Model Trains MTH-Mike’s Train House

When you ask any model train hobbyist when he was drawn to this amazing hobby the answer is frequently the same. Their introduction and interest developed during their childhood, and this is also the case when referring to Mike Wolf, who at the age of twelve began building and selling model trains for Williams Electric Trains in the early seventies.

Sometime during this same time period Williams Electric Trains decided to discontinue their Lionel standard and O gauge reproductions, and this seemed like the opportune time to Mike Wolf to buy the tooling for these models and continue to create and sell these particular scales.
This marked what was what was to be a long a long and successful career for young Mike and his company which he called Mike’s Train House or MTH.

One thing which Mike Wolf truly understood about running a successful business was the necessity to reduce and keep his operating costs as low as possible, and during the 1980’s he did so by selling trains and their accessories through a mail order business which he operated out of his home.

The other important tenet which Mike Wolf clearly knew was that the quality of his products had to be at the highest level in the competitive industry of model railroading, and in addition, charging the most competitive price for these products would allow him to dominate the market. Through the employment of this solid business strategy his company enjoyed enviable profits, and a long list of more than satisfied customers.

Throughout most of the 1980’s MTH continued to manufacture replicas of the Lionel standard model train and the O gauge model train. However, as many companies do to produce a profit, Mike subcontracted a certain part of this work to a company in Korea who was approached in 1987 by Lionel, one of the leading companies in the industry, with an offer for them to manufacture standard gauge models rather than do the work which they were currently doing for Mike Wolf. The offer wasn’t rejected, but instead they referred Lionel to Mike Wolf who accepted this business opportunity.

What may have initially seemed like a sound business decision only led to numerous disagreements between Mike Wolf and Lionel, and rather than continue this relationship it was ended in 1993, when Mike decided to re-enter the market as an independent contractor for the O scale model of the General Electric Dash Eight diesel locomotive.

This turned out to be a brilliant marketing decision and well proven by the fact that MTH out produced and out sold the O gauge model when compared to Lionel’s sales results by more than ten million dollars.

In the upcoming years Mike’s Train House has continued to be an innovator in the industry with over 10,000 different choices for model train enthusiast to select from, and included among these choices are four different scales: O gauge, One Gauge, HO gauge, and Tinplate Standard Gauge.

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