There are some subtle and not so subtle differences between the 390E's of the past and the current MTH 390E. Obviously Protosound and Pittman motors can either add to your delight or dismay (depending on whether you take advantage of the new technology or prefer technology of the past).
I did feel a quick blush of privilege by getting to open a new 390E. The last 390E made its' debut in the Lionel Classics line in the early 90's. It was painted and remarketed by several people in one off colors and we see both the black and one-off colors on eBay from time to time. The original is quite a bit different than the current offerings both in technology and build. I'll show you both the new product as well as the venerable Lionel original.
390E's are one of those strange engines that everyone seems to love but nobody seems to be able to pay alot for. Sure, there are the green one's that go for a huge amount of money but on the whole, if you wait and watch a decent black 390E can be had for under $1000 in very good condition. They pull and run just about anything from passenger sets to freight. They look good in front of just about anything; apparently Lionel thought so because it headed up the Blue Comet set before the 400E. And whoever painted it green a couple of times at the Lionel factory also seemed to latch onto a winner.
This box came extremely well packed. It looked like it had been opened since it came over the ocean and had been repacked.