By Bob Mintz
While roaming the aisles of the Silver Hall at the October 2001 York, I noticed an unfamiliar looking box. (How does one notice something that is unfamiliar???)
Having collected all of the Postwar and Modern Lionel motorized units, I was perplexed what I was staring at. I was not sure that it was even an authentic Lionel product.
So I contacted my buddy and Lionel Modern Era expert extraordinaire Dennis Leon Clad, and asked if he knew of this item.
It turns out that it is definitely an uncatalogued Lionel issue, #6-11850 “Rice A Roni
Quaker Oats employees and retirees had placed their orders for this unique item in the Spring of 2001 with delivery in the fall of 2001, obviously before the October York. At that time, the set was going for about $125, but now commands something in the $300 range.
As with similar trolley sets, this one comes with track, transformer and bumpers.
This set, like other Quaker Oats collectibles, was not sold to the general public and none were available for direct purchase by either Quaker Oats or Lionel.
According to Dennis, only 736 of these sets were made, making this a truly unique variation.