At the end of the coming week, I'm running another poll on the Fansite. This time around, I'm abandoning episodes and the TV Series to ask a set of more fundamental questions:
- What is your favourite Thomas & Friends Merchandise Range from the existing range?
Take 'n' Play
My First Thomas
Bachmann Model Railways
The above is bound to have some who are partial to certain brands more than others, I know the Wooden Railway side of things has a bit of a cult following, and I'd be interested to hear why you guys collect the ranges you do.
The other question I intend to pose:
- Would you like to see the Thomas ERTL Range reinstated? This is a question that's been on my mind for a while now - the ERTL range was a staple of the childhoods of many of us who grew up watching Thomas in the 80s and 90s, but one that was withdrawn quite sadly and abruptly during the HIT takeover of Gullane.
The ERTL toys were excellent representations of the Thomas toy brand, and personally aside from the Bachmann models, I don't feel that anything else can compete with them in terms of aesthetic quality.
- If Mattel / Fisher Price were to introduce a collector's range, would you buy it? A lot of you guys are good for buying the Thomas merchandise. Personally I'll buy a fleeting item if I can be bothered, but I'm more into the classic stuff. So, if a range of classic style toys were to be released, would you buy them? What would you expect out of them? What would you like to see?
I am a collector of the Bachmann stuff. Its always accurate to the representation on TV and it soothes my model railway side. Their superior running quality and character choices have done nothing but please me. I am currently awaiting their next narrow gauge locomotive to be announced. *fingers crossed*
I also collect the MINIs. I used to be out for the whole lot, but I sold a majority of my collection, as it was getting quite big. I only collect the classics now. They make a good desk piece. They are also cheap as can be, so collecting the engines won't break the bank!
I don't collect Take N Play, but I do own a few. I bought Mike and Rex, simply because I wanted something of the new RWS engines. The quality isn't fantastic enough for me to want to collect it.
As much of an ERTL fanatic I am, I don't see the ERTL range making it in a world where cheap is the key term. I agree they were, by far, the best "toy" range ever produced. Yes the Tomy had side rods, but the ERTLS were portraits of what you saw on screen. No wheels missing, no squished cabs, no absence of rolling stock...
IF a collector's range was introduced, I would have high expectations, seeing as they are collector's items. Figures or free wheeled toys would be ideal. The MINIs have the idea right, but the proportions can sometimes be deterring. I would hope they would be fairly priced and that a "classic" range of characters would make the line-up. No Rosie, Stanley or Flynn... The main 11, Emily, Spencer, Salty, NG engines and so on... The MINIs missed an opportunity to keep up with what was going on the television. Duck, Oliver and the new engines in SLOTLT were great and we have yet to see one produced for the MINIs. Instead, we got the back-ups. To be frankly honest, the Bandai TECs/Gold Rail had the idea right. They were higher quality and good representations of the engines/characters. Can't say I'd dump my wallet for all of them, but I'd definitely buy my favorites. Depending on how these were executed, I may very well make room for them.
1. Out of the existing western merchandise ranges, Bachmann definitely wins my vote. Being a fan of merchandise that accurately portrays what is seen on TV, Bachmann has no competition. I'm largely talking about the OO/HO range rather than the large scale stuff. The range is still relatively affordable for an electric model series, and it has a decent character roster (Though a few engines from the CGI era wouldn't go amiss). Trackmaster 2 and Wooden aren't really my kind of thing, and after briefly rekindling an interest in Take-n-Play, the severe budget cuts it suffered in 2014 put me off it again. Whilst I think the Minis are more suited to the stylised standardised look than Trackmaster or TnP, I agree with @jsu7137n about its character roster being a bit of a waste.
2. What a daft question, of course I would jump at the chance! True, it's not particularly viable or practical these days, but as well as the obvious nostalgia factor, I'd be eager to see ERTL's return simply because there isn't really any Thomas range nowadays that appeals to collectors in the same way. I've mentioned that Take n Play have become stylised and homogeneous in recent times, and whilst the Tomica Diecast range in Japan sometimes surpasses the quality of ERTL, the one thing it's lacking is the huge character ensemble that made the ERTL range so fun to collect.
