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Author Topic: OFFICIAL 2018 ANNOUNCEMENTS  (Read 39109 times)

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« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2018, 09:40:52 PM »

So, I've refrained recently from posting my predictions for this year's announcements, I didn't think I had much ton contribute to the conversation, my opinions hadn't changed much anyway so I figured it was pointless to post the same things over and over again. Anyway, I thought I'd give my feedback on the actual announcements here.

HO Range:
Despite being announced last year, it seems we do have an image of Paxton in the catalogue, the red siderods are nice, but it seems hard to get into the real nitty-gritty of it without a better and more clear display image.

Grumpy Diesel:
This just seems like a bad idea to me, especially when his regular "happy CGI" counterpart is still in the catalogue. I think if the need for a face change was in this much demand, the new faceplate and eyes should've just been put up on Bachmann's "Parts" catalogue, I think it'd be a much more cost-effective way of doing things, as I don't particularly see many people going out of their way to buy this one. I like the idea of Diesel with a new face, but I'll probably just order the faceplate separately. Come to think of it, separate faceplates on the parts catalogue are probably a good idea, fans have been clamouring for new James, Thomas and Percy faceplates, just as much (if not more) than they have for a new one for Diesel. This seems like a concept more suited to a range like Trackmaster than Bachmann.

Gordon's Express Coaches:
These have been in high demand since they were discontinued so it makes perfect sense to me as to why they're back. I think they'll sell well enough to justify their catalogue presence.

The tankers:
I don't even know what to say here...I mean I guess these are better than the Green Mail Car, but I still think the vans last year were a better idea. I don't think these are awful by any means...just...not the best choice. Personally (as mocked as the idea is) I would've rather just seen one tanker released with a face...I think that would sell better than both of these two combined. But I'm willing to be proved wrong. Still better than the Green Mail Car in my opinion though.

Spiteful breakvan:
I really look forward to how this one turns out! Even though he was a one-off character in Season 2, he left his mark with classic fans, and I look forward to seeing his model. I just hope his face is accurate to the Season 2 model (as I doubt they'll bas it on the RWS design).

NG Range:
I'm not surprised by the lack of a new Engine here, we still don't have a prototype model for Rusty yet. My theory here is actually similar to what people suggested with Oliver. Bachmann's probably having difficulty balancing the new CGI design with what fans want and will likely sell better - that being a design closer to that of Rusty's basis "Midlander". Also no one I've talked to wants that oversized face that Rusty's had since Season 5...which probably gives Bachmann a headache, as they want to please fans, yet Mattel will want something that looks close to the current CGI design. Bachmann aren't exactly in an easy spot with this one right now, methinks.

Anyway, onto the Coaches:
I was very pleasantly surprised to see the Blue Coaches on here, I'm extremely happy they're being made. They were in a fairly good demand from fans like myself, but since they hadn't been seen since Season 10, I had my doubts. I am extremely happy that these doubts were dashed. I hope they do use a different tooling than the Red Coaches, as these appear to be based on the CGI coaches, which have designs that are a bit overscaled. As for the Red Coaches...well, I'm a sucker for the classic series personally, so these don't interest me as much as the classic Red Coaches would, but I do understand they are based off the current design, what kids will recognise from the current TV series, etc. I can't complain too much here, I'm just happy we're getting coaches. I find it interesting that (if memory serves me right) Chaz predicted these a couple of months back in last year...regardless, I'm glad they're happening.

I hope we see a Brown Brakevan and a Blue Brakevan next year, to accompany the freight stock in this range, and the Red and Blue Coaches respectively. Hopefully the classic Red Coaches will crop up in the range at some point. Considering they all have "1" marked on their sides, they could be marketed as First Class Coaches, or something. Yet I doubt this. Even so, I'm happy enough with the current selection. I doubt we'll see the green "open air" coaches from Bachmann in the future. So for now, it seems like this is the only passenger rolling stock we'll get, though I am happy to see the coaches announced this year, instead of yet more freight wagons, as it brings in some rolling stock diversity.

LS Range:
I don't see these selling well, at all. I get they're recolours, so it's cheap and makes sense from a financial perspective, but...come on. Did anyone actually ask for these? I don't think so.

HO Brake Van:
The old one was really showing its age anyway, we used to have half a thread dedicated to how much this item of rolling stock needed an upgrade, hopefully the spiteful brakevan is the upgrade we desire, and not just a face slapped on the old model, without (at the very least) updating the paintwork of it.

