Toy Trains From The Attic

Stories About Buying Toy Trains

Here's a story about some Plasticville sent in by Glenn Harris.

About five years' ago, my wife and I spent a Saturday in one of those towns in the Puget Sound region that died in the 60s-70s, and now is a trendy place to visit and drink Starbucks coffee. Anyway, we were in a coffee shop/cafe having a snack. The place was connected to a hardware store/ emporium by an alcove, so I wandered in. The usual assortment of new Fiestaware, kitchen tools, and so on, but nice old wooden displays and wood floors. A young lad (about 17 or 18) asked if I needed any help.

I asked if they had any Plasticville, thinking I had a one in billion chance. He says: "You mean those old plastic buildings?" Yes, I said, almost spilling my coffee. He says wait here, and is gone in the back for a couple minutes. He returned with a cardboard box filled with ten original Plasticville kits in their boxes. They were quite dusty, and it seems at one point had been assembled for some purpose, but they seemed intact.

"How much?" I asked. He looked at his watch (time to meet his girlfriend, I suppose) and said, "They're marked 89 cents, so how about $9, and we'll forget the tax." I felt like a posse was going to chase me as I left the place with the box, and my wife could not understand why I did not breathe easy until we got home. I didn't get the Toll Booth or Windmill, but I got a couple nice variations of the Ranch house and the blue-roofed airport hanger, and every kit was intact and different. I am so glad today's kids are into computer games and skate boards.

Lesson: Always ask about trains. I call this the three foot rule. Anyone that comes within 3 feet and makes the mistake of talking to me finds out I collect toy trains. Depending on where I'm at I find trains or get weird looks. But the trains I buy are worth the weird looks.

This story was sent in by Glenn Harris. I wrote the Lesson, and added a picture from my files. You can share a story about one of your finds by sending me an e-mail.

Here's a picture of some Plasticville buildings like the ones Glenn found:

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