Old Athearn blue box kits

gcav17 Dec 10, 2013

  1. Southern Oregonian

    Southern Oregonian TrainBoard Member

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    I have a lot of Athearn BB cars, mostly oil and gas, but one SD-40 too. I'd say the price depends on condition and size. I have some that are in need of restoration and some that if I was to sell, I wouldn't let go for under $20-$30. I also have 3 SP&S heavyweight kits by Branchline Trains before Atlas bought them. Price wise the Branchline's were about $25 each, but 10 times harder to assemble. Then again, $75 for 3 at 12-15 hours assembly each is a steal compared to $250 for brass without interiors. As far as I know they stopped the Branchline kits too since I can't find anymore. I for one would have liked to have taken a stab at a Bowser steam kit, but that's not going to happen.
     
  2. montanan

    montanan TrainBoard Member

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    I have quite a few Blue Box kits. When I started my layout over 20 years ago, there wasn't a lot of rolling stock available like there is today, and I needed to custom paint some for my freelance line, and was just getting into custom painting and detailing, and figures that they would be good to practice with. They're still alive and well.

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  3. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Bring back Athearn's Fun Years

    The one thing I miss is the Athearn Blue Box freight and passenger car kits. You could have a fleet of train cars running in no time and the quality was nothing to sneeze at. Yes, there was over sized issues and those horn hook couplers had to go. Kadee came to the rescue with their #5's and we were back in business.:wideeyes:

    I'd like to see Athearn bring those kits back in HO and the same thing for N scale...seriously. Time to drive the prices back down to something realistic.
    Keep the Genesis line but bring back those easy to build, easy on the pocket book great hauling train cars :droll:droll!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2013
  4. gcav17

    gcav17 TrainBoard Member

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    Hmmm.... So there just might be a market for some older stuff. May take some time to move though..

    Sent from my Commando
     
  5. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    There just might be a market. Especially if you keep the prices down as in close to MSRP. Should sell like hot cakes.

    Price them at todays prices, I will be the first one to snub them:rolleyes:.
     
  6. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    I don't know how anyone can afford today's high end locomotives and cars. Granted, they look great, but at $30-$40 for a freight car, they're out of my budget plus you miss the fun of building it yourself. Also, if you want a road name that's not offered, you have to take an expensive car, disassemble and strip it, then modify it as you would a kit.
    I would also like to see a return of Athearn's blue box kits along with the roundhouse line of old time kits. I used to buy a lot of their truss rod boxcars in undec to paint and letter for my favorite local roads and would love to see them back at a reasonable price.

    http://www.h0scale.com/photos/showfull.php?photo=1037
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2013
  7. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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    Yep,
    Those old kits whether they be Silver Streak, Ambroid, Blue Box, MDC or what have you, is what started all this. They started many of us out in MRRing. They started a whole cottage industry of detail parts, decals, wheels and paint, they have helped to evolve some of the highly detail RTR stuff we have today.
    Accurail still offers most if not all of their stuff in kit form, I have called them several times for parts an have found them to be quite pleasant and eager to help.
     
  8. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    The vast majority of my rolling stock are kits from Athearn, MDC, Bowser, Accurail, Details West, Lifelike Proto, etc. Whereas the take-out-of-the-box-place-on-the-track-and-go cars are nice, and I do have a few (including a couple of Centrailia Car Shops cabooses), I prefer the kit cars. With those, I can paint, decal, redetail, and weather the crap out of them and not feel afraid to do so. I still have a backlog of car kits to assemble, which may take a while, but I'm in no hurry.
     
  9. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Not to put a damper on the business plan here, but as a regular purchaser of BB and MDC kits, new, used etc, I think you need to be careful and manage your expectations.
    First, I don't think nostalgia is driving most purchases. Value is. And most sellers leave a show with the same stock they walked in with. Irv built thousands if not millions of 40' boxcars. Why pay anything like msrp for it? And as the hobby ages, so to do the number of athearn cars from estate sales. Hell, my club just got a donation from a widow of a couple hundred shake the box cars. All with Kadees and we couldn't give them away. So, if you are looking at a bunch of transition era rolling stock, either do something to make it special like custom paint or new road numbers. Or don't expect much money, because the grim reaper and over production has ensured there are plenty.

    On the other hand if you have some of the more modern kits. Bulkhead flats, wellcars, impack, long flats. That's a car of a different color.

    Sent from my BNTV400 using Tapatalk
     
  10. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    To clarify something here, I won't pay more then the original MSRP. They were priced right. Todays, freight cars and zealous prices, have me snubbing everything I see.

    As far as nostalgia and buying up the used Athearn freight cars. As YOHO pointed out, not being able to give them away. Has anyone seen what's going on, on E-pay? Gosh darn one guy is selling junk for out of this world prices. JUNK! Athearn's blues aren't junk but the market is saturated with them. If I was still operating my HO model railroad, I'd be buying them up and would gleefully take them off your hands. I recently gave my collection away and had no turn downs. Sorry, I don't have anymore. I do have visiting rights and see them riding around on freights. Oh, they look good.:)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013
  11. Flashwave

    Flashwave TrainBoard Member

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    Thats not only true for Athearn now either, my local club hd custom run accurail 40ft boxcars in the club nme, cqnt get rid of them now. Peole just dont need 40ft boxcars anymore, not like they do other crs

    Sent from my LG-LS970 using Tapatalk
     
  12. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    MSRP, I think, meaning ORIGINAL MSRP. Like, $1.98 or so.
    I have some issues with certain locomotives that were originally $5.95 being sold for more than that AND needing full chassis restoration.
    Dave
     
  13. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well what does that mean? Most of the new old stock floating around your average show came straight outta compton about the same time as Easy E and Icecube. And it was priced between $4-$8 with $11 being the price for bigger cars.

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  14. gcav17

    gcav17 TrainBoard Member

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    So what would be the best things to look for in the collection to resell? Modern stock? Transition stock? Pre-transition? I cant imagine to many folks are interested in loco kits. I may be wrong though.

    Sent from my Commando
     
  15. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Modern equipment will go fastest. And if we're talking post 1980 narrow hood diesel kits, then, at the right price it will sell easy. Wide hoods, not so much. MDC steam kits are also still popular.
     
  16. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    It depends on the buyer and what he or she is looking for. I've been surprised at what sold or was snatched up quickly at swap meets and what sat on the table and eventually returned home with the seller. Have to scratch my head in wonderment. There is no way of knowing for sure..
     
  17. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have bought both new and old cars and once weathered hard to tell the difference on quality, I think the blue boxes would be excellent
     
  18. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    oh, I've gone to swap meets regularly for the past 10 or so years and I've never been surprised. Transition doesn't sell, because everyone bought it already.
     
  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    What sells at one swap, may not move at all the next weekend. The psychology behind it all would probably keep someone busy trying to write a thesis, for a lifetime.
     
  20. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Very true Ken, very true. I don't need to write anymore stinking Thesissississ.

    I'm in partial agreement with you except the group of guys that I hang with are all buying pre-transition. Translated: BD, before diesel and the SLD Steam Locomotives to the Diesel eras. if you show up in Southern California, at the RoundHouse Swap Meet or the Railroad Museum in Perris, CA. That's what you will find flying off the tables. We old grey beards aren't interested in any of the stinking new $hi+. No Amtrak, BNSF, GEVO's, AC's or Mac 90's and/or same such modern stuff allowed on our layouts. True!:rolleyes:
     

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