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2013 Train Sets


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#176 Lord Insanity

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:59 PM

View Postandythenorth, on 16 October 2012 - 01:55 PM, said:

TLG dropped the crossing set released at the same time as the first PF trains.  That should tell you something about how well individual train add-on sets sell.

It tells me that despite wanting a cheap crossing set, most people will not buy a rail maintence vehicle they don't want to get the crossing.  This gets worse if you actually wanted multiple crossings.  Add that to the fact that the crossing was never available in any store around me (even the local Lego Store), and you have a self fufilling prophecy.  (I am 10 times more likely to buy a set in the store then I am to use Shop @ Home.)

This was the same problem with the My Own Train line.  Target had the passenger coach, log car, and caboose.  Toys R Us had the starter set with the locomotive, exclusive blue coach, and a loop of track.  No one had the hopper car (the best car in the line in my opinion and I am including the Santa Fe and TTX cars here) or any seperate track.  The local Lego Store didn't even exist back then.  How would anyone not intentionally looking for these things even find them?  You couldn't even buy the starter set and seperate cars in the same store. :facepalm:   Surprising to no one the stuff all went on clearance because the causual buyers (the majority of Lego's market) didn't even know of them.  But using that fiasco of marketing and distrubition failure as an example of "seperate train cars don't sell" is supposed to be totally serious.

To be kind of back on topic, I think the new Horizon Express has finally gotten it right with the AFOL geared trains in one regard.  Due to the nature of the train being portrayed, two sets makes a complete train.  Sure some might want more cars but it looks good with just two sets.  Both the Emerald Night and Maersk sets really required more coaches/cars with no real need for another engine.  Lets just hope if they make another steam or diesel train it has a better ratio of actual cars/coaches.

#177 Carrera124

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 10:00 PM

View PostLEGO Guy Bri, on 16 October 2012 - 09:26 PM, said:

On the contrary, unless you're selling Maersk stuff, the sellers aren't making as much as you'd think, at least in the U.S. I did that with a couple of the 7638 Cargo Trains and made about $10-15 over MSRP. If you do a rough average, dividing sale price avg. and number of item's per train, they are within $10 bucks. At least that's what I noticed buying and selling that way. Once they are discontinued, that may change, definitely with the Maersk  :classic:

At least, it shows that it is a business model that works. If there would be no demand, these ebay set-slaughtermen-sellers would net sell one single brick. But when I look at their ebay rating pages, it is obvious that they are selling wagons and wagons and wagons... There is no doubt that lots of people are buying these items, right now and also during the last months.

And of course, Lego is a construction toy. But for some weird reason :wink: Lego prefers to sell more sets/models than packages of bulk bricks (which would be sufficient if you want to build everything on your own).
Some single wagons to extend your 3677 or 7939, I am convinced they would sell well.

#178 LEGO Guy Bri

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 02:22 AM

View PostCarrera124, on 17 October 2012 - 10:00 PM, said:

At least, it shows that it is a business model that works. If there would be no demand, these ebay set-slaughtermen-sellers would net sell one single brick.

Absolutely, there is a demand, just not a lot of return profit, unless you stay at it. Most likely due to there current availability from LEGO. I am, though, happy these guys do that. It saves me a bunch of time and possibly money, as well, buying a few off them, instead of piecing them together off BL or parting out a set for one or two cars  :classic:
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#179 zephyr1934

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 05:28 AM

View Postpeterab, on 17 October 2012 - 08:34 AM, said:

TLG making more small add on sets won't help this though. The large retailers only want to stock quick selling items. Even though expansion track packs are available from LEGO most retailers don't stock them for very long after they are released. Pretty much the same situation that made the Santa Fe coaches sell really badly. I was actively looking for them while they were available, but never saw them in a shop.

