The Future of LEGO Trains
So like most of you, I’ve watched the YouTube announcement of the Emerald Night. It looks beautiful and the $99 price tag is okay, not great. Now, I just got the new S@H catalog in the mail, listing the price of the train Power Functions… Oh my!
Now there’s been a move with cell phone companies to try to standardize on a universal cell phone charger (that Apple hasn’t adopted yet) to cut down on phone charger waste & go a little greener. LEGO’s (#8887) Transformer 10VDC is $24.99. In all fairness, it’s a little high; not to mention that the picture shown in the catalog is the European version. But I guess what really shocks me is the $49.99 for the (#8878) Rechargeable Battery Box… and the two are useless without the other!
So this also brings the price of a starter LEGO train kit from (historically) $120-$150, now up to $219.99; almost double. The (K10194) Emerald Night collection includes the Emerald Night, the 6 Power Function parts — Light, XL Motor, IR RX (receiver), IR Speed Remote Control, Rechargeable Battery Box, & Transformer — and a circle of Flex Train Tracks… doesn’t even include any strait track.
A loop of Flexible Train Track is $24.99. Excuse me? The track concept is super cool, but $24.99 for a box of Flexible Train Track? Now, 2 boxes of curved 9V track at $13/box is $26, so we’re saving $1 per loop. But the bottom line, the money LEGO is saving by not putting metal onto track segments is not being passed on…