Santa Fe Gondola O Gauge Car Via Menards - 2018

Another of the new items that Menards is showing in their O Gauge train section in stores this year is a series of gondola cars like this Santa Fe one you see above.  I've written before about how my Dad runs a vintage (Post War) Santa Fe F3 locomotive and over the years I've gifted him a few Santa Fe cars from Lionel.  I've never given him one from Menards, but I've bought a few on my own and while I LOVE the prices (see above..$20), I don't like two things:

1.  the boxes that Menards sells these in.  The packaging is NOT very re-usable. 
2.  the couplers.  They're not great.

#1 in the list above is really the biggest thing for me.  We're Christmas train people.  That means that we pack away our train for 10 months a year and then bring it out for the holidays.  The boxes that Lionel ships their cars in are a big part of that storage process and the orange boxes have meaning to me whenever we get them out.  These Menards clamshells don't really hold up and are always a bummer each season.  For people who keep their trains out all the time, maybe the boxes don't matter much to them.  But for us?  Borderline deal killer. 

Would love to see Menards upgrade their boxes on their O Gauge trains.  Can a cardboard box be *that much* more expensive than these plastic clamshells? 


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