I was thinking it would be nice if the low end city train was a full train, without track. Kind of like 3225, but with no motor. Though the contents should be revised, e.g., take next revision of the city passenger train that already has no doors and make sure the set keeps the train baseplates, couplers, bogies, etc. so that AFOLs will also see benefit in the set.
Posted Image

This set could sell at TRU, target, or ??? Like the Horizon Express, the purchaser will not appreciate the need for track and propulsion until after it is built. Then have a few on-line only supplements. The on-line version supplements could be S@H exclusive or also available from the big box retailer's web site too (depending on what the retailer wanted). The last page of the instructions could mention the availability of the supplement (e.g., as is found in Maersk and the Emerald Night for the PF components- note that these sets could be found on store shelves but the PF components are generally only available on-line and it seems to work). They could go one step further and even print that on the side of the box, "works great with ___ available on-line". Then Grandparents can get the train and parents can get the supplements or vice versa.

1) a PF power pack, e.g., an update of K5300 (note that this set is really a bundle of three existing sets).

Posted Image

2) a basic oval track set, an update of K4516 (again, really just a bundle of three existing sets)
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3) at least one more complicated track set that includes switches, e.g., K4515, K4519, K4520, and K4531 (all just combinations of multiple track packs).

I think having the supplements as one click items would greatly help the newcomer (or the gift giver who doesn't know). I don't think the supplements have to be on the shelves, they will do the job just fine on line (or perhaps a half page in the lego holiday catalog too).

Still keep the larger city train(s) as all in one. But move the lowest end train to a cheaper entry point, aim the main set design at kids, but again, keep the train parts interesting enough that AFOLs will see sufficient reuse to buy the set too.


View PostHrw-Amen, on 17 October 2012 - 07:29 PM, said:

Lots of people nowadays do not look upon LEGO as a construction toy but more of a model, when i have been in my local toy shop i have more than once heard adult complaining that when they were young you could build anything from LEGO but now all you can do is built the set. Well i guess that just shows a lack of imagination.

What i would like to see though to make it easier to build you own stuff is a set that has train wheels and buffers and maybe a baseplate of cowcatcher or some other train stuff, just like you get the ones that have wheels or roof bricks or doors. whilst they would not be wagon sets in themselves they would demonstrate that these could be built with normal bricks and these one or two other parts in this box. It may then inspire more people to build their own. it would also get over the issue of it being a European or American train as people would take the basic wheels and what have you and build in the style they like or are familiar with.

I think that perception is accurate. There are many many specialized parts. I remember when inverted slopes were revolutionary. Much beyond the headlight bricks and jumper plates of the first generation of space, the sets became more model like. I look at my son's basket of lego and I can't build anything out of it (well, okay, I can to wimsical combinations of weird pieces, but...).

To sell to kids and parents, Lego is producing sets that look more like the real objects. Lots of snot work in even the city sets at the cost of strength and stability. But they look good on the box and that's what makes the sale. (Whatever loss of quality Lego may have taken, the competition has similarly slipped- the Walmart effect- how do you turn a profit if the price point is so low?)

I think the Creator line was meant to be a throwback to the old style of building. So I am a little weary of the fact that the Horizon Express is being labeled a Creator set. The first Creator sets didn't have any minifigs. Then they added simple ones to give a focal pont to the houses, now it looks like Creator will lose its distinction of classic brick building styles. Which is too bad, since the Creator sets really symbolized, "building/rebuilding" rather than a model. The Horizon Express has a single model you can build with it (or three single models if you count each car separately), which doesn't fit the Creator theme. I hope the non-Expert Creator stays true to its roots.

The thing that really drives me crazy though, is the fact that the brick buckets have 12 colors in them. Up to a certain age, kids don't care about colors, but then it becomes important. Make a bucket only red and blue, at least then I can build a one color model, e.g., blue cat or a red house. The only folks who can really make use of the multiple colors are the resellers. I think they should still have all the colors distributed across the buckets, but limit each bucket to just two or three colors. So the small box would be yellow and blue, medium red and black, large tan and gray, etc.. Then shuffle the combinations around every year. Yeah, this paragraph is drifting off topic, but it probably has the same roots as the "if you want straight track you also have to pay for this track you don't want."

