Deluxe Board Game Train Sets

Created by The Little Plastic Train Company

Upgrade your board gaming experience with beautiful miniature train sets!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Makin' Trains Purty - Part 3 - Diesel Upheaval
5 months ago – Sun, Apr 18, 2021 at 12:21:59 PM

Diesel locomotive design

Though they'd been around since the late 1800s, diesel locomotives really started to make inroads into the railroad industry in the 1940s. But it wasn't until the 1950s until diesel locomotives really started taking the gas out of steam.

(Yeah, the puns are back, baby!)

By the 1950s, diesel locomotives had too many advantages for railroads to ignore. They were more efficient (both in terms of fuel efficiency and weight), easier to maintain, and could run with smaller work crews.

Diesel styles eventually converged on a few body types, pictured below.

"Hood Unit" diesel - tall and skinny
"Cab Unit" diesel - round and chunky
"Cowl Unit" diesel - stocky and mustachioed
"Vin" diesel - bald and ripped

When deciding what diesels we wanted represented in our set, it was an easy choice. 

Hood unit diesels are...how should we put it diplomatically? 

They're ugly. Sorry, hood unit diesel fans, but that's a body style that only a hood diesel mama could love.

Vin Diesel's agent said to please stop bothering him or he'd call the police.

So cowl and cab unit diesels it was! 

We chose our fictional Hornet train to represent the cab unit diesels common for passenger service in the 1950s and the Sunset to represent the still  cowl unit design that still persists in modern freight locomotives.

So how do diesel locomotives work?

Generally, pretty well. Otherwise, railroad companies wouldn't use them.

Now let's talk about art!

Diesel locomotive ads of the 1940s and 1950s

Diesel locomotives ads in this period tended to tout how "futuristic" the trains were. 

Perhaps the most famous diesel locomotive ad campaign of the time was for GM's "Train of Tomorrow," which entered service in 1947. Among the trains futuristic features? Air conditioning and an "Astra Dome" observation deck.

Not to be outdone, the California Zephyr pointed out that it totally had a dome too. Because it was not at all the exact same thing, it was called the "Vista Dome." The Zephyr's ads extolled modern features like "wire-recorded music" and "individual reading lights."

The domed observation car arms race probably reached its peak with the Hiawatha. 

OK, Hiawatha, you win! You've got the biggest dome, OK? Happy? Just enough with the domes already!

When not gushing about their domes and other features, ads in this period usually trumpeted the scenic views you'd see riding in one of these new-fangled diesel trains.

And ubiquitous in all of these ads were realistically drawn, well-dressed passengers enjoying their train ride. One large frame usually focused on the train with one or more smaller ones focusing on the train's amenities.

Examples from just one ad campaign. Apparently, trains in the 1950s only transported families, married couples, and, occasionally, single men. Did single women have to take the bus?

Our Hornet tin design

So when we set out to design our Hornet train, we knew what we were going for. 

Our artist, Julianne Griepp, turned this in as her first draft.

And this was the final product. (We decided to cut minimize the ad copy so the focus would stay on the train, but it was pretty close to perfection right from the start.)

We think she nailed it. 

It's all there. The thick, cursive font, the scenery, the inset drawing, and the smiling passenger enjoying something fancy like a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

And this time, a single woman gets to ride on the train!

Yes, it's true. We didn't make a train with a dome.

To make it up to you, we leave you this picture of another pretty cool looking diesel dome.

Such a shiny dome

Until next time,

The Little Plastic Train Company

Poll results
5 months ago – Sun, Apr 18, 2021 at 12:20:02 PM

Howdy backers,

We have finished tabulating our poll results!

This is Francois Dumpstair, our accountant. He's a little stressed from tax season.

The results are as follows:

Next project - rolling freight!

814 of you responded to our poll on what you'd like to see for our next project.   

Rolling freight was the clear winner, so that's what we'll be making next!   

Rolling freight: 52% (426)   

Engines: 39% (317)   

Silly option we didn't think hardly any of you would actually vote for: 9% (71)

We'll ask for input on what type of rolling freight you'd like to see later in the campaign. For now, we're still focused on getting these trains made and into your cute, tiny, trash-filled hands!

Wait, we're still thinking about our accountant. Sorry.

Add on train packs will probably be a thing!

961 of you responded to our survey about add on train packs. (From this we can deduce that over 2,000 of you really hate surveys!)

The results were loud and clear with almost 2/3rds of you (608 to 353) wanting the option to buy extra trains:

 
Of those of you who wanted add on packs, about 75% of you wanted the option to buy one pack with a mixture of all five train types.

Finally, 51% of you wanted the packs to contain 6 extra trains each, 38% of you wanted 12 extra trains each, and 11% of you wanted even more trains.

We zoomed in so you could get a better look at the data.

 
So, we've started the process of looking into making add on train packs. We need to run some numbers on packaging, shipping, etc. For a big project like this, that takes time. We'll hopefully have an update for later next week.

That's all for now.

Thanks for all of your support!

