The US market had improved and grown dramatically. There were more than 2,200 LGB dealers across the USA and Illinois was a major LGB hub. The LGB Club of Chicago (LGBRR) was founded in 1979 and the area was home to some of the biggest LGB dealers in the country.
One of them, Depot G Hobbies in Winfield, what today is (near) Wheaton/IL had a brilliant marketing idea. Jim Marski, its owner had negotiated with LGB to manufacture exclusively for him a train set containing 11 cars and eventually one locomotive the Mogul # 22191. The set was to be a very limited special edition of 2,000 and Depot G would have the only distribution rights. In Jim Marski's announcement he said: "Due to the significant commitment required to produce this set, the production will span a four year period with one item being delivered every four month. The first item, the 'Advance Advertising Car" is available now. The set is offered on a subscription basis only, i.e individual cars will NOT be sold individually. Circus wagons are produced by Columbine Hobby Corp and are not available separately at this time."
|LGB 3181 DG "Advertising Car" - Courtesy of Trainz.com/ebay|
|advertising the Wilson Circus train set in 1991/92 - Courtesy of SPUR II magazine 16/ I-1992|
Depending of your choice of payment plan you ended up paying either US$ 1800.00 or US$ 1,680.00. If you'd had invested that amount in 1991 you'd look at about US$ 6,300.00 today. And that was exactly what Depot G's Jim Marski was betting on. His intend was to benefit from the inherent belief of the US LGB customer that the LGB product was an investment and would only appreciate with time. That was American business savvy and US capitalism at its best.
The first car was readily available and cost US$ 129.00. All prices for all products shown above were published at the time of announcement. And Depot G would have guaranteed sales of US$ 3.3 to 3.6 mill. But would it work?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ to be continued......................