New :

MÄRKLIN & RAILROADS : A personal view by Christian Vinaa

New :

  • Scale and size
    • 5", 1, LGB, H0, TT, N, Z

  • Electricity - Electronics
    • Turnouts
    • Signals
    • Light barrier

  • Real trains ( scale 1:1 )
    • Real trains - scale 1:1
    • Selection of train videos

  • Items for sale
    • NEW
    • Second-hand

Exhibitions :
International Toy Fair
in Nuremberg

Spielwarenmesse Nurnberg logo
Logo : © Spielwarenmesse

Impressions 2017

POI - Points Of Interest - Please download my kmz-file ( Google Earth kmz-file ) for Nürnberg.
( Latest version: 2017-01 )

( Back to the main page about the International Toy Fair Nuremberg )

My photos from 2017. ( Bottom of this page )

Many of the observations I made the previous years are still valid.

You can no doubt in various model-magazines read all about the new items for 2017,
so I'll focus on my own objective observations, feelings and remarks.

The Toy Fair 2017 in the press

The press-release from the Toy Fair focused on the wellknown companies :
Märklin/Trix/LGB - PIKO - Roco/Fleischmann - Viessmann - Fulgurex - Busch - NOCH - Faller - Auhagen
( basically what is left of the previous huge model railroad industry from the 1970ties )
but they did also acknowledge the newcomer "LR Presse" with their "Train'In Box" ( more about that below ).

Die Produktgruppe Modelleisenbahnen und Zubehör auf der Spielwarenmesse 2017 ➚ - February 04, 2017.

Messe-Neuheiten 2017: Modelleisenbahnen und Zubehör ➚ - Januar 29, 2017.

Interview NOCH: Wie neue themen / landschaften Modellbahner begeistern ➚ - August 15, 2016.

Klassiker und Digitales für Modellbahner ➚ - August 25, 2016.

Märklin's press release [ pdf ] ➚ from January 27, 2017 that really did not "hit the news".

The Toy Fair 2017

The big theme at the 2017 Nürnberg Toy Fair was robots although the drones were still there from last year.

Robots that could dance. Robots that could "interact" with children. All of these - as with 99 % of all toys - came from China / Japan. Eastern way of thinking / philosophy accept robots more than typical western philosophy that has a sharp division between body and soul. ( Please read more elsewhere on the internet about this rather important difference )

nurnberg 2017 robots nurnberg 2017 robots

It also becomes increasingly evident that the Nürnberg Toy Fair is about - on the one side - big established companies = brands keeping their huge market share and - on the other side - small companies trying to get noticed.

The 2017 Toy Fair was the 68th in line since 1949,
and some exhibitors were sure to mention the continuity like Tamiya :
nurnberg 2017 Tamyia

It was also very obvious that the model railroad section was getting smaller and smaller. See the list of exhibitors in 1973, 1999 and 2017.

Added March 2017 :
The "Eisenbahn-Romantik" tv-show - in previous years - used to devote 2 x 30-minutes shows with reports from the Nürnberg Toy Fair. In 2017 it was only one 30-minute show. Apparently there was not enough news to justify 2 x 30 minutes.

There are several reasons for that, but while the typical toy manufacturer ( dolls - play-things ) must show the new items / new lines to the buyers, Märklin does not need to "show" a new locomotive to the model railroad shop-owners in order for them to place orders with Märklin.

So - why a "Nürnberg Toy Fair" at all ? Perhaps is it time for the model railroad community to present their news at a model railroad trade fair where the model railroad is not drowned by all the other toys, and where there will be ( psysical and economical ) room for not only smaller companies but also companies from literally all-over-the-world ? Perhaps in Göppingen ? Read more in "That's how I see it...".

The fair had tried to accomodate the smaller companies by grouping them together in a kind of square. This worked very well but only demonstrated the need for in-expensive m2's.

Another "big" thing was that is was announced that the 2018 Toy Fair would only be from Wednesday to Sunday - previously the Monday was included to many exhibitors dismay.

Train In Box

The one single item that really said "news" and "novelty" came from a French publishing company LR Presse ➚ that among others publishes "Loco-Revue" and the outside France lesser known "Clés pour le train miniature".

LR Presse has come up with an idea Train in Box ➚ - financed it with crowd-funding - and created a box with everything you need to build a small layout : baseboard - tracks (Peco) - rolling stock (Piko) - houses - cars - glue - paints etc. etc.

