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H. Michael Spanier posted:

Seems to me that our forum is primarily an "operators" forum. But I was wondering:

Does anyone still collect the Modern Lionel 6464 series? Just curious as things have changed quite a bit?

 

 

hello H. Michael............

I used to be a collector about 20 years ago but stopped, I still have 2  6464 type boxcars made in LTI era (1997) and I run them. Those cars needed a truck up-grades.  They are the orange Santa Fe and green Northern Pacific boxcars, bought them new in box for 20 dollars each few years ago. They are nice cars for what they are.

Tiffany

Last edited by Tiffany

Mike, that's a great question.  I'm not a big fan of the "collectors market" in general -- largely because I lived through the 1980's and 1990's when many enthusiasts were basically sold a bill of goods as far as what was hot and collectable.  And now those things aren't worth a dime.  Same can even be said for Lionel postwar.  None of that stuff is worth the "1980 highs" that sellers were trying to get for supposedly rare items like certain postwar FM locomotives and such.

Why?  Because all of that stuff has been a victim of the continued production of an entirely different breed of toy/model trains that we have today.  Those "former" trains were worth premium prices at a moment-in-time (a few decades ago), because folks back then had just experienced a shortage of train production (by the Lionel Corporation) before production started ramping up again with Lionel MPC and then Lionel LTI.

Most of today's model train enthusiasts have NEVER experienced a shortage of any kind relative to model train production.  And those of us that have, still remember the collectors nonsense that went on during the 1980's.  So for those reasons, I'm not sure ANYTHING is being "collected" today -- at least not in the formal sense of yesteryear collections.  I'm sure others will take issue with this statement, but that's my story... and I'm sticking to it.

As for 6464 boxcars...  What made the postwar 6464's collectible was the fact that Lionel only made 30 or so.  And it was a realistic goal to "collect them all".

Today, it's a different animal.  Lionel started with the postwar re-issues in 10 sets of 3-packs over a period of several years.  But unfortunately, they didn't stop there.  Then they pushed their luck with archive series of 6464's and then overstamped series of 6464's, and I'm sure a few other 6464's as well (i.e., only available in sets or through one of the collectors clubs, etc...).  In short, they ruined a good thing... and made it nearly impossible to "collect them all".  So folks lost interest.  I know I did... and I sold my Volume I through Volume X traditional-sized 6464 three-packs here on the forum 6 or 7 years ago... and I've never looked back.

If it's any indication of "collectibility" today... Lionel briefly tried dabbling the 6464 boxcars as scale-sized PS-1 boxcars.  But it was a feeble attempt with just two offerings of 2-packs.  And dealers are STILL trying to blow-out the second of those 2-packs.  So even the operator-culture looking for the scale-like realism of PS-1 boxcars didn't bite at the idea of owning scale-sized 6464 boxcars in postwar paint schemes.  Ironically, had Lionel continued with that series, I would have gone for it, 'cause I still have a sentimental tug every now-and-then back to Lionel postwar of the early 1960's when I was a youngster.  But after two offerings, the pickings have been slim... and after several catalog iterations without any new Postwar 6464 PS-1 entries, I'm not holding my breath that we'll be seeing anymore anytime soon. 

Look...  I'm not against collecting per se.  But folks should do it because they LIKE a certain series of trains as defined by their OWN preferences -- not because they've been told something is gonna be collectable by the importers, their dealer network, or even so-called-experts of the field.  If somebody wants to document that a certain road-name boxcar was mostly made with a black door, but 6 were made with a red door... I suppose that's fine.  But today's breed of "operators" doesn't really care about that stuff -- largely because their eyes are always on the look-out for the next newest trains coming off the Chinese production lines.  Perhaps if we experience an end to the glut of model trains in the market today, more folks might enjoy what they CURRENTLY own long enough for certain items to become truly popular enough to actually BE collectable (again).  What a novel idea! 

David

 

 

Last edited by Rocky Mountaineer
Rocky Mountaineer posted:

Mike, that's a great question.  I'm not a big fan of the "collectors market" in general -- largely because I lived through the 1980's and 1990's when many enthusiasts were basically sold a bill of goods as far as what was hot and collectable.  And now those things aren't worth a dime.  Same can even be said for Lionel postwar.  None of that stuff is worth the "1980 highs" that sellers were trying to get for supposedly rare items like certain postwar FM locomotives and such.