Emily's Passenger Set:
Out of all of these, Emily's Passenger Set does make the most sense. The sets with Thomas do tend to sell better as introductory sets into the range, because Thomas is the main character, I'm pretty sure the only reason Emily's set stuck around this long was because she's the main female steam engine in the show. I mean, the James, Gordon, Percy and I believe Salty sets all disappeared a while back. I can't say I'm too surprised here.

McColl's cattle wagon:
Considering even the forum seemed to forget about this wagon in discussion, I can't say I'm overly we already have the regular Cattle Wagon, along with the GWR one, and TT#3, to be honest, this item being canceled isn't actually a surprise to me, when I heard its announcement I thought they might be overdoing it on the Cattle Wagons, turns out that may have been right.

Large Scale Thomas Set:
This seems nonsensical at best to me, sets are usually a good way to bring new people into the hobby, to not have one available in the LS Thomas Range makes me seriously think if maybe even Bachmann thinks the days of this range are numbered. I don't feel like this was the best business decision (though who am I to judge that?), I  do think, however, that it could be a bad sign of things to come.

Large Scale Diesel:
...Why? At least the basic tooling for this one is easily workable into recolours for characters like Paxton and Sidney...the tooling is versatile, and whilst a lot of people weren't thrilled with Diesel, I think most of the large scale collector's still would've liked a model of him...

'Arry and Bert:
Surprised these two are still on the catalogue and haven't already been discontinued, especially considering their discontinuation has been predicted for years.

No one [will] pay for a whole new engine unless they need a new Diesel anyway.
I feel like that is really the only logical reason for someone to buy "Grumpy Diesel" if they didn't get the first one.  Same could be said for those who missed out on Gordon's coaches.
I agree with these statements. Let's just hope Grumpy Diesel is less prone to buffer miscolours than the normal Diesel model.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 01:30:27 AM by AJW98Productions » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2018, 12:38:03 AM »

Having been vouching for the Spiteful Brakevan to be made into the range for over 10 years, I have to consider that the second-best item we're getting this year. The winner of the announcements is the fact that we're getting Narrow Gauge coaches, though. The question is, are they going to be repaints of the PECO tooling, or original toolings made by Bachmann as per the slate wagons? Time will tell on that matter.

Anyway, time to address the elephant in the room:

No narrow gauge engine, it's a bit sad but expected. However, the HO scale engine choice on the other hand... Yikes. Lots of people complained that Bachmann Diesel had a happy face instead of a face, true, and it's great to see that being addressed but... I think having this be the -only- HO/OO engine of 2018 was a really, really bad idea. The backlash on the forum and on Twitter is through the roof.

To add, it almost seems.. Excessive to release an entirely new variation of Diesel when the only difference is... His face. It seems like selling a separate faceplate at a cheap value would've been more cost-effective. The only way I see this working is if Bachmann has plans to phase out the normal, happy Diesel and eventually only sell "Grumpy Diesel."

Grumpy Diesel is a good idea in its own right, but releasing no other engine along side him was a poor decision, and has damaged peoples faith and trust in the brand in a matter of hours. This combined with the supposed cancellation of the Large Scale Diesel and Farmer McColl wagon isn't helping that any.

Overall, I feel like Bachmann is running on a budget this year, and it shows. Whatever issues are going on internally, hopefully Bachmann sorts out the problems by 2019. Here's to another 365 days of vouching for Daisy and Sir Handel (or Peter Sam or Duncan, really).

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« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2018, 01:18:30 AM »

Well stated Alex and Sparks.

Sparks, I remember coming across the narrow gauge thread that you created back in the 2014 right before Skarloey was announced and just want to thank you for that. I personally think that you are one of the main reasons why we have this wonderful narrow gauge range.

Alex, I remember reading your thorough posts of how much you wanted to see Bachmann make blue and white narrow gauge coaches with that beautiful picture of Duke pulling them up the hill. And, I don't blame you. They are wonderful coaches. I remember you also having doubts since they never appeared in the CGI Series. However, Bachmann surprised all of us as they always do! Having the blue coaches based off of the model series and the red coaches based off of the CGI Series is nice compromise in my opinion. This is yet another reason why I will remain optimistic on Daisy and those resin buildings I would love to eventually see in the range as well.

Regarding the narrow gauge coaches, there are two things that I must mention to Bachmann, as they would be very important to us fans.

One, which I already stated, is that the toolings of the blue coaches should be different from the red coaches, especially since there was no new narrow gauge engine announced this year. The blue coach is based off of the Talyllyn Railway's No. 4 Coach and the red coach is based off of the Talyllyn Railway's No. 1-3 coaches. Avid fans know the differences in design from the spacing of the windows to the overall height. Therefore, I see this as a crucial factor that will make both coaches much more marketable.

