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This issue is complete in 16 pages, measures about 11 by 16 inches, and is in great condition.
American Flyer is a name rooted in the history of model trains that began in Chicago in 1905 with toymaker William Hafner and his friend William Coleman. Changing times were reflected by "Racing Automobiles" and a passenger train with internal lighting, the retirement of the quaint "Pay-As-You-Go" trolley, and the introduction of a war train with cannons. Though the company became a corporation, the family tradition continued, with Cowen's son Lawrence ("The Happy Lionel Boy") gracing catalogs, packaging, and sales materials.
Lionel establishes La Precisa in Italy, where some if its finest prewar products were tooled. With the purchase of competitor Ives Manufacturing, Lionel gains the reversing unit, an innovation allowing trains to change direction.
The magnificent Hellgate Bridge debuts, just one of a dizzying array of detailed accessories. The luxurious State Set passenger train appears, just before "Black Monday" ends the decade with a crash. During the Great Depression, Lionel's sales and profits slumped, and 1931 was its first year in the red.
That year the company's fortunes were boosted by the debut of the wildly popular Mickey and Minnie handcar, a $1 windup toy.
In an attempt to capture the "female market," Lionel introduces a porcelain-steel, working electric range for girls, soon discontinued.
The Mickey wind-up handcar - priced at only $1 for Depression-era families - boosts Lionel's fortunes.
Lionel benefited financially from defense production during World War II, but toy train production was put on hold.
Lionel's offerings, many styled to match actual railroads, reflected America's renewed love affair with trains.
Lionel ceases production of electric trains and builds compasses and compass cases for the war. Lionel perfects the magnetic knuckle-coupler concept and readies it for postwar production.
Lionel's version of the massive, twenty-wheeled Pennsylvania GG-1 electric engine features working pantographs that draw power from overhead catenary lines. The F3 diesel locomotive, its all-time biggest seller, and the mighty ZW transformer, whose 275 watts could power four trains at once. Lionel was at its peak in the early 1950s, with record profits and some of its best products ever.
Lionel actually had its own television show, but the new medium soon mesmerized America, and interest in toy trains waned.
Joe DiMaggio, star player for the New York Yankees, hosts the "The Lionel Club House" on NBC television. This unintentionally symbolic cover from the 1963 catalog shows a racecar outrunning a locomotive.
This year marks the Centennial of the Golden Spike as well as Lionel's demise as an independent corporation. By the 1970s, what remained of the original Lionel Corporation was a holding company specializing in toy stores. One highlight of the decade was The Mickey Mouse Express -- an instant hit and prized collectible, which revived an association with Disney dating from 1934.
Lionel purchases American Flyer name and tooling and resurrects the "S" gauge brand under the General Mills toy group "Fundimensions". The Mickey Mouse Express, pulling a dozen hi-cube boxcars, recalls the success of Mickey and Minnie in 1934.
In 1980, Fundimensions celebrated Joshua Lionel Cowen's self-claimed hundredth birthday (he was actually born in 1877) with seven commemorative boxcars. Joshua Lionel Cowen's life story is highlighted on the sides of these "hundredth birthday" commemorative boxcars.
Also debuting in 1994 was the TrainMaster® control system, which can command any locomotive via a wireless remote.
Railsounds II™ debuts on the Santa Fe Mikado, digitally reproducing all the detailed sounds of the actually locomotive.
As Lionel welcomed the 21st Century along with the rest of the world, the model train company celebrated its centennial in a big way - a sign of other big things to follow during the next 10 years.
Angela Trotta Thomas, a renowned artist of toy trains, illustrates the Lionel catalog cover in commemoration of its centennial. Lionel introduces "Standard Gauge" icons from its early history by introducing the beautiful "Tinplate NYC Commodore Vanderbilt" set and the Tinplate Milwaukee Road Hiawatha set. Lionel re-enters the HO gauge market with the introduction of the all die-cast metal UP Veranda diesel locomotive and a line of highly detailed Challenger locomotives complete with realistic sounds.
The LionMaster name appears with the introduction of semi-scale locomotives with many of the same features of their sister scale locomotives, but with a retail price that is considerably lower.