Why?  Because all of that stuff has been a victim of the continued production of an entirely different breed of toy/model trains that we have today.  Those "former" trains were worth premium prices at a moment-in-time (a few decades ago), because folks back then had just experienced a shortage of train production (by the Lionel Corporation) before production started ramping up again with Lionel MPC and then Lionel LTI.

Most of today's model train enthusiasts have NEVER experienced a shortage of any kind relative to model train production.  And those of us that have, still remember the collectors nonsense that went on during the 1980's.  So for those reasons, I'm not sure ANYTHING is being "collected" today -- at least not in the formal sense of yesteryear collections.  I'm sure others will take issue with this statement, but that's my story... and I'm sticking to it.

As for 6464 boxcars...  What made the postwar 6464's collectible was the fact that Lionel only made 30 or so.  And it was a realistic goal to "collect them all".

Today, it's a different animal.  Lionel started with the postwar re-issues in 10 sets of 3-packs over a period of several years.  But unfortunately, they didn't stop there.  Then they pushed their luck with archive series of 6464's and then overstamped series of 6464's, and I'm sure a few other 6464's as well (i.e., only available in sets or through one of the collectors clubs, etc...).  In short, they ruined a good thing... and made it nearly impossible to "collect them all".  So folks lost interest.  I know I did... and I sold my Volume I through Volume X traditional-sized 6464 three-packs here on the forum 6 or 7 years ago... and I've never looked back.

If it's any indication of "collectibility" today... Lionel briefly tried dabbling the 6464 boxcars as scale-sized PS-1 boxcars.  But it was a feeble attempt with just two offerings of 2-packs.  And dealers are STILL trying to blow-out the second of those 2-packs.  So even the operator-culture looking for the scale-like realism of PS-1 boxcars didn't bite at the idea of owning scale-sized 6464 boxcars in postwar paint schemes.  Ironically, had Lionel continued with that series, I would have gone for it, 'cause I still have a sentimental tug every now-and-then back to Lionel postwar of the early 1960's when I was a youngster.  But after two offerings, the pickings have been slim... and after several catalog iterations without any new Postwar 6464 PS-1 entries, I'm not holding my breath that we'll be seeing anymore anytime soon. 

Look...  I'm not against collecting per se.  But folks should do it because they LIKE a certain series of trains as defined by their OWN preferences -- not because they've been told something is gonna be collectable by the importers, their dealer network, or even so-called-experts of the field.  If somebody wants to document that a certain road-name boxcar was mostly made with a black door, but 6 were made with a red door... I suppose that's fine.  But today's breed of "operators" doesn't really care about that stuff -- largely because their eyes are always on the look-out for the next newest trains coming off the Chinese production lines.  Perhaps if we experience an end to the glut of model trains in the market today, more folks might enjoy what they CURRENTLY own long enough for certain items to become truly popular enough to actually BE collectable (again).  What a novel idea! 

David

 

 

Hello Rocky.

You said it all "correct" so TRUE..........!!!!!!!!!  I have quit collecting and don't really care for the latest and greatest either !!

Tiffany

I think David's (Rocky Mountaineer) comments are largely on target when one thinks of collecting as the pursuit of expensive things that appreciate in value.
IMHO, there are still plenty of people interested in collecting. But the prices they are willing to pay are much lower, and the items that are commonly of interest are changing.
And like Ace, many are purchasing these items to use, as opposed to displaying, or just having.

I also think that for the most part, younger people are not interested in collecting or operating "O" gauge trains, having neither the extra money nor the space to allocate to trains.

I have collected many of the modern 6464s also because I liked them and never had any as a kid. I do run them but they are mostly for display. Many I have ignored because I don't care for their decoration like the overstamped cars. As for the idea of collecting for profit, I have never considered that aspect. If fact I learned decades ago that its a fruitless pursuit as I watched my HO brass steadily decline in value, not unlike beanie babies. But then I didn't collect them for an investment either so nothing has been lost.

Pete

I have a friend who proclaimed his collecting days were over when he sold off his PW collection as the JLC series began.   Since then, this former collector's  JLC''s  collection on shelves that once held his PW collection now holds VL  engines along with differently painted NS & UP heritage engines...    Point is,  whether it's engines, passenger cars or RS, for many of us collecting trains has evolved, not ended .   Only thing changed today is how expensive they've become, how quickly they depreciate and how aged we've become chasing that carrot.

Joe      

Last edited by JC642

 Point is,  whether it's engines, passenger cars or RS, for many of us collecting trains has evolved, not ended .

Yup. And I have a friend that auctioned off about 1/3-1/2 of his collection a few years ago. He just thought that he had too much stuff, and wanted to cut back. But he never stopped buying. He probably has more than ever, but it is different stuff.

