Lionel Centry Club 1- What happened to our investment value?

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Lionel Centry Club 1- What happened to our investment value?
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, December 21, 2006 2:31 PM

I was wondering if anyone else was feeling that they got sold a bill of goods about that value and collectability of the Linoel Century Club 1 trains?   I can't help but notice that these trains are selling for far less that what we (thoes of use that purchased them) paid for them originally. I remember reading articles in train magazines indicating what a great investment this was going to be.   Well, I made the investment and now I see LCC1 trains being sold new in the box for far less than the original purchase price.

I remember that Linoel was very tight lipped about how many century club trains they sold, I assume this was becase they sold too many to be of any real collector value.  Any thoughts?  

R/NW611 

 

 

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Posted by nblum on Thursday, December 21, 2006 2:42 PM

I don't recall anything in Lionel's promotional literature or any of the magazines touting these as investments.  In general, collectibles are a truly lousy or at least unpredictable investment, unless we're talking long dead major artists or sculptors, or antiques, and even then caveat emptor.  Sorry.

 

Personally, I bought them to have repros of iconic postwar models with modern sound and command control.  For investment purposes I use Vanguard index funds mostly. 

Neil (not Besougloff or Young) :)
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, December 21, 2006 3:35 PM

I don't recall stating that Linonel wrote anything about them being good investments. I do recall it being in an article or two in the popular train magazines. I have many other collectable trains, Williams, MTH, etc and they've all gone up in value. It's only the Century club 1 trains that have gone down in value, except maybe the CC1 S2.  I fully understand that there are many reasons why folks bought these trains, but I do know that many folks made purchased them specifically for collectablitiy with no intention of running them to preserve thier value. In fact, Lionel's CEO at the time made a public statement that he hoped folks would actually take them out of the box and run them.  I think it goes with our saying,  if you purchased the trains with the intention of never running them then you must be intereseted in preserving thier value as an investment. You are correct, like other investments sometimes they go up and some times they go down, but that's the risk you take. Value and collectablity are proportional.  If there are sought after collectables, then the value would be high. Bottom line, I would have hoped that I could have sold them for at least what I paid for them, but I guess they were over priced to begin with with.

611

 

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Posted by anjdevil2 on Thursday, December 21, 2006 3:44 PM

It's always heard that you should collect what you like and if it appreciates in value, that's a bonus.  Certainly, I've been burned on some speculative diecast vehicles, but I enjoyed buying and showing them.  Like you've heard before.....stuff that is "collecable" can be very volitile.

Just my My 2 cents [2c]

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Ring the doomsday bells, raising hell!!! - Yngwie Malmsteen


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Posted by Pennvalley on Thursday, December 21, 2006 3:52 PM
Kind of like my Danbury mint die-cast models that now bring about 30 percent of what they were new.

Paul

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Posted by Deputy on Thursday, December 21, 2006 4:08 PM

Hmmm...I think this observation belongs with the "it depends" group. As in it depends on what CC trains you are talking about. I have seen the 671 Turbine and NYC F3 go for a pretty good chunk of change lately on E-Bay. Where have you seen them going for less than what you paid for them? I will be there pretty quickly to scarf up Big Smile [:D]

Dep 

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Posted by nblum on Thursday, December 21, 2006 4:12 PM

"Bottom line, I would have hoped that I could have sold them for at least what I paid for them, but I guess they were over priced to begin with with."

 

There aren't too many products that you can sell for what you paid for them.  Even unopened.  I think the assumption that these would maintain or appreciate their value is your own, not anyone else's. 

 

In any case, if anyone still living has an unopened set of the original postwar Lionel's Girl's Train, which at issue would have been considered overpriced, but is now a true collector's item, they know that the nature of collecting is unpredictable.   Collector value usually only becomes evident decades later. We'll know the collector value of the Century Club stuff in 2030 or 2050, or even later.  If you had a Shakespeare First Folio in 1650 or 1750 it was worth not much, if anything,  to speak of, but in 1950 it had become priceless.

