Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Straco and the Mystery Train

Recently three pieces became available on eBay. There was no real description for them -- they were just three seemingly random vintage Japanese tinplate toys. But they caught my attention.

All three were offered by the same seller. It's clear that they're the remnants of a train set, although the seller elected to sell them separately. Unfortunately, they were individually priced way beyond what I was willing to pay for all three. So all I have are the photos.

At almost $50 each, I had to pass on these.

The dimensions provided for the rolling stock were consistent with the pieces I already owned. So I know they're the same size as the Nomura, Straco, and Bandai trains I have. And they looked familiar. So I did some comparisons and discovered that the rolling stock was identical to that of the Straco Express.

First, look at the box cars. The frame is identical for both, as are the construction of the trucks and the couplers.

Second, look at the cabooses. The embossing isn't aligned properly on the mystery caboose, but it's there -- as it is on the Straco caboose.

Was there a second Straco train set? I don't know. The locomotive is missing a tender, so the set isn't complete. The Straco Express had a gondola car -- did this set, also?

And one thing more -- although I'm confident in saying that the maker of this mystery set was the same as the Straco Express, I still don't know what company that was. Yet.

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