model train set on track

The Flap over flaps

e*Train Issue: Apr 2003   |   Posted in: ,

By Bob Mintz

While I was recently inventorying my collection, a discussion occurred on the Toy Train Mailing List (TTML) over the current value of boxes’ end flaps.

With this in mind, I started paying more attention to this infrequently discussed topic.

Many of my Postwar End flaps, flapped off, for no better choice of terminology.

But I did discover several more recent anomalies and will give you examples of each and you now will have the definitive guide to flaps.

1) Modified description and SKU numbers on one end and a totally different description number with no SKU number on the either end.

The Chicagoland Lionel Railroad Club (CLRC) put out one of its’ club cars # 6-52148 with another suffix of the car number as 52148-558. This is all very well and good, except the flap on the opposite side of the box mentions “6-52223-565”.

2) Different description numbers at either end with same SKU number:

This one is a little more interesting. Here we have the Trainmaster Powermaster # 6-12867 clearly marked on one side, yet on the other side, the SKU is the same but the product number marked includes an extra digit, this time 6-128687.

3) The color process misprinting:

Sometime during the multi-color processing, a shifting of the paper occurs and one color may overlap another, as it does here with 6-52160

4) Different SKU and product numbers on the same end:

Not even in the ballpark.
The SKU number (6-26220) and the item number (6-26214) are not even close, as it is a variation of a variation of a variation.

5) Product label put on wrong end of box:

Usually, an orange generic Lionel box is used and labels are placed on the left side of the box if you are looking at the box plasticine window up.

Here are two examples of the same boxcar, in this case Christmas Vapor Boxcar (6-26228), one label is on the left, the other is the right. These were purchased from the Lionel website on-line.

6) Different spelling on two different boxes of major train related person:

Yeah, even poor Tom McComas got hosed on this one. Tom had Lionel make a special “7474” issue car for his company’s “I Love” series. Not only did another box misspell his name, but the correctly spelled version is missing the embellished description details of this extremely rare variation.

7) Close but no cupie doll; same owner, different business:

Well, Richard Kughn does own both Carail and Madison Hardware. I was trying to match the box to go with this item, and just couldn’t find it.

I didn’t recall a flatcar with piggyback vans and the Carail logo. I checked both TM and Greenberg guides, and both said that #52187 came with Madison Hardware vans.

When I opened the box, lo and behold, look what fell out. Four of the correct labels. What’s up with that???

So next time, pay more careful attention to the poor misunderstood end flap.