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Dear Rapido Customer,
After a fairly quiet fall, we have a very busy winter, including our first N scale deliveries in two years! Here's what's coming:
Arriving in January:
Having trouble affording all of this?
Because deliveries from China are so unpredictable, it is possible for items you pre-ordered in three different years to arrive in one month! This can make paying for them very difficult.
There is nothing wrong with saying, "I didn't plan for my entire fleet to arrive in the span of three weeks and there's no $%$ way I can afford all this!" If you can't buy all that you reserved or you need to spread out your payments, please contact your dealer and let him or her know.
I've heard from dealers that they occasionally have trouble contacting customers when pre-orders have arrived - not just Rapido pre-orders but all pre-orders. Most dealers are very understanding and will happily come to some alternative arrangement if you want to spread out your payments. Similarly, if you want to cancel an item because too much has arrived at once then please let your dealer know as soon as possible so that they can put your models back on the shelf and earn some money from them.
Remember - this is a small hobby, and we're all in it together. Please keep the lines of communication open.
We're heading into train show high season, and we hope you can join us at one of our upcoming appearances.
1. January 8-10: Prototype Rails, Cocoa Beach, FL
As usual, Bill will be playing a big role at Cocoa, a long-established mecca for prototype modellers. (Sorry, "modelers" with one L.) This is an opportunity to mingle in an intimate setting with many of the big names in our hobby, such as Bill Darnaby, Tony Koester, Lance Mindheim, Stephen Priest, Bill Schaumburg, Mont Switzer and more. Click here for a PDF list of the clinics - it is really impressive!
You can also chat face-to-face with manufacturers without having 20 people smushed into you like at a bigger show. If you haven't booked your spot yet, I highly recommend it. Click here to visit the web site.
2. January 24-25: The Springfield Show, West Springfield, MA
The Springfield Show is one of the biggest train shows in the world. Bill and Dan will be joined by friends Mark, Matt and Randy at our display, which is in the Mallary Complex, Section 147 (across from Woodland Scenics). See "Two Big Product Launches" below. Click here to visit the show web site.
3. February 8: The Copetown Show, near Toronto, ON
We are co-sponsors (along with CARM) of the Copetown Show which is held every winter in the village of Copetown, just west of Toronto. This is my favourite train show, and it is a great chance to see what the best modellers and manufacturers in the area have to offer as well as just hang out and talk trains. There are also historical societies and slide vendors. It's nerd heaven, and I am the biggest nerd. Copetown is just a half-hour drive from Credit Valley Railway, Canada's largest model train store, and it is also located on the CN mainline in a very picturesque photo location. So you can really make a day of it.
We will be raffling off VIA F40 locomotives and other goodies, so make sure to buy some raffle tickets when you enter. Click here for more info.
Canadian Price Increase
I have some bad news for our Canadian customers. As you well know, the Canadian dollar has plummeted in value against the US dollar. Unfortunately all of our product and tooling costs are paid for in US dollars. We can eat a 10% increase in the cost of US dollars without passing it on but not more.
For future deliveries of new products, there will be a cost increase to our Canadian stores and direct customers paying in Canadian dollars as long as the US dollar is worth more than $1.10 CAD. For every additional $0.01, we will increase our prices by 1%. For instance, if the US dollar is trading at $1.15 CAD, there will be a 5% price increase. The increase will be determined when the goods leave our warehouse.
This increase does not apply to the VIA F40PH-2D models or any other new products announced from November 2014 onward, such as the Amtrak F40PH.
At the time of writing, the US dollar is worth $1.16 Canadian. That means that the $159 GMD-1 locomotive arriving next month will now cost $168.54 if you are buying it in Canada or direct from us. If the Canadian dollar gains value and the US dollar is worth $1.14 Canadian when the GMD-1 locomotives ship out, that $159 GMD-1 will cost $165.36.
Unfortunately this is completely out of our control. If you are upset about this and wish to do something about it, I recommend that you boost the price of crude oil. Let me know how that goes.
Please drop me a line if you have any questions.
Two Big Product Launches Coming...
At Springfield this year we will be launching two completely new products. The first is a line of vital layout accessories produced with a new company called RailCrew. Like so many of our models, RailCrew takes what is out there now and makes it a whole lot better. Once you see these in action, you will be hooked. Keep an eye out for the RailCrew banner at Springfield.
The other product launch is our most ambitious locomotive model, ever. It has six completely different body styles plus even more nose and other detail variations, which is a record for us. The tooling is so complex that Bill has himself twisted into a Bronx Terminal track plan trying to keep track of which doodad goes with what schmengy for which railroad and era.
This is going to be one of those Rapido models that sends everyone to eBay with their old models of the same prototype. Mark my words - within weeks of launching this new model, any manufacturer that has done this prototype in the past will quickly announce a new run to try and skim off some of our sales. But we've come to expect that. Often imitated, never replicated: that should be our new motto.
Can't make it to Springfield? I'll be sending out a detailed newsletter that weekend so you can join in the fun!
More Frequent Updates Online
These newsletters come out about once a month, but we update our Facebook page almost every day. Even if you aren't on Facebook, it's worth visiting our page for new product developments and regular photos from our factories and our travels. The photo above caused quite a stir this week when it was put on Facebook with no explanation! (And you still won't get one, so don't ask!)
The discussions following each post can be VERY entertaining! Click here to visit our Facebook page and please "like" us on Facebook, not that it really means anything!
And that's a wrap for our 2014 Christmas newsletter. Go back to stuffing yourself silly on turkey and pie! Dan, Bill, Mike, Janet, Colin and I wish you and your family all the best for a healthy and happy 2015.
Rapido Trains Inc.
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