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Several years ago I took my old trains out of the attic to create a lay out of approximately 12 foot by 9 foot. A lot of the stuff is quite old (going back 50 or more years) and were still in their original Lionel boxes. My understanding is that the value of some of these older items are enhanced if they come in their original box but many of these old boxes are falling apart. I can use scotch tape for box repairs but is there something better?

John F

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Most usually the price on a train item is significantly higher if it includes a nice crisp box; meaning all the flaps intact without tears, no penicil-crayon-ink markings, sales stickers, adhesive residue and no creases, holes, tears in the cardboard.  Many accessories, engines and some odd shaped cars had cardboard inserts inside the box.  Those have value as well.  

Nearly all pricing is based on rarity, condition, and demand.

Hey what about the outer shipping boxes?  Are they worth saving in addition to the item's shelf box?  I am unpacking all my trains to store on train room shelves.  The brown cardboard shipping boxes take up a lot of room and I'd rather not keep them.   None of them are older than 1995 anyway.

      Hoppy

 

Last edited by HOPPY
HOPPY posted:

Hey what about the outer shipping boxes?  Are they worth saving in addition to the item's shelf box?  I am unpacking all my trains to store on train room shelves.  The brown cardboard shipping boxes take up a lot of room and I'd rather not keep them.   None of them are older than 1995 anyway.

      Hoppy

 

If you actually keep the inner boxes inside the shipping boxes, it's not a lot of extra room.  (well, it adds up a little based on the thickness of the cardboard, but I assume you mean keeping them separate form the inner box?)

They can help protect the inner box so it doesn't get as much shelf wear over the years (dinged corners, marks from sliding across the shelf, etc).

Value probably not a huge differential, but they definitely can help preserve the inner box.  Given a choice, I prefer an item with the shipper, assuming it came with one.

-Dave

eddie g posted:

I would never tape the boxes together. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Correct. Tape will eventually ruin your boxes even if you can get it to look good at first, which is very difficult. I have repaired boxes with high quality wood glue used sparingly. I then clamp it or press it until dry enough to hold.

I also read a thread somewhere discussing box repair. There are some very sofisticated approaches to torn box repair as well.

Water damage is one of the hardest problems to solve.

BTW, I do like to keep boxes and I do value boxed items more. However, I don't understand prices of hundreds to thousands of dollars for empty boxes, which are potentially fakes.

George

Last edited by George S
ADCX Rob posted:
wb47 posted:

Given the fact though that most of the old stuff does not go for much anymore, why struggle with boxes that are falling apart.  My vote is to throw or tape.

Here is an alternate fact.

Now show me one with a dump car or a 3 lid tank car or a hopper car please.  The man was not talking about the rare items.  He has an old set out of the attic. 

wb47 posted:
ADCX Rob posted:
wb47 posted:

Given the fact though that most of the old stuff does not go for much anymore, why struggle with boxes that are falling apart.  My vote is to throw or tape.

Here is an alternate fact.

Now show me one with a dump car or a 3 lid tank car or a hopper car please.  The man was not talking about the rare items.  He has an old set out of the attic. 

Why would you ruin them with tape in any case? If you are going to take the time to do something, do it right. As tape ages, it will discolor and lose it's adhesion. I have seen it many times. By that time, the finish of the box is destroyed. If you want to keep the boxes and keep them nice, don't use tape.

George

I can't speak to the collecting value of taped boxes one way or another but from an archival point of view, I can see two safe options. One is to use acid free "scotch" tape.  Most stores commonly sell this now because of its safe use for photo albums (remember those from pre-phone camera days? :-). It shouldn't crack or yellow.

The second option would be to use archival mending tape, which you can find in art stores.  It is much weaker and more like rice paper but if you just want to shore up a tear and keep a flapping flap from flapping and tearing off even further, it might work. Your mileage may vary with this one, and I suggest you use it on the underside of the tear because it tends to be opaque.

Tomlinson Run Railroad

Last edited by TomlinsonRunRR

IMHO, putting tape on the outside of a postwar box pretty much reduces the value to zero.

Then again, I don't think a tattered box has much value anyway, unless it is a very rare one, with contents.
Many 1960's pieces were normally sold in sets where the pieces did not have individual boxes. Sometimes boxed examples of those pieces will bring a significant premium. But I am not taking big bucks in any case.

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