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doublecee

Old Mainline (Palitoy) adverts

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With no section for good old Mainline, I thought I would post here, seeing as the two are related.

 

Im currently restoring 105 adverts from Palitoy, all found on 35mm

 

They are updated weekly as I chug through them all.

 

http://vimeopro.com/palitoy/palitoy-for-the-boys

 

 

Password is atomic

 

There are three nice little Mainline ads currently up there, all quite charming in their own way. Very different from Hornby's tv campaign from the same era (of which I'm very fond of).

 

Here are direct links to the mainline ads if you'd prefer to not sift through dozens of old Action Man and Super Striker ads ;)

 

If these old ads are "your thing" then be sure to book mark as theres a good 80 - 90 ads still to go up!

 

Click on the full screen icon in the lower right hand corner to enjoy full screen and in HD

 

Edited by doublecee
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I had Atomic man, his helicopter arm and heart pace-maker were an eternal disappointment,  Palitoy's answer to the Bionic man.

 

Great videos and excellent quality.

 

Thanks

 

Neal

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Cracking finds CC. :)

 

I must admit I can't ever recall seeing the ads on TV although I certainly bought a lot of Mainline stuff in the earliest days.

 

I think it's right to pay tribute at this point to this man:

 

Merl.jpg

 

Merl Evans, Bachmann's retiring Design Manager, had a firm hand on all those models featured way back when and has given us plenty to be happy with since 1976 through to models we're still seeing released now. I'm not sure when he officially does get to leave Barwell but there's many of us who should give him a round of applause.

 

 

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I don't remember any of the Ads but note that they are not 'set' in a model landscape like the Hornby ads. I guess that was due to Palitoy/mainline not making any accssesories like Hornby, and they would be advertising the competitions stations and buildings.

 

Paul

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Thanks for the adverts. I don't remember ever seeing them on the telly , but very intresting. I like the use of theme from Van der Valk too!

 

Mainline were definitely a step up in model railways. I remember when I first saw the Royal Daylight and United Molasses tank wagons in 1977 the printing was very fine, much better than any wagons Hornby produced at the tme.

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Mainline  Products  were  a  gigantic  leap forward in model railway  quality,   I remember  them  well  and  used  to  use  them  on my  00  garden  line! Happy Days!

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Mainline and Airfix, between them, represented a step change in both authenticity and detail over what had gone before, even if some of the mechanisms weren't too brilliant.

 

They laid the foundations for the high quality products that we have come to expect from all makers since and the purchase of a Mainline Standard 4MT 4-6-0 and a half-dozen Airfix wagons is what drew me back into railway modelling.

 

Without the stimulating effect those models had on the r-t-r scene, the current discussions of the details vs prices quandary might well not be happening.

 

John

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Thanks guys.

 

Still chugging through them, uploading as I go along.

 

Yes, the lack of scenics in the advert actually works in their favor. I also felt the same way as a child with regards to their catalogues. Of course, the Hornby issues from 77-83 will always have a fond place in my heart, as I poured over them with relish. But I really preferred mainlines contrasty pictures, set against a dark background with the stock bathed in some nice subtle key lighting. Very effective and showed up the detail on the models to great effect. When photographing models at that scale, you rely so heavily on selling that shadow bourne detail. Worked a treat, and probably caused a bit of a panic in Margate that year. Up to that point, I dont think anyone had seen rtr stuff look quite so nice..

 

Anyway, glad you like the advert collection. I was only originally looking for the action man adverts, and after 4 years of dead ends, I was just about to give up. Finding 104 adverts on film was quite a moment, 

 

Enjoy

 

Image below from mainlinerailways.org.uk

 

 

Jubilee.jpg

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I love catalougues too doublecee and agree your comments on Hornby cats. Probably I'm about older but I'd go 73- 81 as the classics.but you are also correct,Mainline catalogues were very professionally produced, quite dark, actually the Mainline 79 cat was quite like the Hornby 78 one in style. But in addition you had how to make up consists etc.in this respect Mainline always had the edge over Airfix in my opinion. For me the best Mainline catalogue was the second edition introducing the Jubilee and Warship. Great days!

