Old Athearn blue box kits

gcav17 Dec 10, 2013

  1. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    They are the ones I am talking about. Junior gets a set made by CruddyCo for his birthday. It falls apart quickly. Judgment is made and the pieces are shoved into the back of a closet. He never looks at trains again. Or even an adult comes along, seeking to finally satisfy the life long urge of trying their hand at building a layout. Unknowingly they pick up a set by JunkIsUsCo, and have nothing but troubles. Not aware there can be better quality had, they quickly lose interest and leave for other pursuits.
     
  2. gcav17

    gcav17 TrainBoard Member

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    Why, we have been BEGGING Bachman to build better locomotives. Imagine how much more the hobby and industry would grow if kids and adults ( New or coming back to the hobby) had good toys to start with! The Bachman sets, are still not ready for longevity...

    Sent from my Commando
     
  3. gcav17

    gcav17 TrainBoard Member

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    By the way. What ever happened to Tyco? They were a staple for toy trains growing up..

    Sent from my Commando
     
  4. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

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  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  6. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

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    Interesting thread.
    BarstowRick: great post re: the ultimate end of our existence and the fate of our beloved collections/layouts in the world of today and the future. You put into words a lot of my thoughts.
    As for the "junk" that was flooding the market into the 80s and thereabouts timeframe, yes that's true. In retrospect did not help our hobby at all. Even today, we still cringe at the name Bachmann, the result of a reputation well-earned.
    However that may be, Bachmann did turn their act around. I have plenty of examples of their product starting with the Bachmann Plus that is quality product. Genesis/Atlas/Kato/et. al. quality and detail? No, but solid runners....albeit there was that axle gear thing that plagued P2K as well, and yes even Athearn BB locos have had that malady, as I can attest to through experience.
    And Tyco? They played their part in the bad rep as well. But I invite you to go in-depth and read the history - the market played its part as well. Kids began wanting action toys that emulated the TV shows, they had no interest in "modeling". And so you saw the emphasis shift from high-quality kits that kids could build shift to RTR "theme" toys that coincidentally (or secondarily) were trains.

    gcav17 - I wish you success in your BB idea. Who knows it may succeed!:cool:
     
  7. Southern Oregonian

    Southern Oregonian TrainBoard Member

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    I'll weigh in I guess since I'm slightly under 30. I like the old Athearn kits, but I can never find the kits I want. It seems that the only kits left on the shelves are the ones that NO ONE wants (in Oregon). My oldest P2K lasted a long time before the gears finally gave out but she still lives on as a truly wonderful dummy. I restarted my interest this time with HO (rather then N) and my first loco was a Bachmann GS4 that I still have. I'd say the new ones are a good starting point since they are good runners so long as you take care of them, but for what I would need now they are to light. I'd say that the new phase for the hobby isn't so much kits now as RTR bashing. I've done it and I have a new P2K FA/FB set that are waiting to be bashed.
     
  8. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

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    Yep, same here. I have a FA/FB set in progress too. If you are patient there are some good deals to be had on those.
     
  9. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    Funny, I haven't had that much trouble with the FR kits I've built, nor with the FR GP7s I have in my roster. There are a couple of FR kits that look bad, but I was picking up covered hoppers & boxcars, and they went together and work just fine.
     
  10. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    With luck, they descended to the lowest depths of Hell that even Dante himself never imagined when writing his "Inferno". Tyco, old ModelPower, pre-Proto LifeLess- all of it J-class (junk) that was a waste of natural resources to build. At least Lifelike got wise & came out with their Proto lines, which have amazed & astounded a lot of us. Plus, anything with a Mehano drive- the Yugos of locomotive power chassis.

    After a hiatus of several years filled with high school and college, I discovered Athearn, and my interest was rekindled into a roaring flame. Wide-body locomotives or no, they were (and still are) powerful performers, as well as superdetailers' dreams!
     
  11. gcav17

    gcav17 TrainBoard Member

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    JNXT 7707, I am lookin at not just selling Blue Box kits. I am considering more than that. Just got to come up with a good plan and what part of the hobby I want to be my main business. If I choose to go this route. I know it wont be easy, there are tons of retailers out there, and some very good ones that are online. Gonna take some work should I go this route!

