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serotta1972

Kato Model #'s and Packaging

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serotta1972

Any Kato historians? When did Kato stop using 3 digit #'s and when did they use the White & Yellow and Blue & Silver box liners.  Also when did they change their logo from the Kato with rails to the current one.  I just recently got a freight car with a 3 digit model # and a yellow liner and actually just learned from Sam about the 3 digit #'s at the train exhibit a week ago.  Just curious as of the timeline and evolution of Kato.  I was introduced to Kato in the early 90's and I do know they go back much further back.

 

Thanks,

Junior

 

IMG_2519.thumb.jpeg.6674f65fcdd31a5a44d7e847e129fdf8.jpegIMG_2520.thumb.jpeg.52c741af5f2dc822f4e38d65d286a910.jpeg

 

 

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bill937ca

Kato uses four digit numbers for locomotives, passenger cars and freight cars. There are hyphenated numbers for Unitrack 20-xxx, Unitram 40-xxx, buildings 23- xxx, power packs 22-xxx etc.

 

The stock list gives some indication of how item numbers are categorized.

 

 http://www.katomodels.com/distribution/stock.shtml

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katoftw
Posted (edited)

Bill didnt read the question correctly. Junior was asking when they change to the current numbering system.

Edited by katoftw

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railsquid

Not sure exactly when but I'd put my money on early 1980s. I'll see if I can find out more.

 

FWIW the 3-digit number still survives on some mouldings still in production.

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serotta1972
5 hours ago, railsquid said:

FWIW the 3-digit number still survives on some mouldings still in production.

 

Yes, an example would be the 804 which is now 8004 (pictured in original post) and is being released again in August. 

 

Thanks for looking into this.

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serotta1972

So Kato has not changed their logo - as the Kato with rails under it and the Kato with an A Triangle both appear on the side of the bookcases and jewel boxes.

 

One of my first Kato set bought in 1992 is the Series 0 with no model number on the box nor did it come with a manual.  It came in this box that is different from any other Kato trains I currently own.  

 

5ad3e77e27dde_REUp0h5sRvm0gkwoTOujQ.thumb.jpg.85ef165d05c24a8b7f499d1a1f6fa52f.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Kiha66
Posted (edited)

I was given two Ntrain sets by an older member at the Belmont shore club, a 0 series and a 103 Yamanote line.  They are pretty detailed for their age, but it appears that even these molds are still in use for the modern releases.  I got a modern 4 car add on set for the 103 and you couldn't tell the difference.  The 0 series also matched the modern kato 0 series, but with non moving pantographs.   They each have a small single paper inside with the model numbers, and a set of stickers to put on the case with a picture of the lead car of the set.  They are from the late 1980s according to the member who gifted them, with the 103 set having product numbers in the very low 4000s if I remember correctly.  The text of the cover seems to be a different style than yours, with the bookcase also missing the indentation that is on the left of yours.  

20171230_163208.thumb.jpg.ca6982d714d340b6567a202d2cfa6c56.jpg

Edited by Kiha66
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katoftw

Ntrain cases are just like casco cases arent they? As in third party supplier.

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cteno4

That was a lovely gift!

 

jeff

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Kiha66
Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

That was a lovely gift!

 

He was a wonderful older chap who had done some work in toyko for a few months back in the 1980s, and bought the models to remember the time.  He never ran them as far as I can tell, but he said wanted to pass them on to someone who would use them and was interested in the subject.   I'm very grateful for his generosity.   

Edited by Kiha66
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chadbag
2 hours ago, katoftw said:

Ntrain cases are just like casco cases arent they? As in third party supplier.

 

Don't you mean "casket"?

 

(Though on Hobby Search only the Tomytech/Tomix ones are so labeled -- Casco is labeled "Case")

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serotta1972
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, katoftw said:

Ntrain cases are just like casco cases arent they? As in third party supplier.

 

No, they are Kato just without the model number and description.  The blue label is circa 2018. :)

 

5ad41f8d99a04_WMtToQpFSbGD0KgN1wk1Q.thumb.jpg.a5d701323ccb411fad944c194567c3a3.jpg

 

 

Edited by serotta1972
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bill937ca
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, chadbag said:

 

Don't you mean "casket"?

 

(Though on Hobby Search only the Tomytech/Tomix ones are so labeled -- Casco is labeled "Case")

 

The word casket is right on the Tomytec cases. So its not a HS machine translation.

Edited by bill937ca

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cteno4
1 hour ago, Kiha66 said:

 

He was a wonderful older chap who had done some work in toyko for a few months back in the 1980s, and bought the models to remember the time.  He never ran them as far as I can tell, but he said wanted to pass them on to someone who would use them and was interested in the subject.   I'm very grateful for his generosity.   

 

Thats wonderful he did that! Great memento for you to have. Nice when that happens.

 

jeff

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katoftw
4 hours ago, chadbag said:

 

Don't you mean "casket"?

 

(Though on Hobby Search only the Tomytech/Tomix ones are so labeled -- Casco is labeled "Case")

Really?

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chadbag
7 hours ago, bill937ca said:

 

The word casket is right on the Tomytec cases. So its not a HS machine translation.

 

I understand it is on the Tomytech/Tomix case and not a case of HS machine translation.  It is probably a case of machine translation by Tomytech.  I just think it is a funny item name.

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chadbag
3 hours ago, katoftw said:

Really?

 

Why, yes.  (Not sure what your point was).

 

I just think it is funny how some of the companies call these cases "caskets"

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chadbag
3 minutes ago, railsquid said:

Wordz can haz multiple meanings?

 

And?   It is still a funny use of the word and not in normal usage as a storage case for items (outside of specific uses like dead bodies or other non standard uses) that I have seen.

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railsquid

Maybe it's one of those British English vs. North Amercan English things, I don't associate "casket' particularly strongly with a ceremonial dead body storage receptacle... Sounds a bit archaic though... Mind you North Americans don't seem to get why I find various Japanese product names consisting of an English word prefixed with "Gran" ("Gran Class" etc) quite amusing...

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railsquid
Posted (edited)
On 4/15/2018 at 5:53 PM, railsquid said:

Not sure exactly when but I'd put my money on early 1980s. I'll see if I can find out more.

 

 

Anyway back to the original questions - according to the 50th anniversary book published by Kato, the current branding (KATO logo with the raised "A") was introduced in 1987. That means we can date the changeover from 3 to 4 digits to some point before then.

Edited by railsquid
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serotta1972

Thanks Squid, so we can also safely assume anything in the blue and silver lining jewel cases were produced prior to 1987.  

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railsquid

That's a reasonable assumption.

 

Forgot to add that the original late 1960's packaging (pre "jewel case") was red and white, see e.g. the picture (not enlargeable) next to "Chapter 1" here: https://katomodels.wixsite.com/50thmm

 

I don't think I've ever seen any of that "in the wild", my working theory is  that it was superseded in the early-ish 1970s by the jewel box with yellow/white lining.

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cteno4

Yeah in The US casket is pretty much reserved for dead bodies. But it fits well with the broader definition of a container for precious items!

 

our boxes we built for the layout 2.0 modules were about 1m x 40cm x 20cm and looked very much like small body caskets with two sets of handholds on the sides that we started calling them caskets not boxes and it stuck... layout 3.0 will look more like the good old freight boxes and won’t be called the caskets...

 

jeff

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