In a message dated 8/13/2007 7:56:35 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
In the new (August 07) issue of THE KEYSTONE MODELER, the New
Products columnists take a really cheap shot at Red Caboose and the
Amarillo Railroad Museum. Here's what they have to say about the RC
patch-panel, flat plate end X29 in Express lettering sponsored and
offered by the ARM:
"What a bust for the dealers when Red Caboose released the entire
run to the Amarillo Railroad Museum for retail sales. I will be one
that will be personally holding off on the offering and many of you
might consider the same so we can see our PRR products enter the
normal channel of distribution. They have effectively just taken
your local hobby dealer out of the loop. What a boon for Red Caboose
and what a disaster for their dealers and wholesale distributors.
It's easy enough to vote with your dollars here folks."
What's with this? Calling for a boycott of a needed product offered
by an organization noted for sponsoring accurate models of steam era
freight cars just because you don't like the way it's distributed??
I just don't understand the motivation. Did a dealer or two complain
to the columnists? Did a more Pennsy-friendly potential sponsor get
aced out on the project? Whether it's sour grapes or not, advocating
economic reprisals seems foolish, ill-advised and unwarranted. I am
disappointed in whichever of the columnists is responsible for that
slam, and in the editor for letting such intemperate thoughts get
into print. I think a retraction is called for. Lacking that,
consistency would require the columnists to call for boycotts of
Sunshine and Speedwitch Pennsy offerings, since neither Martin nor
Ted sells through dealers.
I have no connection with Red Caboose, and had none with the
Amarillo Railroad Museum until an hour ago, when I "vot(ed) with my
dollars" and signed up for an internet membership and ordered two of
Tom "uncharacteristically worked up" Madden
I don't think the slam was at the Amarillo Museum as much as at Red Caboose.
They did shut out all of the dealers and LHS by shipping the entire run to
Amarillo. The result is forcing anyone who decides to buy this run to pay full
retail price. Which we all know is significantly inflated. While the musuem
is a worthwhile endeavor and you are correct that they have done great work.
Unlike IM which did not offer the ART car to dealers before filling the
requirements of the museum and the MP historical society, Red Caboose did offer and
accept pre-orders from dealers, LHS and distributors for the REA patch panel
X29. They even offered kits to dealers if they bought a minimum of 36 kits.
None of those have seen the light of day either.
In RC defense, they did tell me that a large part of the run was ruined by
the factory and with the way China scehdules things they could not go back and
run cars to make up the shortage. Just another of the pitfalls of only
ordering from China what are pre-ordered by dealers and LHS.
Fortunately, RC has been taking orders for another run of the REA patch panel
X29's. So they will be available from dealers and LHS. Just when is up in
the air. Same for the kits.
All in all the slam against RC is not unwarranted. It was rather mild. The
cars should have been distributed to all dealers in proportion to their order
not all sent to one entity.
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