That may be true, but I've bought several of the Malibu International
HO cars at W-M. The detail is actually quite good for the price,
especially when compared to the ones that go for 5x the price in the
hobby shop. They make great parking lot fillers and auto-rack loads.
Look for them also on the clearance shelves at W-M for even better
P.S This isn't "news", the Malibu cars have been available for probably
a couple years now, and have been discussed extensively on some of the
My local Wal-Mart Supercenter has the Norscot construction equipment (see p.
775 in the last Walthers catalog) for $5.97 each (Walthers show $20.95
each). Singles are $1.97, and car plus travel trailer at $2.47. Full
interiors, good paint, nice chrome detail... many of these show in the
$12-$15 range in Walthers...
They are not the same models. The models made for Walmart have fewer
parts, and are not as detailed. How do I know? Fellow at the club showed
me both versions. He considers the WM versions good enough for flatcar
Walmart is good at getting makers to produce to a "price point." You get
what you pay for at Walmart...
I'd be the first to admit I'm not a nitpicker, and as far as such details
go, "good enough for flatcar loads" and "you get what you pay for" work for
me on my layout! Friend and I compared the Norscot items, his being the
hobby shop versions, and we agreed that the WM ones were fine for our needs.
No cars on his part to compare with the Malibu International ones, but
several in the club indicated they were quite satisfied with what they saw,
and planned to wander by the toy aisle in WM next time they were in.
Now to find a tanker truck or two for my corn syrup facility...
The Walmart 1:87 vehicles look pretty good to me. They are very shiny,
but a shot of Dullcote ought to fix that. The selection could be better
and some of the rigs, like a sports car pulling a camper, would look odd
on any US pike. But for the vehicles that fit into your time frame they
are pretty good.
Matt Furze wrote:
Maybe, but their HO diecast vehicles are pretty good. The worst is the
VW beetle - the chrome surround on the windows is too wide. But the
other vehicles are nicely done.
Also, Model power's N scale steam locos are excellent.
The WalMart models differ in colours, etc, but appear to be the same
Walmart has good HO scale vehicles that same to be the same as the
current ones from Model Power. They are by Malibu International and
retail for $2.22 per single car and $7.98 for an assorted 5 pack. Steve
There's a review of "Star Cars" in the May issue of Model Railroad News.
Bill's Railroad Empire
N Scale Model Railroad:
Brief History of N Scale:
Model Railroad Bookstore:
Resources--Links to 1,100 sites:
Their 'Toys-R-Us' level stuff is gotten better than Life-Likes
the last year or so.
I've noticed most of their entry-level/beginner stuff is no
longer using 'pan-cake' motors, and actually has all-wheel
IIRC Model Power has never had pancake motors. The MP diesels
I have had were crufty enough, but they were 8-wheel drive, central
motor, no flywheels, plastic axles, all wheel pickup. Not great, and
very light, but not completely horrible.
I think some of the earlier RS2's may have had vertically mounted
motors on one truck.
Some of the Model Power freight cars look all right for cheapie
trainset stuff. IIANM they are old Marx dies. The 40' boxcar isn't
bad, for what it is, and it's one of the rare trainset cars without
'claws'...I think it's a 1937 AAR design.
I am referring to the HO stuff in all this.
President, a box of track and some grids.
This discussion has gotten "way off track" (pun intended). Back to the
vehicles & model railroading...
I'm guessing that these are in the toy section at Wal-Mart; how are they
packaged (blister packs, boxes, how?) and are they under different brand
names? I think I saw Norscott and Malibu in the posts; are there others?
I've never seen them, even though I've been through the toy section many
times. But I have a 16 month old boy, so I might have overlooked toys for
older kids. (Though I usually don't since I'm just an adult boy myself...)
The Norscot models are in blister packs, predominately yellow/black,
Norscot name all over them, 1:87 scale prominent also. The Malibu
International cars, Malibu name one one end, are packaged in a plastic
container with black cardboard wrapped around it, car visible from one side
and both ends. Red band across the top, broken up with the words "Model
Collection" and Scale 1:87 underneath. There's also a set of fairly modern
18-wheel tractors with sleeper, same packaging but without the Scale 1:87,
though the price tag on the shelf read 1:87. Yes, in the toy aisle along
with the Hot Wheels and other such items. Even spotted a Nascar set of 1:87
cars, individually packaged. No use for such on my layout, but YMMV.
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