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Interesting post Chris, thanks. As someone in my late 70's, I've not given much thought to the 'collector' market in a quite a few years. I had a retail hobby shop back in the late 1980's for about 6 years and saw what I perceived as the demise of the postwar and MPC market as MTH became a real force in the game and pushed Lionel into finally producing more than just repaints of their 1950s designs. MTH also began producing more scale offerings and their DCS control system had many more features than Lionel's TMCC.

As my generation has begun to 'age out', the postwar market has taken quite a hit as many quality PW collections came onto the marketplace which drastically lowered the demand and prices on anything less than Excellent condition PW pieces. The common VG items are almost hard to give away these days as there is so much product out there with less new people coming into the hobby. One of the primary driving forces with postwar Lionel (and Gilbert Flyer) is the nostalgia factor of folks my age who had them as kids. How do you younger fellas perceive toy trains from the late 1940s through 1969 or so? As antiques perhaps?

It is good to see you younger fellas coming in and bringing innovative ideas like these video groups and posts like this one. I will be the first to admit complete ignorance as to what will become  'collectible' as we move forward. :-)

Personally, which set will become collectible is beyond my scope of expertise now - I like the Dreyfus but will likely be gone before these modern sets become truly collectible!

Last edited by c.sam

I definitely try the "crystal ball" approach when I view a new catalog, and although I don't 100% buy an item because I think it will be desirable in the future, I must admit that I do factor that component in with a new purchase.

So, Chris, I completely agree with the Christmas E8 set for two reasons:
1) It's gorgeous! I can imagine the set racing on a snowy layout with blue lighting.

2) Its high price will ultimately deter some buyers given that it is a fictional/seasonal offering

I also believe the add-on passenger cars for the AC&W set will be highly collectible due to the success of the F9s; I'm not quite sure about the AC&W E8s yet - time will tell.

As we have seen with multiple SKUs on high dollar items (The GS series, etc.) some of the Dreyfuss variations are going to be quite difficult to attain in the future if not pre-ordered.

Lastly, I think the Kyle and Kansas City Terminal GP20s, if executed properly, will be sought after in the future.

@RamblerDon, I’m thinking the Mickey Mouse 100th anniversary set and all 5 of the Mickey Mouse cars, all different colors, could be sleepers. Yes, the Big Boy set will become a nice collectible, and although pricy, look what’s in this beautiful set. The Christmas set with the Legacy Camelback steamer could become a sleeper. I have friends buying several of these high dollar sets and going over $12K plus, so this is a hit catalog…. I’m just watching. I’m not a collector but an operator. Happy Railroading Everyone

That was an enjoyable video, Chris! Your enthusiasm is contagious.

A couple of thoughts: Chris' #1 choice of the North Pole Central (NPC) E-8 set and accompanying 21" cars are awesome-looking and has prior history of collectability and/or desirability. For example, some of Lionel's "scale" NPC items have, throughout the years, gained a collectible and/or desirable status, such as the Legacy NPC Zephyr set, Legacy NPC Mountain, and some O-scale NPC pieces of rolling stock.

While I am a Christmas Train Buff and will pre-order the Legacy Fezziwig Camelback , due to budget constraints and the fact that 21" cars are too long IMO, I'll likely pass on the beautiful NPC E8 set.

Chris referenced the scale Polar Express Berkshire and O-scale cars. Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the Polar Express Motion Picture and given the popularity of the 10th Anniversary (2014) PE Berks I anticipate Lionel is planning something special.

Last edited by Paul Kallus

I can see the logic in all the sets mentioned in the video and this thread.  To add my $0.02, I'm thinking that the Iron Hippo set might be a big sleeper collectible in that if features the lone survivor of its class, #4483.  That locomotive is the first big steam locomotive I ever saw, back when it was on display outside of Westinghouse Air Brake in Wilmerding, PA.  I know a lot of Pittsburgh area PRR fans that have wanted this engine for a long time because of its local connection.


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