Every schoolboy wants a model electric tourist train set and every father wants him to have one as well. I am not talking about the toy train sets that families like to have chugging around the Christmas tree, I mean proper train sets that can be extended and built upon - train sets that you can grow fanatical about and some people do, don't they?
Some people's childhood interest for model electric trains becomes a life-long adult passion. This is why some of the original model electric train sets are so valuable. After all, few children could afford the prices that some early model electric train sets command.
One model electric train set manufacturer whose products are the top of the tree with the best of them is the German company Maerklin, which began producing clockwork model trains and expandable track in 1891.
Maerklin had produced dolls' houses first of all, but they soon realized that the model train railroad enthusiast might be like a dolls' house owner. That is that they might care to add to their collection after their initial purchase. Therefore, Maerklin offered basic model train sets but with a whole range of accessories that could be added on later.
Maerklin model electric railway sets are available in a variety of scales and gauges, many of which M?rklin itself defined as international standards. For instance, in 1891 Maerklin introduced the 1-5 gauge at the Leipzig Toy Fair and it was quickly adopted as the world's standard gauge for model train and locomotive sets.
It followed this up with the O gauge somewhere between 1895 and 1901; the HO scale in 1935 and the Z scale in 1972. These days, however, current M?rklin model electric train sets are limited to Gauge 1, HO scale and Z scale.
These days it is very difficult and very expensive to get hold of earlier examples of Maerklin model electric railway sets. In 2005, thieves broke into the Maerklin museum in Goeppingen and stole 100 pieces of Maerklin trains and accessories - a value of 1,000,000 Euros was placed on the haul.
They were later recovered in 2005. In Philadelphia, USA, a complete Maerklin train station and accessories was sold at an international auction for $110,000, despite the fact that it was thought that the final selling price would be in the vicinity of $30,000.
Maerklin were really one of the world's top innovators in the model electric train and locomotive set market for about a hundred years, but the firm has fallen on difficult times. It filed for insolvency in Germany in February 2009, although a year and a day later, it returned to profitability.
In the 150 years since its foundation as a company, Maerklin has often been at the vanguard of the ideas and technology in its area. Even today, Maerklin is still the world leader for all important gauges in the model railroad market, since no other present day manufacturer offers collectors the option of adding to existing railtracks and collections.
If you are keen to own some early Maerklin trains or accessories, you can look on Ebay, they do crop up every now and again, but do not presume to find yourself a good deal, the earlier model electric trains like http://bestonamusementparkrides.com/amusement-park-train-rides-for-sale/ were all hand-painted in great detail and they hardly ever sell for less than $25,000.
Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on a lot of topics, but is currently concerned with train sets for kids. If you would like to know more about train sets for kids, please go over to our website for some great offers http://bestonamusementparkrides.com/.
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