With a price at 330 Euro ( without rolling stock ) and 360 Euro ( with the simple non-digital Piko trains ) it is higher priced than the simple Märklin "Start Up" starter sets ( 110 - 180 Euro ), but these only have the rolling stock and the tracks. I would have liked a 299 Euro price.

So - IMHO - I feel that the "Train in Box" has created something really new .

OK - yes : MiniTrix did something similar in 2004
with the 66200 module series :
( 66200 Rhein - 66201 Rhein Station - 66203 loop module )

minitrix module 66200
Picture ©
Train in box

And perhaps - unlike the MiniTrix modules - the timing is right in 2017.

WIth the Märklin starter-sets you basically get an oval that you can arrange on a table or on the floor/carpet. You can arrange and re-arrange, but the "basteln" - the "modelling / handy-crafting" you do not get unless you actually create a baseboard and buy houses and all the other stuff for the scenery.

So the "Train In Box" caters for the children that like to "model" and gets them started right away.

If for christmas a kid gets a "Train In Box" the whole layout can be built on during the holidays. ( As a parent I would give the kid the "Train In Box" at the very start of the holidays and not necessarely wait till Christmas )

If the Christmas gift was "only" a starter-set, parents and child would have to wait till January to go back to the model train shop to get the scenery stuff, and the parents would have to go to the DIY-shop to get materials for the baseboard. This would delay the construction of the layout or - worst case - mean that the kid never got around to building a layout.

Therefore the "Train In Box" gets my thumbs-up and my best wishes, simply because it appeals to all the kids who see a layout at a train fair and then looks at the "boring" oval on the carpet.

"Train In Box" on Youtube


Märklin presented a rather strange mix of new items at the Nürnberg Toy Fair, but IMHO underplayed one of their potentially best cards. See more below.

The Märklin/Trix/LGB stall was organized in a different way in 2017. Schuco - another Sieber company - had taken the rather large area where "my world" previously was presented. Could this be a down-sizing - a sign of things to come ?

Golden 37603

Märklin announced the # 37603 ➚ a few days before the Fair: A 7 section gold-coated VT 11.5 with a recommended sale price at no less than 2.400 euro.

The 37603 had a prime show-case location at the Toy Fair.

marklin 37603 marklin 37603

The 37603 comes in a very nice gift box, however it is a storage box - not a presentation showcase, as Märklin has done with several other "show-case" items - which is a shame, because the 37603 really needs to be seen in an illuminated 1,60 cm long show-case, and not hidden away in a presentation box.

The 37603 has a limited production of "only" 1.500 pieces worldwide.

Several of the retailers I spoke with were sure that they could sell anywhere from 3 to 10 of the 37603.

I must admit that I am not sure of what to think.
It looks nice. It is totally not realistic. It will be an eye-catcher in any showcase.

But I think that 1500 pieces is a bit too many to make it a really sought after item - in the long run.

Märklin indicated that it was almost already sold out, but that only means that the shops have placed the orders - not necessarily that the customers will buy it from the shop. However several shops did tell me that they already sold about 2/3 of their order.

Florian Sieber has indicated - if not plain said - in several interviews that Märklin is a strong brand that must keep its value - also in the second-hand market. The only way to ensure that, IMHO, is to make sure that not only can Märklin sell the whole production to the shops, but that there will be more buyers than items in the shops. Yes, Märklin will have to calculate with disappointed customers. They will then be forced to try to buy second-hand, and then the Märklin items will keep their value. Cynicism galore.

Another aspect is the age-factor. Who are the buyers=collectors that will be willing - and able - to dish out 2400 euro for the 37603 ? They are elderly men. That means that some day in the near future these collection items will be sold. It also means that when the next economic "bubble" burts there will be a fire-sale - again - as around 2008.

Regarding the "limited" production number :
The 49954 Goliath Crane was in 2016 originally limited to just 999 pieces, but due to heavy demand the "limited run" ended at 1.999 pieces.
From the first adverticing of the Goliath :
Marklin 49954 Goliath Crane
From the current product-info ➚ on :
Marklin 49954 Goliath Crane

And the 49954 can still be found in shops ( in Germany ) for as low as 840 euro while the original price was 999,99 euro.

Could the same happen with 37603 ?

