Why Is Z Gauge So Expensive?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Cannonball, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I've been looking for Z gauge sets online and the few places I can find that sell them charge almost twice what an N gauge set with the same stuff would cost. Is it just because the size makes them difficult to make or am I looking in the wrong places?
  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Market size primarily---Take a $50,000 production cost per unit spread out over an HO market with an 85% share of approximately 500,000 total modelers equals a quick and easy return on your investment. Take that same $50,000 and spread it over a less than 2% share of the market and you can see why Z is so expensive.
  3. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Ahhh... Math and marketing! Something I hadn't thought about. (Mostly because I suck at math. :D ) I'm really suprized more people aren't into them though. They would be the perfect appartment train.
  4. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    I use to want a briefcase Z scale layout when I lived in the barracks in California but Unc. Sam did't want to finance it.

    I was looking at N scale stuff today. I would love to get into it for space saving reasons and the fact that N scale has come a looong way since I had a small N scale layout (Oval on a sheet of plywood with a paper grass mat) but its so expensive for what you get.I can't get past the less bang for the buck factor. HO is just right for me I guess. Seems like I get exactly what i pay for.
  5. Collyn

    Collyn Member

    That and the fact that marklin and micro trains can. They are virtually the only manufacturers so no competion means higher prices. Also the quality of the marklin at least is outstanding. It is a little too much, you need a microsope to see the detail.
  6. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    everything i priced in N and HO was about the same in both scales.you can spend 140.00 on an HO engine, and you can spent 140.00 on a N engine.
  7. engineshop

    engineshop Member

    Also another reason would be the size. A notebook computer is still more expensive than a desktop since everyting is so much smaller and has to work the same.
  8. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I've always wanted to do a coffee table in Z scale but for the same reasons, haven't. It's so darn expensive.
  9. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    not much out there in Z scale to
  10. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    I would like to do a coffee table in N......the tank cars would have to deliver hot coffee too!

  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Those are little tankers - better make it espresso! ;) :D

  12. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author Member

    I think you're going to see more interest in Z Scale driven by Micro-Trains and American Z Lines product. Some veteran Z Scalers have said online that the single biggest thing this year that will increase the market for Z Scale is Micro-Trains introduction of Micro-Track (like Kato Unitrack in N and HO). While there are only some items available, for instance the turnouts just debuted this fall, it's definitely causing some people to consider Z Scale.

    In addition, Micro-Trains has ramped up releases of Z Scale rolling stock-- they are up to 3 or 4 items a month now versus one or zero per month when I started writing the UMTRR. AZL focuses on locomotives, at least for now, and they are pretty pricey in comparison to N or HO. (M-T's are in the $200 range MSRP also.)

    With more interest comes more volume, and perhaps lower prices.
  13. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    after i get done with with my 4' X 16' N scale layout, i too want to try a coffee table in scale. i have seen alot of nices one here on the gauge!
  14. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    I think its more the size thing for me Ozzy. In the bigger scale I get more product for what I pay.
  15. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I suspect the reason why this isn't true is that Z isn't that much smaller than N. HO, N, and O are more popular than S, TT and Z. Apparently, most people only seem to need a factor of 2 difference between scales.
  16. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Z scale is a niche , a niche for rich people :)
    Go to the Marklin forum and compute the ratio of HO scale vs. Z scale posts.

    Even if I had the money to get a Z scale layout, I wouldn't build one: I think I already spend too much time cleaning my N scale tracks, locos and cars that Im 'frightened about extrapolating how much time I would spend cleaning a Z scale layout where the slightest fly**** can derail or just dead stop a Z scale loco.

    The 2nd reaseon is that I'm 58 and my eyesight is not what it used to be. C'est la vie.
  17. KCS

    KCS Member

    Well, another issue would be operation. A lot more people are starting to get into operations these days and it can't be done in Z and very hard to do in N.
  18. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I wouldn't be so sure about that KCS.
    Check that, the Kingsbury Branch. Imho, one of the best N scale layout. Enjoy

    Oops, forgot the URL link, here it is

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