Monday, October 29, 2007

Toy Train Rivals Back On Track?

Just in time for the holidays, Columbia's toy train magnate, Mike Wolf, has apparently reached a settlement with Lionel over stolen train designs and other mischief.

Here's what WaPo had to say:

"Century-old Lionel of Chesterfield, Mich., and MTH Electric Trains of Columbia have forged a tentative agreement to settle a multimillion-dollar, seven-year-old lawsuit over allegations that Lionel stole train designs from MTH.

"The dispute focuses on a patented computerized technology that synchronizes the sound, smoke and speed of the locomotives as they zoom and puff around the track. The technology is critical to the two companies as they seek a leg up on each other in a small market and try to remake one of America's favorite pastimes for the 21st century.

"The settlement should allow Lionel, one of the enduring brands of the 20th century, to escape bankruptcy protection, which it entered while fighting MTH's claims for roughly $88 million.

MTH founder Mike Wolf told WaPo the settlement is contingent on resolving several other issues. "It's not over until it's over," Wolf said. "We don't like each other. It's personal. It's been very difficult."

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