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February 18, 2019, 11:21:35 PM
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1  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2020 on: Today at 03:11:27 AM
I wouldn't really call it economically smart when it's alienating an entirely pre-existing range. So yes, I absolutely think and maintain that the range should be consistently scaled with Tomix. It has an objective benefit of being easier for young modellers to handle, and would allow the tooling to be distinctly Thomas. I think scaling the range to British equipment has its benefits in terms of rolling stock, but I think in the long run it makes things more complicated for Thomas collectors specifically. Americans never minded the scale of the Tomix Thomas range much, and British N scale is a much more niche scale in the UK than OO is.

Basically, we'll just have to see what happens when they reveal images of the upcoming range. If we're lucky, we'll see something in the catalog whenever it comes out. Neither outcome would really surprise me, though.

Course, I have low expectations despite my personal opinions.

The Tomix range is actually easily on Amazon and eBay. Anyone who has any marginal desire to collect the Tomix range has plenty of options online. The only thing that does make them rare is to older N scalers that have a hard time ordering stuff online. However, the more I thought on this point, the more I consider redacting it since that becomes more and more a moot point in 2019. Point is, the Tomix range is accessible within a few clicks and short keyboard strokes. eBay currently has.. 166 international results for various Thomas items.

This is just a snippet of what you can find, and as it's clear to see there's an absolute wealth of the range readily available online.
2  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2020 on: February 17, 2019, 07:17:17 PM
Yes which is what I said, because you have to keep in mind metre gauge vs standard gauge as well, which is where it rebounds back into the Thomas engines being larger because Japanese rolling stock in metre gauge is usually smaller. It's not gonna be a 1:1 proportion in any regard because the (Tomix) Thomas designs are a loose representation of British rolling stock (the show is properly Gauge 1 but that's a whole nother can of worms).

Either way, the bottom line is as said already; Bachmann UKs Graham Farish range is a different scale, so it makes the Tomix range look too large in comparison. The two ways to go about it are to scale the Bachmann Thomas N scale to Graham Farish's scale and have access to more rolling stock and British engines in the same scale, at the expense of alienating the pre-existing Tomix range. The second option is the vice versa; making it proportionate to Tomix and thus looking in-scale with James, Henry, and the other buildings (all of which are currently available in the deluxe set that sports the CGI Thomas face), but alienating British N scalers a bit.

What will probably make the call in the long run is if Bachmann re-uses Graham Farish toolings for the rolling stock or not. If the wagon toolings are entirely new, then I expect Bachmann will make the N Scale range larger for the same reasons you said Tomix did; to make it easier for kids to handle and use.
3  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2020 on: February 17, 2019, 06:56:28 PM
That's exactly what I was referring to, though, so I dunno what you're saying.
4  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2020 on: February 17, 2019, 06:27:17 PM
The Tomix equipment is in scale with Japanese N scale (1∶150) rolling stock, which is metre gauge rather than standard gauge. British N scale (1∶148) is to standard gauge, and thus a different scale entirely.

Personally, I hold the opposite opinion; not scaling them to Tomix would be shooting themselves in the foot, as it means the two ranges would look inconsistent. Think of how the Bachmann and Hornby ranges were always bought together and mixed because they were the same scale. Tomix and Bachmann could benefit from the same ordeal. In the next few years, if Bachmann makes tankers, vent vans, a brake van, etc. they would all be compatible with the Tomix range. There is the advantage of being in-scale with British N scale, but as far as we know, the range isn't even being sold in the UK yet, and is probably being designed with American N scale layouts in mind. It's something we'll hopefully have answers to soon.
5  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2020 on: February 16, 2019, 12:57:03 PM
Bachmann doesn’t listen to what we want, they make their decisions off of what Mattel wants and what fits their budgets.
If that was the case they would've never made items like the Spiteful Brakevan, Duck, or Skarloey. They listen to consumers because consumers buy their product. There is also a difference between listening and actually doing. They do listen to what we request, but Bachmann also does what is the most reasonable for them to manufacture, and they are always trying to balance the best of both worlds within their budget. If they don't make items people want, nobody will buy them. What Mattel does is approve or deny product propositions Bachmann thinks of doing, and then approves or denies designs as they go along the development line. Sometimes this can be a factor as to why items take longer to make.
6  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2020 on: February 16, 2019, 12:50:31 PM
Woof. A little early, don't you think, boyos? We're only another ~365 days out from the official reveals.
It gives Bachmann a pretty good idea of what products people want.

