When it comes to finding the prize piece of your collection it all depends on manufacturer. With leaders in the industry such as Lionel, Hornby, and Life-like, it’s easy to overlook one of the original competitors of these giants. K-Line model trains hit the scene in the late 1970s as a major competitor to Lionel’s O and S scale trains. Made of slightly cheaper material they were able to price their products lower giving Lionel great competition. They lacked the prestige of a Lionel train but their price made them right for the picking.
Today, after a few lawsuits between K-Line and Lionel as well as other problems, K-Line was acquired by Lionel and they continue to reproduce some of the pieces that made K-Line famous. But for a true collector, a reproduction of the K-Line brand is just not the same.
You obviously can’t go out and purchase a new MDK Corp K-Line these days. They just don’t exist. So to get a true K-Line you have to purchase second hand. While these trains might not be considered a collector’s item as of yet, for a fan of K-line trains, they already are.
The great thing about these trains is that right now, you can still find many of these at the original asking price. Since not everyone views them as a collectible this is the time to get them at a bargain. You don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for one of these trains. They just simply aren’t worth it.
To find a good price you need to turn to the internet. It’s important to take your time at this point. Again, you don’t want to pay too much for your treasured find. Check out sites such as EBay and Yahoo to see what kind of deals you can get.
A good thing about the K-Line brand is that many of the K-Line cars designed from the mid 1980’s on are compatible with Lionel engines. That means if you have your heart set on one of the fancy passenger trains that was originally designed and marketed by K-Line then get it. It will work with the Lionel train, since the couplers were designed to be compatible. Incidentally, even though you can find the K-Line by Lionel line available you will not find their extravagant trains since there were the direct competitor to Lionel’s own line.
One of the other things that you won’t find on the K-Line by Lionel offerings is the S scale trains and engines. These locomotives were originally designed to run on A.C. Gilbert’s American Flyer line. Maury Klein, managed to acquire the track after Gilbet’s death. Lionel had their own line of American Flyer engines and cars but did not have the track. After acquiring K-Line they acquired the track needed to complete their American Flyer series so they no longer produce K-Line’s S scale locomotives.
This makes the S scale more collector friendly than any of the other models produced by K-Line. There is no replica or reproduction out there that meets the K-Line standard. For those interested in collecting K-Line products these might be more elusive than the rest.
K-Line is a collectors dream and nightmare. Because many people love these trains there are going to be many people out there that want to take advantage of others. For this reason always make sure you do your homework not just on the train itself but on the seller when possible.
K-line model trains have been on the market for over 30 years. They have been known not only for their innovative construction which allowed them to compete with more popular brands but for their beauty and price. A true collector’s item now that the original manufacturer is no longer in the picture. It’s easy to see why so many people enjoy the K-Line brand train, and it’s going to be harder to locate them as the years go on.
Tags: #K-line Model Trains