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Offline Mr. Ron  
#1 Posted : 02 August 2021 00:25:34(UTC)
Mr. Ron

United States   
Joined: 05/07/2020(UTC)
Posts: 141
Location: Mississippi, Vancleave
Marklin is described as a German toy manufacturer according to Wikipedia. That may have been true in the early days of the company, but with the improved detail that is now on today's product, is it still acceptable to refer to Marklin as a "toy"? Other HO manufacturers don't have that "toy" label. Possibly all 3 rail trains are referred to as "toy" trains, while 2 rail gets called a "model". I can understand why Lionel is considered a "toy". Should Marklin be put in the same category? A "toy" implies something that children play with, but most (if not all) model railroaders are adult, some in their 90's; certainly not a play toy. The reason why I brought this up is because I sometimes hear people refer to model trains as "toys". Obviously these people are very misinformed about a hobby enjoyed by adults more so than children.
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Offline mike c  
#2 Posted : 02 August 2021 01:20:29(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 7,232
Location: Montreal, QC
They are all toys. Technically, they are Model toy trains, whether you call it Toy Trains or Model Trains.

I am not using toy in a condescending manner, but as in something you play with...

I don't think that I have ever heard anybody refer to in German as Spielbahnen. It is Modellbahnen, even though Modelleisenbahnen are Spielzeuge.

Regards

Mike C
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Offline shannon  
#3 Posted : 02 August 2021 07:23:25(UTC)
shannon


Joined: 27/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 359
Location: Taipei,
I preferred to descrube the earlier products as a sculpture not a toy. BigGrin
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Offline cookee_nz  
#4 Posted : 02 August 2021 09:50:48(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,679
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Wikipedia has to be taken with several very large grains of salt. It's open to input from contributors who could be anybody and everybody. You could remove the "toy" reference yourself if you wanted, but that would be subject to peer review and various other analytics.

It's only as good as the contributors, all of whom will have their own bias and agendas.

It says for example, that in some parts of Germany and Sweden, the name is synonymous with model railways (I guess in much the same way as "xerox" might be to photocopying, "hoover" to vacuuming etc). But why Sweden specifically, of all the other European countries where Märklin would be also well-known?

Perhaps the "toy" label was entered by a 2-rail modeler, you how they love to bait....
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
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Offline Mr. Ron  
#5 Posted : 30 September 2021 00:29:21(UTC)
Mr. Ron

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Location: Mississippi, Vancleave
I've noticed that as you go up in scale, like 3/4 scale models are no longer regarded as "toys". Cost must come into play as some HO models can cost 4 figures. Times have changed. When I was growing up 70+ years ago, anyone who was into model railroading was thought of as someone who hasn't grown up. Unfortunately, that image persists today. Those who hold that thought have never "played" with trains. The guilt trip has passed many years ago. There are/were many famous people who "played" with model trains, like Frank Sinatra and Rod Steward. They seemed to keep it quiet probably for fear of being labeled as non-adult. It's nice to know many famous people have come out of the closet and openly play with their trains.
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Offline kimballthurlow  
#6 Posted : 30 September 2021 10:31:38(UTC)
kimballthurlow

Australia   
Joined: 18/03/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,095
Location: Brisbane, Australia
If I ever mention my model trains in company I get three reactions.
1. The eyes glaze over as much as to say "I don't understand anyone with model trains they must come from a different planet".
2. The eyes glance elsewhere as if "I could not care less what you do in your spare time".
3. The eyes widen and shine with amazement as in "Oh what a perfectly lovely and fascinating thing to occupy your mind - do you have a set up in a shed" or something.

Yes they are toys, and my 5 siblings know that I "have always been mucking around with them since as far back as I remember:.

Kimball
HO Scale - Märklin (ep III and VI, C Track, digital) - 2 rail (USA and Australia) - 3 rail (English Hornby Dublo) - a few old O gauge.
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Offline river6109  
#7 Posted : 30 September 2021 11:32:55(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,784
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
I think it is moved away from toys, I don't call my layout a toy, there are serious track configurations and they don't look like anything like an oval with a tunnel thrown into it.
my layout track configuration is a engineering marvel and it took some design method to come up with a track configuration within a layout board (2400mm x 1200mm).