Had this question been asked in 2013, however, I'd have been more on the fence about it. Before Take-n-Play regressed into the homogeneity we see today, Mattel had been striking a balance with the TnP range- whilst some aspects were cheapened, this was compensated by an overall improvement to the toys' appearances. I think that if Mattel had kept this sort of thing going, we could have ended up with a toyline even better than ERTL was, with a standard scale, a more durable coupling system, and better-built wheels being combined with a greater sense of accuracy. An absolute high-point was reached with the Big City Engine, and I'd have liked to see the range continue to improve in this manner. I'd have been more than happy to sacrifice see-through cabs, pivoting bogeys and maybe even the smart magnets if it had meant greater accuracy all round.
3. I would definitely pick up a collector's range so long as it was decently priced and was a better representation of the characters from the show than Mattel's other offerings. Free-rolling wheels would be preferable to static figures though either would be a welcome addition. As far as engine characters go, aside from the obvious Steam Team I would give priority to fan-favourites such as Duck, Oliver, Daisy and Marion over the scrappies such as Scruff, Porter and the Logging Locos. (Though, as I mentioned in the Minis thread, I'd be more willing to pick up a model of a character I dislike if it were a detailed, accurate and appealing model in its own right).
As for rolling stock, I would stick to vehicles that appear in the show itself, and allow coaches outside of Annie and Clarabel to be merchandised (It would be nice to see the Slip Coaches get some recognition!)
To be honest, collectible ranges of diecast toy trains, particularly steam trains, are fairly scarce nowadays, making a collectible, accurate Thomas range all the more welcome from me. The only other examples I can think of are Tomica (Who mostly model modern vehicles, with only two steam locos in the range), Siku (Who mostly model trams, with only one steam engine in the range) and Corgi Rail Legends (Whose models are static, and eye-wateringly expensive). A collector-geared Thomas range would be a great opportunity to introduce a reasonably priced, expansive series of diecast model trains.
Post by WhitehouseFilms on Feb 3, 2016 15:54:19 GMT
-What is your favourite Thomas & Friends Merchandise Range from the existing range?
No surprises, out of all listed, it would have to be Hornby Railways. Growing up with Thomas I did have a good collection of ERTL/Brio/Tomica Thomas trains. But Hornby delivered something that I personally liked. I couldn't rightly say what it was but maybe it was the fact that there was a toy brand that I liked which made a Thomas that acutally had the proper side rod arrangement. Strange, I must admit, but before I got my first Hornby Thomas at the age of 7, some of my Thomas', noteibly the Tomy ones had what I used to call 'Percy wheels', where only the back wheels had it's side rods working while the front ones acted more like a valve gear. Some how this drove me insane but when the day came my dad got me from Argos the Thomas and Percy electric train set, I was over the moon.
- Would you like to see the Thomas ERTL Range reinstated?
I would love to see the range come back. As said, I had a good collection of the diecast models and during the summers would do numerous chores around the house, just so I could earn an extra bit of pocket money for another model (£5.00 was my goal to retch. £10.00 was just a bonus) But I think when series 7 of the show came around, I had to stop buying them. Nothing to do with growing out of it, but the fact they were hard to find in the shops. I would be lucky enough to find a section in Toys R Us where the Ertls were still selling but they would be more or less models of the Sodor Taxi and that van you'd see on the Ffarquhar set in the opening titles. But yeah, I would like to see the range make a return if it can be done.
- If Mattel / Fisher Price were to introduce a collector's range, would you buy it?
It would really depend what is in the collection. True, I quite liked the diecast model of Thomas Fisher Price brought out but sadly haven't been able to spot one in any of the stores. Again it would have to tie down what would be in the list and the overall appearance of the product.
My favourite range is Take N Play (with Take Along),i also like ertl, Minis and Bachmann.
But regards to if ertl made a come back? well i wouldn't be too keen on that idea, because all the existing ertls would all have to be completely redesigned, with CGI Faces and have the number of wheels reduced (like take n play)
Would I want the ERTL range to come back? Kind of torn here. I would be seeking the very first models above all others. I'm already halfway there with Thomas, Percy, James and Edward, and I'm in no rush to get the others.
Would I buy things from a "collectors' line" of Thomas items? There's a LONG list of Thomas items, rare and common, that I used to covet supremely, and if said toys were made, I would have... years ago. I guess the only items I'd go for now are the sticker-face ERTLs I don't already have, and Gordon's Coaches from the Bachmann range, considering they seemed to have magically disappeared from the secondhand market. Oh, and if I had a thousand dollars or so to spare, the entirety of the Tomix range.
