Concurrent with the design and manufacture of the model trains, advertising and promotion is also required. During the decision process to make the Arnold rapido model train line, this firm also had to make decisions concerning the pricing of the trains and how they would be distributed. The major vehicle for promoting the Arnold rapido line was the consumer catalog, which also has been the primary source of information for these pages. The catalogs tell what is available and how to use it.
In the 1960’s, Germany was the primary market for the rapido line, but it also was apparent to the Arnold company that they needed to be in the North American market. It would be the firm of Charles Merzbach who would handle distribution of Arnold in the United States and possibly all of North America.
German companies have often had problems marketing their products in the American market. There is a problem with language, with the translators of German language documents into other languages having a great deal of influence over the sales outcomes in the non-German speaking markets. Likewise, any importer of German products needs to have sufficient capital to stock a good quantity of the items for sale in the export market, and the manufacturer has to be able to produce a sufficient quantity for sales to be successful in the export market. It is a delicate balance, fraught with potential problems. Arnold felt that the North American market was worth pursuing, and many of the documents produced by Arnold for their rapido product line were printed in both German and in English; there may have been other documents in other languages, also.
Here are pages showing some of the catalogs and coverage of the export market for Arnold.