    Sent from my Commando
     
  12. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

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    You know friscobob, someone posted "we can discuss Tyco here too", and I thought...."yeah right". To each his own and all that, but the "that's just all junk" stuff does get tiresome. We are all just playing with toy trains, yes?
     
  13. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

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    Sounds like you have your work cut out for you, but if you succeed it sounds like a lot of fun too. Personally I think it would be a bad business for me, I'd want to keep too much product!
     
  14. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    Tyco, probably naught. Mantua, yes.
    When the Tyco diseasmals went to rivetted motor blocks with tabs through the body side up high, I lost interest. Mantuas were screwed together chassis, screwed to lugs inside the shell. Basically the same bits...but they worked. Mantua steamers had insert axle bearings....Tyco went to plain cast chassis, non-rebuildable. Is it junk? Only if you want to run it and depend on it.

    Varney. Old stuff is great. When they went all plastic, not so much. I have old Varney...engines and metal high cars. Cast frames, tracked well. Can't say that about the plastic ones with plastic wheelsets.

    Athearn. PRC production. What do you get? Standard, to-be-expected PRC cracking plastic (NOT Delrin) axle gears.
    Yet, when the price is now what they ask for them, are they really any better than the old Super Powered (weighted) geared Athearns made in SoCal?

    Good question.

    Dave....who expects his "toy" trains to actually function....
     
  15. Logtrain

    Logtrain TrainBoard Member

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    I for one would like to see Athearn bring back the BB kits. Although I am not an HO scaler, I would LOVE to see them do these in N scale.

    I for one like building kits, but the Intermountain kits are just too time consuming.......and expensive as well.

    Ryan
     
  16. Logtrain

    Logtrain TrainBoard Member

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    I saw this happen at a LHS that I used to frequent as a kid. One thing I will ask though....................were these BB kits local RRs?

    The reason I say that is the owner of the LHS that I would go to as a kid had TONS of Athearn BB kits. There was one BIG problem though..................the LHS was in Centralia, Wa and the cars that were in the case were mostly eastern RRs. I would think that if someone was entering the hobby and/or was in the hobby but had a limited budget the BB kits would be a GREAT way for a model RRer to expand his roster for a reasonable budget.

    Ryan
     
  17. Southern Oregonian

    Southern Oregonian TrainBoard Member

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    That's the problem here too. If your in the Pacific NW and you are modeling the NW, and your LHS has BB kits for N&W coal cars why would you buy them? Grain, maybe, Pacific Fruit Express, oh yes, but no coal, and while we do have a few oil and gas cars rolling around here, they are far from the majority.
     
  18. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

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    Dave, I wouldn't dispute any of that. Maybe this will convey my thinking better:

    I picked up a 60s Tyco Santa Fe passenger set last month. This set is probably 180 degrees apart from the direction I've been following - I would say it has no prototypical basis whatsoever, has the old cheesy silhouettes in the windows, nasty X2F couplers, cars are heavy and are a bit of a bear to pull.....but running the thing I found I was having a blast. You know, fun? And yeah, the diesel has the old riveted MU-2 power truck and traction tires which has been a challenge to say the least - and I'll probably pull it with a Model Power (GASP!) Metal Train F7....but the dang thing is fun as hell.
    No, I'm not changing my whole outlook but I compare this set with the Empire Builder I'm putting together and I have to wonder. I might have paid $60 for the entire Tyco set (F7A/B and 4 passenger cars that light up) and I'm lucky to get away with $60 for one Superliner that I'm frankly nervous about touching. I mean the thing is PERFECT, with the plated finish and all. (Does it light up? Nope, not without the lighting kit!). And a transition sleeper is heading up to $200-$300 a car?

    It IS functional though, there is that.....yep...

    Just thinking out loud, carry on.....:wideeyes:
     
  19. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    Carrying on.
     
  20. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Thats another debate for another day. However, no, I am not playing with toys.... :droll:
     

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