#180 domboy

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:52 PM

View PostLord Insanity, on 17 October 2012 - 07:59 PM, said:

It tells me that despite wanting a cheap crossing set, most people will not buy a rail maintence vehicle they don't want to get the crossing.  This gets worse if you actually wanted multiple crossings.  Add that to the fact that the crossing was never available in any store around me (even the local Lego Store), and you have a self fufilling prophecy.  (I am 10 times more likely to buy a set in the store then I am to use Shop @ Home.)
Yeah, that crossing shouldn't have had a maintenance vehicle in it... it should have had a baseplate instead. But in my town it was available in the local Toys R Us, which is where I got my copy.

View PostLord Insanity, on 17 October 2012 - 07:59 PM, said:

To be kind of back on topic, I think the new Horizon Express has finally gotten it right with the AFOL geared trains in one regard.  Due to the nature of the train being portrayed, two sets makes a complete train.  Sure some might want more cars but it looks good with just two sets.  Both the Emerald Night and Maersk sets really required more coaches/cars with no real need for another engine.  Lets just hope if they make another steam or diesel train it has a better ratio of actual cars/coaches.
I'm hoping that moving the exclusive trains to be creator sets that future releases will be a 3-in-1 where you would get multiples and build either the locomotive or two different rolling stock models. Oh, and ditch most of the minifigs. Though such an idea may not work very well, as in the case of the Emerald Night, the locomotive and tender look nothing like the passenger wagon. I dunno. Maybe I just don't understand what is supposed to be the concept behind "Creator Expert".

Edited by domboy, 18 October 2012 - 05:02 PM.


#181 Duq

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 06:29 PM

It's funny to see how often this discussion is repeated on various forums. So many train fans can come up with many reasons and scenarios for producing sets with extra rolling stock. All of those stories sounds really plausible. Unfortunately they're also wrong....
I'm lucky enough to have been to Billund and to have met a number of people at Lego. They all say the same: we do our market research, we analyse the sales figures, and rolling stock just does not sell.
Just think about it: how many train starter sets are sold in your local toy shop compared to the number of fire stations, police stations and castles? Who will be buying rolling stock sets? Only people who already have a train set. That means a tiny proportion of their customers will be buying the rolling stock sets. And AFOLs buying multiple copies just won't make up those numbers.

Don't get me wrong. I would love to see train sets like in the 80's. I'd love to buy a shunter in my local toy shop, and a restaurant car to add to my passenger train. I just don't see it happening any time soon...
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#182 Carrera124

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 06:45 PM

View PostDuq, on 18 October 2012 - 06:29 PM, said:

I'm lucky enough to have been to Billund and to have met a number of people at Lego. They all say the same: we do our market research, we analyse the sales figures, and rolling stock just does not sell.
Well, did these people ever think about the reason, why single rolling stocking is selling on eBay - for good prices ?
Visit ebay, type "lego 3677" or ""lego 7939". They'll finde several sellers, and checking their feedback during the last months and years clearly shows that it is able to sell these items.
Of course, ebay is not the whole market, just a part of it.
But history shows a lot of evidences, that marketing guys (and girls) went totally wrong. If they were always right, every released product ever would sell the predicted way.
But for some reasons, some products sell worse than expected by the marketing analysts, other products sell much better.

#183 andythenorth

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:55 PM

If I was working for TLG, the eBay sales would not be evidence of a demand for boxed retail individual train items.  They would be evidence of a secondary / grey market that brings TLG a simple £129.99 retail for one SKU, and leaves the secondary seller dealing with the hassle of stocking, selling, billing and shipping 5 or 6 different items.  From this perspective, the eBay market is quite simply evidence for TLG in favour of continuing with large boxed retail train sets, and using other SKUs for even more fire engines.

A 'create my train' pack of parts makes sense, and/or a cheaper city train.

For everything else we have bricklink.  My mum's used it, my cousin uses it, 114 million other visitors have used it. :wink:

Edited by andythenorth, 18 October 2012 - 07:56 PM.

