Doom2099

What trains could be rereleased if Lego goes the Legends route?

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If Lego really did re-release a Santa Fe, I'd be the first in line. Although, admittedly, I would dislike a redesign of the train. I own the original Santa Fe engine and a redesign would look strange, if I had two different looking Santa Fe engines on the same train, imo :D 

Would totally buy one though :D 

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Would absolutely leap on the chance to purchase an Emerald Night as I was too young to raise my own funds the first time around!

A Super Chief or Hogwarts Express would also be a good shout :)

Edited by Bricksmith

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Just now, Bricksmith said:

Would absolutely leap on the chance to purchase an Emerald Night as I was too young to raise my own funds the first time around!

A chieftan or Hogwarts Express would also be a good shout :)

Chieftan? What's that ?

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On 11/14/2017 at 12:28 PM, Blk69 said:

I would be happy with a newer version of the Santa Fe.  Feel sales would be strong and ascetics would be better than the original.  Would like to see cars/carriages sold individually, maybe as a general all in one type.  I mean you purchase a general carriage and could make into a mail car, dinner, observation, etc.  Say a child has two carriages, they could rebuild them from dinners, to sleepers to express.... Build to what ever they needed each time they are played with.  Lot of creativity here.    

Hint Hint Lego.... Parents would buy a few carriages  each year to add onto the train.  Sounds like a nice continued revenue stream.

 

That was the theory behind the 3 in 1 instructions of the original Super Chief carriages but sales were terrible. They were eventually almost thrown away at steep discounts. Part of the problem is retailers don't like separate train cars as add ons. Parents tend to buy the engine, then wait a year to look for the carriages. By this time the sales for the carriages have been very low, and the retailer has discontinued stocking the carriages.

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3 hours ago, peterab said:

That was the theory behind the 3 in 1 instructions of the original Super Chief carriages but sales were terrible. They were eventually almost thrown away at steep discounts. Part of the problem is retailers don't like separate train cars as add ons. Parents tend to buy the engine, then wait a year to look for the carriages. By this time the sales for the carriages have been very low, and the retailer has discontinued stocking the carriages.

I think it was on the right track but just one step short. If they were to do a Chief again, have the set include 1 Locomotive and 2-3 cars, but have instructions and parts for a B-Unit and instructions/parts for 3 variations of each car. That way you have one $120-$150 set that has one loco and three cars, and high value for duplicate purchases, since each purchase would yield unique additions. 

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14 hours ago, Daedalus304 said:

I think it was on the right track but just one step short. If they were to do a Chief again, have the set include 1 Locomotive and 2-3 cars, but have instructions and parts for a B-Unit and instructions/parts for 3 variations of each car. That way you have one $120-$150 set that has one loco and three cars, and high value for duplicate purchases, since each purchase would yield unique additions. 

Great idea.  Have the normal set of and engine and 3 cars.  If you purchase a second set can make a B unit and 3 different cars.  Love it!  How do we get this on the Lego ideas page?

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Nice thread!!! 

Sincerely I think the current train offer from Lego is quite limited. One Passenger train - one freight train. No steam locomotives, no additional cars. Old trains had a more detailed offer (diesels, steamers, cars, more expensive, less expensive...) and this variety is lacking in today's catalogs. The Emerald Night and the Horizon Express were really nice trains - and now have become expensive rarities.

So a good "re- release" could be nice. But the re-release must be a bit different from the original set, in order to:

  • preserve the good value of old collecting items
  • give to the new set a specific identity - making it a collectible too

I always thought to recreate some older glories in PF version, so the same thinking could be applied to official re-releases:

For instance, what is making PF trains similar to older sets is:

  • A good, solid, fast motor, with the same form factor of 12v and 9V motors. Plus, the PF motors do have a central hole for third wheel - maybe something to lock the central wheel like in 12V motors could be useful.
  • Battery box. It is smaller and lighter than older battery boxes. No problem fitting it in bigger locomotives. For smaller ones...well a sort of battery wagon should be used.
  • Old pieces are quite standard, and still available. Some parts (like small 2x1 shutters) can be replaced with other solutions.
  • PF/RC track is very simple and solid - similar to 9v track but good also for 4,5v/12v - like trains.
  • 9V and PF motors can be completed with the same or very similar "suspension" side parts

what is lacking is:

  • Train Wheels - 12V and 4,5V wheels are not difficult to recreate with a cross Technic axle hole. 
  • Train Wheels - standard RC/PF wheels do not have a little pinhole for rods
  • Train Wheels - in different colors and sizes - what BBB offers MUST exist in Lego
  • A more aggressive advertising - people playing with Lego trains, official pictures and videos of scenery (having only two trains I find it difficult at the moment)

So for example - 7720 train can be re-released without too many problems, in my opinion.