Neil (not Besougloff or Young) :)
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, December 21, 2006 4:43 PM

If the word "investment" is even part of your vocabulary in this hobby today, you're in the wrong hobby.

Toy trains stopped being an "investment," by and large, when us oldsters in the hobby ultimately accumulated all that we had wished for in our youth (primarily postwar), and when the manufacturers multiplied and then just kept on grinding out stuff as fast as the Chinese factories would allow.

Try again in another 50 or so years if "investing" is your thing, but even then I have my doubts.

Collect something--trains or anything else--because you have a passion for the items themselves and they bring you enjoyment and relaxation.  NEVER collect for any other reason. 

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Posted by Deputy on Thursday, December 21, 2006 4:45 PM

611 : Perhaps if you were a bit more specific on which items you think are selling for a steal, we could comment more.

Dep

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Posted by pbjwilson on Thursday, December 21, 2006 4:59 PM

611,

I recall the big build up that Lionel gave to the Century Club engines. If I were in your shoes I'd be pretty upset if I saw these selling below what I paid for them. As I recall these were to be limited production, one time offerings to commemerate 100 years of Lionel. Lionel put alot into promoting these items. I guess you will always have those who bail out and sell cheap but I would think in the long run they will hold their value and appreciate.

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Posted by DCmontana on Thursday, December 21, 2006 5:27 PM

I shed no tears.  I buy trains to play with and no matter how pristine, I can't resist watching trains run.  For years I have seen warnings about investing in old trains and people still do it.  I remember when people thought all old Lionel trains were worth a fortune, in the eighties.  Now, unless it is decidedly rare, or absolutely mint, it probably will only buy a burger and fries for four people at a reasonable resturant.  If you bought the century club trains hoping to make money in a couple of years, you were really kidding yourself.

 By the way, I have a rainforest tree house for sale in Arizona.  Let me tell you man, it is a steal!  Contact RED'S FRIENDLY RealEstate!

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Posted by pbjwilson on Thursday, December 21, 2006 6:04 PM
 DCmontana wrote:

I shed no tears.  I buy trains to play with and no matter how pristine, I can't resist watching trains run.  For years I have seen warnings about investing in old trains and people still do it.  I remember when people thought all old Lionel trains were worth a fortune, in the eighties.  Now, unless it is decidedly rare, or absolutely mint, it probably will only buy a burger and fries for four people at a reasonable resturant.  If you bought the century club trains hoping to make money in a couple of years, you were really kidding yourself.

 By the way, I have a rainforest tree house for sale in Arizona.  Let me tell you man, it is a steal!  Contact RED'S FRIENDLY RealEstate!

OK then. Has this forum lost all its decorum. Seems like everyone is ready to pounce. And the OGR forum..........Yikes!

Oh, Welcome to the forum 611. Usually the folks here are helpful and supportive of other hobbyists. Hope this thread doesnt turn you away. Like I said in my other post, Lionel sure touted these locos as something special and collectable. I havent been watching these on e-bay so dont know what they are selling for. Will keep an eye on them for curiosity.

 

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Posted by Deputy on Thursday, December 21, 2006 6:10 PM

 pbjwilson wrote:

OK then. Has this forum lost all its decorum. Seems like everyone is ready to pounce. And the OGR forum..........Yikes!

It's E-Bays fault. The dang place has EVERYONE upset. Angry [:(!]

EVERYONE PILE ON PAUL!!!!!!! ROFL Just kiddin' Laugh [(-D]

Dep

 

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Posted by pbjwilson on Thursday, December 21, 2006 6:15 PM
 Deputy wrote:

 pbjwilson wrote:

OK then. Has this forum lost all its decorum. Seems like everyone is ready to pounce. And the OGR forum..........Yikes!

It's E-Bays fault. The dang place has EVERYONE upset. Angry [:(!]