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#184 Carrera124

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:08 PM

Okay, that Lego doesn't need to release any other sets anymore. We don't need more city sets (already have enough of them, and we have bricklink), no more technic sets (same reason).
2 or 3 huge (10000 pcs) per year would be sufficient, thanks to all Ebay dealers and bricklink :laugh:

#185 andythenorth

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:53 PM

View PostCarrera124, on 18 October 2012 - 08:08 PM, said:

2 or 3 huge (10000 pcs) per year would be sufficient, thanks to all Ebay dealers and bricklink :laugh:
Well maybe, but then how do people who just want a fire engine just buy a fire engine?
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#186 Carrera124

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 09:06 PM

The same as people that want just single train rolling stock... buy nothing.

#187 Steinkopf

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:22 PM

View PostCarrera124, on 18 October 2012 - 06:45 PM, said:


Well, did these people ever think about the reason, why single rolling stocking is selling on eBay - for good prices ?
Visit ebay, type "lego 3677" or ""lego 7939". They'll finde several sellers, and checking their feedback during the last months and years clearly shows that it is able to sell these items.
Of course, ebay is not the whole market, just a part of it.
But history shows a lot of evidences, that marketing guys (and girls) went totally wrong. If they were always right, every released product ever would sell the predicted way.
But for some reasons, some products sell worse than expected by the marketing analysts, other products sell much better.

Seriously you can argue your point as much as you like but you are continually going around in circles, trying to use EBay sales to justify your arguement doesn't wash as the volume of units is just not there, if you understand the scope of production then maybe you would have a better grasp on the situation. To make sets profitable when you factor in the cost of designing, printing, packaging and instructions for these sets you are looking at units in the 100,000+ mark, also consider the global reach of the supply chain the numbers are massive, a first release to one country of a set will be easily over 5,000 units factor in the number of countries Lego delivers too then you get an idea of the volume. Just because a few sellers on EBay are able to sell 50 or 100 individual pieces of rolling stock means nothing when you consider that to make a set profitable Lego has to produce more than 1000 times that number.

Edited by Steinkopf, 18 October 2012 - 10:50 PM.


#188 Carrera124

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:26 PM

View PostSteinkopf, on 18 October 2012 - 10:22 PM, said:

Seriously you can argue your point as much as you like but you are continually going around in circles, trying to use EBay sales to justify your argue meant doesn't wash as the volume of units is just not there, if you understand the scope of production then maybe you would have a better grasp on the situation.
Did you read my posting completeley ? I clearly stated that Ebay is a part of the market, not the whole market. So you can be sure, I am understanding the scope.

View PostSteinkopf, on 18 October 2012 - 10:22 PM, said:

To make sets profitable when you factor in the cost of designing, printing, packaging and instructions for these sets you are looking at units in the 100,000+ mark, also consider the global reach of the supply chain the numbers are massive, a first release to one country of a set will be easily over 5,000 units factor in the number of countries Lego delivers too then you get an idea of the volume. Just because a few sellers on EBay are able to sell 50 or 100 individual pieces of rolling stock means nothing when you consider that to make a set profitable Lego has to produce more than 1000 times that number.
Maybe, but this applies to ALL sets that Lego releases. And it is hard to believe that every new set is selling that well. So, there must be exceptions to this rule(s).

#189 Steinkopf

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:27 PM

View PostCarrera124, on 18 October 2012 - 10:26 PM, said:

Maybe, but this applies to ALL sets that Lego releases. And it is hard to believe that every new set is selling that well. So, there must be exceptions to this rule(s).

I can give you two examples of deliveries to my country that have a large variance in numbers and this was due to the nature of the sets, the UCS Millenium Falcon 10179 had 800 units shipped into the country and was an exclusive item for Kmart, the first run on the Cool Cruiser 5767 was about 5,500 units. Given the sheer size and cost of 10179 and the fact that it was primarily a S@H exclusive you can understand the lower volume, on the other hand 5767 which is a more common medium sized set had what could be considered a typical release delivery which would be topped up by a number of deliveries over its life cycle dependant on the numbers that move over a period of time.

