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I stopped model railroading about 15 years ago, after railroading all my life before that (about 22 years at that point). It just got too expensive (22 dollars for ONE freakin' automobile car???) and the attitude at the train shops was a turn off.
One thing that really got me, was how these guys who own these train shops used to look down on TYCO, like "ewww. how common of you to even mention that name in my store". When these guys should have been kissing TYCO's *** all those years that young people were able to get into model railroading back when they were producing the best kits around.
Bachman and Life Like couldn't hold a candle to all that TYCO had to offer and TYCO's engines and freight were pretty darn authentic looking (minus a lot of the paint schemes).

So TYCO gets out of the train business.
The idiots at the train stores rejoice.
And now look at these guys years later. Out of business or almost out of business.

Sorry train store owners. Thomas the Tank Engine didn't bail your ***** out like you thought he would.
Maybe next time you won't be so pompous about your precious "rich man's" hobby.
 

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Okay, so I locked this at first because it was Craig's first post and I read it the wrong way... He apparently still likes the hobby though, so I will let him voice his opinion as long as this does not turn into a flame war...

Craig said:
But I still love the hobby, and I want to see it flourish. Not disappear into nothing which is happening now (whether or not you want to admit it).
Its always easy to see things as being rosey when you're on the inside. But coming from someone who hasn't fired up an engine in a long time, I can tell you, that something needs to get done or this hobby is gonna be a hiss toe ree when this last generation bites the dust.
 

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I hear what he is saying, but at the same time, I would prefer that he would watch his language a little. As how my son's like to read the post also.
Kevin
 

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I agree that his post is OK...save for language I'd rather not introduce to my kids.

As for Tyco, feast your eyes, Craig...:thumbsup:















I'm no rich man...if anything, I take advantage of the new technologies in that they make the old stuff less costly for guys like me who prefer the old school stuff over the newer stuff.
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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Just sounds like Craig loves Tyco
And hates hobby stores!:D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just sounds like "big ed" has an inferiority complex with a name like that.
You're not one of those guys who has a bunch of "Big Boys" on your layout are you?

Thanks shaygetz for the awesome pictures. The soft focus adds a nice touch.

Sorry glgraphix. I'm passionate about my concern for the longevity of the hobby. Nothing would make me happier than for my son to be able to pass on his trains to HIS son someday. But with the current attitude of a lot of those involved in model railroading (ie stodginess, stubbornness, apathy), I don't see that happening.
 

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Many manufacturers produce niche products. Tyco(and let's include Life Like, as well) filled a nche. That niche is entry level train sets. Even include Lionel and Marx. Some, for sure, are not much more than toys, but some were fairly nice.

And before you get your shorts in a bunch, let's take a prime example of how all of us mature. What was you first car? What was the first car you ever purchased? Was it the little AMC Gremlin? or how about a Dodge Dart? Maybe so. What kind of car do you own now? I know that AMC is no longer in business(neither is TYCO), and the Dart has long since been canned , but I'd bet my bottom dollar that your present car is a car that is many light years above a Gremlin or a Dart.

As we mature and grow in the hobby, our demands(and pocketbooks, I hope) grow. The demand for better quality, more detail, more choices. Tyco limited itself to the niche it chose. Is TYCO teh quality of a Life Like Proto 2000? Well, I will answer by saying, is a Gremlin the quality of a new Toyota? Of course not.

Craig, you obvious, own a computer. Is it an old Compaq 286? I bet not. You probably are sitting in front of a flat screen LCD monitor that is hooked up to one of the latest 250G, dual core processor computers with 2g of RAM and an all in one printer. Why don't you run the old Compaq?

Times change, as does the world around us. TYCO still has its place. Even Bachmann, Athearn, and Life Like still produce entry level kits to this day. There will always be a niche market for inexpensive train set and the cars that go with them. But, there is no need to flame on those that run brass or other higher quality, more detailed, and higher technology layouts. That's what they prefer. So be it.

