Even though today is April 1st, this is no joke. Mike Fetsko and Eric Olson of ME Models revolutionize the LEGO® Train hobby today with the introduction of Metal Rails. Their unique solution utilizes a custom molded ABS plastic end connector in conjunction with Aluminum extruded rails and LEGO® Brand 2x8 plates for inner ties.
RAILBRICKS has had a chance to test some of these new rails and we are very excited about the quality and compatibility these will offer to not only the die hard 9V train fan, but to also the Power Functions train users.
From our testing, the rails stick very tightly to the LEGO and custom plastic elements. An accidental drop test proved that these pieces will stay together.
Conductivity was measured to be exactly the same as the LEGO 9V rails, even at lengths of 5 feet.
We asked Eric and Mike a few questions about the new products and what was in store for the future:
RB: Tell us a little about ME Models.
ME: ME Models has been in business since 2003. We started with creation of custom LEGO building kits of our own design and launched with a house, a few basic cars, and trucks. Eight years later, we now have a complete product line of approximately 100 models with more models added every month. We also have established partnerships with large international companies for promotional products and have begun to establish marketing and business relationships with other fan based products.
RB: Why did you decide to create your own custom rails?
ME: Our business model has always been to deliver products to hobbyists to enhance their own collections and experiences. Being railroad hobby enthusiasts ourselves and observing the existing limitations to the LEGO railroad hobby, we felt that we could deliver a viable solution to the community.
RB: Tell us a little about these new products?
ME: ME Models Metal Rails is a complete railway system. It is obvious that different geometries are needed in order to effect a complete railway layout above and beyond what has been offered to date. With that said, we currently offer metal rails in four different lengths with plans to introduce other necessary track segments very soon allowing for unlimited layouts.
Metal rails are not a one-piece unit, rather a collection of components which all work together to deliver a feel that fans are used to modeling, but allow for greater dynamic potential with styling.
RB: What are the prices and products being offered?
ME: Metal rails currently includes two basic package offerings for each of the straight products as well as two color options: blue-gray and reddish brown.
The basic kit, which includes 4 connectors and 4 metal rails in standard "16 stud" length, will retail for $4.99. (enough to make 2 straight sections of track)
The starter-kit, which includes 12 connectors, 12 metal rails in standard "16 stud" length, and 18 2X8 LEGO brand plates, will retail for $19.99. (enough to make 6 straight sections of track)
We also offer half-length rail kits, which will include 8 connectors and 8 "8 stud" length rails, which will retail for $7.99.
The double-length rails, which include 4 connectors and 4 "32 stud" rails, will retail for $9.99. This would be the equivalent of 4 standard sections.
The quad-length rails, which include 4 connectors, and 4 "64 stud" rails, will retail for $14.99. This would be the equivalent of 8 standard sections.
As with any of our rails, the connectors are included for compatibility with the other product. Currently, our product has complete compatibility with LEGO 9V metal-covered and LEGO RC plastic tracks. We will soon also have an adapter to allow use of our product with the "flex-track" product.
RB: What's next?
ME: In the near future, railroad hobbyists will be very happy with our next product offering which will be unveiled the first week of May.
The new evolution has begun...