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Catalogs - Kato vs Tomix


The_Ghan

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I've heard rumour on this forum of some kind of OCR translation app. You could also scan stuff and post here, someone might be able to translate it.

One of them is called google translate. It works best with solid color text on a solid background. You just point the camera to the text and mark it with a swipe on the photo.

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I have scanned a number of pages of the Kato and Tomix catalogs. I usually use Adobe Acrobat X standard to recognize the characters (OCR) and straighten up the scans, then Google Translate to translate to English.

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Gavino,

 

Not in previous years but I did not get the last one.they usually just had the tomix buildings in them. There are some little Tomytec catalogs that I've gotten with orders that have a lot of the current stuff.

 

The tomytec website has I think a pretty complete set of pages on the whole line going back to the beginning of the collection series like 14 years back. I'll get the link to the tomytec only stuff, don't have it on the iPad or maybe someone else has it handy!

 

Then there is the hobbysearch website which has most all the tomytec vehicle and building line in there and is sort of an unofficial go to catalog and an idea of what is still likely available.

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

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The 2013/2014 Tomix catalogue includes a few pages of Tomytec Diocolle stuff (presumably the Tomytec Diocolle catalogue current at the time) at the back. Not sure about more recent releases.

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its become a bit of a blur with tomix and tomytec. tomytec diorama was a different line of collection series of trains, vehicles and structure kits, but then became the umbrella entity for tomix as the line of tomytecs expanded there. Tomix is the high quality trains and a few unpainted, colored plastic builings that tend to be a bit finer moulding but without the detail and painting the tomytec structures come with. the few tomix vehicles were really crude and nothing compared to the very detailed tomytec vehicles.

 

the tomix catalog was pretty much all tomix untl later when a few of the tomytec items started to creep in.

 

jeff

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There are a few Tomytec collections always included in the annual Tomix catalogue, but those featured are often only those that are available (i.e. available in stores, or available for order)....  

 

There are also Tomytec catalogues, but again, these are often only for those in season; i.e. upcoming sets or available sets...

 

By far, the best catalogue I have found, and often use, is the online Tomytec website:

 

http://www.tomytec.co.jp/diocolle/

 

It has ALL of the past and present, and upcoming Tomytec products, including buildings, buses, trucks, cars etc. Although you might need some Japanese translator to navigate the site ~  :)

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thanks jr500 thats the link i was thinking of! Hobby search also has most everything in there as well and you can sort by the collections in the menu.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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I just got my first Tomix catalog (2017-2018). I like the way the catalog is laid out. It's very logical. Every train and product is listed in a very comprehensive and methodical way, with separate pictures of each individual car. I was also blown away by how many trains were on offer. That is, until re-reading this thread, I see that not all trains in the catalog are in production. It's still nice to see the full range presented But is there a way to tell from the catalog which trains are currently in production?

 

I also got the Tomytec catalog, which looks like it details their full range.

 

rMUAGbB.jpg

Edited by gavino200
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5 minutes ago, katoftw said:

Catalog do not show production runs. Only what is in their current planned and contolled roster lineup.

 

Thanks katoftw. Though I'm not sure what you mean by "controlled" roster lineup. Does that mean all the models that they intend to keep on producing, ( ie they may not be currently in production, but Tomix plans to keep producing them in future). They aren't terminated models, that is. Right? So if I see something I like in the catalog, I can wait patiently and it will eventually be produced??

Edited by gavino200
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Nope. Something may be in the catalog this year. Never get produced again and be gone from the catalog next year. Normally due to a newer updated model.

 

I'd estimate 10-20% will never be available again from a few I've read.

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Gavin,

 

japanese production on most trains is like folks have noted as doing a run then selling it out. They tend not to keep many trains in constant stock by doing runs when inventories get low, just a different way of doing business and not keeping inventories. Good side is it creates a wide variety of trains having been made and this matches well with the very wide variety of prototypes. Bad news is only a fraction of all the trains made are currently in inventory from a recent run or have not sold well enough for them to linger in inventory/stock.

 

there is no perfect way of knowing what is currently available other than checking with the usual vendors. Hobby Search web site is usually the best place to start to see if in stock. If listed as back order there is good chance it can be had with some waiting or searching around. If listed as sold out with a waiting list button, there may be a chance there is stock somewhere and take a look at other shops. If it’s listed as just sold out or terminated then you will have to go onto yahoo.jp or the like or online shops with used sets like poppedetta to find them. These are just sort of rules of thumb, not exclusive. 

 

Its hard to ever know what will and what won’t be rerun or how long. That seems to be up to the manufacturers trying to Devine what folks will want, what their competition is doing them and what tooling costs, etc may be...

 

I realize it can be frustrating not to get what you want, but it’s part of the hobby with that double edged sword. If we had things kept in stock then we would have a much much narrower range of trains to select from. There is a rich trade of used trains at hops and on yahoo.jp and the like to help find those must haves, but it can cost you. Again we can’t have it all!

 

kato moved their catalog to being a big one every few years with the a lot of the stuff done over the last decade and the. Smaller yearly update catalogs focusing on the stuff over the last year or so and is a bit closer to the old monkey wards catalog system of a lot of the stuff in it that is currently in stock.

