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My general thought on almost everything "collectible" (including for example- Lionel trains, Corvettes and antiques) is that values would drop rather then grow in the next few years.  I just bought a very good condition # 6560-25 (red body)- built in 1956- for just over the bottom price listed in Greenbergs.  I didn't "steal it", but paid a fair price IMO.

In general, what do OGR Forum people  is the future in terms of value for Lionel products of the postwar, and MPC eras?  It would seem that many would prefer the newer trains with more features, at least for running.  There are some real bargains out there right now, it seems to me.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Work Crane

 

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I think there will continue to be people who become interested O gauge model trains, both traditional and modern scale-sized types. At the very least, the prewar and postwar items will have value as antiques and those in good original condition will attract buyers. The hobby has lost almost all its major manufacturers, so I don't expect a wide range of new products to be offered in the future. Therefore, I think that modern scale-sized trains that were built in relatively low numbers will retain value. For example, there are numerous Weaver, K-line and MTH engines that probably won't be produced again. I purchase model trains because I enjoy them, not as an investment, so future values don't matter to me. My grandchildren will receive every one of mine. And they will appreciate them.

MELGAR

I think there will always be a niche market for older items.  I also believe that a lot of the things we buy as we get older are because of our memories of these items from our youth.  

I have a 69 Dodge Coronet R/t and a 71 Plymouth Roadrunner.  About a year ago I noticed how the late seventies Pontiac Trans Am's were starting to overtake several of the late sixties collector cars in value.  I believe it is because that when men get to a certain age where they are more comfortable financially, and are starting to feel their age, they yearn for the things they admired when they were younger.  No offense to men in their late sixties/early seventies, but the old cars I have are a bear to drive.   Manual transmissions, no power steering, no power brakes! 

One of the more interesting comments I came across, and it might relate in same to our modern day model trains, is that no one is reproducing the computers that came in the cars starting in the eighties.  Unfortunately I shudder when I think of even the minor investment I have in MTH's DCS.

Of course, I could be wrong.

I once co owned a comic shop and have sold toys and collectibles on the side at shows for years now. This is my insight into things.

People buy what they grow up with. When I have a table of GIJoes from many decades. A certain aged person will always go towards what they had as a child and they ignore the rest to some extent. I use GIJoe because of the long production run.

Trains are very similar. Kids don't have as much a fondness for steamers and conventional operation. There are of course outliers. They want what is new.

As far as values. Right now is very weird. I’ve been buying way more than I should because prices are down. But it is only temporary. They will go back up. But I don't think they will ever hit that crazy pricing from the 90s. Comics are very similar. I don't expect them to ever hit that 90s pricing. In my opinion you really need to discount any pricing from that era because everything was over inflated in value... remember Beany Babies?

But like everything. Don't buy these things as an investment. Buy them because you love them or enjoy them.

This issue has been discussed often on this forum. Although I am not certain ( especially of the time line), I believe that the prices of especially PW Lionel/ American Flyer will decline as more such trains  become available as the last of the true collectors (like myself )decline in numbers. Many discussions on this forum comment on the fact that many collectors look for their boyhood toys-I agree-and the number of such collectors for 1940-early 1960s "Lionels" is rapidly declining.  Look at the recent "holy grail" discussions- often the only PW item identified is the 773 Hudson-as a PW collector I am amazed that items like the red-lettered WP or the solid shield Rutland ( 6464 boxcars) or the glossy JC FM  are not mentioned by even a few forum members.  

I am less certain about the newer trains. Clearly with the likes of K Line, Weaver and now MTH closing their doors-some of their products will become less available. What concerns me is the "electronics"-and how some folks  look at these trains as they do computers (out with the old, in with the new)-so those engines, for example, with PS1/2 are less desirable that the latest ones. The cost of having these older  electronics repaired is substantial. I dont know the effect of all this on their future value-clearly right now, some very nice PS1s are available at very reasonable prices. Some prior MTH, Weaver, KLines have increased in cost-whether this will continue is IMHO "to-be-determined".

 What I am certain of and which has been said thousands of times,is that we should collect what we like, what makes us younger, what makes us happy, etc. etc. In these uncertain times-that to me remains the best and most certain advice. 

 

 

 

 

 

@turtle7 posted:

...I believe that the prices of especially PW Lionel/ American Flyer will decline as more such trains  become available as the last of the true collectors (like myself )decline in numbers. Many discussions on this forum comment on the fact that many collectors look for their boyhood toys-I agree-and the number of such collectors for 1940-early 1960s "Lionels" is rapidly declining.  Look at the recent "holy grail" discussions- often the only PW item identified is the 773 Hudson-as a PW collector I am amazed that items like the red-lettered WP or the solid shield Rutland ( 6464 boxcars) or the glossy JC FM  are not mentioned by even a few forum members.  