Favorite existing line I'm going to be shot at for saying this, but I'm going to go with Wooden Railway. Because of the actions of a few on YouTube, this line has gotten a really bad reputation and fans seems to be under the impression anyone who buys the wooden stuff "gets on the floor and plays with trains" while they don't assume the same thing with people who collect the Take n Plays or ERTLs. The Wooden Railway line is by far the most immersive, complete, and longest running range still in production and has great collectability behind it. I collect Wooden Railway in the same sense someone would collect matchbox cars, not to play with them like a 5 year old, but to display them and fill a nostalgia I have because of growing up with the stuff. If anyone follows our Twitter page, they'd notice I frequently put up photos of rare, unusual, or just plain interesting Wooden stuff. This line has the kind of variation and quirks the collector in me loves. There's so many different variations of everything and it really is a lot of fun to hunt for and collect specific stuff. Although the last year or two have been disappointing, Mattel overall have done a great job of improving the line and I hope it keeps going strong. To many, the Wooden Railway line is the face of Thomas & Friends.
Would I like to see the ERTL range return? As with any classic series era fan, I would love to see the ERTLs come back. The ERTLs are a great example of the kind of Thomas merchandise we don't see today. Simple yet detailed representations of the characters that a both a kid and a collector could enjoy easily. However, do I think it's likely the ERTLs will return? I don't. The ERTLS do not fit in with the current ideas Mattel has with the toys these day. We're seeing more and more action oriented play sets in every line. The fact is kids want excitement, that's what sells. The trackmaster line was revamped completely with this in mind and we're seeing a lot of action oriented Take n Play and wooden sets too. The ERTLS were simple and quaint. To a collector or adult fan they were optimal, but to you're average 3 year old, I'm sure they'd much prefer Something fast that can do jumps and flips, which leads me into the next question.
Would I buy a collector range? Yes! This is what I've been wanting for years. This would fill the void I mentioned earlier and provide older kids/ fans of the show with something to look forward to that was more traditional and not totally action oriented. Something focused on looks rather then performance. We briefly stepped into this category with the large diecast Thomas Mattel came out with for the 70th which included working con rods and an detailed cab interior. However, in my opinion the best collector line is and always will be the Bandai TECs. No other range has come close to the accuracy these little diecast toys pulled off. They were a great size too. If we did get a collector range, I'd love to see something similar. Again, judging by the business practices we've seen over the past few years, I wouldn't say a collector range is extremely likely, but if it did happen, I would be very, very interested.
1. I don't collect the merchandise really anymore. But, in my honest opinion. I'll go with Wooden Railway as my favorite existing line. I grew up with it and it's still a good line in my opinion. Just the thing that disappoints me about the new products is the plastic. That always gets my goat. I also grew up with Take Along as well. But, Take-N-Play now looks awful in my opinion. Just the magnets. I also think Bachmann has the best TVS accurate models. I despise the new Trackmaster due to the faces and the hideous redesign. Hornby is ok although some faults and Minis is a unique lineup with all the different motifs for the characters (Graffiti, Dino, DC, etc). I never collected the ERTL toys at all but they look really nice.
2. As for me, I'd love to see the ERTL range return. The models look great and the charm would come back to collecting for me. I don't really think it's likely the ERTL lineup will be returning but it would be nice for it to make a comeback. They were simple designs but very detailed. And now, if the ERTL line comes back, we could see more awesome playsets and other character and rolling stock models.
3. For me, this kind of range would gain my interest back in buying merchandise again. This will provide the older fanbase to buy something. I would be very interested in buying the characters. I hope they do a mix of Thomas characters and rolling stock from the TVS, RWS and even annuals and Thomas and Friends: Really Useful Around The World Shorts. Hopefully, the toys in this range will be detailed and the designers will make us amazed. I hope if the collector's range comes true, it will be amazing.
I'm tempted to say Plarail, but since that's only available in Japan, I'll go for... surprisingly, the MINIS. It's the only range I've really been digging into, for a number of reasons: they're cheap & cheerful, fun to collect and there's a wide variety with newcomers & themes on the way. I'm not big on the Themed ones, I'm more trying to get every Classic character - and with them at around £1.99 per blind-bag in UK shops, that seems like an easy challenge. When I first saw an image of one, I actually thought they were giant models more like the My First Thomas Range. Boy, I was wrong. And admit it, Thomas dressed as Superman or Batman, as ridiculous as it sounds, is actually not a bad idea. My only complaint about the range is that there's no rolling-stock (by which I mean Annie & Clarabel or other trucks & coaches) or playsets. I know beggars can't be chosers, but it would be nice if there were...
