Trains.com

Lionel's 2023 Vol. 1 Catalog - What do you think?

2132 views
20 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: US
  • 61 posts
Lionel's 2023 Vol. 1 Catalog - What do you think?
Posted by KeithL on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 8:42 PM

Lionel's 2023 Vol. 1 Catalog has been out for a week, but I don't see any mention of it here. Yes, the prices are high, but what do you think of the offerings?

Lionel Trains Catalog

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 9,423 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 9:31 PM

Well they're nice but there's nothing in there I can't live without or particularly excites me.

  • Member since
    January 2023
  • 96 posts
Posted by El Fixes Things on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 10:31 PM

Considering I'm never really on the market for new stuff, and my bread n butter is pre & postwar, and a bit of 70s-90s era stuff... well, normally I don't even read these catalogs. Why look at stuff that's outta my price range and not really my thing?

But I decided to read it anyway.
Very little stuff I found visually attractive, I'm not a fan of all the licensed/themed stuff, which seemed to be 90% of all the 'traditional' sized trains.
If money were no object, and I weren't an open frame motor adict, maybe the odd item might appeal- but honestly, nothing I could drool over.

Again though... I'm more or less the definition of not being their target demographic (whatever that may be). So frankly I reckon my thoughts on the catalog really don't mean much of much to anybody who actually presently buys from Lionel.

-Ellie

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Middle o' Nowhere, MO
  • 1,098 posts
Posted by palallin on Thursday, January 19, 2023 7:13 AM

There is one piece I'd really like to have--the Frisco 2-10-0 Russian, which is the ONLY semi-accurate Frisco engine Lionel has ever done--but the budget just won't allow it, so that's done.  There's the T&P boxcar, but only if I can find it at a DEEP discount--$110 for a boxcar?  C'mon, Lionel.  I thought prostrating yourself to China was supposed to keep princes down!

I, too, have no use for any of the novelty stuff, but I hope they sell a lot of it to keep themselve going.  The Christmas stuff has far too much Santa and far too little Christmas, so that's a pass--and I can't stand LED lights.  But none of it is aimed at me anyway, so we're even.

All in all it's a good catalog--but do we really need another Big Boy?  As for me, my money will be aimed at an original #520 searchlight car, a #4010 Tank car, and a #4006 hopper and maybe a #102 station this year.  I can get all decent ones for far less than that Decapod, and none of their electronics will ever fail Wink

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 9,423 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, January 19, 2023 7:24 AM

You know, I do like Russian Decapods (American railroaders of the time called them "Bolsheviks!") and if there was one in the catalog with Susquehanna markings I'd probably swoon over it, but to no end.  I couldn't afford it anyway and at any rate it wouldn't run on my layout, my curves are 031.  

I suspect Lionel might  be using old MTH tooling on this one.

  • Member since
    April 2006
  • 7,985 posts
Posted by fifedog on Thursday, January 19, 2023 10:12 AM

Here's my Coffee Pot post from the other day...

Evenin' guys and gals. Lazy day. Did page thru the LIONEL '23 catalog. Was getting a little depressed looking at the front quarter of the book. Then a funny thing happened after pg 52, as the more traditional offerings (and more down-to-earth pricing) were in abundance. There's a multitude of special interest liveries. I love the Willy Wonka set and add-ons. Lots of military themed rolling stock. Seeing some of the MTH 19th Century engines and cars starting to re-emerge. At 240 pages, I found the last 75%, refreshing. Just my My 2 Cents.

  • Member since
    July 2020
  • 1,405 posts
Posted by pennytrains on Thursday, January 19, 2023 6:29 PM

Interesting.  Fairly well balanced across all categories.  But other than the mickey mouse handcar, nothing really screamed "wow!"  Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have one of the greyhounds and at least one camelback.  But at the moment I'm completely out of the game.

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 9,423 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, January 19, 2023 8:44 PM

Becky, if you get to any shows keep your eyes out for Camelbacks.  The only ones tough to find are the Jersey Central ones, the others pop up fairly frequently and if they're older MTH or Lionels without all the sophisticated electronics they tend to go for a fraction of the original retail cost. 

  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: Bensalem, PA
  • 191 posts
Posted by Dave45681 on Thursday, January 19, 2023 9:34 PM

I'm still digesting and determining anything I might order.

I'm one of the odd people who has some attraction to some of the licensed stuff.  So I may go for one or 2 items from the Disney 100 series.  My days of trying to collect all of it are long since over, though.  There is just way too much of it at this point.  I'm thinking the "Vault Collection" Steamboat Willie Boxcar from that series.

I'm also thinking at least one of the wind up Mickey and Minnie hand cars, but have to decide what color(s) I might want.  Leaning towards at least one of either red or maroon at the moment.  I sort of wish they said more about the other colors (green, maroon, nickel-plated) that just say "coming soon" on the website.  Not clear if that means still within this order period, definitely will be offered (but delayed from others?), or maybe they are just putting out feelers and they may not even get made if there are not enough orders for the first two?  I'd hate to decide I want the maroon one and then find out they cancel it, and then it may be too late to order a red or orange one, depending on demand.