John
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Offline Mr. Ron  
#8 Posted : 30 September 2021 16:22:22(UTC)
Mr. Ron

United States   
Joined: 05/07/2020(UTC)
Posts: 141
Location: Mississippi, Vancleave
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
I think it is moved away from toys, I don't call my layout a toy, there are serious track configurations and they don't look like anything like an oval with a tunnel thrown into it.
my layout track configuration is a engineering marvel and it took some design method to come up with a track configuration within a layout board (2400mm x 1200mm).

John

We model railroaders realize all the work and engineering that goes into a model railroad, but the general public doesn't see it like that. To them, it's just a frivolous waste of time that could better be served like making money or watching football on TV or mowing the lawn. I guess the rest of the world doesn't get it.

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Offline rbw993  
#9 Posted : 30 September 2021 16:39:55(UTC)
rbw993

United States   
Joined: 19/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 835
I can see the watch football part. That's why I have a TV in my train room. What could be better than watching football, running trains and drinking beer?

Regards,
Roger
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Offline H0  
#10 Posted : 30 September 2021 17:00:57(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 14,294
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
I think it is moved away from toys
There is "My World" with just toys. There is "Startup" with some toyish rolling stock.
And there are items marked "15+" that are no toys.

They started with toys. And they still make toys.

Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
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Offline Mr. Ron  
#11 Posted : 30 September 2021 17:32:59(UTC)
Mr. Ron

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Location: Mississippi, Vancleave
There was a saying; "The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys". Some think I am wasting my time on trains, but it's my time and I can do with it what I want. At 87 next week I've paid my dues and earned the right to play with my toys.
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Offline dickinsonj  
#12 Posted : 01 October 2021 01:54:32(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,460
Location: United States
A race car driver and hero of mine, Sam Posey built a beautiful model railroad, which lead him to write a book titled "Playing with Trains: A Passion Beyond Scale".

He is a great writer and he makes an excellent case for playing with trains and the many joys and benefits that come from building a model railroad.

A bit off topic, I know. To me the 15+ models from Märklin today are too expensive and intricate to call them just toys.
Regards,
Jim

I have almost all Märklin and mostly HO, although I do have a small number of Z gauge trains!
I have models from Era I to Era VI, but I try to focus on Eras I & III. Whoops, that one got away from me. Let's just say I focus on cool trains, regardless of the particulars :-)
So many trains and so little time.
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Offline Bigdaddynz  
#13 Posted : 01 October 2021 02:41:03(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

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Location: New Zealand
I think we have had this discussion before but would need to go look for the threads.
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Offline Bigdaddynz  
#14 Posted : 01 October 2021 07:01:57(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 18,068
Location: New Zealand
Some discussions along these lines here

https://www.marklin-user...-Central-Station-Upgrade (Central Station being discussed was the v2.0 upgrade for the CS1)

https://www.marklin-user...o-negative-about-marklin
Offline Carim  
#15 Posted : 01 October 2021 18:04:46(UTC)
Carim

United Kingdom   
Joined: 15/09/2014(UTC)
Posts: 527
Location: London
I think that you will find that Wikipedia's description of Märklin is using an industrial classification code (e.g. SIC, GICS or S&P codes). For instance in the UK, a model train manufacturer would probably be classified under SIC as "32409 - Manufacture of other games and toys, n.e.c.". These codes are used for national income accounting, taxation, stock exchange classifications, etc.

Carim
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Offline Martti Mäntylä  
#16 Posted : 01 October 2021 23:42:22(UTC)
Martti Mäntylä

Finland   
Joined: 15/11/2018(UTC)
Posts: 258
Location: Uusimaa, Helsinki
If not toys, what would you call Märklin products?

Surely they are not toys aimed at children, and they give room for considerable creativity and expressing certain kinds of technical and artistic skill, but I still would call them toys.

Personally, I don't mind: I spent a whole career playing with toys that constantly challenged my imagination and stretched the scope of things that I thought I could have an impact on. Homo Ludens!
- Martti M.
Era III analog & digital (Rocrail, CAN Digital Bahn, Gleisbox/MS2, K83/K84), C & M tracks, some Spur 1
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Offline Mr. Ron  
#17 Posted : 02 October 2021 03:07:43(UTC)
Mr. Ron