I would NEVER chastise or disdain anyone that has a layout. I'm not a rivet counter, nor will I ever be. My RR is my RR. I am the mogul of that layout, no one else can claim it. You had a bad experience with some of those in the hobby that think their way is the ONLY way. Most modelers are not of that same cut of cloth. Do I own any TYCO? A few, for collecting only. Do I own a Big Boy? Yep. Do I have any brass units? Yes, again. But, the bulk of my rolling stock is Athearn Blue Box. Does that make me a "pompous" modeler?

Now, let me let you in on me. I've been in or around the hobby for 50 years, since age 6. I agree, the price of the hobby has gone up tremendously. I have old cars, in their original boxes wi hprices of lower than $3. Not TYCO., but Athearn, Varney, Globe and others. Would I pay $22 for a box car. Nope, I would not. But, I probably have more cars than I need now. Well over 2000 cars and over 200 engines. I've kept most of what I bought and only recently began to "thin the herd".

So, just how do I shop for new stock? I seldom shop hobby stores. I buy my stock on eBay, at train shows, at flea markets and garage sales, estate sales, and from other individuals that are getting rid of their stock. I seldom buy new these days. I'm not above repairing an old engine that has a problem. Or adding ladders or stirrups to an old boxcar. Changing horn hook couplers in favor of Kadee couplers, more for realism than anything else. There are some great deals out there. One doesn't have to buy new. Besides, one lap around the layout and a car or engine isn't new any more, right?

It sounds as though your flame, while somewhat true, is one that can be easily remedied. All you have to do is show patience, have a willingness to do some repair, and do some shopping. Let the "pompous" guys be the first owner, buy the cars new. In a couple of years, you will get a great deal on that same unit when the owner gets tired of it.

Oh, yeh, I have a complete Thomas the Train set. All of the cars, figures, vehicles, plane and helicopter and whistles and bells. I even get it out and run it from time to time. Right along side my Big Boy(s). Edward is my favorite.

I own all kinds of engines. From the old rubber band drive, Hi-FI Athearns(including Blue Box and the Genesis line), to Life Like(including Proto 1000 and 2000), to Bachmann(all lines including Bachmann Plus and Spectrum) to Rivarossi(including the Red Box and Blue Box lines and the old AHM and such), to brass OMI amd Brass Key(among others).

So, put into your hobby what you can afford, give back to it what you wish. Just keep it yours and pass it along to the next generation. That's what it is all about anyway.

Bob
 

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I first read the thread when it was locked. I have two or three Tyco engines that died. I have to ask now, did the Silver Streak really exist? I have never seen so much Chrome plastic on an engine until the Lionel Laser came out.

I enjoyed reading Bob's view. My concept was simple.

Modell RR'ing is like a forest, pick a tree and climb it.

Sort of reminds you of the Forrest Gump box of chocolates.:)

Shay nice pic's :thumbsup:

Craig Welcome to the Forum. Stick around.
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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Just sounds like "big ed" has an inferiority complex with a name like that.
You're not one of those guys who has a bunch of "Big Boys" on your layout are you?

Thanks shaygetz for the awesome pictures. The soft focus adds a nice touch.

Sorry glgraphix. I'm passionate about my concern for the longevity of the hobby. Nothing would make me happier than for my son to be able to pass on his trains to HIS son someday. But with the current attitude of a lot of those involved in model railroading (ie stodginess, stubbornness, apathy), I don't see that happening.

Nope I don't have an "inferiority complex".

I have been called Big Ed since my teens, I didn't pick it but everyone calls me that so that's what I use as a handle.
You got a problem with that?:cool:

Big Boys? You hate them too? Something must be wrong with you.
I would guess you hate all the other gauges of trains unless it's the one you have too.

Maybe your the one with a deep rooted problem?

Could it be a Paranoid personality disorder?:rolleyes:


Thanks for the pictures Shaygetz. They look in great shape. Nice clear photos too.
 

