Dear Rapido Customer,
Now that your belly is full, the songs have been sung, and the kids/grandkids have all opened the amazing model trains you've bought them, here's some Christmas diversion for you!
In this issue of Rapido News:
Our new freight engine revealed!
It is my esteemed pleasure to introduce you to our first feature-length (well, short feature length) movie, An Amazing Alberta Adventure. Dan, Matt and I went across Canada in search of our new freight locomotive and we sure as heck weren't disappointed! This movie follows our progress and the amazing people and trains we met along the way.
Please pour yourself a festive drink, make yourself comfortable on your coziest chair, and enjoy our 15-minute movie. You can click here to watch it, or click on the image above, or click on the image below to watch the movie. It looks best when viewed full screen. Thanks to the Guildwood Station Rotary Lions Club Band for the appropriate railway-themed title music.
We hope you enjoy watching our new movie as much as we had fun making it. This is by no means an official announcement, and you won't find more information about it on our web site - it is a special treat for our newsletter and YouTube subscribers. We will have our first test samples in the spring/summer and only then will we announce product numbers and pricing information.
I've been very coy about the new freight engine over the last few months. To those of you who guessed it correctly, I apologize for not being able to tell you that you were right. You are welcome to act all smug next time you see me! And to everyone who sits through the whole movie without falling asleep: thanks for putting up with us!
The following HO scale products just arrived on Friday morning, so we'll ship them out in the first week of January:
Leaving the factory on January 7th will be the remainder of our Post-War 6-4-6 Sleepers and Pullman-Standard Grill Parlors. These include:
The factory has started work on the Osgood Bradley Lightweight Coaches in Bangor & Aroostook, Long Island, and Penn Central. They will start to arrive in late March. More information on these cars can be found here.
The packaging for The Canadian has been printed. The instructions are being printed now. The models are well into production. We are on track for the first set (#210001) as well as the VIA FP9A locomotives to leave the factory by March 1st. We can hardly wait!!!
Is that a huge box or what?
More frequent updates on our projects can be found on our blog and on our Facebook page, as well as on the CanModelTrains forum. Wow. It sounds like we're really on top of the latest social media marketing techniques. I will pass that along to our marketing manager. He gets paid very well for an imaginary person.
Rapido only goes to three or four shows a year, and two of them are coming up in the next seven weeks.
The Copetown Train Show
Copetown, ON - 12 February 2012
The Copetown Show is unique in Canada - it is part prototype meet, part high-end modellers' show. Basically, if you are a prototypical modeller of Canadian railroads, this is the show for you. In an intimate setting, you can meet representatives from all the major railway historical associations, see some great prototype-specific layouts, and meet most of Canada's model train manufacturers face to face. It is also located about 100 feet from the CN mainline between Toronto and London and is a gorgeous photo location. (Copetown is about 10-15 minutes from Hamilton.)
This year, Rapido has signed on as a sponsor of the Copetown Show. This means that there will be some exciting Rapido-related stuff at the show - that's all I can say for now. We will certainly have a production sample of The Canadian on display, as well as the VIA FP9A. Come see and hear them in person. Dan and I will be there with bells on.
More information can be found here, and you can download a PDF brochure for the show here (PC users right click and "save target as..." to save this to your hard drive, print it out, and give it to everyone you meet on the subway). We hope to see you in Copetown, and please spread the word!
Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show
Springfield, MA - 28-29 January 2012
The Springfield Show is one of the biggest train shows in North America, and it has rightly earned its reputation as The Show to go to in the Northeast. Bill and Dan will be there, also with bells on - Dan gets a lot of use out of those bells. You can visit the Springfield Show official web site here.
And we plan to have a new product announcement at Springfield. So it's definitely worth coming out. I did ask my wife if I could go to Springfield also. She is nine months pregnant. She told me I had two hopes of going: No Hope and Bob Hope.
Christmas Time is Train Time
OK, I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but it needs to be said. To so many people, Christmas and trains will be forever connected. On Christmas Eve I listened to a beautiful reading of The Polar Express on my local radio station. How many serious modellers today can trace their love of the hobby to that first Lionel or American Flyer around the Christmas tree? I'd say most!
But now we have to ask, how many people below the age of 50 associate Christmas with trains? My guess is not that many. The introduction of slotcars in the 1960s, followed by the proliferation of RC toys and video games in the last 30 years, has meant that two generations of kids have grown up largely without trains under the tree. And that is a real shame.
If you've read our newsletters and forum postings in the past, you'll know that I am not a huge fan of getting kids into the hobby. Boys should be playing with Thomas and Brio, and then they should be outside getting exercise and finally they should be chasing after girls. That is healthy! Let them get into model trains in their 50s.
But my exception to this belief is at Christmas time. Kids need a train under the tree - even if it gets packed away again in January. And they need a good quality one, to boot. If we don't ensure that our younger generations have those memories that we had, then the connection between trains and Christmas will be lost forever in just one more generation, two at most.
The Boxing Day sales start this week ("After Christmas sales" for our American friends). I'm sure you can pick up a train (especially a Christmassy one) at a great price. If your kids or grandkids, nieces or nephews, or even your neighbours' kids, did not have a train around the tree this year, please consider buying one on sale this week and giving it to them next year. In many ways, the future of our hobby depends on it.
I detest the phrase Happy Holidays, so I will wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! May 2012 bring only blessings, happiness and celebration.
I'll leave you with an advertisement that my son, Boaz, made for Rapido. He's six and he has inherited his father's love for trains. He made this ad one night before bed and presented it to me as a surprise the next morning. You'll have to pardon me for being a proud daddy....
All best wishes,
Rapido Trains Inc.
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