Monday, October 08, 2012

Collecting -- and collecting information 7

The mysteriously named Aero Station. I only
thought I knew where it came from.
Sometimes it takes a while to collect all the pieces of a puzzle. That's what the Collecting - and Collecting Information series has been about. Learning about a subject with a paucity of source material. The Straco Layout, Part 16 Station-Aero I wrote about a piece of a Bandai train set I had acquired. It a battery power pack/controller designed to look like a train station.

I knew that the piece was made by Bandai -- it said so in the lithography. I also had seen the station with a complete Bandai train set in its original box, so I thought I knew how it had been originally sold. (click on images to enlarge)

I originally thought the Aero Station
came from the Atomic Armored
Train Set.

Still the name "Aero Station" on the roof seemed odd. It was clearly a train station and not part of an airplane play set. So why "Aero?" Originally, I thought it was just a case of the manufacturer picking out a cool-sounding English word without completely understanding its meaning.

The name fits. It's clear this is the source for the
Bandai Aero Station.
But I was wrong. Because I recently ran across an offering for a very rare Bandai train set -- the Aero Train. And then it all made sense. The GM Aerotrain was a streamlined passenger train introduced in the mid 1950's. The Bandai toy pictured at right is actually a fairly good representation of the train. And it makes perfect sense that the Aerotrain should let off passengers at.... an Aero-Station.

It seems logical that this set, probably introduced shortly after the prototype, was one my Aero-Station was designed for. Does that make the other set fake? Not necessarily. The station could have been used for other sets as well, perhaps as a way to use up extra stock.

In any event, I now have a better idea of the date of the piece, and why it's labeled the way it is. Another example of how one can piece together information from source materials.

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