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T-Man, m concept is really pretty simple. Take from the hobby what you wish, give back what you can. No man's effort is better than the next. I have had people rave at my layout, and even some, usually rivet counters, that could find nothing good to say about it. Well, maybe they said something like "it's big". And that it is.

I know some friends that have a simple finite switching layouts. Others have monster layout that seem endless. Is one better than the other? Well, my answer would be that it depends on what layout your dreaming about. One friend has a 16-foot industrial switching layout. And it's really nice. Another has a 900-foot of rail layout that is just as nice.....just bigger. I enjoy session on both. That is the beauty, and the flexibility, of this hobby. Would everyone enjoy the switching layout? Probably not, but it suits the dream of the builder. Would everyone like a 1000-foot of rail layout? Doubtful. Some would enjoy operating a yard. Some like point-to-point operation. While still others find gratification in a loop-type layout.

There are those that only want high quality stock. Brass engines and cars traverse their rails. Some, most actually, cannot afford such prices as to provide these things on their roads. Some like less expensive rosters, like me. No, I don't run TYCO. But, that is not to say that I think them to be a poor man's train. I think that they lack the detail that I prefer. TYCO, in fact, was affiliated with Mantua, and Lord knows I own a bevy of those engines and cars.

I also have another train buddy that all he runs is TYCO and Life Like. His layout is extremely nice. Very practical for the size of his train room. And he has TONS of cars. His layout is about 600 feet of track, I would guess. He uses Bachmann EZ Track. Not what many would use, but it fits his use and his budget. But, I must say this, EZ Track ain't cheap. Actually I think it's quite expensive and offers little in the way of flexibility. In fact, I set up my grandson's first layout with EZ Track. And, when set up as a permanent layout, it is almost bullet-proof. Good for kids as long as it isn't taken apart continuously.

My feelings on the hobby is that we are experiencing a huge transition right now. With DCC, new tooling for the bodies that provides unprecedented realism, advances in technology, new products that were once only available to craftsmen in the hobby, we are entering a new age. I have seen but a few advances in my 50 years and this new time is by far the most revolutionary. We are seeing more RTR models and fewer kits, higher quality motors, better rail do to new metal alloys, cleaner power from our power supplies,...... all advancements that have made the hobby better, though more expensive.

The reason TYCO succumbed in the hobby was the fact that hobbyists, and parents, wanted more realism, more detail, and were willing to pay for it. And yes, hobby stores pushed the higher priced products, making sure that the buyer noticed the higher detail and standards of manufacture. They justified the increased price by emphasizing the obvious. TYCO just couldn't keep up with the market at a reasonable profit. It's not tht they didn't produce a good product, it's that they couldn't match the competition in supplying what the public wanted. And add to the fact that their corporate leadership was a bit hardheaded and refused to heed the voice in the crowd. All took its toll and force them out.

I must be a bit of an antagonist here to keep myself honest. I do have quite a few TYCO pieces. I am not afraid to admit that. However, if I am to be totally honest, I must critique TYCO. Just as I critique any of my trains. I have many TYCO cars that seem to be a bit out of scale. Cabooses and cars for example, seem to be larger than 1/87 scale. The engine mechanisms seem to be of less quality than some of the other manufacturers. The trucks on the cars are not realistic. Talgo trucks were installed to prevent derailings. And they are cheaper in the production process than the more conventional and more realistic body mount couplers. Tooling and molds are less detailed resulting in a less realistic model.

I am not bashing TYCO, or even Life Like. The product that these companies produced was aimed at entry level hobbyists, even children. Was Tyco ever aimed at competing with companies like Athearn, Accu-Rail, Bowser, and the others? No, is the answer. In fact, if one would look at the product line of TYCO, one would see that they were, more or less, a toy manufacturer. Some of their products included toy cars and trucks, dolls, even slot cars, which proved to be a HUGE success for the company. Were they the quality of a Cox or Strombecker? No. But, they filled that entry level niche, just like their trains. They produced items that were cheap to produce and cheap for the consumer. In that process, the items were not of highest quality or of highest realism. Those are the facts.