For some of us, collecting is in our blood. Collectors have to collect something.

Last edited by C W Burfle

When I first ran Lionel (1955 to 1962), I never had any 6464s, although I liked boxcars. When I got back into this (1989 or so) I picked up a couple of PW 6464s (because I liked the markings) and later I picked up one of the new 3-packs (again for the liveries}. Then I "inherited" a couple more PW cars. I never thought about collecting them (there were too many and the prices were high), but I like running them as a sort of "unit train". They look cool.

A most interesting set of comments. I have come to that point where I will not get rid of all but many of the items. My first step will be to list each item and see what I can get from the dealers. To get an idea of the "collectible" items such as LL Bean box car, Ben & Jerry's I will slowly move them out to get the best I can. Probably eBay. In my view from what I can determine "patience" is the best tool and on the normal nice stuff expect about 20 cents on the dollar. I have a good amount of Marx as well and the boxed sets will be blown out cheap for the most part. Will keep many of the items as I just like them! Have a custom made Marx Challenger which is just a favorite.  Maybe when "kick the bucket" I will have a grave for me and one for the remaining trains!

I will put the Fastrack on the OGR board to move it out.  Maybe some of the engines. My interest has been in items without sound but that appears to be what most don't want! Oh well. I sure had fun acquiring.

It has been a fun hobby which I still continue to enjoy. I have been buying and selling Super O for over 30 years and That is FUN as well. Have met some very nice folks and hear from many.

 

 

I have several sets of the new 6464 cars that I bought on the Bay.  I like them and the price was less than most of the cars I could buy new.  The paint and lettering is well done and I like the metal trucks.  I run them and don't worry about how much they are worth.  Some sellers think the first 3 car set is worth hundreds of dollars.  I don't think they will ever get their asking price.

I have a bit of a different take on the 6464s. Like the famous Charles Weber, I am a 6464 boxcar nut-and have most of the true PW ones , both modern sets, the Archives, the double stamped sets, most of the various club offerings, special meet cars, etc., etc.. I also find the K Line 641- series types ( and the 64_ _ numbered ones-both of which are very similar to the Lionel 6464s-but some with added on ladders) interesting to collect. Doing this keeps me active in scanning the train "literature" to try to ensure that I don't miss any from Lionel catalogs or clubs- and , for instance, keeping an eye out for those which came in sets only-most eventually show up somewhere-but one has to keep looking. That is more than half the fun and challenge. I collect only the true 6464 types with metal door guides top and bottom-adding only some of the MPC 9200s with plastic door guides. So, I do continue to "collect" these cars-it continues to be interesting and fun ( for this old guy) !! Will I get a reasonable monetary return? Probably only the boxed near mint/like new true PW 6464s and a very few of the modern ones ( like the LL Bean car and some of the very limited number cars distributed to special folks at a meet) will keep or slightly increase their value. But that is not why I collect them!!  Mr Weber warned his TCA friends to collect only because they enjoyed doing so. I think he was right. 

turtle7 posted:

I collect only the true 6464 types with metal door guides top and bottom-adding only some of the MPC 9200s with plastic door guides. So, I do continue to "collect" these cars-it continues to be interesting and fun ( for this old guy) !!  

I have collected some 9200 series cars as well, among them three 9200 Illinois Central boxcars and three 9204 Northern Pacific green boxcars. These are mentioned specifically because all three examples of each of these two cars is different from the others - different end panels, different door guides, different doors, even some different shades of paint used on the cars. The 9200s all have differences in their paint, as do all of the 9204s, with their different shades of green. One of them is so different it looks like it must have been a different car. But they all have the same number on them - it was just the variations in Lionel's production at the time.

This was actually a fascinating time in Lionel's history, with MPC feeling their way through new and revised production, making some parts new and using some left over from the Postwar parts bins, etc. Here's part of an article about them:

General Mills took over the production of the Lionel trains in 1970 and began the task of reviving the toy train hobby.  Lionel's line had shrunk to a shadow of its former self by the late '60s, and Model Products Corporation, the division of General Mills in charge of Lionel, began searching for ways to appeal not only to the toy market but to the rapidly growing collectors market as well.

When it took over, MPC inherited Lionel's famous 6464 boxcar series.  These cars, introduced in 1953, were a mainstay of the Postwar Era.  In fact, several early 6464s were reissued in 1969.   It was only natural that Lionel would want to build on a popular idea, so in 1970 MPC/Lionel developed the replacement for the 6464s, the 9200 series.