Of course to me, it's not like too much is gonna change in terms of wishlists. We're still gonna wish for engines like Stepney and Daisy, but still expect engines like LBSC Thomas or Sidney. Only difference now is N scale items will be added to said wishlists.
7  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: N Scale Bachmann Thomas on: February 16, 2019, 12:48:28 PM
A thing people need to remember is for over 10 years (and still, despite the re-release) Tomix is not easily available to the Western market. While younger people like us are savvy enough to use websites like eBay or Amazon to find them, your average joe N scale modeller who has grandchildren would likely not get an N scale Thomas unless it was available at their local hobby store. Bachmann sees a potential market here with how many N scalers there are in the USA to get them a more-accessible Thomas and Percy.
8  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: 2019 Official Announcements on: February 15, 2019, 02:11:32 PM
Initial thoughts;

Everyone expected Red Rosie so at least they're getting her out the way first. It seems Bachmann is going to keep milking existing toolings in the HO range for a long time. Maybe someday we'll get a new engine, but it seems less and less likely each year.

The new wagons, I expect will be these, since their designs are in other ranges already;



The mining wagon will likely be one of these;




If they bring the Mainline Hopper into the range, I'd be surprised.

N Scale is unexpected, but honestly not a surprise; there were several discussions made about N scale Thomas being made last year, and a lot of people collected the Tomix Thomas range recently, so Bachmann must see a potential market there. If they end up using the Graham Farish wagons though, I'd be disappointed as they'd be much smaller scale compared to the Tomix toolings.


As for the Flat Wagon w/ Logs; here's hoping it's the former Flatbed w/ Paint Drums tooling, and not the RF Container Wagon or Well Wagon toolings by accident... Logically, it -should- be the former hopefully.

Hopefully when the catalog goes up, we'll know for sure of everything.
9  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: The Everything Thomas Thread on: February 09, 2019, 07:29:38 PM
I think for me it's less of a "what if they used the prototype designs" and more at this point just wishing they would make a newer version of Thomas, Percy and James' tooling entirely. Of course, while I would much prefer them use the model references, they would use the CGI proportions/references if they made a new Thomas, Percy and James. This would be particularly weird when James is an absolute, out of scale giant in CGI.
10  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2019 on: February 08, 2019, 09:13:22 PM
By "deal with it" do you mean not give our money to products we don't want and voice our disinterest because the only way a company can improve its product line is through customer feedback, aka the same process of Facebook Moms voicing to Mattel that their kids didn't like Thomas & Friends Wood, so Mattel took the brand back and redid the paintjobs (though we'll see how that pans out in the long run)
11  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: The Everything Thomas Thread on: February 05, 2019, 11:44:55 PM


I found the Salt Van and CCT, so I'm playing around in Photoshop at possible designs. Wish I could find images of the two vent vans, as I feel like those have potential, too. Might try out other ideas and suggestions people make. Same with an open plank wagon.
12  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: The Everything Thomas Thread on: February 05, 2019, 10:18:06 PM

By an off beat chance, does anyone have the concept art images of other Thomas rolling stock like this? I know there's low resolution ones in the yearbooks, but I'm looking for the high resolution images. I've found the large scale tankers, but would prefer HO/OO wagons.
13  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Large Scale Thomas on: February 04, 2019, 02:11:07 PM
Cancelling the line would be shooting themselves in the foot since Bachmann has straight up said at NRMA that the Thomas range is a huge revenue bringer for the company. Cost cuts and production scale backs are likely but it'd be bad news for them if they had to end the line.
14  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2019 on: January 17, 2019, 06:35:22 PM
Bachmann is probably making wagons from the Trackmaster lines, as well as making up their own colorful wagons because they already milked the fairly normal-looking wagons years ago. The salt van, the M wagon, coal wagon, blue wagon, etc. were all wagons that were already in the show, and Bachmann for the most part, has blown through every option possible. The only thing I haven't really seen them do is...
- Flat Bed with different loads
- Container flat wagon with different loads (could repurpose the crate from the Christmas set easily)
- Dark brown or black variations of the vent vans, open wagons, and Mail Car
- Circus Train (the most surprising, to me)