TYCO will always have a place in the hobby. Though the company is long gone, it has impressed its image on many of us. Through their efforts, many of us, in the hobby, first became hooked on this thing called model railroading. As did Western Flyer, Marx, and Lionel. There will always be a fondness of memory for those vivid colored almost to the point of being gaudy, cars and engines, wrapped under the tree at Christmas. And the countless hours spent running trains 'round and 'round on the bedroom floor.

For those rivet counters and the "holier than thous" that wish to look down their noses at anyone carrying a torch, not to mention those among us that wish to keep these little cars and engines running on a layout, I say, remember.....remember the time when a 6-year old unwrapped that big present under the tree and that child's giddiness when those cars and that engine came into sight. Remember that simpler time. Remember?

So, Craig, whenever another modeler choose to show his contempt, show it right back. Any shop that wishes to put down the little TYCO sets, I'd never buy from them....ever. If we forget our roots, forget what got, not only us, but the hobby, to where it is today we are lost and doomed. But, I don't think that will happen. There are too many of us that DO remember. And we will continue on, passing along our experience, and passion, to the next in line.

I would like to make one additional comment. With the introduction of RTR cars and such, one thing that I think WILL disappear is the craftsman. The model railroader you know that builds almost everything from scratch, the one that details and engine or car to the Nth degree. The guy that buys three different kits to get one model, using parts from all three to get one. It will be a sad day when this comes to pass.

Bob
 

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You say that Model RR has changed? or the enthusiasm has gone away?

My dad was into trains (HO) when I was a kid, and he had to sell all his empire because of his garage burning down in '88. I think he died a little that day also.
But, my point is, MY favorite engine he had was an 0-6-0 Southern switcher in the Crescent Green with the brickred roof, and silver boiler front. And yes, it was a TYCO.

Now, 20yrs later I havent forgotten how my dad loved his trains, I have picked up the hobby with my 2 boys.
If this hobby is dieing as you say, than why are WE here?

Kevin
 

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this all reminds me of middle school, not even high school. I just think its funny when adults post the same type of barbs as pre-teens based only on the strenght of a few lines of text that they don't agree with. It would in fact be easier and better for all who view these boards if you just didn't type anything at all...

But to be honest the only locomotive I own that I can't get to run is my very first loco, a 0-8-0 chattanoga from tyco. in fact any time I run one of my steam locos I always use my baby ruth chugger HC boxcar. I also love tyco, but find that the newer models by far excede the quality of tyco. But alas there is always room for my tyco models. half of my town is old main street kits from tyco. Oh hell, I just love trains...
 

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Chessie14, Have a good laugh. Remember you are dealing with a group of grown men, using a psydonym, and unsupervised by their wives(well most of us)LOL

Back to the original post. Have you every had a bad experience visiting a hobby shop the first time. Frankly I have and it can be a real turnoff. I don't think I would carry it for 15 years.
 

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Chessie14, Have a good laugh. Remember you are dealing with a group of grown men, using a psydonym, and unsupervised by their wives(well most of us)LOL
I have no less than three female supervisors..,.ANY adult male conversation is better than what I endure during a 40 hour week...no matter how juvenile it gets.:D
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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this all reminds me of middle school, not even high school. I just think its funny when adults post the same type of barbs as pre-teens based only on the strenght of a few lines of text that they don't agree with. It would in fact be easier and better for all who view these boards if you just didn't type anything at all...

But to be honest the only locomotive I own that I can't get to run is my very first loco, a 0-8-0 chattanoga from tyco. in fact any time I run one of my steam locos I always use my baby ruth chugger HC boxcar. I also love tyco, but find that the newer models by far excede the quality of tyco. But alas there is always room for my tyco models. half of my town is old main street kits from tyco. Oh hell, I just love trains...

