Been Away Awhile - What the H#*& Happened in Tinplate?

We put the trains away in the early 90's, and now that the boys are off to college, they developed a renewed interest in them.
So I started looking around online, visiting a few hobby shops (those that are left, that is...), and it seems that the Lionel / K-Line / MTH / Williams market is completed topsy-turvey.
What happened to K-Line? I saw something about some lawsuit, but don't know the details.
I see on the back of CTT that Williams is offering a GG-1 for $149!!!
Has eBay changed everything? Is the collector dead (personally, I play with 'em)?
Seems like TMCC is some good technology (ease of use / install), and lots of good detail coming out. Is the hobby dying?
Thanks; Carl
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Carl Orton wrote:

>

That's a pretty good price, actually. The street price will be as much as 30% lower, anyhow. The better quality HO GG1s start around $250 and go up from there.

Yeah, e-bay has resulted in some really wierd prices being paid for junk by people who don't know any better, but other than that it's a pretty good measure of demand.

No, the hobby is not dying. But it is changing. Wholesalers are buying manufacturers, for example. Manufacturers are suing each other. Union Pacific demands a royalty on every UP marked toy or model train sold. Generally, quality has gone up, but so have prices. Etc.
From time to time the debate about whether the changes are for the better or for the worse rages here, then it dies down, and restarts at the slightest provocation. You've probably started another round of wrangling. :-)
Don't sweat it, just have fun!
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I can answer this one. I belong to an informal group of friends that follow railroading. We were just talking about this earlier. This is from an email i got from that group:
" Bob ----- reports to me that K-Line has indeed gone bankrupt. Apparently due to poor marketing(ordering and trying to sell unwanted product) and also to their Chinese producers wanting their money for past products. Their supplier changed hands and the new owners were not as tolerant of past due bills as the former owners were. My gawd!, just think, suppliers wanting to get paid for items shipped. What is this world coming to?"
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