It's no surprise Bachmanns making up their own stuff when they've already made rolling stock of most things in the show. Anything else would basically require a whole new tooling (like the Works Unit). Unless Bachmann suddenly feels a valid reason to make new toolings that are more accurate to the way items are in the show (and if they do, get ready for CGI proportioned wagons instead of Season 1-12, which would be better proportioned, but minor details like that get lost when you're adapting a kids shows content into toys for a strictly business reason)

Basically, don't expect much interesting OO wagons for a long time, if ever again. Bachmanns best bet to keep things fresh and interesting is trucks with model era-style Troublesome Truck faces. CGI faces just aren't as interesting or expressive, and don't hold a niche collectors interest.

There's plenty of building ideas, and I still stand by the ones I've mentioned before:
These are all very interesting choices. One thing I was wanting to bring up in the future was the importance of whether buildings need to be resin or plastic. Resin buildings do look much better and much more accurate, but they are also more expensive to make and sell. I think if the smaller accessories like the water tower were made of plastic, it would be fine, but I feel like bigger buildings like stations, sheds, and warehouses come out looking better visually when they're made with resin.

It's a shame that it seems Bachmann has narrowed down on resin buildings, but I would still like to see a few more made. It makes me wonder if the initial resin buildings didn't sell well, hence the lack of a third round.

Sheds:
We definitely could use a narrow gauge shed. I'd agree that any narrow gauge shed would be acceptable, but my personal preference would be the ones from Season 4:


Castle:
I'll echo the ruined castle as well. Those are a classic icon of Thomas imagery, and representation in the range would be highly welcome. While there are many ruined castles you can buy from any store, the Thomas ones always had a unique design that resonated with my mind.

Retaining Wall:
I like the idea of a retaining wall; I think if they wanted to go for something that has a distinctly "Thomas" design, they should make the retaining walls seen throughout the early seasons:

The show practically already designed the product here! You can see where it cuts off after 4 arches. Customers could thus be allowed to decide how many segments they want their wall to extend by buying more segments as they wish. I also always liked how this particular wall segment had a roof-like piece to it, making it even taller, and adding to that uniquely Thomas "look." (most likely to hide parts of the sets back then).

Stations:
Ffarquhuar Station also seems like a no-brainer. It's the most iconic station in the show next to Knapford, having been on the introduction seen on nearly every VHS and many DVDs.

I'm more surprised you didn't mention Dryaw Station instead of Callan Station; Dryaw would have a higher chance, since it has appeared in CGI in many episodes lately. Bachmann also already made the Nissen shed, as well as Harold who would go nicely next to Dryaw. This would also give Bachmann a chance to make a footbridge and additional platforms, in a similar vein that Hornby did their own Dryaw. The Round water tower is also at the back of Dryaw, so it'd be yet another item already in the Thomas range that could tie it all together.


The Signal Gantry:
I've made many posts before about the Signal Gantry, and I'd agree it belongs in the range as well. I wrote about it in greater detail in a previous post:

I would like to see the Signal Gantry Junction personally:


In CGI, it has a four track and a three track variation. The difference is how many arches/poles it has:



Both versions appear in various scenes up to Season 21. Personally, I prefer the four track variation, where it only has two passage ways (as per the model picture), as it has been around in that form since the Classic Series. The 3 passage way version was introduced in Season 17.

I think overall... A narrow gauge shed, a ruined castle, Ffarquhaur or Dryaw, and a signal gantry ties in to a nice 4-6 or so products to focus on for a future year. That's where I'll stop for now, until I get more ideas.
15  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2019 on: January 14, 2019, 11:54:16 PM
Maybe Bachmann would have more room for toolings of engines people would actually buy, like Stepney or Daisy, if they don't put any more resources into things like Chuggington... I think an HO -and- an O scale line is quite enough, and I think the sales of each range are testament to that.

They could announce a flatbed with a pile of dust as a load for all I care as long as we get Stepney or Daisy with it, in all honesty.

And if they're gonna make more OO9 engines as a PR recently said, then by all means, please, do Sir Handel and Peter Sam.
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