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Old 02-21-2010, 10:52 AM   #1
tjcruiser
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Life via Lionel, circa 1950's

In the "a thought just happened to enter my head" department ...

I've recently been reading / learning about the history of post-war Lionel trains, and all of the little car / accessories that they offered to keep kids interested in entertained. Each year's catalog had to offer something NEW that would make a kid add it to his Santa List and say, "Dad, I really need THAT!"

Logical, right? But this is what I find a bit shocking ...

1951 -- New automated cattle car loader
1955 -- Updated automatic milk bottle platform

Good, wholesome stuff. But then ...

1958 -- a toxic nuclear waste disposal care
1959 -- a new missle launcher car, and an ICBM-packed flatcar, and an exploding ammo dump
1960 -- radar scanning car
1961 -- spy satellite launching car

and so on ...

Boy, what a decade to be a kid! Ya' start out playing with milk and cows, and end up shootin' little plastic missles at the Russians! The Cold War times had to be a bit scary for a kid... "Here, son, go play with this glow-in-the-dark toxic nuclear waste, and then launch some ICBM's at those Ruskies."

I'm no peace-nik, mind you ... our country did what it had to do, and I think we're all (thankfully) still here to tell the story.

But I'm just saying that had to be a crazy time to be a kid, playing with your toys like that.

I was born in '63 ... Cold War still thriving. I distinctly remember having endless air-raid drills in grammar school. We all had to crawl under our desks, like the teacher directed. Go figure ... like a layer of 1/2" plywood and some sheet metal would have protected me from a well-placed ICBM?!?

Anyway ... sorry for rambling on ...

I just think it's interesting that the significance of changing world history is captured so well in the production lineup of a decade's worth of kids' toys.

'Nuff said.

TJ
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Old 02-21-2010, 11:08 AM   #2
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My older brother had some sort of military train I remember---all olive-drab. It had a long artillery cannon that fired plastic shells and a nuclear-reactor car with red domes that glowed. *L*
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:51 PM   #3
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I remember having a missile on a flat car as i Kidd.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:03 AM   #4
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My brother owned the set and I wasn't allowed to touch it. Missouri Pacific AA units. Even then, I had a calling to take apart evething.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:55 PM   #5
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My older brother had some sort of military train I remember---all olive-drab. It had a long artillery cannon that fired plastic shells and a nuclear-reactor car with red domes that glowed. *L*

Too bad you don't have that train set. It's worth a fortune! Only if your brother and you thought about keeping the train in original package and never ran it. It would range around $7k-$8k. You would of never though a toy that, a brother of yours, was playing with; would be worth so much in the future. Even if you didn't have the original package, just the set (run set), it is almost impossible to get. Easily be worth up to $2k-$3k. The olive nuclear-reactor car (un-run condition) w/ box is worth $1k-$1.2k.

Jason
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:56 PM   #6
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My brother owned the set and I wasn't allowed to touch it. Missouri Pacific AA units. Even then, I had a calling to take apart evething.
That's also a very nice set. It's also hard to obtain!

Jason
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:58 PM   #7
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Back in the sixties I use to attach baseball cards on the bike frame to get the motor sound from the spokes. I never used a RED SOX card but cards like AL Kaline, Sandy Kofax, and probably few Yankees.It was a part of youth.

Jason your just collecting on the wrong coast. To make you drool, the set came with super o track. HE has the orange barrel car and the brown/white milk car. HE lost the Marx steam engine.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:23 AM   #8
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Too bad you don't have that train set. It's worth a fortune! Only if your brother and you thought about keeping the train in original package and never ran it. It would range around $7k-$8k. You would of never though a toy that, a brother of yours, was playing with; would be worth so much in the future. Even if you didn't have the original package, just the set (run set), it is almost impossible to get. Easily be worth up to $2k-$3k. The olive nuclear-reactor car (un-run condition) w/ box is worth $1k-$1.2k.

Jason
I'll be sure and mention that to him. I thought that glowing, radioactive car was so neat, but the working cannon is what really made the train. *L*
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:38 AM   #9
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??? Never heard of that one. DO you know the car number??

I made one after getting after market cannisters.


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Old 03-02-2010, 11:53 AM   #10
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Nope---I'm not even sure it was Lionel---I was pretty young. O gauge seems about right, though.
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