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2013 Train Sets


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#226 Carrera124

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 02:45 PM

View Postdomboy, on 26 October 2012 - 02:31 PM, said:

Maybe you don't have a Lego store in your area, but that's where I got my Emerald Night and Maersk.
That's right. I'll have to drive nearly 2 hours to get there... so, thinking of time consumption and fuel costs, buying online and paying postage is my preferred method.
Especially regarding saved fuel costs, I can buy one addtional set online or at my local toy store :wink:

#227 domboy

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 02:51 PM

View PostCarrera124, on 26 October 2012 - 02:45 PM, said:

That's right. I'll have to drive nearly 2 hours to get there... so, thinking of time consumption and fuel costs, buying online and paying postage is my preferred method.
Especially regarding saved fuel costs, I can buy one addtional set online or at my local toy store :wink:

Well, the closest one to me is also 2 hours away... but I occasionally go through that city for other reasons, so I try to coordinate... it's not like I get to purchase big Lego sets at a whim anyway.

#228 Cwetqo

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 02:53 PM

I agree that people want complete sets, not just rolling stock, even if we, AFOLs, think differently. Not too long ago austrian TRU had Maersk trains for 69,99 euro, which I think is really good price. To my suprise there were still few left on stock, but more interesting was that TRU employees added large note "no tracks, motor and remote included". It looks alike they had problem with buyers coming home and not being able to run their trains and they returned them or swaped the formother trains. The problem is that while we dont have any problems with buying motor, tracks and other stuff, "ordinary" people just dont want to bother with it or dont know where to look. And for them this train is useless.

And so, while there was maersk train sitting there for insanely low price, I saw couple with kids purchasing just minimaly reduced (to 139,99 euro) 3677 cargo train. Bad deal? For them not. They got train with one more car, nice trackside object, decent amount of tracks, motor, receiver and remote control. With maers they would get just train with two cars and small truck.

#229 kyphur

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 03:05 PM

View Posthoeij, on 26 October 2012 - 02:11 PM, said:

I think lego is doing very well financially for a simple reason:  Modular Houses.   Who would have thought that you can offer a lego house for $150 and that it would sell like hot cakes?

Are you saying you think Modular Houses are the money mill for TLG or just that thier success is an indicator of TLG's success?

I would love to think that Trains is large enough market for TLG to put more into it but I think several good examples have been lsted here as to why we are luck to get what we want.

It's long been know that the Star Wars license is the cash cow that saved TLG and proved licensing can be profitable and look hw long it's taken just to get a TaunTaun for them!

Unless Trains becomes a top seller I doubt we'll see a lt of our wants direct from TLG.

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#230 Steinkopf

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 12:22 AM

View PostCarrera124, on 26 October 2012 - 02:23 PM, said:

I haven't ignored this, but what you are writing is not the complete truth.
Even back in the 80ies and 90ies, Lego had to face these competitions. And the beginning of the 80ies, home computers and arcade games conquered the nurserys and living rooms. Remember Atari 2600 and Commodore 64.
At the same time, RC cars started their success at affordable prices.
So, today's situation is not really different from back then. Lego is a kind of "classic" toy, and during all times, "newer" and modern god attacked them

I am well aware of what happened in the 80s as I was in my teens when the 12v Trains range was released, the fact is with those other products their core market back then was teenagers and adults, that fell well outside Lego core target group so the competition back then in all reality was less than it is today.

The example given by Cwetqo by observing the kids in a TRU passing over a Maersk Train and purchasing a 3677 Cargo Train instead is a good point, kids want something with a level of functionality and interaction not something that just sits there and collects dust. Likewise Lego and the retailers want products that move in decent volumes instead of sitting on the shelves collecting dust. The current marketing strategy used by Lego may not be to your liking and may not fit your needs or desires but at the end off the day it works very well and will ensure the future of Trains as a theme.

Edited by Steinkopf, 27 October 2012 - 12:27 AM.


#231 zephyr1934

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 06:12 AM

View Posthoeij, on 26 October 2012 - 02:11 PM, said:

But despite this view,  they have nevertheless still managed to bring out beautiful train sets in recent years.

I think lego is doing very well financially for a simple reason:  Modular Houses.   Who would have thought that you can offer a lego house for $150 and that it would sell like hot cakes?