 

the “catalogs” have never been about in stock ordering catalogs (except for track and some spare parts refs), but more as pretty drool books of what has been made, especially when the Internet was not as rich as it is now in content, and even browsing the Hs website (I think the best overall catalog out there on the wed, especially in English) is not the same as leading thru that nice big glossy tome! They know it stimulates certain ganglia in model train folks that keep them hooked! 

 

the big rule of thumb on Japanese trains is if you see one you really like and it’s for sale, buy it now don’t wait a week, month or year in hopes of it being there later, assume it won’t be and you will have to dig and probably pay more purchasing on the other markets from overseas which will usually be more costly. This ends up in many of us overbuying as we like something and figure if I want it I need to get it now or it won’t be there, which is usually true, but also a good self justification to over indulgence in the hobby!

 

Cheers,

 

jeff

Edited by cteno4
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37 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Good side is it creates a wide variety of trains having been made and this matches well with the very wide variety of prototypes.

 

I never thought of it like that. I like that. 

 

I actually bought the catalog as a 'drool book'. I was amazed by how big it was, and how many trains were in it, and figured it was too good to be true. That's why I came back to this thread to make some sense of it. The only thing about the system that bothers me, is not being able to find spare parts. Otherwise, now that I know how it works I'm fine with it. I don't buy part of a set until I check that I can get all the add-on sets, without getting robbed on ebay.

 

I'm not strictly modelling any location or period, so there aren't many trains that I really have to hunt down. My plan is to just scour the Hobbysearch update every month and buy the trains that I really like.

I probably only get about five trains a year. Recently I had been trying to find out how long I had, to decide weather or not to buy, when I see a new train that I like. The answer is apparently, about ten seconds.

 

I'm going to continue buying all the 'catalogs' every year. I love looking through them. 

Edited by gavino200
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Actually japanese model train production and lego production is very similar and matches modern electronics production procedures.

 

There is a production roadmap, containing most products planned for a given year or quarter year. The preorder catalogs are made and sent to the shops, who gather preorders and return the number of their orders (usually preorder and a certain extra percent). The company sums these up and order the required amount of parts and some extra for quality control losses and as spares. The parts are produced and assembled in a just in time fashion, requiring little to no storage. Then once assembled, shipped to the retail shops. The parts that are left over unused but good quality are sold as spares. This leaves almost no stock for repairs.

 

There are two types of catalogs, the preorder flyers used for ordering the items and the yearbooks containing the collected info on some of the already released or available to preorder items.

 

This no stock, just in time policy means that warehousing is pushed to the retail shops, who in turn go as low as no extra sets above preorder, which means sold out on release items in the long run. Toy shops usually do stock lego based on previous sales as that is a more impulse buy market where parents just go into a shop and choose from what is available in stock. Also some sellers keep items in stock but sell way above normal retail price to cover their warehousing and unsold items costs. Some lego speculators have sold oop mib sets for 10 to 100 times their original retail prices. (the latter for star wars ultimate collectors and modular houses sets, both are adult collector oriented themes)

 

This pseudo random production rythm strengthens hoarding, where people buy more than they actually need just to be sure.

 

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Spare parts are always an issue as trying to inventory all of them required and at a reasonable price (most are a buck or two) is really really hard to do. But for the most part spare part needs are pretty rare with most Japanese trains if they are treated well. 

 

Resorting to yahoo.jp or the like for some must have trains is not so horrid. Usually better than the insanely high “rare”sellers on ebay. 

 

I bought the catalogs as drool books for years but finally realized not that different year to year and slowed way down getting them, especially since mokei retired and we could not get catalogs here in the us at your lhs for less than the Japan price and without the shipping costs from japan. I think mokei realized the drool potential for sales and passed them on to local stores directly (don’t think he went thru any distributors in the us) with little if any margin.

 

jeff

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15 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Spare parts are always an issue as trying to inventory all of them required and at a reasonable price (most are a buck or two) is really really hard to do. But for the most part spare part needs are pretty rare with most Japanese trains if they are treated well. 

 

Resorting to yahoo.jp or the like for some must have trains is not so horrid. Usually better than the insanely high “rare”sellers on ebay. 

 

I bought the catalogs as drool books for years but finally realized not that different year to year and slowed way down getting them, especially since mokei retired and we could not get catalogs here in the us at your lhs for less than the Japan price and without the shipping costs from japan. I think mokei realized the drool potential for sales and passed them on to local stores directly (don’t think he went thru any distributors in the us) with little if any margin.

 

jeff

 

Mokei?

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Mokei imports was an importer of Japanese trains in St. Louis that brough stuff over for decades. He retired a while back and closed down the import business. Sadly he passed away a few years back. Once and a while you will get an old green max structure kit or train set on ebay with a mokei imports sticker on it! He was mainly a wholesaler dealing directly with local shops and had excellent prices. His wife was Japanese and thus was able to help with them getting and maintaining good sources in japan. He would bring a container over every month or two. Very nice chap with a strong Texan accent! I still remeber as a kid in the early 70s sending off SASE to mokei imports for the mimeographed price list for trains (these he would sell directly usually as well). Those where the days when even the Walters catalog was mainly text and most non lhs sales were from mimeographed price lists from mail order shops! 

 

Shops really liked him, I think he treated them well and had good prices.

 

 

cheers,

 

jeff

Edited by cteno4
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