MÄRKLIN & RAILROADS
www.trains-and-trains.dk : A personal view by Christian Vinaa
"That's how I see it . . ."
Theme : Märklin's promotional gifts
The promotional items to dealers have become very sought-after items; wall-clocks - illuminated displays etc.
Check www.tischbahn.de ➚ for beautiful examples.
As to the gifts there is quite a range - price-wise and quality-wise.
Gifts to dealersMärklin use to give dealers that visit Märklin at the Nürnberg Toy Fair a commemorative item; typically a special locomotive or car. It usually is in Z-scale.
The Swiss dealer www.roundhouse.ch ➚ has a list of these Messe-Gifts.
Lately Märklin has produced a special H0 Messelok that the dealers can order on site at the Nürnberg Toy Fair.
There are different rumours as to how much profit-margin the dealer gets on this special item and whether the dealer can only buy a certain number of messe-loks depending on how much the dealers total order is.
Apparently there is not really any real shortage if you want to get such a Messe-locomotive.
Gifts to "Insiders"Insiders get a free Insider-car each year. There are additional free cars / locomotives after 5-10-15 etc years membership. Check Märklin.de ➚ for further information about this.
When Märklin has a stand at a fair / convention, there usually is a reserved area for Insider-Members only; and yes - they DO check your membership-card at the entrance.
At the "open" part of the stand they have various give-aways to everybody; i.e. sweets, stickers, cataloques and brochures.
At the Insider stand Märklin usually have a special messe-gift / "Messe-präsent" ONLY for insiders. They check your membership-card on a computer and you get your gift, so you can't get 2 gifts. There might also be a free soft-drink or perhaps a free sandwich.
The Messe-präsent to Insider members can be, and literally is, anything. And this is where I have a suggestion to Märklin.
Over the years I have seen / received : a baseball-cap (of poor quality), tape meassure, a ruler (good quality), a plastic lunch-box, 2 kinds of bottle openers, a note-block and a car-window-cleaner sponge. See the list of actual gifts below.
In fact just about any kind of normal commercial adverticing gadget. Anything that you normally as a company can get your name and logo printed on.
Of course it is not very nice to "look a gift horse in the mouth", and I am generally pleased with the gifts, and that Märklin caters for Insider members.
BUT - HOWEVER - and here it comes - wouldn't it be a better idea to give Insider members something that could be used on a model railroad layout ?
Märklin has had a ruler and a multi-tool - but they tend to be exceptions.
In all honesty I do believe that the majority of the Insider members are grown-ups perhaps 50+ of age. To these people a plastic lunch-box perhaps is a "silly" gift.
Of course we are talking money and price here, but Märklin also produces it own plastic items; rulers, tokens for the shopping-cart etc etc.
Märklin also have several molds in store to produce the metal lorries that seem to be a fixed item in the yearly Museum-Car sets.
Perhaps Märklin should produce a lorry, but in changing colors as a Insider gift, or some other item from Märklin's huge collection of molds ?
Just a thought.
Even in the older days Märklin produced promotional items; however then they perhaps were of a greater value, and of greater quality.
E.g. the pocket knife from the 50'ties ➚
"Insider"-Gifts over the years
All pictures from and © "Märklin Insider Club News".
If you have further examples of Insider gifts -
Copyright © Christian Vinaa
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