Very nice piece on CBS nightly news tonight about how Union Pacific is
ripping off railroaders with their licensing fees on manufacturers. Hope
you all saw it. In any event hope you all abandon modeling the UP or any of
And note this. I went to a Hallmark shop tonight and saw that the Harley
Davidson motorcycle ornament was $14.95, the Chevy C-10 was $14.95, the
toy crane was $14.95, and so on. Now get this: the Lionel train engine was
$18.95!!!! So, it's LIONEL that is ripping us off here! And yet Lionel
on national TV to whine about UP charging a nominal amount when in the same
situation Lionel charges Hallmark (and thus us) FAR more than UP. THIS IS
Kent in SD
And you went to Kansas City to check Hallmark's books to see the difference
in price was solely license fees? I think not. It looks like a lot more
work to make and assemble the loco than a Chevy. The tender and passenger
car are only $12.95, that compares well with the others you mentioned.
FWIW, it's those locomotive decorations that got me into this hobby - got
the first one, got a piece of track to set it on, and it just picked up
steam from there. (Yes, they sit on N-guage track very nicely!)
Val, in SD
Coca Cola and Disney aren't in the railroad business. Charging for their
logo on a box car is reasonable. Union Pacific IS in the railroad business
and they shouldn't be charging those who model the railroad. If UP wants to
charge me $5 to put their logo on a baseball cap, that's ok. But, this
hobby is modeling the real thing, not taking the logo to attach it to
Why are the manufacturers escaping everyone's condemnation in this
discussion? The gentleman representing manufacturers in the CBS
segment said something to the effect of being upset the UP wanted a
"piece of our action." In my eyes, he's the shill for trying to
capitalize on the UP's corporate image without giving them their due.
A corporate identity is a commodity that can be bought and sold and UP
is perfectly right to try to protect and capitalize on their image's
In a way, that's pretty much the way all of the U.P. whiners on
rec.models.railroad come off, too. On one hand they're calling the U.P.
greedy for charging a licensing fee for their logos, while at the same time
it sure sounds like the underlying current in their messages is: "we don't
want to pay for manufacturers to use the trademarks."
There are several groups of "whiners" about the UP trademark controversy:
1. Those who don't want anyone to make money ever, except for maybe
2. Those who think that though UP may have the right to license their
trademarks for any fee they wish, it is unwise, or even unfair for them to
do so after allowing unfettered use for many years.
3. Those who agree with No. 2 above, but who object to UP's attempt to
charge a free or fetter in any way the fallen flags trademarks, especially
since UP did all they could to kill those symbols in the first place.
4. Those who don't think UP has any right to charge for trademarks which
have been free for so long (the public domain group).
5. Those who whine about the other whiners.
6. Those who will hijack any thread to discuss the merits of haggis.
in article AXJEb.151098$ firstname.lastname@example.org, Mark Mathu at
email@example.com wrote on 12/19/03 1:19 PM:
I don't recall predicting the stockholders would get involved, but I was
hoping for the press. btw, I spent 20 years managing the logo licensing for
a VERY famous sporting goods brand. We charged everybody thru the nose to
put our logo on tee shirt and ball caps, because they would pay. But, we
would NEVER charge someone who made a model of our product. Albeit, our
product wasn't something that typically got modeled, but if it was we would
just consider ourselves lucky to get the free advertising.
Shouldn't that be Mass Indigestion?
Please note; return email address has changed.
It is now firstname.lastname@example.org. Emails to Earthlink will be
The Gratiot Valley Railroad Club bi-annual train show and sale
March 7, 2004, at the Macomb Community College Sports
and Expo Center. Macomb County Michigan.
Please visit our Web Site at:
Because he's making models of railroad locomotives and cars -
some of which are operated by a huge corporation calling
itself Union Pacific (please, don't look at the history of
graft and corruption behind the curtain) - and part of making
a model is getting the paint and markings right. It doesn't
have a thing to do with UP's corporate image.
Myself, I'm apalled by their attempts to wrap themselves in
the flag, but merely amused by the incredible stupidity of
their legal and marketing departments that can't differentiate
between someone selling a model that bears their RR markings
and someone selling a tshirt or an ashtray or a beer cooler or
a travel mug or a vaguely locomotive shaped tree ornament:
objects that have as their only distinction the logo printed
on them, unless you count the overwhelming inanity of the
average customer for such schlock (sorry, all you NFL boxcar
and Coca Cola missile launching milk car owners).
A corporate stooge is a commodity that will enthusiastically
believe any nonsense so long as it is promulgated by a large
enough corporation. Sorry, never mind me, just finger your
Saint Nixon medals and drop back to sleep.