sun, 01 Jul 2001 14:06:04 -0000
          >
          >--- 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.
          >
          >Danny
          >http://www.dannyg.com
          >
          >

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        • Jeffrey MacHan
          ... Maybe Jeffery ... Sorry, Ed, I don t think Jeffery McHann will do much of anything...Jeffrey MacHan is always willing to lend a hand. ;-) It s no problem
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 2 12:32 AM
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            >From: Edward Scullin <sculline@...>
            >Reply-To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
            >To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
            >Subject: Re: [z_scale] Re: Kato In Z, A Different Approach
            >Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2001 15:52:19 -0700 (PDT)

            Maybe Jeffery
            >McHann could set up an open questionnaire/poll

            Sorry, Ed, I don't think Jeffery McHann will do much of anything...Jeffrey
            MacHan is always willing to lend a hand. ;-)

            It's no problem setting up a poll. We just need a series of items that
            generate interest. Up to now the maximum number of members who have taken
            part in a poll is 86. This is a terrific response rate of about 22%. We
            could make the poll open ended and allow members to chose all the items that
            they wish.

            Or how about 2 polls at the same time...one multiple answers and the other a
            single priority choice?

            New 1st generation road diesel (GP7-9) to complement the F7
            New 2nd or 3rd generation diesel (SD40 -45)
            More affordable starter set ($125 - $150)
            Modern design track and turnouts (Kato style)

            Cheers,
            Jeffrey MacHan
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          • zerstoererx@aol.com
            Without a doubt you re right John, we should harness our collective influence and direct it at Kato first and foremost. Do any of you ex-N scalers out there
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 2 7:50 AM
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              Without a doubt you're right John, we should harness our collective
              influence and direct it at Kato first and foremost. Do any of you ex-N
              scalers out there remember when Atlas/Kato brought us their RS-3 back
              in 1982-83? Before that N Scale motive power was about as innovative
              as a network TV sitcom plot. (addmittedly the Roco/Atlas stuff was
              decent) Kato is beyond a doubt the finest MASS producer of model
              trains in the world. My brother-in-law snagged a seven car bullet
              train set in Japan for a price that would make us Z scalers cringe!
              Considerably less than $300 USD bought the new "500" Bullet train and
              a Tomix starter track set with auto switches and x-former (kinda like
              Fleischmann's track). Accordingly, my thanks to all who can make it to
              St. Louis to do the "dirty work". If anyone can pull up Z it'll be
              Kato. Has anyone out there ever bought a Kato loco and NOT had it run
              flawlessly and whisper quiet out of the box? I highly doubt it! Again,
              thanks guys - our scale needs the competition!

              Regards,
              John Stueber
              --- 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? There are nearly 400 members
              after all, why not put those numbers to use? No matter how well a
              > single argument can be crafted, I believe several hundred
              individuals inquiring about a product would carry far more weight.
              >
              > This forum and Jeffrey R. MacHan are recognized by the NMRA's SIG,
              this coupled with the voices of those several hundred Z_Scale
              > members would, if not send the Kato folks running to the drawing
              board, might get them to consider dusting it off.
              >
              > The topic has been kicked around, how popular is Z these days. One
              sure acid test is right here. If only 5 or 10 people reply with
              emails,
              > then Kato is right to ignore Z. Let's find out definitively within
              these ranks, how popular
            • Reynard Wellman
              Hello Jeffrey, I just voted in your new poll, needless to say, you can guess which way I voted. I ve got plenty of locomotives, steam, diesel, etc. it s just
              Message 6 of 13 , Jul 2 8:56 AM
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                Hello Jeffrey,
                I just voted in your new poll, needless to say, you can guess
                which way I voted. I've got plenty of locomotives, steam, diesel,
                etc. it's just that I get tired of pushing them through those
                Marklin curved turnouts. Is this an electric train set or one of those
                wooden train sets I played with when I was in Kindergarten?

                Best regards,
                Reynard

                Jeffrey MacHan wrote:
                snip

                >
                > New 1st generation road diesel (GP7-9) to complement the F7
                > New 2nd or 3rd generation diesel (SD40 -45)
                > More affordable starter set ($125 - $150)
                > Modern design track and turnouts (Kato style)
                >
                > Cheers,
                > Jeffrey MacHan


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Reynard Wellman
                Hello John, Sometimes I wish I had never heard of KATO, they ve spoiled me. The quality of the track and locomotives, the ease of assembly, wiring, etc. has
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 3 11:30 PM
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                  Hello John,
                  Sometimes I wish I had never heard of KATO, they've
                  spoiled me. The quality of the track and locomotives, the ease
                  of assembly, wiring, etc. has caused me to make unfair comparisons.

                  When N scale first started out (actually in the mid-60's) up until
                  the 80's, it was mostly junk, stuff that wouldn't run,
                  terrible turnouts, lumpy looking buildings and freight cars.

                  KATO lit a fire under the other manufacturers -- get better or starve!

                  Z scale needs someone like this to show the others the way.
                  I couldn't agree with you more. I've yet to see a KATO product
                  perform poorly, unless I threw it accross the room or something.

