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Pleasanton 2008 Train Show Report

December 1, 2008

Pleasanton is one of the best shows out there, and both the vendors and the general public seem to know this, and make an extra effort to make the show the best in the Bay Area by a large margin. The real plus is that you get vendors from both the Central Valley and the Bay Area, which makes for a great selection of dealers. The other fun thing is that this applies to layout groups as well. You get some of the excellent On30 modular and sectional layouts such as the “Yosemite Short Line” and the aforementioned On30 modular club, featured in an earlier article.

From the Standpoint of a Visitor

A wide range of scales from Z-G with HO and G being the scales most represented. Prices were generally lower than previous years, with dealers willing to TRADE and sell locomotives and rollingstock, which I took full advantage of, unloading some old cars and buildings for things I actually wanted. A really wide range of people showed up on Saturday, a very pleasant mix of real scale modelers *(unlike the San Jose Show) and families. The overall atomosphere was pleasant, the crowds were thick until about 2pm on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday, which is good.

One of the show stealers was the first T (1:450) train layout most people had ever seen, it was very cool, and small!

From the Standpoint of a Seller

If you sold at the show, you did less business than last year, but still enough to be very profitable. The crowds of modelers and even families brought some cash to spend on your items, which is always appreciated. Most people were friendly, the usual accompanyment of lookers “shakers” and buyers. Shakers are defined as somebody who picks up a MRR item and gently shakes the box, perhaps opens it up to make sure the kit is complete, etc.

I had a lot of positive interest in my weathered cars, and especially of my newest product, a brand-new 100% custom built HO boxcab locomotive, which I’ll feature soon in an article. At any rate I made some money and enjoyed a pleasant weekend selling train stuff and talking to a variety of interesting people!


O scale crowd

Even the scale crowds were thick on Saturday! This is a scene on the magnificent “Yosemite Short Line (YSL) sectional layout.

Talk about SOUND!
The astoundingly real bass rumble of a 6 unit freight stuggling uphill could be heard coming out of this display for a railfan video company. It was surprising how realistic it sounded, it startled me a few times!

BAZ layout
The BAZ Z scalers were out in force with an exceptionally large version of their modular layout. It was a pleasure to see almost the entire layout. (More on them later)

My On30 Rodgers 2-6-0 on the YSL

After conversing with a good portion of the YSL modelers, I posed my weathered On30 2-6-0 on their layout for a series of snapshots for it’s upcoming eBay auction. (just the locomotive is for sale.)

Honeymoon Tunnels
The Honeymoon tunnels returned with spectacular results. The rest of this other N scale layout is unremarkable from a scenery standpoint.

Pondering T scale
One of my friends ponders the possibilities of T scale, the impossibly small scale new from Japan (where else?)

Stay Tuned for more updates as time allows!

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 2, 2008 4:05 am

    I was disappointed in the amount of N scale equipment available, in direct contrast to the huge amount of HO equipment. I always thought that HO and N were about even in terms of how popular they are, but several of the recent shows seem to show that’s not the case. The one dealer that had the largest N scale selection at the show (and the most products that matched my shopping list) is actually using the shows as a way to sell out his inventory, as he’s going out of business. That being said, I was able to snag a few rare N scale products (including a set of the Athearn N scale Caltrain cars!).

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