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As you go about finding a rarity of interest to you ??whether it is a Lionel Train or a cast iron automotive toy ??the main component to its current value is what we call the condition of the object. Get Email Alerts Provide us your e-mail address and we will alert you when new items are listed in your field of interest. If you have any question about this Buy THIS Now Classified Ad Item, please contact the member.
Enter your e-mail address to receive a free download of The Business of Antiques, an insightful guide to achieving success in the marketplace. Men who spend time restoring antique automobiles or flying vintage model airplanes love playing with the past, and model train hobbyists share that same type of enthusiasm.
Members of the Lionel Collectors Club of America (LCCA) keep that spirit alive and grow it for the enjoyment of families of this generation. The club will celebrate its 41st year at the July 25-30, 2011 convention, and several charter members who joined the club when it was formed in 1970 plan to attend. Conventioneers, train hobbyists, and the public will attend the train show July 30 at the host hotel, the Hyatt Regency DFW on the grounds of the airport. The large, modular train layout designed and built by the Independent Hi-Railers Train Club of Pittsburgh will be in operation at the same time. LCCA members enjoy the excitement, elegance, and power of real trains as well as the equally fascinating but smaller-scale O-gauge electric train models made by Lionel LLC and other manufacturers. Others seek to re-acquire trains they once owned as a child but were subsequently discarded.
Others purchase the trains they like because of their unique history, colorful paint scheme, or interesting locale. Lionel LLC manufactures models of entry-level steam locomotives as starter sets intended for youngsters as well as highly detailed leviathans from the peak of the steam era. Krysti Dewey (now 18), of Wichita, Kan., will attend the upcoming event with her extended family. The Lionel Collectors Club of America (LCCA) was founded in the Midwest in 1970 by a group of hobbyists to promote awareness and enjoyment of toy trains. What Are You Interested In?Use this handy dropdown menu to jump to the antique categories you're most interested in. Note: This is an archive of "Papa" Ted Althof's online tribute to cardboard Christmas "putz" houses and their history. Note: This archive was set up at Ted's request in early 2012, and, except for critical updates and announcements, will remain as Ted left it in October, 2012. With World War II over in 1945, Lionel was about to enter its most glorious period of existence. Standard-Gauge trains were now out of the picture, and the O-Gauge trains had newly designed trucks and couplers that were no longer compatible with the older, prewar models. In an effort to increase sales, in 1957 (the last profitable postwar year of Lionel Corp.) the company introduced a line of HO-Gauge trains licensed by Italian toy manufacturer  Rivarossi, and a line of slot-car racing sets.


Eccentric and controversial, Cohn was a conservative attorney by trade who rose to fame during Sen. Lionel also formed a partnership with the Portal Chemical Co., a toy manufacturer that developed and produced chemistry sets aimed as educational toys for aspiring junior scientists.
In 1969, Lionel unceremoniously exited the toy train business by selling the product tooling and dies and licensing the name to the Fundimensions Division of cereal maker General Mills. I watch eBay probably like the rest of you, and we all have certain items we watch, and put on our watch list. My goal is simple - to share with you the joy and passion I have for antique toys, trains, banks and a whole host of collectible antiques.
A spirit of boyish adventure energizes collectors and operators of toy trains – many of whom are more than 45 years old. The Golden Age of the toy train hobby peaked in the 1950s when the toy of choice for most boys was an electric train set. The show will be filled with tables loaded with trains, parts, and accessories for sale, including hard-to-find items. The Lionel company train layout is as big as a four-stall garage and contains 32 trains in operation simultaneously.
Modern technology built into today’s toy trains enables a highly interactive model railroading experience on a home layout.
The club provides a play area within the host hotel where families can enjoy hands-on play with Lionel trains on the carpeted floor. At train shows, auctions, and online sites, they seek trains to replace the ones they owned decades ago.
Perhaps the dramatic décor of the Santa Fe diesel trains is the most memorable example of this aspect of the hobby. Wives of club members are often engaged in aspects of the hobby that appeal to them; for example, scene decorating, making and painting structures from kits or from scratch, or shopping for trains and supplies.
Today, the LCCA is a not-for-profit, international hobby-based organization with about 7,500 members who are toy train collectors and operators. In Part II of our three-part series on Lionel trains, we look at the years 1945-1969, known as the postwar years. The smoke was created by dropping a special oil or small pellet into the train’s smokestack, further developing a more realistic look and feel of the trains.
By the beginning of the ’50s, Lionel was outselling its closest competitor, American Flyer, nearly 2 to 1.
So large, in fact, that from 1953-1955 Lionel was running head-to-head with Louis Marx and Co. By the late 1950s, toy-train hobbyists preferred the smaller, yet more realistic, HO-Gauge trains. Unfortunately neither product line was successful, and a breakdown in cooperation with Lionel over financial issues led to the end of Lionel releasing HO-Gauge trains in 1958.
Less than a year later, Cowen and his son, Lawrence, sold their stock in the company to a syndicate led by Cowen’s grand-nephew, Roy Cohn.


The glory days of the late 1940s and 1950s were clearly a distant memory, and an era of toy train dominance was sadly over.
In the third and final part of our series on Lionel trains, we will look at the years 1970 to the present, known as the modern years. For them, the romance of the rails associated with trains never died, and they keep it alive albeit in miniature proportions.
For many of them, a Lionel train set was a dream-come-true Christmas present, and many still have their first train set as a prized keepsake of their boyhood. Children under age 18 will be admitted free to the train show if accompanied by an adult paying the $5 admission. It will be located in the lobby of the host hotel and operated Wednesday through Saturday afternoon of convention week. She is a skilled train operator and often helps out at LCCA conventions by sharing her affinity for the hobby with visiting youngsters.
Of the three eras of Lionel trains (prewar, postwar and modern), it is the postwar era that is the most popular and has the largest group of collectors. As the years went by, plastics increasingly replaced the metals used in Lionel’s products.
And children were becoming more mesmerized by toy vehicles and toy airplanes than they were toy trains. Under Cohn’s leadership, Lionel suffered declining sales, quality-control problems and huge financial losses. Business continued to get worse for Lionel by the late-’60s as interest in toy trains continued to decline. Call-outs of station stops by a conductor are included on passenger trains equipped with this feature.
He collects and operates trains of the long-gone Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. From the start, Cohn moved the company in a new direction with an extreme makeover of sorts. These subsidiary companies included Dale Electronics, Sterling Electric Motors and Telerad Manufacturing. When an operator slows a model train to a stop, the system emits the sound of squealing brakes.
The product line included Porter-famed Chemcraft chemistry sets, Microcraft microscope sets, Biocraft biology sets and sets educating youngsters on mineralogy, physics, geology, mathematics and industrial science, along with a junior line of tool sets. However, Lionel lacked the necessary income to exploit and market their newly acquired product line and filed for bankruptcy as well on Aug.




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