Just as I predicted, the manufacturers are starting to gouge the HO crowd the way they've been nailing N scalers for years. The announced price of the GP40 (the F unit of the 70's) needs to be explained. I was starting to accept the idea that N scale's smaller market share drove up costs due to a limited number of buyers. For crying out loud, how many HO modelers would buy a decent GP40, about a zillion, that's how many. The production cost spread over a sizable run, which will sell out no matter how large, can't be more than $20 a throw.
The SD35 just announced in N looks like a dynamite model, and I'm sure its a good runner. It is available in the "bookend" paint schemes of PRR and Conrail, but once again we PC junkies have been overlooked again. So, if I want to run my time frame, not only do I have to hope that the pre-orders don't decimate the run before the container even hits the shore, I have to drop close to $100 (okay, with a chip), then dismember the thing so I can paint it the way I want it.
These companies have to recognize that this is a hobby, not a capital expense. Maybe this will be the straw that does in the camel. With viable and more affordable alternatives by Bachmann and Athearn, maybe these Atlas motors will spend a lot of time collecting dust on the shelves until the price comes back to earth.
Irv Athearn must be spinning in his grave.