Fifteen different 9200s were produced from 1970 to 1972.  In 1972, the 9200s were replaced by the 9700 series boxcars [for more information on the 9700s, click here].  The 9200s were the first items made by Lionel specifically targeted towards collectors. 

These cars are a fascinating case study in Lionel's production techniques, as numerous running changes were made in the cars during their production.  The MPC/Lionel team was learning as they went along in the early '70s, and design changes were made in the cars' bodies, trucks, door guides, and packaging.  No other group of cars in the MPC era can approach the 9200s in the number of subtle but interesting variations.

Last edited by breezinup

These cars are a fascinating case study in Lionel's production techniques, as numerous running changes were made in the cars during their production.  The MPC/Lionel team was learning as they went along in the early '70s, and design changes were made in the cars' bodies, trucks, door guides, and packaging.  No other group of cars in the MPC era can approach the 9200s in the number of subtle but interesting variations.

I used to look for the early MPC cars, including 9200 series, that came with modified Timken trucks. They had fast angle wheels and plastic "thumbtack" couplers. They didn't actually have thumbtacks, a small rectangular metal bar was glued to the bottom of the armature. They often fell off.
The trucks had a very grainy appearance. A while back someone wrote about the cause, but I don't recall what it was.

I never thought of it as having a collection, it's just that my layout isn't big enough to run everything I have so those not currently selected to run are collecting dust on various shelves or sit in the dark of storage cabinets waiting for their chance at the high rail.

I suspect that many, if not most of the people participating on this board have more trains than they can fit on their layout.
And most people who fish have lots of tackle.
And many people who like to work on cars have all sorts of tools.
I think there is a little bit of the collector in many of us, whether or not we like to admit it.

I really enjoyed doing the the three part series in OGR about the 6464 replica series. Turns out in the end that Lionel made 31 different box cars. The last one was the only singleton they marketed.

I bought mine  originally because I could not afford the originals, but as I was researching the series I gained more and more respect for the advances in decorating techniques they displayed. I also had less and less respect for the product planners who thought a particular deco scheme for a 6464 box car was " close enough" to the original to produce. I understand there were certain financial constraints in producing the series, but some of the decoration choices were questionable at best.

One thing I liked without reservation were the sprung trucks on the modern replicas, they ran much more smoothly than the originals.

As far as collector value is concerned, these 31 boxcars are worth keeping in my opinion.

Ed Boyle

Ed Boyle posted:

I really enjoyed doing the the three part series in OGR about the 6464 replica series. Turns out in the end that Lionel made 31 different box cars. The last one was the only singleton they marketed.

I bought mine  originally because I could not afford the originals, but as I was researching the series I gained more and more respect for the advances in decorating techniques they displayed. I also had less and less respect for the product planners who thought a particular deco scheme for a 6464 box car was " close enough" to the original to produce. I understand there were certain financial constraints in producing the series, but some of the decoration choices were questionable at best.

One thing I liked without reservation were the sprung trucks on the modern replicas, they ran much more smoothly than the originals.

As far as collector value is concerned, these 31 boxcars are worth keeping in my opinion.

Ed Boyle

Do you remember what issues the three part series was in? Thanks!

Ed Boyle posted:

I

As far as collector value is concerned, these 31 boxcars are worth keeping in my opinion.

Ed Boyle

Yea I still have mine plus a few others that came later.   Kept them not because I find collector value, for me that went out the window when the last set of 3 arrived in a "Made in China" box, a real disappointment.    It's really cause they're all great looking and I've been too lazy to sell em.   It took years to finish the series so I almost hate to get rid of em. 

Joe

C W Burfle posted:

I never thought of it as having a collection, it's just that my layout isn't big enough to run everything I have so those not currently selected to run are collecting dust on various shelves or sit in the dark of storage cabinets waiting for their chance at the high rail.

I suspect that many, if not most of the people participating on this board have more trains than they can fit on their layout.
And most people who fish have lots of tackle.
And many people who like to work on cars have all sorts of tools.
I think there is a little bit of the collector in many of us, whether or not we like to admit it.

My wife calls that "hording" which of course does not apply to shoes and purses.

