Toy Train Price Guides

Online, I frequently get asked questions like, "How do I find out what my old American Flyer train is worth?" "What's a fair price for my old Lionel train?" I used to answer all these emails, but don't have the time for them now. I want to be helpful, but my time is valuable.

I have written this guide to help you learn what your toy trains are worth. If you want me to tell you what your trains are worth, see Toy Train Appraisal for information about my fees.

In order to help you determine the price of your antique toy trains. I have put together this simple guide to toy train prices. This will help you with Lionel train values, American flyer prices -- or any type of toy trains.

All old toy trains made by Lionel, Ives, and American Flyer have model numbers on them. Collectors call these catalog numbers. Usually these are on the side of the loco and the sides of the cars. Some Lionel items have the number rubber stamped on the bottom. Numbers stamped or cast into the metal are part numbers and frequently have no relation to the catalog number. American Flyer numbers with PA- prefixes are part numbers. Lionel toy trains made before 1970 have 3 or 4 digit numbers. American Flyer trains have 3 or 5 digit numbers.

Make a list of all the numbers on your items. On your inventory note damage like rust, dents, or missing pieces. You don't have to count the track as it is has a low value. All old toy train sets came with track so the price for track is low.

Toy Train Prices Depend On Condition.

Let me say that again so you understand . . .

Toy Train Values Depend On Condition.

Collectors care about CONDITION. An antique toy train will bring a much higher price in Like New condition than a beat up train. A Lionel train that has been repainted will bring a higher price than a scratched up dirty train, but only if it is well done. I don't recommend repainting or even cleaning trains if you are going to sell them. You are likely to lower the value. A collector or dealer will pay you a price based on what the toy train will look like after cleaning.

I have seen many old toy trains destroyed by people trying to clean them. The paint and lettering on Lionel Trains will come off or change color with harsh cleaners.

See Toy Train Grading Standards to learn about commonly used grading standards.

After you have made your list consult a toy train price guide. Toy Train Price Guides list the price of each toy train. Most guides have prices for a few different conditions. The pocket price Guides will cost you between 10 and 15.00 You can click on the price guides and buy them at Amazon.

Toy Train Price Guides: O'Brien's Collecting Toy Trains : Identification and Value Guide
This guide will help you determine the values for Lionel, American flyer and other toy trains.

Greenberg Guides Marx Trains 1901-2004 Pocket Guide.

Greenberg Guides American Flyer and Other S Gauge Manufacturers: Pocket Price Guide 2003: 1946-2003

You can also search the completed auctions on eBay to determine toy train values. You will have to do a search for each piece. While you are checking make sure your train is the same as the one in the auction.


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