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Discussion Starter #21
according to mthrd (MTH research & development) the only thing to continue is what is stated in the below letter posted at DCS/Proto-Sound Lives On | MTH ELECTRIC TRAINS


@MTH RD posted:
Hey guys, DCS and PS3 aren't going away anytime soon. In fact, quite the opposite....

DCS/Proto-Sound Lives On

"June 9, 2020 - With the scheduled closing of M.T.H. Electric Trains next year, support for the DCS Digital Command System and the Proto-Sound 3.0 onboard locomotive systems will continue through a new independent company headed up by current M.T.H. staff once direct M.T.H. support for the systems concludes on June 1, 2021.
The new tech company will continue to manufacture and provide support including any necessary software updates to the DCS hardware or DCS WiFi App. In fact, new and exciting product ideas are currently under development.
The DCS System controls any Proto-Sound 2.0 and later equipped locomotives and first debuted 18 years ago. It has been an integral part of the M.T.H. product line family since its inception and its continuation beyond the closing of M.T.H. is an important part of the transition envisioned by retiring M.T.H. president Mike Wolf.
As the retirement transition process moves forward, more details about the new company's creation and ongoing development of M.T.H.'s technology packages will be announced. Stay tuned."
 

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Discussion Starter #22
mth building sold in april 2020

"The 123,000-square-foot "Mike's Train House" warehouse just changed hands. "
"By Melody Simmons – Reporter, Baltimore Business Journal
Apr 20, 2020, 2:33pm EDT Updated Apr 20, 2020, 2:51pm EDT
The development has 43,000 square feet of office space and 180 parking spaces."
 

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Is it possible that he didn't have direct communication with any of the potential buyers who might be interested? So this was his way of advertising the fact that he was looking to sell? If he wanted to sell to the employees, that conversation would've already taken place. So I'm guessing they didn't want it.

So maybe now he waits for the players to reach out to him and he'll start entertaining offers? I can't believe with as big of following as he has that he'd just pack up shop and not allow the business to continue. Unless the financials are bad and would expose how unsuccessful the company really was?
 

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This is an unwelcome announcement for me. I have been in the hobby 7-8 years, choosing O Scale over HO. I initially leaned heavy on Lionel until I started getting MTH. I know have $4400 on order with these last 2 catalogs. The last Lionel catalog yielded nothing from me.

MTH placed several "must haves" in each catalog. The member further up that felt their catalogs had gotten stale, may have had a point but overall this community was happy with the content. Most of the members on this forum have most of what they want, I think, and generally commented that nothing excited them in the catalogs.

But, if MTH does not cancel some content, I will add several Rock Island locomotives to my collection that I can almost guarantee Lionel has no interest in. Late E7's and E8's in the Rock's 1960's and 1970's colors and livery. Furthermore, the Rock Island locomotives I had hoped to see in the next several years are likely never to be produced. Lionel has shown little to no interest in Rock Island in the last 4 years.

With no MTH, Lionel will dictate to the consumers what is available. MTH is the standard bearer in the hobby. Their quality, detail and pricing were excellent. Lionel is $75 to $200 more than comparable MTH offerings.

Someone commented above that Mike Wolf was retiring in his 50's. That does not seem right, surely he is older.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Apparently, they've already made arrangements for the continued production of the electronics.

DCS/Proto-Sound Lives On

i am confused about keeping an operation just to service a command system all ready out there and no new product to put it in. mth is already on record that remote parts are gone and i would believe the tiu will not be far behind.
this is from my muffin trains;
"An update from Mike Wolf
Mike called this afternoon and we had a chance to talk about what was coming about and the plan going forward.

They plan to create a new entity that will hold the DCS assets and provide support and enhancements going forward. They have lots of interesting plans for this - not mine to discuss - but I am confident DCS will be in good shape.

They also have a plan for a new entity to take over parts and service - they are not abandoning the existing product line.