United States   
Joined: 05/07/2020(UTC)
Posts: 141
Location: Mississippi, Vancleave
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Some discussions along these lines here

https://www.marklin-user...-Central-Station-Upgrade (Central Station being discussed was the v2.0 upgrade for the CS1)

https://www.marklin-user...o-negative-about-marklin


I read the posts over on your 2nd reference and was made positively certain that Marklin is the best choice for me. It was a hard decision for me to make since I am an American and grew up in a 2 rail world. I guess the only concern I have with Marklin is; since it is a German company, their rolling stock are mostly 4 wheel cars that don't offer much variety, at least to an American eye. The passenger cars are not a problem and I embrace them well. I would like to see freight cars with American appearances. I know Marklin has a few American prototype cars, but not the variety we have here. Still I love Marklin for all it's other attributes. The puckos on my M track doesn't bother me; I don't really notice them, especially from a distance. In the future, I will try to bash some American freight cars to operate on 3-rail. Couplers are another thing I have a problem with. I wonder how much of a problem it would be to equip all my Marklin stock to Kaydee couplers. I have been fabricating some catenary from brass rod and have about 60 feet of it done; I still have to erect it. My catenary may look oversized, but it is sturdy to stand up to accidental "bumps". I've noticed on videos, the catenary is all mangled because the wires are too small and fragile. The catenary has to be able to stand up when you are working on trackwork or re-railing a train wreck. I really enjoy this forum and thank you and all for the assistance you give to other members.
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Offline Copenhagen  
#18 Posted : 02 October 2021 12:20:32(UTC)
Copenhagen


Joined: 23/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 166
To Mr. Ron
I run all kinds of trains on my layout. Steamers, diesels and electric and don't have catenary (and don't plan to install any) and it looks quite fine to me. I know several other modellers do the same. If I choose to have the pantographs raised it often looks better to have it lowered a bit by a very fine string of thread or copper wire (also to keep it from hitting tunnel roofs!).
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Offline river6109  
#19 Posted : 02 October 2021 13:22:59(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,784
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Originally Posted by: rbw993 Go to Quoted Post
I can see the watch football part. That's why I have a TV in my train room. What could be better than watching football, running trains and drinking beer?

Regards,
Roger


I never drink and drive .........................................................................................................................................trains LOL
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
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5 years in Destruction mode
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Offline river6109  
#20 Posted : 02 October 2021 13:24:53(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,784
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Originally Posted by: dickinsonj Go to Quoted Post
A race car driver and hero of mine, Sam Posey built a beautiful model railroad, which lead him to write a book titled "Playing with Trains: A Passion Beyond Scale".

He is a great writer and he makes an excellent case for playing with trains and the many joys and benefits that come from building a model railroad.

A bit off topic, I know. To me the 15+ models from Märklin today are too expensive and intricate to call them just toys.


We call them expensive toys.BigGrin

https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
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Offline river6109  
#21 Posted : 02 October 2021 13:27:28(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,784
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Originally Posted by: Copenhagen Go to Quoted Post
To Mr. Ron
I run all kinds of trains on my layout. Steamers, diesels and electric and don't have catenary (and don't plan to install any) and it looks quite fine to me. I know several other modellers do the same. If I choose to have the pantographs raised it often looks better to have it lowered a bit by a very fine string of thread or copper wire (also to keep it from hitting tunnel roofs!).


Wouldn't it be easier just to remove the pantograph BigGrin , it would save you a lot of explanations
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5 years in Destruction mode
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Offline Copenhagen  
#22 Posted : 02 October 2021 16:25:25(UTC)
Copenhagen


Joined: 23/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 166
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post


Wouldn't it be easier just to remove the pantograph BigGrin , it would save you a lot of explanations


And likewise remove all the rods on the wheels of the steamers because they don't really drive the locomotive? :-)
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Offline grnwtrs  
#23 Posted : 03 October 2021 01:19:30(UTC)
grnwtrs

United States   
Joined: 18/06/2005(UTC)
Posts: 648
Location: El Sobrante, California
Originally Posted by: Mr. Ron Go to Quoted Post
There was a saying; "The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys". Some think I am wasting my time on trains, but it's my time and I can do with it what I want. At 87 next week I've paid my dues and earned the right to play with my toys.


I agree, as a youngster of 83, I still enjoy merely looking at the fine marklin models (toys, as one says) of all eras and countries. Of course, I really enjoy this site and the banter about various aspects of the hobby.

As a separate topic , if talking model trains as a hobby (toys) try saying your are interested in "fishing"
I can't possibly count the number of times I have seen the head and eyes roll when I mentioned that I liked fishing.
Then when I tried to explain what I meant, like say trout, steelhead, or salmon fishing, or added drift fishing , spoon,
fly fishing, did the heads roll and conversation stopped. Never made those mistakes often in a social circle! or otherwise!

