I'm just curious.... I have been watching the Greenberg books on eBay over the past couple of months. The great reference one's that either go over American Flyer Standard Gauge or the catalogs (prewar especially) or Lionel Standard Gauge.
What happened? Why are these books commanding such a huge premium? All of these books are commanding over $100 a shot. Some way higher. I know collecting all of the original catalogs might be a hassle for some folks (I know I have a ton of them and still like the Greenberg reference materials) but still, $200 to $300 for a book?
I know, I know, before you log into your ISP and send me an email, "it's scarcity you idiot." As Aprochek said to me the other day in an email, how many of us in a pre-50 year old demographic are collecting this stuff? I am 39 and so is he. Most of the "younger" kids after me had video games. All of the children in my kids classes have never seen a steam engine (that's just stupidity on their parents part). And as Aprochek so amply pointed out in an email, current TCA Conventions look like World War II reunions. Most of the TCA and train collecting populace seems to also collect Social Security. I have a feeling that a small cadre of wealthy collectors are really jacking up prices across the board, although I could be wrong. And not just for books.
Ok, enough ranting, back to something useful.
Hopefully Kalmbach will sit up and take notice and start reproducing some of these books. They are great, they will sell out and I think Kalmbach would make a hefty profit. I'd like to see them produce the Lionel Catalog books and all of the prewar reference materials. Most of the recent toy train picture books (racked with nostalgia but not much meaningful content) as of late have been mediocre.
I have enough coffee table books. Print me up something that I can use!
PS The web has been woefully lacking in this area. The amount of toy train reference material is zilch on the internet. Now before you go trying to say I should compile this, this BLOG sucks up a huge amount of time but is a good outlet for me and hopefully entertains all of you. I think it is incumbent upon the manufacturers to chronicle their history. I hear a whole lot about 100 years of this and 25 years of that but I haven't seen much on the websites except short bio's on the companies. Perhaps it's time for some of these companies to have an online chronicle that is more than marketing fluff. I know they put their history's into books to be bought and sold, however books can't be easily updated. That's the whole point of the web.