EVERYONE PILE ON PAUL!!!!!!! ROFL Just kiddin' Laugh [(-D]

Dep

 

But I love the Bay. It's the greatest. What do they have like 20,000 Lionel items up for auction every day. Gotta love it.

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Posted by Deputy on Thursday, December 21, 2006 6:18 PM
 pbjwilson wrote:
 Deputy wrote:

 pbjwilson wrote:

OK then. Has this forum lost all its decorum. Seems like everyone is ready to pounce. And the OGR forum..........Yikes!

It's E-Bays fault. The dang place has EVERYONE upset. Angry [:(!]

EVERYONE PILE ON PAUL!!!!!!! ROFL Just kiddin' Laugh [(-D]

Dep

 

But I love the Bay. It's the greatest. What do they have like 20,000 Lionel items up for auction every day. Gotta love it.

LOL...I'm with you. Dang E-Bay addiction. Here's the Century Club item I'd like to get:

http://cgi.ebay.com/LIONEL-CENTURY-CLUB-NEW-YORK-CENTRAL-F-3-OB-w-CASE_W0QQitemZ110067430107QQihZ001QQcategoryZ4148QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem

Gee...only going for a paltry NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS. Wonder what it cost new?

Dep

 

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Posted by Deputy on Thursday, December 21, 2006 6:22 PM

Oh WAIT....I see why it's worth so much....THE BOXES!!!!!!!! Laugh [(-D]

Hehehe.

Dep

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Posted by pbjwilson on Thursday, December 21, 2006 6:29 PM

Dep, Are you the one that lived in Wilmette?

 Anyway the F-3's were $750.00 when they were offered. I have the brochure for the Century Club locos. 726 was $895, 671 - $795, GG-1 - $749, Hudson - $1095

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Posted by Deputy on Thursday, December 21, 2006 7:48 PM
 pbjwilson wrote:

Dep, Are you the one that lived in Wilmette?

 Anyway the F-3's were $750.00 when they were offered. I have the brochure for the Century Club locos. 726 was $895, 671 - $795, GG-1 - $749, Hudson - $1095

Yep...I'm the one from Wilmette. And it sounds like a tidy profit for the guy selling the F3. So where's the gripe about them not being a good investment?????? Confused [%-)]

Dep 

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Posted by MartyE on Thursday, December 21, 2006 9:31 PM

I invested in them...and the fun I have is paying off in dividends.  I never intended them to be an investment.  I just wanted some classics with the goodies. 

MartyE and Kodi the Husky Dog! ( 3/31/90-9/28/04 ) www.MartyE.com My O Gauge Web Page and Home of Kodiak Junction!
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Posted by mickey4479 on Thursday, December 21, 2006 9:59 PM
MartyE:  Neat line up! 
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Posted by jakeoregano on Thursday, December 21, 2006 10:29 PM

Martye,

Great photo. I really like this shot.  Nice layout.

I collect trains for the fun of having certain ones and watching them run around the track.  Truely collector quality trains are not my thing, cuz I want to run everything I have. 

As for commemorative sets of any 'collectable' items, I'd be willing to bet most of them don't hold their values.  Anything made with the specific intent of creating a collector market seems like a risky investment to me.

Jakeoregano (Dwayne)

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Posted by MartyE on Thursday, December 21, 2006 10:36 PM

One more then for you all...

 

 

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 22, 2006 5:39 AM

"Welcome to the forum 611. Usually the folks here are helpful and supportive of other hobbyists. Hope this thread doesnt turn you away."

---------------------

I think the advice he's getting is helpful and supportive.  It may not be what he (or some others) want to hear, but I think it's the truth as others see it.  And gaining such information can only be helpful--and avoid disappointment--in the long run.

Lots of folks still collect trains, and some of those folks are still able to realize a profit when they sell certain items.  But by and large, toy trains today (as opposed to 15-20 years ago) are a lousy investment (if investing is what one has in mind) and they should only be bought for personal enjoyment.  Anything made and promoted as a collectible will almost certainly never be one. 