I am less certain about the newer trains. Clearly with the likes of K Line, Weaver and now MTH closing their doors-some of their products will become less available. What concerns me is the "electronics"-and how some folks  look at these trains as they do computers (out with the old, in with the new)-so those engines, for example, with PS1/2 are less desirable that the latest ones. The cost of having these older  electronics repaired is substantial. I dont know the effect of all this on their future value-clearly right now, some very nice PS1s are available at very reasonable prices. Some prior MTH, Weaver, KLines have increased in cost-whether this will continue is IMHO "to-be-determined".

 What I am certain of and which has been said thousands of times,is that we should collect what we like, what makes us younger, what makes us happy, etc. etc. In these uncertain times-that to me remains the best and most certain advice. 

While there will be fewer "true collectors" who remember these items from childhood, they will be supplanted by young people who will look at a Lionel 773 and say "wow, this is unique and almost 100 years old," and it will be rare and collectible to them. I don't see every boxcar being regarded that way but the iconic items are something else.

As for PS1, the Premier items are finely crafted models, especially the die-cast steam engines and electric locomotives (PRR GG1, NYC P-2b, NH EP-3, EF-3, EP-5, GN W-1, MILW Bipolar). I regularly run at least five PS-1 engines and they are very reliable and trouble-free. I'm not buying them these days because I already own quite a few, but I think they are a worthwhile purchase.

As you say, buy what you like and enjoy, and try not to think of it as an investment.

Just my opinion.

MELGAR

Across the street, there's a 5 year old boy that likes to play with my 9 year-old girl. I'm looking forward to getting my layout clean and finding new places for all the stuff that our house has collected, now piling up in my train room.

Judging from the way he will react to my Lionel PW-stocked layout will let me know if I can safely give him a train set for Christmas if his dad and mom approve. I've got way too much and a lot of it is not "collector" Lionel, maybe except for PW die-hards. Giving away trains is something I've been doing for years and there's a real satisfaction in sharing my love of Lionel. I don't base it on whether or not it will be treasured as i have done, or whether it could be sold or resold, as giving isn't giving when it comes with strings or expectations... 

Xmas 4

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  • Under our tree: My 9 and 18 year-olds had more fun than me last Christmas!
@Virginian65 posted:

Across the street, there's a 5 year old boy that likes to play with my 9 year-old girl. I'm looking forward to getting my layout clean and finding new places for all the stuff that our house has collected, now piling up in my train room.

Judging from the way he will react to my Lionel PW-stocked layout will let me know if I can safely give him a train set for Christmas if his dad and mom approve. I've got way too much and a lot of it is not "collector" Lionel, maybe except for PW die-hards. Giving away trains is something I've been doing for years and there's a real satisfaction in sharing my love of Lionel. I don't base it on whether or not it will be treasured as i have done, or whether it could be sold or resold, as giving isn't giving when it comes with strings or expectations... 

Xmas 4

IMO, Virginian65, such gifts are wonderful and a great way to promote our hobby. Arnold

 

One of the more interesting comments I came across, and it might relate in same to our modern day model trains, is that no one is reproducing the computers that came in the cars starting in the eighties.  Unfortunately I shudder when I think of even the minor investment I have in MTH's DCS.

Of course, I could be wrong.

That's true they aren't. Instead they are making plug and play computer systems that allow your 80's Mustang or Camaro to have a modern engine control computer that’s OBD-II compatible and more powerful than 80's engine computers. 

Same as model trains the electronics are constantly evolving and getting better, replacing the older obsolete stuff.

From 1970 to 1990 there was collectively not more than about 30 types of 'O' Scale engines coming to the market from Lionel, Williams, MDK, Weaver or MTH.  Part of that reason is that Weaver only had put out one Scale engine by 1990, MDK had put out one and MTH had yet to enter that market.

Between 1990 an 2000 Lionel was doing very little in the Scale area until the late 90's excluding the MTH production made for them earlier.  Williams was putting out a steady stream of scale products.  Weaver thru the association with MTH thru around 1996 had put out several scale engines.  MDK had yet to focus their attention on Scale and was carving out market share in 027 sets and some scale rolling stock. They probably should have kept that focus.  At least they made trains that had a great deal of play value.  MTH after the 1993 issue of the Dash 8 was just beginning to focus what was to become the largest ever seen production of O Scale engines in my life time (age 77) and probably ever.

From 1995 thru say 2007 when Williams sells and MDK ceases independent operation there were a lot of players in the market producing what turned out to be an over production of 'O' Scale engines.  Weaver is out by 2015.  And, as we know MTH is out by 2021.

What does this mean for the future?  Don't plan your retirement based on selling all your really nice Scale engines for anything approaching your original purchase price.  There are too many engines and we are dying too fast a clip.  If as most people seem to believe, that operation of trains in the future will be based on the electronic wonders to behold, then the older Lionel will have a downward spiral because all it does is go around in a circle, doesn't talk to you, doesn't talk to itself and starts too fast.

My approach hasn't changed.  I like my trains, I will keep buying them and I really don't care what my kids do with them.   

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