Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rarity Plus Condition!

This beautiful Ives White Set went for $16,500 yesterday at Stout. The condition of the set is remarkable, with the only major flaw being a medium sized flake on the engine cab. Some serious Ives collector has added a beautiful and rare set to his or her collection!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Expensive McKeen on eBay

Hi All,

Yet another gorgeous McKeen on eBay. It's at $1700 now. "Why so much?" you ask. Well, because there's a nice little doggy, dressed to the hilt that's eye'ing that fine prewar light post (and he needs a walk).

No? How about because the above is a very accurate representation of the McKeen motor car and it is the only one. Need some market research MTH? Well, 24 bidders on eBay can't be that far wrong. This is one nice car and it is probably worth $1700. My guess is that it will probably top out at or around $3k. In these economic times, I couldn't justify that expense however I am sure there is some hedge fund manager that wants to give his son a nice train for halloween.

All kidding aside, this is a unique item. There's more pictures of it on eBay. Dick Mayer special built one or two of his own McKeen's and they look very similar. Unfortunately it is likely Dick's tooling is lost virtually forever. The stamping machine and tooling was sold to a serious guy who wanted to build trains and turned out not to be too serious and is actually really not serious at all (and yes, I am being cynical).

Maybe I shouldn't write blog posts after brutal weeks at work. I still like the McKeen. Mike Wolf, can you make one of these for a price that isn't in the stratosphere?


Update 9/29/10 - looks like this was pulled off of eBay. Maybe the seller had second thoughts on selling such a wonderful item? Regardless, I am glad I got to see it, I know that it is a one of a kind item and I am glad whoever put it out there let everyone have a look at it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Famous Buses

Apparently the below bus come from none other than the great Harley Earl. This thing was amazing up close.

For more amazing buses, click here.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cool Rig at the Big E

Hi Everyone,
Was hanging out at the Big E (Eastern States Exposition) in Springfield, MA. yesterday. I spotted this amazing rig. There really wasn't anything on the inside except some kind of hefty power generator. The outside was really something though. I have to admit, I've never been on a Peter Pan bus but this might get me to ride one someday! I'd love to pull up to a train show in something like this, absolutely more than enough room to load up with cool items and have a comfortable drive back!
Makes me wish for the days of yesteryear... The styling of this little bus really makes an impression.
PS This is the same spot where the Amherst Railroad hobby show is January 29th and 30th (2011).

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Lipson Robotics

Where do old train transformers drop their tusks and go to die? Well, they never really do. Hopefully the old parts find their way to a place like Lipson Robotics. I know that this is a bit off topic, however when I see something this cool and this amazing, my gut tells me to talk about it.

I saw these robots when I was goofing around with Etsy. Etsy is an online store that represents artists and craftsmen from all over the world. It's a virtual store that has many items that can run the gambit of your imagination (at reasonable prices) as well as many more sophisticated and expensive pieces of art. Etsy is a great forum for artists that don't necessarily want to go to galleries and need world wide representation without breaking the bank.

As I was browsing around and looking for stuff that I like (trains, robots, toys) I came across Lipson Robotics. Lipson Robotics is run and owned by David Lipson. I started looking at these robots and I couldn't stop! They are made out of items from yesteryear, culled from many junk shops, flea markets and street vendors in New York City. Testing apparatus, old radios, old clamps, old cameras and tons of other "old stuff" make up a Lipson Robot, including old toy train transformers.
Here's where the art comes in: the way they are assembled is ingenious. All of the parts flow, they look like they were meant to be together. The robot really looks like there was some kind of intelligent organism or living thing that went out and pulled all of the parts together organically. These parts look like they were created to be together; that's what makes these robots an artistic creation. By the way, these aren't tiny little robots either, they average (in height) from 17 to 25 inches tall.

Fortunately for me Lipson Robotics is a New York City based endeavor. I'm in New York City several times a week, so seeing these wasn't a stretch. They are currently at a gallery in Manhattan called "Animazing".

Truthfully, these robots don't cost much more than some of the trains we buy from China (like a Brute or 400E) and they are completely made 100% right here in the good old US of A. They aren't toys and are not made for a 5 year old to be played with. They are truly art, sculpture and each is completely unique. Once you see these things in person, I guarantee it will be hard to get them out of your mind. I'm contemplating one on my train layout (I'm trying to figure out how to get it in). Lipson Robotics recently published a wonderful book on many of the robots they have produced, I believe it sold out however it will go into a second printing shortly.

Yes, I know this is off topic but believe me, if you like the stuff us prewar tinplaters like, this is right up our alley.... These robots only represent a small sampling of the great work Lipson Robotics does. Hit the link up top to go to the website. -Marc

One last thing: putting these robots together, getting them properly photographed and documented is extremely time consuming and (dare I say) expensive. Please don't use any of these pictures or this info without speaking with Lipson Robotics first. PS Let me apologize for the formatting. Blogger is just a pain with getting the formatting correct.