LRRC Membership Pinbacks, Patches, and Cards Question

1200 views
4 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    March 2015
  • 344 posts
LRRC Membership Pinbacks, Patches, and Cards Question
Posted by phrankenstign on Sunday, September 30, 2018 3:08 AM

Before the LRRC merged with the LCCA, the LRRC used to send membership packages to paid up members.

It's been a few years since I was a member, but I remember getting pinbacks w/ matching cards (like credit cards where one would sign and enter one's own member number on the back).  I kind of remember getting embroidered patches too sometimes.

Does anyone know exactly what was sent to members each year from 1976-2014?

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • 344 posts
Posted by phrankenstign on Friday, October 5, 2018 3:55 AM

It appears nobody here knows the answers to the question I posed above.

Perhaps someone here can answer one of the questions below:

  • What year was the FIRST paper Membership Card issued by the LRRC?
  • What year was the FIRST plastic Membership Card issued by the LRRC?
  • What year was the FIRST Pinback Button with a year on it issued by the LRRC?

 

  • What year was the LAST paper Membership Card issued by the LRRC?
  • What year was the LAST plastic Membership Card issued by the LRRC?
  • What year was the LAST Pinback Button with a year on it issued by the LRRC?

 

Here are the generic Pinback Buttons I'm aware of the LRRC issuing:

LRRC Generic Pin #1

LRRC Generic Pin #2

LRRC Generic Pin #3

  • What year(s) were the generic Pinback Buttons issued by the LRRC?
  • How many different generic Pinback Buttons were issued by the LRRC?

 

Here are the generic Patches I'm aware of the LRRC issuing:

LRRC Generic Patch #2

LRRC Generic Patch #1

 

  • What year(s) were the generic Patches issued by the LRRC?
  • How many different generic Patches were issued by the LRRC?

 

  • Member since
    November 2011
  • 1,334 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Sunday, October 7, 2018 7:15 PM

You've got a really great collection of buttons, and patches !!

I don't have an answer to your question, but your collection is great !

Paul

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • 344 posts
Posted by phrankenstign on Monday, October 8, 2018 4:17 AM

Thanks, but it's far from complete.

 

The artwork for the generic* patches first appears:

  1. Steam locomotive facing left - #1 (1976) of the "LIONEL RAILROADER CLUB Keep On Trackin'"
  2. Steam Locomotive facing forward - #20 (May, 1982) of the "LIONEL Railroader Club"

 

The artwork for the generic buttons first appears:

  • Red caboose button - #43 (June 1988) of "The Inside Track" from Lionel
  • Blue steam locomotive button - #66 (Summer 1994) of "The Inside Track" from Lionel
  • White 'L' in a Red Circle button - #104 (Spring 2004) of "Inside Track"

 

I'm guessing the LRRC gave away the generic patches first and later the generic buttons as part of their "Welcome to the LRRC" packages soon after the designs were first used in the LRRC newsletters I've detailed above.  I think members received the patches and generic buttons as follows:

  1. 1976-1981 Patch #1
  2. 1982-1987 Patch #2
  3. 1988-1993 Generic Button #1
  4. 1994-2003 Generic Button #2
  5. 2004-2013 Generic Button #3

(It's possible the years overlapped during the transitioning years as remaining stock was depleted.  Ex: Perhaps members who signed up in early 1988 may have gotten Patch #2 and Generic Button #1.)

Unless I find evidence proving otherwise, I believe the buttons that specified a year began in 1983 and continued until 2013.  I've been able to find all of the yearly LRRC buttons issued AFTER 1982, but I haven't seen any on ebay from before that period.

 

My knowledge regarding the membership cards is very limited.  The earliest ones I have doesn't have a year printed on it, but I'm certain it was issued in 1976.  The second one from 1977 is clearly identified in the "Welcome to the LRRC" letter as a  "temporary" card.  There must have been a different one issued as the "permanent" card.  Was it paper or plastic like a credit card?  Did all the yearly pins have matching cards?

 

I'd like to be able to display a complete set of LRRC membership cards, patches, and buttons, but it may be awhile.  The pins and patches are fairly easy to find---at least the ones I've already mentioned.  The membership cards just don't go up for sale very often.

 

Please let me know if you have knowledge and/or evidence supporting and/or contradicting what I've stated above.  I'd rather have accurate information on my web-site (www.phrankenstign.com).  I don't want to introduce new inaccuracies nor perpetuate old ones.

Thanks!

Tony

 

* a patch or button without a specified year on it

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • 344 posts
Posted by phrankenstign on Monday, November 11, 2019 1:42 AM

It's been awhile since I posted the messages above.  Since then, I've discovered a few new facts, so I've edited some of the statements above to reflect it.

I believe there were two generic patches issued from 1976-1982.

I think the buttons replaced the patches afterwards from 1983-2013.  (It's possible there was a period where Lionel gave both a generic patch and a button until supplies of the generic patch finished.)

I'm inclined to think a limited amount of buttons bearing a specific year were made from 1983-2013.  After all those had been sent out, the generic buttons were then sent to those who joined later in the year.

I am also fairly certain a button was NOT issued in 2014, because only a few people reported getting anything other than the Lionel Railroader Club Inside Track newsletter/magazine and Lionel catalogs with their paid dues that year.  Those few stated they received only a Membership Card---but NO Button.  Most people stated they never received both!

One person stated he renewed his membership for 2014, but soon after received a 2013 Membership Card and Button in mid-January 2014.  He called Lionel about it, and he was told they were no longer issuing Membership Cards nor Buttons.  Lionel also told him they didn't know if they would ever resume that practice.  It's curious he was told that so early in the year, because Lionel had sent 2014 Membership Cards out to some members already.  The fact they'd sent out leftover 2013 Membership Cards and Buttons by then probably means very few 2014 Membership Cards were printed and sent out.

Of course later in the year, both Lionel and the LCCA announced the LCCA would be absorbing the LRRC membership.  Lionel discontinued use of the LRRC name on all printed matter and on exclusive, limited editon items.

At this time I haven't been able to ascertain what permanent Membership Cards looked like for the periods 1977-1984, 1991-1996, 1998, and 2002-2004.  It's possible generic Membership Cards were used for multiple years similar to the ones before and after each known period.  If anyone has pics of the Membership Cards for these years, I'd appreciate it if you posted them or sent them directly to me.  Please let me know if any information I've presented here is wrong.

Thanks!

Tony

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Get the Classic Toy Trains newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month