In any case, the modular-house success proves that there are plenty of people willing to pay over $100 for a toy, provided that it is beautiful.  I think that that is the reason that lego decided to produce beautiful trains again, and we've seen three in a short time span  Emerald Night, Maersk, Horizon Express.

Lego has figured out the demand curve. There is enough demand that 2-3 modulars per year will sell very well. And one nice train every other year.

Still though, perhaps we are due for a nice modular train station, now wouldn't that be fun?



View Postdomboy, on 26 October 2012 - 02:31 PM, said:

That's what I've been thinking would be a good idea, since the new train is being released under the "Creator Expert" theme. A 3-in-1 Creator set would be a good way to release an expansion set for trains.

You know, reading this post one thing clicked. The Horizon Express is a "creator set" but it looks like it only has one model. So that is deviating from the creator theme. It would be nice if it included a few small variants, e.g., enough parts to convert the middle coupler of two HE's into a single shared bogie (not that that would be a big deal for most people reading this forum, but...)



View Postkyphur, on 26 October 2012 - 03:05 PM, said:

Unless Trains becomes a top seller I doubt we'll see a lt of our wants direct from TLG.

I think Lego is aware of how much money a small number of train fans invest in their hobby, and the fact that even many non-train AFOLs who are building a town like to have a train. As I've said before, I think Lego is working to figure out how to produce small volume sets and still turn sufficient profit (e.g., via Cuusoo and with Factory before that). When they do, then I bet we'll see them serve the train niche with a better selection.

#232 L@go

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 03:35 PM

View Postzephyr1934, on 27 October 2012 - 06:12 AM, said:

The Horizon Express is a "creator set" but it looks like it only has one model. So that is deviating from the creator theme.

This is a bit off-topic, but when Jamie Berard presented the Horizon Express at the Fan Weekend in Skærbæk he stated that the 'Creator Expert' label is nothing more than a re-badging of the Exclusive series. They're all going to be Creator Expert sets from now on. There's nothing more to it than that, so it's really got nothing to do with the rest of the Creator series, as far as I could understand.

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#233 Hrw-Amen

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 08:07 PM

Perhaps if we want a train lead theme we should make some suggestions for themes to do with trains in the topic asking for ideas in the General Discussions page? If they get bombarded with ones based around trains they may just make one. Admittedly it would have to fit all the other criteria as well.

#234 zephyr1934

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 02:58 AM

View PostHrw-Amen, on 27 October 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

Perhaps if we want a train lead theme we should make some suggestions for themes to do with trains in the topic asking for ideas in the General Discussions page? If they get bombarded with ones based around trains they may just make one. Admittedly it would have to fit all the other criteria as well.

I agree, though when you wish upon a lego, keep in mind the fiscal constraints the company is looking for. In this context, lego has been pretty good to train fans. Sure, we'd love to see more AFOL train sets and we know that the rate probably will not change soon, but TLG has been pretty good about getting the parts we need to build MOCs into various sets. They are also providing one AFOL gateway train set on the market at any given time.

As I see it, there are three important things that Lego should do differently within their fiscal constraints to facilitate lego trains, as discussed in this earlier post
  • Make separate straight and curved track packs
  • Make track bundles and PF bundles (possibly without discount) at S@H for one click buying
  • Remove track and PF from the low end City train to bring the cost down, and make sure it contains enough parts to make three complete bogied chassies (similar to 3x 3737) so that it could double as an AFOL parts pack

View PostL@go, on 27 October 2012 - 03:35 PM, said:

This is a bit off-topic, but when Jamie Berard presented the Horizon Express at the Fan Weekend in Skærbæk he stated that the 'Creator Expert' label is nothing more than a re-badging of the Exclusive series. They're all going to be Creator Expert sets from now on. There's nothing more to it than that, so it's really got nothing to do with the rest of the Creator series, as far as I could understand.

Yes, I know and okay, maybe that is a 4th thing lego needs to fix. This kind of double speak just shows how disorganized lego can be. "Creator Expert" suggests it is an advanced version of "Creator", but it is just hijacking the creator name and slapping it on DTC sets. If lego dilutes creator, then what's left for creative building? None of the other themes lend themselves to free building. It isn't new, their community team would argue that DTC sets were obviously different than the normal themes, yet the DTC sets are mixed in with the regular themes on the public side of the marketing machine.

