Union Pacific (official liscensed product)

I don't know for sure that this is in fact happening, but after
reading all the messages on the subject, it sure seems like it could
Many years ago the subject came up in MR. Another railroad wanted
payment for the use of it's logo. I believe they backed off and the
threat was not realized.
Harley-Davidson was the first company I had dealings with that started
charging for the use of their name and logos on merchandise. Prior to
their actions, many non-related companies were making profits by
producing merchandise using their trademarks.
The down side of official liscensed product is the high cost to the
For example, a company like the UP might agree to $1 for each
locomotive manufactured bearing it's corporate logo.
The manufacturer now has to invest $1 more into production for each
one. He will then want a return on his $1 investment, after all, he is
in business to make a profit.
The $1 to the manufacturer, then becomes $2 to a wholesale
distribution company like Walthers. They need to make a profit on
their $2 investment too.
So, the $2 becomes $2.86 when the locomotive is sold to a hobby shop.
The hobby shop needs a profit on their investment as well, so the
$2.86 becomes $4.74 by the time the end user picks his loco to take
If he happens to be a Canadian, wow, $4.74 US becomes $6.63 plus the
provincial sales tax and GST. In Ontario that would be $7.63 more than
an unliscensed model.
And the UP only got $1 per unit.
That's business folks.
I'm liking my freelanced railroad with the made up name better all the
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The problem is that distributors, wholesalers, and the local hobby shop deal in terms of percent markup as opposed to "passing the cost on to the consumer" which would ultimately only cost the consumer a dollar more - until taxes are involved, then you re-introduce percentage increases.
Of course, it all evens out in the end due to competition. Heck, my local hobby shop knocks of a fair amount of the cost for first run items if you pre-order. And then there is mail order.
The best thing though is to learn to do your favorite RR paint scheme yourself. UP shouldn't be that hard.
Either way it shouldn't make a big dent in the wallet. If you're modeling the prototype, most of the freight cars I see are rather generic looking without any fancy logos. So unless your entire layout is a replica of a UP paint shop then you should be ok.
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Neb Okla

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