You can get other, and cheaper, versions of the VT 11.5 :

# 37604 - from 2016 - 4 sections - ( in 2016 sold for 799,99 - price in 2017 about 720 euro ) - needs the # 43114 ( in 2016 sold for 349,99 - price in 2017 about 350 euro ) to be 7 sections. Total price for 7 sections about 1050 euro.
# 37605 - from 2002/2003 - 4 sections
# 37606 - from 2005 - 4 sections - needs the # 43116 to be 7 sections
# 37607 - from 2011 - 4 sections - needs the # 43117 to be 7 sections
# 37608 - from 2012 - 7 sections - can be extended with # 43118 to 10 sections - Limited to 999 pieces. Original price 1.200 euro.

So you can get 2 x 7 sections VT 11.5 running on your layout - or you can get one gold-coated VT 11.5 standing in your show-case.

But from Märklin's point of view - if Märklin makes a profit producing the 37603 - what shouldn't they ?

One last thing - the original VT 11.5 was sometimes a 10 sections train - not only a 7 section train. Is there a golden 3 section extension set planned ?

German Football vs. BanBao

Another item that had a real prime show-case location at the Toy Fair was the German football "Bundesliga" locomotive and 3 sets of ( totally fictional ) 6 cars - #36655 - #44812 - #44813 - #44814.

Each set of 6 cars are priced at 89,99 euro - price per car 15 euro - which is just about the lowest possible price for a new car from Märklin.

Märklin Bundesliga - 36655 - 44812 - 44813 - 44814

Märklin also displayed a copy of the Bundesliga trophy - The Meisterschale - the round blueish thing on the photo to the right of the football-player. This was - however - only pure display.

Märklin states that these items will only be sold within Germany due to the use of the football-club logos, but bundesliga-fans outside Germany will no doubt anyway be able to get them.

Märklin's Eric-Michael Peschel ( Leiter Event-Marketing ) said in an interview that the Bundesliga-fans could arrange and re-arrange the 18 cars in the current liga-order after each round.

Good news for Märklin is that the Bundesliga is very popular in Germany and that there might be many kids wanting to have such a "calender".

Bad news for Märklin is that the Bundesliga season is from August to May. The 18 current cars in the 3 sets of 6 cars are the current teams in the Bundesliga. So at the time the 3 sets show up in the shops 2 of those teams will have been relegated to the 2'league and 2 new teams will be part of the 1'league.

So Märklin will have to produce, and sell, an extension set around August 2017 with the 2 new teams.

And this will go on - and on - and on - as long as the Bundesliga exists.

I think that it is a little bit strange that Märklin devoted so much space to these football items - items that seems to be more a football-fan-merchandise than anything connected with model railroad.

Especially when Märklin hid a, IMHO, very important "Start-up" play segment in the bottom left corner of a show-case; the 44736 car with 3 different "BanBao" kits at a ( high ) price at 34,99 Euro.

Märklin 44736 BanBao

BanBao is essentially a LEGO knock-off, and the 44736 is a natural follow-up to the 44734 ( price 19,99 Euro ) from 2015.

LEGO has a set like 10693, where you get 303 different bricks in many colors for around 20 Euro.

To me it is self-evident that Märklin should promote such an item much more. Read more in the article : Cross-over.

It is a huge opportunity to connect the model railroad with the "other toys". In Toy Fair terms it is the one thing that could re-connect the hall 4A with the rest of the Toy Fair.

Even though Märklin can not continue the partnership with BanBao, I would not hesitate, If I were at Märklin, to have a team construct possible new car-designs using existing BanBao and/or Lego bricks, and to use such designs heavely in marketing together with new Märklin platform cars.

Why should Märklin not jump on the LEGO success-train ?

If my opinion is not enough I can refer to Hagen von Ortloff who from the 2016 Intermodellbau Fair in Friedrichshafen reported regarding the "Junior-College Europa" from the BDEF ( Bundesverband Deutscher Eisenbahn-Freunde ) :

"...Auch beim Junior-College des BDEF habe ich zugeschauft und das Chassis eines Märklin-H0-Wagens bewundert, das mit Noppen versehen war. Mit LOGO-steinen konnten die Jungen und Mädchen ihrer Bahnfantasie freien Lauf lassen. Es kamen dabei überraschend gelungene Fahrzeuge heraus. Allein der Preis von knapp 20 Euro für solch ein Wagenunterteil sprengte so manchen taschengeldrahmen. ..."

So why should Märklin not launch a contest for children : Who can build the "best" car on a Märklin chassis ?

There would be different categories : Fantasy - Detail - Colorfull. It is not too late to have such a contest at the "Märklin Tage" in September 2017.

