The sudden appearance of some types of objects can suggest trends (which was what yesterday's post was about), but the disappearance of readily available objects can be equally telling. So what things did we not see at York this time?
|Don't pay too much for this. You will not get your|
money out of it.
We didn't see any Lionel Coke sets again. When MPC brought out this "collectible," everyone scarfed it up. After all, it's a Lionel train, and it's Coca-Cola memorabilia. With two markets to sell to, buyers were bound to double or even triple their investment, right?
It turned out that neither group of collectors were especially interested, and so mint-in-the-box Coke sets have been a staple of the York meets for years. The spring show I noticed their absence (and guessed as to why). But they haven't returned, and I'm not sure they will.
I suspect more than one of the vendors that used to sell them at York are now offering them on eBay. A quick search showed eight, ranging in price from $169 to $249. All mint, all "rare." It's neither. And if you pay more than $120 for it, you've been taken.
Boxing up the returns
Another thing that was conspicuously absent this time were MPC "collectible" boxcars. During the postwar era, Lionel came out with a series of boxcars, the 6464 series. From 1954 through 1966 this boxcar was given a variety of different paint schemes, offered in sets and sometimes for sale separately, and always with the 6464 prefix to the catalog number (6464-100, 6464-475, etc.). Just like stamps, many postwar-Lionel collectors strive to have a complete set of the 25 different 6464 boxcars (and the innumerable variations).
|An original 6464-150 boxcar, made between 1954-1957. Still|
desirable by collectors.
|Part of Lionel/MPC's 1976 Bicentennial series.|
Unlike the 6464 series this car is modeled on, interest
(and value) has dropped significantly.
For years I've seen MPC 6464 boxcars stacked on tables like cordwood, some priced as low as $10 (way below the original 1970's list price). Until this show. For the first time, most tables were clear of these faux-collectibles.
I think that this market has also moved to eBay. A quick search for "Lionel MPC boxcar" seems to confirm this.
Will this trend continue? I suspect so. And I'll be interested to see the impact on the York meet. Will we see fewer tables rented? Will the quality of the merchandise offered improve? We'll know more in the spring.