Another point I would like to make is that in the 1990s during the golden era of 9v trains I'm my country the individual wagons moved very slowly, I remember seeing a whole heap of 4536 Blue Hoppers and 4537 Octan Tankers on clearance in one of the main retailers who stocked them. At that point they had been sitting on the shelves for over 2 years, unfortunately for me I was into traditional model railways at the time and didn't buy any. In general what I have seen is that a lot of the trainsets seem to languish there on the shelves, this in a retailers perspective is no good as they are relying on a decent turnover to generate revenue, having shelf space occupied by an item that hasn't budged in the last 2 years is not good for business.

Edited by Steinkopf, 18 October 2012 - 11:37 PM.


#190 Carrera124

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:39 PM

Well, times have changed since the 90ies. Today, shopping is often done online, the classic retailer's store is not the only source any more.
Even today, Lego offers more sets than any retailer is able to keep in stock (remember, more than 600 new sets released in 2012).
I know, not all of the 600 sets are/were available in every country, some were promo/seasonal/S@H etc.
But even the big toy stores aren't able to keep the whole line-up (reference: printed standard catalog) in stock.
So, this is not a valid reason against (smaller) train sets. 2 or 3 more sets in general would not make the situation worse than today.
Offering additional train sets only via S@H, would also be a good solution. Better than offering nothing...

#191 Steinkopf

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:56 PM

View PostCarrera124, on 18 October 2012 - 11:39 PM, said:

Well, times have changed since the 90ies. Today, shopping is often done online, the classic retailer's store is not the only source any more.
Even today, Lego offers more sets than any retailer is able to keep in stock (remember, more than 600 new sets released in 2012).
I know, not all of the 600 sets are/were available in every country, some were promo/seasonal/S@H etc.
But even the big toy stores aren't able to keep the whole line-up (reference: printed standard catalog) in stock.
So, this is not a valid reason against (smaller) train sets. 2 or 3 more sets in general would not make the situation worse than today.
Offering additional train sets only via S@H, would also be a good solution. Better than offering nothing...

The fact is Lego has been there and done that all before and it failed, as mentioned by myself amd others the My Own Train series and the Santa Fe Super Chief had good initial sales but failed to gain traction with follow on sales, the only time they did move in substantial numbers was when they were put on clearance and snapped up by the vultures from Ebay and Bricklink. I can certainly understand the companies viewpoint why should they invest in a product that they will lose money on, especially when later on there will be a small group of individuals that will profiteer from the very limited availability of that product due to it's demise.

Edited by Steinkopf, 18 October 2012 - 11:56 PM.


#192 peterab

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 06:38 AM

View PostLord Insanity, on 17 October 2012 - 07:59 PM, said:

It tells me that despite wanting a cheap crossing set, most people will not buy a rail maintence vehicle they don't want to get the crossing.

The original discussion was about the crossover track piece, not the level crossing with vehicle.

#193 Man with a hat

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:01 AM

Ok, I think it is clear that we won't see any separate rolling stock in 2013 (or the years thereafter) for good reasons.

However I wonder if we would get a new city train sets (logically a passenger train set, a cargo train set and a station) at the end of 2013 or that we have to wait for 2014. The current regular sets are from 2010. It would be good for my wallet if we had to wait for 2014 though (we already have the horizon express), and I am actually happy that some sets stay on that long.

Edited by Man with a hat, 19 October 2012 - 07:02 AM.


#194 andythenorth

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 01:34 PM

View Postpeterab, on 19 October 2012 - 06:38 AM, said:

The original discussion was about the crossover track piece, not the level crossing with vehicle.
My point was actually about the crossing with vehicle, which is gone from the range.  Didn't sell well enough?  I saw it get retail shelf space placement in the UK, it wasn't online-only.

The much older crossover piece was probably dropped because (a) it sucks for play (b) it's an expensive complicated mould.
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#195 RedBrick1

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:22 PM

View PostMan with a hat, on 19 October 2012 - 07:01 AM, said:

Ok, I think it is clear that we won't see any separate rolling stock in 2013 (or the years thereafter) for good reasons.

