Why Doesn't Kato Do Single Cars Releases?

Virginian Railway Dec 22, 2015

  1. Virginian Railway

    Virginian Railway TrainBoard Member

    Why doesn't Kato do single passenger car releases?

    Rapido, Centrallia, and Walthers (a long time ago) all have done single car releases. Kato has done some like business cars and add on cars for the Empire Builder. Frankly, if I want a certain car that Kato offered I'd rather not have to buy a whole set just for one car or two.

    Do you think Kato will ever move from offering cars in sets to single cars? Not meaning they quit doing name trains, just offering single cars in multiple schemes.
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I seem to recall a couple of NP cars which were sold as individuals?
  3. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

    I believe that they released the NP slumbercoaches as either a two pack or included in a four pack which also had cars from two other roads. I don't think they've released any other NP cars. I had hoped that was an indication of a future NCL release, however it has probably been 15 years now, and we're still waiting.... :(
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Didn't they also release a business car or other tail end (observation platform) car in NP?
  5. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

    In HO, but not in N.
    Ain't she a beaut?

  6. steamghost

    steamghost TrainBoard Member

    Since Kato deemed the Daylight artic chair car worthy, then maybe they could think about 2-packs of sleepers (at least) or chair cars. RR-specific sleepers certainly ran through on connecting railroads. And at their prices, they'd be truly competitively priced against just a single car from other manufacturers.

    Somebody please paint up an N NP tail car so that Kato will then release it for the rest of us.
  7. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

    When they have done several car sets in the past that I only wanted some of the cars, I bought the set anyway and then put the rest of the cars up on Ebay as single car auctions.

    Every one of those single cars sold, and I made enough to pay for the entire car set and got the ones I wanted essentially for free.

    Keep up the good work, Kato. I'll never understand why they do what they do, but I've made the best of it.
  8. cjm413

    cjm413 TrainBoard Member

  9. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

    Every now and then I am able to score a particular car that I want on the Kato USA parts site.
  10. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

    I also model Japanese passenger trains and have many Kato sets. Those are always in sets of anywhere from 3 to 8 cars. As Kato's larger market is in those type of models I wonder if the way they package American prototype models could be influenced by the way they package the Japanese prototype models.
  11. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

    I was told that this is the results of cultural differences, The home market prefers sets to a very high degree.
  12. subwayaz

    subwayaz TrainBoard Member

    Agreed Kato is mostly Sets. The least number I've seen is two car set; Amtrak for that matter is the only one.
  13. sundowner

    sundowner TrainBoard Member

    So other than the business cars, Kato has also sold a Superliner II Sleeper transition car, a Pacific Parlour sold through Amtrak, two Amfleet II coaches, a Viewliner Sleeper, a few different names in the bi-level commuter cars and a baggage car as singles. Most of the individual cars are for modern Amtrak but you can get individual cars from there webstore when the set are release but they tend to sell out quick and are sold at MSRP. From a production stand point I see why they sell complete sets instead of individual cars, they will sell every car produced. From a cultural point, most Japanese do not have the space for permanent layouts so the set come in boxes that are like books, so they are easy to store and display.
  14. Charlie Vlk

    Charlie Vlk TrainBoard Member

    When I was at Kato I wanted to do individual cars but the best I could get them to do was individually plastic cased cars in sleeved four car sets.
    Frankly I think the market is pretty comfortable with full sets.....I wouldn't have thought at the time that customers would buy full California Zephyr or Broadway Limited sets AND still pop for matching multiple engines to pull them.
    Full sets do help amortize the tooling for road-specific cars that wouldn't get done if only individual cars were offered.
    It is a shame that additional individual cars can't be offered in different road names like the "Connecting Lines" sets that we did on the second release of smooth side cars.
    The cultural differences come into play because "mix n'match" isn't part of the Japanese mindset.... The consist of a train has to be "official" and highly "matching".
    R&D today struggles trying to get interesting stuff produced just as much as I did years ago

    Charlie Vlk
  15. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

    Kato did release the Santa Fe connecting sleeper for the Broadway Limited set as a single item, so there is some precedent for them offering individual cars.
    The PRR BM70M baggage-mail car from the BL set seemed like another possibility for sale on an individual basis.
  16. Ike the BN Freak

    Ike the BN Freak TrainBoard Member

    Think they did a few cars in the BN hockey stick as singles.

    I still want to see a 1955 Empire Builder...mostly so I can get a few of the cars to use for my BN business car set.
  17. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

    In a way, they do offer single cars...watch the parts department specials....

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