Edited by Legend

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Guest spet0114

Mainline and Airfix, between them, represented a step change in both authenticity and detail over what had gone before, even if some of the mechanisms weren't too brilliant.

 

They laid the foundations for the high quality products that we have come to expect from all makers since and the purchase of a Mainline Standard 4MT 4-6-0 and a half-dozen Airfix wagons is what drew me back into railway modelling.

 

Without the stimulating effect those models had on the r-t-r scene, the current discussions of the details vs prices quandary might well not be happening.

 

John

 

I'd also squeeze Jouef into this category. Their Class 40 and Mk III coaches arrived at this time and the latter in particular were clearly of the same standard as the Mainline and Airfix offerings and notably superior to the Hornby product.

 

The irony is that while supply problems ultimately prevented Airfix and Mainline from giving Hornby the competition they so desperately needed in the 70s, it was the bulk of the Airfix models (and a few Mainline ones), acquired from Dapol, that allowed Hornby to provide some measure of competition when Bachmann started getting into their stride in the early 90s and to survive until their own Chinese-sourced products (Merchant Navy onwards) arrived. If Dapol hadn't had that fire....... :)

 

On another point, Mainline did market some scenic components in their early catalogues. They were mainly cardboard building kits, but it does at least show that their intention was, at least initially, to address this sector of the market.

 

 

Thanks guys.

 

Still chugging through them, uploading as I go along.

 

Yes, the lack of scenics in the advert actually works in their favor. I also felt the same way as a child with regards to their catalogues. Of course, the Hornby issues from 77-83 will always have a fond place in my heart, as I poured over them with relish. But I really preferred mainlines contrasty pictures, set against a dark background with the stock bathed in some nice subtle key lighting. Very effective and showed up the detail on the models to great effect. When photographing models at that scale, you rely so heavily on selling that shadow bourne detail. Worked a treat, and probably caused a bit of a panic in Margate that year. Up to that point, I dont think anyone had seen rtr stuff look quite so nice..

 

Anyway, glad you like the advert collection. I was only originally looking for the action man adverts, and after 4 years of dead ends, I was just about to give up. Finding 104 adverts on film was quite a moment, 

 

Enjoy

 

Image below from mainlinerailways.org.uk

 

 

 

The Hornby 78 catalogue is very much in the 'mood lighting' vein and littered with finely detailed line drawings of the prototypes their models were supposed to represent. It was all clearly an attempt to respond to the Airfix/Mainline threat but to modern eyes it looks a bit laughable.

 

I love cataloubliette too doublecee and agree your comments on Hornby cats. Probably I'm about older but I'd go 73- 81 as the classics.but you are also correct,Mainline catalogues were very professionally produced, quite dark, actually the Mainline 79 cat was quite like the Hornby 78 one in style. But in addition you had how to make up consists etc.in this respect Mainline always had the edge over Airfix in my opinion. For me the best Mainline catalogue was the second edition introducing the Jubilee and Warship. Great days!

 

Ah, you have beaten me to it!  

 

Just in passing - have a look at the picture of the Class 45 in the first Mainline catalogue (Vol 1 - 1976). The fencing running in front of the loco is clearly just a piece of track on it's edge! :)

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My Dad was quite fond of the Mainline railways stuff and he bought all of the BR blue diesels when they came out. He also has one of Mainline railways catalogues from the 80s.
The engines get the odd outing sometimes but normally live in their boxes with the rest of his 70s/80s trains in his chest of drawers.

The Mainline limited availability Warship is probably my favourite.
I'm still after a Bachmann version (which originates from the old mainline moulds) to detail and add to my diesel fleet. Here's a pic of the Warship on my layout:

 

1238017_547385055310368_1939432242_n.jpg

In the 1983 catalogue trains did appear in a setting with background etc, although this normally consisted of non mainline products. Quite a few of the old 'Prototype models' buildings appear in the shots as well as some structures from the airfix range.