#235 Kaila

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 11:10 AM

Sorry if this is a little off topic but has Lego retained the Shell licence? I mean in the 80's a few trains had Shell components and separate to that 12 odd years ago they were still bringing out Shell sets.. Would love to see a Shell themed cargo train etc
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#236 Aanchir

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 06:15 PM

View PostL@go, on 27 October 2012 - 03:35 PM, said:

This is a bit off-topic, but when Jamie Berard presented the Horizon Express at the Fan Weekend in Skærbæk he stated that the 'Creator Expert' label is nothing more than a re-badging of the Exclusive series. They're all going to be Creator Expert sets from now on. There's nothing more to it than that, so it's really got nothing to do with the rest of the Creator series, as far as I could understand.
Well, they're probably often going to be by people on the Creator design team, but that's been the case for years (Jamie Berard, Astrid Graabaek, and others have worked for both the Creator and LEGO Direct-to-Consumer teams in the past). Additionally, exclusive sets and the Creator theme have always had a similar design strategy: place equal weight on the end product and the building experience, and push the limits of what can be built using primarily basic parts and not relying on many extremely specialized molds and decorations. The Horizon Express demonstrates that pretty well, what with its cheese slope chevrons, brick built front slope, and lack of stickers for the exterior details.

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#237 Carrera124

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 11:56 PM

View PostSteinkopf, on 27 October 2012 - 12:22 AM, said:

I am well aware of what happened in the 80s as I was in my teens when the 12v Trains range was released, the fact is with those other products their core market back then was teenagers and adults, that fell well outside Lego core target group so the competition back then in all reality was less than it is today.
Another assumption, without any evidence. I'd say that computers and RC cars were much more interesting and "newer" in those days, than smartphones etc. today.

View PostSteinkopf, on 27 October 2012 - 12:22 AM, said:

The example given by Cwetqo by observing the kids in a TRU passing over a Maersk Train and purchasing a 3677 Cargo Train instead is a good point, kids want something with a level of functionality and interaction not something that just sits there and collects dust. Likewise Lego and the retailers want products that move in decent volumes instead of sitting on the shelves collecting dust. The current marketing strategy used by Lego may not be to your liking and may not fit your needs or desires but at the end off the day it works very well and will ensure the future of Trains as a theme.
Well, I can give you another example: My two nephews removed the motors from their 7938 and 7939 sets, they prefer to push the trains along by hand... so even the Maersk train without motor and without track parts would make them happy.

#238 Steinkopf

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:06 AM

To be honest Carrera124 if you are so unhappy with the lack of individual locomotives or pieces of rolling stock and other accessories maybe you should switch to normal model railways such as Marklin, Roco, Fleischmann or Piko. That way you will always have the ability to purchase a wide range of individual models as well as the ability to buy sets, another bonus is that there are always a decent number of new sets introduced each year to satisfy your collecting habit.

Seriously speaking you can complain as much as you want about Lego not doing what you want them to do but at the end of the day it's not going to change anything, many of us in the train community are well aware of this situation due to events in the past. About 5 years ago a large number of Lego train fans directly complained to the company about the discontinuation of the 9v train range and there was the Save 9v Trains campaign, despite all of our efforts Lego did not change it's decision and consigned the 9v Train range to history. The core market for Lego trains is young boys between 6 to 12 years of age and the main aim is to satisfy that market for the duration that this age group will be engaged in the hobby, it's not going to entertain the whims and fancies of a small group of Adult collectors regardless of how much they complain.

Edited by Steinkopf, 29 October 2012 - 01:29 PM.


#239 Carrera124

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:20 AM

Okay, then it would be best if Lego would drop the train line completely, to prevent them from becoming bankrupt because train stuff is selling so badly.

As you explained before, PAB and Bricklink are sufficient for train fans to build everything they want. I support this approach.

#240 Steinkopf

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:36 AM

View PostCarrera124, on 29 October 2012 - 10:20 AM, said:

Okay, then it would be best if Lego would drop the train line completely, to prevent them from becoming bankrupt because train stuff is selling so badly.

As you explained before, PAB and Bricklink are sufficient for train fans to build everything they want. I support this approach.

