By Bob Mintz
There turns out to be two sets that were made exclusively for QVC but, unlike 4 previous sets, were never sold through their cable channel. Both were limited to 500 (or so they say) and had a certificate of authenticity signed by the present Lionel President at the time of manufacture. In the recent past, QVC and Lionel had teamed up to produce the 6-21784 QVC Soo Line set in 2000; the 6-21785 QVC Lionel Mines Gold set in 2000; the #6-31909 QVC Santa Fe Shell Oil set in 2001; and the #6-31910 QVC Soo Line set in 2001. Why the end of this coalition in 2002 is anyone’s guess.
The outer carton of set # 31934 “Lionel Twentieth Century Express” is dated 12/05/01.
It may appear that both sets were made while Richard Maddox was still President, although Bill Bracy took over in July 2002, yet both of these sets came to market around October York 2002, well into Bracy’s tenure.
The 4-4-2 engine and tender is listed as having a maintenance-free can motor; operating headlight and smoke unit; traction tire; die-cast boiler, frame and tender trucks; with whistle in the tender and was numbered #6-28619. The box is dated March 5, 2002.
The caboose has die-cast trucks and couplers and has interior illumination; is numbered 6-26572 and is dated March 1, 2002.
All boxcars have die-cast sprung trucks and a stamped metal frame and have different graphics on each side.
#6-36245 covers the period 1900-1925 and the box is dated February 23, 2002
#6-36246 covers the period 1926-1950 and the box is dated February 25, 2002
#6-36247 covers the period 1951-1975 and the box is dated February 22, 2002
#6-36248 covers the period 1976-2000 and the box is dated February 23, 2002.
The outer carton of set # 11006 “Lionel Lion Train Set” is dated 06/05/02.
The 4-4-2 engine and tender is listed as having a maintenance-free can motor; operating headlight and smoke unit; traction tire; die-cast boiler, frame and tender trucks; with whistle in the tender and was numbered #6-28623. The box is dated June 4, 2002.
The Lionel Lion caboose lacks die-cast trucks and couplers but does have interior illumination; is numbered 6-26579 and is dated June 7, 2002.
#6-26038, the Lionel Lion gondola with packages has magnetic couplers and Lionel cardboard packages and the box is dated June 3, 2002. These would win the trivia question as to what was the smallest cardboard box ever produced by Lionel. The next runner up would be #6-32922 Highway Barrels.
#6-36719, the Lionel Lion Bobbing Head car has operating couplers and the lion head bobs up and down. The box is dated June 10, 2002 and this particular boxcar is a slightly different color variation than the #6-26782 Lenny the Lion Bobbing Head car, which I think would look well with this set.