News today that MTH – a major supplier of O scale (three-rail) products – is acquiring the S Helper Service business.
It’s good to see that SHS is not simply folding its tent as retirement approaches for its owners. I have a number of examples of SHS rolling stock on the layout and am very impressed by the quality of design and construction evident in these models.
Perhaps MTH will have the clout to overcome S scale’s manufacturing challenges, too, and bring fresh product to market. S Helper Service was one of the companies affected by a shake-up in China a couple of years ago, in which the country’s main manufacturer of model railway equipment unilaterally decided to only work with the world’s largest hobby brands. S Helper Service, American Models and other suppliers to the 1:64 community were nowhere near “major”, so were unceremoniously cut loose. As a result, new offerings for S have been limited to resin kits and limited edition brass. I’m a fan of both of resin and brass, but know that it’s the ready to run equipment that keeps S viable so fingers are crossed that we’ll start seeing more product in the Showcase Line.
I also hope MTH continues S Helper Service’s tradition of offering products for scale modellers, as well as those who follow American Flyer standards.