At the New York Toy Fair the famous "The Polar Express" set from Warner Brothers Studios was introduced, becoming the all-time best-selling set.
With its legal issues in the rearview mirror, Lionel moves forward, setting the stage for manufacturing the most highly detailed and technically advanced railroad realism in the model train industry. Corporate headquarters is moved from Chesterfield, Mich., to New York City, just a few blocks from the founding location in 1900.
The "Vision Line" of highly detailed scale locomotives with the most advanced features ever offered is introduced.
The Famous "Girls Train" from the 50's fame is offered in the Conventional Classic Series category. MADE IN AMERICA - Lionel introduces the "Presidential Boxcar Series" that will be manufactured in America.
Lionel partners with NASCAR to create Lionel NASCAR Collectables (die-cast models) headquartered in Concord, N.C. Lionel shuts down its offices in New York City and moves its global headquarters to Concord, N.C.
Lionel introduces LionChief technology to American Flyer Ready-to-Run (RTR) sets, allowing the sets to be operated remotely with the added features of speed control and enhanced train sounds. It was created in 1894, making this a very early advertisement for this significant development in the world of model railroading. This resulted from a bustling economy, the growth of electric power, World War I defense production, and the end of German toy imports. People wanted to forget the war and indulge in life's pleasures - and more of them could afford luxuries like toy trains, thanks to easy credit.
Slogans such as "Lionel: The Father and Son Railroad," and "Real enough for a man to enjoy - simple enough for a boy to operate," were the first of many to pitch family themes. Ironically, as times grew tougher, the company introduced its greatest standard-gauge steam locomotive, the No.
Meanwhile, streamlining was all the rage on America's railroads, and Lionel followed suit with its own designs, like the Union Pacific, the Hiawatha, and the Flying Yankee. 700E New York Central Hudson steamer signals Lionel's emergence as a world-class scale-model builder. 97 coal elevator sets the tone for future accessories - rugged, stylish, and wildly popular.
So boys (and their dads) were encouraged to "plan your postwar railroad" in Lionel's Model Builder magazine and Railroad Planning Book. Lionel products of this period included a stereo camera, the pastel-colored Lady Lionel train set, and trains with space age and Cold War themes. Lionel equips its engines with Magne-Traction®, which uses magnets to increase traction, pulling power, and grip at high speeds. America was undergoing social upheaval, and the idealized image of Lionel railroading no longer fit in. Another American legend, the venerable Twentieth Century Limited, made its last run in 1967.
O'Leary claims the "Lionel has never tried to cash in on passing fads," but the Beatlesque catalog cover contradicts him. It had leased the Lionel name to Minneapolis-based General Mills, which bought other toy companies like Parker Brothers, Kenner, and MPC.
With the Fundimensions slogan, "Not Just a Toy, A Tradition," Lionel appeared to be getting back on track. These freight cars are decorated with pictures of old catalogs, logos, and images of beloved classics. Then in 1982, General Mills shocked Lionel employees when it decided to relocate production to Mexico. In 1986, Detroit-based real estate developer -- and railroad enthusiast -- Richard Kughn bought the brand and established Lionel Trains. B6 switcher of the late 1930s reappears, this time sporting the all-new Railsounds™ audio reproduction system. 700E locomotive returns - and is so popular that production stretches for an astounding four months. The all-new, wireless TrainMaster™ control system finally fulfils the promise of the 1940s-era Lionel Electronic Set. To commemorate the special anniversary, Lionel produced a special 700 E J-1E Hudson that included platinum and 24-karat gold plating.
Lionel celebrates its Golden Anniversary by introducing the beautiful 24k Gold-Plated 700E J1E Hudson locomotive.
The 100-year-old company had no choice if it was to remain competitive and the industry leader.
He guides Lionel through several legal matters that could have resulted in the demise of Lionel.
A former competitor, the K-Line company was awarded to Lionel as the result of a court case.


A reproduction of famous sets with the original style packaging from the postwar era is offered. LionChief technology allows RTR sets to be operated remotely with the added features of speed control and enhanced train sounds.
LionChief Plus allows these locomotives to be operated remotely with the added features of speed control, electro couplers, and enhanced train sounds. Early trains were wind-up or clockwork models with some large scale models being produced prior to the Great Depression.
Today, American Flyer model trains still run on layouts and under Christmas trees across the U.S.
Cowen designed his first train, the Electric Express, not as a toy, but as an eye-catching display for toy stores. Meanwhile, Lionel's fabulously illustrated catalogs became children's cherished "wish books." The products they portrayed - like the No. The largest of all Lionel's standard-gauge steam locomotives, it heads up the stunning Blue Comet passenger set. Lionel engineers were busy too, and in 1946 the company unveiled a stunning array of milestone products.
Unfortunately, Lionel was selling far more engines and rolling stock than existed on real railroads, which were rapidly overwhelmed by competition from highways and airlines. The "father and son railroad" of Joshua Lionel Cowen and Lawrence Cowen ended in 1959, when they sold their interest in Lionel to distant relative Roy Cohn. In a doomed effort to diversify, the company introduced slot cars, science kits, and even phonographs. By 1973 Lionel was folded into General Mills subsidiary Fundimensions, which carried on the Lionel tradition with many trains that equaled or bettered the originals.
In 1989, Lionel rolled out RailSounds™, heralding an era of high-tech audio realism, and trumpeting better things yet to come. In 1992 Richard Kughn and rock musician Neil Young, an avid model railroader, created Liontech, chartered to develop exclusive new model train control and sound systems. Instead, he successfully led the legal affairs that resulted in a favorable outcome in 2006. The Lionel name has always been synonymous with Christmas and a train set under every Christmas tree, and now more than ever the company's ensuring that they are a major player in any holiday plans.
During Lionel's early days, Americans were captivated by the railroads and awed by electricity, still a rarity in many homes.
Lionel ads appeared nationally in newspapers, boys' magazines, and "Grown-up" publications like The Saturday Evening Post. In 1934, financial troubles led Lionel into court-ordered receivership to stave off bankruptcy. These included locomotives with real puffing smoke (like the all-new Pennsylvania S-2 steam turbine), a remote-controlled coupling system, and a realistic water tower with a moving spout.
Joshua Lionel Cowen and Lawrence Cowen sell their shares to an investment group headed by Roy Cohen, ending the Lionel Cowen era.
Despite several creative covers, Lionel catalogs soon featured uninspiring product shots, devoid of all romance. The company licensed its electric train manufacturing to breakfast-cereal conglomerate General Mills in 1969. The Lionel Century Club, announced in 1997, was the first event in the ongoing celebration of the company's upcoming centenary.
Lionel's first trains were powered by wet-cell (acid-filled!) batteries, soon replaced by the 110-volt electric transformer. 700E New York Central Hudson, with its blueprint-accurate details, appealed to adult hobbyists. This all-new digital system captured a real-life Mikado's actual sounds, and propelled Lionel to the forefront of model train technology. By 1906, with the introduction of preassembled track and a selection of engines and cars, the Lionel we know today was already taking shape.
Working accessories - including crossing gates, highway flashers, and traffic warning bells - became more and more lifelike. It also marked the ascendancy of affordable O gauge over the more expensive standard gauge, which was discontinued in 1939. For the more serious model railroaders, Lionel introduced the popular Legacy® and Vision Line in 2008 and 2009, respectively.




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