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  • Topic: Recent Marklin/LGB Chinese production

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    • June 20, 2011 2:12 AM EDT

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      Funny - I've been saying the same thing. I have an older two-axle steam locomotive from LGB that has a circus train theme to it which I purchased on eBay. When I went to the train store recently, I noticed a differently colored version of the same locomotive in a starter set with more features so I bought that starter set. Theoretically, the same loco albeit with different color schemes.

      Nope. The newer locomotive uses plastic drive rods which really look like plastic and cheap plastic at that. With my old locomotive, I can easily pull my track cleaning car around my ceiling layout with no problem - the new one can't because it's lighter. The old locomotive has a solid, quality feel all over but the new one has a clear emphasis dictated by the accounting department, not the engineering department.

      These two are a primary example of why LGB went broke and had to be bought my Marklin - poor quality that doesn't inspire repeat purchases.
    • June 20, 2011 6:22 PM EDT

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      Tony-
      Thanks for the report -- and unfortunate outcome.
      Are there stampings or logos on the bottom of the loco - or elsewhere on the loco/tender or rolling stock - that betray where it was made or when?
      Thanks,
      Wendell
    • July 3, 2011 9:27 AM EDT

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      Tony and Wendell, LGB went to plastic valve gear on the Stainz locos in or around 1999/2000 well before Marklin. It is more prototypically accurate as well. The remainder of the LGB locos were switching to all plastic valve gear in 1985-1988.

      As for being lighter, this has also been discussed several times, toy makers (like LGB) have been forced to change the composition of their weights to remove the lead from them. So the new alloy is not as dense per volume. Unfortunately, due to sure size and volume, it is more noticible in the larger scales and we suffer with lighter locos....

      The few M-LGB items I have are from Gyor. And my only two complaints, the boxes are not as nice and there have not been enough new items to purchase...but I give the second one some time.
    • July 5, 2011 7:29 PM EDT
      • Juniata Falls, Pennsylvania
         
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      I'm gonna at least look at getting one or two of the new centerflow hoppers. I've been trying to collect all teh road names they made for use in a unit grain train. Its just a shame that the older, apparently higher-quality versions run for about 60% on ebay over teh price of teh new ones.
    • July 6, 2011 4:17 PM EDT
    • I have indeed noted a change in quality over the span of LGB production. Just before the "collapse" I purchased a few of the 60' box cars and was somewhat disappointed. Prior cars had a "denser" color to them; often they were painted with the finished color on a similarly colored base plastic. Made for a great looking finish. My 60-footers had a cheap plastic look reminiscent of my later Lionel "Large Scale" rolling stock when they too switched to colored plastic only. These 60-footers came from China. That does not mean all China based production was of poor quality, I have many Chinese made examples that are as good as the American/German made varieties. Still it took a little of the appreciation I had for LGB up to that point.

      Still love my LGB but I am not currently buying any new.
    • July 6, 2011 4:49 PM EDT
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
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      The quality shift started before the Big Hindenburg. EPL began costs saving measures before they declared,the Toytrain line,the Forney the Gennie? The shift to China quality products was well underway before the explosion, Marklin simply picked up where the smoking remains of EPL crashed. They simply continued the quality levels right where it was left off at. My perspective anyway ...;)
      ____________________________________
      Have fun with your trains
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