There are multiple sites I shop on a regular basis looking for tinplate trans. I have noticed that things that have sat on shelves for years our now being sold out. For example, Western Depot had multiple items from the Tinplate Traditions catalog in 2007 before this Covid thing started. Now most of the Proto 2 engines are gone.
One of my favorite shops is Side Track Hobbies. What was 23 pages of MTH/Lionel tinplate is down to 16. This stuff is selling.
One of the thing that surprised me is the current MTH going out of business auction. A yellow 3236 MTH/Ives locomotive is now going for almost $700.00 and the passenger cars are over $600.00. They couldn't give those 10 years ago.
Are more people buying more tinplate? Is this a result of panic buying from the same old customers? Either way it is getting harder to find.