peterab

Future Train sets discussion/speculation

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Back to what might be the next Creator train ..

Here's what _I_ like to see :

I'd luv a big honkin' 30's electric monster :laugh:

Something like the american Milwaukee EP-2 or the italian FS Class E.428 or my favourite, the swiss crocodile :wub::wink:

Something big, fat, electric with big wheels, perhaps an articulated body? Would be nice if was brown to boot, INCLUDING proper doors :thumbup:

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I've seen the coach on it's own for £100... It's insane. I wanted to make my custom Mk1(ish) coaches Blood and Custard, until I realised that I'd have to pay around £50-£60 per coach for windows alone because the only cream coloured train windows come from.... The EN set...

Someone said part of the cost of EN was the new wheel molds, and I'm sure that would have been a slight factor in the cost, but seeing as Lego wouldn't have made the wheels had they not been confident they'd go on to use them (which they have a couple of times, and hopefully will again), I can't see the one new mold used upping the cost of the set *that* much, otherwise all sets with any form of new mold would be hideously expensive compared to everything else. All new parts are designed to be used in several sets over a large period of time. Otherwise they wouldn't keep making new bits.

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Fans overstate the costs of new moulds all the time, more often than not as a means to justify increased profit margins. The wheels that were introduced for the E.N have been used in sets since, so I think it's fair to assume that the product contained only one carriage for ease of presentation and to reduce the cost.

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Fans overstate the costs of new moulds all the time

They do? What do they know? Here's a direct quote from Mark Stafford in 2012 (well, I guess he _is_ a fan too!) who probably knows what he's talking about :

" .. raising $2,000,000 dollars for 20 molds to resurrect the old monorail parts, this is seriously underestimating mold costs at the precision required for LEGO elements .. "

So, yeah molds are somewhat expensive

(And yes, I forgot the TLR train also used the big wheels)

.. the only cream coloured train windows come from.... The EN set...

And since TLG wants so hard to kill that grey market, they could just offer them for sale for pennies. But they don't. What goes on at TLG HQ really boggles the mind :sick: Those at the top should really log on to BL, BS, Ebay and whatnot, imnsho

But then again, they're not entirely made out of Playmobil. I wouldn't be all that surprised to see a Friends set with 8 tan train windows in 2015 :classic: (Friends sets have a lot going for them anyway, I was quite surprised to see they took up a full 8 pages in the new catalogue, loads of neat sets I think)

Just like they put 6 black train windows in a Turtle set lately for no good reason ('cept they're in production due to HE) .. and a train door in the Town square

There is hope, our favourite TLG designers _might_ just actually be listening to us :wink:

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Back to what might be the next Creator train ..

Here's what _I_ like to see :

I'd luv a big honkin' 30's electric monster :laugh:

Something like the american Milwaukee EP-2 or the italian FS Class E.428 or my favourite, the swiss crocodile :wub::wink:

Something big, fat, electric with big wheels, perhaps an articulated body? Would be nice if was brown to boot, INCLUDING proper doors :thumbup:

Brown? Big? Big honking wheels? Hmmm? A PRR GG1 would be a treat.

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Someone said part of the cost of EN was the new wheel molds, and I'm sure that would have been a slight factor in the cost, but seeing as Lego wouldn't have made the wheels had they not been confident they'd go on to use them (which they have a couple of times, and hopefully will again), I can't see the one new mold used upping the cost of the set *that* much, otherwise all sets with any form of new mold would be hideously expensive compared to everything else. All new parts are designed to be used in several sets over a large period of time. Otherwise they wouldn't keep making new bits.

Keep in mind that those new wheels were I believe the first and only time Lego made new tooling specifically for a limited release D2C set. It was a huge financial risk, as they could not immediately spread the costs out over several expected retail production sets to support the financing. The designers had to beg plead and pledge their firstborn children to get those wheels made. Something that is not likely to be repeated any time soon. TLG really only did it because of the longevity and steady sales of trains, that made them a little bit of a better risk than most other D2C's.

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Lego is a quirky company (and that is part of the fun). The consist of EN was balancing the price point and part count, hence the tiny tender and only one coach. And like the HE, they were hoping you would buy more than one copy. It is not so much a question of making "a profit", a set has to make a target profit to be successful. Since trains are a niche market, they do not want to have a full line of sets at different price points. They would sell, they would turn some profit, but the profit per set would be a lot less than, say, another police truck for the city theme. As for the train wheels, I suspect lego paid more per set for the existing magnetic coupler parts than they did for the new train wheels even after accounting for the mold.

I still think in 5 to 10 years they will get the pick line figured out and will then be able to offer small run specialized sets on demand (e.g., a single train car) with sufficient return. That is what Cuusso/Ideas appears to be working towards.