 

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2 hours ago, Paperinik77pk said:

Nice thread!!! 

(Words)

So for example - 7720 train can be re-released without too many problems, in my opinion.

They could... but no one cares. It'd never sell.

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1 hour ago, pinioncorp said:

They could... but no one cares. It'd never sell.

As much as I love the era, I agree - I don't think we'll ever see any of the 1980s trains rereleased (or 90s, frankly!). Even a 'revisit' using the original models as inspiration but utilising modern pieces and techniques wouldn't shift more than a handful of units, especially compared to the sales volume of the new City sets.

Second to sales volume, the next biggest hurdle is that the old train window mould appears to have been retired so any remake would probably have a new style window frame. Once they start making substitutions like that, the exercise becomes less valid. 

But it's still nice to dream... :)

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I also agree - Lego must sell big volumes -  probably no one would buy the remake if not people knowing the original model.

What is really missing today in Lego trains is...a good range of train products. This is probably what brings older fans to remember old sets and to ask for a reloaded version.

I know is a well known and repeated topic, but Lego trains of the past were way more interesting. They offered "unlimited possibilities" and they sold well, becoming sort of icons.

One of the most valuable selling points of City series is the continuity. You always have cars, police station, fire station, other buildings...always the same things renewed, repeated in new recipes. Same should be done , again, for trains. 

The example made above for the Super-Chief and related cars is perfect -  both sets were too "standalone". A basic set, complete and playable - and then compatible addons - is the right solution in my opinion.

I got the point - no reloaded sets with only some parts changed - they would not sell. Let's change the idea of "reloading" a set.

A 7740 - completely new - but  only elder Lego fans would understand it is a  7740. For all other people it would be at least a DB 103 looking locomotive or a big red-yellow german whatevernationitis train.

Let's imagine a 7939 locomotive,a bit longer, modified in red-yellow, with all details (gray side venting grills, two pantographs, third central headlight, 6 wheels bogies). Two nice cars in the same two-tone colors.  This is a set, recalling a real iconic locomotive. new parts, new way of building. Same stuff in new disguise. Supported by additional cars like a mail wagon, a restaurant car, another copy of a normal passenger car and a wagon-lit car.

Same offer, 30 years later. it works with the VW Golf, it should work also for Lego trains :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 17.11.2017 at 5:15 AM, peterab said:

That was the theory behind the 3 in 1 instructions of the original Super Chief carriages but sales were terrible. They were eventually almost thrown away at steep discounts. Part of the problem is retailers don't like separate train cars as add ons. Parents tend to buy the engine, then wait a year to look for the carriages. By this time the sales for the carriages have been very low, and the retailer has discontinued stocking the carriages.

I don't quite get that explanation. You say, that by the time people would have bought the carriages, there were none to buy. So, in effect, what would have been the right strategy should have been longer shelve lifes for the whole series?

Was that the fault of the customer or TLC or the retailers? I do know that storage is costly and retailers (well, even TLC I guess) do like their wares to have shorter turnaround times. But just look at how other Hobby trains (like Märklin, Lionel and the likes) sell: It's exactly the scheme you talked about. People get a Loco and maybe 1 or 2 carriages, and only in the long run people buy more and more rolling stock and other addons to their layout. Can you imagine Märklin to put up their products for just one year?

Another problem with the Santa Fe Super Chief and it's "compadres" was the difficult time of release. In 2002, the interest in Hobby trains was on a descent. No wonder some companies got bankrupt or even disappeared shortly after 2002.

 

I think it was all just a bad combination of things that one might lead to the impression that the concept of the Super Chief carriages and their Engines was a fault. Otherwise, prices for those might not be that high on the second hand market, if it would be a problem with the concept or overall look.

Edited by Capparezza

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I think the real problem with the Super Chief and the My Own Train series of products was that TLG tried selling them as individual cars and engines first and then tried to sell them in various bundles second. Also, consider how many Lego Brand retail stores have popped up in the last 10 years or so, which in turn allows sets to live a bit longer on shelves than those at other retail stores.

