Category Archives: original ads

Mantua/TYCO Alco C430, circa 1966-’67, original ads and Model Railroader magazine product review

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Hard to believe it will be turning 50 next year. My examples include the rather hard to find Presidential Seal version, pulled from the shelves on demand of the White house for TYCO’s unauthorized use of the seal. It was soon replaced with a more simplified version…it was a gift from an online friend.

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This one was part of a freebie lot that came from a local police evidence locker…

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This one, the oldest of the four, was another gift, and dates back to the original release.

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…even Canadians have one…

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Replica Models, Inc.

Original ad from the June, 1972 Railroad Modeler magazine…

Used to drool over these ads when I saw them in all kinds of modeling magazines back in the late 60s/early 70s.  What kid wouldn’t have wanted an impressive looking–with full working action–model of a German Schmeisser submachinegun or a Thompson Model 1921? Having wondered if the company survived thru the years, I found they had changed hands and became Collector’s Armory, Ltd.  From their site…

About Collectors Armoury

In 1968, Replica Models, Inc. was founded as a mail order company designed to provide collectors with a new and innovative product: Non- firing Replica Guns. Replica Models was the first to offer these quality replica guns in the United States.

In 1972, a sister company, Unique Imports, Inc., was established to furnish military collectors with a wide range of original and high quality military collectibles. In 1980 Replica Models, Inc. and Unique Imports, Inc. merged to form Collector’s Armoury.

Non-firing replica guns are still a large part of our business today, though our product line has grown to include historic reproductions from the Middle Ages through the 20th Century. From Medieval swords and armour to Old West Pistols and modern replica firearms, Collector’s Armoury remains dedicated to providing collectors, history buffs, theatrical groups, and TV and movie producers with high quality, historic reproductions.

Collector’s Armoury has served hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide for nearly 40 years. We supply the U.S. Government, Armed Forces, and Law Enforcement communities with products used as training aids. Our products are available on-line, via catalog, or in any of the hundreds of hobby and antique shops, specialty stores, and decorator and gift shops that carry our products nation-wide.

Toll Free: (800) 336-4572 Monday through Friday between 8.30AM and 5.00PM EASTERN TIME.

Email: sales@collectorsarmoury.com

Address: 442 Westridge Parkway, Building 100, McDonough, GA 30253

While my desire for a model submachinegun has gone the way of GI Joe and Evil Knievel, that is a rather boss looking M1849 Dragoon pistol tugging at my inner Josey Wales…

1973 AMC Gremlin, Malibu Classics HO scale diecast…

Just thought you’d want to see how it’s built in this ad from 1973…

I well remember them…along with the Ford Pinto and the Chevy Vega, all products of the gasoline crisis of the day, when I watched long lines at the pump and gas go from 35 cents a gallon to 79 cents.  Yeah, go figure.  You know you’re getting old when you wax nostalgic for one of these beasts.  Still trying to figure out why I’d want more headroom in the trunk…?

“Leave the gun…take the canolis…”

 

“1001 Model Railroading Ideas” magazine, winter 1969…

My very first scale electric train set came to me on Christmas Day 1970. It was the Bachmann F9 diesel set pictured at the top of this ad in PRR green…

As for the magazine, I had never heard of it before I picked up a lot of about 1200 hobby magazines. It had a short, ignoble life in the late ’60s/early ’70s, filled with ads for both model trains, supplies, plastic model kits and…ummmm…facial hair pieces. Yeah, facial hair pieces… A Van Dyke?  Really, dude?

Lionel set 1590 from 1958…

One of the great bugaboos of the model train hobby is the mindset that I run into at shows or just at social gatherings.  John (or Jane) Q. Public has a train set that’s “been in the family for a long time” and they want to know what it’s worth.  From the look in their eyes and the tone in their voice, they obviously have the one exceptionally rare antique set worth enough to cover their mortgage and send one or two of the kidlets to Harvard, so would I be a dear and please confirm this delusion?.

Nothing could be further from the truth in this hobby.  Old DOES NOT mean valuable, whether it sports a Lionel tag or TYCO.  What the Lionel debacle did in the 80s was pull out from attics and closets across this fruited plain, box after box of grandpa’s old trains, showing that what was once  considered “Rare” was actually just one of many hundreds that were buried, just like any other toy out there, waiting only for a good reason to be pulled out into the light.  5000 greenbacks for an original #300 Hell Gate Bridge will do that to anything out there, not just Lionel.

My 1590 set comes from a good friend who is settling his brother-in-law’s estate.  Fortunately for me, he understands that only special pieces get special prices.  He found this mixed in the estate with a bunch of track, most of which had fallen victim to the ravages of Hurricane Sandy.  It is in cosmetically good condition and has all four cars, the blue gon just didn’t make the cut on the too short shelf space.  The irony is that the value in the set is not in the whole, but in fact, one part…the “Range Patrol” truck that would have sat on the yellow flat car.  An orange or yellow truck can get double what the set complete can get.  Who knew…sigh…

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Original 1958 catalog listing…

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NOTE:  Settling this estate has been a hoot for my friend and his family.  With no will, the state and a reprobate offspring have ravaged the estate and my friend’s life over the last 2 years.  Being married to next of kin just gives the state a warm body to sink their fangs and claws into.  They will get their pound of flesh, and it will be yesterday…

If you don’t have a will, you are a fool and richly deserve every curse called down upon your corpse by the family you left behind.  Get a will…now.

Just sayin’…

In the last 32 months, I’ve…

…picked up and moved my family 250 miles…

…driven 90,000+ miles working in my new home state…

…inspected over 15, 000 apartments…

…started a new life on our own little farm out in the country and all that goes with farming, while holding down a full time job that can run 50+ hours a week, with almost half of that behind the wheel…

…I really don’t have anything left for a blog at this moment.  It certainly isn’t for lack of material.

I’ve got some really great stuff going on in my modeling these last 6 months.

Honest…

Meantime, I have got to find me one of these…

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