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2013 Train Sets


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#76 lightningtiger

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 01:05 PM

Reading the last few postings and I feel a little lost....the topic is 2013 Train Sets and all I read are why Lego has screwed up it's marketing on trains over the past decade. No real wishes or likes.....just complaint and counter-complaint.
The Brickster will not be impressed if we don't actually stay on topic ? :wink:

#77 Cwetqo

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 01:25 PM

Well, from what I heard we coud as well rename this to "2014 Train Sets" or even "201x Train Sets" Posted Image

#78 fred67

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 01:29 PM

View Postpeterab, on 02 July 2012 - 08:28 AM, said:

Historically though you are wrong. This exact argument was made for the Santa Fe train. TLG tried it. The passenger cars didn't sell well.

I guess hindsight is not always 20/20, but viewed through the prism of various perspectives...

At that time, not only did LEGO NOT advertise trains (I was a LEGO fan AND a model train fan - N-Scale) and didn't even realize LEGO made trains.  I had no LEGO store, never thought to look online at LEGO.com because I was only just slowly coming out of dark ages... I didn't even see the trains until the Express was being sold for 50% off at my warehouse club for Christmas.  I bought two because I didn't know you could even buy track separately... I bought a second one just for track!  Even then, I didn't know about MOT at all.  So when you look at something historically, there is context... I never saw them sold at TRU - although I didn't really look, either, because I didn't know they existed, but I never saw them when perusing the LEGO aisle.

On top of that, LEGO was in financial dire straights all-around, and it wasn't just trains... while I got hooked back then, the re-emergence of amazingly well done trains (Emerald Night and Maersk) should have been marketed more towards model train fans.  The problem, I guess, is they don't advertise outside the core demographics.

I'm curious, though, after all these years - I see a lot of LEGO ads on Cartoon Network... I've seen Friends, I've seen Ninjago, I've seen City... except I don't recall seeing trains.  Have they ever advertised their complete train sets on TV?

I'd like to add, too, that those train sets get sold out around here every Christmas... neither the LEGO Store nor places like TRU can keep them stocked.  Perhaps that lesson is that the sets sell, but maybe individual pieces don't.  What's interesting, then, is that they don't try... they don't sell extra cars for those sets at all.  I can see the argument (even if I disagree with it) that they shouldn't make extra Maersk or EN cars separately, that those are AFOL sets, Thomas the Tank Engine toys show kids do like a lot of different trains and rolling stock... I would imagine the price point for such cars should be a lot lower, but then the cars in those complete sets bare little resemblance (quality and piece-count wise) to the EN car.

Edited by fred67, 02 July 2012 - 01:30 PM.


#79 lightningtiger

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 01:31 PM

View PostCwetqo, on 02 July 2012 - 01:25 PM, said:

Well, from what I heard we coud as well rename this to "2014 Train Sets" or even "201x Train Sets" Posted Image
Even better would be just a dream list topic like the one over in the licensed forum.

#80 Nagyzee

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 06:04 PM

View Postandythenorth, on 30 June 2012 - 02:54 PM, said:

Broadly, kids of the age that City is aimed at have zero interest in trains.  Small children love Thomas, but once children reach school age, trains can be seen as an insanely nerdy and deeply socially unacceptable interest.

Really? It's hard for me to imagine that it's considered cool to play with a Lego garbage truck or ambulance or even build a Lego city but adding trains to it would suddenly make you insanely nerdy among fellow kids. I can imagine the City theme as a whole not being cool over a certain age though.

Btw some of the expectations in this topic are surely way over the top and I'm fine with Trains being a subtheme of City nowadays. However I do think that TLG should really improve with integrating their train stuff into City. Trains still feel somewhat separate and TLG provides little incentive for kids to want to add trains to their Lego cities. I'm thinking about stuff like a commercial showing a freight train set used in combination with a harbour set or one where you can see the passenger train and the train station next to a street with City houses and vehicles. Look at this commercial for example: it only shows a bunch of Train sets, no other City sets whatsoever. It's beyond me why Lego doesn't emphasise the City connection here. They could also show such pictures on the back of the boxes, in the instructions or maybe even provide some alternative instructions on lego.com with ideas of integration.

