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Author Topic: The Future of Bachmann Thomas  (Read 1638 times)
Sparks


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« on: October 14, 2017, 01:42:27 PM »

https://www.apnews.com/959be78e3149440abdf06707e4fb916d/New-characters-give-'Thomas-&-Friends'-a-jolt-of-girl-power

So in case you haven't heard, Mattel is going to begin a drastic revamp of the Thomas and Friends brand. This raises the question of what's going to happen to the Bachmann Thomas range? Let's make one thing clear; it's probably not going to be cancelled, so we can rule that out. What I'm talking about however, is the direction that the Bachmann range will go:

Will Mattel force Bachmann to make newer products to appeal to this rebranding, or will Mattel allow Bachmann to be loyal to a fanbase that they already know will buy their products, and knows that said fanbase consists of older fans who want certain products?

Personally, I feel that Bachmann should "wrap up" any loose ends of classic characters before moving on to newer characters. Off the top of my head, I'm mainly thinking of engines like Daisy, Sir Handel, Peter Sam, and Duncan (all of whom are characters who are in CGI now). At this point, I wouldn't really count on or expect engines like Duke, Boco, or Stepney. If Bachmann could clear those classic characters out the way, I think the future of the ranges engines would be fairly open-game. The fans of the Bachmann Thomas range would also be much more tolerant of new engines being made if the classic characters are made first, I feel.

Another thing to consider is how well is this risky experiment Mattels doing going to be? Unlike Wood, Adventures and other toy ranges who can spit out any new character with relative ease, Bachmann has to carefully consider the long-term success of their Thomas engines, due to how complicated and how much resources it takes to make an engine.

On the note of rolling stock:

The future of rolling stock is harder to say, as it seems now we're getting much more creative ideas with the freight cars (Sodor Salt, Lobsters, Farmer McColls cattle car etc.). Toolings also seem to be more open-ended as Bachmann seems to be extending the library of wagons to the Branchlines range (Toad, McColls cattle car). There are a few select wagons I would like to see Bachmann make though, such as the Works Unit, the long bogied open wagons (seen mainly in Nitrogen episodes and the classic series like Henry's Forest), and a re-release of the Flatbed. Updating the Brake Van to resemble its Large Scale NW counterpart would be fun too. OO9 wise, I think most fans would be happy to see the blue/cream Skarloey Railway coaches be made.

We know the admins of the Bachmann Forum read our posts closely and consider seriously what we say, so I think this is a good time for the Bachmann fans to speak up at a time when the franchise is about to go through some serious changes.
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Chaz


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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2017, 02:47:55 PM »

Here are my honest thoughts:

For HO, I completely agree that Daisy would be the best candidate with strong sales following her just like the Duck and Oliver models, and would probably do better long term as she has never had an HO/OO model of her produced prior by Hornby like Donald and Douglas.  Mattel seems to have "over-used" Daisy given by the amount of roles of screentime but no marketing or merchandise has ever come her way.  I think if Mattel were to have any range make Daisy at all it should be Bachmann as the majority of classic characters who have been produced have had a lot more popular sales and hype prior to their release date which can be more than said for Paxton and Rosie.  Even though Paxton is delayed, I think Daisy has a simple enough tooling for Bachmann to work with and would do better than any standard 08 repaint.  Hopefully she will be considered before any of these new characters in the new direction of the series.

HO rolling stock, honestly, I don't see much going their way in terms of any drastic changes.  Every piece of rolling stock in recent years they have been doing have been recolors with both Mainline and Branchline toolings.  More recolors of these would be welcome, as long as they aren't as gimmicky like the lobster decals.  Beyond that we haven't seen HO go for new toolings for standard gauge rolling stock for a long time so I think more classic recolors would be the best I can see from them.  Personally I don't see the new direction of the series affecting what comes out for HO rolling stock.