I started fishing, fly at the age of 6 when my Grandfather gave me a new reel for Christmas. He also gave me a 9' split BB
rod and some line. I made great use of all these components over the years.

I started model trains in 1968 at Berkeley Hardware after disastrous problems with American Importers of what ever!!
I was shown Maerklin models once, and stayed pretty true ever since. Nobody is perfect, just check out the new Roco Kran.

RegardsLaugh , gene
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Offline Mr. Ron  
#24 Posted : 03 October 2021 03:34:25(UTC)
Mr. Ron

United States   
Joined: 05/07/2020(UTC)
Posts: 141
Location: Mississippi, Vancleave
The purpose of this train forum is to disseminate information and to ask questions. It is not the place to try to convince others that one view is better than another's view.
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#25 Posted : 03 October 2021 09:25:39(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 18,068
Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: grnwtrs Go to Quoted Post
Nobody is perfect, just check out the new Roco Kran.


What's wrong with it?
Offline PhillipL  
#26 Posted : 06 October 2021 22:42:29(UTC)
PhillipL

United States   
Joined: 24/12/2012(UTC)
Posts: 119
Well, if Marklin trains are considered toys, then they are the coolest toys ever!
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Offline Chrome58  
#27 Posted : 06 October 2021 23:20:58(UTC)
Chrome58

Belgium   
Joined: 18/08/2021(UTC)
Posts: 12
Just my 2 cents ...

When I was growing in the '70s, Märklin products were still toys, but they were definitely in the high end spectrum. They were "serious" toys. Just take a look at the catalogs of that era, you'll see that they do tend to children. I looked this afternoon at the 1973 catalog (to find back the oval set I received as a gift for Christmas around that time - the 2920) and there's a kid playing with trains all through it.

What started in the '80s/'90s is that model trains gradually ceased to be toys. Mostly because kids were not interested anymore in playing with trains. For a lot of different reasons. They had a lot of more exciting things to play with : video games, consoles, ... And trains were not representing anymore progress and technology. They rather became icons of an obsolete, industrial past.

Märklin adapted to this change, and evolved to be highly precise and detailed, and to become a luxury brand that cared for the adult hobbyist. They were already expensive (I remember the prices in the '80s), but they became even more so.

So, Märklin was indeed a toy company, but evolved with the market, because the market changed, because we changed. When you entered a toy shop in the '70s, Märklin was there, along the Lego, and other toys. Nowadays, you don't find Märklin anymore in a toy shop.

PS : Someone mentioned that in some countries, "Märklin" was used as a generic name for toy trains. That's true. It was the case here, in Belgium, for quite some time.
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Offline Copenhagen  
#28 Posted : 07 October 2021 02:02:04(UTC)
Copenhagen


Joined: 23/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 166
A kid will see model trains as a toy. Grown ups will see it as a hobby (clarification: grown ups who are into model railroading of course). So even in the '70s adults who "played" with Märklin would see it as a hobby and not as playing with toys.

Edited by user 07 October 2021 15:14:19(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline H0  
#29 Posted : 07 October 2021 08:39:14(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 14,294
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: Chrome58 Go to Quoted Post
So, Märklin was indeed a toy company, but evolved with the market, because the market changed, because we changed. When you entered a toy shop in the '70s, Märklin was there, along the Lego, and other toys. Nowadays, you don't find Märklin anymore in a toy shop.
Märklin still make their toy-ish entry-level trains and you still find those in some toy shops.
They still make toys. They still are a toy company.

Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
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Offline Mr. Ron  
#30 Posted : 07 October 2021 21:03:17(UTC)
Mr. Ron

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Location: Mississippi, Vancleave
None of the model train manufacturers in the U.S. or in the UK refer to their products as toys. Only Marklin does. This thread is not meant to "correct" anyone's views as to whether a model train is a toy or not. It doesn't matter what you want to call it; it's just good wholesome fun. over-and-out
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Offline H0  
#31 Posted : 08 October 2021 12:59:49(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 14,294
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: Mr. Ron Go to Quoted Post
Other HO manufacturers don't have that "toy" label.
Who says that?

The full name of PIKO is "PIKO Spielwaren GmbH". That is "PIKO Toys Ltd." or "PIKO Toys LLC".