I think if Lego were to do a wave of additional rolling stock sets, I think it would make the most sense to sell them at physical retail stores in 2-packs, much like the way road baseplates or those Mighty Micros sets are sold, but in the online shop you could purchase individuals-- a caveat to this system is that the 2-packs would be $65 each while the singles would be $35 each.

Using the Super Chief as an example, the various 2-packs would be:

1) A-unit and Observation car

2) B-unit and Dining car

3) Dome car and Sleeper car

4) Passenger car and Mail Car

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Posted (edited)

If TLG wanted to do something new, but still iconic, why not the Southern Pacific's GS-4 in Daylight livery?   Although it would be a real challenge to ensure it could navigate the R40 curves, a 4-8-4 is possible, using a pair of blind drivers on each side...   It wouldn't be that much longer than an Emerald Night.   Just a suggestion.

Edited by icemorons

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On 1/8/2018 at 6:59 AM, Capparezza said:

I don't quite get that explanation. You say, that by the time people would have bought the carriages, there were none to buy. So, in effect, what would have been the right strategy should have been longer shelve lifes for the whole series?

Was that the fault of the customer or TLC or the retailers? I do know that storage is costly and retailers (well, even TLC I guess) do like their wares to have shorter turnaround times. But just look at how other Hobby trains (like Märklin, Lionel and the likes) sell: It's exactly the scheme you talked about. People get a Loco and maybe 1 or 2 carriages, and only in the long run people buy more and more rolling stock and other addons to their layout. Can you imagine Märklin to put up their products for just one year?

Another problem with the Santa Fe Super Chief and it's "compadres" was the difficult time of release. In 2002, the interest in Hobby trains was on a descent. No wonder some companies got bankrupt or even disappeared shortly after 2002.

 

I think it was all just a bad combination of things that one might lead to the impression that the concept of the Super Chief carriages and their Engines was a fault. Otherwise, prices for those might not be that high on the second hand market, if it would be a problem with the concept or overall look.

My understanding is the concept of the Santa Fe was heavily pushed by US AFOLs. That is why it was a complex design of a real world prototype. It was the most realistic train build  LEGO had sold up until that point and is still in the top five. I agree that you cannot blame the design. You yourself have illustrated the problem by comparing LEGO with Märklin & Lionel. A successful LEGO set will sell hundreds times more copies than a Märklin carriage. Retailers for LEGO in many markets like Australia and the US are large variety stores whereas traditional model trains are often sold in smaller speciality stores. Model trains are also much more expensive so retailers can afford to stock them for longer. Variety stores want stock to move quickly not take up shelf space, that is why LEGO concentrate on train sets only.

The argument was that customers would buy the carriage sets later but that didn't really happen because the large retailers had already got rid of their stock on clearance and didn't want to order more of a slow selling item, and back then most customers didn't know of the LEGO website and shop at home service.

While there may have been extra factors at work in 2002, I've been told that single carriage sets have never sold well, not 9V not 12V not 4.5V. As LEGO have become more successful, the sales figures for town or City sets have risen, so by comparison it gets harder and harder to justify making poor selling extra sets for the train line. Even the complete train sets only get replaced every four years or so to allow longer to recoup the design costs.

Edited by peterab

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@peterab But they could partially circumvent this by making them 'exclusives'. Then they don't take a lot of space in regular toy shops, they can be sold through LEGO.com and the LEGO brand stores. That is also what they more or less what they did with the EN and Maersk of course.

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On 08/01/2018 at 2:42 AM, M_slug357 said:

I think the real problem with the Super Chief and the My Own Train series of products was that TLG tried selling them as individual cars and engines first and then tried to sell them in various bundles second. Also, consider how many Lego Brand retail stores have popped up in the last 10 years or so, which in turn allows sets to live a bit longer on shelves than those at other retail stores.

Would the obvious solution to expansion packs being slow to start selling not be to release them 6 months or a year after the starter sets?

I also imagine that the reason that the train lines don't sell as fast is the high upfront cost to them. Parents may baulk at forking out £100+ on one Christmas present but may be more willing to part with their money if they could do so one step at a time. I.e. just buy a locomotive (perhaps with the PF kit sold separately as per the Creator Expert Fairground to split off another of the upfront costs), Granny could buy a wagon, Aunty Mabel could buy a track pack. It doesn't even have to be all over the same birthday/Christmas.