1535527_604143846301155_746281331_n.jpg

1517595_604143759634497_1218491661_n.jpg

However I did note in the Hornby catalogues (more of my Dads) at the time they adopted the loco/railway/train on dark background appearance. I believe the objective was to make it look 'classic' 'new' 'modern' '80s' 'age of the train' 'warm' type feel and supposed to typically make you want to buy the product. Idea being to show up the best in the model. Photographs in the Hornby typically showed a late 70s/80s style family playing with trains or opening trains or the father figure building a layout. They also seemed to use the same writing format as British Rail. Normally with some kind of quote above each section to make their trains sound better and better (this was also employed in magazine adverts). Of course on most pages they also show the largest layout you can build in their track plans book at the time.
Similar themes appeared on their boxes which set their products away from everyone else's, bright red and a belt and buckle across the box with the black band on one corner. Sometimes with the 'silver seal' badge in the corner to show quality with their new metal wheel sets.

 

1525042_604143626301177_1523862357_n.jpg

554497_604143702967836_1626326454_n.jpg

The catalogues were slightly more interesting to look at in my opinion because today's Hornby catalogues either just show the model on a boring white background like a fashion magazine, or in the Bachmann catalogue in categories, a small scene but in a sunny daylight sort of thing going on (often these are posted on websites in a low irritating resolution) and on a white border, mainly because it's cheaper not to colour full pages!

Quite simple to take the dark style photo with the normal digital camera and even more effective if your layout has lights. Here's mine:

 

391363_257245814324295_1128101459_n.jpg


Something else which is interesting (if you've not got bored of the old stuff already) is the change in track plans. On the left is a plan from 1983 6th book and on the right is the biggest plan from the 11th book. Possibly homes got smaller?

558800_445169168865291_619194634_n.jpg

Cheers, Reece

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Did anyone reading this travel on the Mainline promotional Flying Scotsman hauled train from London to Carlisle via Ribblehead [outward] in, I think, 1983 ? I seem to remember that the train was composed of First Class dining cars. I still have my ticket somewhere. The journey was free, on production of two Mainline loco boxes as evidence of recent purchases. I sent in boxes from a Manor and a Mogul, and then spent months hassling Mainline for some spare boxes to re-house the original locos !

 

Whilst on the train, a 'wants-list' was given to all passengers to, presumably, test the market for potential new models. Top of my list was a Dukedog: all comes to those who wait.........

 

Tony

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Got to agree that while todays catalogues are very professional they lack the interest and variety of the older ones. Also older catalogues always showed a mock up of the new models (mercifully the 1974 mock up of Hornbys 47 looked nothing like the real model) whereas now we just get prototype pictures. Certainly in Hornbys case it may not actually represent the correct version. I think it may be partly an age thing but I just find today's catalogues boring. Still got to buy them though!

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Thanks for posting the Mainline adverts. I must confess that I've never seen them before and wonder if they were shown in cinemas instead.

 

I only have a couple of Mainline catalogues at home because there wasn't a dealer near where I lived at the time. I always used to purchase the Hornby catalogue and my favourite is the 1978 edition. The reason for this is due to the 'mood lighting' detailed line drawings (as someone else on here has described them. The other reason is that for Christmas that year I received Sir Dinadan, track, signal box, goods shed, mainline station, branchline station and waiting shelter which were all new releases at the time. It was the best Christmas ever for me and I have still have the buildings and Sir Dinadan to this day.

 

However, the best catalogue in my opinion is Hornby's 1981 "Ticket to Ride". I don't think it's ever been bettered for content and style. Please Hornby, pull your finger out and come up with a catalogue more original and exciting than the previous 13 years worth of same old style.

 

Regardless,

 

Paul

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Interesting snippet at 4:37 on this video-:

 

Hong Kong, start of the boom. 1978 -

 

Noting the Mainline Peak sitting in the middle of the test track.