Märklin own a subsidiary with the name "Märklin Spielwaren Vertriebs-GmbH". That's "Märklin Toys Distribution Ltd."
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
Offline Copenhagen  
#32 Posted : 08 October 2021 18:38:36(UTC)
Copenhagen


Joined: 23/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 166
"ROCO is pursuing the goal of further pushing the high toy value and fun of the model railway through the use of digital technologies. The authentic reproduction of the originals is always in focus. Therefore, ROCO is thoroughly committed to the highest quality in design, construction and processing and the use of state-of-the-art technologies and production methods."
From https://www.roco.cc/en/a...us/philosophy/index.html

The word "toy" used by Märklin and other producers should definately be taken with a big grain of salt.
Offline Mr. Ron  
#33 Posted : 08 October 2021 20:48:53(UTC)
Mr. Ron

United States   
Joined: 05/07/2020(UTC)
Posts: 141
Location: Mississippi, Vancleave
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Mr. Ron Go to Quoted Post
Other HO manufacturers don't have that "toy" label.
Who says that?

The full name of PIKO is "PIKO Spielwaren GmbH". That is "PIKO Toys Ltd." or "PIKO Toys LLC".

Märklin own a subsidiary with the name "Märklin Spielwaren Vertriebs-GmbH". That's "Märklin Toys Distribution Ltd."


I don't speak German.

Offline Copenhagen  
#34 Posted : 08 October 2021 23:22:16(UTC)
Copenhagen


Joined: 23/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 166
Originally Posted by: Mr. Ron Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Mr. Ron Go to Quoted Post
Other HO manufacturers don't have that "toy" label.
Who says that?

The full name of PIKO is "PIKO Spielwaren GmbH". That is "PIKO Toys Ltd." or "PIKO Toys LLC".

Märklin own a subsidiary with the name "Märklin Spielwaren Vertriebs-GmbH". That's "Märklin Toys Distribution Ltd."


I don't speak German.



But you do have a computer. Type this in the google search field: spielwaren translate to english
Result: Spielwaren = Toys
Reverse the translation and you get: Toys = Spielzeuge
If you google what is the difference between Spielwaren and Spielzeuge you'll find "its the same, but 'Spielwaren' is used less, its more of a trading term. It would sound a little bit outdated to use it in a normal conversation" (misspellings in the quote).
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Online marklinist5999  
#35 Posted : 09 October 2021 01:04:27(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 1,036
Location: Michigan, Troy
Roco is also referrrig to it's catalogue presentations as "Novelties". A novelty item usually carries with it some level of niche collectability, and quality.
Offline dickinsonj  
#36 Posted : 09 October 2021 01:20:16(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,460
Location: United States
I think that it is an arbitrary classification and different from one person's perspective to the next. For me Märklin trains are better than toys, but it really doesn't matter.

As long as you know what Märklin means to you and assuming that you are having fun with your trains, who cares what label someone else puts on them?
Regards,
Jim

I have almost all Märklin and mostly HO, although I do have a small number of Z gauge trains!
I have models from Era I to Era VI, but I try to focus on Eras I & III. Whoops, that one got away from me. Let's just say I focus on cool trains, regardless of the particulars :-)
So many trains and so little time.
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Offline Mr. Ron  
#37 Posted : 09 October 2021 01:21:25(UTC)
Mr. Ron

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Posts: 141
Location: Mississippi, Vancleave
What better way to waste 1/2 hour in banter. At least it shows that we are still alive.
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Offline Copenhagen  
#38 Posted : 09 October 2021 15:33:04(UTC)
Copenhagen


Joined: 23/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 166
Originally Posted by: Mr. Ron Go to Quoted Post
What better way to waste 1/2 hour in banter. At least it shows that we are still alive.


I don't think it's a wasted discussion. I was actually surprised to se Märklin use the "toy" word on their website. A small layout with a small number of trains and cars can definately be used and seen as a toy. Once you expand to a larger, more complex track with lots of rolling stock it goes far beyond the scope of merely playing with toys.
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Online marklinist5999  
#39 Posted : 09 October 2021 15:35:15(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 1,036
Location: Michigan, Troy
It's all good!
Offline michelvr  
#40 Posted : 09 October 2021 16:02:46(UTC)
michelvr


Joined: 06/07/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,225
We’re lucky their not toy boats.

Try saying toy boats fast five time!