The second factor is regarding the blue coach's color scheme. This reason why I am mentioning this is that the blue box van that is currently in the range is nowhere near the color of the iconic narrow gauge blue coach. I sincerely hope that Bachmann takes the correct blue scheme into consideration. But, what do you guys think? Would you be fine with the box van shade of blue? Or, would you like to see that iconic light blue color that we all remember from the show?

As for the red coaches, I'm not worried about the shade of red since it has stayed the same throughout the show and is the same shade as the red box van that is currently in the range.

I pasted a link to the narrow gauge coaches on the Thomas Wikia below just in case it helps the people of Bachmann in any way.

Overall, I really think that Bachmann should take as much time as they need on these coaches in order to get them to the perfection that us fans ever so desire. Wouldn't you guys agree?  Smiley
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 01:20:37 AM by TerencetheTractor525 » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2018, 01:19:50 AM »

Last year's announcements we're really hit and miss in my opinion, but the 2018 announcements are mostly a letdown.  To be fair, you can't really blame Bachmann for this because in the end it's Mattel that has the final say in what makes it onto the market.  The way I see it, they really screwed things up far worse than last year, and needless to say many (myself included) are not happy with the outcome.

To begin with, the only things I see really beneficial to the HO range is the return of the Express Coaches and that we're getting the Spiteful Brakevan.  The Express Coaches have been in demand for quite some time now, and it's great to see them finally return to the range.  It does have me curious though whether or not Bachmann plans to use the same tooling as before, or if they plan on making the coaches more CGI accurate?  I've already heard one theory which says they may just reuse Spencer's Coach's tooling, but again that's just a theory.  My money is honestly on Bachmann just dragging out the old tooling again.

The Spiteful Brakevan is also a welcome addition because as many people see it, this should have been announced last year and before/instead of being announced in Large Scale.  It's also nice to see that they've retired the old Brakevan in what I believe is an exchange for the Spiteful one.  Other than this and the Express Coaches, that's basically it in terms of good rolling stock additions.  The tankers on the other hand are not an impressive addition, and I might just leave it at that...

Grumpy Diesel is by far the one that caught everyone off guard.  Yes we're getting a new face (which may or may not be more appropriate for Diesel's character), but couldn't that time spent retooling Diesel's face been put to better use by making Sidney's face and Sidney himself?  I'm also curious as to why we need both a happy and grumpy Diesel in the range?  I think it would make more sense just to replace the old face no one wanted.  Still many welcome this addition simply just for the face, but I'm also willing to bet out of all the parts Bachmann offers for Diesel, his grumpy face won't be one of them.  Also, can we "PLEASE" get off the whole Daisy topic already?  That ship has sailed, and sank too...

Narrow gauge in my opinion is the range that really made out this year.  Many would have been happy with a brakevan and/or tipper wagons, but instead we got coaches which seemed unlikely.  Still this is by far a very positive thing because as Mr. AJW98 said in his post, it does in fact bring in some rolling stock diversity to the range.  It is however a bit of a downer not to see Peter Sam announced (considering his demand), but with literally no updates on Rusty, it's somewhat not a surprise.  Hopefully in the future we can expect to see him, along with a breakvan to go with our coaches.  I also agree with Mr. TerrencetheTractor525 that it would be nice to see some resin buildings for narrow gauge as well in the future.

And lastly there is Large Scale which in my opinion has finally hit rock bottom.   I have to admit that the choice of 3 new tanker recolors is beyond lazy.  It literally has me asking the question what was Mattel thinking when they made this decision?  On second thought, I don't even want to know...  There was far more demand for rolling stock such as the Red Coaches or a Troublesome Van, but instead we got 3 tankers that honestly no one even asked for.  If Mattel was really hell-bent on tanker recolors, why not bring back the Oil Tanker and put a face on it?  I guarantee a troublesome tanker would've sold a lot better than a Toffee Tanker...

When also considering the fact Diesel has been canceled, I have strong doubts (as do others) that we will be seeing any other engine characters in the range.  I personally had my heart set on Mavis and/or Edward in the future, but the recent news on Diesel has me rethinking the chance of any new engines coming into the range.  As a friend of mine told me and I quote, "You might as well get Toby because he's the last Large Scale Thomas character Bachmann's going to make."  Oh, you're probably right about that, buddy...

I think the real issue with Diesel that brought his demise was probably to do with either cost or lack of potential sales.  Clearly Bachmann didn't see making Arry and Bert (or even Paxton apparently) as a good option to fall back on (after Diesel's release) considering the direction the Large Scale range has been going.  Then again, going back to my previous posts, I mentioned that Bachmann themselves said that diesels don't do well in large scale.  Bachmann had made the decision to take a stab at Diesel with hopes that he would do better being in the Thomas & Friends range rather than the Spectrum line.  I think it all boils down to Bachmann may have had second thoughts and backed out on him at the last minute.  Either way, Diesel's cancelation may very well be something we'll never know the answer to.

