Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Tender Trap 3

I know I should leave this subject alone, but shortly after my last post about the Tender Trap I ran across an offering for a Marx train set on eBay.

Here's the photo of the train all set up. Attractively displayed, don't you think? (click on the images to enlarge)

Yet something doesn't seem right. Oh, I know. The tender's backward! Let's look at that a little more closely:

Yep, it's backward, all right. Notice how the coal empties away from the engine. OK, that's pretty subtle, but what about this? The tender is designed to connect to the locomotive and the other cars in one way and one way only.

Notice that the engine has a simple hook. There's a corresponding one with a slot on the correct end of the tender. The cars all have knuckle couplers (that don't work with the hook). There's a knuckle coupler on the correct end of the tender. Let's take an even closer look, shall we?

On the left are the engine and the wrong end of the tender. No match on the couplers. On the right, the other end of the tender and one of the freight cars. No match there, either.

I know, the complexities of couples might be beyond some folks. But there's one other thing.

Also included in this offering is not just the train itself, but the entire set: track, transformer, and original box.

A box with cover art. Cover art that shows how the train should be set up.

Let's take a closer look at the artwork.

Yep, there's no doubt about it, in order for our knuckle-headed seller to set this train up incorrectly, he had to not only ignore the obviously mismatched connectors but had to assiduously avoid looking at the box art for guidance. But I'm sure he felt the tender "looked right" the way he had it. It's what they always say.

From another auction site, here's the same engine and tender properly displayed.

Let's take a closer look. Notice how, even though not connected, the two hooks just look right. It's obvious they go together. Is this really such a difficult concept? After all, these things were designed for young children to set up and play with.

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