The next level could be including a siding into the next harbour set or into a set that depicts some industrial facility. But that might be wishful thinking. A proper train station (not just a train stop like the current one) like set 4554 / 2150 only this time with a City side as well that includes say a bus stop and a bus would also go a long way in establishing / strengthening the link. The current train stop was a good step in this direction though I must admit.

As for trains making guest appearances in other themes: we quite often have trains in action themes already. Of course those are not proper trains and I don't understand those who complain about that. They are silly action trains and why would one expect more? Take it as a parts pack or leave it...
The only single other theme I'd really like to see a proper train in is Western if it's ever reintroduced. Trains are such an integral part of the Western feel so there I'd really think it would be an oversight to not include one. Btw Pif Paf City is quite supported on CUUSOO, here's hoping that it will at one point cross the line and we'll get the train station from it.


---

The other thing with regards to advertising is that I'd probably put a bit more focus on the parents as targets in advertisements of Lego trains. On the one hand because they are more expensive than most other sets and on the other because trains seem to me to be the best opportunity to play together with your kids when it comes to Lego. Sure, parents can help build other sets as well and so on but I can hardly imagine most parents move and pose minifigures around the floor playing castle siege or whatever or say do spinner battles with their kids while with trains they could better join in.


View Postrday1982, on 01 July 2012 - 02:29 AM, said:

Lego have the opportunity with the mining theme to produce a train that's going to excite kids and AFOLs who aren't normally "into trains". Something big, beefy, powerful. A mighty monster of industry. One which will add realism and play value to the theme, as well as helping bridge "mining" with "city" sets. If the mining train is something that can be motorised with PF (like the EN, rather than the current trains that come with a pre-built base unit), it will increase PF sales too. As well as be interesting to more "advanced" Lego users.

A mining train is something like you see in the biggest mining set. A small engine pulling small hoppers inside the mine. What you imagine is surely not a mining train but simply a freight train that happens to transport ore in hopper cars.

Edited by Nagyzee, 02 July 2012 - 06:06 PM.


#81 Carrera124

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 06:31 PM

The biggest game changer since then is electronic retailing, and D2C. But even then, most volume will be done in bricks and motor stores, as this is where Joe Public go. Now we have Cuusoo and there are some really good train designs on there. Not just expansion packs. Winter Village Train Depot: 112 supporters. Lisbon Tram 155 supporters. Space Mining Monorail: 75 supporters. Ter Trans Rapid Express: 81 supporters. Pennsylvania Railroad Carriages: 12 supporters. Emerald Night Sleeper Car: 11 supporters.

Now tell me that there is a massive market for trains, and expansion packs, when AFOLS' cannot even get these well designed projects to above 200 supporters? Whether you agree that Cuusoo is the right venue with it's rabid fandom or not, AFOL trains are simply in the minority especially when it comes to licensed branding. Non-licensed projects like Japanese Architecture scores 2871 supporters. British Birds 2102 supporters. Lego Mountain Biking 1909 supporters. Realistic Trees 920 Supporters. Roller Coaster 430 Supporters.
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I don't believe that Cuusoo is a represenative source for rhings like this. Iam pretty sure that only very few "standard" customers even have knowledge about it.
And to support a model, you need to be registrated at the the Cuusoo site. I am not, I don't like to create a new login for each new subsite... if Cuusoo would be integrated into the Lego customer sites in a better way, and if the standard Shop@Home Login could be used, then it could be a potential representative source.

