I just saw this ad and I liked it. It got me thinking of a quick story my buddy Jim Cohen told me -
He was in New York City in 1951. He was looking for an O gauge switcher. He decided to pop into Madison Hardware.
Madison was the usual amazing place full of amazing stuff. Jim let his mind wander a little and decided he really wanted some Stephen Girard cars.
Lou pulled out the box. That is, A full set of Stephen Girard cars, brand new in the box including the master carton. Not "like new", not sort of new, just new.
Madison wanted $175 for those cars. Jim scoffed slightly, a nice set of used cars could be had at a meet or from another collector for under a hundred bucks. Why the hell would he pay big money in those days for a full set in boxes?
(I had to leave the room for a minute and bang my head against something repeatedly). While my friend has no regrets, he did wish he had the 175 bucks that day.
By the way, call me when Lionel produces a catalog page or advertisement like the one above. The current "go back to when you were a kid and could have your dad buy you a $700 GG1" nostalgia advertising and marketing really doesn't do much for me. I showed the current train advertising du jour to one of my kids and asked what he thought, he asked if the train game was available on the Playstation 2. Doesn't that say it all?