The Little Plastic Train Company

3,000 backers! And poll results! And a new poll! Four exclamation points!
5 months ago – Thu, Apr 15, 2021 at 12:49:39 PM

We've reached 3,000 backers!

3,000 of you have placed your trust in us to give you some cool trains.

Thank you!

OK. Gotta find an animated gif to express how happy and excited we are. That'll show our backers that we're hip and relatable. 

Let's see what you got, giphy.com

Hmm....no....no...no. Ah, yes, this one!

3,000! That's a lot of you. As is tradition in this campaign, we now present some statistics to unhelpfully put this number in perspective.

  • 3,000 is as many hits as major league baseball player Roberto Clemente made in his 18 year Major League Baseball career!
If each of you were a baseball, I would have hit each one of you.
  • In 1999, the American Museum of Natural History created a time capsule to be opened in the year 3,000. Among its contents: "a soccer jersey, a cell phone, a Beanie baby, a condom, a vial of penicillin, a gold nose ring, a Chia Pet, a can of Spam, Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book and a box of Sudafed." So that's, um, something.
The 20th century American equivalent of Picard's flute.
This can't be right. Who eats three PB&J sandwiches every month?

OK. Enough statistics. Let's move on to...

Poll results (and a new poll)

Over 940 of you voted in our poll asking what you'd like us to make next. The results were as follows:

Fictional engines: 276

Rolling freight: 238

Historical engines: 223

Stations: 130

Boats: 73

It would appear that we have a clear preference for engines, with a slight preference for fictional engines in that group.

Still, we don't know how the votes for stations and boats would have gone if they weren't options. (Yes, we know about ranked choice voting, but it didn't cross our minds as an option until the poll already went live.) Also, there are now many more backers than we were when we first released that poll and we'd like them to have a voice.

So, before we make a final decision, we're asking you to vote one last time.

Engines or rolling freight? 

Two track based means of conveyance enter, only one will leave!

Click HERE to vote. 

Please vote only once. We'll keep the poll open through Friday.

Thank you again for all of your support!

The Little Plastic Train Company

P.S. If at least 100 of you like this update, we will eat a spam and peanut butter and jelly sandwich and post proof. We don't just let our backers choose our future products, we let them choose our diet! How's that for personal engagement?

"Add on packs" survey error
5 months ago – Thu, Apr 15, 2021 at 10:36:32 AM

Due to some error on their end, Survey Maker, the website we're using to run the "add on packs" survey, hasn't been recording any responses for an indeterminate period of time. We've checked and it's been frozen at 30 responses for several hours.

We've submitted test votes from other computers with different IPs and, though the site reported those votes being counted, the results screen has not changed. It's not a web browser cache issue--it's a problem on their end.

Sigh. 

We're so annoyed we don't even have the energy to throw up a funny graphic.

We've changed poll websites. Let's try this again.

Because we cannot guarantee that your vote was counted in the previous survey, please go HERE to retake the "add on packs" survey.

We apologize for the inconvenience, but this is the only way to ensure that your voice is heard.

Thanks,

The Little Plastic Train Company

"Add on train packs" survey
5 months ago – Thu, Apr 15, 2021 at 10:34:44 AM

Backers,

First of all, thanks to all of you who have completed the survey that we send to every backer upon backing our project. We've read through all of them submitted so far. There are a lot good suggestions, most of which we'll need to think about and research for future projects (such as ultra-deluxe metal trains, tin storage solutions, and historical train notes).

Us contemplating your survey ideas

Some of you have expressed interest in the option of purchasing "add on packs" of extra trains to accommodate games that require more than the 48 trains that come in each set (such as Ticket to Ride: Team Asia).

We think we could make this happen in this campaign. But first we need to see how many of you are interested in "add on packs" and how many trains you'd like in them.

So, it's survey time!

Please click HERE to take our "add on packs" survey.

We ask that you please take this survey even if you're not interested in add on packs so we can help determine how many of these to make or even whether we should make them at all.

In other news, more than 100 of you liked the previous update! We didn't really expect that many of you to read down that far.

Sadly, that means that the royal "we" will need to eat a spam peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

We are debating whether this should be done via pictures or video. At the moment, we're leaning toward pictures. That way, we can caption our culinary adventure.

Some of you have expressed disgust at the very idea of a spam and peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Well, Spam Brand is disappointed in you. 

They have an entire page of their website devoted to spam peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Complete with totally unnecessary instructions on how to, well, make what is a pretty simple sandwich.

Spam PB&J. Large ooze. Unaligned. AC 6. HP 84.

We'll have to see when we do this exactly. We need our energy for the rest of the campaign and can't risk being laid low by such a beast. The update immediately after the campaign closes seems most climactic and the safest in which to fulfill our gastrointestinal promise.

It's been at least one update since we've had a bad train pun, so we leave you with this joke.

Why can't a steam locomotive sit down?

Because it has a tender behind.

The Little Plastic Train Company

P.S. If you're a new backer, you can also vote in our poll HERE to help us decide what we'll make next!