Now for narrow gauge:

I am genuinely not worried about this range, since it seems more likely than not at this point that they will finish with the original six narrow gauge engines before moving onto any of the newer ones.  I'm also equally confident in the narrow gauge rolling stock as well, especially with how the slate wagons turned out.  I wouldn't mind seeing more rolling stock for this range go in this same direction.

As for large scale... well everyone can really kiss the odds of large scale Edward happening now, let alone Henry.  Not saying I would expect Gordon anytime soon, but at least they are still keeping him as a main character.  All that aside, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the large scale range stopped making products after a few years considering how poor the large scale market has been in general, regardless of which direction the show goes into.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 03:37:49 PM by Chaz » Logged
Sparks


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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2017, 03:04:37 PM »

I forgot about the Large Scale range; I could see it being used a guinea pig to shove in newer characters and ideas that Mattel wants Bachmann to do, but doesn't want to do in the HO range. Especially since Large Scale is the range that appeals to a wider, less niche audience.

Also to note, this isn't necessarily a Bachmann 2018 range, didn't mean it to be that way. This is for discussing the direction the range as a whole goes in the future, and how we as the fans feel it should be handled. I do think it's important to address that if these specific classic characters are pushed out the door though, that the blow to moving to newer characters would definitely be softened and more well-received.
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Chaz


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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2017, 03:16:58 PM »

Fair enough, I was mainly stating ideas of what would work best at this time not necessarily 2018 by itself.  Felt it was necessary to get my views on other classic ideas out there before the newer characters were to ever be made.  I agree on the idea that Daisy being announced/made before Nia and Rebecca would be the wisest move on Bachmann's part since it would not only have better fan reception but Daisy, as well as the rest of the original narrow gauge engines being made first would allow for a much smoother transition.

I did just make some changes in my post for clarity.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 03:33:41 PM by Chaz » Logged
Chaz


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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2017, 12:10:17 AM »

One thing I forgot to mention in my post that I figured was worth mentioning:

As some of you may know Spencer and Emily were announced in 2005 but came out in 2006 and 2007 respectively.  While Spencer came out of nowhere, Emily made perfect sense since she was a main character despite being around for only two years.  Sadly I have a feeling Mattel will get Bachmann to get Nia and Rebecca in the range in the same short amount of time despite more demand and promising sales coming for Daisy.  It's pretty much why my only concern for the future of the Bachmann range will only be for their standard HO line in terms of locomotives but not rolling stock or the narrow gauge and large scale lines. 
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TrainFan97


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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2017, 01:06:18 AM »

I highly doubt Nia and Rebecca will be made right away, but there is a good chance they'd get announced in 2019, if not, 2020.

We just got to keep hoping for Daisy. There's still hope for her.

If Nia or Rebecca get announced right away, their sales will be poor, especially because not enough is known about them yet, and the new show won't be released until next fall.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 01:31:36 AM by TrainFan97 » Logged
JLK2707

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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2017, 09:31:23 AM »

What makes you think that Bachmann will never make a large scale Edward now? Also, does this mean that Edward and Henry will no longer be the railways numbers 2 and 3 due to Nia and Rebecca taking their places?
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Griffin


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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2017, 09:49:13 AM »

I'll be honest, following the news of all these changes to Thomas, I knew my interest in the show wasn't long for this world. They are twisting something I once loved into an unrecognizable PC pandering mess and I can't stay and just watch as the show slowly creeps towards its inevitable demise. This choice by Mattel is, in my eyes, the worst decision ever made for the show. This tops anything that we've ever had to deal with in the past, Miller Era or otherwise. This isn't a justifiable change like I believe the switch from models to CGI was. That, at least, made some sense. This is just a desperate swipe at becoming relevant and modern, which was never what Thomas aspired to be. Mattel claims this change comes as a result of falling toy sales- I say the falling toy sales are not a byproduct of a lack of diversity and modernity within the show, but rather simply because the toys produced since Mattel took over are garbage. I am not an expert in business, nor do I claim to understand the inner workings of Thomas and Friends. However, I do have enough common sense to know that when I walk into a store and see that the Thomas toys aren't selling, it is probably because they are not worth the money they are asking.