Other items I noted:

The offering of traditional Budd cars with command control is a first (for Lionel offerings), I believe.  The last Traditional Budds I think were a set in the Conventional Classics line (which were of course conventional only) and before that was the Canadian National units from the early 90's that were also before the TMCC era.

I'm liking the Patriot's Salute Gateman accessory.  I'm pretty sure I'll be ordering one of those.

-Dave

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • 263 posts
Posted by rrlineman on Saturday, January 21, 2023 8:01 AM

Another waste of money and resources. I doubt 50-75% of the build to order items will be made. And way too much novelty junk listed. Didn't they learn from the crappy car sets a few years back ??? And the FLYER section is a joke. I think they need to start acting like Cowen's Lionel and make and price stuff people can afford to buy.

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 9,423 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, January 21, 2023 2:39 PM

rrlineman
I think they need to start acting like Cowen's Lionel and make and price stuff people can afford to buy.

I think it was a major mistake for them to drop the K-Line product line instead of keeping it as a "budget" product option.  Simple, conventional control starter sets, engines, and accessories if you like.  While I understand the logic of not competing with yourself there's the other side of the coin of leaning out the product line TOO much.  You want to cover as much of the bases as you can. 

  • Member since
    March 2005
  • 1,512 posts
Posted by philo426 on Saturday, January 21, 2023 4:37 PM

Yes some of those engines are in 3rd Rail territory price wise!

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 9,423 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, January 21, 2023 9:18 PM

Flintlock76

Becky, if you get to any shows keep your eyes out for Camelbacks.  The only ones tough to find are the Jersey Central ones, the others pop up fairly frequently and if they're older MTH or Lionels without all the sophisticated electronics they tend to go for a fraction of the original retail cost. 

 

Just a post-script to this one.  At the show I went to today there was a Lionel Pennsy Camelback for sale.  What the guy wanted for it I have no idea, it wasn't priced and I wasn't going to ask.  If the seller's not proud enough of his prices he's not worth asking, in my opinion anyway.

PRR's an odd choice for a Camelback anyway.  The PRR only bought three Camels, didn't like them, then sold them to the LIRR. 

  • Member since
    January 2023
  • 96 posts
Posted by El Fixes Things on Saturday, January 21, 2023 9:48 PM

When it comes to trains with no price marked... if it's in a pile of random junk in a cardboard box under the table, that usually means good news. If it's sitting pretty, clean as a whistle, on top of the table... it probably means bad news. Just my My 2 Cents

-Ellie

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 9,423 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, January 22, 2023 8:22 AM

[quote user="El Fixes Things"]

When it comes to trains with no price marked... if it's in a pile of random junk in a cardboard box under the table, that usually means good news. If it's sitting pretty, clean as a whistle, on top of the table... it probably means bad news. Just my My 2 Cents

-Ellie

 

 

My thoughts exactly!  

  • Member since
    July 2020
  • 1,405 posts
Posted by pennytrains on Sunday, January 22, 2023 6:01 PM

Rust = fun!  Big Smile

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 9,423 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, January 22, 2023 6:19 PM

pennytrains

Rust = fun!  Big Smile

 

It could, sometimes.

Remember we mentioned junk boxes?  At yesterdays show I saw what looked like a junk box with three post-war Madison cars in pretty rough shape.  However they looked like good rebuild, repaint, and re-decal candidates, nasties you could get creative with.  However, THIS junk box had a $100 price tag on it!  No sale, not to this kid anyway.

This was the same vendor with no price on the Camelback. Go figure. 

  • Member since
    January 2023
  • 96 posts
Posted by El Fixes Things on Monday, January 23, 2023 7:33 PM

not to keep off topic but ouch...
Sure, original "madison" style cars are very collectable. All the same, I'm 100% in the same boat as Wayne on this one... if I wanted to pay eBay prices, well... I'd look on eBay!
Someone out there probably is happy with that price. Personally it doesn't pass my highly scientific and precise "bang for your buck" test: ie, ponder over the general concept of "how much fun am I going to get out of x for the amount of $$$ spent on it?"

-Ellie

  • Member since
    January 2014
  • 226 posts
Posted by thesiding on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 9:52 PM

no commentsabout the Exorsist or Pennywise box cars?

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • 1,950 posts
Posted by 8ntruck on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 11:59 PM

Guess we will have to bite on the Hogwarts passenger cars.  Love the flat car with the Wonder Woman air plane load.

Would like to get one of the streamlined J class Hudsons, but the price........ 

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Middle o' Nowhere, MO
  • 1,098 posts
Posted by palallin on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 6:17 AM

thesiding

no commentsabout the Exorsist or Pennywise box cars?

 

Musta missed seeing those.  :shrug:  Lionel is tying to appeal to a much broader audience* than they had to in the past.  These things are hardly my cup of tea, but Lionel may sell some trains to folks who indulge in such things.  There is a word for that, but I won't use it.

*I would be very happy to see them broaden their audience even more by offering real CHRISTmas cars rather than more generic "Seasons Greetings" or Santa stuff. 

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Get the Classic Toy Trains newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month