Which electric trains are best

I see that there are several FS posts on this group apparently without complaints so I hope my question is appropriate for the group.
We have just started into the electric train business with an offering consisting of a few of the Lionel train sets. I have been advised that they are popular.
How do the Lionel trains compare to the others that are out there? I have always regarded the brand as high quality "standard" but have been reading here about some "legal problems" they had.
Are there other brands that we should be investigating? We try to only offer high quality products.
Steve at www.electrictrain.biz
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SELLCOM Tech support wrote:

By whom? Lionel supplies a niche market now, and the company is no longer a standard brand, not even in O gauge. In fact, I don't think there is a standard brand in electric trains anymore.

You won't like my response, I'm afraid.
Is this a market survey? If so, you don't seem to have enough background to ask the right questions. You seem to be unaware that model and toy trains come in different scales (sizes), for example. For example, you don't indicate whether you are selling O or HO trains. You tell us you are selling "electric trains", as if that's enough for us to know what kind of information you need.
You seem to have no idea of the toy and model train market, that is, the range and variety of products, and the range and variety of customer preferences and desires, still less which niche you want to serve. Toy and model trains isn't a single market, it's a collection of niches.
Finally, if this isn't just a fishing expedition, but an honest attempt to find out what's out there, you apparently haven't done the most elementary step, in starting a business in a crowded market: it seems like you haven't looked at what your competition is doing. If you had, you would be asking our opinions on specific brands.
Do your homework, and come back in a few weeks, when you know enough to ask more focussed questions whose answers will give you the kind of information you need. This is a tough business, and you need the most precise information you can get. Vague questions about "other brands out there" won't give you that.
HTH&GL
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thingie:

Good information, thank you. I was advised by a trusted distributor that it was a good product for us to try.

Honesty is never a problem.

You are perceptive and correct, but I also don't believe I made any claims to the contrary.

Again, good information, thank you.

Well we are adding a product to an existing business and what I was looking to find out was if Lionel is regarded as a quality product for us to offer our customers. At this time it is the only brand that we have access to through a current distributor.
I guess my biggest question is if there was any problem with that brand and apparently there is not that I have been advised so far.
Steve at SELLCOM
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SELLCOM Tech support wrote: [...]

OK, your responses have focussed your question.
Lionel's O scale/gauge trains have a good reputation. Other good quality O gauge/scale brands are MTH, KTM, Bachmann, Atlas, Walthers (Walthers are also a distributor, you might want to investigate establishing a relationship with them.) Google on "O gauge trains", and "O scale trains" -- you'll find more information than you can easily digest. :-)
NB that in O gauge/scale, there are basically two markets. "Tinplate" which uses the old-style Lionel three rail track, and runs on AC, and will accept models that are not exact scale. "Scale" uses two rail track and runs on DC, and demands exact scale models. Lionel's most recent offerings are mostly O scale with tin-plate wheels. Most mfrs of O scale also offer their products with tinplate wheels. O gauge is 32mm (approx. 1-1/4") between the rails, no matter scale trains run on it. O scale is 1:48 in North America. The O gauge/scale market amounts to about 10% of the total toy/model train market.
There is also the collector market, which crosses boundaries, and which (like all collector markets) is rather idiosyncratic -- you never know what will or won't appeal to a collector, and they often don't know either, until they see it. And a surprising number of people fall into all three categories.
Lionel did recently try a foray into HO scale (1:87 scale), and made some pretty good product, but they've withdrawn from that market. HO scale amounts to about 75% of the toy/model train market.
I find Kalmbach's Model Retailer magazine a good source of information on recent offerings in all areas of the hobby business, but like any magazines it's limited by the amount of space available. I carry Model Railroader and some Kalmbach books, so it's a complimentary subscription for me. Manufacturers' websites are usually up-to-date on what's available.
Good Hunting.
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Most business fail in the 1st year. No wonder.
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The "tinplate" market has at least two parts - basic starter "toy" sets aimed at children and beginners, and near 1:48 "scale models" running on 3 rail track aimed at adults and more experienced model railroaders. Lionel used to subdivide these products into two separate catalogs identified as "traditional" and "collectors" respectively. Today they are all combined in one catalog, but the differences persist. The basic sets with smaller Diesel locos and 4-drive-wheel steamers, and sets with non-railroad paint schemes (Neil Young 'Progress', Disney, holiday, etc.), often tend to be lower quality. IMHO, these are often of lower quality that competing sets from MTH, etc., but with higher price based only on the "Lionel" name. The Lionel scale model line is of better quality, and is comparable to the competing lines (so comparable as to be identical product from the same far-eastern factory, which led to the law suit that has resulted in the Lionel bankruptcy). Gary Q
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What you need to look at is the sector of the market you are targeting. Lionel is probably a great brand for nostalgia buffs, operators who are into action accessories and those who want a train around the Christmas tree. Some of the newer offerings appeal to "scale" enthusiasts and those into realism in modeling. It should be a fairly complex task to stock enough to appeal to the variety of train enthusiasts that exist, including those who focus on one particular "road". Realize too that there are a lot of people who focus on one "era" in railroading it is quite true that no one brand can supply all the equipment for all the possible eras.
SELLCOM Tech support wrote:

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