I just wish they would revisit some of the good ideas from the hobby train and the regular "creator" line. Produce a train set that could be built into one of three different pieces of rolling stock, but they all work together (kind of like the Emerald Express only in a full sized train). You just want the engine and one car? Buy one copy of the set. Want the engine and a total of four different cars? Buy two copies of the same set. Even better, include small but important variants that allow customization for different parts of the world, e.g., the Maersk train could double stack the containers for the US or put them side by side for Europe.

Or one of my personal favorites, remove the buffers from the buffer piece. Replace them with studs (so it is still "T" shaped to prevent ingestion, but if you are building a N American train, you do not need to put the buffers on). Then if you are a European builder, put put the buffer piece on.

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I still think in 5 to 10 years they will get the pick line figured out and will then be able to offer small run specialized sets on demand (e.g., a single train car) with sufficient return. That is what Cuusso/Ideas appears to be working towards.

That's actually an excellent point :wink: While I still don't believe that we will see extra carriages/rolling stock in LEGO brand retail, there is surely an opportunity to sell those models through the Shop at Home website. If they were aimed squarely at AFOLs, then even the packaging could be as nondescript as the Power Functions AC adapter box, since merchandising is unimportant.

d4e4o5g414p3y404z2d4x2w234q2r2h4v5f4042354v2r294x2u2.jpg

They could even just seal the bricks in a Pick a Brick bag and plop it in a parcel - job done. This would be a haven for train enthusiasts, and those looking to plan for convention.

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This was possible once upon a time when magnets didn't need to be sealed, as was the case on the front bogie of the Santa Fe locomotive, but since the switch to sealed magnets, that's obviously impossible unless a new sealed piece with the ability to swivel is produced, I think it could be feasible as it wouldn't need to be a train-specific part and could be featured in other sets utilizing magnets as a play feature, as M-TRON and various Town sets once did in the 90's, for example, but I'm assuming that's not a concept we'll see revisited any time soon.

Oh, yeah, they would never go back to the 4.5v/12v/9v style magnets that could be easily swallowed. What I meant was to just make a slight modification to the current buffer piece. Right now if you hold it up it looks like a "T" with the magnet opposite the 2x2 tile, then on the two arms of the "T" there are the buffers parallel to the magnet. Keep the arms of the T but where the actual round buffers are, replace them with two studs on the "T". So it is still sealed and cannot be swallowed. Then yes, use two of some new/repurposed part that is slightly larger than a 1x1 round brick that pins on to the two new studs to make the actual buffers. It is certainly feasible, Lego is always tweaking the molds (e.g., the jumper plates changed twice in the past couple of years, and even the sealed buffer beams have changed once since they were introduced). Of course I am not holding my breath.

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Of course there was this piece:

buffer.jpg?0

But I don't think that'll come back because it won't play nice with the wheel holders for making simple bogies.

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I think his point is to be able to get rid of the buffers, for us in North America at least. It's a great idea! Instead of buffers studs would allow levers that could stand in for pneumatic connections for example. I won't hold my breath but changing the buffers would be very welcome.

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Apologies for typing late at night (thus omitting the necessary visuals), and yes, think some of you are following what I was getting at. For the rest, here is what I was talking about... (click on thumbnail to see a large version)

64424mdf.jpg_thumb.jpg

though I'm sure an xacto knife could realize the same effect for non-purists

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I have a theory regarding the lack of any Expert/Advanced train sets for 2015 and 2017. The first Expert/Advanced train we got was the Emerald Night, followed up by the Maersk Train two years later, and the Horizon Express two years after that. So we had a Expert train expected every other year, meaning that presumably we should have had successors for 2015 and 2017.

While many here have concluded that Creator Expert just simply gave up on the subtheme, I actually think that 2016's Winter Holiday Train was supposed to be both 2015's Expert train and exclusive seasonal set. But it perhaps was developmentally delayed, hence the reason why we did not get a Expert train for that year, and a rerelease of the Winter Toy Shop. As for 2017, since a train was just done for 2016, perhaps Lego will wait for 2018 for another Expert train.

Interesting note, 2015 did give us 40138 Christmas Train, which perhaps is a miniature take on the Winter Holiday Train for its hypothetical original release date? :shrug_confused:

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Hmm. The best theory I heard regarding the winter village train is that it is a Winter Village set that happens to be a train, rather than a Creator Train Set that happens to be christmas-themed.
Implication being to not regard it in any of the patterns involving in train sets, as it is somewhat an out-lier, and in a different theme. Think of the Toy Story Western Train Chase (7597), Constitution Train Chase (79111) and even The Ghost Train (9467) sets; none of those are considered in the Train patterns, as they belong to other themes. I think the Winter Holiday Train should only be considered in this fashion.

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3 hours ago, ColletArrow said:

Hmm. The best theory I heard regarding the winter village train is that it is a Winter Village set that happens to be a train, rather than a Creator Train Set that happens to be christmas-themed.
Implication being to not regard it in any of the patterns involving in train sets, as it is somewhat an out-lier, and in a different theme. Think of the Toy Story Western Train Chase (7597), Constitution Train Chase (79111) and even The Ghost Train (9467) sets; none of those are considered in the Train patterns, as they belong to other themes. I think the Winter Holiday Train should only be considered in this fashion.