Bogie

Breezinup    I was meaning to reply to your comments about the 92 and 97 00 single door box cars-and I agree that one can learn much about those early MPC years by looking at those cars. The variations in the first 9200 car ( IC) are  innumerable and some of them are quite uncommon. Also remember that some of the 9700s ( off the top of my head, without looking at my cars-had metal door guides, top and bottom -? 9700 Southern, 9704 NW and 9705 DRG-I think)-and those are becoming hard to find ( although I would bet that there are truly only a few who care). Finally, remember the discussions about the green dot in the O of some of the 9700 Southern cars-although the Greenberg books insinuate that they came from the MPC factory that way-other, very knowledgeable folks claim that Lionel sent the green dots on strips of paper and the dealers applied them. Again, most would say " who cares" and they are probably correct. I find it all interesting.   turtle7

I had in my "collection" all ten sets of the modern 6464 cars, in their boxes, when our house in Houston was flooded by tropical storm Alison.  Along with a lot of other boxed, some never run, and numerous pre/post war/modern items of various count and condition status.  But, did manage to save/salvage 99% of the collection after drying it out, oiling, etc.  Lost a lot of boxes and packing, but saved the trains.  As for the 6464 cars, most had rusted wheels/axles and water stains.  Now they are rolling stock with all else I have, really make a good looking consist with others and being pulled by Big Boy, ATSF Erie FM ABA motive power, etc.  So, I have re-collected the ten sets, new in boxes, and hope we never have such flooding in Oklahoma............

Jesse    TCA   12-68275 

Not the same Peter but to answer your question Lionel did Series I - X (1-10). They were released in approximately the same order as the originals. Lionel made additional 6464 cars that were proposed but never made in the Post War era. Also many clubs had Lionel make 6464 cars for their annual conventions. All in all there may be close to 100.

 

Pete

Last edited by Norton
@Norton posted:

Not the same Peter but to answer your question Lionel did Series I - XI (1-11). They were released in approximately the same order as the originals. Lionel made additional 6464 cars that were proposed but never made in the Post War era. Also many clubs had Lionel make 6464 cars for their annual conventionals. All in all there may be close to 100.

 

Pete

Pete, Thanks !

But Is there a list about each series and your items ? For Example: I have three car of the series VII but I don't know what are others items of this series VII !!

Thanks,

A most interesting set of comments. I have come to that point where I will not get rid of all but many of the items. My first step will be to list each item and see what I can get from the dealers. To get an idea of the "collectible" items such as LL Bean box car, Ben & Jerry's I will slowly move them out to get the best I can. Probably eBay. In my view from what I can determine "patience" is the best tool and on the normal nice stuff expect about 20 cents on the dollar. I have a good amount of Marx as well and the boxed sets will be blown out cheap for the most part. Will keep many of the items as I just like them! Have a custom made Marx Challenger which is just a favorite.  Maybe when "kick the bucket" I will have a grave for me and one for the remaining trains!

I will put the Fastrack on the OGR board to move it out.  Maybe some of the engines. My interest has been in items without sound but that appears to be what most don't want! Oh well. I sure had fun acquiring.

It has been a fun hobby which I still continue to enjoy. I have been buying and selling Super O for over 30 years and That is FUN as well. Have met some very nice folks and hear from many.

 

 

We really need to see a picture of a Marx 'Challenger'.

Ed Boyles's review of the Modern-era 6464 Boxcar Series are in the following OGR Magazines:

Aug. - Sept. 2015, pg. 75, (1st. three sets), (see also Dec. 1993. pg. 99),

Oct. - Nov. 2015, pg. 73, (next four sets),

and Dec. 2015, pg. 71, (last three set "and a surprise").

Thanks Ed for your Collector's Gallery's over the years! Eric Weiss

Ed Boyles's review of the Modern-era 6464 Boxcar Series are in the following OGR Magazines:

Aug. - Sept. 2015, pg. 75, (1st. three sets), (see also Dec. 1993. pg. 99),

Oct. - Nov. 2015, pg. 73, (next four sets),

and Dec. 2015, pg. 71, (last three set "and a surprise").

Thanks Ed for your Collector's Gallery's over the years! Eric Weiss

Nice !  Thank you so much !!

Ed Boyles's review of the Modern-era 6464 Boxcar Series are in the following OGR Magazines:

Aug. - Sept. 2015, pg. 75, (1st. three sets), (see also Dec. 1993. pg. 99),

Oct. - Nov. 2015, pg. 73, (next four sets),

and Dec. 2015, pg. 71, (last three set "and a surprise").

Thanks Ed for your Collector's Gallery's over the years! Eric Weiss

Thanks to my handy Digital Subscription, I went back and read Ed's Collector's Gallery articles on the 6464 remakes. Interesting reading.

Never knew about the B&O Sentinel Service boxcar being so highly prized (cited in the first of the three articles).

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