Do I want to see ERTL come back?
Well, why not? It would be very interesting to see what characters like Stephen, Marion, Ryan and Rex, Mike & Bert would look like in ERTL form. Plus it would see most of the older models brought back to the toyshop, so I'd have something to spend pocket money on besides the MINIS. It doesn't seem likely, but if they did I'm sure we'd all be delighted.
Would I buy a Collectable Range?
Well... it depends. First of all, if it were I'd like it to be similar to either ERTL, Bachmann or the Special Edition Thomas that Fisher Price made for the 70th last year - more than likley the latter. I wouldn't be too tempted if the range cost an arm and a leg though. The more costly an engine were, I'd expect higher product quality. As I've said, I'm more into Plarail & MINIS at the moment. But if a Special Edition Range did come along, I'd certainly look into it.
My favourite range, I think, would have to be the Ertls, but Wooden Railway is a close second. I'll talk about Wooden Railway here... I've always loved the range. I generally divide it up into three generations. I think we'll all agree that the Mattel takeover initiated a new era in the history of the line: Generation 3. Gen 1, to me, were the clickety-clack days, when the range was very imaginative with their destinations and layouts. You had wild, cool things such as the Transfer Table that had two lanes of track and could shift an engine from one to the other (I knew that such things weren't from the TVS but I didn't mind); some of their layout ideas from the yearbooks were very clever too. They're there to show what you can build with your accessories, and because of items like the Overhead Stacking Railway, the possibilities were endless! The Overhead Stacking Railway were stacking risers with platforms that allowed you to build multiple lanes directly above each other, and create a "super-railway" as advertised.
Gen 2 was the more glossy, quality-focused, and arguably more technologically-focused period (thinking of the RFID theme), where the tradition of reissuing and improving old models began. Some of the more signature destinations were updated with lights and sounds also, which doesn't seem to happen with Mattel currently. With the Racing Down the Rails Set in 2009 the range started using plastic for specialized track, such as the Mud Bog, and later on engines as well. I don't mind more plastic on the engines, but I personally contend that Wooden Railway is losing its identity in part because of this gimmicky track available in most sets now, garishly coloured and detracting from the fine aesthetic that Wooden Railway had sustained to a point. The line between Wooden Railway and BRIO is thinning out. I also never thought the CGI faces worked too well either; the animators presumably tried to mimic the structure of the clay faces as closely as possible, so why did they decide to portray any differences that resulted?
I'd guess that, fundamentally, Wooden Railway interests people because it's made from real wood: who doesn't like vintage wooden toys? Wooden Railway is also, to me, the most layout-friendly range. And in addition, contrasting what I've said above, the current range is still good... I think they have a fairly good handle on how RC2 designed their innovative products in the beginning. Some 2016 items are very creative, including one that I have my eyes on and one that doesn't quite sit well with me but I'll forgive 'em for it, these respectively being the Build-It-Higher Track Riser, which can be supported by track pieces of whatever length you want, and the McColl's Farm products that are made with textured material! And they sometimes copy old designs that have been used previously, giving railway wheels to Oliver from The Pack (ala Terence), designing Lady with a black cab roof, reminiscent of her original model, and even using a similar concept as the Transfer Table in the Deluxe King of the Railway Set... it's apparent to me that Mattel is trying to invoke nostalgia with some of the things they do.
Okay... Ertl. What memories! We had a footstool that was based on two panels with weird cavities in the sides, and these became the perfect tunnel! When you don't have any track it becomes necessary to improvise, and I think a lot of us played with Ertl without track. I'd even suggest that imagination grows best within the household environment as many more common, everyday things can become tunnels, or a precipice, or whatever you need for your adventures! Now as far as the questions go I can only echo the things that everyone else, I'm sure, has said already. "Yes, I want them back!" but "it likely wouldn't be feasible." Though even if it was feasible I'd rather see a new collectors' range entirely, since if one option was financially permissible than both of them would be. But yeah, I'd buy some models from said new range. Die-cast, and a good assortment of characters (a few RWS-only, Magic Railroad, a few new characters) would be my basic tastes. I think that it's worth noting that we were promised this sort of range with the release of The Adventures of Thomas, or at least one aimed at older kids.
Tomica/Trackmaster would have to be my least favourite range, in spite of the motorized feature. I like my models to be either accurate or stylized, proportionally; Trackmaster is neither of the two.