It also came as a surprise to see both the Thomas set and the Christmas set discontinued when they were in fact better sellers than the Percy set.  It's a bit strange to see a character who isn't Thomas manage to keep their own set.  Because Thomas' set has been discontinued, this leaves only the DCC sound Thomas on the market.  Considering the DCC sound models (Thomas and Percy) can run on digital and/or analog, this doesn't seem like an issue for those still running DC railroads.

From what I've seen with other Large Scale products in the 2018 catalogue, the Thomas & Friends range honestly got off easy in terms of discontinued items.  The Spectrum line has lost several locomotives including their 55 Ton Three-Truck Shay.  The 4-6-0 - Anniversary Edition Big Haulers have also been wiped out entirely, amongst other locomotives and/or rolling stock in the range.  I will say that the saving grace here is that the range got new items that were far better than 3 mediocre tanker recolors in the Thomas & Friends announcements.

So in the end the 2018 announcements were pretty much an underwhelming lineup to say the least, but at the end of the day it's been something I guess.  As I said before, Narrow Gauge is the range that made out this year and is pretty much the only range I have hope for at this point.  HO is still going for now, but Large Scale has been on a steep decline for years.  That being said, I think it's best to keep expectations low and not get hopes too high.  Things may bounce back, but only time will tell.


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« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2018, 01:35:37 AM »

People still want Daisy and are going to demand her. We aren't going to stop simply because you don't wish to hear about it anymore. The ship hasn't really "sailed," when every engine that had a chance this year got shot down.

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« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2018, 02:06:54 AM »

I don't think there's anything wrong with suggesting Daisy in the range like many users have in the past and will continue to do so, and if people choose to have those same expectations after this year's announcements then more power to you.  I think when people keep constantly suggesting Daisy to a point where it's becoming repetitive and over the top with CAPS, bold, italicized, and even underlined posts on a regular basis is where I would draw the line.

If this year's announcements weren't lazy, cancelled upcoming products, or left a lot to be desired I wouldn't have as much of an issue.  The sad truth is these feel like announcements you would see from Lionel or Hornby, not Bachmann.  Ultimately though what it comes down to is that Mattel is really taking control over what gets announced and what doesn't.  Because they just had to go with a more kid-friendly term for marketing to kids "Grumpy" instead of... "Devious" you know... for Devious Diesel... Roll Eyes

The only range I see some sort of hope for at this point is narrow gauge since looking back on the last three years of announcements, including this year's, it just makes my expectations go lower and lower for the other two ranges.  The only things I plan on talking about in-depth soon are Peter Sam and narrow gauge brake vans and those are really the only expectations and requests I have for next year.  Frankly I'm disappointed that they were absent in this year's announcements, but it's better to suggest ideas sooner rather than later.   Expect new posts on Peter Sam and brake vans soon in the 2019 thread from yours truly soon.  Sir Handel and Daisy I still have hope for, but I can't say I expect them, especially when the former's basis is still in overhaul.  I would also love to see the resin line make a comeback in the process and I'll talk about that in another post too.

At least this year, I feel like not all effort has been wasted after suggesting the spiteful brake van in HO and both blue and red narrow gauge coaches and finally getting them, it at least gives us something to look forward to.  However, when those are the only good things that came in a rather large lineup of new announcements, and updates on upcoming products, you know something is wrong. 

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« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2018, 02:24:22 AM »

I concur Chaz and I look forward to seeing your thorough posts on Peter Sam, the narrow gauge brake van, and resin buildings. It seems that the narrow gauge range is taking baby steps in terms of the quantity of products getting announced. However, as long as the end product is satisfying, that's really all that matters at the end of the day. Speaking of narrow gauge, Chaz, Sparks, Alex, Plow Bender, or anyone for that matter, what are your thoughts on the two points I made in the post above regarding the narrow gauge carriages?

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« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2018, 02:40:38 AM »

I think Bachmann learned their lesson with narrow gauge rolling stock and decided not to go with the Peco recolors due to high price cost and how sales were so minimal for those compared to Skarloey or the slate wagons which is why I have no doubt they will both have new toolings.  Considering the track record for that range I could honestly see them going for different coach toolings for both of them due to the measurements from Talyllyn that were taken.

