ONLINE
STORE
"ASK THE BACH MAN"
FORUM
PARTS, SERVICE,
& INFORMATION
CATALOGS AND
BROCHURES

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
November 21, 2017, 09:55:41 AM
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Please read the Forum Code of Conduct   >>Click Here <<
+  Bachmann Message Board
|-+  Discussion Boards
| |-+  Plasticville U.S.A.
| | |-+  Bachmann and its "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" connection
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: Bachmann and its "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" connection  (Read 2802 times)
mattyg1306


View Profile
« on: December 03, 2010, 06:16:50 AM »

I, like millions of other children in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS, so in reality, my love for trains (or, I guess, trolleys back then) probably stemmed from that. 

One of the first things that a viewer sees when watching an episode is, of course, a finely crafted HO scale model of the neighborhood that Mr. Rogers “lives” in.  I realized some years ago when I started model railroading that most of the structures in the town are Bachmann Plasticville kits (others structures that aren’t are either IHC or custom built), a few of which remain in production today, I believe.  Here are a couple of examples:

Cape Cod House (Mister Rogers’ house!): http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/160-45131

Split-level house (seen in the first few seconds of the credits):  http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/160-45213

None of the kits were ever marketed for their fame of having been in the series, and I believe there are THOUSANDS of people out there who have wondered who made the models, and if and where they could buy them.  I have placed a few comment responses to YouTube video comments over the past few months to people wondering about the models, and just thought that I’d bring this fact up to the Bachmann community. 

There is, at the very least, a niche marketing opportunity here, and I’ve often wondered why Bachmann never partnered up with Family Communications (the show’s long time production company, which has recently been re-christened The Fred Rogers Company) and offered the models, in their ‘Neighborhood’ color appearance, under the ‘Mister Rogers’ brand.  I realize the legal ramifications, but I would honestly think that the company would be glad to go into business with Bachmann (just like “Thomas and Friends”) for a cut of the profits for their organization, in exchange for the use of their logo and endorsement of the product.  Perhaps something could be arranged to offer a model of the “Neighborhood Trolley” as well?  Just a thought.

As a side note, I just found some interesting information regarding a particular structure on the layout, which I thought fellow modelers might appreciate and one that many former ‘Mister Rogers’ fans will remember.  One of the more unique looking structures in the model town, the “lop-sided” apartment house, is not Bachmann made, but custom built.  The reason for this is the house was built to represent the logo of the series’ original broadcast network:  NET (National Educational Television), and was used with the logo superimposed over the structure in the original opening sequence.  When NET folded into PBS in 1970, just two years after the series debuted, the house was remodeled to an orange color, and then was finally repainted to its more infamous incarnation as a red brick structure a few years after that, and remained through the majority of the series.   Cool

BTW, I'm posting this in both the HO and Plasticville sections, since it is related to both.
Logged
J3a-614

View Profile
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2010, 08:34:33 PM »

I have to say this certainly sounds interesting.  After all, why should the British have all the fun (and the money) with that blue tank engine? 

I also seem to recall, perhaps someone else here can remember it too, that there was an article in Model Railroader about the late Fred Rogers and the layout.  Seems that for years it didn't actually have a trolley car, but in later years one was added, with rails let into the existing model street.  On top of that, the car itself was a heavily modified Bachmann Brill!  The track and trolley were unpowered, due to potential reliability problems on camera; the trolley was actually "powered" by a man pulling a piece of very thin string.  I understand this is (or was) a pretty common practice in movie miniatures to get the control needed for shots.  Some of these miniatures could be quite large, such as a sailing ship model that used an underwater cable or wire for movement, and which was also large enough to have a man hidden inside to help steer the thing.

We do have an advantage in that both the HO Bachmann trolley and the trackage for the custom-built large scale model used in scenes with Rogers didn't model the the overhead!
Logged
boohbah62

View Profile
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2011, 08:58:55 AM »

Cape Cod House (Mister Rogers’ house!): http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/160-45131. This is totally not Mr. Rogers' house. Mr. Roger's house had the porch on the front. (duh)
Logged
thewvnetwork

View Profile
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2011, 05:19:26 PM »

Cape Cod House (Mister Rogers’ house!): http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/160-45131. This is totally not Mr. Rogers' house. Mr. Roger's house had the porch on the front. (duh)

Umm, boohbah62, that IS Mr. Rogers' house...no question...the plastic is just colored different.  And the "porch" was on the OPPOSITE SIDE of the house, not the front.  Looks like this "duh" is on you.   Wink
Logged
boohbah62

View Profile
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2011, 04:56:01 PM »

All technicalities aside the main thing I need to know is if it comes as a "speedy delivery"
Logged
thewvnetwork

View Profile
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2011, 06:07:59 PM »

All technicalities aside the main thing I need to know is if it comes as a "speedy delivery"

Well, now, I guess that would depend on which "speedy delivery" service you choose!   Grin
Logged
J3a-614

View Profile
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2011, 11:23:37 PM »

Thought this might be appropriate here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMFDphMXTlQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RbbeUrYK14

Have fun.
Logged
Pages: [1] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!