At this point, they do not have a plan for production continuing or what will happen with all of the tooling. Still a work in progress. Hopefully we will hear more on that in the weeks to come ."


last paragraph no "production continuing".


but then again who knows.
 

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A bit of a shocker. Hats off to Mike Wolf he deserves more credit then he gets for bringing 3-rail trains into the 21st century.

I am pretty certain that a buyer is in the wings and details are being negotiated.

I wish him the very best in retirement.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
A bit of a shocker. Hats off to Mike Wolf he deserves more credit then he gets for bringing 3-rail trains into the 21st century.

I am pretty certain that a buyer is in the wings and details are being negotiated.

I wish him the very best in retirement.

would you buy a business without a building?


unless you are a current train company.
 

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If the market is shrinking, the molds are over used and folks have 3 of every kind. It doesn't look so hot to buy. Maybe pieced out although what piece would you want if you were Lionel, Williams, Atlas, Sunset/3rd rail... ?
 

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Seeing that Mike is "only" 59, I find it surprising he is ending the business. Most of us enjoy this as a hobby. Imagine owning a business making your hobby interest. I am sure he has good people running the core of the business, with final sign off perhaps with Mike. Therefore, I have to believe there is something else going on. Maybe just tired of the trials of the hobby, low margins.

I'm 56. I can't retire until I am 70. 59 is well below the federal minimums for retiring. I'm not saying I thought Mike would go to 70, but I would think if the business was profitable and competitive, I would have thought he would go to 65-67. That' still pretty young.
 

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Unless he tells you why he's retiring, we could guess all day and never know the real reason.....having a hobby, and trying to make a living in a business that is your hobby, are two very different things....his decision, so I hope he enjoys a long and happy retirement......I retired at 62, and I love it!
 

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I retired at 52, but from active service. I then taught on-line courses for the Continuing Studies Department of the Canadian Armed Forces Academy in Leadership & Ethics and Intro Psych, but that ended seven years ago. I suspect Mike is either done, like dinner, or he has another iron in the fire and feels he should move on. Or, it could be his vision for MTH differs substantially with those of a couple of influential and powerful silent partners who have begun to press on his nerve. We could speculate all day. I would guess that, if he is just hanging it up and taking up fishing, he's pretty well fixed for funds by now. I bear him no ill will, despite his apparent litigious nature and intransigence during his insertion to the HO side of the hobby. If anything, we who like his competitor's products more than his should thank him for giving those entities a tough run and making us the benefactors of his ingenuity and stick-to-itiveness.
 

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Mike sorted the Union Pacific licensing issue for the whole industry! For that I will respect him come what.

Pity he never made N scale, otherwise I could have supported him...
 

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You and me both. I guess buying more trains for me is over. :(
I think we are being overly pessimistic. Lots of folks thought Apple computer would crumble after the loss of Steve Jobs. They could not have been more wrong. I believe this enterprise will continue in some fashion. There is ample time for it to be arranged.
 

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Seeing that Mike is "only" 59, I find it surprising he is ending the business. Most of us enjoy this as a hobby. Imagine owning a business making your hobby interest. I am sure he has good people running the core of the business, with final sign off perhaps with Mike. Therefore, I have to believe there is something else going on. Maybe just tired of the trials of the hobby, low margins.

I'm 56. I can't retire until I am 70. 59 is well below the federal minimums for retiring. I'm not saying I thought Mike would go to 70, but I would think if the business was profitable and competitive, I would have thought he would go to 65-67. That' still pretty young.
If you think running a business is easy, you haven't done it. It's hard work and a lot of stress, and not a lot of time off. And if it's also your hobby, it can suck all the joy out of it in short order. I don't blame him at all.
 

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would you buy a business without a building?

unless you are a current train company.
Or someone who wants to start a train company.

MTH's value isn't in it's location, it's in the name, customer base, product lines and tooling.
If you're not a brick and mortar store then the location isn't that important.
 
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