American Flyer Frontiersman Set Box Question

I'm confused as to how American Flyer Frontiersman passenger sets were packaged when 3 cars were included. According to what I've seen and read, the early (1959) sets (20550 and 23099) only had 2 cars. A coupon from the catalog or from Post Cereals offered a "free" (247)30 baggage car. All of the 20550 sets I've seen have been packaged in the 19-1/4 inch high box (B2D709) with cutouts for only 2 cars, the locomotive, track, and transformer.

 

In 1960, the passenger set was cataloged as including 3 passenger cars. The 20551 "Sears" set is fairly common and includes 3 passenger cars in a taller, 21 inch box which allowed room for the boxed baggage car above the locomotive and 2 passenger cars in their cutouts. What I have not been able to track down is a 1960 version of the 20550 set with all 3 passenger cars in the set box. Since it's cataloged, I assume these sets exist. The Tufts book lists the 3-car 20550 set, but does not indicate what box it came in. The Joe Deger/Greenberg book mentions the 3 car sets but includes no pictures.

 

So, how was the 20550 set for 1960 packaged? Was there a box with cutouts for all 3 cars? Did it use the same B-2D782 box used for the 20551 set? I noticed that this same box (with a different insert) was used for the 20655 Frontiersman Freight set, though all the ones I've seen merely have a white paper label covering the label printed in the red circle on the end of the box.

 

I guess I have the same question about the 1960 version of the 23099 add-on set that supposedly also included 3 cars. My early set in a smallish B-2D726 box only has room for 2 cars. What box did the 3 car set come in?

 

I wonder why I never seem to see pictures of boxed sets of the 3-car 20550 and 23099 sets. Assuming they were produced as cataloged, somebody out there must have some examples. Somebody on this forum must have an example that they can post or document.  As an aside, I'm looking for a nice example of the larger B-2D782 box for my 20551 set. I have an original with a so-so insert, but the lid is torn and seperated from the box bottom. I'd like to upgrade the box as it is the only one appropriate for my 20556 Truscott Assortment.

 

Let me know if someone can set me straight on this. Thanks in advance.

Original Post

The only way I have ever seen them is loco and two cars in the box. Extra car came in its own box.

 

I got the set with the figure 8 and trestles for Christmas in 1960. It came in the set box, a picture box for the extra car, and a brown box for the trestles and extra track.

RoyBoy

Originally Posted by Craig Donath:

 

 "The Tufts book lists the 3-car 20550 set, but does not indicate what box it came in."

My copy of the Tufts book lists two entries for the 20550 set...both 1959 and 1960 show only TWO car sets.

The entries for set #'s 20551 (1959),20552 (1960),20556(1959),20557(1960),20558 (1960),20559(1960),20560 (1960) show 3-car sets.

 

The 23099 for 1959 was a 2 car set.

The 23099 for 1960 was a 3 car set.

Maybe this helps??

Mark

 

 

 

Thanks guys. I'm still not sure what makes sense. Mark is correct that the Tufts book only indicates that the 1960 version of 20550 set had 2 cars, but this does not seem right. Both the 23099 and the 20550 set were cataloged with 3 cars in 1960 and the catalog specifically indicates that the 20550 included track and a transformer. It's curious that in all my years of collecting I don't remember seeing a 3-car 23099 set or a 20550 as cataloged. Gandy's picture of a 3 car set is interesting, and I noticed that an eBay vendor offers a similar 3-car "repro" insert with the 3rd car where the track would normally go. Still, I wonder why such a set would still have a transformer. Whatever the case, either the Tufts book is in error, the Deger/Greenberg book is in error, or the set was never offered as cataloged.

 

No wonder we Flyer collectors often seem confused!

 

This does bring back memories. I received a 2 car set, and Post cereal supplied the 3rd. (the baggage car) I remember my parents remarking that was a strange marketing ploy. My cousin also got his that way too.

Unfortunately, the original box is gone. Who would have thought back then these toys would become collectable?

 

 

UPDATE:

 

After discussions with other collectors, I've determined that, with the exception of the special 20551 set, Gilbert never packaged 3 cars in the same set box. I believe that RoyBoy is correct in stating that the "3rd car" was always packaged individually. The picture that Gandy provided appears to simply be an early 2-car set (notice that the cars include a pair of (247)20 coaches with the (247)30 "add-on" car in the spot where the circle of track should go. A true 3-car set would have had a {247)20 and a (247)40 in the insert cutouts and the (247)30 in its own box.

 

Evidence seems to show that all the 20550 sets came in the same B2D709 "2-car" box with the (247)30 individually packaged, whether as a "free" add-on in 1959 or as part of a 3-car set in 1960. The Greenberg "Sets" book (p148) implies that the B2D782 box was used for the 3-car sets, but until someone comes up with an example, I'm inclined to disregard this statement.

 

As always, I welcome any information that proves otherwise. Thanks to those who have provided information.

My first train set was a Franklin set aka Truscott set.  The main box held the loco and two passenger cars the third passenger car (Baggage) was packaged in it's own box. Of course this set also included the box car and cannon car, a station, trestles and a cardboard tunnel and pass set.  It also came with a brownie camera and cowboys and Indians.  Still have everything except the cowboys and Indians.  I still have all the literature, instructions and even the little bag with the two "pow-r-clips" in it.  I got the set in 1959 for Christmas and my father only paid $22.50 for it at Wiebolts Dept store in Chicago!

