When KB Toys closed is a relative question. While KB Toys went out of business in 2009, the store closest to you may have closed earlier than that. It was a sad end for a staple of my childhood, and possibly yours. KB Toys isn’t the only toy store to go out of business of course, but it was one of the more notable ones.
When it comes to trains, I prefer older ones made of tin, rather than plastic. And I like tin buildings too. Any time I open a magazine featuring someone’s train layouts, the buildings all look the same. I want something a little different, so I look for tin buildings to go with my tin trains.
Many companies through the years made food containers with printing on them that look like buildings. The tins tend to be about six inches wide, around 8 inches tall, and two inches deep. They tend to resemble the two-story commercial buildings you used to see in downtowns, with a storefront on the first story and offices or apartments on the second floor.
You can use these tins to put together a very timeless commercial district for your train layout. If you know what to look for, you can find coffee shops, bakeries, candy stores, florists, and plenty of other stores to make your town a nice place to live and work. And the buildings usually aren’t terribly expensive, either.
In this post, I’ll cover buildings made after 1970. For pre-1970 buildings, see Vintage Tin Litho Buildings.
If you’re looking for an O scale Christmas village or O scale holiday village to go with a Lionel train or similar train of another make, you’re in luck. You have two good choices.
Department 56 vs Lemax is a battle between the two biggest names in holiday villages. There are a lot of similarities between the two brands, but the differences may matter to you. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering one or the other.
Occasionally someone asks me to recommend an HO scale holiday village or HO scale Christmas village. The big-name villages are too big for HO scale trains, generally speaking, so I understand. There’s no big-name HO scale holiday village but there is a very affordable one.
I recommend Cobblestone Corners, available at Dollar Tree. Old stock is easy to find on Ebay as well.
I talked earlier this week about garage sales, but what about estate sale tips for buyers? The overall strategy is similar, but there are definitely tips that apply specifically to estate sales. Simply put, shopping at estate sales can save you thousands of dollars if you do it right.
So what is an estate sale? Imagine an oversized garage sale. Essentially, the family is liquidating everything in the house. Of course you find a lot of the same things you’d find at a garage sale, but at a good estate sale, there will be high-dollar items too.
So, without further ado, here are my 18 hard-won estate sale tips for buyers.
It’s pretty widely known that the Commodore 64 was the first 64K computer to sell for under $600. But what did a Commodore 64 cost over time?
At its introductory price of $595, the price was revolutionary. In December 1981, an Atari 800 with 32K of RAM cost $1,000.
Not only that, Commodore dropped the price very aggressively. The reason was that Commodore expected the Japanese to enter the computer market and undercut prices.
If you make the switch, I stand to possibly make a couple of bucks from affiliate links. But my integrity is worth more than a couple of bucks, so let’s talk this through.
Disassembling a Lionel 1001, 1060, 8902 or 8302 locomotive isn’t too difficult. The biggest problem is knowing where the three screws are that you have to remove.
These particular locomotives weren’t really designed to be repaired, but there’s some basic work you can do on them with household tools. The 8902 and 8302 locomotives can be cheap sources of a motor for other projects.
If you’re looking to sell some Tyco gear, you certainly can do it, but you have to keep your expectations realistic. You’ll probably be able to sell it, but don’t expect to get rich off it.