However, because this is the Bachmann forums I won't go off on a total tangent about why this is such as bad move. I do believe we will see these new characters represented in HO produced by Bachmann in February of 2019. By that point, the movie will already be out, and the show will be well on its way. I would not be surprised at all to see HO Henry and Edward phased out either- although many claim that this change is not permanent, I'd be surprised if after all this "hard work" to redefine the show the team is just going to revert to the traditional storytelling that we were all so contented with. Therefore, although initially I saw Bachmann as the fan's last resort for models that stayed true to the original show, I have little doubt now that Bachmann's line is not safe from these new changes.

Personally, after finding out about the revamp, my motivation to do anything with Thomas again simply disappeared. All my Bachmann engines are packed away and I am planning a layout centered around real-life British operation. Why waste my time and money on a show that isn't worth either?

You all are entitled to your beliefs of course, but as I see it, Thomas as we once knew it is gone. I would love nothing more than to be proven wrong, but I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. Whether you decide to continue to support the new show or not is up to you.
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Waiting for Bachmann Stepney...
Chaz


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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2017, 04:46:18 PM »

Keep in mind that I never said that those two would be announced next year but since they will be main characters next year, Nia and Rebecca will be inevitable additions in the range, regardless of pricing (or Mattel's logic...).  I'd expect them to get announced most likely in 2020/2021 since they will "officially" be introduced next year.

I also wouldn't expect this would mean Edward and Henry would be dropped from Bachmann since their sales are still fairly strong according to the bestsellers list.  I'd bet on other characters like Arry and Bert, Rosie, and Bill and Ben to be dropped before those two.  I definitely do think that their sales could gradually decrease because of the change but that's the worst I see happening with their HO models. 
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Metal


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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2017, 05:16:46 PM »

While everyone is saddened by the direction the the show is going. I'm actually abit calm about this. If you really think about it. This isn't the only time the show was revamped, it's been happening since S4 ended, since the previous revamp starting S17, every season was like an experiment, and each one of them worked for the most part at least. However looking at this, it's sad to see the franchise undergo an SJW makeover, but the bigger picture is, the current cultural trend of 'quote, unquote' female empowerment and cultural diversity is just a fad. Never mind those noisy activists that don't seem to have anything better to do other then sit around in Starbucks. They're just a small group of people who unfortunately at this time, could pinpoint where the culture is heading. But at the end of the day, the average person that wakes up in the morning to go to work, and come home to his wife and kids, go goes out with friends aren't interested in this garbage, these are the people that make up the majority of consumers.

Also looking on the responses from not just fans on Twiiter, but from parents on the the Official Thomas Facebook page, and they aren't happy about the changes as well.

Response from parents if you want to get what I'm talking about. https://www.facebook.com/ThomasandFriendsUS/photos/pb.160515869555.-2207520000.1508095035./10155751034089556/?type=3&theater

The producers say this is a risk, I see this is politically motivated marketing that will cause them to crash and burn.
So yes the show is perhaps gonna get worse before it gets better again, such a shame really considering what we've been given over the last few seasons.

Moving on to Bachmann

I have hopes that the range won't be affected as much, compared to the other ranges like Wood and Adventures. The Bachmann NG range is still considered new, and the Skarloey Railway in the entirety of the show is vastly overshadowed by the standard gauge engines. The good news is that half of the original classic 6 NG characters are already done, that leaves my bet on either Peter Sam being next.

