Here is the summary from KATO sales meeting for February.
- SoundBox can't be used in Europe due to non-compliance of CE standard. Now they are developing CE compliant model.
- Also developing additional sound card for sound box. Now preparing C56 steam locomotive, 1 type of Shinkansen and 1 type of commuter train.
- Due to an epidemic of influenza at KATO's factory employee, they are sure those new product release will be delay. Especially those models they just announced (RhB "Allegra" and Series 381 "Panorama Shinano") will be impacted. To recover this situation, Mr. Kato and his team suggested alternative plan to make some re-run of certain train model and asked retailers for opinion. As it was a serious conversation between KATO and retailers, you may find unexpected announcement of re-run of certain item.
- There is an issue with KATO 10-1184 (ED19 and Myojo Cement freight car set). Enclosed knuckle coupler is different and KATO is planning to send out replacement. ModelTrainPlus is now suspending sales of this product until replacement coupler comes in to avoid 2 shipment. I am sorry for the inconvenience.
1. Tokyo Metro Series 10000
Now with new destination and additional decals to reflect current operation unit. Already released.
2. Steam locomotive D51 Tohoku type
Another nice looking steam locomotive. Already sold out at KATO, so secure yours now as it will running out quickly.
3. Hopper Wagon HOKI9500 (Yabashi Industries)
Upper cover and load (limestone) shown. The wagon shown on photo is not correct model. It is KATO 8066 used as sample.
4. RhB ABe8/12 "Allegra"
Minimum turning radius is R150. Can be coupled with Glacier Express. Now interior lights compatible.
5. Series 115-300
To be released with 4 car basic set and 4 car add-on set. Prototyping model around 1978, so the model may different from later model like no radio antenna, etc. To be played with KUMONI83-800 and KUMOYUNI82-800 which KATO is releasing together. Tomix also announced same model (different period), so which do you think better? Personally, KATO will have better painting....
6. Seibu Series 101
Another variant with distributed air-conditioning.
7. E3 Shinkansen "TOREIYU"
Now logo printed on side of body.
- I am sorry to inform HO fans but release of HO product will be very slow. This is because KATO's production capacity and capability. Their factory is optimized for producing N scale product which is a mainstream. So producing HO is in lower priority and availability.
- Following item may be produced in near future
1. E531 with current design
2. One model of TGV or Eurostar kind of European prototype