Lionel Trains

May 13, 2009 8:53:37 AM PDT
At one time, Lionel was one of the largest toy companies in the world. Today, children and adults still are mesmerized by model train sets. John Schmid is a train collector and Lionel Train expert who lives in west suburban Winfield. He was a guest on ABC 7 News Saturday morning.(News Release) They lurk beneath the rafters in dusty attics. They hide behind boxes in basements. Or they might be stored away in closets only to reappear once a year for their owners to gaze with awe upon the powerful memories they hold.

"They" are Lionel train sets. Enjoyed by many as children, they are still beloved today by adults. But in addition to the memories, these train sets can often hold treasure for their owners who just might not realize it yet. While owners may have searched far and wide, they still haven't found the information they need to unlock the treasures of their train. The Authoritative Guide to Lionel's Promotional Outfits 1960-1969 by John Schmid changes all that.

The groundbreaking book catalogs and values vintage Lionel promotional sets (known in the train world as outfits) by using the best resource possible--original company documents. These sets are the golden nuggets of toy trains' romantic past--the special sets Lionel made for retail stores like Sears, Wards, J.C. Penney and A&P and for promotions offered by Quaker Oats and S&H Green Stamps and others. Complete information on these sets has never existed...until now.

In 2001, John and his father, George--longtime train enthusiasts--acquired thousands of historic documents from the Lionel archives. That information, along with years of research, has culminated in the book that brings train sets full circle--turning the playthings of the past into valuable pieces of the future.

"Initially, my father and I did not comprehend the full significance of what we now owned," said Schmid. "Acquiring these documents began another stage in the journey of giving back to the hobby what it has given to my father and me. Joshua Lionel Cowen's dream of using trains to bring fathers and sons closer has been repeated time and time again."

The Schmids turned their fortunate find into a career. The goal of their company, Project Roar Publishing, is to share that valuable information with collectors and train enthusiasts. Now, those who thought their old trains might have been worthless can now track down authentic, accurate information that was previously unpublished.

When it comes to trains, information is vital. For years, many people have wondered what came in that empty Lionel box they may have. Trains and their packaging were often considered worthless because there was no information available to validate their existence or contents.

That's about to change. Whether you have the entire set or just the box, this book is a true eye opener. Many will be surprised to know that the empty box alone could be worth even more than the trains. Even the boxes can command thousands of dollars!

Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to discover priceless documentation once lost in time. It's now resurrected in the Authoritative Guide to Lionel's Promotional Outfits 1960-1969, and more than 1,500 brilliant color photos and images bring readers back to Christmas morning. Train fans seeking to verify or complete their promotional outfit investments can do so, while determining the value and rarity of their sets. In the process, they can also recall fond childhood memories, which are just as valuable as the trains they own.

John W. Schmid, co-founder and president of Project Roar Publishing, has been collecting trains with his father, George, for as long as he can remember. In 2001, they purchased the Lionel factory orders that serve as the basis of the Authoritative Guide to Lionel's Promotional Outfits 1960-1969. John is also the co-editor and photographer of the Authoritative Guide to Lionel's Postwar Operating Cars.

The Authoritative Guide to Lionel's Promotional Outfits 1960-1969 is available from Project Roar Publishing, PO Box 599, Winfield, IL 60190, or visit ProjectRoar.com or call (630) 653- ROAR (7627). It is also available from Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, bookstores and local hobby retailers. The 848-page book features more than 1,500 color photos and images. Cost is $69.95 (paperback), $89.95 (hardcover) or $150 for the limited-edition collectible hardcover edition.


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