Originally Posted by Major:

My first train set was a Franklin set aka Truscott set.  The main box held the loco and two passenger cars the third passenger car (Baggage) was packaged in it's own box. Of course this set also included the box car and cannon car, a station, trestles and a cardboard tunnel and pass set.  It also came with a brownie camera and cowboys and Indians.  Still have everything except the cowboys and Indians.  I still have all the literature, instructions and even the little bag with the two "pow-r-clips" in it.  I got the set in 1959 for Christmas and my father only paid $22.50 for it at Wiebolts Dept store in Chicago!


I also have a Truscott set, though mine is the 20556 version that had the 20551 set as its base. That set had the baggage car (in its own box) inside the Frontiersman set box. I've got the camera, and Truscott coupon book, but only about 40 cowboys and indians and a bunch of their accessories (rifles, bows, etc.). Mine was missing the cannon, so I've substituted it with a repro. At least I have a "real" cannon in my mint 20655 set.

 

If I recall, my master carton, which is not in great shape, also has a Wieboldt's label.

Originally Posted by FlyerRich:

Then there's this one which is in a current auction and listed as unused. Notice the cardboard spacer between the loco and tender.

1409333484_INwEaZ0AwzSq1uRU_1176_2

Rich,

 

I also have a mint/unrun version of the 1960 23099  set as pictured. It sure looks like a separate spacer between the loco and tender in the picture you posted. Same thing in the 23099 set still up for auction on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Americ...;hash=item20e6b11fff

When I checked my set what I find is a folded tab that is actually part of the second insert (the plain cardboard one that goes underneath the white insert with the cutouts). It looks pretty much like the "spacer" in the pictures, but it's hard to tell with 100% certainty. Thanks for spotting the picture.

 

My 23099 set is as perfect as I've ever seen, with a nicer box than either the Stout or eBay auctions. Still, I've registered for the Stout auction just to see how the pricing will go on the set you posted. As if I needed another one ...

 

After almost 50 years I'm retired and getting back to my inner American Flyer roots.
I always wanted an AF Frontiersman so off I went to eBay and snagged a nice set.
It turned out to be a 20550 kit.  This one had the three cars.... surprisingly.
I haven't fired it up since it got delivered... I need to be careful so I don't damage anything.

IMG_6018IMG_6020.flippedIMG_6021.flippedIMG_6022
I'll be scouring this forum for hints as to how to proceed safely.. I want this set running under my Christmas tree this season.
Anyway, I took some pix of the kit. The tracks are stored under the cardboard tray that holds the engine, tender and the three cars.
In one of the pix you can see the sales tag. $27.94 purchased in Dayton Ohio from the Rike Kumler Company.

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WheezerTheGeezer posted:

After almost 50 years I'm retired and getting back to my inner American Flyer roots.
I always wanted an AF Frontiersman so off I went to eBay and snagged a nice set.
It turned out to be a 20550 kit.  This one had the three cars.... surprisingly.
I haven't fired it up since it got delivered... I need to be careful so I don't damage anything.

I'll be scouring this forum for hints as to how to proceed safely.. I want this set running under my Christmas tree this season.
Anyway, I took some pix of the kit. The tracks are stored under the cardboard tray that holds the engine, tender and the three cars.
In one of the pix you can see the sales tag. $27.94 purchased in Dayton Ohio from the Rike Kumler Company.

It looks like you snagged a pretty nice version of the 1960 set. The 1959 set would have had a pair of the "20" coaches while the 1960 set had a "20" and a "40" in the box. The 20550 set always had the "30" packaged separately. In '59 the "30" was available as an add-on, typically as a premium with a coupon from Post Cereals. In '60 the "30" was included but always in its own box. As you can see from your set, the place where the "3rd car" sits is actually where the track fits. There are no cutouts for the wheels and chassis as you can see where the cars just below the locomotive are positioned. That said, many sets were stored with the "3rd car" (typically the "30") in the space where the track goes simply because it's convenient.

I can't quite discern from your pictures, but the "40" should have a smokestack on the roof slightly offset to the right and positioned between the 2nd and third windows. (In some cases the roof has been repositioned so that the smokestack appears on the opposite side above the  baggage door.) If your smokestack is missing you can get one inexpensively from Doug Peck at Portlines Hobbies.

A set as clean as yours and still in its original box typically indicates that it wasn't run much.  A drop of lubrication here and there and a good cleaning of the tender wheels (and track) are all that's needed to get your Frontiersman fully operational.

Most of the commercially available smoke fluids will work well with your Frontiersman. I find that Anormal-1's fluid is close enough to Gilbert's formula. It's readily available on eBay at reasonable prices and often comes with the little funnel. 

Hope your set is a Big Hit around this year's Christmas Tree!

 

Thanks for the feedback, Craig.
I'm an unabashed American Flyer noob and welcome any and all info and criticism.
I do believe you are correct about that lower cutout being for the tracks... upon closer inspection.
I'm posting better pix of my three passenger cars. No sign of a smokestack on the #40 however I see where one was most likely broken off.
#40 is also missing one of the handbrake wheels... see closeup.
I reckon I'll be putting in an order to Portlines Hobbies in the near future.
WheezIMG_6031IMG_6032IMG_6033

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