Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Book Review: Bachmann USA Catalogue
Who cares. I've got it and want to flaunt it.
The Bachmann US catalogue, or should that be catalog, tells a very interesting story about how the company sees their market. I'm going to say from the outset that I think they are right, or at least if they are wrong then they will be the ones who suffer.
Bachmann have looked hard at the market and what it tells them is that toys sell. That's why we have Chugginton on the cover and first 5 pages. Then there is a Barnum & Bailey train set (which I covet) before we move on to Thomas the Tank (Bachmann have the rights to this in the US, Hornby in the UK),.
In fact its page 18 before we see what you might term a "serious" railway model with the first of the proper train set.
Moving on to locos, what struck me is the sheer number of identical models in different colours. American railroads got into standardisation far faster and more effectively than UK ones so you an EMD GP9 can run in 12 different lines livery.
US modellers also buy unnumbered and lettered engines. The GE 70-ton diesel can be bought ibn black, green, red and yellow liveries ready for you to add letters and numbers. Occasionally UK modellers ask for this sort of thing but mostly they whine they shouldn't have to do any work on a model as it falls out of the box. Re-numbering is certainly a no-no in some quarters although the proponents seem as keen on people doing it as those who are against.
Talking of paint, one thing I don't see is factory weathered stock. Maybe Americans like their trains clean, or are just happier making them dirty themselves?
The range is massive: N, HO, O, On30, G. Buildings, controls, track, accessories. The book is 16mm thick and it's on that thin paper ModelRail uses. OK, so it's A5 in size but with 350 page, that's a lot of toy trains.