1. I'm at a draw between Bachmann Trains and the classic, charming Wooden Railway. The others are nice in their own respects, and I'd probably be going for Take-N-Play or Trackmaster if not for the recent changes to the ranges... Bachmann's not perfect, but they capture the look of the engines and stock in-show without skimping on details, and the Wooden trains make me nostalgic... Put me down for Wooden Railway then
2. Oh, Yes, Definitely. I used to consider Take-N-Play sort of the evolution of ERTL, regarding the couplings and the detail being carried over at least. Kinda missed the rods on the steam engines though. If ERTL came back, and had the same aesthetic as before, but perhaps more accurately scaled in terms of some of the bigger characters, Gordon, and if they weren't released with clunky round magnets or squashed proportions... I'd be all over that. That and if they ever released a Rosie, I'd never EVER shut up about it. Whether or not that's a good thing.... ehhhhh.
And, 3. if ever there were, for us older fans.. oh Yes, absolutely.
1. For me, I would have to say that Take-n-Play is my favorite existing range. When I was a kid, like so many others, I fell in love with the ERTL range. I have always been a person who likes attention to detail and that range sure had that. My parents every now and then would buy me a new character and I would just go all over the place with it. In fact, I probably have about 90% of all the characters introduced in that range. But then one day, I remember going to the local store and seeing Salty and Harvey but they were the Take Along models. (In the US, Take Along took over and no more ERTLs were released when season 6 started.) As a kid, I surprisingly didn't think much of it. They were about the same size as the ERTL models and had some attention to detail. So then I started collecting Take Along. As time went on, I stopped playing with them and just went to straight up collecting. Even when the brand name was changed to Take-n-Play, I still collected them to this day and yes, that means character models now (eg: Gator, Ryan, Samson, etc). It is sad that the quality has taken a bad turn but even then, kinda like the people who like wooden railway even with its current flaws, I have a soft spot for Take-n-Play. (Plus, I been doing custom paint fixes on the models like painting the buffer beam on Gator and Ryan red, painting the back of Samson dark green, etc just to make them seem a little more like they should be).
2. As a big ERTL fan, the little kid in me would love for it to come back but the adult in me, I don't know. One thing that I was upset about with ERTL was the connecting system. You couldn't connect 2 engines together. If they did bring ERTL back and not update that feature somehow, I will be disappointed. But in the way the toys are being made right now, do we really want it back? I rather it stay gone and remember it as this great range with hardly any complaints then coming back and being downgraded.
3. Sure. I be up to buy a collector's range. Can't say much more about that but if it looked good, I be all for it most likely.
1. I was torn between Wooden Railway and the Minis. I had grown up with WR (and I still have them to this day), and I have wonderful memories of building a miniature railway with them. However, the Minis stand out to me because of their cute and quirky designs.
2. The ERTL range is one that I'm less familiar with, but I've heard great things about them. Also, from looking at photos of ERTL models, they look small and cute, but also amazingly detailed. If the ERTL range returns one day with the same great quality that it had in the past, then I might buy a couple of them.
3. A collector's range sounds interesting. Other than that, I don't have much of an opinion on the subject.
Favorite existing line I collect Wooden Railway in the same sense someone would collect matchbox cars, not to play with them like a 5 year old, but to display them and fill a nostalgia I have because of growing up with the stuff.
For the record, of the list provided, my favorite ranges would be a draw between Hornby and Wooden Railway. I can't really pick a clear winner because I'm approaching this from a different direction than others who have responded here. In neither case is it because I have a great affinity for the ranges as they currently exists. Like BRj38 said, it's the nostalgia factor. For years after I received my first Thomas electric train set in 1992 (you mean here's a Thomas that goes by itself?) I wanted everything else in that range called "The World of Thomas the Tank Engine" and I've gone to some length to acquire at least one of everything from that era.
For the Wooden Railway the nostalgia didn't kick in until I was an adult and realized what I'd missed out on by focusing so much on Ertl and Hornby. It's the same story though, where it's been a fun challenge to track down as much of that classic "first generation" range I remember as possible. Although, I do intend to take my collection out and play with it someday!
Would I like to see the ERTL range return? However, do I think it's likely the ERTLs will return? I don't. The ERTLS do not fit in with the current ideas Mattel has with the toys these day.