Edited by user 09 October 2021 19:32:23(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline Mr. Ron  
#41 Posted : 09 October 2021 20:06:16(UTC)
Mr. Ron

United States   
Joined: 05/07/2020(UTC)
Posts: 141
Location: Mississippi, Vancleave
Looking through various Marklin catalogs (https://dermodellbahnblog.de/maerklin-katalog-pdf-download.html), they picture children playing with the trains with adults looking on and sometimes picture adults examining closely a locomotive. With today's technical advancements and complexity, it's hard to think of a model train as a toy any longer; you have to be an engineer to understand how it works. Personally, I find DCC way over my head.
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Offline Copenhagen  
#42 Posted : 09 October 2021 23:43:46(UTC)
Copenhagen


Joined: 23/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 166
Great collection of catalogues to look through. I'm no expert but I suspect that the use of children in the catalogues is a clever marketing strategy. Get the young ones into the hobby by cheap beginner sets and expect that the older members of the family will take part in the fun and that some of them will get hooked on it. A percentage of the kids will continue, or renew, their interest in model trains as they grow older and get an income that'll make it possible to "play" with model trains on a larger scale. Also the large amount of locomotives, wagons and accessories in the catalogues go beyond the scale of Märklin being just for kids.
I believe that through the years there were also lots of magazines, books and other publications that were directed toward a more mature segment as well as there was model train clubs for theese people.

Forgive me if what I write is obvious to the majority of members of this forum who have probably been dedicated to this hobby for years and years.
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Offline Martti Mäntylä  
#43 Posted : 10 October 2021 01:25:48(UTC)
Martti Mäntylä

Finland   
Joined: 15/11/2018(UTC)
Posts: 258
Location: Uusimaa, Helsinki
I think Copenhagen got this right.

The main target group of Märklin's present marketing efforts appears to be people who have encountered Märklin in their tender youth, and can be tempted back into the hobby. Because they are no longer children, the actual offerings must be tailored for more grown-up tastes. So, Märklin is trying to use its past success as a toymaker to create a new market of "serious toys" aimed at adults. Märklin itself is struggling with how to call this segment.

Once the baby boomer generation that actually may have experienced Märklin in their youth dies out, this will no longer work. Despite many attempts, Märklin has never managed to create a line of products attractive to generation X children or later ones.

Who knows? Perhaps our grandchildren or great grandchildren will again be attracted to trains, once they have regained their lustre in the post fossil energy world.
- Martti M.
Era III analog & digital (Rocrail, CAN Digital Bahn, Gleisbox/MS2, K83/K84), C & M tracks, some Spur 1
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Offline Mr. Ron  
#44 Posted : 10 October 2021 18:57:20(UTC)
Mr. Ron

United States   
Joined: 05/07/2020(UTC)
Posts: 141
Location: Mississippi, Vancleave
Along comes Thomas the train and friends which delighted children. Will this spark an interest in model railroading in later years; I don't think so.
Offline Bahner  
#45 Posted : 11 October 2021 13:54:06(UTC)
Bahner

United States   
Joined: 18/11/2017(UTC)
Posts: 139
Location: California, East Bay
I've read the comments referring to people rolling their eyes if model trains are mentioned in a social setting. I've experienced this myself, but then this can also happen when other hobbies and non-money making pursuits are mentioned (especially if it involves scale replicas of some sort which are typically thought of as 'toys').

In my very early teens, my father attempting to build a rather complicated Arnold N-scale layout. I realized at that time that model railroading (at that level) was not a simple toy that can be brought out of the closet to be installed in a short time to run around a Christmas tree. But rather it was a challenging pastime requiring a multitude of skills, analytical thinking and a level of maturity/persistence/patience that no typical child possesses.

So is Marklin a 'Toy company? Absolutely. But they (and many others) are also much more than that since they provide complex realistic replicas that nicely fit into our attempts at creating true-to-life model scenes of the real world (past and present).



Ralph.
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Offline Mr. Ron  
#46 Posted : 13 October 2021 03:04:20(UTC)
Mr. Ron

United States   
Joined: 05/07/2020(UTC)
Posts: 141
Location: Mississippi, Vancleave
Marklin trains may be "toys", but it takes an adult with electrical and mechanical skills to keep them running. The average child would not have the dexterity or skill to manipulate the tiny screws and find the proper track pieces in a complicated layout. I know as an adult I find it challenging.
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Offline mike c  
#47 Posted : 13 October 2021 06:25:22(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 7,232
Location: Montreal, QC
Screen Shot 2020-08-04 at 12.33.02 PM.png

Maerklin Life Problems

Would you have it any other way?

Regards

Mike C
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Online marklinist5999  
#48 Posted : 13 October 2021 07:23:07(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 1,036
Location: Michigan, Troy
Yes, adult toys! The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys!
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