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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From a forum on an investor/share site it has been posted that Hornby live steam sets have appeared for sale in "Toys R Us".

I bet a few will be bought for kiddiwinks at Christmas, but the kids pushed out of the way by the grownups on Christmas Day.


Still, no batteries to run out of with the shops shut.
 

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DT
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These are great locos. I would say that it's not a toy though. It even challenged me a little - until I took it apart and saw exactly how it worked.

The confusing issue was that the valve that opens and controls the steam to the pistons is fully rotating without end-stops (fully closed and fully open). With the body on, you can't see the valve and it can happen that you open the valve too much and it starts closing again. Makes for confusing operation and problematic running. Difficult for a kid to understand that.

Also, if not set up right, it splutters oil and steam all over the place. I can just imagine the kids doing this on the lounge carpet on Christmas day - what a mess
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So who goes into Toys R Us just to buy for kids?


I agree, live steam is a bit beyond kids, but what a great way of bringing retro big kids back into model railways, e.g. Grandfathers looking for toys for their grandkids.

Don't think there will be much of a market for a live steam Barbie Ferrari though.

Bob
 

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Interesting that they are now selling these Live Steam sets at Toys-R-Us.

Lets hope Hornby have put a flyer in the packaging advising newbie Live Steamers to visit Model Rail Forum for running advice on Xmas day! (Doug, its your shift isn't it?
)

I understand that Hornby's Simon Kohler (MRF forum member Nr 115 and the genuine article - we have checked!
) pops in occasionally to review comments and feedback on Hornby products.

The typical family orientated Toys-R-Us customer probably needs a Hornby rolling road included within the set to help them to familiarise themselves with the workings of Live Steam prior to launching the loco on the track (laid on the aforementioned carpet!
). And a coach pack suited to the Live Steam loco's might be an idea else what are newbie Live Steamers going to do on Xmas day when they realise that there are no coaches in the set!

Ring up Hornby customer service probably on Xmas day and ask a question about the missing coaches!


Toys-R-Us do a Hornby 2 coach Pullman coach pack so it might be an idea if this is offered as an inclusive "special deal" with the Live Steam sets as those of us who have Live Steam know how useful it is to have some coaches on the back of the loco to help slow it down with the "hand of God" during those first tentatative hours on the track.

And finally, make sure Toys-R-Us have plenty of supplies of the "special water" in stock. To pacify screaming kids who want to see the Live Steam loco run just one more time after the water bottle is empty and before the kids go to bed parents might just be tempted to use tap water and then we are in big doo doo!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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DT
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I'd second that. The rolling road is vital in learning how the loco works. You can't study the thing in detail if it shoots off around the track.

I have found that after a few hours of running the loco in on the rolling road that it is much smoother and more predictable. The desktop under the rolling road is a real mess though. You need to keep your clutter away or els it gets covered in a fine mist of steam-oil.
 

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Below is a copy of a post on share/investor site. Seems like great minds think alike


QUOTE In the case of any major outlet I would not be at all surprised if there were incentives so its no big deal. The real point of interest is that Toys-R-Us will provide exposure of Live Steam to a public who probably are not aware that Live Steam is available. And that after 18 months of ongoing development Hornby are now prepared to go mass market with the product. There may well be one or two other national outlets offering Live Steam over the next few months and this mass exposure may be part of an initiative linked to a wider marketing campaign in the run up to Xmas. We may well see adverts in the national newspapers and mail order inserts. Up until now only the specialist magazines have featured promotion.

It could be that stores who, up until now, have been hesitant as a result of only being able to offer "The Mallard", are now much more willing to consider the product for the shelves given that the much more widely known "Flying Scotsman" will soon be available.

The one thing I would say to Hornby is that they should consider producing a coach pack to go with the Live Steam sets, or even include the rolling road within the Live Steam sets, as the folk who will be purchasing these are likely to be families rather than enthusiasts and they may need a few props to help them along.
 

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Frankly I'm surprised that Toy-R-Us stock hornby!

Over here in Aus, hornby are not exactly the cheapest model railways around and more so the live steam.

Lats time I was in one of their stores, they only stocked American made stuff such as Life-like.

As for special water David. Send some my way if you want. But make it single malt thanks!
 
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