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Posted by okiechoochoo on Friday, December 22, 2006 6:34 AM
 611 wrote:

I don't recall stating that Linonel wrote anything about them being good investments. I do recall it being in an article or two in the popular train magazines. I have many other collectable trains, Williams, MTH, etc and they've all gone up in value. It's only the Century club 1 trains that have gone down in value, except maybe the CC1 S2.  

611

I was just curious what Williams and MTH items you have so many of that have gone up in value.  I can't think of hardly any toy trains that have maintained value since the postwar era.

All Lionel all the time.

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Posted by Deputy on Friday, December 22, 2006 10:02 AM

Marty: Love the GG-1 and NYC F3!!! Any S2 turbines in there??? Smile [:)] I hope so. That would make an AWESOME collection!!!

Dep

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Posted by MartyE on Friday, December 22, 2006 10:12 AM
That is the entire collection minus the special released tender for the turbine (all the way on the inside rail).  I have, not pictured) the NYC B unit as well.
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Posted by Deputy on Friday, December 22, 2006 10:24 AM

 MartyE wrote:
That is the entire collection minus the special released tender for the turbine (all the way on the inside rail).  I have, not pictured) the NYC B unit as well.

HOLY SMOKES! I am in AWE!!!! I hope you have all that stuff insured. I've been hunting for the F3 NYC for a while now and I either get outbid or the Buy it no blows me away. I am (Brunswick) green with envy Big Smile [:D]

Dep

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Posted by DCmontana on Friday, December 22, 2006 2:28 PM
I wasn't trying to jump on anyone!  Just a dose of reality.  I remember back in the 70's with the Dirty Harry movies.  S & W M-29 .44 mags were selling way above retail!  People bought them thinking they would appreciate and they would make some money.  They didn't!  Guns are very similar to toy trains in the inflation game.  We have collectors that want all the train companies to quit making the old favorites so there investment will be safe.  Well, if you bought IBM in 1948 you are rich now.  What you did is gamble that the price would go up.  If it didn't, it is tough luck.  Next we will hear about a law suit because someone bought a Lionel Scout set back in 1950 and it isn't worth a million dollars today.  Sorry it didn't work out as planned, but I didn't buy IBM or any of the Century Series.  I do have a lot of fun with my trains.
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Posted by Deputy on Friday, December 22, 2006 3:11 PM

I dunno DC...I bought one (a S&W 8 3/8 blued .44mag) because I thought it was Cool [8D] Didn't really care if it went up in value or not. And I sold it for a tidy profit. About $100 more than I paid if I remember right. Remember the TV show Miami Vice? Crockett's gun was a Bren 10. I bought one for $750 and sold it for over double that and they are worth even MORE now. It all depends on the item and supply and demand.

Getting back to Lionel CC. I would buy a CC to RUN...not keep in a box or display case. I see Marty's trains ON TRACKS. Course he MAY have posed them, we don't know. But I am an OPERATOR. CC trains won't do me any good if they are worth a fortune and I am dead and can't get back my investment. So I run ALL my trains. Big Smile [:D] The prices I see on E-Bay all look to be more than what they originally cost. Just how much of a "killing" do people want to make???? Confused [%-)]

Dep

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Posted by Frank53 on Friday, December 22, 2006 4:38 PM

Playing the Grinch here for a second, I find it curious that in the last couple days, posters have suddenly appeared with interestingly crafted posts bashing Lionel.

A post appeared on another forum - first post of a person - stating (paraphrased) "I dug out my Dad's old Lionel trains and want to make a layout. WHen visiting the local hobby shop, I saw MTH Trains - have any of you guys heard of MTH Trains? THey seem to be much better quality"

Um, ok - been away from teh hobby for a long while but are able to discern the "much better" quality?

Likewise a fellow with two posts lamenting the resale value of Century Club material - "were we sold a bill of goods regarding how many were made?"

Seems maybe some folks have an agenda.

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