As for the shade of blue, I think they will go with the brighter shade to match what was in the model series of the show as shown in the catalog.  If they went with a darker shade of blue like what was in the Railway Series then that would be pretty nice as well and would go well with the blue van.  Either would be totally acceptable in my opinion.  Add red and blue brake vans behind the respective vans and 2-4 coaches and you would have a really nice passenger train in narrow gauge too. Smiley

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« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2018, 03:16:22 AM »

I must say, I agree with Chaz about Daisy, even though she's perhaps not the engine I'd like to see most (on a personal level), she's the one I'd like to see second, but I want to see Daisy the most in a "big picture" sense, as she clearly has the most demand, and therefore I believe, she'd be the most financially sound decision for Bachmann to make. As I have previously openly vouched for Brakevans for the Narrow Gauge range before, I can get behind the idea of those too. I also think Peter Sam is the best candidate for the next NG Engine, for reasons many have stated previously.

Now, onto TerencetheTractor525's earlier post; I wouldn't mind the blue of the coaches being like the one on the van - as that is more like the blue that those coaches held in the Railway Series, but I wouldn't mind them being the colour of their counterparts in the classic seasons - between the two options, I probably slightly prefer the idea of these coaches appearing as they did in classic seasons, but I won't mind either way. As long as they get made - correctly scaled, mind you (but more on this later), I'll be over the moon.

As for the Red Coaches? Bachmann's catalogue (on page 21), the Red Coaches in question, appear to be the fan-dubbed "Talyllyn Coaches" (gaining this name from having their liveries inspired by the Talyllyn Coaches) from the CGI Series. This isn't a problem in itself, but the red van in question that would suit the classic red coaches, won't match the CGI ones, the red of these current coaches is much darker than that of the older model series one.

Also a concern of mine that I've just that the Blue and Red Coaches may end up sharing a the Red NG Coaches in the CGI series are also based off the Talyllyn Railway Coach No. 4, it just so happens that they're far too wide, and are also too tall. If both these coaches are to share the same tooling, I'd like them to be in scale with either the real life coach, or the model series variant, the CGI coaches are just far too out of proportion for my tastes. That might just be me though. Plus I feel like the Talyllyn paint scheme would sell better on a coach that had the proper scaling for the real coach, as that would appeal to Thomas fans and Talyllyn modelers everywhere! I see no downside to going with the proper scaling, instead of the dreadful CGI scaling. I sincerely hope they aren't Peco recolours either.

That's just my take on things though.

Add red and blue brake vans behind the respective vans and 2-4 coaches and you would have a really nice passenger train in narrow gauge too. Smiley
Honestly, that's been something I've liked the idea of for a long time now, glad to see I'm not the only one who has thought of it Smiley

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« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2018, 05:59:31 AM »

Intresting announcements.

Really glad to see coaches for Narrow Guage, but really dissapointed about no engines.

At this rate it will be late 2020 before we have a 4th engine in the range.  I wonder if there's any chance of 2 being announced next year?  Hopefully at least Peter Sam, and hopefully a 2nd either Sir Handel or Duncan.

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« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2018, 09:26:10 AM »

I just wanted ONE more motive power for large scale....JUST hard is that

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« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2018, 09:53:27 AM »

Thank you for your responses Chaz and Alex. Although, I do actually still think that the red carriages from the CGI Series are based off of the tooling of Talyllyn Coach 1-3 due to how far the windows are from the roof. As Alex stated, its probably the poor scaling that the CGI Series models had that make them seem like Talyllyn Coach 4. I think that what Bachmann may do in order to get the yes from Mattel and make us fans happy is to use the tooling of the red carriages from the model series shown here...

and then paint them with the CGI color scheme. That would be ideal since both red and blue carriages would then not look peculiar next to each other.

Basis of red carriage:

Basis of blue carriage:

As for the shade of blue, my dream is to still see them in the light blue of the model series that the illustration in the catalog showed. In a perfect world, the three peco rolling stock pieces would be discontinued next year, and three brake vans of different colors that would go wonderfully with the red carriages, blue carriages, and slate wagons would take their place. However, I will leave it at that for now  Wink.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 10:25:05 AM by TerencetheTractor525 » Logged

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« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2018, 10:10:41 AM »

Yeah, definatly need the brake vans next, three different colors as pictured above would be great.  That's the next biggest need after besides the rest of the original engines.

Also just wondering, typically how long after the new catalog comes out are the discontinued items actually discontinued?

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« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2018, 10:28:52 AM »

I think that the discontinued items are technically already discontinued. However, those products will remain on the Bachmann site until they sell out entirely. It seems like that already happened to the Emily Passenger Set.

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« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2018, 11:14:49 AM »

I'm pretty disappointed that the McColl's cattle wagon was cancelled.
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