Toy Fair 2002
Three members of the TCA Internet Committee, Frank Samaritano, Brad Kaplan, and Bob Mintz, were eagerly awaiting the opening bell at 9:00 am on Sunday February 10th. Security was tight as predictable, as we were politely escorted out of the area when we tested the safety measures in place by sneaking in from a side door at 8 am.
Lionel unveiled two new 2-8-8-2 die-cast metal steam locomotives, the first in a series of five special locomotive introductions, retailing at $1499.99 each and are O-Gauge replicas of their real-life counterparts.
Originally designed in 1919 to United States Railway Administration specifications and destined for the Norfolk & Western Railway, these locomotives were modified into their Y-3 classification. During World War II, the N&W sold many of these locomotives to motive power-starved railroads, such as the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. After the war, the Santa Fe sold its 2-8-8-2s to the Virginian Railway, which overhauled and ran them until the last days of steam.
Lionel will make the 2-8-8-2 steam locomotives available in two road names, the AT&SF # 1795 and the Virginian # 741. Although they began as N&W Y-3 class 2-8-8-2s, both locomotives were made to undergo modifications to make them consistent with the rest of the fleets. The Lionel design and engineering staffs paid painstaking attention to accurately model these distinctive differences. Each locomotive features boiler front details, pilot, number plate or number boards, headlight stand, railings and other features specific to its respective railroad. The AT&SF # 1795 and Virginian # 741 are dressed in liveries correct in both color and content. The AT&SF # 1795 even has a repaint stencil on its tender reflecting the date in 1943 when it was repainted by Santa Fe’s shop.
“Lionel is proud to launch this series of five special locomotive introductions with these historic 2-8-8-2 locomotives,” said John Brady, Vice President of Marketing. “They mark a significant advance in the realism and performance of a scale-sized, O-Gauge articulated locomotive. We’re anticipating that once train hobbyists examine the exacting details of our all-new 2-8-8-2s and see the smooth operation of an Odyssey System-equipped locomotive, they’ll be anxious to add one to their collections.”
Each locomotive features all new tooling, Odyssey System for speed control, TrainMaster Command Control and RailSounds sound system.
Next, we visited MTH. DCS will cost over $230 and they say that it will be released in about 2 months.
For the first time in over 60 years, there is a brand new Standard Gauge starters set being offered! Mike’s Train House released the reproduction of the Lionel #10 engine with three 330 series reproduction Lionel cars, 8 pieces of curved track, a transformer, lighted lockon and wires for a retail price of $599! It comes in 5 different color variations for you rivet counters out there!
Also of interest were more NYC Subway cars, most notably the 1964 World’s Fair ones of the #7 train that still services the New York Mets Shea Stadium.
Marklin must have had Bob Mintz in mind when they displayed a Z-Gauge train set in an attaché case, due to his 5 hour a day commute to temporary digs after the WTC disaster.
Tom McComas mentioned to us that his videos will soon be available in DVD format. He and Lionel sponsored a showing of “A Century of Lionel Trains” narrated by Tom Snyder and shown at the New York International Film & Video Festival.
Myron Biggar’s daughter, Barbara S.B. Saslo was dressed as Phoebe Snow to promote O Gauge Railroading.
K-Line has a new line of accessories in the pipe. They have an incredible likeness to Willard animations (Yellow Hall at York), similar to the welding car, new smoking hobo shack and operating billboard signmen that Lionel brought out.
Maury the K said they wanted to make them with smaller footprints because of all the small-size layouts out there.
K-Line also brought out their version of Choo-Choo Cam with a new remote color TV camera that has a great picture and will sell for around $250.