#82 roamingstudio

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 06:49 PM

Cuusoo may not be representative of children. But at least 10,000 people voted for western town, and most of these are AFOL and not random joe. Pif paf town looks great but is likely to be in the shadow of the existing modular western town. If AFOL don't buy into the concept, it is even more unlikely that children or parents will. I can hear the next comments "it is all about marketing to the right audience". I agree, but how much will you spend? A 2minuite promotional video costs about 1-2 days studio work plus production and costs between 10-20k. Run a nationwide advert campaign: 150k€ for some newspapers. Tv exposure? €€€ Multiple this by countries and very quickly costs escalate.

If TLG could figure out a way of making it work I'm sure they will (one day). But right now there are many more well hyped sets which recoup costs quicker and are better market investments. The only way to change this would be to rise to the challenge and as a group: stop complaining and start producing the sets we think will work, resell via bricklink and get the Viral internet Market. Post well made train videos onto YouTube demonstrating play features and see feedback you get. If you don't want to register on YouTube or Cuusoo then team up with
Someone already there. Complaining will NOT change the attitudes, demonstration WILl

#83 Ondra

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 09:11 PM

I would like to see exclusive train set.Something such as http://en.wikipedia....B_Class_VT_11.5 or electric train especially remake of 7740 http://www.brickset....l/?Set=7740-1:cry_happy: .

#84 lightningtiger

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 11:09 PM

I would feel engines that have been used internationally or be that a series of trains titled Great Railways Of The World might work better ? :classic:
Side-note here, recent red passenger train set has been featured in those short 5 minute Lego City cartoons viewable at Lego.com ! :wink:

#85 Artifex

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 02:01 AM

Do you guys think it's still a good call to buy any of the current trains? Apart from the Maersk, I mean -- I'm talking about the Cargo Train, the Red Cargo Train and the Passeger Train (I think this last one is a bit meh  :sceptic: -- I can't really say why).
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#86 lightningtiger

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 02:42 AM

View PostArtifex, on 03 July 2012 - 02:01 AM, said:

Do you guys think it's still a good call to buy any of the current trains? Apart from the Maersk, I mean -- I'm talking about the Cargo Train, the Red Cargo Train and the Passeger Train (I think this last one is a bit meh  :sceptic: -- I can't really say why).
Well I've lay-by'ed the red cargo train....missed it last year, not missing it again.  :blush:
Lego seems to make better freight trains than passenger ones.....the Emerald Night :wub:  is an exception to that. :wink:
Just my opinion, anyway. :wink:

#87 medib

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 05:03 AM

I hope two things:

a) that Lego thinks that Lego Fans (all fans not just AFOLS) will NOT be content with just the mining train and the ghost train.

b) that we won't have to wait until 2014 or beyond to get a new REAL train set.
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#88 LovinLegoSince97

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 05:16 AM

View PostAndyC, on 02 July 2012 - 08:17 AM, said:

Imagine in your head exactly what a D2C version of that would be like, maybe along the lines of the Maersk set. Now reduce the piece count by sufficient parts to enable Batman to have a vehicle to go after the train. Then add flick-fire missiles to the engine (kids love them even if AFOLs don't) and perhaps some additional play features like an exploding engine and you'll quickly end up with something that'll not really satisfy those who want realistic trains, even if the design isn't totally out-there crazy to begin with.

Things like Hogwarts Express are a classic example of this already, the design just ends up too compromised to fit everyone's wishes and remain in a suitable price bracket - most kids will tell you it looks like the Hogwart's Express, most AFOLs will point out it's a travesty of a steam engine design given the availability of things like more realistic train wheels from the Emerald Night and so on.


But that's precisely my point, those who are going to do it are managing it fine already by buying multiples of big expensive sets that TLG is reasonably confident it can sell (or by buying parts of those sets from the second hand market, either way it's a sold set to TLG). There aren't enough people doing it in sufficient quantities, however, to make taking the risk of selling individual cars profitable, because the audience for such sets is even smaller than the already small train audience - kids just aren't clamouring for another box-car.

Mechanisms that are better suited to niche markets and that can better sustain a higher priced model with a smaller audience, like Cuusoo and D2C sets are just a much better fit for what most AFOLs want from Lego trains. A PAB selection with more easily available train-related parts would be great too, although I think that would really need more competitive PAB pricing to have a practical impact.


