I was talking with a good friend yesterday about trains in general. Fred has been in the business for years. He is probably more knowledgeable about trains than anyone I know or have known. Fred was my competition in the train business locally until a year ago when he semi-retired.
When we were competitors, it was like we weren't competitors at all. His store was located on the other side of town, and he'd send people to me, and I would send others to him. He's a very nice person who has helped me out quite a bit for being my ‘competitor'! Actually, I think that is the way business should be, but it is not in many cases.
At any rate, the first thing Fred said to me was that he liked my viewpoint article that appeared in Classic Toy Trains (May 2002, Page 28), which was music to my ears. The article is a little controversial, and if Fred agrees with what I said, it sure does make me feel good.
One thing that Fred said yesterday sort of opened my eyes to a new concept that I hadn't really grasped before. Lionel Trains, American Flyer Trains, MTH, Marx Trains, etc, are not really for kids. Children like trains, that is for sure. Some have a passing interest, others develop a passion for them. But in the majority of cases it is the Dad that is the driving force behind the train hobby. The kid gives Dad an excuse to get involved with trains.
If you are a baby boomer, think back. It's been that way for a very long time. Sure, kids play with the trains, but if it wasn't for Dad, there wouldn't be any trains to play with in most cases. In some cases Dad plays more than the kids.
I loved trains when I was a kid. And of course I had trains, but who do you think was behind my having those trains? Of course Mom and Dad in my case. And I have a picture to prove it. When I was around 7 years old, there is my Dad helping me set up my first train set, probably with an equal amount of enthusiasm.
My article has to do with a positive look at the train market, which was written after reading a pretty negative article in the same forum. The point of the article was that even though the train market has been better, I feel that the future of trains is going to be better than ever. Every market has its ups and downs!
And that is why Fred's comment hit me, because basically it backs up my theory. For some reason around the age of 30 or maybe a little later, some people have a renewed or new interest in Electric trains. The Dads have the money, and lets face it, even if the kid doesn't have much interest, when they get to the age of 30, there is a good chance that train bug will hit them.
I think this is more or less a vicious cycle that will go on for generations to come. And that is a very nice thing indeed, as what would we do without hobbies like trains? Especially after computers become more like work, and the adult grows out of the electronic game phase.
I feel more confident than ever after talking with Fred that trains are here to stay!
I just returned from a really nice vacation. Went on my first cruise, and I can tell you this much, it won't be my last! I love to play black jack, and spent probably a good 12 hours in the casino over the four nights. It doesn't get any better than this, because I won 10.00. Let's see, that's around 85 cents an hour. Well worth it!
I shouldn't be writing this right now. Actually I should be processing the two deals I have bought over the last two days, but it has been a while since I have updated this. I'll get to that later today, and maybe tomorrow.
I am supposed to buy a large Lionel Post War collection next week. This deal was made a couple of months ago, so there is a very good chance it will happen, although I never count my chicks before they are hatched. I'm looking at other collections also. The problem I have right now is that I have way to much cash. I need to exchange it for some trains, and I am doing everything possible to make that happen. Hopefully everything will run smoothly, and there will be much more inventory coming soon. Hey, you want my cash, I want your trains. Let's make a trade!
Before I went on vacation I made a couple of changes to our web pages. One huge improvement to the looks of the pages was dumping my picture, which had been there way to long. Maybe you didn't even notice the changes, and if you didn't I'm doing my job. The purpose was to make the site look neater and slicker. Hopefully you approve.
Well I'd better cut this a little short today as I do have some work to do on this ‘new stuff' I just purchased. Make sure you check out or pages frequently because when I have money in my pocket burning holes, you can bet I'm going to spend it!
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