I saw that post before it was locked and didn't say anything.
When I did respond all I said was that it sounds like he likes Tyco and hates hobby stores.

For him to come back and tell me I must have a complex because of my name, is an attack on my character.

I don't know about you Chessie14 (if your above quotes were directed to me?) But I will fight back to defend myself when attacked. Instead of standing around getting kicked.
If the shoe was on your foot you probably respond back with something too.
Don't tell me you wouldn't.

That's all I got to say on this subject.

T-Man,
No I have never had a bad experience with any hobby shop I have ever been in. And there's a bunch of them in NJ.
 

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glgraphix, if to call what is happening in the hobby today change, I will agree. I prefer to say that it is evolving. Not many of us can remember the old cast metal trains that our grandparents had. I'm speaking turn of the last century. Then came the metal stamped trains. Then they added the "wind-up", clock spring "motors". I can remember having a wooden train, much like some of the little Thomas sets, we see today when I was younger.

Then came something we are more familiar with, the electric powered trains of the '20's and '30's. Still most were cast metal, not real reliable..... As we move trough the years, the trains became more detailed, more reliable in operation. Soon, the cast metal trains gave way to plastic. And motors became even MORE reliable.

The hobby remained rather stagnant for a few years. Then came DCC!!! I believe this is the single most innovative idea to make its way into the hobby EVER. It has, quite simply, revolutionized the hobby. Never before could we control and operate so much with a gadget the size of a remote control. This single innovation could very well be the savior of our beloved passion of modeling railroads. Add to the fact that progress has been made in tooling techniques and we have added detail.

The hobby is not dead, nor is it changing. It is going through a natural application of technology being applied to the many facets of modeling. And I believe that it's a good thing. and as time passes, the prices will equalize and make such items much more affordable to us all. It wasn't that longago that DCC was astronomically high for the poor guy like me. Now, it is within reach of most, costing about the same as a good quality power supply.

Bob
 

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Very well put, Bob. I would agree 100%, but it seems that our friend here has gotten a badd taste in his mouth from, as you stated because of the evalution of model rr'ing. I kind of like the way things are going, suites me just fine.

Kevin
 

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I haven't been to many hobby shops. Only one of them so far.. said Athearn / Atlas / Kato / Proto 2000 / Stewart are the best and the rest are no good. The guy even said, once you buy these Kato and others, you won't want to use Tyco, Bachmann and Lionel and such again. I frowned upon that because I have Tyco, Lionel, Bachmann, Life-Like, Roundhouse, Pemco, Lima, Rivarossi, Accurail, FrontRange/McKean, Walthers, Model-Power, TrainsCanada, and AHM ..amoung the Athearn, Kato, Atlas and Protos I have. To me I don't mind who made it, it's what it's painted for (railroad). I'm neither a rich person nor a rivet counter, but I do like a little accuracy and realisim in my RR.

I like the hobby just the way it is.
Personaly, I think I came into the hobby just the right time, though I wish I had the room and extra money to increase my collection. Buying between 4 and 8 pieces of rolling stock/engines in a month keeps me into the hobby. But it makes it hard to decide what to pick when I'm shopping for something.
 

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what a flashback.
i started with this hobby by buying what seemed to me huge collection of really nice stuff (athrean RR almost BNIB). i obviously went "i cannot possibly need that much" and was thinking to resell some. i went to LHS to find how much trade in value my stuff can possibly have and said something like "hey, i have some of the better stuff, how much".
"no, kato and atlas is the better stuff, athrean rr, bachman and tyco is junk". what?! you know what, screw that, i'll keep my stuff and you keep your katos!
later on i gave that store another shot but then he tried to pull "ohhh, that item is going to be released in 3 weeks, lets pre-order it for you!" for something being manufactured for years if not decades. i'm not going there again.
 
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