You make a good point. PAB is very pricy, but it is convenient even if it takes weeks to get the bricks.

I do remember wanting a Lego train set as a child, but my parents wouldnt fork out the cash. The set was too expensive back in the 90's..for my parents taste.. We are middle class/ above middle class, but they wouldnt pay for it. My best friend at the time received a 4559 9v set that year...we played with lego all the time back then
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#89 peterab

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 09:36 AM

View Postfred67, on 02 July 2012 - 01:29 PM, said:

I guess hindsight is not always 20/20, but viewed through the prism of various perspectives...

Yeah, and I'm probably at a disadvantage because I'm most familiar with the Australian market, which really isn't important from TLG's perspective, and is a little unique in many ways.

Much of this still applies in Australia. I don't watch much TV and I'm unaware of any LEGO advertising, but since I spend a lot of time with AFOLs and at conventions I guess I'd know about it if it existed here. Most people who approach my LTC at train shows (we've done a couple of NMRA shows and at least one Lego con for the past four years) still don't know Lego made trains.

I'm pretty sure that the reason sets sell out at Christmas, is probably the same as here. Retailers are scared of being stuck with large sets that won't move quickly after December so limit their pre-orders. Lego Australia stock their warehouse based on the pre-orders so if they end up being popular there is only a limited amount of re-stocking possible. After Xmas the retailers are not interested. To make it worse many retailers won't stock the same train the next year, so then there are _no_ trains around for three out of four years. Most of our retailers wont stock the track packs at all. Many of the train heads here go beserk and buy heaps when a good deal crops up. I saw the EN on sale at retail here for one day (it was completely sold out by 10:30). We have a pretty huge ebay reseller market here for anything special, so our shelves get stripped quite quickly.

It should be becoming clear why so many people can miss out on knowing about Lego trains. Unfortunately I think it's partly beyond TLGs control. Many retailers (and in fact consumers and even some AFOLs) don't get that LEGO is an expandable system, which gets better and more flexible the bigger your pile of bricks gets, they see it more as individual sets like scale model kits. Since they think this way they are more interested in the new sets, than restocking the old, or the vital expansion stuff like track over the whole year. I can't see the point of advertising trains if retailers won't have them more than a few weeks.

I think the problem with TLG marketing the EN or Maersk trains to model rail fans is also about retailing. The sort of shops that sell model railways wouldn't be interested in TLG's minimum order. TLG is no longer able to deal directly with a bunch of small retailers anyway, and I'm pretty sure the buying groups who do buy LEGO don't sell anything to model railway shops. There just isn't and existing channel to get their product to the right shops to try this. I'd also imagine that an HO engine that sold 10,000 would be a huge sucess, but that's barely passable for a LEGO set from what I gather from the Cusoo thresholds. It may be that the model rail community isn't really big enough for TLG to bother with.

The real problem with the separate cars stems from the stock levels I think; most kids will want an engine first. Single engines have sold well in the past. If the retailers have decided the carriages are duds and discounted them three months later, they'll all be gone in August when Jonny has his birthday, and he won't be able to expand his train. It will appear to the retailer the carriages were unpopular, and this will be reflected in TLGs sales since there was no re-ordering of the cars (or at least less than the engine). Much better for TLG to produce the full sets. Especially since Jonny's parents feel cheated that they can't expand the one engine they bought. Since this cycle has been repeated at least once per decade for forty years TLG are probably now pretty convinced selling separate rolling stock doesn't work.

BTW I've known of LEGO trains since the late sixties, though I never saw one at retail here till the late 9V era. All my knowledge came via catalogues sent from relatives in Germany, and my 171 and a few add-ons sent as gifts. I know blue and grey era stuff were available but never saw it. In that time though LEGO has moved from being seen as an expensive 'educational' toy sold through specialist toy shops to a far more mainstream toy sold by the large chain retailers. The US market has probably changed a great deal too; TLG see it as important for future growth since they see their biggest markets in Europe as saturated. A friend of mine recently asked how to buy more track, or if he should just buy another set, he was in exactly the position you were when you emerged from your dark age. He's buying for his kid though and probably wouldn't have got very far without knowing to ask me (or having the persistence most AFOLs have). So in some ways the situation here hasn't changed.