For the HO/OO range, many including myself would love to see Daisy. However if Bachmann is turning to CGI Characters there should at least a happy medium, there's quite a few of these characters that have an appeal to both younger and older fans alike, (eg. Hiro,Ryan). There's very few of the classic characters left, but at the same time there's few CGI characters to choose from. A lot of them have  small designs, (eg. Scruff, Dart, Stephen, Stafford), or too gimmicky designs (Belle, Flynn, Marion etc).
Overall if Bachmann is gonna do CGI characters to meet up with their licenser wants, they should make careful decisions.

There's my two cents.

Might consider talking more about female characters, cultural diversity, etc, in the show another time.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 02:03:18 AM by Metal » Logged
TrainFan97


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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2017, 04:56:54 PM »

I noticed some of my posts were removed by a mod.

I didn't mean any harm or upset, though I will admit that I did go a little overboard with the jokes, meme, and dissing. I did bring up some touchy things. This is the Bachmann forum. This is not the place to spout memes, or diss, making fun of Mattel. I will refrain from doing that from now on.

When I was talking about the toys, I was not referring to the Bachmann models, which I actually love. I was referring to the toys you'd see in the toy aisle in your local store.

When I was talking about how many reviews Rosie has compared to Oliver, I never said I hated Bachmann Rosie. I just recently added her to my collection, and she's a great model. I'm really looking forward to Paxton.

Again, I didn't mean any offense, or upset. I'm sorry if I caused any trouble. I won't make anymore bad jokes. Now, let's try to talk about better things. I've calmed down now.

To quote Edward from a certain episode: "All this grumbling spreads bad atmosphere in the yard."
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 05:33:07 PM by TrainFan97 » Logged
TerencetheTractor525


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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2017, 09:21:33 PM »

It's been a while since I have posted something on the forum. However, this is something that could not resist commenting on.

To begin, just like everyone here, I am not very happy with the decision that Mattel has made regarding Nia and Rebecca. I would have certainly welcomed them as new characters to the series. However, having them replace Edward and Henry is simply unjustifiable. It also seems that the two new characters will be inevitable additions to the Bachmann range. However, I have a feeling that Nia and Rebecca will be announced in 2020 since that will be the year of Thomas' 75th Anniversary and the two will become significant characters throughout the series.

I also agree that an HO Daisy would be an extremely smart investment and am very happy that Sparks brought this up. However, in order for a Bachmann Daisy to be successful, next year would be the time to announce her. If not in 2018, then definitely in 2019. One reason is that no other Thomas brand has made Daisy with the exception of Adventures, which I find rather odd. In addition, Daisy has recently made many more appearances in both Season 20 and Season 21. As a result, not only older fans would purchase her, but younger fans as well. Moreover, we all know that Bachmann likes to take their with their models in order to get them to perfection. Oliver is a perfect example. That is why the sooner that they announce her, the better.

I know that many of the things I have mentioned are rather redundant, but these are important points that need to emphasized. Overall, if there is a loco for the 2018 Announcements, I have a feeling that it will be Sidney, Ryan, or Daisy. Hopefully, it will be Daisy.

I am 100% sure that an HO Daisy will be one of the best investments that Bachmann has ever made.
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TrainFan97


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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2017, 09:38:34 PM »

Rebecca would be the first tender engine since Donald and Douglas.
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JLK2707

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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2017, 09:31:53 AM »

I am just wondering why they never thought to have an extra berth at Tidmouth Sheds so that they could accommodate for eight engines. They should add Rosie to the steam team at Tidmouth Sheds so that way they can have an equal amount of guys and girls there. Another option for the steam team should be bringing back Molly into CGI so as to extend the current steam team to ten characters - five males and five females. It would go like this:

1. Thomas
2. Rebecca
3. Nia
4. Gordon
5. James
6. Percy
7. Toby
8. Emily
9. Molly
10. Rosie
 
What do you think?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 09:39:00 AM by JLK2707 » Logged
TrainFan97


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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2017, 01:17:37 PM »

I am 100% sure that an HO Daisy will be one of the best investments that Bachmann has ever made.

I couldn't have put it better myself. Daisy is really starting to get a demand.
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