As far as the "every other year" pattern, I was only speaking of Expert/Advanced train sets, excluding City and other themes. And the thing is, the set is branded a Creator Expert set, but like you said, that may not make it part of the Advanced Train subtheme.

But some of the points I mentioned regarding the rerelease of the Toy Store, and the mini train set released that same year, seem like they couldn't be simply dismissed as coincidence. :def_shrug:

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I do not feel LEGO has a pattern to which they will stick.
I also don't know how relevant the 'little trains' are. They may be trying to hint at something, they may be filling a gap in their release timetable, or they may just be little stocking-fillers.

Also, we don't even know for sure LEGO will be continuing with the expert trains. Although we all enjoy them, they may not have been as successful as LEGO wanted; and with the released sets covering all 3 types of power (steam, diesel, electric) and train type (luxury preserved, commuter and freight), TLG may have been satisfied to leave it there. No-one here knows what they have up their sleeves, we're just hopelessly speculating. It would be nice to see a new one next year though; what would they go for next? Steam, diesel or electric? Passenger or freight? It's hard to find a universally-appropriate prototype.

That said, I've been building (with out much success) a British-modified USATC S100 class. These are small 0-6-0 tanks, but very worldly. They were built in the USA during the war (being drawn and designed from scratch in under a week!), and shipped to Great Britain where they were stored. Some remained for use on our Southern Region, but many went all over the world from France to China to Israel! So perhaps it would work in terms of universal appeal, and their shape is quite blocky; fairly easy to represent in LEGO. (If you scale the wheels to TLG's, most of the proportions come out in an exact number of studs! Except it should be eight wide...) Perhaps we need to go and tell LEGO about it... 

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2 hours ago, ColletArrow said:

It would be nice to see a new one next year though; what would they go for next? Steam, diesel or electric? Passenger or freight? It's hard to find a universally-appropriate prototype.

I would love a streamlined steam locomotive, particularly an American one, but perhaps a British one like the LNER Class Mallard would be more widely accepted among both American and European audiences.

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The set would not need to be a direct copy, but an inspired one. If so, I would hope it would come with color matching large and small train wheels in Bright Blue, since we already have both in Bright Red. Granted, I'm biased, since I just want them in that color for a custom tank engine Thomas. :wink:

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11 hours ago, Digger of Bricks said:

Does anyone think that we could see an exclusive D2C set of Casey Junior from Disney's Dumbo come next year, particularly to coincide with Tim Burton's 2019 remake of the classic? If so, which version would Lego base the set off of, the one seen in the original 1941 film, or the one portrayed in Burton's remake?

 

I think the second question answers itself. How many people would buy a set based on nostalgia for a 1941 film? How many people who originally saw it are even still alive?

D2C trains have been aimed towards adults and older kids in the past whereas Dumbo is likely to be aimed at younger kids (but with Tim Burton who knows) so I'm not sure about the likelihood with any of this. On the other hand we've had the Disney castle recently and the Toy Story train so I guess it is possible for something. My gut feel is it is more likely to be like the Toy Story train rather than the Emerald Night in distribution if it does happen.

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7 hours ago, peterab said:

I think the second question answers itself. How many people would buy a set based on nostalgia for a 1941 film? How many people who originally saw it are even still alive?...

 :wacko::sceptic::pir_wacko:*huh*:wacko:

Uhmm... Really?

 

 

*ahem*

Knowing Disney, they'll probably do a dvd re-re-re-re-release of Dumbo a few months before Tim Burton's oddball remake. If you look at the plot synopsis on Wikipedia, it sounds like his new vision will focus more on the circus people rather than the titular elephant. I wonder if the remake will still have that trippy sequence after dumbo drinks that bucket of 'sauce'.

 

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2 hours ago, M_slug357 said:

Knowing Disney, they'll probably do a dvd re-re-re-re-release of Dumbo a few months before Tim Burton's oddball remake. If you look at the plot synopsis on Wikipedia, it sounds like his new vision will focus more on the circus people rather than the titular elephant. I wonder if the remake will still have that trippy sequence after dumbo drinks that bucket of 'sauce'.

I'm wondering how much of a presence Casey Junior the circus train will have in this remake compared to the 1941 classic.

I know, Lego may likely not even address either film in any way by the time the remake hits theaters, but it would be a good excuse for a train set though. As for which version I'd prefer to see hypothetically done as a set, I could go either way. A set based upon the one portrayed in the 1941 classic would be, well, more classic, while a set based upon the one seen in the remake would feature both a more realistic looking locomotive and circus animals.

Oh, and as for that intoxicated sequence from the original film, knowing Tim Burton, I'd guess it would be included in some reimagined way. :hmpf:

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