View PostArtifex, on 03 July 2012 - 02:01 AM, said:

Do you guys think it's still a good call to buy any of the current trains? Apart from the Maersk, I mean -- I'm talking about the Cargo Train, the Red Cargo Train and the Passeger Train (I think this last one is a bit meh  :sceptic: -- I can't really say why).

Since the trains only get replaced every 3-4 years it's always good to buy the current City ones if you don't think they're really horrible. They tend to be a reasonable way to get track, wheels, train bases and PF gear, even if the trains themselves don't thrill you. I'd hope we might see new trains next year, but the red Cargo train may have been produced to tide us over till 2014, so I wouldn't wait.

#90 ThomAnsell

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 01:36 PM

View PostRustie86, on 01 June 2012 - 05:53 AM, said:

I've say it before and I'll said it again.

I have been thinking that the best way to expand the train line is to issue smaller sets that feature an industry or small freight operation. Each set would have four straight rails, one freight car, a minifigure or two, and a loading structure and/or vehicle.

I completely agree. I would certainly buy a cross-theme set, such as a siding for a port or freight terminal with no engine but 1 or 2 rolling stock. After all, we have had something similar in the past.

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Alas, I am also going off the topic!

#91 domboy

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 02:49 PM

View PostThom2304, on 04 July 2012 - 01:36 PM, said:

I completely agree. I would certainly buy a cross-theme set, such as a siding for a port or freight terminal with no engine but 1 or 2 rolling stock. After all, we have had something similar in the past.

... image removed from quote...

Alas, I am also going off the topic!

On topic I'd say. If individual rolling stock isn't the way to go, a set like 4555 would be a very nice compromise, and possibly preferable due to providing play value to the said rolling stock... in this case a crane to load and unload containers. That's what I'd like to see.

Having a less expensive set like this available might convince a kid that's into city sets that he/she also needs a train set to expand their city. But maybe it won't work as well now as it did in 1995...

Edited by domboy, 05 July 2012 - 02:50 PM.


#92 medib

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 03:44 PM

I love the 4555.  Its been a while since Lego has put out a Cargo Terminal.
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#93 tedbeard

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 04:16 PM

View Postrday1982, on 29 June 2012 - 06:27 AM, said:

Lego Batman and Lego Indiana Jones would both benefit from train sets, I think. Licensed sets seem to be a big thing for Lego. They could have a train set in the style of the 30s or 50s, with archeological treasure hidden aboard and Nazi or Russian agents out to get it, and it would sell like hot cakes.
Or even better, do a set based on the circus train as featured in the opening of The Last Crusade. That would bring in IJ fans, trains fans, circus fans and anyone who wants some new animals (assuming they did the giraffes, rhino and a lion).
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#94 TheBrickster

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 06:28 PM

View Posttedbeard, on 05 July 2012 - 04:16 PM, said:

Or even better, do a set based on the circus train as featured in the opening of The Last Crusade.
Indy fan BMW built an IJ Circus Train a few years ago and it was awesome.  I had to do some searching to find and don't recall if it was posted here in Train Tech, but here's a link to his FlickR set: BMW's Indy Circus Train

Fantastic build from BMW!  I'd love to see LEGO jump on this idea.

#95 Hrw-Amen

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 08:20 PM

Could they not simply package something similar to sets 6117-6118 except with train wheels & couplings? If it works for normal vehicles I don't see why it should not for trains. It would be a cheap way to get those crucial train parts out there, what you then built them into using standard parts would be up to the individual.