However I wonder if we would get a new city train sets (logically a passenger train set, a cargo train set and a station) at the end of 2013 or that we have to wait for 2014. The current regular sets are from 2010. It would be good for my wallet if we had to wait for 2014 though (we already have the horizon express), and I am actually happy that some sets stay on that long.

It appears that we will at least get a new western train under the new Lone Ranger line.
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#196 Cirkit

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 02:33 AM

I don't think I want to see another Western train theme.. but if a Great Western Railway locomotive, like a 57xx, were released in a minifig-scale set I'd be happy to see that!

The city trains are nice- I would like to see a station a little more complex in design for the trains to pull in to, but I don't mind the designs of the trains as they are at the moment.  

Edited by Cirkit, 20 October 2012 - 02:33 AM.


#197 Carrera124

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 05:07 PM

View PostSteinkopf, on 18 October 2012 - 11:56 PM, said:

The fact is Lego has been there and done that all before and it failed, as mentioned by myself amd others the My Own Train series and the Santa Fe Super Chief had good initial sales but failed to gain traction with follow on sales, the only time they did move in substantial numbers was when they were put on clearance and snapped up by the vultures from Ebay and Bricklink.
But you are continously neglecting the fact that all this happened nearly one decade ago. So, all you are saying is "things have not been sold well 10 year sago, so they will not sell well today, too".

View PostSteinkopf, on 18 October 2012 - 11:56 PM, said:

I can certainly understand the companies viewpoint why should they invest in a product that they will lose money on
If this would be true, why does Lego offer train sets at all ? If they don't sell well, Lego should drop them. If they sell well, there must be a large amount of customers, that are potential buyers for single add-ons. It's foolish to beliebe, that all buyers of the big starter sets stick only to them...
More than other themes, trains are part of a SYSTEM. Just imagine Scalextric would only set slotcar starter packs, but no single cars and only very few track extension packs...

#198 vips

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 07:56 PM

Personally I would love to see more train sets, especially separate cars and accessories, but I will have to agree with others that it seems very unlikely that it will happen any time soon. Just look at cuusoo for a quick reality check; a separate car for emerald night has just over 200 supporters, the same goes for a winter village train station. R2 track is lingering just above 100. At the same time the there are almost 1500 supporters for a red squirrel set...

#199 mikka says

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 08:27 PM

View PostCarrera124, on 20 October 2012 - 05:07 PM, said:

But you are continously neglecting the fact that all this happened nearly one decade ago. So, all you are saying is "things have not been sold well 10 year sago, so they will not sell well today, too".

If this would be true, why does Lego offer train sets at all ? If they don't sell well, Lego should drop them. If they sell well, there must be a large amount of customers, that are potential buyers for single add-ons. It's foolish to beliebe, that all buyers of the big starter sets stick only to them...
More than other themes, trains are part of a SYSTEM. Just imagine Scalextric would only set slotcar starter packs, but no single cars and only very few track extension packs...

lego's demographic hasnt changed that much sine the super cheif, it's been widely known that they dont sell well, TLG will not risk making stuff it knows it cannot sell... 10 years insnt long enough to for the market to change into a "buy as you go" mindset....
the train sets sell, as it is in itself a complete SYSTEM. you can run it independantly without the need of extra parts...

And i feel that TLG is trying to help us with the train set's, to provide us with the parts to actually build the trains we want...

#200 Carrera124

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:41 PM

View Postmikka says, on 20 October 2012 - 08:27 PM, said:

the train sets sell, as it is in itself a complete SYSTEM.
Well, this applies to many other sets, too. It is not necessary to release 7 new firement sets... 3 or 4 would have been enough.

View Postmikka says, on 20 October 2012 - 08:27 PM, said:

you can run it independantly without the need of extra parts...
Of course. One single train on a small "o" layout makes lots of fun. No one has ever thought of needing extra train parts or more trains/wagons... :sceptic:



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