The days of Train being a standalone theme are long gone and to ensure the viability and survival of them they have been merged within the City theme this makes good sense as trains are a supplementary item to the City range, this may mean that there are less train sets available compared to the past but at least it guarantees the availability of train sets. From what I can see Lego has made a lot of effort to ensure that train fans are supplied with a decent number of sets with a wide diversity of models, this approach may not suit people such as yourself but it is probably the most workable solution for the company at the moment.

#241 Carrera124

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:46 AM

[x] You did not get the irony.

#242 Steinkopf

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:59 AM

View PostCarrera124, on 29 October 2012 - 10:46 AM, said:

[x] You did not get the irony.

I took it as sarcasm more than anything else.

Seriously speaking though if you are unhappy with what's available make your own designs, you will actually find it far more satisfying than purchasing an overpriced box full of parts and you will have what you actually need or want.

Edited by Steinkopf, 29 October 2012 - 10:59 AM.


#243 Carrera124

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:21 AM

View PostSteinkopf, on 29 October 2012 - 10:59 AM, said:

Seriously speaking though if you are unhappy with what's available make your own designs, you will actually find it far more satisfying than purchasing an overpriced box full of parts and you will have what you actually need or want.
For me personally, this might be true.
But again, what about people that want to buy gifts, that don't have internet (or are not familiar with it) ?
Making their own designs, is not a valid option for them. Simply because they do not build stuff on their own, simply because they buy things not for themselves, but they buy for their grandchildren, nephews, children etc.
Do you really want to force all these people into dealing with PAB and Bricklink ? They won't do this. Because it's time-consuming. And because they are not deep enought into it, to find and buy all the correct parts needed. Even experienced AFOLs are struggling with PAB and Bricklink when they're new to it, so it's not suitable for non-builders.

#244 Steinkopf

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:36 AM

View PostCarrera124, on 29 October 2012 - 11:21 AM, said:


For me personally, this might be true.
But again, what about people that want to buy gifts, that don't have internet (or are not familiar with it) ?
Making their own designs, is not a valid option for them. Simply because they do not build stuff on their own, simply because they buy things not for themselves, but they buy for their grandchildren, nephews, children etc.
Do you really want to force all these people into dealing with PAB and Bricklink ? They won't do this. Because it's time-consuming. And because they are not deep enought into it, to find and buy all the correct parts needed. Even experienced AFOLs are struggling with PAB and Bricklink when they're new to it, so it's not suitable for non-builders.

Do you have any statistics that would prove that this group is of a sizeable percentage of the sales demographics that would make it justifiable/viable to commit to the producing those sets, also what is the anticipated sales volume, sales sustainability and growth potential with that group, I bet you Lego has already done their homework with that one.

Edited by Steinkopf, 29 October 2012 - 11:37 AM.


#245 Carrera124

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:44 AM

View PostSteinkopf, on 29 October 2012 - 11:36 AM, said:

Do you have any statistics that would prove that this group is of a sizeable percentage of the sales demographics that would make it justifiable/viable to commit to the producing those sets, also what is the anticipated sales volume, sales sustainability and growth potential with that group.
No, but you don't have statistics that prove your assumptions, either.
So, why should I be responsible for doing that ?

View PostSteinkopf, on 29 October 2012 - 11:36 AM, said:

I bet you Lego has already done their homework with that one.
Of course, marketing guys are always perfect. The never make mistakes.
We never ever had the situation that sets sold worse than Lego expected. Or vice versa, that they have been sold out for a certain period due to an underestimation of the demand.
Lego is able to predict selling numbers 100% correct, so their decisions are always the right ones. Especially dropping the 9V system, or changing the gray color scheme... all fans that were upset about that, are only a small minority. They really did their homework.

Edited by Carrera124, 29 October 2012 - 11:45 AM.


#246 Steinkopf

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 12:33 PM

View PostCarrera124, on 29 October 2012 - 11:44 AM, said:


No, but you don't have statistics that prove your assumptions, either.
So, why should I be responsible for doing that ?


Of course, marketing guys are always perfect. The never make mistakes.
We never ever had the situation that sets sold worse than Lego expected. Or vice versa, that they have been sold out for a certain period due to an underestimation of the demand.
Lego is able to predict selling numbers 100% correct, so their decisions are always the right ones. Especially dropping the 9V system, or changing the gray color scheme... all fans that were upset about that, are only a small minority. They really did their homework.