And ... Märklin should lower the price for a 44734 type car to 14,99 Euro.

Here are some of my other photos from the Toy Fair in 2017

Click on an image to enlarge :

nurnberg 2017 NOCH
Katharina from "NOCH" presenting the new 2017 cataloque
nurnberg 2017 NOCH
A bendy ruler from "NOCH"

nurnberg 2017 NOCH
Mountain rocks from "NOCH"
nurnberg 2017 NOCH
Impressive scenery from "NOCH"

nurnberg 2017 Busch
"Busch" with their - old - but still funny little scenery.
nurnberg 2017 Busch
Cemetary from "Busch". Way too many colors IMHO.

nurnberg 2017 MTH Trains
"Mthtrains" ( USA ) had a new platform for the Leipzig Station.
nurnberg 2017 Auhagen
"Auhagen" with their funny street-scene.

nurnberg 2017 Hack
"Hack" makes some wonderfull brigdes.
nurnberg 2017 Dietz Modellbahntechnik
The smallest "Ludmilla" ever from "Dietz Modellbahntechnik"

nurnberg 2017 Hack
"Preiser" again had their artist - Herr Bauer
showing his craftmanship
nurnberg 2017 Dietz Modellbahntechnik
Model yoga - and no ;
she did not have to stand like this all the time.
nurnberg 2017 Preiser 28216
28216 - Woman with broken leg
Picture © Preiser cataloque
nurnberg 2017 Preiser 28209
28209 - Picking apples
Picture © Preiser cataloque

nurnberg 2017 BRAWA
"BRAWA" makes some wonderfull displays
nurnberg 2017 BRAWA
You almost forget that BRAWA makes trains - not scenery.
nurnberg 2017 BRAWA
The layouts are amongst the best
and BRAWA uses Märklin c-track.
nurnberg 2017 BRAWA
Look and enjoy.

nurnberg 2017 Fulgurex
"Fulgurex" is still producing very fine models
nurnberg 2017 Fulgurex
"Fulgurex" also wanted to present a "golden" train.

nurnberg 2017 Fulgurex
Fine signals from "Weinert"
nurnberg 2017 Fulgurex
Alfa Romeo - 1938 - from "CMC Models"
Price - 3.093 Euro - and you think model trains are expensive.

nurnberg 2017 Hornby - Jouef - Rivarossi
Even the "Hornby - Jouef - Rivarossi" layout uses Märklin c-track ...
nurnberg 2017 Hornby - Jouef - Rivarossi
... but only advertices for the NOCH scenery

nurnberg 2017 Vollmer
Nice to see the Vollmer name
although today it is part of the Viessmann group
nurnberg 2017 Herpa
Always big smiles from "HERPA"

nurnberg 2017 Kato
"Kato" from Japan.
nurnberg 2017 Faller
"Faller" with their new public pool.

nurnberg 2017 Heki
"HEKI" scenery.
nurnberg 2017 MKB Modelle
"MKB-Modelle" with their French style houses

nurnberg 2017 LGB
nurnberg 2017 Märklin
"Märklin" locomotives with spare parts

nurnberg 2017 LGB
"Märklin" 1 gauge
nurnberg 2017 Märklin
"Märklin" collaboration with Viessmann

nurnberg 2017
Building with bricks takes on another dimension ...
nurnberg 2017
... but underneath is just card-board.

nurnberg 2017 Carrera girls Selina
The "Carrera" girls ...
( ... standing in those high heels from 09:00 to 18:00 )
nurnberg 2017 Minichamps
... and cars from "Minichamps".
( just resting on the display 24/7 )

nurnberg 2017 Woodland Scenics
Shaper Sheet™ from "Woodland Scenics" : Front ...
nurnberg 2017 Woodland Scenics
... and the rear.

nurnberg 2017 Proses
"PROSES" and their maintenance uni-holder
nurnberg 2017 Diecastmasters
"" had some nice US-style
locomotives in H0 - no functions.

nurnberg 2017 Spielwarenmesse
Main entrance "Spielwarenmesse"
nurnberg 2017 hauptbahnhof layout
At the Central Station in Nürnberg there
of course was a model railroad layout ( Trix Express ).

end of line

Copyright © Christian Vinaa
2014 -
"Märklin" and other brand names and product names and logo's
are ©, TM or registered trademarks of their respective owners,
and are used on this website for purely informational purposes.

"Let's Lok'n Roll"