Indeed. I was intrigued by the way this question was phrased. From a certain perspective it could be interpreted that there's some information that we're not in on regarding a return of the Ertl line. I'd certainly love to see it happen, if for nothing else than it would allow me to get the final wave of characters that were released (Arthur, Spencer, etc.) without paying an arm and a leg for them and then feeling like I don't want to open the darn package!
If Mattel / Fisher Price were to introduce a collector's range, would you buy it? It would depend on what it ultimately looked like. Honestly, maybe an upgraded Ertl range could be what we're looking for? Take what worked so well about the range (the simple, yet sturdy representations of the characters), tweak some of their shortcomings such as the the wonky scale that led to Percy and Toad dwarfing the tender engines, and we have a range that could please both older nostalgics such as us and perhaps the child who doesn't actually go for all the action-packed razzle dazzle that is so prevalent elsewhere.
My favourite Thomas merch currently on sale has to be between the Hornby and the Woode, but I really have a massive soft spot for the minis also, because they're fun and they're much cheaper than LEGO Minifigures here in the UK (since they have gone up in price). Us brits don't have access to bachmann (unless you pay loads of import fees), so hornby is the next best thing, and frankly, I love it! Because mainly the accuracy to the Thomas character's real life counterparts (barring Emily, who frankly I do not like as a character anyway), and the fact that it's so much fun sending hornby Percy full pelt around the layout. The wooden was the Thomas merch I always played with as a youngster, and still to this day I hope to eventually get Ivo Hugh and the imfamous Sodor Roundhouse (known to many as Tidmouth Sheds), and seeing that the wooden railway are still good quality has impressed me, and I think now wooden Marion and Gator have to be two of my favourites!
I would kill for the ERTLs to return, as I've got a target to collect every single one of them in the next 20 years, and I would love to see an ERTL Porter or Stephen, Heck! An ERTL Hiro wouldn't be that bad either!! If they made the ERTLs today however, I worry they may be of sub-par quality to what we were used to back in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's (for us in the UK), but still, it would be nice to have some characters that we never got in that form, and also potentially re-issues of rarer characters like Jock. Maybe Mattel should do what Hasbro did with Star Wars figures, and do a special gift pack using the original mould/toolings and do a sort of exclusive set (with maybe Thomas, Percy, James and Toby or something).
Relating to my previous point, a collector's range would be fantastic, because it would show that despite the many criticisms we may have of mattel's toymaking decisions, it would show maybe there are still people there who do care about the older fans beyond Andrew Brenner and the brilliant team at ARC, and that maybe the merchandise people care too!!
When I was a kid, my favorite toys were the wooden railway and ERTL engines. I loved the creative freedom with the wooden railway, but I liked that ERTL was a better representation of the characters. Every summer until about age eight I spent about a month with my grandparents, and a tub or "wooden trains" and "metal trains" always came with me. I haven't bought a Thomas toy in over a decade, but if ERTL came back, I would be very tempted.
I have no experience with Hornby, Trackmaster, Take 'n' play, My First Thomas, or the minis. I own a Bachmann James, a G Scale James from 1995, and a Lionel Thomas, circa 2000. If I had money to play with, I would get into the Bachmann range. Unfortunately, electric trains are too expensive for a graduate student.
Whatever I have left, I plan to share with my future kids -- whether they like it or not.
Easily ERTL. I was positively in love with the line since 1996 when my Christmas gifts consisted of around $300 worth of ERTL trains, rolling stock and playsets. Their cancellation is actually the key reason why I'm so vocal about how the half-hearted off-model designs of the Wooden Railway bother me so much, as I hadn't seen any sign of the Wooden Railway's existence until directly after the demise of the ERTL line and came to see them as a poor man's replacement.
Admittedly, though, I'm starting to get an urge to check out the Hornby and Bachmann lines after seeing some videos but I doubt I could commit the space and money needed for something so complex. It's a shame there's isn't a smaller toy that can still manage a reasonably accurate character depiction like the ERTLs did anymore.
I may be wrong, though. After all, anything I didn't mention in this post kind of just blends together for me... well, barring the Tomica line thanks to DieselD199, but good luck finding those stateside.
Post by magicadventurer on Feb 19, 2016 4:10:18 GMT
1: My favorite range would currently be bordering on the Hornby Model Railways and the Bachmann Trains. Admittedly I did have a wide collection of Wooden Railway models (many of them pre-dating 2003), but I've practically gone past that "phase" now. Not that I don't like the WR system, I love it, it's just that it was all part of my early childhood and I'm moving on to the more grown-up material.
