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Author Topic: N Scale Bachmann Thomas  (Read 527 times)
Sparks


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« on: July 18, 2018, 03:10:45 AM »

Recently, I've taken the effort to acquire the Tomix Thomas range, and I have to say that it's one of my favorite Thomas ranges period. However, its availability is limited, especially for a younger audience. N scale has a large presence in the USA, and many N scalers love putting the Tomix Thomas items on their layout (as the range was easier to get until about 4 years ago). I think this is a hole in the market that Bachmann could easily fill.

One thing I think Bachmann should make an important note of if they go down this avenue though, is that the Tomix Thomas range is slightly overscale to N scale, similar to how the Large Scale Thomas is larger than Gauge 1. I think if Bachmann matched the scaling of this theoretical range to the Tomix range, they would have a range "steaming with synergy" for the US and Japanese market alike (who would definitely import the stuff, just as Americans have imported Hornby items, and British people Bachmann items). In a post shortly after this, I can post measurements of the range if people want to see what I mean.

Anyway, if Bachmann did jump into making N Scale Thomas items in the US, I think a small range similar to the Large Scale range could work. It could easily start with a simple set of items like...

Engines:
- Thomas
- Percy
Rolling Stock:
- Annie
- Clarabel
- Troublesome Truck 1
- Troublesome Truck 2

Which over the years, could extend to James, and possibly Emily, Toby, Rosie or Diesel. Rolling stock offerings could even expand to the vans and tankers, similar to the ones in the Large Scale range. Even a NW Brakevan or Spiteful Brakevan would make a great addition, and once Bachmann has those basic wagons out, they can easily milk the tooling for multiple decals and designs.

The main thing I think would be an obstacle though is pricing and resources, as Bachmann already has the HO/OO range going on, Large Scale, -and- a OO9 range that has just began a few years ago.

What do you guys think; a good idea, a bit too soon, something worthy for the future to consider, or even a bit farfetched?
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Rodimus Supreme

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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2018, 11:45:09 AM »

I think itd be possible. Would probably be something to consider later, instead of right now. Also, being a range smaller than HO/OO Scale, Id hope they could do tender engines, unlike G Scale. If anything right now, I think Bachmann should focus on getting the license to sell their HO/OO Scale Thomas and Friends items in the UK first, now that Hornby has given that license up, and hopefully that income from new territories can help fund larger and newer releases for HO/OO Scale, and maybe G Scale.
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Chaz


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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2018, 12:15:20 PM »

I've mentioned the idea of Bachmann acquiring the license for N scale Thomas models before, and I personally think it would be a wonderful idea, especially when Tomix is only selling their new range in Japan.

I think the range will more likely than not reach "Tomix size" as you mentioned earlier and it would be a good way to get the engines and stock from both ranges to at least be in the same size as each other. 

The range would in no doubt start with Thomas, Percy, and James.  I can easily see the range doing more characters from there as you mentioned before, but with some of the recent choices made by both Bachmann, or even Tomix's new range it does make me wonder what they will produce.  One of the biggest reasons I was for an N scale range was that size would not be an issue, unlike large scale, so Gordon and Henry would be a lot more possible, especially considering that Tomix made Henry in their old range and Gordon was announced too.  However, the new Tomix range only has Thomas, Percy and James so far and it seems like that, especially in the case of James, the models have been given new fly-wheel motors so they can navigate tight radiuses.  This isn't too much of a bad thing but it does make me wonder if the range is going to bother to bring back any of their larger additions like Henry or the mail car.  I personally hope that if Bachmann makes an N scale range themselves that they realize that demand for larger engines in N scale is definitely there, especially since Gordon still never got made by Tomix. 

I think the number of ranges Bachmann has for Thomas really should not be all that much of an issue, especially when considering that large scale, and even more recently the HO range has relied more on recolors for their lineups so it probably shouldn't be much, if any issue, with the other ranges. 

Personally I think an N scale range from Bachmann has a lot of potential and it would be a great way for Bachmann to increase their overall sales and encourage more people to get in the hobby of model trains.
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Sparks


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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2018, 01:57:08 PM »

Thinking on it more, I think if Bachmann did engines beyond Thomas and Percy, they could have an upper hand in the market by doing engines that aren't already on the market. James seems almost inevitable, but I think it'd be interesting if Bachmann skipped James and went right to an engine like Diesel or Gordon, as it's untapped potential. Many, many N scalers (especially in the Japanese fandom) kitbash Henry models into making Gordon, so the demand for Gordon is apparent.
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Chaz


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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2018, 09:41:19 PM »

I think it's safe to say that James would be the third engine, regardless of the demand.  But maybe announcing Gordon alongside could work if they wanted to get him out sooner knowing that there is a market for an N scale Gordon, amongst other characters like Toby, Edward, Duck, etc.

Personally I could see it going like this if it really came down to it:

Year 1: Thomas and Percy
Year 2: James
Year 3: Gordon and Henry (since they share the same chassis and finding a Tomix Henry is pretty hard to come by, (I would know since I'm looking for another one)).
Year 4: Emily
Year 5: Toby

I think any other characters like Edward or Diesel would really depend on how the range would do at that point.
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really called Thomas

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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2018, 01:23:06 PM »

If Bachmann go into N scale, and they were easily available in the UK, then I would buy the lot and sell my HO collection in a heartbeat!
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