On the original topic, I'd far rather see the window packs re-released or at least available on the S@H PAB site. They would obviously need a set to warrant firing up the production lines in the first place so something that uses them in tan (just about the rarest, most desirable colour). Failing that, I'll just have to put any GWR coaches to one side and concentrate on those colours I can get hold of. I may just have to do a Royal Train to find a use for all those dark purple ones there are on Bricklink.

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5 hours ago, JopieK said:

@peterab But they could partially circumvent this by making them 'exclusives'. Then they don't take a lot of space in regular toy shops, they can be sold through LEGO.com and the LEGO brand stores. That is also what they more or less what they did with the EN and Maersk of course.

Or, they could do what they've been doing lately, and just not. They simply don't expect it to make them enough money to bother putting the resources towards it.

 

All that matters to me is that they continue to support trains by producing the parts I need to make the trains I want. You'll never please everyone and even if you did it wouldn't cover the costs. The cuusoo/ideas platform says it all: the trains community can't get a train to pass the 10,000 votes required to get to review as no one can agree on what that train should look like.

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What about the Tornado. In the UK, this has been built recently and is in service now, offering a timetabled service for fare-paying passengers.

2017-01401-60163-Paddington-16-10-2017-Alex-Morton-768x432.jpg

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23 hours ago, JopieK said:

@peterab But they could partially circumvent this by making them 'exclusives'. Then they don't take a lot of space in regular toy shops, they can be sold through LEGO.com and the LEGO brand stores. That is also what they more or less what they did with the EN and Maersk of course.

Well they could do this but I guess they wont since we haven't seen a new 'exclusive' train since the HE and the rumours are that its sales were disappointing. I'm pretty sure if you cant get a complete train to sell well they aren’t going to risk individual cars when they already feel they sell even worse.

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On 10.1.2018 at 9:41 AM, peterab said:

While there may have been extra factors at work in 2002, I've been told that single carriage sets have never sold well, not 9V not 12V not 4.5V. As LEGO have become more successful, the sales figures for town or City sets have risen, so by comparison it gets harder and harder to justify making poor selling extra sets for the train line. Even the complete train sets only get replaced every four years or so to allow longer to recoup the design costs.

Interesting. Wouldn't have thought that would be the case for 12V and 4.5V sets, too... I always thought of the 12V assortment of single cars and locos to be top notch.

Maybe the Train collectors and community wasn't that big back then? Could've been lots of factors as well, besides appeal of such sets. Gives us train nuts a lot of problems, though.

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On 02/11/2017 at 12:16 AM, Digger of Bricks said:

The Emerald Night? Definitely! :sweet:

But as I mentioned in another topic, it would be cool to see the set recolored from Earth Green to either Earth Blue or Dark Red, with wheels that match the color scheme of the locomotive.

As for the Santa Fe, that's a train set I think should be completely remade with all new pieces to better achieve its streamlined look.

I completely agree. An Earth Blue Emerald Night would be pretty nice, though frankly I'd settle for Earth Green again. But that train is one of the most beautiful Lego sets I've ever seen, and I want it.

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11 minutes ago, Feng-huang0296 said:

I completely agree. An Earth Blue Emerald Night would be pretty nice, though frankly I'd settle for Earth Green again. But that train is one of the most beautiful Lego sets I've ever seen, and I want it.

If Lego were to seriously rerelease the Emerald Night, I guess in the end I'd prefer it to retain its Earth Green color scheme instead of a Earth Blue or Dark Red recolor.

But, the only update I'd seriously would want to see done for the set would be Earth Green recolors of the Black wheels to match the livery of the locomotive. It'd be a reason for fans who already own the original to buy the altered rerelease, as they most likely want the set for those recolored wheels to use in other MOCs! :classic:

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@Digger of Bricks, the only realistic alteration to the Emerald Night set........... would be the price!

Especially if the Taj Mahal re-release is any indication. So that means it would be around 120 to 130 usd.

And that stings a bit.

 

Also, I'm curious as to where Lego stands on the recoloring of train wheels? The steam drivers and axle wheels come in two colors at the moment, but what about the rolling stock wheels? They've never had an alternate color before, and it would be interesting to get them in some other color like dark bley...

Edited by M_slug357
typo

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