Hornby and Bachmann both have their ups and downs. What I like about Hornby is that the engines are modeled to represent their real-life counterparts (except Edward) and apart from the re-releases with the CGI faces, they still capture the realism depicted in the model series. The tankers and wagons also capture this essence as well as they have lettering painted on them rather than being deck-out with logos... aside from the cream tankers and raspberry jam tankers.
I don't have much appreciation towards the locomotives of the Bachmann range (not just of design but also of durability which seems to be an issue with me), but I am quite fond of the rolling stock. They are the only manufacturers that make a Wisbech Tramway coach in HO/00 gauge. I am interested in their more recent models, particularly the narrow-gauge range. Skarloey is an absolutely beautiful model, modeled on his CGI counterpart which, I'll give credit, replicates the actual Talyllyn locomotive better than the models did. I greatly look forward to seeing the rest of the Skarloey Railway engines (except probably Duncan.)
2: I would love to see Ertl return to making Thomas toys. Ertl was one of the best manufacturers of Thomas toys during the turn of the century. Their range was massive, incorporating not only TV series engines, but also RWS engines, covering those that would not appear in any other range (eg. Sixteen, Bluebell, Lord Harry, Godred, etc.) Even the Old Coaches managed to appear in the range which was really cool. The models were all well designed, and that's saying a lot for a range of such small models. Trying to model the whole range of engines, rolling stock and vehicles in any other toy manufacturing range would be very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.
3: Perhaps, if they came in different themed groups. Here's how I would picture the range to be released: Group 1 (Steam Team): Thomas, Edward, Henry, Gordon, James, Percy, Toby, Emily Group 2 (Classics): Duck, Donald, Douglas, Oliver, Bill, Ben, Daisy, BoCo Group 3 (Diesels): Diesel, 'Arry, Bert, Paxton, Sidney, Dennis, Norman, Mavis Group 4 (Rolling Stock): Annie, Clarabel, Henrietta, Toad, Mail Coaches x2, Brakevans x2 Group 5 (Troublesome Trucks): S. C. Ruffy, Fred Pelhey, Rickety, Troublesome Trucks x2, Silly Vans x2, Spiteful Brakevan Group 6 (Coaches): Gordon's coaches x2, James' coaches x2, Red Coaches x2, Emily's coaches x2 Group 7 (Memorables): Derek, Arthur, Murdoch, Old Coaches x2, Breakdown Cranes x2, Smudger
The list goes on, might post the whole thing in another post. Of course these are all just examples, not definitive but it's nice to imagine what some things would be like.
I love ERTL's Thomas merch because how detailed and faithful their models are, along with being much cheaper than model railway alternatives (I.E. Bachmann and Hornby).
I haven't bought any merch in ages (I enjoy the scene but nothing recent is up to snuff for my tastes IMO, besides the hornby/bachmann engines). I would, however, totally be behind a series of detailed models, whether they're a collectors' series or a series of ERTL-esque toys.
If we DID get a sort of reboot of ERTL or that style of toys, the hook couplings would seriously need to go. I love ERTL to bits and fondly remember the days I played with them as a kid, but well over half the coupling pegs on the trucks/cars were broken after a few years. And as for magnets... they wouldn't look particularly good on ERTL type models... If they did use them they'd probably look more like a Take Along than an Ertl, or totally wacky with levers and etc. like Gold Rail! Having a swiveling, snapping system like Tomy/Trackmaster or Collectible Railway would work and look the best, IMO.
And if they did make a "Collectors" series of merch, with higher detail than ERTL and a lower price than Bachmann/Hornby, then I'd LOVE to back it! Also, if that was the case, I'd want it to have all sorts of models available from The RWS/TtTEaF, in different styles and variations.
harperman: Also i have read up to 149 of 376 ERS Volumes
May 12, 2021 22:47:47 GMT
zeldatheswordsm: Railway modelling hot take: Daylight under the boiler is overrated in OO, and it might be best to glue acetate shielding behind it on locos that have it to mitigate dust inflow. Especially locos where the body is actually screwed to the chassis.
May 12, 2021 23:19:41 GMT
Engine 87546: Happy 76th anniversary to The Three Railway Engines. Published on May 12th, 1945.
May 13, 2021 1:22:50 GMT
harperman: I Have also read through the entirety of ERS Novel 6
May 13, 2021 14:54:41 GMT