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I can remember a pre-production prototype of the Peak in the cabinet at CAB Models in Northampton for what seemed like years before the real things were on sale. We got to go and droll over it and wait....and wait....and wait.

 

Legend has it the model had rigid eight wheel bogies which were useless for the train set curves it was marketed for, it had been loaned to CAB as a promotional display model and there may have been more in other key retailers around the country, although this one was the only one I ever saw. The redesign of this flaw caused the lengthy delay in the final release of the model.

 

CAB were one of the main discount mail order houses of the day so would have been major retailers for the range in those days. When Palitoy hit hard times in the recession of the early eighties, there were numerous swap meet dealers and market traders who bought up huge quantities of "seconds" at knock down prices and undercut the established dealers. There was one who had a stall on Skegness market who supplied me with my first rake of 4 Mainline make 1s in about 1980-1 and another was Dave Smith of Midland Railway Centre in Kettering who traded at various Barry Potter toy fairs. Dave is still around as Metalsmith and has an enviable reputation for high quality O Gauge kits.

Edited by RANGERS
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I remember buying my Class 45 as soon as it came out ( I think around Jan 78, I know it was a 76 announcement). It was impressive in its time, certainly a step up in detail from Hornbys 37 and 47, although perhaps not their 25 that came out in 77.  It was quite a heavy model and had a great top speed, to the extent that there was a danger at max thrust it would power off my 2nd radius curves and make its bid for freedom across my bedroom. Quite robust too! Happy days

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Thanks for posting the Mainline adverts. I must confess that I've never seen them before and wonder if they were shown in cinemas instead.

 

 

 

No, they were shown on TV

 

Thanks for posting the Mainline adverts. I must confess that I've never seen them before and wonder if they were shown in cinemas instead.

 

I only have a couple of Mainline catalogues at home because there wasn't a dealer near where I lived at the time. I always used to purchase the Hornby catalogue and my favourite is the 1978 edition. The reason for this is due to the 'mood lighting' detailed line drawings (as someone else on here has described them. The other reason is that for Christmas that year I received Sir Dinadan, track, signal box, goods shed, mainline station, branchline station and waiting shelter which were all new releases at the time. It was the best Christmas ever for me and I have still have the buildings and Sir Dinadan to this day.

 

However, the best catalogue in my opinion is Hornby's 1981 "Ticket to Ride". I don't think it's ever been bettered for content and style. Please Hornby, pull your finger out and come up with a catalogue more original and exciting than the previous 13 years worth of same old style.

 

Regardless,

 

Paul

Aye, these were indeed shown on TV. But easy to miss as they did not have nationwide exposure.

 

I agree with you on Ticket to ride. 80 + 81 were milestone releases in terms of presentation and have yet to be beaten. For all their gloss and sheen, the newer style catalogues are very hard to distinguish from year to year, a point I have made on numerous occassions. But their current run and style also works, and of course, if it aint broke... At 43, I dont look forward to a new catalogue with the same degree of zest as I did at 10 or 11, but I still look forward to it nonetheless, and as I am sure we are all agreed... 2014 is quite an impressive year in terms of releases planned.

 

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I remember buying my first Mainline class 45 from Everybody's Hobbies in Ipswich. It was the plain green D100 Sherwood Forester, although I modelled rail blue at that time.

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I remember buying many Mainline Palitoy and Airfix GMR products that at the time were much more superior to the Hornby Matgate built Competition sadly the build quality, cheap motors and some design failures did mean that they did not have a long life in Model Railway Service. i still have some Mainline Palitoy BR Standard Class 4's that are still in occasional service doing sterling service. Palitoy and Airfix GMR moved the hobby on to new standards of detail that all the manufactorers use today as normal practice. This thread is a nice nostalgic walk down all our yesterdays.

 

Happy Modelling Stephen.

Edited by S&D Stephen

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