#96 Steinkopf

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 02:30 AM

I do like the idea of an industrial siding with a wagon or tanker as it would be a nice addition to train line, the biggest problem with that though is the last 2 freight train sets 7939 and 3677 have had some form of industry/freight loading capability added into the sets as a way of increasing their play value. I would have liked to have seen these sets minus those features as it would have reduced the price point due to the lower parts count, unfortunately in a bid to make the sets more attractive to consumer TLG added them and thus shut the door on complimentary sets being made. I think the marketing strategy behind this is if parents were thinking of buying Lego Trains they would be more inclined to buy one complete set rather than buy a whole host of little sets, complimentary sets such as stations will always sell as kids will want to stop their passenger trains to let off it's passengers. Freight yards on the other hand probably are not as appealing, young kids are more into running trains around in a circuit at speed than performing shunting in the yard, the bulk of freight sets have had their freight facilities alongside the main line and the only freight sets that have had sidings included as part of the track layout were 4512 and 7939.

Edited by Steinkopf, 06 July 2012 - 02:32 AM.


#97 cpw

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 02:54 AM

View PostSteinkopf, on 06 July 2012 - 02:30 AM, said:

Freight yards on the other hand probably are not as appealing, young kids are more into running trains around in a circuit at speed than performing shunting in the yard, the bulk of freight sets have had their freight facilities alongside the main line and the only freight sets that have had sidings included as part of the track layout were 4512 and 7939.
My kids like the crane from 7939, but they're too young to know what really works as far as a siding, etc.  If the crane were in a circle with no siding they wouldn't care.  7939 was my first set, and I one of the reasons that I wanted it over the red cargo train was that it included switches.

I've since caught the bug and bought myself the train station, passenger train, red cargo train, 3 more switch packs, and a two packs of straight/flex tracks.  I think that for people starting out having something complete is very important; without a complete set it is hard to know if it is something that will really be of interest to you.

#98 Countdown

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 01:09 PM

View Post22kane, on 23 June 2012 - 02:51 PM, said:

I know some type of Christmas train is coming out late this year but I would really like to see the single train car offerings again. It's been a long time since they have done that. Hopefully they will revisit it again.

Can anyone else confirm that?

I've scoured the whole train tech tread and no news on upcoming sets?

I gotta be honest a christmas train set is exactly what I need this year...
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#99 DaveBey

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 05:17 PM

My hope is LEGO will introduce a level of consistency in container sizes for future cargo/intermodal trains.

Since the introduction of the LEGO CITY theme, there are three different container sizes which make it difficult to integrate sets together. 7992 & 7994 use a 6x10 container, 7939 uses a 6x12 container and 10219 uses a 6x16 container.

The LEGO container of the 1990s was a standard 4x8 container and allowed integration between Train- and Town-themed sets. Containers from Train Sets 4563, 4537, 4549, 4564, 4552, 4555, 4565, & 4557 could all be used with Town sets 6352, 6541, & 6542 and even 4030!

The inconsistency of modern container/intermodal sets is frustrating when creating a LEGO town/city using official sets. A LEGO CITY intermodal facility for 2013 spread across a seaport/harbor, cargo station, container transport, and cargo train would be most excellent!

Cheers from Claremore, Oklahoma USA!
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#100 LovinLegoSince97

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 06:26 PM

View Postcpw, on 06 July 2012 - 02:54 AM, said:

My kids like the crane from 7939, but they're too young to know what really works as far as a siding, etc.  If the crane were in a circle with no siding they wouldn't care.  7939 was my first set, and I one of the reasons that I wanted it over the red cargo train was that it included switches.

I've since caught the bug and bought myself the train station, passenger train, red cargo train, 3 more switch packs, and a two packs of straight/flex tracks.  I think that for people starting out having something complete is very important; without a complete set it is hard to know if it is something that will really be of interest to you.
This is very true..For a beginner you need PF and track! The reason I wanted the 3677...so when I got the Maersk I could run the thing!

I like your thinking Dave Bey!

Edited by LovinLegoSince97, 06 July 2012 - 06:28 PM.

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