Showing posts with label Toy Trains. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toy Trains. Show all posts

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Collectors who Collect Classic Toy Trains

A toy train
A toy train (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been said that collecting classic toy trains in the world's greatest hobby. Many of today's collectors received their first toy train set when they were young, often as a Christmas or birthday present. Collectors claim that the toy train set gave them an opportunity to imagine a whole new world, one that revolved around a steaming locomotive. When they become adults, the collectors of classic toy trains claim that working on their model's layout is a way to relieve stress and escape from the pressures of day to day life.

Toy train collectors are an interesting a varied group of individuals. Some of them spend the better part of life, looking for the perfect train set creating model after model, thrilling in seeing the miniature world take shape.  This type of collector pours over catalogs, agonizes at toy train auctions, and continually shops at eBay stores that sell toy trains. Others never touch a model train set, they prefer to read books on the construction and collecting of toy trains, they might even attend the toy train shows and auctions This type of collector is happy to sit back and dream about someday building a toy train model. Some collectors spend hours fiddling with the scenery, touching up the paint and designing structures, this collector thinks of their classic toy train model as an art form. Another type of classic toy train collector is fascinated by the mechanical aspect of the toy train, they spend all their time working on the mechanics of their model that they never even bother to add scenery. The thing all these collectors shares is a genuine love of classic toy trains.

Very few collectors start out designing a large layout. The average size of the collector's classic toy train layout is 4X8 feet. This starter layout is typically an HO gauge. They add some scenery and a few buildings as they go, gradually expanding on the layout. Most classic toy train collectors will say that no layout, large or small, is ever complete.

The layout of toy trains and their railroad tracks consists of scenery and landscaping. The structures are commonly made out of plastic or bits of wood. The mountains are made out of painted pieces of plaster or foam, while the rivers are created by plastic resin.



Classic toy rain collectors who are also fans of gardening can combine their hobbies with a garden railroad. A garden railroad is a toy train that runs on a railroad that is routed through your garden. A railway garden is a garden that is planted with miniature plants and landscaped to accommodate a garden railroad. People who design a garden railroad enjoy facing the same types of challenges in landscape and topography that the railroad companies face when they build new rail lines. Most railway gardens are designed with roadbed. A roadbed is a material, most often a ballast created out of rock dust and crushed rocks, that supports the track and allows for drainage. Some people who lack the time, patience, or ability to garden have been able to enjoy a garden railroad by incorporating it directly into their landscaping. Fans of garden railroads say it is a great way for the entire family to bond. Some ambitious railway garden designers have created water features in their gardens that include ornamental fish and live plants.



Monday, March 19, 2018

HO Toy Trains - An Antique of Today

HO Toy Train - Photo: Flickr
Collecting toy trains is referred to as the world's greatest hobby; and for some, it isn't just a hobby. It's a passion and a way of life, perhaps beginning in childhood. Several toy train collectors started their hobby as children when they were given a toy train as a gift. Toy trains, at one time, were a very popular and much-desired toy among children. Over time, that concept faded and was replaced by razor scooters, iPods, and Webkinz. Most children of today aren't familiar with the classic toy trains from back in the day, so the legacy is left to be carried on by adults who choose to start a collection of their own. One such popular toy train that is desired by many collectors is the HO toy train, developed by Marklin in 1935. So what makes these miniature locomotives so much different than the others?

The construction of the HO toy trains is one aspect that makes them stand apart from other toy trains. HO toy trains are jagged and are scaled at 1:87, making them the perfect starter electric train. Appearance is also a major factor in collecting HO toy trains. The flawless detailing gives them a realistic appeal, making them an attractive addition to any toy train system. The Marklin HO toy trains resemble the Z gauge in that they are built from diecast metal. Most of the frames and wheels are constructed from 100% metal. The engineering of HO toy trains is also quite brilliant. The wheels of the freight and passenger cars have a low center of gravity to avoid derailment, making them a reliable addition to electric systems. 

The third-rail track systems of HO toy trains make them a hassle-free operation. The electrical current is carried by miniature stud contacts found in the middle of the ties. If you don't look closely, chances are you'll miss these clever additions. This helps prevent wiring problems and electrical pickup issues. Given the careful engineering and construction of HO toy trains, most collectors consider HO toy trains part of a scale hobby. At the debut of HO toy trains, they were sold as a toy train rather than a scale model as they are often sold today. 



Scale model railroading didn't become a popular hobby among collectors until after the 1950's. Until that time, HO toy trains were thought of as just another size of the train. Therefore, the Lionel Corporation began to make HO toy trains as smaller versions of the classic freight and passenger cars. It wasn't long before the Louis Marx Company began constructing their own version of HO toy trains, and they even started to sell them with complete scenery and in slot car sets.

Although finding HO toy trains on the shelf at your local toy store may be a challenge, they aren't all that difficult to come by. A simple search of the internet will provide you with a detailed listing of available HO toy trains for sale as well as places to locate these classic toy trains. 



Monday, October 30, 2017

All about Standard Gauge TOY TRAINS

Toy Train - Photo: Wikipedia
Collecting toy trains is a very popular hobby among many people. Some collect them because they are reminded of their childhood, or because they had one or two of these realistic toys passed down to them through the generations. Standard gauge toy trains are one of the most popular collectible toy trains. There are many replicas and styles to choose from, and some of these toy trains are quite hard to come by. If you're new to collecting toy trains or are just looking for unique pieces to add to your collection, you're about to find out what makes these mini-locomotives a one-of-a-kind tradition in toy trains. 

So what exactly makes a standard gauge toy train more desirable than others? Ask any collector of standard gauge toy trains and they're likely to explain it in great detail. Standard gauge trains typically tend to model the originals more precisely than other available gauges. Compared to other toy trains, such as replicas of old Lionel, standard gauge trains truly have a unique way of grabbing the attention of a collector. This is probably because the standard gauge toy trains are strikingly identical to the actual trains used in the days of old. 

The concept of toy trains has existed for centuries and at one time, was the toy of choice for many youngsters in America. The standard gauge toy train was an idea originally put into motion by the Lionel Corporation, in an effort to boost the sales of toy trains in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. The term "standard gauge' refers to the size and diameter of railroad tracks for the toy trains. The Lionel Corporation developed a three-rail track of about 54 mm between each outside rail, which in turn did not work very well with gauge 1 productions from Europe. Soon the idea spread to other manufacturers in America, under the name "wide gauge". Standard gauge was discontinued in 1940 due to the expensive cost of production. It is now a desired collection trait because the standard gauge is precisely accurate to its actual larger model version in mean scale. 

Standard gauge toy trains remain a popular collection item as it nears its centennial anniversary. It has become the choice of many collectors and is most popular on display around the holidays, seen in several stores and shopping malls. So where can one find these unique pieces? There are several places to locate standard gauge toy trains and for good deals, if you know where to look. A simple search of the internet will provide you with several websites that sell standard gauge items, as well as eBay and other online auctions. You can also find some informational websites and places to participate in blogging on standard gauge toy trains.