Maybe you should have a good hard look in the mirror with your assertion about me making assumptions.

Regarding the demise of 9v Trains that has not deterred me from using it, to counter the future lack of availability of parts for that system I invested in purchasing enough stock to fulfil my future needs, all of my powered stock use the part ref 590 9v Train Motors, I do not own any PF powered trains and I have no desire to purchase any in the near future. The only battery powered train sets I have purchased are 2 of the 7898 IR Cargo Train sets which I used for parts, with the chassis and motors from them I gave one to my son and the other to one of my friends to use. When I got into 9v trains the only sets that were available from retailers here was from the World City range which there were no extra wagon sets to go with it, rather than moan and groan like some jaded collector because the items they want are no longer available I decided to build my own rolling stock to get around that problem.

Edited by Steinkopf, 29 October 2012 - 12:42 PM.


#247 Carrera124

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 12:46 PM

View PostSteinkopf, on 29 October 2012 - 12:33 PM, said:

Maybe you should have a good hard look in the mirror with your assertion about me making assumptions.
I did, but there weren't any proveable facts.

View PostSteinkopf, on 29 October 2012 - 12:33 PM, said:

Regarding the demise of 9v Trains that has not deterred me from using it, to counter the future lack of availability of parts for that system I invested in purchasing enough stock to fulfil my future needs, all of my powered stock use the part ref 590 9v Train Motors, I do not own any PF powered trains and I have no desire to purchase any in the near future. The only battery powered train sets I have purchased are 2 of the 7898 IR Cargo Train sets which I used for parts, with the chassis and motors from them I gave one to my son and the other to one of my friends to use. When I got into 9v trains the only sets that were available from retailers here was from the World City range which there were no extra wagon sets to go with it, to get around that problem I decided to build my own rolling stock  rather than moan and groan like some jaded collector because the items they want are no longer available.
Well, that's nice for you. But it doesn't help people that did start with trains after the 9V era ended... so I am asking again, hoping that my question isn't ignored again:
What do you recommend for people that want to buy train sets, but do not use/build them themselves ? That want to buy gifts for their child, newphews, grandchildren ?
Shall they use PAB and/or Bricklink ? If yes, do you really believe that these two services are suitable for that kind of people ?
If no, what shall they do either ? Buy other city sets ? Or better buy non-Lego gifts ?

#248 Steinkopf

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:00 PM

View PostCarrera124, on 29 October 2012 - 12:46 PM, said:

Well, that's nice for you. But it doesn't help people that did start with trains after the 9V era ended... so I am asking again, hoping that my question isn't ignored again:
What do you recommend for people that want to buy train sets, but do not use/build them themselves ? That want to buy gifts for their child, newphews, grandchildren ?
Shall they use PAB and/or Bricklink ? If yes, do you really believe that these two services are suitable for that kind of people ?
If no, what shall they do either ? Buy other city sets ? Or better buy non-Lego gifts ?

It's up to the individual as a consumer with that and it depends how far they want to get into it, for many EBay and PAB are probably the more obvious solutions available to them, for people who are more dedicated Bricklink would be the best option.

#249 Kaila

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:24 PM

View PostSteinkopf, on 29 October 2012 - 10:06 AM, said:

About 5 years ago a large number of Lego train fans directly complained to the company about the discontinuation of the 9v train range and there was the Save 9v Trains campaign, despite all of our efforts Lego did not change it's decision and consigned the 9v Train range to history.
I can't help but wonder what Lego's reaction would have been if the 'mobilization' that the internet facilitates had been available back  in 1991, in regard to people's collective annoyance at the company killing 12v would surely have fueled some kind of much larger backlash than convectional means available back then would have provided...  
Ninjago? Your kidding right.. . .
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#250 Carrera124

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 03:26 PM

View PostSteinkopf, on 29 October 2012 - 01:00 PM, said:

It's up to the individual as a consumer with that and it depends how far they want to get into it, for many EBay and PAB are probably the more obvious solutions available to them, for people who are more dedicated Bricklink would be the best option.

Okay, so they have no chance without using the internet.
Fail.



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