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

Original Post

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

 

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

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

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.

C.W. Burfle

Here's an example of a box that is worth as much if not more than its contents. It just walked into the local train shop as part of its train set (#2223W). The owner had no idea of its value or rarity. He was amply rewarded in the four figure price we paid for the set. You never know what's out there. 

As far as box restoration is concerned, it can be approached with the same techniques as used for museum preservation of valuable paper documents. It's just a matter of matching the degree of effort to the eventual value of the item.

Set2223W 007

Set2223W 006

Jim

 

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Popi posted:

that brings up another point, what to do with boxes,

ive got boxes from pre, post MPC, Williams, MTH, Kline, Marx.

Im about ready to send them to the burning barrel

Image result for burning barrel

Some people want boxes they don't have,

some people have boxes they don't want.

Why not bring the two together? List what you have in Buy/Sell and see if you get any takers for at least some of them. I imagine somebody out there will take at least some of them off your hands . Eventually.

(Personally, I'm looking for a RailKing box that'll fit this caboose, and a MTH Premier box for a 50' boxcar)

---PCJ

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Popi posted:

that brings up another point, what to do with boxes,

ive got boxes from pre, post MPC, Williams, MTH, Kline, Marx.

Im about ready to send them to the burning barrel

Image result for burning barrel

Marx boxes are hard to fins. Prewar,Postwar, and MPC boxes are desirable. Please list them for sale here before the burn barrel!

Dave

 

 

 

Saving Tinplate One Piece at a Time

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Surely, you have to take a variety of factors into consideration...but I say, fix em!

I've used glue - and clear packing tape to good effect.

On MPC and LTI era boxes - just fix them! - They are so much stronger and more useful.

Pre-war flats - its up to you. Fortunately, glue works well on these.

One thing is for sure - LIONEL boxes suck! Made to be destroyed when used "normally"

Reverse the trucks and pray nothing catches!!!

And how do you open them without ripping the lids...I use a dentists pick to open some of them!

Jim Policastro posted:

Here's an example of a box that is worth as much if not more than its contents. It just walked into the local train shop as part of its train set (#2223W). The owner had no idea of its value or rarity. He was amply rewarded in the four figure price we paid for the set. You never know what's out there. 

As far as box restoration is concerned, it can be approached with the same techniques as used for museum preservation of valuable paper documents. It's just a matter of matching the degree of effort to the eventual value of the item.

Set2223W 007

Set2223W 006

Jim

 

I agree Jim, that western pacific car is pretty nice and I think somewhat scarce, but what most of us have are stuff like this:  lionel lehigh valley black hopper car, lionel  sunoco 3 dome tank car, lionel 6457 caboose with rough box, or lionel 3461x lumber car with rough  box,  how about putting a price on these just for example and then how much extra would a box left rough be worth over a box with tape?  Just for example thanks, now be careful or you might own these! Thanks

Roving Sign, I hear you!  My problems, regardless of manufacturer, are trying to get the styrofoam out of the box without shredding either, and then when replacing the car, the clear "window" plastic gets caught.  Once it's bent up inside the box, you're doomed.  That's when I break out the tape and tack the plastic back down.   I'm normally very careful with my possessions but these modern boxes do not seem to be designed for frequent use.

Just one woman's experience.

Tomlinson Run RR

This brings back an awkward childhood memory. About age 8 or 9 I received a new Daisy BB gun for my birthday. A short time later a buddy and I were in the basement trying it out and deciding what to attack next, we found a stash of, you guessed it, Lionel train boxes. We probably peppered about 15-20 of them full of BB holes, then threw them in the trash. I guess it seemed like a great idea at the time! Thankfully the respective cars were on the layout and the boxes were empty! I seem to recall there was a great deal of truth-or-consequences when the boxes were discovered missing by my dad.

Rod

We are never too old to learn something stupid....

RailRide posted:
Popi posted:

that brings up another point, what to do with boxes,

ive got boxes from pre, post MPC, Williams, MTH, Kline, Marx.

Im about ready to send them to the burning barrel

Image result for burning barrel

Some people want boxes they don't have,

some people have boxes they don't want.

Why not bring the two together? List what you have in Buy/Sell and see if you get any takers for at least some of them. I imagine somebody out there will take at least some of them off your hands . Eventually.

(Personally, I'm looking for a RailKing box that'll fit this caboose, and a MTH Premier box for a 50' boxcar)

---PCJ

Hello RAILRIDE

I have a Railking box with white insert for this caboose you have (off-set steel caboose). The box has no tears or missing flaps and the plastic window is good, it had little sign of wear and with the price sticker on the front "21.99".  The condition of the box and white insert is very good to like new.  This box was for a Santa Fe # 30-77016,  I would try to take pictures of the box. send me E-mail if interesting.

"I do this all this to make the Good News known. I do it so that I can share in the blessings of the Good News." 1 Corinthians 9:23 ERV (Easy to Read Version)

Tiffany

And how do you open them without ripping the lids...I use a dentists pick to open some of them

Slip a thin blade like a knife between the tuck flap and the side flap to guide the edge of the tuck flap past the side flap. It's a bit tricky until you've done it a few times.

Lou Shur taught me that trick.

C.W. Burfle

if I ever get up in the attic, ill dig around and see what ive got and list them.

 

which begs another question, anybody ever shipped boxes and how do you ship them.

do you ship them in place or do you fold them flat and ship them that way

After receiving a few old postwar lionel boxes with corresponding accessories or engines or cars. A thought hit me. I think others would share my sentiments. You can't run the boxes...

- Joe

Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters, METCA,

Independent Hi-Railers Eastern Division,

Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders,

Raritan River Chapter of the NRHS,

Black River Railroad Historical Trust

 http://raritanriver-rr.com/

http://www.blackriverrailroad.com/

 

 

"You're too young to remember the Raritan River!" -Told to me by a man at a train show.

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