                  Regards,
                  Reynard


                  zerstoererx@... wrote:

                  > Without a doubt you're right John, we should harness our collective
                  > influence and direct it at Kato first and foremost. Do any of you ex-N
                  >
                  > scalers out there remember when Atlas/Kato brought us their RS-3 back
                  > in 1982-83? Before that N Scale motive power was about as innovative
                  > as a network TV sitcom plot. (addmittedly the Roco/Atlas stuff was
                  > decent) Kato is beyond a doubt the finest MASS producer of model
                  > trains in the world. My brother-in-law snagged a seven car bullet
                  > train set in Japan for a price that would make us Z scalers cringe!
                  > Considerably less than $300 USD bought the new "500" Bullet train and
                  > a Tomix starter track set with auto switches and x-former (kinda like
                  > Fleischmann's track). Accordingly, my thanks to all who can make it to
                  >
                  > St. Louis to do the "dirty work". If anyone can pull up Z it'll be
                  > Kato. Has anyone out there ever bought a Kato loco and NOT had it run
                  > flawlessly and whisper quiet out of the box? I highly doubt it! Again,
                  >
                  > thanks guys - our scale needs the competition!
                  >
                  > Regards,
                  > John Stueber
                  > --- 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? There are nearly 400 members
                  > after all, why not put those numbers to use? No matter how well a
                  > > single argument can be crafted, I believe several hundred
                  > individuals inquiring about a product would carry far more weight.
                  > >
                  > > This forum and Jeffrey R. MacHan are recognized by the NMRA's SIG,
                  > this coupled with the voices of those several hundred Z_Scale
                  > > members would, if not send the Kato folks running to the drawing
                  > board, might get them to consider dusting it off.
                  > >
                  > > The topic has been kicked around, how popular is Z these days. One
                  > sure acid test is right here. If only 5 or 10 people reply with
                  > emails,
                  > > then Kato is right to ignore Z. Let's find out definitively within
                  > these ranks, how popular
                  >
                  >
                  > "Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!
                  >
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Edward Scullin
                  At the national train show, several of us Z scalers went over to the Kato booth, and inquired as to what plans they had for Z. The answer is NOTHING. they
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 18 8:57 AM
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                    At the national train show, several of us Z scalers went over to the
                    Kato booth, and inquired as to what plans they had for Z.
                    The answer is NOTHING. they stated that their major market (about
                    90%) is in Japan, and the rest of the world is only 10% of their
                    market. There is no "desire" for Z in Japan, they are satisfied with
                    N, so that is where they will say. The comment is that US and other
                    prototypes are a very small part of their market. The children in
                    Japan are very train conscious in that they grow up with them, ride
                    them to and from school and when ever they go anywhere.
                    It seems to me that the size reduction between N and Z would e enough
                    of a reason since most living spaces are FAQs smaller than we in the
                    states are used to. three bedroom apartment with a total of less
                    than 1,000 square feet.
                    We now need another target, for an Email and possibly leter writing
                    campaign. Any suggestions?
                    Ed Scullin

                    --- Reynard Wellman <micron@...> wrote:
                    > Hello John,
                    >SNIP
                    > When N scale first started out (actually in the mid-60's) up until
                    > the 80's, it was mostly junk, stuff that wouldn't run,
                    > terrible turnouts, lumpy looking buildings and freight cars.
                    >
                    > KATO lit a fire under the other manufacturers -- get better or
                    > starve!
                    >
                    > Z scale needs someone like this to show the others the way.
                    > I couldn't agree with you more. I've yet to see a KATO product
                    > perform poorly, unless I threw it accross the room or something.
                    >
                    > Regards,
                    > Reynard
                    >
                    >
                    > zerstoererx@... wrote:
                    >
                    > > Without a doubt you're right John, we should harness our
                    > collective
                    > > influence and direct it at Kato first and foremost. Do any of you
                    > ex-N
                    > >
                    > > scalers out there remember when Atlas/Kato brought us their RS-3
                    > back
                    > > in 1982-83? Before that N Scale motive power was about as
                    > innovative
                    > > as a network TV sitcom plot. (addmittedly the Roco/Atlas stuff
                    > was
                    > > decent) Kato is beyond a doubt the finest MASS producer of model
                    > > trains in the world. My brother-in-law snagged a seven car bullet
                    > > train set in Japan for a price that would make us Z scalers
                    > cringe!
                    > > Considerably less than $300 USD bought the new "500" Bullet train
                    > and
                    > > a Tomix starter track set with auto switches and x-former (kinda
                    > like
                    > > Fleischmann's track). Accordingly, my thanks to all who can make
                    > it to
                    > >
                    > > St. Louis to do the "dirty work". If anyone can pull up Z it'll
                    > be
                    > > Kato. Has anyone out there ever bought a Kato loco and NOT had it
                    > run
                    > > flawlessly and whisper quiet out of the box? I highly doubt it!
                    > Again,
                    > >
                    > > thanks guys - our scale needs the competition!
                    > >
                    > > Regards,
                    > > John Stueber
                    > > --- 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? There are nearly 400
                    > members
                    SNIP
                    > > > This forum and Jeffrey R. MacHan are recognized by the NMRA's
                    > SIG,
                    > > this coupled with the voices of those several hundred Z_Scale
                    > > > members would, if not send the Kato folks running to the
                    > drawing
                    > > board, might get them to consider dusting it off.
                    > > >
                    > > > The topic has been kicked around, how popular is Z these days.
                    > One
                    > > sure acid test is right here. If only 5 or 10 people reply with
                    > > emails,
                    > > > then Kato is right to ignore Z. Let's find out definitively
                    > within
                    > > these ranks, how popular
                    > >



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                  • ztrack@aol.com
                    I found it interesting that a Kato representative stopped by the Ztrack booth at least 6 times to study the Z scale models... Rob Kluz Ztrack Magazine, Ltd.
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jul 19 6:45 PM
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                      I found it interesting that a Kato representative stopped by the Ztrack booth
                      at least 6 times to study the Z scale models...

                      Rob Kluz

                      Ztrack Magazine, Ltd.
                      6142 Northcliff Blvd.
                      Dublin, OH 43016
                      Phone/Fax (614) 764-1703
                      www.ztrack.com
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